June 12th, 2016

SilencerCo Leads Huge Growth in USA Suppressor Market

Suppressor Silencer Josh Waldron Dean Weingarten Silencerco

In this article, Gun Watch Editor Dean Weingarten interviews SilencerCo Founder/CEO Josh Waldron. Started in 2008, SilencerCo is an amazing success story. The company now sells 18,000 silencers a month. To put that in perspective, a decade ago, the entire domestic suppressor industry was selling 18,000 suppressors a YEAR. SilencerCo now controls 65% of the suppressor market in the USA, and its business is growing 100% a year.

This growth is remarkable considering that suppressors remain highly regulated and costly to acquire. The National Firearms Act (NFA), passed in 1934, imposes significant restrictions and requires a $200 tax to be paid on each silencer sold.

How Suppressors Work — The Science of Silencers

Interview with Josh Waldron, CEO of SilencerCo
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

At the NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, I was able to talk to Josh Waldron, CEO of SilencerCo. Josh is more than a visionary. He is a man who acted on his vision, and is changing the gun culture and the national culture.

I [visited] the SilencerCo booth during the NRA Annual Meeting. I was told that SilencerCo produces about 65% of the silencers in the United States. The company is growing so fast that it was hard to keep up with the number of employees, currently about 330 and rising quickly. There is no doubt that SilencerCo holds a dominant market share and is growing at an exceptionally fast rate. I asked Josh about the future of silencers and silencer legislation.

Q: Do you have a plan, and can you tell me about it?

“It starts as education. Ever since we started the company in 2008, we have had a focus on education and advocacy. When I first started the company… only 18,000 silencers were sold in the United States each year, and that was every manufacturer.”

“From the time we have started until now, there were 18,000 then, we are now selling about 18,000 silencers every month, just SilencerCo.”

“In the last five years, this has been the fastest growing segment of the firearms industry.”

Suppressor Silencer Josh Waldron Dean Weingarten Silencerco

When I first started the company… only 18,000 silencers were sold in the United States each YEAR [from] every manufacturer. We are now selling about 18,000 silencers every MONTH, just SilencerCo. — Josh Waldron

“People are just starting to understand. This is not a ‘cool accessory’ as much as it is a personal protection/personal safety device, just as you would consider any other device that keeps you safe while you shoot, such as safety glasses. It is really the only true way to hunt while you protect your hearing. As we continue to educate the market, it grows exponentially. A guy will get one who has never had one before, he brings it home, he shows his friends, and they say ‘Oh my gosh, I want to buy one!’ Every time we get suppressors out there, the snowball continues to grow and get bigger and bigger.”

Q: Your market share is dominant. Your sales growth is exponential, isn’t it?

“Yes … pretty amazing. We are growing 100% every year.”

WATCH X-Ray View of Shots Through Silencer (28,000 frames per second, 22 Sparrow)

Q: Do you fear that removal of suppressors from the NFA (National Firearms Act) will cut into your profit margin?

“I don’t think so. We don’t get to take full benefit of the economies of scale. We have to order materials on a small-batch basis. As we increase the number of suppressors going out the door we decrease the amount that it costs us. We haven’t pushed it to the level where are seeing those economies of scale.”

“We are always going to be a top-shelf brand. We are never going to discount our brand. We will be a leader in the industry, continually. I do believe there will be a lot of new entrants to the industry. I do not think that will hurt our brand or hurt our market.”

Q: I saw the Maxim 9, SilencerCo’s integrally-suppressed pistol, at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. Is the Maxim 9 in production yet?

“It is not in production yet. Projects of this size take a lot of research and development. They take a lot of torture testing. We have to put it through a lot of standard testing. We use outside firms that come in and test and evaluate, so that we can hold our heads up high and say ‘This is a duty grade weapon’. We are not going to release it until it is.”

“I do not want to be marketing to our men and women in uniform, and saying this is a safe way to shoot until we can say this is a perfect firearm for them. The amount of testing is extremely rigorous. We are on schedule. We will release it, probably in December.”

Q: Is the Maxim 9 your entry into a future market of integrally-suppressed firearms?

“Yes. Our intention with the Maxim brand is to have integrally-suppressed firearms in that brand. We are talking everything from shotguns to rifles to pistols. The pistol is a good place to start because it is the holy grail of integrally suppressed guns that everyone has wanted. It is extremely difficult to do. People have tried it and failed, years and years, for decades, and this is the first time it has actually been viable and real. We are very excited about that, and very proud of that. We are going to move into new calibers as soon as this one starts shipping. We are very excited to expand that line.”

Suppressor Silencer Josh Waldron Dean Weingarten Silencerco

“Do I think the gun companies will compete? They can try. Number one, our IQ is amazing around this product. We spent a lot of time researching every firearm, every handgun that you can think of. How the mechanisms worked, and why. We had to be thorough. Which is why we designed the gun from the ground up. We went into every single style of this type of firearm, and other types of handguns as well, and really, truly understand how it needed to be designed. We had to take every mechanism, the guide rods, the springs, the things that are in front of the chamber in a conventional handgun, and move them behind the chamber. That was our biggest challenge. Do I think that some of those guys will start competing and get around our IQ? It will be a lot harder for them than for us. Because we are the ones who figured it out in the first place, and we have a lot of patents around that.”

Q: Rifles have had a lot of [suppressor] solutions … for a long time.

“We will get into those lines, the rifle lines. The difference is that we will design the gun, just the same way as we did for the Maxim 9. We will design the gun for the suppressor instead of putting on a suppressor designed for the gun, so our guns will be better.”

Suppressor Silencer Josh Waldron Dean Weingarten Silencerco

“There are about 400 million firearms in the U.S. right now. Most of those were not designed with a suppressor in mind. There is a huge market for retrofitted suppressors.”

“Which is what we have been doing for the last eight years, it is what we have done as a company which is providing solutions for firearms that already exist. The field is ready to harvest as far as creating a new platform. A new platform that has never been done before this, that was designed from the ground up with the intention of being suppressed, integrally suppressed.”

Q: You say you are going to stay on the high end. I looked at some of the markets. There is a lot of low end potential out there.

“There is. It is something that I am just not interested in. Number one, I do not know how to make something that is not the best.”

“It is impossible to know what the percentage of the market the high end will be. It is important to me to make the best product in the world. I am a brand guy. My brand is very important to me to so if I am making things that are less than the best, that is not ever something that I want. I always want to be top shelf.”

Q: Are you exporting much?

“We export, yes. We can’t export to the commercial market. Only to the military and law enforcement. It is a State Department thing.

“We have a bill right now, it is called the Suppressor Export Act. Congressman Jeff Stewart is the one that is sponsoring that bill for us. It would ensure that the State Department would have to allow us to take part in the world market, that is available, that we are not able to take part in right now. We can only export to law enforcement and military, but not to the commercial market. But with this bill, we would be able to export to everybody. If there is a country where it is legal to have suppressors, we would be allowed to export to them.”

“There are suppressor manufacturers all over the world, and they sell all over the world. The United States is the only place where they are this regulated. It is just crazy. You can go to the UK, where it is really hard to own a gun, and you can buy a suppressor over the counter, without a background check.”

“We are behind the curve when it comes to the rest of the world.”

Q: Can [one buy stock in Silencerco]?

“We are a private company.”

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

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June 12th, 2016

John Krieger Talks about Barrel-Making

John Krieger Krieger BarrelsAt SHOT Show 2013 we had the chance to chat with legendary barrel-maker John Kreiger of Krieger Barrels. In this wide-ranging interview, John addressed a number of questions our readers often pose…. What is better for a 6mm, 0.236″ land or 0.237″ land? What are the pros/cons of various barrel types: 3-groove, 4-groove, 6-groove, 8-groove, and 5R? What types of land/groove configurations clean up more easily? (John says the 5R might be the winner there).

John also discusses barrel cleaning and he explains why it’s unwise to pull a dirty brush back across your delicate crown: “The problem comes from the fact that abrasive materials — powder and primer residues in particular — get embedded in the brush. Essentially that is how a lap works.”

When we suggested that Krieger Barrels might want to offer three-groove barrels in the future, John surprised us by revealing that he has been considering putting a 3-groove design into production. John says that, in theory at least, a canted-land 3-groove holds a lot of promise. John hopes to build some prototype 3-grooves to test. Krieger Barrels has a 300-yard underground tunnel where barrels with various land/groove configurations and calibers can be tested using a return-to-battery fixture. John admits that tunnel testing of barrels is “on the back burner” as his company focuses on filling orders. But he says that he has a strong personal interest in testing different land/groove configurations, different amounts of choke, and different internal dimensions. We hope we’ll be able to share some results from the Krieger Barrels test tunnel in the near future.

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June 12th, 2016

Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor with Vortex 6-24x50mm

Vortex Viper PST Ruger Precison Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor RPR

The Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) has been a hot seller since it was first released. All versions (.243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .308 Win) have been in high demand, with the 6.5 Creedmoor probably being the hardest to find. The RPR represents a solid value, and it is the logical “default” choice for the new Production Class in the Precision Rifle Series. (NOTE: If you spend around $1400 for the RPR, then add a $950.00 6-24x50mm Viper PST, you’re still well under the $3000.00 Production Class price limit for rifle and optic combined.)

CLICK HERE for FULL Review on UltimateReloader.com

In this video, Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com, along with Ed and Steve of 6.5Guys.com, review the Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) in 6.5 Creedmoor. This particular rifle was fitted with the Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm scope. Together, Gavin and the 6.5 Guys give their opinions on the rifle, the 6.5mm chambering, and the Vortex optic. They provide candid evaluations (of rifle and optic) based on field tests with targets from 100 to 1000 yards.

Gavin tells us: “The Ruger Precision Rifle is a great rifle platform. I’ve had some great groups right out of the box, and have had no problems staying on target at ranges of 1000 yards and beyond. To me, the Ruger Precision Rifle is an ‘easy buy’ for the new competitive shooter or practical field shooter. But what about optics? It can be very confusing and overwhelming when shopping for ‘just the right scope’. There are so many great scopes on the market it can be staggering to take in all of the options. We wanted to give you some hands-on impressions of one of the most popular picks for optics for the Ruger Precision Rifle and similar rifles in the ~$1000 price range: the Vortex Viper PST 6-24×50 riflescope.”

Vortex Viper PST Ruger Precison Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor RPR

Gavin was very pleased with the Vortex Viper PST: “Having used this scope in a variety of scenarios, ranges, and over the course of more than 1/2 of a year, I’m confident with not only the scope itself, but the entire package: Rifle + Scope + Mount (rings).”

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