Freedom Munitions Parent Files for Bankruptcy

Freedom Munitions Bankruptcy Chapter 11 Howell

Dallas NRA attendees were puzzled by the large empty spot in the convention floor that was supposed to be the Freedom Munitions booth location. It looked like it had been partially assembled and then abandoned at the last minute.

Now news comes that Freedom’s parent company, Howell Munitions and Technology of Lewiston, ID has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The company has faced financial challenges that forced reductions in employees and created a conflict with a lender, Zions First National Bank, according to court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Nevada late last week.

The business has about $5.4 million of unsecured claims from its 20 biggest creditors, according to the bankruptcy.

From news reports, it appears that the company had some, uh, differences of opinion regarding corporate management with its lenders.

In April, the relationship between the companies and Zions worsened, with (David) Howell stepping aside as president or managing member of the companies and the bank appointment of a chief restructuring officer, according to Howell.

The bank-appointed chief restructuring officer “had no knowledge” of the companies as he closed business operations, terminated employees and pursued the sales of assets, according to Howell.

“By reason of the negligent and ill-advised acts taken by the bank-appointed (chief restructuring officer), substantial damage has been done to the operations” of the companies involved in the bankruptcy, according to Howell.

On Thursday, just a day before the bankruptcy filing, the companies involved in the bankruptcy “terminated” the bank-appointed chief restructuring officer, according to Howell.

The former senior management was reappointed, led by Howell as president, and the companies involved in the bankruptcy have employed a financial turnaround expert, according to Howell.

Howell filed for Chapter 11 protection indicating that they intend to stay in business and Freedom’s website is still up and accepting orders. Howell also operates X-Treme Bullets, a component retailer.

comments

  1. avatar Joe R. says:

    Somebody go check up Zion’s skirt to see if Zchze’s a gun-grabber.

    1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      You think they entered into a years long financing agreement in the hope that Freedom would default, so they could then enter into a costly court battle to shut them down? Interesting business model.

  2. avatar Cucamonga Jeff says:

    5 million hardly seems like enough to file bankruptcy these days

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      That was my first thought. Maybe the bank wanted them to fail because it felt “insecure.” Banks do that kind of crap all the time..

      1. avatar BDizzle says:

        The bank is secured. They have 5.4 Million in unsecured. That could be as simple as a lease they abandoned that had a clause saying all future rents become due in the event they default on their lease. Still, for the bank to force them into bankruptcy seems ridiculous. What does the bank care if they have unsecured vendors? The bank is going to be first position. What they are probably doing here is trying to show the unsecured vendors that they won’t get anything if they do try to force an involuntary bankruptcy. Basically, “It’s not worth your time or money to try to collect. Their aren’t assets there for you to get anything unless you want to pay me (the bank) off first.”

    2. avatar Charles Barnard says:

      Really?

      Would you personally survive $5 million in unsecured debt?

      How much is too much is always relative to what you have…and the company has had revenue issues for some time.

      Always thought their prices were a bit high.

  3. avatar Quality Control ? says:

    Didn’t they have a recall ? — Bad ammo go boom ?

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        LOL if a rumor got out that our ammo consumption bankrupted Freedom, who would we be to say otherwise? Haha that’s a good one 🙂

    1. avatar Wade says:

      HAPPENED TO ME!!!! I had a squib event on 3 different occasions. I contacted freedom. They were helpful and offered my money back when I returned in used Ammo. They wanted the boxes and lot numbers so they could keep their books even. Never the less I was not paying attention I could have been injured. I started reloading a month later.

  4. avatar Ed Schrade says:

    I have experienced this firsthand , the individual that is supposed to save or turnaround the company will know absolutely nothing about it so they layoff everyone to save money. When this is done then the moron realizes that with almost no employees the company cannot operate or turn a profit so they fire sale the whole thing, everyone looses except the idiot that was supposed to fix things. Instead of learning about the company and operations to see how they got into the financial problems, they destroy it through ignorance and laziness.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Correct term is a “Hillary”

  5. avatar Kyle says:

    Short Version:

    Zion appointed a restructuring officer who got his degree in “Barista management” class of last Tuesday, and screwed up what should have been a simply “In and Out” bankruptcy.

    No worries, he/she will have a corner office at BofA by the end of the year.

  6. avatar former water walker says:

    No more cheap HST?!? Oh well…

  7. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

    awww. I like xtreme bullets for reloading. Cheap and accurate.

    1. avatar Hasaf says:

      Same here. I am pretty sure that I have a couple thousand (or more) of their bullets on my work-bench.

      1. avatar Wedge259 says:

        I wonder if that’s why my local Cabelas hasn’t been restocking them. They’re usually the most affordable option in any given caliber. I also submitted the rebate for some free brass a few weekd ago.

    2. avatar Weapon Of War says:

      Dammit! I just started using their brass too. Been using their bullets for awhile. Inexpensive and consistent.

    3. avatar Wiregrass says:

      I’ve used Xtreme bullets too, but shipments direct from Xtreme are kind of slow. Don’t know if this is indicative of problems at Freedom Munitions. Usually lead cast without the plating is cheap and accurate enough for my needs.

  8. avatar Kevin b says:

    Well that’s a shame. I’ve bought thousands of rounds of reloads from them. Good stuff. Always went bang.

  9. avatar Texheim says:

    Crap ammo

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      That was my experience as well. And when I wrote to them about it, their response was a solid “meh.”

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      I’ve shot thousands of rounds of the stuff, and have thousands more on hand. Never had a problem. Their “cowboy” ammo is under-powered (which is normal from what I understand), but shoots extremely well in my revolver, and has been significantly less expensive than all the other brands of .45 Colt I’ve looked at. Cases are easy to reload. I don’t buy it anymore, though, but only because California says I can’t have it shipped to my door.

      1. avatar Swarf says:

        My sample size is admittedly quite small, because I stopped buying their stuff after that experience.

  10. avatar little horn says:

    probably going to see a lot more of this as there is a lot less revenue and interest in gun “fads”, than there was 10 yrs ago. it’s starting to die down and all the shops that have been surviving on cheapo’s and one-off gimmicks are going belly up.

  11. avatar Stateisevil says:

    The 2nd amendment will not survive many more years of Trump and the wolf in sheep’s clothing GOP.

    1. avatar Gralnok says:

      I’m sorry, would you rather Hillary have won? No? Then STFU. Things can always be worse. Trump at least supports the Second Amendment publicly and isn’t waging war against our only means of defense.

      1. avatar FlamencoD says:

        The gun manufacturers would have been better off under Hillary in the near term, anyway, sort of like the saying that Obama was the best gun salesman. People would continue to stock up for fear of various products being banned. With repubs (although mostly Rhinos) controlling the legislature, major gun bans probably wouldn’t have come to fruition anyhow. It’s mostly happening at the state level.

  12. avatar Roger says:

    I like their stuff, its always gone bang for me. I have a few thousand rounds in various calibers. I hope they make it out this rough patch.

  13. avatar Gralnok says:

    Well damn. I would have liked to buy some of their ammo. A shame the local stores didn’t stock it.

  14. avatar doesky2 says:

    Damn, $30 worth of credit in my account.

  15. avatar FlamencoD says:

    You Trump slump naysayers can keep ignoring the fact that firearm revenues, including ammunition, are down. Yes, there’s a lot of background checks, but prices are substantially lower, reducing revenue across the board. The only company it seems that didn’t lower its prices has been Freedom Munitions. I stopped buying from Freedom about 1 year or so ago when the rest of the major factory manufacturers’ prices came down and Freedom’s prices either stayed the same or went up slightly. Now, Freedom’s reman ammo are higher cost than what I pay for new factory ammo (in at least both 9mm and .223 Rem).

    Their stuff is lightly loaded as well, on the lower end of the velocity scale. I do like the 69 gr bthp .223 Rem – nice and accurate out of my ARs and I have quite a few rounds of it.

    1. avatar Stereodude says:

      This is how the boom bust cycle works. Obama times were boom, now we’re in the bust part.

  16. avatar M10 says:

    I decided to give them a try a few months back and ordered some 380 and 10mm new manufactured ammo. Over 3 weeks later it finally arrived. I called cust service to ask if that was typical since everything showed in stock when I ordered, and she didn’t understand what my concern was. Shot both loads in 2 different guns each and couldn’t even get a decent pattern. I thought maybe it was me and tried a few other brands and shot perfectly fine. Tried FM again, and same Problem, shots spread all over the paper. Same range session, guns, mags, shooter. Never had such bad accuracy with any single brand in my life.

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