Ruger, AOBC Maintain Momentum To Close Out 2018

Despite NSSF-adjusted NICS background checks trending down in the second half of 2018 — 5,027,303 (July–Nov. 2018) from 5,536,780 (July–Nov. 2017) — Sturm, Ruger & Co. and American Outdoor Brands Corp. (AOBC) delivered strong economic results in their final financial filings of the calendar year. (Editor’s Note: Dec. 2018 NICS data not available at press time, due to the government shutdown.)

Oct. 31, Ruger announced net sales of $114.9
million for its third quarter 2018 — a 9.6 percent jump over the corresponding quarter in 2017 ($104.8 million). For the nine months ending Sept. 29, 2018, Ruger’s net sales were $374.5 million; over the corresponding period in 2017, net sales were $404 million — a decrease of 7.3 percent.

However, the estimated sell-through of the company’s products from independent distributors to dealers rose by 1 percent through the first nine months of 2018 compared to the prior-year period.

In his observations related to Ruger’s 2018 third quarter performance, CEO Chris Killoy attributed this increase to “strong demand for some of [Ruger’s] recently introduced products, partially offset by decreased overall consumer demand in the first nine months of 2018.”

Dec. 6, AOBC announced financial results for the second quarter fiscal 2019, which ended Oct. 31, 2018. Quarterly net sales increased by 8.9 percent (from $148.8 million to $161.7 million) over the corresponding 2018 quarter. This marked the second consecutive quarter AOBC reported an increase over the prior-year quarter (Q1 2019 sales jumped 7.6 percent, from $129 million to $138.8 million).

“We’re pleased with our second quarter operational and financial results, which reflect year-over-year increases in revenue and profitability in both our Outdoor Products & Accessories segment and our
Firearms segment,” said James Debney, AOBC president and CEO. “Our Outdoor Products & Accessories segment, generated approximately one-third of our revenue in the quarter. Sales growth occurred in both our Hunting & Shooting product categories, as well as our Cutlery & Tool product categories.”

In an earnings call with investors discussing Q2 2019 financial results, Debney shared an update on AOBC’s 632,000-square-foot Logistics & Customer Services facility in Columbia, Mo. The state-of-the-art site will serve as AOBC’s centralized logistics, warehousing and distribution operation later this year.

“The new facility significantly expands our product development and engineering resources, enabling our brand teams to address opportunities more quickly with unmatched rapid prototyping, product testing and commercialization capabilities,” he said. “Over time, [this facility will] eliminate three separate office and warehouse locations in Missouri and Florida and cease using a third-party logistics provider. These actions will not only improve our operating costs, they will serve to bring all our brands together under one roof — making the creation of everything from new products to bundle promotions much more efficient.”

Sales of new products heavily impacted both companies’ strong economic performance during their respective final quarters in the 2018 calendar year.

For Ruger, sales of new products — including the Pistol Caliber Carbine, Mark IV pistol, LCP II pistol, EC9s pistol, Security-9 pistol and Precision Rimfire Rifle — represented $112.7 million (30%) of firearm sales in the first nine months of 2018.

In its Q2 2019 filing, AOBC revealed new products constituted 26.6 percent of its firearms revenue growth in the quarter — with the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 380 EZ pistol a strong sales driver.

In news breaking prior to press time: Jan. 15, AOBC announced its Electro-Optics Division, Crimson Trace, had completed the purchase of LaserLyte — utilizing cash on hand. Inventory related to the acquisition will be transferred to the Crimson Trace facility in Wilsonville, Ore.


Bangers has finished construction on its Birmingham, Ala., facility.

Bangers LP Announces New Distribution Facility

National shooting sports distributor Bangers LP announces a successful completion of its new warehouse facility in Birmingham, Ala.

The new, expanded facility will improve logistical efficiency and customer service for the 30-year-old company.
“We are excited about the improved customer service opportunities our new state-of-the art facility will provide, both immdiately and in the years ahead,” said Bangers President and CEO Rick Bestwick.

Bangers reported the construction resulted in minimal disruption in servicing its customers during the planned transition.

Headquartered in Birmingham, Bangers LP also has regional sales offices in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. The company offers next-day air service on handguns and a free-shipping policy.


Effective Jan. 1, 2019, MEC Shooting Sports has rebranded as MEC Outdoors — which will continue to operate out of its current location in Mayville, Wis.

MEC Shooting Sports Rebrands

MEC Shooting Sports, a division of MEC (Mayville Engineering Company Inc.) announced its name has changed to MEC Outdoors, effective Jan. 1, 2019. The name change has been reflected on the company’s social media sites and website:

“We are very excited for the rebranding of MEC Shooting Sports. The change will allow MEC Outdoors the opportunity to expand their product offerings to the market for years to come,” said Robert D. Kamphuis, MEC chairman, president and CEO. “With a MEC product heritage of great value and reliability, coupled with unmatched customer service, we have a great foundation upon which we can further grow and broaden our relationships with outdoor enthusiasts.”

MEC Outdoors will continue to operate out of its current location at 800 Horicon St. Suite 1, Mayville, Wis. The previous website ( will be redirected to the new site, as well as all “” email addresses.

Since 1955, MEC has manufactured over 2 million shotshell reloaders, including single-stage machines and fully progressive machines. In 2013, MEC began producing clay target machines and in 2016 the company released a metallic single-stage press called the MEC Marksman.


NSSF’s Hunting Works For America Adds Maryland

NSSF announced Maryland is the 19th state to be included in the award-winning Hunting Works For America program.

Hunting Works For America, through its state chapters, is an initiative that seeks to bring a broad range of stakeholders together to educate the public and elected officials about the importance of hunting.

The newly formed Hunting Works For Maryland partnership has more than 65 partner organizations, and will be adding dozens more in the weeks and months to come. Shooting sports organizations, conservation groups, businesses and other non-traditional hunting entities such as chambers of commerce, convention and visitors bureaus and other trade associations, have come together to form Hunting Works For Maryland and share their interest in the economic impact of hunting.

“A strong appreciation for the outdoors and outdoor sports is evident in the money spent by the 88,000 people who hunt in Maryland every year. Hunters contribute $32 million in state and local taxes each year, thanks to their considerable spending on their favorite pastime. The average hunter in Maryland spends $3,000 a year, which translates into $128 million in salaries and wages, and an economic ripple effect of $401 million,” said Chris Dolnack, senior VP and CMO for NSSF.

Taxes, fees and surcharges hunters pay when they purchase licenses, tags and equipment fund Maryland’s conservation efforts, which benefit game and non-game species, as well as anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

Hunting Works For America launched in 2010 with just three states. Today, the Hunting Works For America program represents more than 1,500 businesses, organizations and associations and tens of thousands of stakeholders.


Federal Ammunition Wins U.S. Government Contracts

Federal Ammunition, a Vista Outdoor Inc. brand, was awarded a major contract by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The multi-agency contract provides for up to $75 million of .223 Rem. duty and training ammunition to multiple Department of Homeland Security law enforcement components and other federal agencies for up to five years.

“Officers in the field require the highest-quality ammunition at their disposal in their vigilant fight to protect our freedoms. Federal Tactical ammunition ensures the highest performance threshold and absolute officer confidence in terminal performance,” said Federal Ammunition President Jason Vanderbrink.

ICE, created in 2003, is tasked with promoting homeland security and safety, as well as enforcing federal laws governing border control, immigration, customs and trade. The agency has more than 20,000 employees in more than 400 stateside offices and 46 foreign countries.

Federal Ammunition has also secured a $41 million contract from the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC) for MK 318 Mod 0 carbine small rifle cartridges. The five-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract applies to ammunition to be utilized by both Navy and Marine Corps units.

The NSWC operates the Navy’s full-spectrum research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support centers for offensive and defensive systems associated with surface warfare and related areas of joint, homeland and national defense systems from the sea.

The MK 318 Mod 0 cartridge (Caliber 5.56mm Ball, Carbine, Barrier) is compatible with existing 5.56mm weapons systems and utilizes Federal’s unique barrier-defeating projectile. The 62-grain open-tip match, lead-free projectile is designed to defeat intermediate barriers while providing terminal performance through barriers commonly encountered during warfare.

“We are enthused Federal ammunition will continue to serve Navy and Marine Corps units, and their unique needs in combat. Design parameters and development of the projectile, a joint effort between Federal and NSWC, represent the continued innovation, and excellence required to support our units in the field,” Vanderbrink said.

Headquartered in Anoka, Minn., Federal Ammunition has been providing shooters with high-quality rimfire, centerfire and shotshell ammunition since 1922.


Barrett Firearms Awarded U.S. DoD Contracts

Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Inc. was awarded an $8 million contract for the procurement of M107A1, M107 and M82A1M .50-caliber Long-Range Sniper Rifle systems with scopes, suppressors and spare parts kits. The weapons systems are expected to be delivered by November 2023.

The M107A1 model comes with a lightweight aluminum upper receiver and integral 27 MOA M1913 optics rail, a 20-inch or 29-inch barrel with chrome-lined chamber and bore, 10-round steel magazine with cartridge witness indicators and anti-corrosive coating.

Barrett has also been awarded a Defense Department contract to provide an undisclosed number of MRAD rifle systems chambered in a new caliber, .300 PRC designed by Hornady.

Additionally, Barrett won a $3.3 million maintenance contract for the U.S. Army-issued M107,.50-caliber Long Range Sniper Rifle system. The five-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract extends through Nov. 26, 2023.

Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Inc. is a family-owned-and-operated company specializing in large-caliber, long-distance, precision rifle design and manufacturing. Barrett products are used by civilians, sport shooters, law enforcement agencies, the U.S. military and more than 70 State Department-approved countries around the world.

The Barrett Quality Management System has received ISO 9001:2015 certification for the design and manufacture of firearms, ammunition, integrated ballistics computers and accessories, and to provide training for those systems.


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