With a talent for all things mechanical, Richard “Dick” Speer started CCI (Cascade Cartridge, Inc.) in 1951, after realizing his brother Vernon’s success with Speer Bullets. Dick’s experience as a machinist at Boeing Aircraft’s Seattle plant gave him the ability to produce quality cases, which began in a small room at his brother’s Speer Bullets plant.
Speer and his partner Arvid Nelson eventually discovered a demand for component primers, which were in short supply after WWII. With the intention of building primers for hobby reloaders, their first shipment was actually to fulfill a military contract. Speer went on to create non-corrosive and non-mercuric sporting cartridges for reloaders.
Rising popularity led Speer to purchase a large chicken ranch just a mile from his brother’s plant. With a farmhouse for an office and a renovated chicken coop for a production facility, Speer added manufacturing buildings and expanded the product line. This farm-turned-plant continues to produce ammunition to this day.
Today, Speer Ammunition is a subsidiary of Vista Outdoor and is known for its effectiveness in personal defense and training. The iconic Gold Dot® line is touted as the number-one load for law enforcement, and the same performance can be found in Gold Dot Personal Protection and Short Barrel®. In 2009, it was reported that a $14 million contract provided Speer Gold Dot 9mm ammo to all 250,000 police officers in France – along with French Gendarmerie, French Customs, and French Corrections.