Smith & Wesson Is Locked and Loaded

sw_logoIf there ever was a gun company to watch these days it is Smith & Wesson. Not just because they will begin shipping their new 1000 Series shotguns, which may make upland hunters happy, but because S&W is blowing away Wall Street, according to Business Week.

Business Week ranked S&W 77th out of 100 Hot Growth Companies. Yes a gun company running with the bulls. S&W is evidently discovering marketing and branding strategies and is licensing everything from bicycles to watches to wood smokers. Can you say, “branding?” And they are offering new products.

New products will clean out the fouled bores of the gun industry and incite new consumers. Of course there is also the danger over branding and diminishing the brand’s cache. But for the time being, net product sales increased 48.8% and firearm sales increased more than 50% in fiscal 2007. In the fourth quarter, sales were a record $82.6 million, almost a 60% increase from the same period last year.

It was also their tenth consecutive quarter of double-digit sales growth. Wall Street thinks S&W is hitting the bulls eye. Oh yeah, about the 1000 Series. For upland hunting as well as hunting from a duck blind or waiting for a tom, the 1000 Series incorporates features a you’d expect on the a high-end shotgun like a chrome-lined barrel, five choke tubes, and a four-piece shim kit to adjust the stock. We haven’t had the opportunity to exercise a new 1000 Series, but look for an update in months to come. Did I mention they have a line of double guns, too?

Remington Going to the Dogs—Three-headed Dog Actually

American workers make great products, too bad not enough of those products are being sold. That may be a simplistic analysis of a complex situation but with Toyota about to speed past GM as the world’s largest automobile manufacturer and Remington being bought out by Cerberus, the same Cerberus that is buying out Chrysler and Bushmaster Firearms, I think we should all go out and buy a Silverado with a Wingmaster back in the gun rack.

Yes a redneck solution, but I try to buy American Made whenever possible. Big Green may be a victim of product sticker shock, hence their inexpensive line of import guns. Let’s hope under Cerberus that Big Green can continue the traditions of a great brand with great products. Cerberus, as you may know, is the mythical three-headed dog that guards the gates to hell, the Wall Street firm by the same name can smell money like a Brittany smells grouse. If I say America’s oldest continually operating firearms company has gone to the dogs, that’s a good thing.

New Orvis Shooting Grounds in Georgia

Orvis just recently opened the Orvis Shooting Grounds at Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville, Georgia, just an hour north of Atlanta. The resort’s sporting clays range can help you work the bugs out on crossing shots or introduce you to the fundamentals. In addition to shooting instruction, Orvis offers their two-day fly-fishing schools at the facility.

The Barnsley Gardens Resort was developed around the historic estate and gardens of Godfrey Barnsley. It features accommodations and restaurants, plus full spa facilities. Don’t shoot? There’s an 18-hole golf course, horseback riding, tennis, swimming and trails for mountain biking and hiking.