Mason Mainz, owner of Montechema Firearms, is no stranger to adventure. From working heavy equipment in Colorado, to being a cattle rancher, to living off the grid at his family ranch, Mainz has done a lot. All by the age of 24. However, as it turns out, the life of adventure is something that runs in his veins.
He begins, “Montechema was the name of my great, great uncle. His real name was Herman Lehmann, and he spent 9 years with the Indians after being captured at 11 years old. He was captured by the Apaches, ultimately killed their medicine man, and fled to live in the wilderness for a year. He came across some Comanche braves and followed them back to their tribe. They scattered and ran because he looked like a crazy Indian after his time in the wilderness. They were going to kill him, but one of the Comanches spoke Apache, and upon learning of his story of killing the medicine man, they took him in as one of their own. He ultimately became leader of that tribe.”
Upon graduation from high school in 2009, Mainz began his college schooling at Blinn, but quickly dropped out. “After leaving school, I moved to Colorado to work heavy equipment pushing snow off the mountains. I got sick of that, and came back to Boerne and was living on the ranch here in town that has been in our family for over 100 years, and I had the opportunity to live off the garden and land and I was self-sufficient for over a year. I kind of accumulated some debts and had to start working at the Fredericksburg Auction Barn selling sheep, goat, and cattle for 3 years.”
With a myriad of experiences, Mainz began to consider entrepreneurship. From his days at Blinn to his life living on the ranch, Mainz had accumulated quite the knowledge of firearms. “My grandpa passed, and his office was in my current location (right behind Sugar Shack). After speaking with the family and realizing that none of them had any real plans for the building, I elected to use it for Montechema Firearms. I had been working with guns since I was a kid and I hunted and I got more into guns during college and I had gotten an AR-15 and I was bit by the gun bug. I started getting into reloading specialty ammunition for these guys at school. So that’s what got me into the idea that there were a lot more people out there that were into a respect for guns, and I opened my shop hoping to manufacture ammo, but being in the middle of town, you can’t manufacture. So instead I’ve found a niche in the suppressors which I saw as a rising market.”
Opened in the summer of 2015, Mainz has been honing his business skills while working to expand his customer base. “It’s been good so far. The first year I was open we had Obama sign a lot of stuff into law, and it’s pushed a lot of our firearm sales. The laws that have changed for the suppressors have caused a lot of people to try to get theirs before these laws take effect. I hooked up with a suppressor shop out of Austin that got me a kiosk that enables me to take the required fingerprints right in my shop, which is a great convenience and has helped as well.”
While his inventory and conveniences have helped Mainz’s business, he has found that it really comes down to service. “I got tired of the way I was treated at some gun shops, and so I opened my shop with the desire to provide the best service I can. Bass Pro doesn’t care about you or what you need, so I wanted to bring the small business aspect back to the gun world, and a gun purchase is very personal so I really want to highlight that aspect of it.”
And that service is paying off. He continues, “I’m moving my shop to Main Street the beginning of next year. I’m trying to expand into the firearm manufacturing business, explosive licensing, and continuing with the niche markets I service already. It will be five times the space, and I want to make my new shop an area for men to come hang out in Boerne – there’s nothing for guys to do on Main Street, and so I really want to open up an area where they can come in, relax, and be with like-minded men.”
From standard firearms to highly exotic ones, to custom ammunition, to simply good ol’ fashioned customer service. Mason Mainz has been working hard at his passion of firearms, and surely, is looking forward to the next great adventure.