Off Like a Shot: 5 Facts About Apex Ammunition Company

Apex handcrafted
Photograph by Jared Lewis.


Few companies have stormed the non-toxic ammo scene like APEX Ammunition. This veteran-owned company in Columbus, Mississippi, made a quick name for itself by pioneering the use of high-density Tungsten Super Shot (TSS) for waterfowl. As the brand continues to grow, so does interest in its people and products. To shed a little light on the APEX story, we put together a list of key facts about the people and products that have made the business so successful.

Hunting buddies and co-founders of APEX Ammunition (from left): Nick Charney, Jason Lonsberry and Jared Lewis. 

1. The company founders have a military background

Company founders Jared Lewis and Nick Charney are veterans of the US Army and Air Force, respectively, and while co-founder Jason Lonsberry did not serve in the armed forces, the wives of Jared, Nick and Jason all fly for the Air Force (fighter jets and transport planes). In fact, it was the ladies (Val, Jess and Susie) who introduced the guys to each other. Coming from a military background, Jared, Nick and Jason brought a heightened desire for never-fail performance into their business.


2. The business started with a 60-yard duck


In January 2017 the three founders were hunting ducks together in Oklahoma. Nick, who had become intrigued with the popularity that TSS had developed in the turkey hunting world for its long-range lethality, had begun handloading waterfowl cartridges with the material. He had brought some of those shells to the hunt, and later that morning after the initial flurry of ducks had abated, a lone mallard came in to the decoys. “Jared and I somehow missed the bird,” explains Lonsberry. “But Nick, who had held off until we finished, proceeded to stone the bird at 60 yards with his TSS. We were so floored by that shot that one month later we pooled our life savings and started our own TSS ammo company.”

3. All APEX TSS cartridges are handloaded

The company insists on this for several reasons. First, TSS loading is an incredibly precise process. Being off by just a couple of pellets can adversely affect a cartridge’s performance. Handloading allows a human being to produce the cartridge and perform quality control at practically the same time. An equally important reason why handloading is important is that APEX wants its customers to know that becoming a huge mass producer of shotshells is not the goal. The APEX mission is instead to produce the highest-quality ammunition possible, and having an expert loader’s hands on every round is the best way to do that.

4. APEX makes some darn good steel, too


Although APEX is the nation’s biggest importer of TSS and its top-selling products are loaded with that material, the company feels that its S-3 Steel loads are the best steel cartridges on the market. The primary weakness of steel is its low density, which is an absolute that does not allow for improvement. Instead of trying to fix the unfixable, APEX instead focused on the patterning performance of steel, which did have room for improvement. After considerable research and testing, the company discovered that by using TSS wads and coating the steel with zinc, it was able to reduce barrel friction considerably—which in turn produced superior patterns.

5. The company owners now hunt less

Jared, Nick and Jason used to hunt waterfowl like madmen. Now, ironically, after having started an ammo company, they hunt less than before. Time afield has been the casualty of a hugely successful and rapidly growing business, but the founders aren’t complaining. “We still do our fair share of hunting,” says Lonsberry. “Plus, being able to produce premium ammo that helps the waterfowling community achieve greater success has become just as gratifying as going hunting ourselves.”

For more information about APEX Ammunition, visit the company's website at

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