Bud Abrams came from modest beginnings and served as a pilot in the Fifth Combat Cargo in World War II. Upon returning home from the war, he began working for a local sheetmetal company. After working in the sheetmetal trade for over twenty years, Harold decided to pursue his passion for precision sheetmetal work. With his wife, Barbara Abrams, beside him, he began subcontracting work out of his garage in Tucson. In 1965, with the help of a local businessman, Bud formed Abrams Airborne Manufacturing, Inc. and moved the operation to a small plant at 3735 North Romero Road.
Bud was a dynamic business man, developing relationships with companies such as Motorola, Space Date and Hughes Aircraft Co., as he was able to provide on-the-spot quoting and insight for customer drawings. In seven short years of business, Bud had grown the business to gross sales of $1 million with 48 employees and processes such as electro-plating, precision sheetmetal machining, painting, assembly and silkscreen. In June of 1970, Abrams Airborne was honored by Hughes Aircraft Company as one of eleven for their supplier excellence.
Bud’s dream was to build a business that could include his whole family. He was joined in the business by his son, Gary Abrams who now functions as the President of the company, his nephew, Christopher Abrams who is the acting Vice President of Operations, and his daughter, Jenny Abrams Wilson who is the Vice President of Finance and Administration. Bud’s wife, Barbara, worked as the Secretary/Treasurer and now functions as the Chairwoman of the Board. Third generation family members also work in the business. In 1991, the company was named as Arizona’s Family Business of the Year.
Outside of AAMI, Bud had a true passion for flying and spent many hours restoring planes at the Marana Regional Airport. Never seeing anything less than an opportunity to grow and diversify, Barbara Abrams opened a restaurant in 1982 on the airport providing nourishment for her husband and the many other pilots on the airport. In 1989, the Abrams family became the long-term lease holders of the airport and later opened two additional businesses on the airport: Pima Aviation and a Fixed Based Operation (FBO) called Tucson Aeroservice Center, which provides charter services, flight school, hangar rental and aircraft maintenance. In addition to the diversification with the airport, the family also became the proud owners of Sunland Farms, based in Cochise, Arizona in 1989. Over the years, the family has sold cattle, pecans, apples and other produce from the Arizona farm land.
In 1996, Bud handed the reins of AAMI over to his son, Gary Abrams, to functions as President of the company. With Bud’s vision and the strong foundation of the company behind him, Gary continued to grow the business into many new markets. The company soon grossed $6-$8 million in sales, reached 100+ employees and added an additional 50,000+ square feet of space. Over the decades, Abrams Airborne was also able to largely diversify not only their customer base, but also their capabilities to include specialty processes such as aluminum dip brazing. It was an important feature to the Abrams family to be able to provide their customers with a “one-stop-shop” that would ensure the highest quality for all their needs.
With a passion for weapons and as strong advocates of the Second Amendment rights, the Abrams family began a division called Abrams Small Arms Research (ASAR), which was dedicated to enhancing the functionality of weapon accessories for AR platforms. As the division began to grow and develop product, Abrams Airborne was approached with an opportunity to buy the rights to a well-established weapon accessory company called Vltor Weapon Systems. The family saw this as an exciting new venture and purchased the rights to the company in 2005.
While the company was developing contacts in the weapons industry, 2004 brought about the beginning of a relationship with a company called Milkor USA, Inc. based out of Perry, Florida, U.S.A.
In 2006, Gary Abrams, President of AAMI, was approached by the owners of MUSA to take over as the new President and majority shareholder of MUSA. This allowed the company to remain majority owned in the U.S.A., and continue to pursue the U.S. government for military contracts. Several iterations of MSGL’s were born out of this effort, such as the original M32 and the MK 14 MOD 0. These systems were purchased in small amounts by the U.S. DOD, for use with the USMC, and some special operations groups. (Please see the Milkor USA, Inc. website for more information).
In 2013, AAMI developed two internal divisions: AAMI Aerospace and Defense and AAMI Commercial and Medical. Due to the company’s diversity in capabilities and customers, the internal divisions were formed to focus aspects of the business on specific industries, while still fostering the synergy which makes AAMI successful.
Through the decades, Abrams Airborne Manufacturing, Inc. and its related businesses have grown to become valued subcontractors for the aerospace, defense, medical, commercial, and weapons industries. AAMI is honored to have its weapon systems in the hands of United States military forces, orbiting the planet on the International Space Station Alpha, and in computer chassis supporting our world’s growing technological advances.
Specializing in precision sheetmetal fabrication, CNC machining, aluminum dip brazing, and other related processes, Abrams Airborne has prided itself on providing an environment that may service the many needs of each of their customers. The facility now spans over 150,000 square feet with over two hundred employees, working in twenty-six different departments. In order to continue to provide the optimal “one stop shop”, the company is committed to the continued growth of its operations and capabilities.
Our family and founder's past is a crucial part of our business. It is the core of our business and who we are as business owners. We appreciate you taking the time to learn about our company and hope that we can provide you with the services or products you need.
- Abrams Airborne Management