SilencerCo Lays Off Texas-Based SWR Team

I just got off the phone with a (now) former employee of SWR, SilencerCo’s Research Division, who was let go the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday. I’d called him because I still have the SWR Radius on hand from my review and need to return it. He interrupted me to let me know that he wouldn’t know what to do with the Radius as he was let go from SWR along with the rest of his teammates, fifteen in total.

Details beyond that were scarce, as he didn’t want to jeopardize his reputation within the industry. While my review of the Radius wasn’t exactly glowing, I appreciate the concept and the team’s customer service was top notch. If you’ll remember, my first unit had a failure, and they had a courier meet me the next day with a replacement unit. Multiple parties have indicated that the sort of service I received wasn’t special treatment, and that any Austin-based customer would likely have received the same with others getting next day mail service.

I reached out to Jason Schauble, SilencerCo’s Chief Revenue Officer, for comment. He returned the follow statement:

Silencerco decided to move SWR’s r&d and production capabilities from Tx to UT to co-locate SWR with the rest of our r&d and manufacturing. We are still offering the Radius as part of our overall product line and intend on bringing new technology products to market in the coming years.

The Texas-based SWR team wasn’t offered the chance to move to Utah. If any further details emerge, we’ll update this space.

comments

  1. avatar Peter says:

    It’s always personally devastating when you dedicate your life to a company and they decide to relocate especially around this time of year. I wish them all a quick job hunt and a satisfying new role where ever they may land.

    1. avatar Arc says:

      I doubt he will have trouble finding work, being part of R&D.

  2. avatar Warren says:

    K.

    Maybe avoid stirring the rumor mill until there’s actual details that can be shared? Sounds like SilencerCo’s CRO was being pretty straightforward with the situation, and unless your contact can actually comment with something that directly disputes it, it’s a nonissue that doesn’t really concern us.

    1. avatar Tyler Kee says:

      My original statement didn’t make it through the editing machine. The Texas based SWR team was not offered a relocation package.

    2. avatar Felix says:

      No, don’t wait at all, or wait just a little. Otherwise the incentive is to stall stall and stall. A few minutes or an hour is time for someone to cover for a vacationing colleague or wait out a lunch break. Anything more just provides the wrong incentive.

  3. avatar Paul Hurst says:

    Wherever Jason Schauble goes, folks lose their jobs.

    Why did anyone think SiCo would be different?

  4. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I’ll give ya fifty bucks for the radius…. ?

  5. avatar Sledgecrowbar says:

    This certainly sours me on the product. I was really interested in it as it seems like a better mousetrap being integrated into the rifle instead of a handheld unit that you then have to put down and get positioned behind the scope.

    Stuff like this I’ve learned to wait until the technology becomes mainstream enough that it’s not so “early adopter”-pricey, but if it lasts a decade until the next better thing comes along, it’s worth the investment for the advantage it gives you.

  6. avatar strych9 says:

    These sort of things happen all the time.

    I fail to see, other than the return situation which is really kind of a non-issue in the big scheme of things, what it has to do with the Radius or any other product that SilencerCo makes.

    Hopefully these guys all find new employment rapidly and not as Home Depot greeters. Time will tell I guess.

    The simple fact of that matter is that unless the HPA passes making suppressors (SiCo’s main business) is a difficult business with thin margins because of high overhead combined with the the inability to sell OTC. The tax stamp requirement and the government paperwork turn the vast majority of potential buyers off. Even more are turned off by the high prices that quality silencers legitimately (let’s not rehash that please, Google “economies of scale”) demand at this point. “Hey, pay us $800+, kick $200 to the government, get on a government list and wait 6-18 months for your gear!” isn’t exactly a winning approach to advertising even though it is honest.

    All those things combined make it very easy for a company to over-extend itself and end up having to scale back to remain competitive enough to survive, especially in the crowded marketplace that is silencers. I’d hazard the guess that this is what happened at SiCo. They make some of the best products you can buy and probably dumped a ton of money into keeping that edge but didn’t see significant returns on that investment due to the way that the silencer market is regulated.

    1. avatar fishydude says:

      Exactly. Suppressors are legal in my state. But I won’t buy one because of all the damn paperwork required and setting up trusts ….blah blah blah.
      I’d love the make an intruder crap his draws at the sight of suppressed FNX45 and not blow my ear drums out as I administer, if necessary, a sudden acute case of lead poisoning.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        I went with the USP .45 and the Osprey. It’s incredibly functional but I have to say I love the look of the thing too. Especially with a TLR-2 on there it just looks like nasty business.

    2. avatar Ethan goebells says:

      You can still make money in silencers if you’re a responsible business person. I suspect that they are just closing a satellite location, which was probably horribly unproductive due to lack of managerial oversight. Good call silencerco.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        I never said you couldn’t. What I said, in a longer form explaining why this is so, is that the companies have thin margins and therefore not every investment they make is going to pay off in time for them to keep it.

  7. avatar Josh Schultz says:

    In my expert opinion, the Radius Rangefinder is very fine, high quality, high reliability product. And don’t forget that Silencerco has a lifetime warranty for all of their products.

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