Need to know – Tailored Arms

Born and raised in South Florida, Zack’s pertinent history starts on September 11, 2001, when the national tragedy inspired him to become a New York City firefighter. He entered the academy after high school, excelling mentally and physically, and was on the fast track to joining the prestigious FDNY.

However, hiring delays meant it would be two to four years before Zack would wear the Maltese Cross. Unable to stand by idly, Zack headed straight to a Navy recruiting office. The Navy recruiter took one look at the firefighter-primed specimen standing in front of him and saw SWCC material. At the same level as Navy Seals, Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC) execute high-risk warfare and reconnaissance missions in river and coastline settings.

From left: David, Zack and his wife Erin (Shot Show 2022)

Much of Zack’s history since then is need-to-know, but by the time FDNY called 4 years later, Zack was no longer interested. He held the same high respect for FDNY, but running into a burning building no longer held the same excitement as his current duties. He continued his career in the Navy for well over a decade, executing multiple combative deployments until ultimately transferring to Naval Special Warfare recruiting in South Florida.

Zack has since transitioned to civilian life, choosing Key Largo as his forever home because of the down-to-earth patriotic community. With a desire to stay connected with the military community, he began a new endeavor with fellow public service members. They formed Tailored Arms, an armorer that merges artistry and tactical performance to create one-of-a-kind customized firearms.

Their ranks and service history cannot be made public, but all you need to know is their combined experience of 35 years in Naval Special Warfare, Law Enforcement, and Federal government security divisions has left them with a unique set of skills. And now they’re putting those skills to use at an elite level of craftsmanship based right here in the Keys. 

Over the past 3 years, Tailored Arms has quickly grown a name for itself in the weapons community. They supply firearms to customers all over the country and are the exclusive armorer for the Navy SEAL Museum. They have created auction items for the C4 Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Swim with a Mission, K9 Project, and more.

While they receive commissions from everywhere in the country, Tailored Arms wants to further serve local Keys customers, whether they are avid hunters, pure tactical enthusiasts, or simply looking for a one-of-a-kind concealed carry.

Customers can bring in their own firearms for customization or fully customize them from scratch. They can choose from an artwork portfolio or work with the creative director, David,  to achieve the exact look they desire. There is no limit to what they can do, from a full-black tactical appearance to a custom hand cerakoted laser engraved piece worthy of display.

However, no matter how beautiful the guns appear, they remain tactical firearms. All of Tailored Arms custom line of firearms have modifications designed for recoil mitigation, higher accuracy, weight reduction, and various advancements. As Zack says, “They look good, but they shoot better, some call it functional art.”

“With our combat experience, we cannot just deliver a wall mounted showpiece, it must also be 100% tactically functional. We only build firearms we would take into combat.”

Tailored Arms is the only armorer within hundreds of miles that offers high-quality Cerakote. Cerakote is 100% chemical resistant, which highly appeals to Keys residents as its impervious to rust. Tailored Arms’ mission goes beyond supplying beautifully-crafted firearms. Most of their profits go toward opening a WWII museum in the Keys. They also have more in the works for uniting the public service community… but that’s still need to know.








–  Jerrica Mah is a writer, Army wife, and freelance book editor, who loves to travel with her family.


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