Arms manufacturers flock to Southeast.

SWORD International Inc., a small arms and defense equipment manufacturer based in Nevada, may not yet hold the brand name recognition of Smith & Wesson and Remington, but the company is doing what some of the better-known brands have done and piloted its headquarters to the Southeast this time to Greenville.

The manufacturer, which serves the military, law enforcement and civilian market, is investing $9.5 million in a new 44,000-square-foot facility at 231 Beverly Road, according to a news release.

The upfit of the manufacturing and distribution space is expected to be completed by January and is slated to create 55 jobs.

"SWORD International is extremely excited to join the Greenville community as we expand our operations to support our military and law enforcement professionals," Jason Hamilton, vice president of SWORD International, said in the news release. "Several locations were considered during the course of this project, but the community and culture of Greenville made our decision easy."

Launched in California in 2010 by U.S. military special operations veterans and manufacturing experts, the team was drawn to South Carolina and Greenville because of the city's proximity to key customers, advanced manufacturing capabilities, strong supply chain and quality of life, Hamilton said.

SWORD International which stands for Special Warfare Operations Research and Development International focuses on development and production of specialty war fighter solutions for multiple divisions of the U.S. Armed Forces and for law enforcement teams across the country.

"We need to ensure that the United States military and first responders on the ground who risk their life every day have access to the same advanced manufacturing techniques, materials and coatings that the aerospace and other military industrial complex industries benefit from," Jeremy A. Elrod, founder and president, said in a letter on the company website. "If we as a nation can develop a multi-billion-dollar strike fighter every five years or so then why are we still issuing a 45-year-old weapon system to our individual warfighters?"

Products include airdrop solutions, robotics, accessories and firearms ranging from MK-18 semi-automatic rifles to MK-15 carbines, light-weight rifles with a shortened barrel. The company holds multiple patents for specialized products.

The move to the new facility is expected to enhance and expedite production, testing capabilities and distribution...

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