Crimson Trace

News | Wednesday, August 27, 2014

NSSF Benchmarking Report Helps Firearms Retailers Assess Financial Health

A new report issued by the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) on financial benchmarking gives firearms retailers the ability to compare their business performance with companies similar to their own, take advantage of trends in the market and plan for growth.

CrossBreed® Holsters for S&W Governor & Taurus Judge

CrossBreed® Holsters, LLC introduces two new holsters for the Taurus Judge (5 shot with 2.5" chamber) and the Smith & Wesson Governor.

Halo XRAY Rangefinders Bridge Quality And Price

The new Halo XRAY Z9X and Z6X rangefinders feature 6x power magnification, scan mode, and crucial trigger fast readings. Both also come equipped with a durable nylon case and feature a sleek ergonomic design that easily fits into your palm and allows for a stable range.

Limited Edition Lasergrips-Going, Going, Nearly Gone

Crimson Trace reports a rapidly shrinking number of the company's Limited Edition Master Series™ Twentieth Anniversary Lasergrips® remain available.

Del-Ton teams up with Tommy Smith

3 Gun Nation pro shooter, Tommy Smith of Fuquay Varina, North Carolina has teamed up with Del-Ton as his rifle sponsor.Smith will be competing at the 2014 3 Gun Nation Pro Series Event #4 at the US Shooting Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma on September 27th.

Springer Precision Returns To Sponsor 2014 California State IDPA Championship

For the second year in a row, Springer Precision (, the leading provider of aftermarket parts, custom gunsmithing and refinishing services, is aboard as a major contributing sponsor for the 2014 California State IDPA Championship taking place on Saturday, October 4, 2014.

This Week on Student of the Gun

This week on Student of the Gun Radio; Guns and Football, Fighting Solves Everything, Reality League, and Mr. Kravitz.

Bill Hicks & Co., Ltd. Introduced Stocking Exclusive Sig Sauer Custom Pistols

Bill Hicks & Co., Ltd. has teamed with Sig Sauer to create custom P238 pistols in an array of stunning styles and colors. All models are a .380ACP caliber and have the exclusive SIGLITE® night sights and (1) 6-round magazine.

Tonight on American Rifleman TV: The Handguns of August, Part 3

Tonight, "American Rifleman TV" airs Part 3 of its four-part series, "The Handguns of August," which features the pistols and revolvers used throughout The Great War. This week, the focus is on France and Belgium.

Safariland Sponsors 2014 IDPA U.S. National Championship

The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) announced that Safariland®, one of the leading holster and law enforcement equipment brands, as well as longtime supporter of the shooting sports, will once again be a major sponsor of the IDPA U.S. National Championship.

Lyman Accessory Lube Tank converts the PowerPro Ultrasonic Cleaner into lubing station

Lyman has introduced the PowerPro Accessory Lube Tank which speeds ultrasonic lubrication in the Power Pro Ultrasonic Cleaner. The stainless tank is designed to sit in the PowerPro's cleaning tank which remains filled with cleaner.

Cheaper Than Dirt! Participates in National Preparedness Month 2014

Cheaper Than Dirt! is pleased to join over 3,000 organizations in participating in September's National Preparedness Month 2014 encouraging America to make a kit and have a plan. This year's theme is "Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare."

Traditions™ Vortek Strikerfire® on the Cover of Shooting Magazine

Traditions™ Performance Firearms is pleased to share that the Vortek StrikerFire® is displayed on the cover of the October 2014 issue of Shooting Times Magazine. Along with the cover, an editorial within the magazine will also appear with a review on the muzzleloader.

NHSRA/Weatherby® Scholarship Fund Rifle Helps Raise $165,000

Mark Padilla of Wyoming took a shot in the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) 2013-14 raffle and won a custom Weatherby® Mark V® rifle.

Leupold® Mark 6® 3-18x44mm Wins Again with FBI Contract

Leupold® has been selected to deliver Mark 6® 3-18x44mm riflescopes to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Designated for use by the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), the Mark 6 3-18x44mm delivers a wide magnification range in a compact, efficient package great for urban environments and extended rural settings.

Crimson Trace Laserguard for S&W's M&P SHIELD Now Shipping

Crimson Trace, announces the Laserguard® (LG-489G) green laser sight designed specifically for Smith &Wesson's M&P SHIELD™ pistols is now shipping.

Project ChildSafe Names Borg A Local Champion in Firearms Safety

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has recognized Mike Borg, President and Executive Director of USA Youth Education in Shooting Sports (USAYESS) of Colville, Washington, as a "Local Champion" for his efforts to promote firearm safety in his region.

Guncrafter Industries Adds Top Gun Supply to Stocking Dealers

Guncrafter Industries is celebrating the addition of Top Gun Supply of Chesterland, Ohio, to their list of stocking dealers and to their Dealer of the Month Club.


Between The Berms: The Tale of Two Launches

On Friday, July 25, Remington, America's oldest firearms manufacturer, announced that its production models of the new R51 pistol had "performance issues" and that they would cease shipping until solutions were found [Remington Clarifies R51 Status].

Production of the R51 is scheduled to come back online in October. In the meantime, those who bought the R51 can send it back for a replacement later this fall in the company's unofficial recall.

It was not a good day in the land of Big Green where not only were they disappointing customers but also outdoor writers who tested the early "prototype" version at SHOT Show and were now feeling burned...especially if you had the gun featured on the cover of your magazine at the same time the non-recall recall was announced, a la the September issue of GUNS.

Now compare that to just two weeks later when Smith & Wesson, the other big gun maker with deep roots in the American gun making culture dating back over the last 162 years, introduced their new M&P22 Compact pistol.

S&W announced the pistol on Tuesday, August 12 and had what one source termed "significant inventory" sitting on distributor shelves ready to ship to dealers for sale on Wednesday to eager consumers all across the country.

While the M&P22 Compact might not seem like a new product as much as a line extension for those of you familiar with the earlier M&P22 introduced back in 2011, the pistol is in fact a new model and being made in-house by Smith & Wesson, and not for them by their previous manufacturing partner Walther.

More importantly, Smith & Wesson chose to introduce the gun when it was ready and not at the industry's trade show when gun makers had traditionally introduced their new wares.

The old model of product introduction was based around SHOT Show where official public announcements would be made in hopes of generating excitement among distributors, dealers and consumers in order to plan actual production going forward.

For many companies this could mean the spaghetti approach of throwing a few new models, in prototype form, against the wall to see which stuck, then hope to ship something later down the road. Taurus had been famous, or infamous, for this approach which often didn't result in an actual product shipping for as long as two, maybe three years.

Read Jim Shepherd's feature, The Chasm Between Prototype and Production, for his analysis on how the prototype model as PR tool tripped up Remington.

As companies came to realize that excitement generated on day one of SHOT Show couldn't be sustained for months (or years) on end, they adjusted their marketing model.

The new paradigm in product introductions came with the October 18, 2007 release of Ruger's SR9 pistol. Kept under wraps and sold sight unseen to distributors - being Ruger has its privileges, after all - the rollout of the new gun redefined how companies in a new internet era release a product outside the confines of SHOT Show.

Smith & Wesson replicated the Ruger template and improved upon it with its introduction of the M&P Shield (along with a variety of complimentary accessories from other companies) on Friday, April 13, 2012 during the first day of the NRA Show in St. Louis.

They used the same process earlier this month when introducing the M&P22 Compact, though without the 73,000+ consumers going hands-on.

For Smith & Wesson and Ruger, new products are launched on their terms and at a point on the schedule whenever they wish. Even Taurus, under the leadership of former President and CEO Mark Kresser, was announcing new products the same day they were shipping - and in significant quantity.

Unfortunately for Remington, when it comes to handguns the company seems to still be figuring out its way to a successful product launch. Even with its first new handgun, the R1 1911, the process was drawn out over a lengthy period of time starting when Jim Shepherd broke the news in the Friday, November 20, 2009 edition of The Shooting Wire that Remington was indeed entering the handgun market.

The new 1911 was expected to show up at the 2010 SHOT Show but wasn't formally introduced for another fours months when it was unveiled on Friday, May 14, 2010>at the NRA Show in Charlotte, N.C.

Four years later the Remington website boasts just seven variations of the R1, despite the 1911 being one of the most popular handgun platforms with consumers. Even with a 1911 product development roadmap laid out for other gun makers to follow by Ron Cohen from his time as President of Kimber (now President of Sig Sauer), and the supposed synergies derived from Freedom Group's January 2012 acquisition of 1911 maker Para USA, the R1 1911 doesn't seem to have yet made its mark among the wide array of 1911s on the market.

Looking back on the slow growth of the R1 line may have provided some insight as to what we've witnessed with the R51 rollout, but hindsight is always 20/20. Of course, the crazy spike in gun sales could have left Remington at capacity with no room for new R1 models. If that's true, the return to normalcy should pave the way for a flurry of new variations that the company has had in the can waiting for the right moment to release them.

Moving forward the big questions for Remington revolve around whether or not the company can find its footing when it comes to manufacturing handguns. Can they fix the R51 issues and meet that promised October shipping deadline? And, can they successfully repair the damage done to the company's image with disgruntled consumers and those gun writers who feel burned?

Considering that Cerberus Capital Management, current owners of Freedom Group, had been looking to take the company public in 2009, and then sell it off (as yet unsuccessfully) following the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, getting the handgun component of their business firing on all eight cylinders is probably more important than most realize when it comes to the future value of the company.

The juxtaposition of the R51 "clarification" with the M&P22 Compact launch puts into stark contrast how vastly different the industry's two oldest gun makers bring new products to market. Smith & Wesson's successful efforts with recent new models clearly shows that an old dog can learn new tricks. Now it's up to executives at Remington to demonstrate that after 198 years Big Green hasn't run out of tricks of its own.

- Paul Erhardt, Editor, the Outdoor Wire Digital Network

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