Since the Presidential Election in the fall of 2016 many experts in both the firearms industry and the financial industry have warned of what has been building a situation that many have dubbed the “Trump Slump”. The situation that has grown since our nation elected Donald J Trump as our 45th President is one that leaves both industry insiders and firearms owners a little shocked. In the first three months of the Spring of 2017 we put the spotlight on five different companies within the firearms industry that either laid off large amounts or saw large reductions in sales and capital.
Last year we saw that industry giants like Colt and Remington weren’t big enough or prestigious enough to not suffer the effects of the beginning of the Trump Slump. As we roll into the Summer season of 2018 just when things looked like they were stabilizing we saw a damming report about Smith & Wesson which is owned by American Outdoor Brands Corp (Stock Ticker: AOBC). The report showed that sales of Smith & Wesson products were down 25% during the 4th Quarter of 2017 and overall profits had dropped by over 80%. Over the last 12 months the total value of the company’s stock has lost just over 45% Those are frightening numbers when you stop to analyze them from a dollar and cents point of view. If you had invested $10,000.00 into Smith & Wesson last year at this time your initial investment would be worth roughly $5,500.00, thats a tough position to be in for gun owners and investors alike.
Is Anyone Immune ? Who’s Next ?
Red Numbers on Ledger Sheets
The question many people asked themselves last year when the reports form Remington and Colt began to come in and be validated by independent sources. If I had to take a guess I would bet against Sig Sauer for one. The company has seemed to show the world how to make a mistake and then correct it with speed and still grow their market share. It seems like every few days the public relations team from the company sends out another in the long list of law enforcement agencies who have adopted the Sig Sauer P320 modular pistol series. Correcting issues and carefully guarding their brand name with a very willing customer service staff has helped Sig Sauer battle through and come out victorious in the P320 drama from last year.
After a quick glance at the latest financial reports from Sturm Ruger & Company and Vista Outdoors it would appear that over the last 12 months their value is stock value is shrinking as well. Ruger has lost 11.34% of it’s worth since June 2017 and Vista Outdoors who largely produces ammunition and optics has plummeted 28.06% in the same time period. It’s a very sobering reality that maybe a President who is favorable toward gun rights and upsets the largely anti gun Democratic Party can in the short term hurt the gun industry we all love and defend. When we look at the financial situations of the gun industry we can’t ignore the constant harassment and boycotts by social justice warriors and it’s toll on the bottom line of many of these companies both large and small. There are a few analysts are wondering if the hysterical knee jerk reaction of the SJW crowd was the final nail in the coffin that pushed Remington, America’s oldest firearms manufacturer to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in federal court this past spring.
How You Can Help
This may sound like a Sally Struthers pitch for starving kids but the best thing we as gun owners can do to help support the community we love is to use the products they produce. Purchase and use the crap out of the products you enjoy, buy more guns, ammo, gear and get out and shoot. I’m not saying this because we want you to prepare for the Mad Max style apocalypse, I’m saying this because we should love shooting our guns and not having them as safe queens. The prices on many major brands of guns, ammo and magazines are at stupidly cheap levels. When was the last time you saw an AR-15 for under $500 ? Well if you stroll through the local gun shops or Gunbroker you will see tons of AR-15’s in the $500-$600 range all day long. I feel confident in saying that if you have been on the fence about getting a new gun, well now’s the time because one day in the not so distant future that $500 AR-15 might once again shoot to $1200 over night.
What do you think ? are firearms manufacturers in trouble ? or do you see more of them merging and forming larger conglomerates like what we see with Vista Outdoors ? We are curious to hear what our readers think about the near and long term future of some of these companies. Who’s next and who will come out bigger and stronger in the next few years.
Photo by author.