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“Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC) announced that it will hold a special meeting of stockholders on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time for the purposes of seeking approval to change its corporate name from Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation to American Outdoor Brands Corporation,” the company’s presser proclaims [via].

The proposed holding corporation name change has been approved by the Company’s Board of Directors and reflects the Company’s expanding strategic focus on the growing markets for shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiasts.

So Smith & Wesson’s selling rugged outdoor enthusiasts now? Could be. AOBC is the proud owner of more than a dozen  companies and its appetite for acquisition isn’t sated.

James Debney, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smith & Wesson, said, “By executing on our strategy to be a leader in the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast markets, we have successfully grown from a single operating division to four operating divisions that serve a large addressable market and represent more than 18 respected consumer brands . . .

Looking forward, we intend to aggressively grow organically and through strategic acquisitions, focusing on brands and products that best meet the needs and lifestyle of our target consumers.

The good news: Smith & Wesson firearms will still be sold as Smith & Wesson firearms. The bad news: the company that owns Smith & Wesson firearms — a corporate entity that was almost dragged down by a failed security business acquisition — may do a Freedom Group (now Remington Outdoors).

As I’ve said here numerous times, culture eats strategy for lunch. If, like Cerberus, American Outdoor Brands tries to create inter-brand “synergy” (i.e. cross-brand management, marketing and production integration), individual brands may lose their unique corporate cultures. And lose their way. *cough* Marlin *cough*

Here’s hoping that Smith’s holding company holds their firearms farrago together with a wise head and a pure heart. Meanwhile, we can take heart in the fact that AOB  has no plans to buy an auto insurance company (despite the obvious crossover). Yet. Here’s the list of brands soon to shelter under the rugged American Outdoor Brands brand:

Smith & Wesson®
Thompson/Center Arms™
Crimson Trace®
Caldwell® Shooting Supplies
Wheeler® Engineering
Tipton® Gun Cleaning Supplies
Frankford Arsenal® Reloading Tools
Lockdown® Vault Accessories
Hooyman® Premium Tree Saws
Golden Rod® Moisture Control
Old Timer®
Uncle Henry®

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  1. As a Smith & Wesson fanatic for over 50 years, I want to remind S&W that companies that lose their identities lose their customers.

    • I’m sure their guns will still be called S&W. This probably has more to explain their company goal to their stockholders and such.

      • Nope…just a corporate weenie coming up with a “new idea, vision, mission or some other crap to justify their existence.

        Example: Ford 500….what you don’t remember, the name to replace Ford most successful sedan, the Taurus. Miserable fail remodel back to Taurus…which the new design bombed as well.

        Someone at Ford came up with that.

        • My brother’s first car was a Galaxie 500. Probably worth 50x what he sold it for if it still existed in the condition it was in back then.

          But when I roll up behind a nondescript boxy 21st century sedan and see a 500 SEL badge on the back, I think what a genius move it was to name the car after a boxy 1980s Mercedes sedan.

        • It was the crummy car more than the name. Very bad car. Horrible driver- they must have been shooting for Buick’s customers and missed big time.

    • “… I want to remind S&W that companies that lose their identities lose their customers.”

      Yeah, there actually *is* something to that.

      What Smith *may* be trying to do is ‘insulate’ the rest of the company from the ‘stigma’ of, you know, *cough* guns *cough*…

      • That was my concern as well. S&W sold us out once before (as did Bill Ruger). We forgave them because S&W renounced its agreement with Clinton and changed hands away from British ownership, but we won’t forgive them if they screw the pooch again.

    • Smith and Wesson has a long history of being owned by multinational corporations. Before it was bought from Tomkins relatively recently by Saf-T-Hammer, S&W was owned by Lear Siegler for many years and before that by Bangor Punta. It was already owned by Bangor Punta during what many people would consider its glory days (50’s to 70’s), so probably not that much cause for alarm. It’s not like this is a hostile takeover by corporate raiders.

  2. Smith & Wesson put their name on bad quality knives, poorly made goggles, and anything else they can to take advantage of the ‘tacticool’ factor. Being associated with wannabe gear cheapened the brand.
    They need to return to making just revolvers and sell the wannabe gear under different brands.

    • I bought one of Smith & Wesson’s cheap as $20 knives made in China and it’s still kicking after like 3 years a beating the hell out of it. It’s no Spyderco but it’s no Walmart special either doesn’t hold an edge for scrap but we’ll cut carpet open boxes I’ve dropped it about a hundred thousand times on the concrete and haven’t broken the tip off the blade yet. But Smith & Wesson also makes a hell of a set of handcuffs most of the police officers I know use Smith & Wesson handcuffs but I agree with you all Smith & Wesson should keep their damn name the same and quit trying to count beans to make money they just about ruined that brand name with all the crap they put out in the Last 5 Years but we’ll see what happens meanwhile I’m going to buy me a Smith & Wesson 500 revolver and that will probably be the last Smith & Wesson I ever owned. Jerry Mitchell It’s gotta be pissed off.

      • Same here. I’ve owned a few S&W knives and they’ve been just fine. Had some of them for years and none broke before I managed to lose them. 🙂 I refuse to spend a ton of money on a knife, because that’s all-too-common of a fate for them.

      • I had a real nice ceramic knife (always kept its edge) until my clumsy housekeeper dropped it while washing it and broke the tip off. I now use its larger twin, but I do miss it.

        • Are you sure they’re made in the US they’re awfully inexpensive to be made in the United States. I could have swore on my box that the knife came in it said made in China on the back of it I may be mistaken but I could have swore. I am related 2 Randall knives my cousin is named Randall his mother’s parents on Randall knives. And I know that for a u.s. knife Builder to build something it cost a lot more than in China or Indonesia but you may be right it may be made in the US. The quality is not there though it’s no Spyderco for sure it won’t hold an edge to save your life. But it has taken a beating and I have beaten the heck out of it. It’s a box opener to be honest so it gets abused.

    • Which is what it looks like they are doing. Limit S&W to their firearms, let everything else bounce off a more generic corporate parent.

  3. Does any one think the people who run S&W actually like guns? They like money. They’ll do whatever they can to make more of it, whether it by making guns or something else.

  4. It’s just the holding company name for a holding company that holds more than just a firearms manufacturer. It’s not like they are going to re-brand the guns.

  5. ain’t it more like if gun sales go way down ’cause trump won’t be taking guns, good ol’ S&W will kinda go away ? mebbe ah need tuh find me something from S&W to hold onta as uh investment.

    • Old Timer is part of Schrade. Schrade now outsources their knives, and those are made in China. Henry’s motto is still “Made in America, Or Not Made At All.”

      • henry. yeah. ah went and bought one a’ their kawfee cups to show off. wanna guess where that thing wuz made?

        yep. an’ it had thuh logo and “made in america, or not made at all” on it.

      • Henry’s motto is still “Made in America, Or Not Made At All.”

        That’s the motto of Henry Repeating Arms, not Uncle Henry Knives. The two companies are unrelated.

        • My mistake. I’d assumed, what with this being a gun blog and all, that when he mentioned Henry, that he was talking about Henry Repeating, not knives. Not familiar with Uncle Henry knives.

    • Schrade sold out when the last of the older generation died off.

      I won’t go in to it, but I know from whence I speak.

  6. This is the first thought in my head:

    Harry Callahan: Well, we’re not just gonna let you walk out of here.
    Crook: Who’se we sucka?
    Harry Callahan: American Outdoor Brands Corporation… and me.

  7. Like this is not the worst friggin idea Smith and Wesson has ever come out with. Reminds me of I don’t know Freedom group. What a waste of space Smith and Wesson name is synonymous with guns has been around for over a hundred years and they’re going to change it to some cheesy ass name like that ridiculous what a way to lose business and make your company a bean counting penny-pinching shitpile like the freedom group was. If you don’t learn your lesson from the company’s around you you’re just a moron how long did the freedom group last before Remington went back to Remington Outdoors just a cheesy cheesy idea.

  8. This company is dead to me as they are not doing anything to send the attorney general of MA a lesson. I don’t care how difficult it is to leave a state, Beretta did it and so can they. They need to send a powerful message to the government of MA that an infringement to the right to bear arms will not be tolerated.

  9. Bad idea, sort of like New Coke did not work out, likely this change will not work out either. Please change your minds.

    • How? The name of the holding corporation is changing, not S&W. The S&W HC didn’t exist when they were alive.

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