FRI | MARCH 3, 2023

USA Archery confirmed the 40 names who will make up the five categories at the Indoor Nationals Final, which will take place inside the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville on March 23rd.
USA Archery has announced athletes who have been identified for its High Performance Programs for 2023, featuring some of the most promising and driven performers in the sport.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program’s 2023 Eastern CMP Games and Highpower Rifle Matches are set to be held April 28 through May 7, at the Camp Butner Training Facility in North Carolina, and features a lineup of rifle and pistol competitions for enthusiasts to enjoy.

Congratulations to Team Lapua’s Allison Zane winning the Frontline Fury PRS match last weekend. Zane’s impressive shooting earned her the Top Lady, Top Junior and Top Pro titles.
Leupold & Stevens, Inc. announced that Leupold athlete Levi Morgan won the Open Pro Division at the 2023 Hoyt/Easton Pro Am, a 3-D Archery tournament hosted in Foley, Ala.
Registration for the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) 2023 National Trophy Pistol and Rifle Matches is open. The annual event, held at the Camp Perry National Guard Training Base since 1907, is conducted by a partnership between the CMP and Ohio National Guard.

Blackhawk congratulates tactical athlete Ehea Schuerch for her first-place finish in the Women’s Elite division of The Tactical Games 2023 Mississippi Regional event, which took place February 18-19 in Meridian, Mississippi.
Winchester announces the King Buck Classic, an all-new youth sporting clays event, which will be held on Saturday, April 29. Specifically for sport shooters of all skill levels, ages 12 to 21, the inaugural event will be held at legendary NILO, the famous Winchester hunting and shooting sport facility in Brighton, Illinois.
Kimber, Mfg., Inc. will have a presence at IWA 2023 in Nuremberg, Germany – one of the largest sporting-goods shows in Europe. Kimber is activating a new network of distributors at the show who are now shipping Kimber products internationally.

Berger, manufacturer of bullets and ammunition for competitive long-range competitive shooting and hunting, will be exhibiting at the 2023 IWA Outdoor Classics in Nuremberg, Germany, March 2-5.
Bow Spider will be exhibiting at the Central Oregon Sportsmen Show in Redmond, Oregon from March 9-12, 2023. Bow Spider will be showcasing its entire line of premium products at the show.
Camfour Inc. is pleased to announce the promotion of Brandon Roper to the position of President. In this new capacity, Roper will report to CEO Malcolm Getz and the ownership group.
Camfour is pleased to announce that Ryan Oliver and Lisa Shows have joined the sales team as sales representatives.
NSSF announced that Birchwood Casey, part of GSM Outdoors, has again shown its support for the First Shots introduction-to-target-shooting program with a generous donation of 10,000 Shoot-N-C targets.
MidwayUSA is pleased to announce Banana Ballistics as the latest addition to their roster of brand ambassadors. He joins a growing sponsorship list of accomplished hunters and fishermen.

Silencer Central is proud to announce that On Target Magazine has awarded the Banish Backcountry with an esteemed Editors’ Choice Award.
SIG SAUER announced the honor of receiving the 2023 Gundie Award for “Most Innovative Brand of the Year.” SIG SAUER is also proud to announce that Team SIG Pro Shooter Lena Miculek has been individually awarded the title of “Best Shooter.”
Plaintiffs in a case supported financially by the Second Amendment Foundation challenging a concealed carry ban on Illinois Public Transportation have filed a memorandum supporting their earlier motion for summary judgment in the case.

Bear Edge Knives introduces the Bear Edge 61125. The 61125 is an American-built pocket knife featuring a bead finish blade, ergonomic stainless steel handle design, and the super smooth action of a modified drop-point 3 ¼ inch hollow ground blade that rides on ball bearing washers.
MasterPiece Arms announced the release of the DS38SC Open Competition Pistol. It was based off of the success of the DS9 Open, but added five 1\4” barrel ports to allow for more options with 38 Super Comp loads.
Nexbelt announced that they have collaborated with The Safariland Group on the new L930 Nylon EDC Belt. This nylon belt is manufactured with high-density nylon of an advanced composite of ultra-fine polyester for extra stiffness and durability.

The Kiger-9c Pro from Anderson Manufacturing made its debut at SHOT Show ‘23, it offers several upgraded features that add to the Kiger-9c’s versatility. It is a striker fired, locked-breech, short-recoil operated semi-automatic pistol, chambered in 9mm.
John Lott, founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, explains why gun-control groups and many in the mainstream media call him a “debunked researcher” on
USA Archery has named nine athletes to its Resident Athlete Program for 2023, a program designed to support athletes the USA Archery National Head Coaches believe capable of achieving success at the Olympic Games. With Trials events for Paris 2024 starting this fall, this is a critical year for the program and its participants.

The National Collegiate Shooting Sports Athletic Association is pleased to announce a partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation.
The National Collegiate Shooting Sports Athletic Association announced a partnership with Strike Visuals. Strike Visuals has partnered with the NCSSAA as the official signage sponsor of the 2023 National Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The fifth annual Shooting Industry Woman’s Issue boasts several features and columns to aid in generating additional sales to the industry’s dynamic and fastest-growing demographic.

Over the course of years, I’ve become acquainted with a number of companies.

They’ve come in all sizes, industries and stages of development.

The ones that have consistently piqued my interest are the ones with an actual corporate philosophy. In today’s business parlance, virtually all of them have defined goals, responsive operating structures and an almost preternatural ability to “stay in their lane.”

Others seem to careen through their corporate lives. How they progress, fumble and overcome mistakes during their various stages of development determine whether they reach the point of being considered a mature company.

For me, those mature companies have reached stability, i.e., well-established products and solid brand recognition, employees with the enthusiasm and support necessary to keep mature products evolving and new ones in development, and a supportive management team that knows how to manage a mature company. It’s an entirely different style from the development stage where the single word that defines their goals is “growth.”

Making it to maturity a noteworthy achievement.

Not all companies make it. Some are held back by a variety of variables: too-much debt during rampant growth, a loss of innovators due to financial stress, or the failure of a management team to evolve with the company. As one entrepreneur once described it: “maturity is learning that you’re no longer running your company; it’s running you. If you don’t pivot and bring in capable managers, you’re in trouble. You have to realize that where you once were the solution, you’re now the problem. If you don’t evolve, you risk losing - everything.”

Mature companies have sufficient resources to enable them to pivot toward opportunities. They can come to market with innovative projects without management having to take their figurative eye off the big-picture context. They have capable managers and let them manage. They have the resources to keep their innovators innovating. Creatives still thrive in such a positive environment. Everyone wins -unless they’re unwilling to evolve.

This week, I’ve been in Utah visiting Silencerco. Since its beginning in 2008, Silencerco has been a major driver in the suppressor industry. Their products were, essentially, all I knew about the company or their culture. So when I was invited to come learn about them, I agreed.

What I discovered was a company that has matured. Not only is it financially stable (and in a cash positive position), it has a recognized, highly-regarded product line that continues to evolve, along with proven expertise at creating new products. Even more unusual, Silencerco has maintained an environment that stresses the importance of two things: people and efficient creativity.

Silencerco has a simple overall goal -to be a 100 year company, not a flash-in-the pan. To do that, management balances the risk and reward involved in virtually every business decision. That includes decisions to pivot from outside suppliers and have the innovators inside the company design machines like this one (top) that avoids component delays while reducing waste and saving time. Those same innovative ideas led to software that allows everyone in the company, including CEO Jonathon Shults (below) to check on parts manufacturing in real time. Jim Shepherd/OWDN photos.

But to founder and CEO Jonathon Shults, Silencerco may be mature, but is still a relatively new company- when measured by his goal. His goal isn’t building a successful company according to the short measurement standards used today, although he readily admits Silencerco has grown to that definition of a mature company.

His goal, as he explained it to me, is simple: “building a 100-year company.”

He’s quick to express that goal, and equally quick to point out some mistakes that keep other companies from reaching that success.

Some, he candidly admits, we made -some repeatedly- at Silencerco. Mistakes large enough that in 2018 there were genuine concerns that the company could keep going.

“We got ahead of ourselves,” he admitted, “we bought machines we shouldn’t have; piled on debt. We were too-busy just growing to think about how to grow best -or to consider that growth wasn’t always going to happen. We were doubling year-over-year and didn’t think that would slow down.”

“But,” he said, “it did slow down. And our decisions made it very tough to dig ourselves out. But we did.”

The lessons he learned have stuck with him. Today, Shults says says Silencerco’s success comes from the fact that they invest in machines and people.

But Silencerco’s investment in automation and robotics tends to make the “investment in people” part almost counter-intuitive. Shults says that’s a misreading of the why in why robots?

The investments in robotics and computerized manufacturing equipment, Shults explains, are part of the company’s relentless pursuit of efficiencies. Software created in house enables workers and managers to see where machines are in the manufacturing process. They can quickly ascertain if the automated machines require human attention. Everyone operates more efficiently. That differs from many companies where automation is, essentially, a euphemism for fewer people and more machines.

“Robots aren’t here to replace humans,” Shults explained, “they’re here to do the jobs humans don’t want to do: to automate jobs that can produce repetitive motion injuries, to minimize materials, parts and tool handling and increase efficiencies, even decrease waste.”

To make his point, he showed me a single robotic station that had been designed and built completely in-house. It didn’t look all that impressive -but it eliminated waste and increased efficiencies that saved a half-million dollars in its first year in service.

Silencerco is very vertically integrated. Shults says that’s for a number of reasons.

First, it enables them to control all the manufacturing processes -and avoid the delays inherent with shipping product out-and back for outside processes. The reasoning behind that decision emphasizes the focus on turning the company begun in a garage into a 100-year old one.

Internalizing processes also enables Silencerco to offer customization options -like paint colors- to customers.

Earlier in the company’s history, an manufacturing issue with an order was threatening a promised delivery date.

“That wasn’t acceptable to me,” he said, “not delivering our product by our promised delivery date was bad. Keeping our word is important. If we did things the way we had always done them we’d miss on-time delivery. So, we brought the missing process in house, did the work ourselves, and made our promised delivery date-with perfect product.”

“Time, he told me, “isn’t money. Time is time- and it’s more valuable than money. So we invest in things that save time and make our people more efficient. If we invest in those things, we’ll keep being successful.”

There are a lot of business lessons there.


Speaking of business, a bit of internal business to announce. I’m pleased to tell you we’re expanding our crew. Over the years you’ve read features from Paul Erhardt. You’ll be reading more of them going forward, because Paul’s joining the Outdoor Wire Digital Network as our Managing Editor. It’s a new position for us -and him - but reflects our commitment to continue our growth and maturing as a business.

We’re making other changes going forward this year, all part of keeping our twenty-year plus promise to you:

We’ll keep you posted.

— Jim Shepherd

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