Is The M&P The Frontrunner To Become The Army’s New Pistol?

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 10 months ago

CNN:

Smith & Wesson fired up investors on Tuesday by saying it sees “recent, positive trends” in the consumer firearm market, and that’s likely to translate directly into higher profits for the gun maker.

The firearm company feels so confident that it raised its sales and earnings targets for 2015 above what Wall Street had been banking on.

The stock surged nearly 20% as investors cheered the news.

Rival Sturm, Ruger & Co. also saw its shares pop about 4% on the upbeat sentiment.

All of this marks a 180 turn for gun makers. Only a few weeks ago Smith & Wesson and other firearm manufacturers warned that Americans didn’t seem to be buying guns anymore. They pointed to sluggish rifle sales and a supply glut caused by retailers placing unrealistically high orders for guns.

Smith & Wesson predicted it will generate sales of around $125 million in the quarter that ends January 31. That would easily exceed expectations from analysts for revenue of less than $118 million.

“They are really showing improving fundamentals and continue to work off a lot of their retail inventory,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

He said the “wild card” with Smith & Wesson is the bidding war that’s underway to become the new handgun manufacturer for the U.S. Army. Hogan said the company is the “frontrunner” for the new contract, which would trigger an initial revenue gain of roughly $500 million.

Does Mr. Hogan know something we don’t?  Is the M&P the real “frontrunner” in the competition to replaced the Beretta, or this just wishful thinking or fabrication?  If Smith & Wesson wins the contract, in my opinion while this may be an initial infusion of welcome cash, it will ultimately cause S&W to be less responsive to customers.

On another issue related to S&W, I received an e-mail notification today from S&W on new products for 2015.  It mainly looks like more variants of the M&P.  The e-mail said, and I quote, “Smith & Wesson Corp. announced today that the company has expanded its award-winning line of professionally engineered M&P Series firearms with new offerings for 2015.”  S&W may want to rethink this language.

When you use the words “professional engineer,” “engineer,” “engineering” or “professionally engineered,” you invoke all sorts of legal stipulations that the service or product was designed and specified by a registered professional engineer.  In the past, companies who have done this without having a registered professional engineer on staff with the work being performed under his responsible charge were fined and issued cease and desist letters from the attorney general’s office of the state in which the company does business.  Perhaps they don’t know this, but you can’t just throw around the words professional engineer, any more than you can throw around the words doctor or lawyer.  Moreover, the legal burden such language places on the product manufacturer (for product liability) is rather onerous.

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Comments

  1. On January 21, 2015 at 9:48 am, Jeff said:

    When you use the words “professional engineer,” “engineer,” “engineering” or “professionally engineered,” you invoke all sorts of legal stipulations that the service or product was designed and specified by a registered professional engineer.

    Very good point. But I suspect major firearms companies have PEs on staff and if they’re not doing the designs, they are at least reviewing them. I’d like to hear from some companies about that.

  2. On January 21, 2015 at 10:02 am, Herschel Smith said:

    I too would like to hear from some gun companies, esp. S&W since they advertized this. But for some reason I doubt that they have PEs on staff. Perhaps they send some of the design out to be reviewed, like performing a stress analysis of chamber pressures using fracture mechanics, etc.

  3. On January 22, 2015 at 12:47 am, Hognose @ WeaponsMan said:

    Smith does indeed have PE’s on staff. I think David Findlay is one. Been told VP Mark Smith is another, and I’ve seen their ads for PE-qualified engineers on NSSF’s job board from time to time. Presumably when the ads go away they hired a guy. They have quite a few degreed engineers who are not PEs, and alongside them have guys who came up from the shop floor. I think they’re pretty well insulated

    I’ll be blogging about this (the engineer post is actually going to be backdated to 1800R yesterday) and about the finance guys saying SWHC has an inside track on the modular program (2 separate posts). They have quite a few degreed engineers who are not PEs, and alongside them have (Competitive entry? Sure. Inside track? I’m skeptical). That said, Smith knows from a previous comp what they need to improve to beat Glock (who edged them, there).

    The Army is screwing up if they go to .40, IMHO. But that’s another issue. They’d be better off getting a legal opinion allowing improved ammunition.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published January 20th, 2015 by Herschel Smith.

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