Posted by Marty on 1/28/2020 to Newsletters
I'm known as being a positive guy--the glass is always half full or more, never half empty. What you are about to encounter is an unusual compilation of both. Certainly, I'll be making some generalized demographic statements, and I realize they only apply to most, but please indulge me because in the past I have been accused of sugar-coating what is the very frank reality of the situation.
1) If you are in the 25-40 year age bracket (again, generalized feelings), you have plenty of new "plastic" guns to choose from. HausofArms doesn't live here as we have found that, in this marketplace, we CANNOT compete with the "big box stores," and their special deal purchasing power, so like Forrest Gump, "That is all I'm going to say about that."
2) In this digital age we still have a T/C catalog, although, depending on T/C, we may not be including them in every order (at our expense) because, as you may have noticed, they cut off the supply in September because we were so close to the Shot Show 2020 edition. Say what? Not sure why this is in the positive category.
3) T/C Encore and Contender frames have been released for shipment again. I guess that is the correct phrasing after 2 still unexplained extended production/shipping outages in the last 8 months. Again, not sure if overall this is a positive, certainly not for our bottom line because, without frames, there are no trigger jobs, color case hardened frames, jeweled frames, custom guns, stocksets that we get with those frames, dips, etc. Sure wish I could attribute a loss number with this so called positive.
1) THEY ARE STILL OWNED BY S&W. In 2007 or so S&W purchased T/C--an industry leader in innovation, creativity and engineering that owned this NICHE market and had for years. This could have been good since S&W was a huge company with lots of resources and an industry leader. The problem, as I see it, is in the glasses that are used to evaluate every decision made for this NICHE business ($$$$$$ and decimal points). Never mind tradition, history, and what is right. If they can't sell 10,000 (decimal point glasses) new barrel sku units the first year then they won't do it. They have introduced one new barrel sku (6.5 CM ) in the 10 years we have been in business and I guess the 3000 or so of those sold the first year didn't meet the desired outcome ($$$$ glasses).
2) NO NEW BARREL SKU'S FOR THE ENCORE AND CONTENDER PLATFORMS. No 350 Legend, no 450 Bushmaster, no 300 Blackout sku's that we have been begging for.
3) Demographically speaking, with the exception of #1 (positives) above the OTHER demographic, 40-80 year olds are being completely ignored (once again, generalized, subjective statement). Isn't that the group that put T/C on the map? This is where HausofArms lives and will continue to live. By trying to grow the T/C brand with plastic guns they are allowing their "base to erode." Kind of like a guy that ignores maintenance on his garage and instead buys a new car. After a while that car may get parked outside as there is no garage.
4) DISCONTINUED LINES. In the last 2 years alone the Dimension, Strike, Prohunter Predator, Compass (replaced by the Compass ll), Venture (replaced by the Venture ll), T/CR22 and LRR were added. In a recent media blast email announcing a new lightweight T/CR22 Performance Center was mentioned 15 times while Thompson Center was mentioned 3 times. I thought the T/CR22 was a T/C brand. Yes, I counted them! These latter 2 firearm lines, 4 if you count the Compass ll and Venture ll are built to directly compete with the company whose name starts with an "R"(Ruger) and others in an already very crowded market, essentially in a race to the bottom price-wise. Wasn't Thompson Center the best because they were different than everyone else? HausofArms is the best because we ARE DIFFERENT than everybody else and we will continue on that course.
"WOW, MARTY, WHEN YOU GO GLASS HALF EMPTY YOU JUST CAN'T STOP!"
ALL POSITIVES TO THE FINISH, I PROMISE!
1) We are working on a new holster design for the Contender, G2 Contender, Encore and SSK-50 because someone needs to and 1 hole forends for octagon barrels.
2) We are working on a new line of custom leather slings because not everybody likes synthetic.
3) We will be announcing some new dips and upgraded M4 style custom dips exclusively for the SSK-50 platform.
4) We are continuing to forge a strong relationship with Lehigh Defense/SSK to accomplish "MAKING WILDCATTING MAINSTREAM" to include a supply of brass, bullets, dies, loaded ammo, pistol and rifle barrels ALL in your favorite JDJ calibers (initially). I expect this to ramp up as we get further into the 2020 new year.
5) CONTINUE TO SELL AND PROMOTE THE SSK-50 PLATFORM!
6) We are developing new swag lines as we speak! Expect some more great HoA stuff in the very near future.
7) We are GOING TO AFRICA IN A MONTH TO TEST SOME OF THOSE JDJ'S because we can come back with tales "AS" JD Jones, Larry Kelly, Gary Reeder and Mark Hampton did that inspired a generation of handgun hunting. NOTICE I DID NOT say "LIKE" in that previous sentence, I'm still a realist, and have so much to learn about handgun hunting.
8) Check out this picture of the SSK-50 Flatside from the show. Amazing!
9) While we are saddened by what feels like the continued decrease in support and expanding of the lines (Contender & Encore) that made the name Thompson/Center great, we positively recognize (I am reminded by Eric) that what we feel like are holes left in the niche by S&W, are new platforms of opportunity for us and our cohort as we continue to creatively expand on what is commercially available for the platform. There, a gripe becomes a praise.
10) I saved the best for last. We have attended Shot Show for 10 years now and without a doubt the MOST fun thing that I've been a part of in those 10 years happened last Tuesday, January 21, 2020. HausofArms hosted a meet/greet event whereby there were 34 in the room. For 3 hours the laughter and energy was deafening, and the stories were flying. I want to give a sincere THANK YOU to this following list of people for making that event special:
My wife Ruth for being an amazing hostess, her planning MADE IT the best
KEN KELLY - MAGNAPORT
DOUG TURNBULL, STEVE AND SARA LESTER - TURNBULL RESTORATION
STEVE MCNEAL AND JIMMY - KEYSTONE SPORTING (REVOLUTION)
FRED, SAM AND KC - CHOATE MANUFACTURING
KURT AND STEPHANIE BELLM - BELLM TCS
PETE and SUSAN CARDONA AND CREW - QUALITY CARTRIDGE
DAVE, PETE, MIKE(and family), JUSTIN AND JAKE - LEHIGH DEFENSE/SSK
JUSTIN AND REBECCA VAN DEE - THOMPSON CENTER FAN GROUP FB PAGE
DENNIS AND SHARLLA BRANDWEIN - HAUSOFARMS VIDEO REVIEW
MARK HAMPTON - AUTHOR, HANDGUN HUNTER, GENTLEMAN
MATT DEVITO AND RYAN - PRO HUNTER
MY FAMILY - EMILY & JAMES BENSON AND ERIC & KRYSTAL EBBINGHAUS
IN CLOSING, IT'S OBVIOUS WE SPEND WAY TOO MUCH TIME PUSHING AGAINST THE IMMOVABLE OBJECT and should exert more effort to expend that energy taking charge and MAKING THINGS HAPPEN.
BE SAFE AND SHOOT STRAIGHT,