Shooters Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

British Owner Sells Smith & Wesson
By Trudy Tynan
Associated Press Writer
Monday, May 14, 2001; 5:38 p.m. EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. –– Smith & Wesson, the legendary gun maker
whose sales plummeted after it pledged to install safety devices, has been
sold by its British owner for just &#3615 million to Saf-T-Hammer Corp., a
tiny start-up in Arizona that makes trigger locks.

Saf-T-Hammer of Scottsdale, Ariz., announced the agreement Monday
with Tomkins PLC, which has owned Springfield-based Smith & Wesson
since 1987.

Under the agreement, Saf-T-Hammer assumes liability for the numerous
lawsuits filed against Smith & Wesson over gun deaths.

"That is reflected in the price," said Michael Blogg, an analyst at the
London brokerage Charterhouse Securities. Tomkins paid &#36112.5 million
for privately held Smith & Wesson 14 years ago.

Mitchell Saltz, Saf-T-Hammer founder and chief executive, said the entire
&#3615 million purchase is being funded by a private investor he refused to
identify. The investor will be identified when the company files paperwork
with the Security and Exchange Commission in the next two weeks.

Smith & Wesson is the nation's oldest and once its largest handgun maker.
It is the maker of the .44-caliber Magnum carried by Dirty Harry in the
movies, and also manufactured standard sidearms for U.S. soldiers.

Saf-T-Hammer was founded in 1991 and has just five employees, Saltz
said, including President Robert Scott, a former vice president for sales
and business development for Smith & Wesson.

The trigger locks, cables and lock boxes that Saf-T-Hammer makes will
be incorporated into Smith & Wesson's product line, Saltz said.

"We were a small gun safety start-up that was spending everything on
research and development," Saltz said. "Now we've got the product
developed, and we're ready to market it."

Saltz said Smith & Wesson's headquarters will remain in Springfield, and
maybe 30 to 35 jobs will be eliminated. The company employs about 600
people in Springfield and 60 at a factory in Houlton, Maine, down from a
peak of about 2,000 in the mid-1970s.

Last year, in an attempt to extricate itself from liability suits brought by 32
cities and other governments, Smith & Wesson signed an agreement with
the Clinton administration to install safety locks on all its guns and adopt
other safety features and marketing changes.

Gun rights supporters accused Smith & Wesson of selling out. Some
vowed to boycott the company. Smith & Wesson's sales were cut roughly
in half, according to Ken Jorgensen, a spokesman for the gunmaker.

In October, the company laid off about 125 workers.

The future of the agreement with the government remains unclear.

"We need to sit down with the lawyers from both sides," Saltz said.

Founded in 1852 by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson, Smith &
Wesson was surpassed last summer as the nation's largest handgun maker
by Sturm, Ruger & Co. in number of handguns sold.

Saltz said Smith & Wesson's total assets were approximately &#3697 million,
and its liabilities were about &#3653 million.

Saf-T-Hammer shares, traded over the counter, fell 25 cents to close at
&#361.15 Monday.

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press

1,116 Posts
Could it be? I'd heard a rumor, nothing more, that movie director John Milius was working to get a group together for a buy. But again, just a rumor but from someone I know in the business who was at the recent SHOT show.

1,116 Posts
Yes, it is true! Here's a link to the news release at Smith & Wesson's website.

<a href="" target='_blank'></a>

Let's hope that things will get straightened out in Springfield. A few letters, e-mails and prayers are in order I believe.

65 Posts
It's good to see that an American company owns S&W again.  I think they are going to need to reverse the position on the trigger locks before people start buying from them again.

I would like to buy S&W again, but I'm not buying a revolver with any kind of permanent "safety" feature, unless it can be removed.  
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.