BREAKING: Vista Oudoor to Sell Savage, Stevens, Will Focus on Ammo Sales

As CBS News is just reporting, “Vista Outdoor shares plummeted on Tuesday after it said it would stop making firearms, and focus on other product lines including bullets and water bottles.”

That’s right, Vista, one of the big three publicly traded gun makers will no longer make guns.

Vista will explore a sale of Savage and Stevens firearms as part of a review that began in November,  the company said in a statement. “Vista Outdoor is excited about the potential of each of our core businesses, particularly ammunition, which is our largest core business,” said Vista CEO Chris Metz.

The effect of the Trump Slump has hit the big Minnesota-based conglomerate hard.

Metz alluded to the impact of politics on the business in a conference call Tuesday, saying “unexpectedly, the election results turned the shooting sports industry upside down.” …

“The bottom line is this, the company grew too fast and beyond its core,” said Metz.

Vista will apparently keep other firearm-related brands such as Bushnell, Weaver, BLACKHAWK!, RCBS, Uncle Mike’s, Hoppe’s and Outer’s.

comments

  1. avatar Freebird says:

    I held off on buying a Savage , I heard they had ” issues “…… glad i Passed.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      You were likely misled. I’d put the Savage 110 over any of the rifles made by other major manufacturers out right now, in terms of long time reliability and overall quality.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Dittos.
        All of my savages are safe, reliable and very accurate. I wouldn’t get rid of any of them.

      2. avatar emfourty gasmask says:

        Love my MSR’s that I got. Both have been amazingly awesome rifles that are head and shoulders above the rest in their price range.

      3. avatar Mark N. says:

        Damn. I’ve been a long time fan of Savage, and have recently been smitten with Savage Storm in 6.5 Creedmoor. Accu-trigger, accu-stock, stainless barrel, new ergonomic stock with adjustable LOP and cheek riser. Better start saving my nickels and dimes before it is too late!

        1. avatar Ironhead says:

          I have 3 savage rifles. An Axis, Axis II, and a model 10T. All three are great shooters, and i would trade or sell any of them. Im just hoping that whoever nuys the company doesnt screw it up.

      4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Like Ironhead, I have a Savage Axis rifle in .243 Winchester and it is the most accurate rifle I own. And that is with inexpensive Winchester factory ammunition and the inexpensive Weaver scope that came with it. It is my new go-to rifle for white-tail deer hunting.

        As a result I am a new fan of Savage rifles.

        1. avatar Art out West says:

          I like my Savage Axis .270
          Good gun for the money

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Savage make the best damn rifle for the money you can buy.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        I believe you are correct. My comment above states that I have a Savage Axis rifle in .243 Winchester — the most accurate rifle I own — and I paid less than $200 for it brand new on sale and after a factory rebate.

        No other rifle comes close at that price point.

    3. avatar Mad Max says:

      If you don’t own a SAVAGE rifle by now, you missed the boat.
      The Savage .338 Lapua FCP 110 is a tack driving monster out to… well, ask Chris.
      Also the Savage LR-10 in 6.5 Creedmoor is AMAZING!

      So, this is bad news.
      Wish I could buy Savage and be the new CEO.
      Bet I could turn a profit with this company.
      Sigh

  2. avatar RidgeRunner says:

    Love my two, great shooters.

  3. avatar Gun Owning American says:

    Something, something, something, liberal conspiracy.

    1. avatar Chip in Florida says:

      I’m not saying it’s Aliens…. but it’s Aliens

      1. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

        ….Received notice from Liberals that the apocalypse is near….Maybe a religious deity is coming….

  4. avatar ColdNorth says:

    I have nothing intelligent to add to this conversation, but whoever buys Savage needs to bring back the model 99. Make one in the old Montreal Home Guard configuration with a bayonet mount, too.

    1. avatar Armed Partisan says:

      That’s the first thing I thought, too! “If I had the scratch, I’d buy them both and bring back the Savage 99…”

    2. avatar Michael in AK says:

      Yes!!!!

    3. avatar Bloving says:

      ^THIS!!^
      Anytime “classic Savages that need to make a comeback” are mentioned, I immediately think of the 99.
      But then I’m very fond of lever guns and unfortunately lever fans are a slowly dying breed it seems.
      Once upon a time Savage had some handgun lines that had a lot of potential, maybe it’s time they revisit some old ideas.

      1. avatar Art out West says:

        We need some good Westerns (movies and TV) to help revive interest in lever guns.

        Of course a ban on semi autos would do the same thing. 😱 I shouldn’t even joke about that. 😱😱😱 A ban on semi autos would simply cause tens of millions of good people to become felons.

        1. avatar Craig in IA says:

          Well, come to Iowa. Last year DNR opened up rifles that fire straight walled cases (including 45-70 and .375 Win) for deer in our otherwise slugs and handgun only state. Big increase in lever sales at gun shows and stores, lots of .357s, etc. Also a lot of the Taurus Lightning clones.

          As for 99s I picked up a beauty at my table at a Des Moines gun show for peanuts about 5 years back. .300 Savage. Never had one, ahve about everything else. What a neat gun to shoot, should take a MN deer with it some November.

    4. avatar ColoradoKid says:

      I sold my 99. I wanted it back the very next day. What an idiot I am!

  5. avatar Jeff O. says:

    I’ll give them $1000, two buttons, some pocket lint and a tootsie pop!

    I like my Savage guns, a lot. The two best bolt guns I own.

  6. avatar don says:

    Did I miss something? Why buy ammo at a store that does not sell firearms or manufacturing them ? It’s like buying a water heater at a store that does not sell the plumbing to go with it.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      What does the manufacturing company, and what exactly they make, have to do with the store?

      The point of the article isn’t that Savage is necessarily going away, it’s that it’s being sold (ownership changing hands) by Vista so that Vista can focus on making and selling ammo to stores. Those stores would presumably also buy Savage rifles from whatever company decides to buy Savage so you could buy both the rifle and the ammo in the same place. The only thing that would change would who owns the companies that make the stuff you’re buying.

      Ultimately unless Savage QC falls off under new ownership you would theoretically never know the difference.

      1. avatar Rick says:

        Let’s hope that Savage finds a new owner. I am looking at their heavy barreled bolt guns, but have not decided on the round.

  7. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Can’t stand the heat,get out the kitchen.

  8. avatar Mort says:

    Yeah that Savage MSR rollout, with the uberhip sex appeal commercial and everything… it was supposed to like the Moon Landing, with the dawning of a whole new era and accompanying gargantuan sales bump, as the future with no-future-for-guns-Hillary was so pitch black bright….

    And yet, it happened anyway with Parkland and Mr. “Take the Guns First, Due Process Second” and all the crazy refurbished banbanban hoopla. This “Trump Slump” meant a difference between 27+ Million NICS checks and 25+ Million NICS checks (i.e., 2016 & 2017), and firearms are still selling at levels so crazy above what it was 15 years ago… it’s almost hard to take the gun industry seriously anymore. Just because business doesn’t expand 5000% every year doesn’t mean the industry is in a “slump” or that your business can’t be healthy and profitable. It means you overextended yourself… and probably means you didn’t think too much of your customers beyond wide-eyed fists-full of cash for another overpriced AR-15 they didn’t need.

    The shooting sports are still growing across all demographics, and gun sales are still consistently redlining with no real signs of declining, and so it’s become fairly clear over the last year that the “slump” was essentially some players in the gun industry putting all their chips on one lousy hand of the Panic Apocalypse… and the dealer dealt that hand a bust. Meanwhile, the cards were still turning for anyone caring to make prudent bets.

    I generalize, of course, but there is plenty of money to made by everyone, if you produce a good product that people need and want. We all buy guns and ammo and accessories, and we all know boatloads of people who buy guns and ammo and accessories… and we’re all not going to stop… we’re not going to get bored, we’re not going to stop exposing people to the goodness that is shooting and firearms, we’re not going to stop teaching our children, and we’re certainly not going to stop clawing and gnashing to keep and expand our 2A civil rights. If you can’t manage a healthy, profitable company in the American gun industry today, that’s not a slump– that’s just you doing it wrong. Maybe it’s greed, maybe your product sucks, maybe the kitchen is too crowded.

    But it is not a slump. No president ever made me pick one gun over another, and I suspect it’s the same for almost all of you. Be safe.

    1. avatar Armed Partisan says:

      100% agreed. I hope this provides the more frugal shooters like myself with the opportunity to pick up some sweet deals on Savages from CDNN and other discount wholesalers/liquidators, because unlike these big corporations, I try not to overextend my finances based on a wish.

    2. avatar FlamencoD says:

      I think the issue is, at least from what I’ve seen; are that many gun prices are down by about 20% compared to 2-3 years ago. Plus, manufacturers are offering a lot of incentives to help inflate sales. A year ago I saw a S&W shield 9mm for $250, at the same time S&W was running a $50 rebate making the cost of the gun $200! That’s a huge decrease. For a while last year M&P 15 Sport AR-15s and the similar Ruger AR we’re going for $450ish. A couple years ago they were $600+.

  9. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Ultimately, this could be a good thing for Savage, and a great thing for their customers.

    Big conglomerates got into buying gun companies because they were a proven, long term stable market, even thought he margins were low to mid, at best. They all figured with their “business” acumen they could streamline processes, improve finances, and make more money out of the great names that had been built over decades.

    What customers ended up with was tons of inexpensive guns of mediocre quality, not much innovation, and a whole lot of cookie-cutter design. We basically ended up with the fast food franchises of gun companies.

    Hopefully, the new owners of Savage, like the financial backers of Colt and Remington, will be die-hard “gun people” who have not just an interest in the bottom line, but also the dual bottom line of quality in the hands of a discerning customer. We might even see something new in the industry. Who knows. But as long as they are adequately financed (and that’s always the biggest IF) going smaller and more focused is usually a good thing.

    I love my old Savage rifle. I like my new Savage rifle. I’ll be looking forward to my next one.

    1. avatar Tiger says:

      What makes you think Savage is much better off than a Remington or Colt in the current market place? It’s not like there are a huge number people with Deep Pockets looking to buy gun companies right now. Plus you have big Banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo facing pressure not to support any kind of Finance deals for gun makers. Ruger is facing protests at it’s shareholders meeting over Ex NRA President Sandra Forman been on the board. Add in the retail cuts by Dicks & others; the list of company buyers is not great.

      1. avatar Jeremy B. says:

        Simple, Savage is producing good quality (w/ great accuracy) firearms that are full of features that the current market expects at prices that are equivalent or less than competitors.

        Colt and Remington could learn a lot from Savage.

      2. avatar jwtaylor says:

        “It’s not like there are a huge number people with Deep Pockets looking to buy gun companies right now.”

        No, but that’s because there aren’t a huge number of people with hundreds of millions of dollars to leverage. But there are some, and many of them are interested in the long term investment in firearms manufacturing. Colt was privately backed by an individual for their bailout, not some mega-conglomerate. I was at an investor meeting last week for just such a refinance. The investors are definitely available, especially for Savage.

  10. avatar Michael in AK says:

    I have owned 4 savages, great rifles!!!!

  11. avatar tdiinva says:

    Vistta’s move should send a message to every Fudd. Savage’s bread and butter is Fudd guns. Vista thinks they are coming for your guns soon.

    1. avatar Tiger says:

      Like selling to Mall Ninjas/ Expendables rejects is better?

    2. avatar Matt in Idaho says:

      Honestly if they thought they were coming for your guns soon there’d be no way they’d move in this direction. The way their industry works is completely counter intuitive this way and that’s clear if you look at when they acquired Savage because that was when the fears of looming gun control were at their absolute height for the past couple of decades.

      I’m not saying nobody is coming for your guns because they are…but vista doesn’t think so.

  12. avatar Arandom Dude says:

    This actually makes sense financially. Vista actually posted losses last year, because of $1 billion of debt financed production expansion from 2016. The large bulk of their business is their ammunition companies. Selling off Savage and Steven’s, which are both strong brands, can get Vista back into the black quickly.

    1. avatar TroutsBane says:

      I agree. Vista is a conglomerate that overextended itself.

  13. avatar ironicatbest says:

    I Can’t figure out how these gun companies stayed afloat 70 years ago, Gun sales weren’t that big back then.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Neither was their debt ratio.

  14. avatar Tumbles says:

    The savage 25 sucked…

    All I’m saying

  15. avatar Fred D says:

    I own & have owned several Savages & ALL of them are great firearms , never one issue , & all accurate as hell ! Even my ol $250 wally world combo in .243 is fine rifle !
    Yuppie can have their steyrs & sakos , fine rifles I’ll match either of my Savages up against !
    Problem it seems , is that the owners of gun manufacturers are simply money ventures & don’t beleave in them , only in profit ! So if their black ink dosent show 100 billion or the socialist liberal dem media tells a few lies about them then it’s time to sell out !
    The ol days of a manufacturer that beleaves in their product is gone ! Now it’s PC & RICHES which ever is greatist ! Gone is the honest man , with an honest product @ an honest price ! The three P’s rule ” PC , PR , PROFIT ” is forking up industry !
    Vista probably thinks that because ammo is one avenue the grabbers are looking to control , that perhaps they can jocky themselfs into cornering a hunk of the ammo market !
    They are likely just another socialist dem that speaks out of both sides of their mouth & hold US hostage to high prices & low availability when their socialist cronies in government make new laws restricting ammo sales !
    The winds are blowing , big banks trying to choke firearm manufacturer out of business & corrupt socialist politicians seeking to skirt the 2nd A buy controlling ammo ,, do the math !

  16. avatar Mad Max says:

    Let’s start a kick starter project!
    I will invest what little I have and put a second mortgage on my humble abode, talk all my rich friends and relatives into investing into this idea LOL.
    LETS BUY SAVAGE! SERIOUSLY!!!

    Start some kind of vote to control what the company does.
    You know this company can make $$$ if run properly for crying out loud!!!
    Reply to,

    [email protected]

  17. avatar jackalope says:

    I got a Savage 24C for $125 a few years back. Made in 1960. 22lr over 20 ga. I love shooting it. I’ve wanted one since I was 12. It’s 1 year younger than me. Great little gun.

    Vista selling the gunmaking side of their business while retaining the ammo manufacturing and accessory
    side reeks of hypocracy. I like Federal ammo but I will no longer buy their products. I stopped buying Blackhawk the first time I saw a Made in Vietnam label.

  18. avatar Duncan says:

    I just ordered a new savage stainless steel 338 win mag. I won’t be putting a Bushnell scope on it or shooting any federal ammo out of it now.

  19. avatar Alan says:

    I wonder as to what brand of “controlled substance” the corporate decision makers are imbibing in

  20. avatar Kentrik says:

    I feel like a lot of you missed the truth as to what is going on. One of Vista’s biggest customers is REI, who insisted that Vista should stop selling guns, and more or less boycotted them until they did something about it. As REI sells a WHOLE lot of Camelbak, Camp Chef, Giro, and Bell, they would be losing quite a fair amount of income based on that.

    Sadly, most of Vista’s shooting sports brands (Savage/Stephens, Hoppe’s 9, M-Pro 7, Alliant Powder, GunMate, Bushnell, Tasco, Weaver, Blazer, Butler Creek, RCBS, Federal, CCI, Independence, American Eagle, Estate Cartridge, Champion, Speer, Fusion, etc.) will end up suffering at some point. If they were willing to give on guns this easily, it’s only a matter of time before they come after them for selling rifle scopes, ammunition, powder, etc.

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