It’s common for many soldiers leaving the military to have some period of adaptation when re-entering civilian life. Often left with injuries, sometimes post-traumatic stress disorder, and the looming question about what to do next, the men and women who have risked their lives to protect our country come home and have a new challenge in re-learning how to live without the structure or security of the military lifestyle. We’ve all heard the saying that when one door closes, another opens. It’s easy to say—and especially to others who may be wondering what to do—but actually opening that new door can require exceptional motivation, drive, and effort.
James Renteria is a veteran of both the Marines and the Navy. And indeed, he serves as a shining example, not only as a soldier who served our country in Afghanistan and paid the price physically, but also as an individual who came home and did fling open that new door, finding a way to thrive again after being injured in a fall. Due to his disability, the veteran from Niceville, Florida was not able to aim a weapon like he had been able to previously. While that skill was diminished, however, another had been strengthened: troubleshooting. Combine that with ingenuity, the willingness to learn new technology, and an understanding of the sacrifices a new business often involves, Renteria was on his way to creating his own company and a new product that helps those in need of extra stability while shooting.
Renteria sold his truck to free up capital for his new venture, and began taking classes to learn CAD, as well as dabbling in 3D printing. All of that just for an invention featuring a small piece of nylon that attaches to your gun? It’s all in the design and engineering. The FANG High Speed Shooting Stabilizer solves a problem that many have dealt with, seeking both added stability and accuracy. In fact, fear of having neither are two concerns that keep many people from attempting to shoot at all.
“Often a shooter will have to fire from an unsteady perch or makeshift rest,” states the product page. “When ounces equal pounds and usability in all environments is crucial you want a device that stabilizes and maximizes your ability to put rounds on target while maintaining a small profile.”
The idea came about after the injury that occurred to his arm while on duty in Northwest Afghanistan. Renteria need to figure out a way to stabilize the rifle for himself with just one hand if he wanted to continue using a weapon. With his new invention, he was able to create stability as well as a solid ‘grip stop’ which makes for more normal shooting—and certainly exactly what Renteria was seeking. He also realized, in this process, that his resourcefulness would most likely pay off as a business idea for others who would be glad to have such a product.
“Being in the military,” Renteria said, “We were constantly faced with different situations where we had to solve the problem, and a lot of times, we had a ton of really good ideas, but all we had the time for was a quick fix.”
Here, Renteria took the time needed to develop a new and functional product, creating over 50 3D printed iterations before he was satisfied.
“I can think of no better thing than to work hard, and show that you can take an idea and do anything,” Renteria said.
The benefits of 3D printing surely came into play here for Renteria as well, as he was able to take the initiative to learn how to engineer and design a digital model as well as bringing it to fruition physically. Renteria realized that this probably would not have been possible to do previously, without the self-sustainability in design and small-batch production—as well as, of course, affordability. While there may not have been a job just waiting for him when he exited the military, Renteria certainly made one for himself.
Continuing with the inventor’s spirit and entrepreneurial drive, Renteria has already created another, although undisclosed, product not related to firearms that he is filing a second patent for. Currently, the FANG device retails for $44.99 online.
He serves not only as an inspiration to those thinking about forging ahead with an invention and putting forth the effort it takes to create your own business—as is the American way—but he is most certainly a great role model for those getting ready to exit the military and make their way back into civilian mode.
“Hey, take the chance, learn, work, strive,” said Renteria.
DIscuss further over in the 3D Printed FANG Shooting Stability forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: ABC 3 WEARTV / Images: H.S.S.S.]