Jesse brings his signature craftsmanship with custom choppers, incredibly successful world-famous brand, and passion for “Made in America” to a distinguished firearm line with JJFU.
He welcomed us to take a peek into his world of craftsmanship at his “dream shop” as he calls it. It sits next to his house in a wooded area in the Texas Hill County. Walking up to his shop I noticed it looked more like a museum than a workshop, with a custom Ford parked in front , several elaborate choppers staged and multiple firearm models ranging from AR’s to 1911’s displayed on the counter, each waiting for assembly and Jesse’s custom finish.
Jesse has expressed his love for craftsmanship his whole life. He became a welder at 13 where he established his pride for hand craftsmanship by learning to create with his hands first. His career as a well-known designer took off in Los Angeles, California with his business, West Coast Choppers, a national icon for high-end custom chopper motorcycles. In the beginning, he used all handwork to design and build these bikes. That all changed when he was introduced to SOLIDWORKS. He was now able to take his designs to the next level; by incorporating curves and organic shapes, and adding flare to his custom work.
In 2010, he sold it all and moved east to Texas. He continued building bikes and cars but also found a new passion in designing and building firearms. I asked him how he got into the gun business. He responded, “It found me.” Jesse has been a gun enthusiast for many years. His move out to the “wild west” proved a perfect time to bring this hobby to the forefront. Shortly after relocating to Texas, he purchased a gun, took it apart and began to do what he loves. When he posted this $600 redesigned gun with his new custom fit and finish online just for show, he received an offer for $25,000. The buyer loved the design so much that they wanted to buy 3 of them. Jesse James Firearms Unlimited (JJFU) was born – it gave him a new found passion and outlet for his custom design and artistry.
Thanks to SOLIDWORKS, Jesse not only revamped his Chopper business, but also his design as JJFU led to his first sale in his new passion driven business. Going forward, the base of the firearm model will be manufactured on a 4 Axis CNC machine using CAMWorks. The fit and finish remain custom and handcrafted using many different types of metal work techniques, making the gun custom for each individual. According to Jesse “The most important thing about SOLIDWORKS and CAMWorks is that it will give us the opportunity to make a product without losing the handmade edge.” For Jesse, the theory behind his sought after custom choppers remains the same for his guns, one-of-a-kind craftsmanship, unparalleled quality and his signature style.
“I think there are very few that can design something and give it a soul” – Jesse James