WED | MAY 8, 2019

Hornady is proud to announce 350 Legend 170 gr. InterLock American Whitetail ammunition. InterLock bullets feature exposed lead tips for controlled expansion and hard-hitting terminal performance.
Bianchi announced its Bianchi Shooting Team member, Kenda Lenseigne, won Overall National Champion Cowgirl a sixth time, setting a new record in Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association history.
Hornady Manufacturing, a world leader in bullet, ammunition, and reloading tools celebrates the national level PRS match win of shooter David Preston at the Big Dog Steel Buckeye Classic in Kimbolton, Ohio, May 4-5, 2019.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) continued its string of profitable quarters, announcing net sales of $114.0 million and diluted earnings of 74 cents per share, despite 13% and 9% drops in sales and earnings over Q1 2018, respectively.
Steyr Arms will be hosting the 2nd Annual Steyr Challenge, Oct. 5 in Seetaler Alpe in Austria, with teams from across the globe competing for the title of “Toughest Hunters in the Alps.”
The Third Annual SIG SAUER Aiming for Zero Charity Match is set to take place at the SIG SAUER Academy in Epping, New Hampshire, Friday, May 17 – Sunday, May 19, 2019. Aiming for Zero is a division of the Active Heroes Foundation whose mission is to reduce veteran suicide and assist military families.

Guntec USA has seen huge demand for their all-new Gen II .308 Upper. It is made in Scottsdale, AZ, and is built with a proprietary aluminum composition that reduces heat and is extremely lightweight and ergonomically designed
Chattanooga Shooting Supplies announced the opening of offices in the Southeast and Southwest. The new locations increase CSSI’s presence nationwide and offer sales and support in addition to its headquarters in Chattanooga, TN.
The 2019 NRA Annual meeting wrapped on April 28 with 81,283 total attendees and over 800 exhibitors, including GLOCK. The Company debuted its newest pistol at the show — the GLOCK 45 MOS — which meets growing market demand for an easy way to mount popular optics without expensive slide alterations.

Streamlight Inc. introduced the Portable Scene Light EXT, a taller model of its Portable Scene Light, featuring a pole and rotating head that extend a full 84 inches high. With its extra foot of height and its 5,300-lumen output, the rechargeable high lumen light allows for complete scene light coverage
DeSantis Gunhide introduces 11 holster fits for the Ruger Security-9 Compact pistol. These include the Mini Slide, Mini Scabbard, Inside Heat and more.
The Mag-X allows the use of Sig-P320 pistol magazines in any AR-15 milspec lower receiver. No modifications are required to the lower or the magazine, and the Mag-X installs in seconds, enabling the use of Sig-P320 magazines.

Ed Brown Products, Inc. introduces the EVO-E9 as the second model in the Evolution Series of pistols. This pistol is optimized for 9mm and is smaller, thinner and lighter than its predecessor, the Executive Commander.
Made for all-day concealed carry, the new DW ECP took the heavy, match-grade bull barrel from the Dan Wesson 1911 Officer-size ECO and installed it into the slightly-larger ECP platform.
The National Rifle Association’s 148th Annual Meetings & Exhibits, presented by MidwayUSA April 25-28, 2019, in Indianapolis, Indiana, was met with energy and enthusiasm from a massive crowd of 81,283 members.

Vanguard recently launched a newly redesigned website. The company chose to build their website on the Shopify platform, which provides a better user experience and adds peace of mind that personal data is being housed on a secure platform.
Employees of companies that support the National Shooting Sports Foundation at the highest level may apply for education aid through the NSSF Patron Member Scholarship Program. NSSF has made a total of $60,000 in scholarship funding available for a maximum of 25 winning entries.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program, which now administers the Distinguished Badge program, recently resumed the presentation of Distinguished International Shooter Badges after a long program break.

Former International Confederation of Revolver Enthusiasts (ICORE) officer and Master Class Shooter Vick Pickett of Mesa, Arizona died April 29 after a 20 month fight with transverse myelitis.
O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. announces an online consumer promotion, the MC1sc Centennial Sweepstakes. In celebration of the company’s 100thanniversary and the introduction of its 9mm concealed carry handgun, the MC1sc, Mossberg invites consumers to register to win a limited edition MC1sc Centennial 9mm pistol.
Proven Arms & Outfitters now has the SB Tactical SBA4 in stock as well as the Walther Arms Q5 Match Steel Frame pistol. Both are available while supplies last.
Shooting USA gets you the news while it’s still news – from the dealers-only SHOT Show. This time what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas as the new products from the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show are shown to 50,000 dealers.

For many of us in the business of covering the shooting industry, news that Smith & Wesson had sold its former Shooting Sports Center to a recycling company that shared the property came as quite a shock.

What was even more surprising was the fact that the entire facility, including the associated acreage, sold for considerably less than the money we all knew had been spent to create a very nice instructional facility, indoor ranges and - at one time- a full-retail facility dedicated entirely to Smith & Wesson products.

The facility on Page Boulevard in Springfield was the place where I had several “firsts” as I began covering the outdoor industry. It was the first place I ever attended a writer’s event, the first place I ever saw “real” instructors teaching as I was filming a Babes With Bullets event for the USPSA, and the only place I’ve ever competed in an indoor shooting competition.

The Indoor Nationals, a longtime highlight of the competition year, ended in 2017, but many hoped it would one day be resurrected.

The announcement that the former Shooting Sports Center would now be another property of the Northstar Pulp & Paper Company (conveniently located next door), pretty much dashes those hopes.

If you hadn't attended a Smith & Wesson new product preview at their Shooting Sports Center (above) or spent some quality time with their not-yet-announced products on their shooting lanes (below), many industry writers didn't consider you a "serious" journalist. Guess we'll need another standard going forward.

The retail sales and public range access ended in 2012 after an unfortunate incident when three felons were charged with renting firearms and then using them to train at the center. It was never implied that Smith & Wesson had done anything wrong, but the incident was enough to convince management that maybe public access wasn’t such a good idea.

Over the past few years, the facility was used less and less. I’m told that’s because American Outdoor Brands (the company that owns Smith & Wesson) has changed how they view training. As AOB’s VP of Investor Relations Liz Sharp explained to me via email: “rather than requiring our LE customers to bring entire teams to our facilities at great cost and considerable complexity, we now take the training to them.”

Today, rather than hold “training events” S&W’s regional managers travel, taking firearms and armorers’ training to the customers at their facilities. Makes financial sense, but I know officers today who still talk about their visits to the Shooting Sports Center, although most of the talk centers on activities “outside the scope” of training.

One of the benefits of working at S&W was the ability to access the facilities -even after they were closed to consumers. That, too, will become a thing of the past, although Sharp tells me there are now a number of public ranges in the area that provide plenty of opportunity. In fact, she tells me the company pays the cost of membership, and use them for their company and industry events.

It’s difficult -if not impossible- to argue with the fact that unused facilities still remain cost centers. After all, taxes, maintenance, insurance and security (especially for shooting ranges) aren’t things you can simply stop paying if/when management idles plants, warehouses, or other facilities.

Apparently, it’s another nod to AOB management’s efforts to increase efficiencies throughout their companies. Later this year, the company will close distribution operations located around the country (including Springfield), relocating them to a $75 million warehouse facility near Columbia, Missouri.

Smith & Wesson’s headquarters and sprawling manufacturing facilities remain on Roosevelt Avenue in Springfield. The closure and sale of the Shooting Sports Center is just another development in the progress of a company that’s come through plenty of changes since its beginnings in 1852.

—Jim Shepherd

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