Hollister-blog

It really is the end of an era for Advanced Armament Corp. As we reported back in May, the entire AAC factory is being shuttered in preparation for moving the production to the new combined Remington plant in Alabama. This includes laying off all existing employees, including those who made the company what it is today. According to our sources (and confirmed by AAC’s handy computer systems) two more of those employees have walked out of the office for the last time, and their names are John Hollister and Derek Smith . . .

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John Hollister, who was a retired crime scene investogator until Kevin Brittingham brought him out of retirement to play with guns and be AAC’s salesman for LEOs, has officially skedaddled. John has most recently become the unofficial poster child for AAC, appearing prominently on their (very nicely manufactured) catalogs for this  year, and it now appears official that he has skipped town, headed straight towards SIG SAUER’s neighborhood. Our information says he submitted his letter of resignation on November 24th, so his two weeks are up right about now. It really looks like Kevin Brittingham is putting the band back together, this time with better funding and more CNC machines at their beck and call. Oh, it’s gunna be good.

 

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Derek Smith has been running all of AAC’s sales for the last two years. Derek hasn’t made it known where he is heading, but his departure (resignation submitted November 17th, apparently) leaves AAC without anyone to manage distributor sales and relationships. In short, AAC no longer has anyone employed to actually sell their products. In the meantime, it looks like Jason Notch from DPMS has been designated as the sales guy for AAC. That smells to me like a hospice position rather than an attempt to make money, since there has been no word of him leaving his existing position to fill the role at AAC.

The long-term plan from Remington, according to our sources, is to kill AAC and roll their intellectual properly into a new entity known as “Remington Accessories,” combined with Tapco and other brands. AAC has been a perpetual thorn in the side of Remington management, and they would love nothing more than to take that special snowflake and toss it into the pot of boiling water that is the rest of the operation. Much like the Borg, they want to assimilate what technology they find interesting and remove any traces of individuality and personality. Which is unfortunate, since so much of AAC’s success is due to that unique culture.

By the end of the year, AAC’s offices will be nothing more than an empty warehouse with a funny paint scheme on the inside. There will be no one working there and no machines cranking out product. AAC will effectively be dead, and the gun industry will have lost a truly unique and inspiring company.

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58 Responses to John Hollister, Derek Smith Quit AAC

    • The Borg had a distinct lack of personality, but they had badass technology. Remington has no personality, deteriorating technology (really deteriorating everything), and a bunch of recalls.

    • I have a Bushmaster AR from around 2004. It is my patrol rifle. When Freedom got ahold of them, they destroyed Bushmaster as well. Remington is not the company it once was, and everybody they touch gets destroyed. I think that will happen next year with Para as well (and yes, I know they are not the same as buying a Wilson/Brown/Baer type 1911, but I do have a few and like the high-cap 1911 design) . . .

      • I like the high-capacity 1911’s as well. When I went to buy, I looked at Para, but decided to go with STI. In truth I was leaning that way anyway, but I decided to give Para a try. Nothing against their guns, but I didn’t like their owner.

    • If I remember right, Cerebus is one of Georgie Soros’ holdings, or he’s part of the ownership. If this is the case, is there any wonder why the QC is gone?

  1. Reminds me of what happened to Jellyfish when Micro$soft bought them. First it was business as usual, then all the people that worked to make it special left. It was rolled it into the awful Bing Cashback then after suffering under that for a year or so it was canned.

    • I was having that problem 2 nights ago. I tried it in Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and IE (in Windows 8.1 on Parallels), just to be certain it wasn’t me. Glad to hear I’m not the only one that has been having issues.

      • So far IE using Yahoo for search seems to be working but will know for sure IF this reply posts. OK it posted the first time around. Now to see if the edit feature works. From research it seems that there may have been something wrong with Google search. Though not sure how that has anything to do with replying to posts on here?

  2. AAC mentioned in the same sentence as Tapco? Yeah, they’re dead. Or at least on par with tapco products. Which is worse.

  3. +1

    I’m picking up three AAC suppressors in March, when I move back to the US, that I bought back in 2013 before all of the recent AAC developments. All of this leaves me with an uneasy feeling that warranty/other issues will be problematic if they come up.

    • Matt –

      With you out of CONUS, how did you store those NFA toys?

      If I’m ever out of the country, is a trust and someone else holding them an option?

  4. I just bought three (three!) AAC cans… what does this mean for long-term support? Might be regretting this decision.

    • I am picking up a few AAC cans next week, the forms just came back approved.

      I’m a little worried about this myself. Hopefully nothing changes for us.

      That being said, I don’t see myself picking up any more AAC cans for a long while until I know how things are going forward.

  5. Remington is just behaving like so many numbers-obsessed, profit-wh0ring large companies these days… why does that surprise anybody? Absorb smaller companies, take what they want, and grind it to dust.

    Best wishes to AAC’s former staff. Hope their next employer (or next new company) is better.

  6. I never got the kilt thing… I mean understand it, you’re Scottish or Irish or whatever, I just don’t get it.

    • I think it came from “kilted to kick cancer”, a group that raises money to fund prostate cancer research. Caleb Giddings and Jay G among others have participated and jokingly asked 5.11 to make a tactical kilt. I believe Caleb, of top shot and gun nuts fame, has shot USPSA in a kilt.

    • Try wearing one on a hot day… you’ll understand. You’ll also notice that most of the guys with enough B*lls to wear a kilt (Scots & Irish) are not the kind of people you want to make fun of.

        • Cmeat….as my T-shirt says: “Its a Kilt, if I were wearing anything under it, then it would be a skirt”. LOL

      • Yeah, there are also guys who call themselves “bronies” and walk around dressed up like pink ponies.

        One could argue I don’t have balls big enough to dress up like a pink pony… But, one could also argue I don’t do either because they are both dumb.

        Also, I’m half Irish, which means d*ck as to deciding the “type of person you don’t want to make fun of…” Just saying.

      • We messed with the Scots plenty when they showed up in New Orleans in 1815. Didn’t seem to be a problem. Bonus intelligence points to the micks for staying home…

  7. I expect that by this time next year, there will be more excitement over new suppressors from Dead Air Armament and SIG Sauer than from AAC. AAC is likely to keep selling quality cans, but I doubt there will be much buzz around their booth at SHOT next month. With the recent and massive uptick in suppressor popularity, this is not a good time for instability at AAC.

    • What Booth? Remington took it away this year. They’ll be part of the Remington booth with about a 10×10′ piece of carpet. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

  8. So…nothing against Hollister, but why exactly do LEOs need suppressors? To shoot dogs without disturbing the neighbors?

    • Because shooting a AR15 indoors is loud as hell as well as concussive (especially with SBRs, which most agency’s use) and anything to help lessen the effect is helpful. There are still legitimate SWAT teams that still need these sort of things. The SWAT team for a 500 population town is unnecessary, but for major cities like LA they are most definitely needed

      • Yes. For the 5 call outs per year when they are actually needed.

        Legitimate big city SWAT is still misused serving warrants on people who couldjust be grabbed on their way out of work.

        Don

    • It helps to protect their ears when they’re shooting the family pet inside the house. Plus it makes them feel so much more badass & elite next to the worthless peons they have to step on every day.

      • If you can’t stand behind them, you’re welcome to stand in front of them…just saying. Back on topic, sorry to hear about losing AAC.

    • uh, you could buy a suppressor if you wanted to (depending on state laws). what do all of the individuals with cans “need” them for?

        • I love using mine for hunting, but rarely trot them out at the range. Not enough people have them to leave the ear-pro at home.

        • I wasn’t questioning the need, I was really pointing out the hypocrisy of people questioning why the police need them.

  9. In the big picture, looks like AAC ended up sacrificing itself for the 300 AAC BLK cartridge. The situation was a double edged sword from the beginning. AAC could only get it to mainstream market with a big outfit like Remington. Unfortunately, Freedom Group had other motives. “Remington Accessories”….. good lord.

  10. Fascinating insider info, Nick. One thing I noticed from a previous life in a complicated industry, is that its all about the people. Keep track of where the good ones are going, and you will get FAR more intel about the company, and future products, and likelihood of success, than analysts reports on financials, or hokum from the whores and strippers. I mean the VCs and investors, that is. The real ones work for their money.

  11. These days, the most critical of all “Remington Accessories” is a prepaid return authorization and a properly sized cardboard box.

  12. AAC died long before Remington, their products suffered from lack of continuing investment into R&D as soon as they were released. The fact there is a cottage industry in fixing AAC muzzle brakes is testament to that.
    Dead-Air should be the company to watch, and from a business perspective, Pappas was always ahead of Brittingham regardless. Now that suppressors are more mainstream, the business sense of the company more so than the technology will be the make it or break it.

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