Freedom Munitions Bankruptcy Chapter 11 Howell
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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.

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    • 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.

    • 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..

      • 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.”

    • 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

      • 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.

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

    • 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.

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

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

    • 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.

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

  4. 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.

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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.

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

  9. 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.

  10. I have been shooting Freedom Munitions ammo exclusively for over three years now, a total of just under 10,000 rounds and have not had any issues on the except for one round that had the primer in backwards. Years ago, I experienced much less success with Federal, usually dud rounds. I shoot their 9mm, 45 ACP, .223, and .270 and find them very accurate. I have experienced increased shipping times on a few shipments, but I usually order 500 to 1000 rounds at a time and reorder in plenty of time to receive the order before my ammo is stock is depleted.

    • they helped me when I was in jam. Since them I’ve ordered about 100,000 rounds of ammo from them. I’m sad they are having problems. I hope they recover and get back into the game.

  11. I just want to put in my 2 cents as a dealer. Basically this doesn’t surprise me. They constantly undercut their dealers in prices so they could supply their sponsors with cheap or free ammo. I’m not mad that TTAG got good ammo out of the deal but I lost 3 big sales (over 250,000 round lots) because they undercut me last second and couldn’t keep their pricing stable (they didn’t steal the sale from me, they destroyed the sale for both of us). This was two years ago with Howell in charge. No offense to anyone but freedom munitions, but you should have seen the gravy train ending. They over spent, under charged, destabilized a decent section of the market, and frequently stabbed their dealers in the back (at least me and one other dealer I know). I could just be salty but I say a healthy and enthusiastic good bye to them.

    TTAG I am more than willing to help supply you with some other brands of quality ammo in the mean time but I can not sponsor you. I hope everyone gets their stuff in order and makes a healthy rebound from this though.

  12. We’ll both of their phone numbers are not working. The vast majority of reman ammo on their site is LAX ammo.

    I think the writing is on the wall. I enjoyed their ammo, but time to move on…

  13. I bought quite a bit of plinking ammo from them. I always waited until they had crazy low prices and free shipping. Their delivery times were insanely long. I never had an issue with their new or reman stuff in 9,40, or 223. I did see an X’d out pink primer in a box of 40 reman. Yes, I’m serious. Reading through these responses, it seems like they had some weird relationships with their dealers. I was always amazed at how generous they were with sponsoring so many events and supplying ammo for gun tubers. Naturally, i assumed they were a HUGE operation that was flush. The thing that struck me as odd, their prices would go from really cheap to fairly expensive from month to month. Meantime, the big name sellers, were rock steady, and someone always had a deal. I have no clue what the markup is on ammo, but I assume it’s pretty healthy, given the massive numbers the big boys produce.
    I was bummed to see them file. I don’t like seeing anyone in the firearms or ammo business go bust, unless they’re scumbukets. It’s not good for any of us when a company like Freedom goes south. I hope they can resume production and make a comeback.

  14. I used their 9mm ammo for several years then it got crappy. Not sure what happened to their quality, started getting 3 -10 FFF and some feed issues with each box on several of my pistols. So I stopped buying from them a little over a year ago. I did notice the crimps looked different than previous purchases. I am no expert but enjoy shooting. So no loss there, to me when a company starts cutting corners they deserve what they get.

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