An interview with the man behind T.REX ARMS | Lucas Botkin (2023)

The Man Behind T.REX ARMS

We took a moment to have some questions answered by the very busy Lucas of T.REX ARMS, a holster and accessory maker who is quickly becoming a favorite of conceal carriers and professionals around the USA.

Lucas, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for The Loadout Room. For those in the community who are not in the know, would you mind giving a brief overview of the products/services offered by your company?

Absolutely. T.REX ARMS originally began as a Kydex company in September of 2013. I was in a cramped garage with hand tools, a band saw, and a dozen blue guns. From the start, I produced a few models of custom holsters made to customers specifications. As time went on, new products were developed, upgrades were made, and people were hired. Right now we employ 16 people and are taking on a number of projects outside of the Kydex world.

We need to know why it is called T.Rex Arms, how’d you come up with the name?

I’m afraid there is no amazing inspirational story behind the name. My younger brother and I were at a table one morning talking over names. I was rattling off various animal names combined with defense industry type words. When T-Rex arms came to mind I said it as a joke. But he thought it was great. I did some polling with other people and everyone agreed it was probably a good choice– easy to remember and humorous. I wasn’t even a huge fan of the name at first. But it grew on me, and that’s what I went with.

So why Kydex as opposed to other materials?

So Kydex has been proven to be one of the easiest materials to work with when it comes to low-quantity custom manufacturing. It’s inexpensive. Can be warmed up in a toaster oven. And can be chopped up with a utility knife and hacksaws. Because of how easy it is to work with, hundreds of people have tried their hand at making holsters. Either for money or just for themselves and friends. It’s also waterproof, fairly heat-resistant, and very durable. Most of the holsters on the market today are either Kydex, Boltoron, or a form of injection molded plastic. Gone are the days of mass-issued leather holsters.

(Video) What Makes T.REX ARMS a Successful Business with Lucas Botkin

What holster designs were you using prior to you making your own? What short comings did you see in these designs?

The first holster I played with was an Uncle Mikes. Funny, I know. Then a Blackhawk Serpa for a West German Sig 226. After that I ran the Safariland ALS series of holsters, which in my opinion are the most effective retention holsters on the market. I still run them from time to time and recommend them to a lot of people. Since I was 17-19 when I was playing with these holsters, I wasn’t really conceal-carrying them. They were used more on the farm. So when I started T.REX ARMS I wanted to develop more conceal-carry type holsters. Especially since I was starting to look for a good conceal-carry holster for myself.

What was the design of the first holster you made? Did it pave the way for future designs?

I had a simple pancake style holster which everyone builds. A basic IWB and some mag carriers. Nothing crazy or special. But as I started dabbling in appendix carry I realized what I wanted. Something concealable, comfortable, and most important… something very accessible. So I started designing what is now known as the Sidecar. The Sidecar went through 8 revisions to get to where it is today, and we’re constantly looking for new ways to improve it. Other projects and designs I worked on (and still work on) were improved thigh rigs, suppressor holsters, and optic-protected holsters.

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At what point did you decide that you wanted to go full time and launch your company?

Right away. As I created the business plan for T.REX ARMS, it was my intention from the beginning to make it full-time and make it as big as possible. It became a full-time job for me within months and my first hire was five or six months in.

The market was and still is saturated in Kydex goods and holsters, what did you bring to the table that made your brand of holsters so successful?

When starting a business you must do one of two things (or both): You can do something nobody else has done. Or… you can do what other people are doing, only better than everyone else. My intent was to do both. I studied deficiencies in the Kydex world prior to starting my business and I focused on finding solutions. While I didn’t have any amazingly innovative products when I first started, I worked hard on developing those. Our ancient Beowulf holster was one, then the Sidecar, then the gen 1 Ragnarok. All unique holster designs that weren’t available on the market then.

How were things early on? Did you run into any setbacks?

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Tons of setbacks. I worked A LOT six days a week, from early morning to midnight. For a long time. And I still do for the most part. For the first couple of years my shop wasn’t heated or air-conditioned, so I might be working in 20 degrees or 110. That was fun.

Once I went public about who I was I obviously had a lot of confrontation and public online criticism. That was probably one of the hardest things for me early on. But the biggest challenge has been the explosion of growth the company has experienced. Hiring people and expanding shop operations fast enough to keep up with orders is a challenge. Expanding at a consistent rate is tricky. Hire people too fast, and you risk having to lay them off if sales slump. Expand too slowly, then production is slow, lead-times get longer, and customer service can be overwhelmed.

I know you’re a huge supporter of our Armed Forces, all of us here at The Loadout Room are Veterans or Active Duty so we want to say thank you. Are you seeing a lot of interest in your holsters from pipe-hitters out in the field?

We’ve been able to produce a lot of holsters for members of the special operations community. Today’s conflicts are becoming a lot more low-vis and clandestine.

If so, what holsters are they typically using?

We produce a lot of Sidecars for guys downrange. They value the ability to run a full-size handgun easily while maintaining good accessibility. We’ve also had Ragnaroks head downrange for guys who don’t mind passive retention holsters and want maximum speed. I’ve had the privilege of working directly with various units to get them exactly what they need, and that’s a huge honor. I never dreamed I’d be able to do what I do today for guys in the SOF community.

Any interesting stories you’ve heard from end users regarding your holsters?

One of the most interesting was from a guy who was fast roping with a Sidecar and chest rig. I get stories from time to time of guys down range who have to go to guns using our holsters.

What products do you have on the horizon that you can tell us about?

We may or may not have a suppressor holster in the works. Perhaps some optic-protected holsters, and more models for our Ragnarok line-up. And I’m currently working on some nylon products.

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I hear you shoot quite a bit. How many rounds are you firing per month currently?

I do, haha. I currently spend 10-15 hours a week on the range and shoot 1000-1500 rounds a week. It’s a bit of ammo. Mostly 9mm, .223, and now .308 since I’m playing with a Scar 17 and some other 7.62 guns I’ll be acquiring soon.

What drives you to put so many rounds down range?

I design gear for shooting –from our Kydex goods, and the nylon we’re working on. I believe the more effective I am at being an end-user, the more effective I can make my gear. I’m also very passionate about being an effective protector. But the biggest reason I invest so much time on the range is that the better I am at anything, the better I can be at helping others get good at it. I get asked questions about shooting, technique, gear, etc all the time. The more skill, experience, and understanding I have the better I can help people improve their skills.

I hear you may be offering some weapons classes soon?

I’m going to be teaching a little here and there with Drew Estell of Baer Solutions. I’d like to do more, but I’m super swamped with T.REX, our now-growing YouTube channel, and another company I’m working on. But I try to make myself available to help law enforcement agencies in my area. I volunteer my time to role play as a bad guy for force-on-force and help guys with fundamentals on range days. I love being able to do that.

So you are a holster company, but you spend a lot of time on carbines. Is T.Rex arms going to venture into the world of carbines and carbine accessories?

We’re considering it. If it’s a way we can serve the community, then we’ll probably get into it somehow.

What is your go to pistol for conceal carry currently and what holster are you running on a day-to-day basis for those needs?

I carry a Glock 19 with a Surefire X300U in a Sidecar. The Sidecar is my go-to holster. I don’t conceal-carry any other way.

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What is your go to rifle?

A 13.7 BCM I built that has an Aimpoint T2, Geissele SD3G, Surefire M600U, and a full power PEQ15.

We’ve talked a lot about your Company and its products, could you take a moment to tell us a bit about yourself?

Well, I’m a Christian. Twenty-three years old. Was homeschooled. Educated by awesome parents. Didn’t go to college. And I have no military or law enforcement background. I’ve always been passionate about protecting others and growing up I wasn’t sure how I would do that. Now that I’m running T.REX ARMS and producing a good amount of educational material, I believe I am able to help equip people to be more effective protectors themselves. And that is why I work as hard as I do. I know what I’m doing is having an impact and making America a safer country.

Lucas, from us here at The Loadout Room, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. I’m sure we’ll be in touch.

Thank you for having me on! Stand fast.

Images courtesy of (https://trex-arms.com/)

For more info visit:

https://trex-arms.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU-ljC8EvKZFhJ-pct_5rMQ

(Video) Ep. 197 | The T.REX Arms Story – Lucas Botkin

https://www.instagram.com/trexarms/

FAQs

Was Lucas Botkin in the military? ›

Lucas Botkin: I'm 25 years old…and I'm a civilian. I have no law enforcement or military background. That said, something very important to me growing up was the idea of protecting other people. It was a passion of mine.

Who is the guy from T Rex arms? ›

His name is Lucas Botkin and he is the founder of T. Rex Arms, a firearm accessory manufacturing company.

Who is Lucas Botkins dad? ›

lucastrexarms. Here's the man responsible for much of the backbone and principles behind T. REX ARMS: my father Geoffrey Botkin.

What does Lucas Botkin carry? ›

I carry a Glock 19 with a Surefire X300U in a Sidecar. The Sidecar is my go-to holster. I don't conceal-carry any other way. Plaid isn't a choice, it's THE choice.

What was the point of T. rex having arms? ›

Over more than a century, other proposed explanations for the short arms included waving for mate attraction or social signaling, serving as an anchor to allow T. rex to get up from the ground, holding down prey, stabbing enemies, and even pushing over a sleeping Triceratops at night. Think cow-tipping, Padian said.

Who is Isaac Botkin? ›

Isaac Botkin - Director - First Pacific Media | LinkedIn.

How many fingers did T. rex have on one arm? ›

Everybody knows that Tyrannosaurus had small arms tipped in only two fingers. The relatively small arms of the Late Cretaceous predator are part of its charm.

Where does T rex arms live? ›

Rex Arms, 758 Industrial Rd, Centerville - Waze.

How many employees does Trex arms have? ›

T Rex Arms corporate office is located in 758 Industrial Rd, Centerville, Tennessee, 37033, United States and has 60 employees.

Who is the founder of T rex arms? ›

Lucas Botkin - CVO, Founder - T. Rex Arms, Inc.

What rifle is rated for T. rex? ›

Did you know that the Marlin Model 1895SBL 45-70 Gov't is the only rifle listed on Marlin's website rated for killing T-Rex's? This is due to it's role in the film Jurassic World!

What firearm does NCIS carry? ›

A Sig Sauer is the standard issue firearm that agents are issued when they start on the job. But they're allowed to choose from a wide range of weapons provided they pass the NCIS qualification course with it. "When we started the show, all of our agents carried the Sig," notes Carroll.

What gun could take down at Rex? ›

According to this article, you could quite likely do so with a standard assault rifle (7.62mm), with good placement, as the skull of the T-Rex at least, and probably a good many other dinos, is full of holes, and so shots could be fired into the creature's brain without having to contend with bone.

How did T. rex's mate? ›

Due to certain size constraints, the fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex was unable to, say, take a mate into his arms. Instead, he was left with his nose, which out-extended his arms, to perform such "pre-copulatory play," as the scientists said.

Are M1 garands still used? ›

The rifle is chambered for the . 30-06 Springfield cartridge and is named after its Canadian-American designer, John Garand.
...
M1 Garand.
U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1
TypeSemi-automatic rifle
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1936–1958 (as the standard U.S. service rifle) 1940s–present (other countries)
23 more rows

What replaced the Garand? ›

The M14 was developed to replace four different weapons: the M1 Garand, the M3 submachine gun, the M1 Carbine and the M1918 Browning automatic rifle (BAR).

Does the military still use M1 garands? ›

It was replaced by the M-14 in 1957, but saw frontline service until 1965, and is still used by the American military as a drill and ceremonial arm. The M1 Garand is widely regarded by firearms enthusiests, and historians as the greatest and most respected American service rifle of all time.

Who does Trex arms ship with? ›

We have found DHL Express to be the most reliable carrier for international shipments, as they offer real-time tracking services and competent Customer Service throughout the entire shipping process. Delivery is generally made within 2-8 business days, pending customs clearance.

How long did T. rex live? ›

Tyrannosaurus rex had a life expectancy of about 28 years. Previous studies have suggested that it went through a growth spurt in its teenage years, but until recently, scientists didn't know much about how it grew from a hatchling to a powerful predator.

How strong is T. rex arms? ›

Stranger still, the puny arms are nonetheless quite powerful: Analyses have shown a T. rex's arm could bench press 400 pounds. And yet, despite this raw strength, the arms were not only short, but possessed a limited range of movement, as well, only capable of swinging across at an angle of about 45 degrees.

How long did T. rex exist? ›

Finally, T. rex existed as a species for 1.2 to 3.6 million years. With all of this information, we calculate that T. rex existed for 66,000 to 188,000 generations.

How much can at Rex arm lift? ›

Small but Strong Arms

Though short, the T-Rex's arms were about three feet in length with razor-sharp talons as claws. Many witticisms surround the T-Rex's short arms; however, research suggests that the arms were very strong, with the ability to lift up to at least four hundred pounds.

Do Trex arms sell guns? ›

T-Rex Arms Range

Our online shop offers a wide range of firearms direct from our distributor.

How much is the T. rex worth? ›

The famous Tyrannosaurus rex specimen went at auction for $31.8 million on October 6. That's more than twice the adjusted value of Sue, the most complete T. rex yet found, which sold for over $8.3 million in 1997. But to researchers, fossils are literally priceless.

Who is T. rex biggest competitor? ›

trex.com's top 5 competitors in September 2022 are: timbertech.com, fiberondecking.com, moistureshield.com, deckorators.com, and more. According to Similarweb data of monthly visits, trex.com's top competitor in October 2022 is timbertech.com with 319.8K visits.

Who is T. rex competitor? ›

Trex Company's competitors and similar companies include The AZEK Company, Midland Brick, All Weather Windows and Andersen. Trex Company is the world's number one decking and railing brand, and leader in high-performance, low-maintenance outdoor living products.

Why is T. rex stock dropping? ›

Shares of composite decking company Trex (TREX 1.70%) got hammered on Tuesday after the company reported financial results for the second quarter of 2022. Q2 results were better than expected, but the company expects an alarming slowdown in the second half of the year.

How much did T. rex sell for? ›

Christie's sold a nearly complete skeleton of a T-Rex named Stan at its evening sale in November 2020 for $28 million ($31.8 million after fees). Courtesy of Christie's.

How much of Sue the T. rex is real? ›

It is estimated that 90% to 95% of the bones are real, if you reattach the head. Exceptions are a few vertebrae, bits of ribcage and arm, and her left foot. The dinosaur was found largely intact. How long did it take to carefully dig Sue out of the mountain?

Can a bullet penetrate at Rex? ›

Unfortunately, T. rex's heart is also well protected—your bullet must penetrate three or four inches of skin and abdominal bone, then travel several feet through more dense muscle to reach the vitals.

Is at Rex bulletproof? ›

Other dinosaurs - like some of the spiky ankylosaurs - had thick coats of bony armor that would have provided more resistance, but T. rex didn't have the same equivalent of a bulletproof vest. What we do know is that T. rex was a very muscular dinosaur, from its jaws to its tail.

What gun has the most recoil? ›

than was available in other huge rifles. The T-Rex shoots 750-grain bullets at 2,400 fps and churns up over 10,000 foot-pounds of energy. Recoil is 172 foot-pounds.

What rifle does FBI carry? ›

Remington 870 Shotgun 12-gauge. Remington 700 Sniper Rifle.

What ammo does FBI carry? ›

The current generation of Federal law enforcement ammunition is the HST, introduced in 2002. No matter the caliber or bullet weight, it is a consistent and effective performer. It's my chosen defensive round that I carry in every one of my defensive handguns.

How much do NCIS agents make a year? ›

$130,645. The estimated total pay for a Special Agent at NCIS is $130,645 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users.

Can a human fight at Rex? ›

There's no chance that any human alive could win.” While T. Rex's stubby appendages might look wimpy, he explained, they were still extremely strong. Keep in mind that T.

Can Rex crush a car? ›

Despite a jointed appearance, paleontologists now think the dinosaur must have had a stiff skull to deliver its crushing blows. The bone-shattering bite of a Tyrannosaurus rex could have crushed a car, delivering up to six tons of pressure to its hapless victims.

Would a gun hurt a dinosaur? ›

Depends on the dinosaur and the firearm. The bigger the animal, the bigger the caliber you'd need. You'd have to be very presice for a pistol to inflict a lethal wound on something like a Triceratops or Tyrannosaurus, let along a giant sauropod. On the other hand, high caliber rifles used for big game would do nicely.

Who is the military arms Channel Guy? ›

take his videos to the next level.

Who is the CEO of T rex arms? ›

REX Arms CEO, Lucas Botkin!

Who is the biggest arm dealer in the world? ›

United States

Who is the best arms dealer in the world? ›

The U.S. is the top arms dealer in the world, followed by Russia, France and the United Kingdom, with the U.S. responsible for 39 percent of arms exports globally, according to the Stockholm International Peace Institute.

What rank was a man at arms? ›

The man-at-arms could be a wealthy mercenary of any social origin, but more often he had some level of social rank based on income, usually from land. Some came from the class known as serjeants but increasingly during the 14th century they were drawn from an evolving class of esquire.

How much did Sue the T. rex sell for? ›

On October 4, 1997, the auction began at US$500,000; less than ten minutes later, the Field Museum had purchased the remains with the highest bid of US$7.6 million.

Videos

1. A Day at T.REX ARMS with Lucas Botkin
(T.REX ARMS)
2. DRAMA!! Lucas Botkin vs Navyman8903 vs Garand Thumb SILLINESS
(Johnny B)
3. TREX TALK: How and Why to Resist Tyranny
(T.REX ARMS)
4. T Rex "Tactics" video reaction and break down.
(Executive Training Group)
5. LUCAS BOTKIN | Building a Firearms Empire
(Order of Man)
6. TREX TALK: Q&A with Isaac (mostly about the ATF)
(T.REX ARMS)
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