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Kevin Brittingham founded Advanced Armament Corp, which became one of the biggest silencer manufacturers in the world. He later sold the company to Remington Defense, another gun company owned by Freedom Group, but stayed at the helm raking in staggering profits while constantly butting heads with upper management. As the relationship deteriorated, Freedom Group fired Kevin from the company he founded. He then sued Freedom Group over the firing, a court case in which, a text message this evening from Kevin confirms, he whipped FG’s ass . . .

The suit was over a number of issues, specifically millions ($10+) of dollars that Kevin was owed as part of the sale of Advanced Armament, as well as voiding a non-compete clause of Kevin’s contract that barred him from working in the firearms industry for a period of some years. The ruling tonight awards Kevin all of the requests he had made following his termination plus interest, and according to Kevin he’s looking forward to starting work again and already has a job lined up. I asked him what that job will be, but all I got in response is “Fucking awesome.”

Kevin is solely responsible for creating the culture of AAC and was the driving force behind implementing ideas like 300 AAC Blackout and the (now rumored to be shelved) Honey Badger rifle. Needless to say, now that Kevin is back in the game things will be getting very interesting in the silencer industry very quickly — especially since he has nearly two years of new ideas sloshing around in his head.

Oh, and he bought his daughters ponies for Christmas. Actual ponies. There’s a video of them on Christmas morning. Add father of the year to those credentials.

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80 Responses to BREAKING: Kevin Brittingham Wins Lawsuit Against Freedom Group

  1. Good for him. Put one tick mark back into the “FG didn’t ruin” column. Of course, there’s still a dozen in the other column. But good for him.

    • Has anyone looked at a Marlin recently?

      I heard promises about improvements in quality, but I’m leery. Any one seen anything in the wild?

      • My dad picked up a new 1894 in .357 midway through last year. Aside from an action that smoothed out with time, and the boring Marshield wood finish, he’s had no problems with it, and there are no blemishes on the metalwork. Then again the rifle he picked up might just be the exception to the norm.

        • I have a 45 – 70 Marlin lever gun in stainless with a sh***y stock finish that has been awesome. It puts up with the repeated hammering of the 45 – 70 rounds flawlessly .. I am NOT one that hs seen any bad firearms put out buy Marlin. All I did was rose stone the sear, as I do with ALL of my firearms, and it has been a winner.

      • I have a Marlin 795 that has been great so far. I’ve only put 100 rounds through it but it functioned flawlessly. I’m not sure about anything else they make but I was wanting to get an XT-22 for my next plinker.

      • We’ve purchased two new Remington firearms in the last year, and they both run like a (black guy/swiss watch/clock/dude with a fire in his pants).

        Lots of people (mostly online) like to make a big fuss about brands like Remington, Marlin, Bushmaster, etc., while just as many who never even heard about these so called problems are buying them up and beating them like a (rented mule/stiff dick/cheap hooker) and they’re functioning flawlessly. just like they always have.

        And no, I can’t provide evidence for the guy who’s invariably going to demand it, because most of the old timers I hang out with don’t even own a TV.

        As far as actual manufacturing problems, you have to look at the reality. There’s only so many ways to forge/mill an AR lower, or an 870 receiver, or a falling block/lever action/bolt action/whatever action. Except for a few isolated and highly publicized cases, they aren’t making an inferior product from a material quality standpoint. But that isn’t saying much, because every manufacturer has, and will, put out a few bad apples now and again.

        As far as the actual workmanship involved in putting them together? First off, if the only “quality issues” stem from some brokedick booger picker not lining this and that up right, or tightening these and those enough, big deal. An internet connection and functioning brain, or a trip to a gunsmith, can solve those issues 99.9999999% of the time, except for the people who like to bitch about their $550 rifle not running like a $5500 rifle from the factory.

        When these companies were purchased, the guys at the top didn’t say “hey, let’s go higher dumber people to manufacture our firearms.” There are just as many smart, talented people putting together these firearms now as there were dumb incompetent ones before.

        On a large, large, LARGE scale, the quality of the products probably have a negligible degree of variation at best. What happened is they stumbled a few steps trying to make all the transitions that they did, and permanently taint the reputation of their products even long after the issues were resolved because a handful of blowhards got it in their head that one below average product means ALL below average products.

        And that phenomenon isn’t limited to the firearms industry, either. The two glaring examples that come to my mind are the 6.0L Powerstroke engine and Xtratuf Boots, for those of you who are informed about those issues.

        • The Ford 6.0L Powerstroke engine debacle was an unforced error by Ford management. They wanted the HEUI injection system to perform split-shot injection, as the new Duramax/Izusu engine in the GM pickup did. This quiets the injector cackle so familiar in diesels.

          CAT and Navistar both told Ford that the HEUI system wasn’t designed to perform split-shot injection. They meant it. Ford decided to program the ECU their own way, and the result was the 6.0L and some of the failures of the injectors dribbling fuel wholesale into the crankcase, with resulting engine failure.

          Having worked at a large (and now very large) corporation, I’ve seen both sides of the quality issue. And it comes down to this: At large companies, there’s a loss of accountability for product failures. The goof-offs and screw-ups can slither away into the corporate structure without accountability for many products and many revisions of products. It isn’t so much a malicious intent to produce crap, it is closer to the truth to say that there are lots of people who just aren’t competent, period, thanks for playing. In small companies, the survival of the company is invariably at stake on reputation of both the product and the customer service. In large companies, there’s all manner of ways for the incompetent to survive another day.

        • It’s hilarious you’d come on here and pretend like Marlin hasn’t been having serious quality issues when Robert himself bought an extremely shoddy gun from them.

          After Freedom Group took over the quality of their guns did go down. Whether or not they’ve improved, I have no idea, but don’t try to whitewash ****.

        • Michael B. Not to defend AK Patriot, as I am sure he doesnt need it- but your one citation for proof of your statement, which comes pretty close to a diss, personally- is proof of AK’s point. One example (Robts bad experience) does not prove a trend.

          Now, enough of my persnicketiness- the coffee has kicked in- time to dump down to take-off weight and hit the range.

          Like the comment about old-times not having TV. Thats gonna be my New Years Resolution- less screen time, more trigger and hiking time.

      • What quality issues with Marlin? Marlin has been making quality guns since before many of us walked this earth. Myself and everyone I know has had Marlin .22s as well as othe Marlin guns, never any issues unless they were due to neglect, same issues with other brands.

    • Now to get Kevin to give me a shout about a new caliber he should work on without FG screwing it up… He would love it, the tac world would love it and hunters would make it the most popular “black gun” round in the world next to 5.56 just because of surplus 5,56 ammo

  2. Congrats.. We need people like him to keep on innovating and producing. Freedom Group always just seems to be in it for the wrong reasons.

  3. awesome. pile on freedom group for being Cuomo c**ksuckers and caving to his anti-2A wishes anyway. I hope the company goes bankrupt and real patriots buy the parts for pennies and make it thrive again.

    • Suppressor*

      No such things as silencers. God I hate how everyone calls them silencers. Such a pet peeve, and lack of intelligence is shown when everyone calls them that.

      • Funny, Army Sniper, but the ATF disagrees with you… furthermore, I decided to do some research a few months back…

        Yeah, you may think that, and I was picky about it once too, but I offer the following samples:

        Advanced Armament Corp uses silencer
        Gemtech uses suppressor primarily, but silencer can be found in their materials
        Knight’s Armament uses suppressor
        Liberty refer to themselves as “Maker of the World’s Greatest Firearm Suppressors” and as “Home of the World’s Finest Firearm Silencers”
        Silencerco is uh… yeah
        SureFire uses suppressor and silencer interchangeably
        Wilson Combat uses suppressor
        Yankee Hill Machine uses suppressor

        And finally, the trade organization that was formed to advocate for the silencer industry, to which most (if not all) of the companies above belong, is called the American Silencer Association.

        The point is… use what you want, and don’t be a pedantic jerk to people that use the other term, because even the industry can’t seem to decide.

        • LOL. Period.

          Would you refuse to buy from a company that called their product a silencer, or does your vocabulary superiority complex not extend quite that far? What if the company is, as I pointed out above, a member of the American Silencer Association? Are they “doing it wrong?”

          Seriously, get a grip.

      • IF you knew anything you were talking about, you would know that the man who invented them (Hiram Maxim) called them silencers. Period.

  4. This is great. It’ll be nice to have an inventor back in the game. For love of the gun instead of the stock dividends.

  5. Kevin won all 14 counts of his claim, but there’s no written judgment yet. Once the judge issues her orders, there might be an appeal and another couple of years of agony for Kevin.

  6. How many readers here are the type of people who would otherwise be complaining about “lawsuits against businesses”, “lawyers ruining this country”, and “unreasonably large awards to plaintiffs”?

    We need tort reform to prevent something like this from happening again, right?

    • Did you miss the part where the money he was suing for was owed him for when Remington originally bought AAC? This wasn’t “make me feel better money” which is usually what tort reform is all about. This was “you owe me this and refuse to pay” money. Big difference.

      Nice try at stirring up shit, though.

    • Youre absolutely right, he should have walked away being owed 10 million, with a clause not allowing him to work in the firearms field, because….
      Uhh yeah..
      Conpletely different than suing for millions because you didnt know coffee was hot.
      Nice try though.

      • Little known fact: McDonald’s could have settled that case for $20,000. Instead, they decided to take it to trial, where they lost because documents showed they decided to brew their coffee at unusually and dangerously high temperatures so they could use fewer grounds and save money. The millions awarded to the plaintiff were McDonald’s one-day profits from coffee sales.

        • Also little-known: as part of the settlement, the lady who won the lawsuit is legally barred from talking about the incident, the lawsuit, or McDonald’s in public. McDonald’s made their public statements and reporters and pundits have speculated to no end (and no good), but one outside the courtroom has heard her side of the story and probably no one ever will.

        • If what you’re saying about the award being equal to McD’s daily coffee profits is true, then that tells me MILLIONS of people were able to drink McDonald’s coffee EVERY DAY without burning themselves. The fact they could have settled for less has nothing to do with right or wrong.

          To Ing- there have been several follow up news stories that have shown statements made by her (before trial), and recent interviews with her lawyer, family, etc post judgement. Trying to make it look justified. The more I learned the more I thought “You’ve got to be kidding me…how did McD’s lose?”.

          But maybe I’m just a jerk 🙂

        • It was hot coffee. Big f$&@ing deal. I make trainees drive with an uncovered hot coffee above their crotch so that they can demonstrate to me that they can drive smoothly. If the coffee was cold or colder, people would have bitched about that too. It’s not like McD’s was forcing people to buy their coffee, or that they were the only business in town. Tort reform.

      • People don’t understand the Stella case (the McDonald’s hot coffee case).

        The coffee wasn’t hot the coffee was being served at a temperature that would kill you if you drank it,

        Normal hot coffee is 130, that super hot coffee that you can’t drink is 150. McDonald’s was serving coffee at 190+.

        That’s simply dangerous. So dangerous in fact, that a McDonald’s admitted that it maimed 10-15 people every year. Maimed, as is loss of a body part. People were losing tongues, lips, fingers, toes, and genitals to the scalding coffee that McDonald’s was serving.

        Ms. Stella had her labia burned off, that’s what she was suing over.

        How much would you request if a company sold you a product that was 30 degrees hotter than temps that required a hazard warning, it burned off your finger and the coffee spilling into your lap burned off your penis?

        • And people ask why I dont drink coffee. But it is sad that people for the most part only heard McD’s side of the story.

        • Whether or not thats the case, I just used it as an example. There have been tons of huge pay outs for ridiculous things. I was just pointing out money owed and millions because you know you might get money are two very different things.
          If she burned off her vag then that story doesnt really apply, but my overall point is the same

        • > There have been tons of huge
          > pay outs for ridiculous things.

          Like being fired?

          Oh wait, that’s what we’re supposed to be celebrating in this case.

        • Again, I don’t care. Starbucks serves hot coffees at about 145-165 degrees. Their extra hot is roughly 170-180 degrees, and some baristas recommend that you order that so that your coffee is still at an optimal drinking temperature several minutes later. Hot water burns. Duh. Don’t spill it on your genitals. Duh. Don’t like it? Don’t f$&@ing order it. Too hot for you? Throw a damn ice cube in it or wait a spell.

        • McDonalds had nothing to do with the team of the coffee.
          It is made by a nearly automated machine made by bunn corp.
          I fixed those things for years.
          They are set by the factory, (thermo stats)
          And 99% of MDS employees don’t have a clue how to adjust them.
          You have to disassemble the cabinet to do it.
          The award its my understanding was also adjusted on appeal to basically cover legal expenses. That was it.
          Moral of the story, don’t want a burned ceotch try using a cup holder.

    • Anon, I’m with A81 on this.
      This wasn’t an ambulance chaser stirring up a case for a large group, over something that simply requires a bit of common sense and personal responsibility.

      Find another place to troll, pls. TTAG is about guns, not tort reform. OT comments to inflame and disrespect the larger group is simply disrespect at best, and thread hijacking at worst.

      Start your own blog instead of pi$$ing in the soup here.

    • I don’t think you have a clear concept of monetary & real damages vs. punitive and noncompensatory damages. Kevin suffered monetary loss that he proved in court, and the award was not unreasonably large.

  7. It’s unfortunate that so many business deals end up in lawsuits and I’m glad that Mr. Brittingham won his. Small businesses are important for the economy, for the communities, and for innovation. Let’s see what he can do next!

  8. Sadly, it’s rare that one guy can go up against a corporate conglomerate like FG and Wynn, so more power to him. Hope he’s able to get back in his feet and start making awesome stuff that he’s passionate about.

  9. Not the least bit surprised to hear that Kevin was butting heads with anyone. He’s good at what he does, but he’s a jerk, with marginal people skills. I’m basing this on personal experience, dealing with him when he was sole owner of AAC. Hearing of him wallowing through the courts system as a result of his managing to be fired from his own company pleases me.

    Bring it.

      • Clearly you’re on the payroll, Jenny… I sent a CZ 452 for barrel threading after taking possession of an AAC Pilot. I waited a month and called, left a message, got ignored, emailed and got a half-assed excuse about his help being out, and waited another month. When I called again, he said he “provided quality, not convenience” or some such crap. I explained that he’d been holding my rifle for 2.5 months, he repeated himself about quality, and made a crack about my not being “patient enough”. I told him to send my rifle back, he’d had it long enough, he emailed me and said I “had no class” for not wanting to wait. This, despite that his website specifically offered the service for the exact same rifle.

        So, yeah, I guess I’m a jerk, because I’d like to throat punch the little faggot for being short with me, and not having the stones to call me personally and say what he wrote. I’d go so far as to say that I’d love to meet him in person some day, so we can communicate on a more intimate manner; I learned some things as a US Marine that I’ve never got to try out. Read into that what you will.

        I stand by my initial statement, that I’m not surprised he was fired from his own company. He strikes me as abrasive. You calling me a jerk for saying so tells me you’re sucking his dick, most likely.

        • Oh Kurt, you sir clearly have no class to make such a comment to a woman that you know nothing about. I’m assuming you speak to your mother with that mouth.

          If you had the same attitude when you contacted AAC there is no wonder that you received less than optimal service.

          I am now embarassed for the Marine Corp. that you’re representing yourself as one of them.

          I believe this dialog is now closed.

        • Well, that response was… something. If your story actually happened as you say, I can see why you’d be a little torqued up, but you’ve got some next-level shit going on there. As far as your parting note about wanting to meet him in person so you could try out your US Marine stuff on him, my response is that with that statement, you show yourself to be someone not fully in control of your emotions, and a perfect example for those who fear my guns to point to, and thus extraordinarily unhelpful to our side. Based on this comment alone, you are, for the other side, a card-carrying representative of “people who should not have guns.” Please don’t stand too close to me, I’d prefer not to be associated with you.

          Oh, and the fellatio comment, on a public forum, about someone you know nothing about other than a couple sentences, was wholly unnecessary and shows you to be a classless pig.

          You’re welcome to peddle that attitude elsewhere.

    • This county needs a whole lot less in the “people skills” BS dept and more in the Engineering, Innovation, Get it Done area. The warm fuzzy, “can’t we all get alone drones” are those that have “outsourced” American industry to the Chicoms. (The commies sometimes making it less expensively, usually cheaper but always to their benefit. The real reason for mfg in China is it’s easier. Don’t have to sweat any details, no getting hands dirty with any nasty manufacturing things. Perfect for a nation of “Marketing” and “Business” majors.)

      • “People skills” means not antagonizing people unnecessarily. It does not mean making other people happy with reality if they’re dead set on not liking it. If you’re good you can sometimes help people find the state of mind to cope with uncomfortable reality. Even so, people insisting on getting unhappy at reality have a personal problem.

        That’s a good POV when dealing with anti-gunners, too, I think. “Your not liking the facts doesn’t make me a jerk for presenting them … unless I present them like a jerk.”

  10. Marginal people skills doesn’t necessarily translate into a superior/inferior product, especially from an engineering viewpoint. I’m sure it’s not over by a long shot either – most of us know corporations would rather spend umpteen bucks on lawyers to drag out a given case when it would be cheaper to settle merely to save face or avoid setting a precedent.

    FWIW I say score one for the good guy.

    Tom

  11. “Freedom Group” is not about freedom, but about $$$$$$. If they gave a rats ass about “freedom” and the 2nd Amendment, they would be moving Remington out of the People’s Republic of New York and other companies they own out of gun hating states. I wouldn’t take a new Remington for free. Good for Kevin, too bad he didn’t get a few million more……..

  12. Calling someone Father of the year because they have the massive amount of coin required to purchase expensive items for their kids is complete bullshit. Plenty of fathers out there would love to do the same for their children but simply lack the funds. Dial the fan boy love affair down a notch or two. Some valid points have been made and having been on the inside of some of the deals made in the gun industry, I can see both sides.

    Firstly, non compete agreements are standard in many industries and serve to ensure that the business the purchaser bought isn’t diluted by the principles leaving and starting a new company which devalues the one they bought. They are usually ruled valid if they are reasonable in scope and limited in duration.

    Secondly, last I checked, no-one held a gun to Kevin’s head and FORCED him to sell AAC to FG; he decided he wanted a big payday, signed all the paperwork (inc the non compete) and cashed the big phucking check. I have never personally dealt with Kevin but many others have. He is, by all accounts, a typical Type A personality with little tolerance for idiots and an often abrasive attitude. Not saying that any of this is necessarily a bad thing but when you sell your soul to the devil, you have to dance to his tune or risk getting booted.

    Sounds like folks on both sides made bad decisions and at least one judge decided FG was at fault. I’m not yet willing to cheer Kevin as a saint or a sinner because he decided to sell out and when you lie down with dogs, you are liable to get fleas. I contrast his actions with those of my friend Randy Luth of DPMS; he too sold out to FG for a substantial amount of money. He also signed the non compete, stayed at the helm of DPMS for the required length of time, HONORED the agreement he entered into freely and as soon as he was contractually able, left to do his own thing. He has waited until the non compete expired and is now back in business for himself with no legal issues at all. But then, Randy is a class act all the way around, even though he had issues with the way FG wanted to run the company he started in his garage.

    Finally, AAC undoubtedly make a lot of suppressors but as to being one of the biggest manufacturers in the world? Please. There are European suppressor manufacturers who make more cans in a month than AAC or any US company makes in a year. The US is an artificially limited market, constricted by stupid NFA laws and ATF rulings, many of which don’t apply in the rest of the world. Quality .22 cans cost $50 in Europe so the only reason they cost so much here is because of the $200 tax stamp and the greed of manufacturers. Reality and perspective are required in this article.

    • “Quality .22 cans cost $50 in Europe so the only reason they cost so much here is because of the $200 tax stamp and the greed of manufacturers. Reality and perspective are required in this article.”

      You were doing well but totally lost me when you used the word “greed,” which has negative connotations. Cans are expensive in the US because you have to hire a full time person to deal with the ATF. In addition, you need an NFA lawyer. Finally, you have an artificially limited market due to the laws. Who would get into that game and charge $50 per product? There needs to be a profit incentive, and it has to be much larger than for an unregulated product.

  13. Too many small businessmen don’t hire lawyers to negotiate or even read these sorts of contracts, and it shows. They think “I’m a reasonably smart guy, I can read the English language, I should be able to see what is going on…”

    Wrong. Lawyers are trained to deceive and lie without making it look like they’re telling a bald-faced lie. The only way to counter this is to get your own lawyer, similarly trained, to spot the lies and falsehoods in a contract. Contract law is complicated stuff. Stick to your knitting and expertise and hire people who have expertise in the law to handle the contract(s).

    • Absolutely agree. Although some laws (traffic) are readily transparent, many laws are deliberately written for ambiguity. The Obamacare law is roughly 2500 pages with many more in addendum’s, and tax laws are also huge. High priced lawyers love these laws, as it allows them to apply their trade at ridiculous expense. The only more practiced liars than lawyers are politicians, and politicians usually started off as lawyers.

    • Riiiiiight. A guy smart enough to build a highly successful company operating in the most highly regulated segment of the firearms industry, who already had attorneys on retainer for other matters isn’t smart enough to have an attorney review a multimillion buy out deal?? Please. Tell me about the beach front property you have for sale in AZ, it sounds much more credible…….

      The parties to this deal fell out AFTER money had changed hands and it took a court to determine who was mostly at fault and award compensation. It will be enlightening to read the decision.

      In regards to the .22 suppressors: I have several examples in hand and others I have manufactured that cost no more than $5 -$10. (I own a 07FFL and SOT business) I have examined just about every .22 can on the market today and while many are vastly over engineered for what they offer, I stand by my assertion that greed is a factor in pricing. What is ridiculous is the NFA requirement for a $200 transfer tax on every can transferred which is what negatively affects the pricing structure in this country. Hard to sell a guy a .22 can for $50 when the tax is $200. Seems to offer more value to the consumer if the can is priced at $200-$300 then the tax. Manufacturing costs don’t increase but profit’s sure do. Sadly, too many folks have no idea what excellent cans produced in the rest of the world are sold for and if the NFA was to be reformed, prices would come tumbling down.

      • I’ve seen stranger stuff happen in contracts and buy-outs in the high-tech world.

        First thing any startup owner should do on a buy-out is push back on the non-compete. That’s standard corporate lawyer boilerplate these days, and they peddle it as such, but in today’s economy, with markets being as fluid as they are, it is a very short-sighted thing to sign on to, and any lawyer worth his salt will advise you against signing the boilerplate non-compete. You can’t predict the future, neither can the buyer, and neither should be able to specify the actions of the other as a blanket rule.

        Same deal with NDA’s. Line them out, force them to come to the table with something other than the boilerplate. My favorite change to force on the other party in NDA’s: If you make public your proprietary info, I’m no longer bound by your NDA, our agreement is done.

        If he had a lawyer worth his salt involved on the contract, he would not have had to pay lawyers to take his case into court. The consequences of FG sacking him would have been spelled out and the remedies specified. That’s why you should be paying a contract lawyer to look over this stuff: to specify “in the event of…” and what happens.

      • “Hard to sell a guy a .22 can for $50 when the tax is $200. Seems to offer more value to the consumer if the can is priced at $200-$300 then the tax.”

        I’m highly inclined to believe this. With the exception of the superwhamodyne titanium cans and the like, of course. But I think this is very close to the reason that many of the less-expensive “basic” cans come in right around the $300 price point. I’m not going to call it greed per se, but I do believe that some folks would balk at paying a $200 stamp on a $50 can and just say “screw the whole thing.”

    • The writer’s (that’d be Nick) credentials are available and obvious to anyone who reads this blog regularly. Yours, on the other hand, are somewhat more ambiguous.

      As far as the suppressor/silencer argument, if several major silencer manufacturers (one of which is named Silencerco) decide to form an industry partnership, and name that partnership the American Silencer Association, who are you to argue?

      Oh, and “prolly” isn’t a word, you illiterate shit.

        • I don’t know about creme de la creme, but my grammar and spelling is usually pretty spot-on, yes.

          Did you mean to say that “arrogant is worse than illiterate dumbo?” Or did you mean to call me “dumbo” in which case that should have been written as “arrogant is worse than illiterate, dumbo.” (Note the comma.)

          Also, it makes me wonder… Is your name actually Willaim, or did you manage to misspell your own name?

      • If you ever visit SoCal, we’ve gotta have a scotch. Your cynicism is top notch, and it brings a smile to the face of this disgruntled government employee. RF, DrVino, and jwm have my email.

        • I also have it, every time you leave a comment. 🙂

          Alas, the chances of me visiting SoCal are very, very slim.

  14. Freedom Group must be run by liberals time to sell all stock and get out leaving them bankrupt for trying this-they’re immoral capitalist no different than communist!

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