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Industry Profile: International Replica Arms Company

By Robert Bruce, Military Affairs Editor

I had first become aware of IRAC when I was looking for a primary provider of simulated weapons for Threat Tec, our company that provides highly realistic training to military and security clients.  During my search, I kept hearing about this company called IRAC and how they produced the best simulated weapons money could buy.  J.T. Crawford, President/CEO of IRAC, Highgate, Threat Tec and Pariri.

While some small arms purists might be tempted to dismiss replica guns as “toys for big boys,” we believe the best of these of this category have long served important roles in a wide variety of situations.  Think “Rubber Duck” M16 rifles and other weapons; realistic full size/full weight, non-firing models made from durable epoxy reinforced with steel rods.  These have proven a damn good alternative to beating up real guns (or the nightmare of losing them) in tough training like parachuting and waterborne exercises.

But they don't go BANG. 

Or consider the cost, complexity, safety concerns, logistical hassles, and legal compliance issues of using blank-adapted versions of actual weapons by OPFOR (opposing force) elements in training scenarios.  Most often more trouble than worth.

These were among many obstacles confronting J. T. Crawford's Threat Tec teams in carrying out highly realistic, demonstrably effective “threat emulations” under Department of Defense contracts.  He needed to find a good source for working replicas that were tough, reliable and looked and sounded right.

In the interview that follows, conducted earlier this year during a visit to the group's headquarters in Hampton, Virginia, the 46 year old Crawford explains how he found International Replica Arms Company (IRAC).  And how he was able to make it a perfect fit in his group of closely-connected business entities.

A conversation with J. T. Crawford

SAR:  Tell us about yourself.  Where you came from and some things about what happened along the way to your highly successful group of companies. 

Crawford:  I'm from Kentucky and I grew up in the greater Cincinnati area of Ohio, right across the Ohio River where my paternal and maternal grandparents lived. 

I started shooting when...


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