More than 25 years ago, the Summers family started a precision machine shop. “Our machine shop probably rivals anyone in the industry; the difference for us is our ability to make small metal parts, more than anything else. I would say it’s our specialty,” said Ben Summers, director of operations at Axcel. He went on to say that after the success of sister company T.R.U. Ball releases, the company decided to take on the challenge of building sights due to its specialty of machining small parts and its strong connection with the archery community.
Axcel started out with a simple line of target sights, and for the first two years it saw immediate success. “Actually, I’m glad we decided to only produce the target sights for the first two years. In our third year we launched our Armortech line of sights. The demand was huge right from the beginning,” Summers explained. “In fact, we have only been caught up with orders twice for a couple of months each time. Other than that, we are selling them faster than we can produce them.”
Three new CNC machines—costing more than $1.5 million—only got Axcel caught up for a short period, then demand again soared.
Building on the Armortech line’s success, Axcel now offers its anodized sights in Lost, Realtree APG and Mossy Oak Infinity camo patterns. “Unlike most, if not all, other sight manufacturers, we decided do go with anodizing over a camo film-dip process for our sights,” Summers said. “We build everything to last. The anodizing is actually an acid dip that eats into the material so it will last and last and last,”
Armortech sights are only available through local pro shops; Axcel hasn’t opted to sell to the big-box stores or directly to the consumer via an electronic retail site.
On the target side, the AX3000 sight is leading the way with an impressive pedigree of top shooters relying on Axcel, ranging from top 3-D shooters to potential Olympians looking for gold in 2012. The AX3000 features three axes of adjustment, which isn’t new, but the adjustment system is. “It’s very easy to adjust,” Summers said. “You can adjust the second axis independently from the third. You can also take off each axis adjustment block and attach a different one. This allows you to use one sight for multiple purposes. For instance, you could set up a scope for indoor shooting one day and switch the blocks and the scope to shoot a 3-D or FITA shoot the next.”
For bowhunters, the Armortech Pro is all the buzz. It is built on a dovetail design. “The stainless steel Armored pin—which is actually a hypodermic needle—is bent and encases the fiber optic to protect it from breaking when [you’re] traversing through brush or pulling your bow into your treestand,” Summers said. Sounds like another winner from where we stand.
(434) 929-2800; www.axcelsights.com