The Times West Virginian


July 6, 2014

Blackheart International bringing high-quality services

FAIRMONT — Blackheart International, a firearms manufacturer and provider of logistics and training solutions, is bringing high-quality services to the local community.

At the beginning of April, the company moved from Philippi, where it had been located since 2005, to its new home in Fairmont. It is stationed in the I-79 Technology Park at 3000 Technology Drive, Suite 100, which is behind the Alan B. Mollohan Innovation Center.

Rob Reaser, brand communications manager, said Blackheart International started out as a supplier of tactical gear and logistics support to special operations groups within the U.S. military.

Since then, the company has grown into the manufacturing of firearms for both the military and civilian marketplaces, and is looking to expand that side of the business even more in the near future.

Blackheart International manufactures AR15 rifles, bolt-action rifles and AK platform rifles. The applications of these different firearms cover hunting, sporting and competition, law enforcement, military, and personal and home defense.

The business also builds custom rifles, providing clients exactly what they want with a focus on precision.

In terms of accuracy, function and safety, Blackheart International will put its product up against any other in the industry, Reaser said. He stressed that each and every firearm is very thoroughly tested to make sure that all requirements are met.

“We can pretty much manufacture any type of firearm,” said Lou Patrick, head gunsmith and head of manufacturing for Blackheart International.

He added that the only limitation is the customer’s imagination and wallet.

The business puts times into the manufacturing process, which includes a lot of setup and preparation. This work is always driven based on accuracy and quality, Patrick said.

Reaser said Blackheart International offers some gun servicing and repairs, too.

This month, the company is officially opening its pro shop at the new facility. This retail operation will showcase the guns manufactured in Fairmont, and will give people the opportunity to talk to the two in-house, certified gunsmiths who are making them.

The pro shop will also sell apparel, as well as accessories and common upgrades that are fitting for company’s particular firearms.

In addition, Blackheart International offers satellite communications systems, and is the primary distributor for the locally made Limited Visibility Concealable Antenna (LVCA). It also assembles specialty combat medical kits and carries tactical gear.

Weapons training for civilians is another offering that Blackheart International did in Philippi and wants to expand upon is Fairmont. The company will hold these classes in its training room.

“Obviously it just stands to reason that when you are a manufacturer and a seller of defensive firearms, you also make sure that you give your clients/customers the opportunity to learn exactly how best to use them safely,” Reaser said. “The defensive part and the safety is something we take very seriously.”

For example, he explained that AR rifles are a different type of weapon than many people are used to, but they are becoming more popular and proper training is important.

The company will be offering several levels of training classes, including concealed carry weapons permit, handgun and rifle defense, basic cleaning, and how to do basic modifications, maintenance and repairs on AR rifles.

Blackheart International also designs and sells targets for close-quarter firearms training, which is unique in the industry, Reaser said.

John Aliveto is the director of operations for the business, which has a total of 13 employees. Many of the employees are still commuting from Barbour County, but are slowly making the transition to housing in the Fairmont area. Blackheart International has hired a few new employees, too.

Reaser said the new location in the middle of the high-tech corridor will give Blackheart International better exposure. It just made sense to relocate the operations to the Fairmont area, which has a higher density of law enforcement and a nice presence of government workers, as well as a bigger population and more traffic.

The company has been well received by the local community, he said.

“It’s been amazing,” Reaser said. “Before we even were officially open and had the word out, we had people stopping in because they — through the grapevine somehow — found out where we were, and we’ve been doing quite a bit of interaction with the local law enforcement community since we’ve been here.”

For more information, call Blackheart International at 681-404-5656 or visit www.bhigear .com or

Email Jessica Borders at or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.

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  • Blackheart International -JB.jpg Blackheart International bringing high-quality services

    Blackheart International, a firearms manufacturer and provider of logistics and training solutions, is bringing high-quality services to the local community.
    At the beginning of April, the company moved from Philippi, where it had been located since 2005, to its new home in Fairmont.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

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