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August 8th, 2020

Smith & Wesson Separates from Accessory Brands Group

American Outdoor Brands Smith Wesson spin-off industry

This month American Outdoor Brands Corporation (NASDAQ: AOBC) will officially split into two separate companies, with the Smith & Wesson gun business becoming a stand-alone enterprise again. This action will create two independent, publicly-traded companies: Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. (encompassing the firearm business) and American Outdoor Brands, Inc. (encompassing the outdoor products and accessories business). AOBC’s board of directors previously approved the separation of its outdoor products and accessories business into an independent, publicly-traded company.

Smith & Wesson Brands will effect the separation through a spin-off whereby it will distribute 100 percent of the shares of American Outdoor Brands common stock to Smith & Wesson Brands’ stockholders of record as of the close of business on the record date of August 10, 2020 on a pro rata basis. The distribution of American Outdoor Brands’ shares is expected to be completed effective as of 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on August 24, 2020, with Smith & Wesson Brands stockholders receiving one share of American Outdoor Brands common stock for every four shares of Smith & Wesson Brands stock.

Following the spin-off, American Outdoor Brands will be a separate publicly-traded company independent from Smith & Wesson Brands. Smith & Wesson Brands will not retain any American Outdoor Brands common stock. Smith & Wesson Brands will continue to be listed on NASDAQ under the symbol SWBI. American Outdoor Brands has received approval for the listing of its common stock on NASDAQ under the symbol AOUT.

Background of the American Outdoor Brands Conglomerate
In August 2016, Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation bought Crimson Trace, a laser-sight manufacturer, for $95 million and Taylor Brands, a tool and knife maker, for $85 million. In November of that same year, the company bought UST Brands, a survival equipment maker, for $32.3 million. And Smith & Wesson acquired Battenfeld Technologies in 2015 for $130.3 million. Smith & Wesson diversified from firearms into sporting goods and accessories in hopes of insulating Smith & Wesson from the stock price volatility caused by the unpredictability of the gun business. This culminated in the decision to change the company’s name to American Outdoor Brands Corporation. However, despite the diversification, in 2017, firearms still accounted for 86% of American Outdoor Brands’s revenues.

Post-Spinoff Brand Line-Ups for SWBI and AOUT
Smith & Wesson Brands (SWBI) will now become firearm-centric, selling guns under the Smith & Wesson, M&P, Thompson/Center, and Performance Center brands. In addition, we believe SWBI will continue to make and sell Gemtech suppressors.

American Outdoor Brands markets a large number of product brands, including Bog (bipods/tripods), Caldwell (shooting accessories), Crimson Trace (weapons lights), Frankford Arsenal (reloading tools). Listed below are the product lines American Outdoor Brands Inc. will continue to sell as the new, separate AOUT company. A significant percentage of these brands remain gun-centric:

Bog — Manufactures tripods and shooting rests
Caldwell — Manufactures targets and shooting rests
Crimson Trace — Flashlight, Weapon light, and aiming device manufacturer
Frankford Arsenal — Manufactures reloading tools
Golden Rod — Manufactures dehumidifiers and moisture sensors for safes and lock boxes
Hooyman — Manufactures Landscaping tools and portable power saws
Imperial — Manufactures fixed and folding blade knives
Lockdown — Manufactures gun safes, lock boxes, gun locks, and accessories
M&P Accessories — Manufactures firearm accessories
Old Timer — Manufactures fixed and folding blade knives as well as accessories
Schrade — Manufactures fixed and folding blade knives as well as accessories
Tipton — Manufactures firearm cleaning accessories
Uncle Henry — Manufactures fixed and folding blade knives as well as accessories
Wheeler Engineering — Manufactures gunsmithing tools
Bubba — Manufactures knives, tools, and accessories for fishing

* Smith & Wesson Accessories — Manufactures firearm accessories
* Thompson/Center Accessories — Manufactures firearm accessories

Mark Smith Will Lead Smith & Wesson After Spin-Off
Upon successful completion of the spin-off, Mark Smith will become CEO of Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc.; Smith is currently the President of the Manufacturing Services Division of AOBC and supports all of its businesses. James Debney, current AOBC President and CEO, will lead the outdoor products and accessories company as CEO after the spin-off.

The Future of Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. (Projections)
Headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts, Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. will continue its 168-year-old heritage of producing firearms (S&W was founded in 1852). This business’s handgun, long gun, and suppressor products are marketed under the Smith & Wesson®, M&P®, Performance Center®, Thompson/Center Arms™, and Gemtech® brands. Following the spin-off this month, Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. is expected to generate revenue between $450 million and $500 million and adjusted EBITDAS between $90 million and $105 million in its first 12 months as an independent company.

* It is not clear whether Smith & Wesson Accessories and Thompson Center Accessories will be marketed under the same name after American Outdoor brands splits into two publicly-traded companies.

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October 8th, 2015

Tipton Gun Vise On Sale for $39.99 with Free Shipping

best gun vise

The Tipton Gun Vise is ON SALE for just $39.99 at Amazon.com. That’s a 22% savings over the normal $50.99 price at MidwayUSA. Plus, at the current time, Amazon.com is offering FREE Shipping (subject to change). That’s a very good deal for a tough, versatile product you’ll use for years. This Editor has used one of these for more than a decade (with all sorts of rifles) and it is still going strong.

Owner/User Report
MidwayUSA tipton gun viseThis Editor owns one of these injection-molded gun cradles. It has handled everything from an 18″-barreled lever gun to a 32″-barreled F-Class rifle. The unit works well for many tasks: cleaning barrels, stock refinishing/bedding, scope mounting, trigger adjusting, bore-scoping barrels, and checking throat length with a Hornady OAL tool. To be honest, I can’t understand how any serious shooter can get along without a product such as this (MTM makes a similar plastic cleaning cradle). That said, the unit isn’t perfect. We did find a couple very nose-heavy 1000-yard benchrest rifles that were not stable on the Tipton. This gun vise will NOT fit rifles with forearms wider than 3 inches. And if your butt-stock is very shallow (vertically) from comb down to toe, it may not fit the clamping system very well.

There are a number of smart features on the Tipton Gun Vise. First it’s made of solvent-resistant plastic. I’ve spilled just about every “miracle bore cleaner” you can name and nothing has harmed the plastic so far. Second, the front support has a dual-profile rubber pad with a flat section for benchrest rifles plus a “V” in the middle for narrow-forearm rifles. Third, the base section has handy cut-outs that hold solvent bottles or patches. Some people complain that the 8-lb Tipton Gun Vise is too light. While I understand that concern, the Vise is stable in use and I like the fact that I can easily pick up the whole unit with one hand and move it around the loading room. You can always add weight.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
June 2nd, 2015

Durable, Versatile, Affordable Tipton Gun Vises

This Editor has a MidwayUSA injection-molded gun cradle, now sold as the Tipton Gun Vise. This product has worked well for everything from an 18″-barreled lever gun to a 32″-barreled F-Class rifle. The unit has proven invaluable for many tasks: cleaning barrels, stock refinishing/bedding, scope mounting, trigger adjusting, bore-scoping barrels, and checking throat length with a Hornady OAL tool. To be honest, I can’t understand how any serious shooter can get along without a product such as this (MTM makes a similar plastic cleaning cradle). That said, The unit isn’t perfect. This gun vise will NOT fit rifles with forearms wider than 3 inches. And if your butt-stock is very shallow (vertically) from comb down to toe, it may not fit the clamping system very well. But, for 95% of the rifles out there, the Tipton Gun Vise works great.

Bargain Pricing on Amazon.com

The Tipton Gun Vise is on sale on Amazon.com for $39.89.
That’s a very good deal for a product you’ll use for years.

best gun vise

(more…)

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June 11th, 2012

Potterfields Sell Ownership Interest in Battenfeld Technologies

Battenfeld TechnologiesLarry Potterfield, the founder of MidwayUSA, and other Potterfield family members have (collectively) sold the Potterfield family’s interest in Battenfeld Technologies Inc. (“Battenfeld”). Battenfeld produces a wide variety of products, under a collection of familiar brand names: Frankford Arsenal, Caldwell Shooting Supplies, Fajen Gunstocks, Wheeler Engineering, Tipton Gun Cleaning Supplies, PAST Recoil Protection and others. Most shooters are familiar with the green Caldwell front rests, the handy Tipton Gun Vises, and Frankford Arsenal tumblers and reloading accessories. These are all popular Battenfeld products, and most of them are marketed aggressively through MidwayUSA.

Battenfeld Technologies

In a buy-out transaction, the entire Potterfield family ownership interest in Battenfeld Technologies, Inc. was sold to Clearview Capital (a private equity group) and to members of Battenfeld’s existing management team. In connection with the sale of ownership, current CEO Russell Potterfield will step down, and three current Battenfeld Vice Presidents will assume leadership, “working together in a joint effort”. Taking over the reigns at Battenfeld are: Jim Gianladis (current VP of Products and Marketing), Bob Zara (current VP of Sales), and Adam Birk (current VP of Engineering and Operations).

Battenfeld Technologies
Gianladis stated “We are extremely excited about the future of Battenfeld; we have always been committed to designing high quality, innovative products and look forward to continuing that legacy. We are proud to be a part of the Clearview Capital family.”

“New ownership is going to be able to take Battenfeld in new and exciting directions, helping them to continue their proud heritage of innovation and market-leading new product introductions,” says Russell Potterfield, former Battenfeld CEO. “I’m hugely proud of what the Battenfeld team has been able to accomplish and what they will be able to accomplish as an entity outside of the Potterfield Group umbrella of companies.”

Battenfeld’s Production Facilities and Workforce Remain in Place
Battenfeld will continue to operate from its current facility and all contact information will stay the same. The workforce will remain unchanged. “There will be absolutely no disruption to customer service or shipping,” says current Sales VP, Bob Zara. Brandon Butler, Battenfeld Marketing Manager, added that: “Nothing’s really changed as far as Battenfeld’s future plans. We will continue to invent and develop new products and expand distribution to meet consumer demand.”

Battenfeld Will Expand Relationships with Multiple Retailers
Becoming an independent company should benefit Battenfeld in the long run. Butler explained: “The ownership change breaks down a lot of barriers with retailers other than MidwayUSA, so that our products can be more widely distributed. Over the years, as both MidwayUSA and Battenfeld Technologies grew, there became more and more perception of a potential conflict of interest between Battenfeld and our customers. It made sense that certain retailers were leery of supporting a company that indirectly supported their competition. The sale of Battenfeld to Clearview Capital removes that potential conflict,” said Butler. However, MidwayUSA will continue to distribute Battenfeld products, remaining a key retail partner.

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September 26th, 2011

Handy 12-Piece Jag Kit on Sale at MidwayUSA

MidwayUSA has the Tipton 12-piece multi-caliber Jag Kit on sale again. Now through Sept. 30th, you can purchase the Kit, item 582621, for $12.99, five bucks off the regular $17.99 price. The set includes 17, 22, 243/6mm, 25, 270/7mm, 30/32, 8mm/338, 35/9mm, 375, 40/416, 44, and 45 Caliber Jags, in a sturdy box with fitted holes for each jag. This Editor owns two Tipton jag kits, one for the range kit and one for the loading room. These kits work for everything from my 17 Mach2 up to my 45/70. I use the jags for both rifle and pistol calibers. I like the fact that you can easily switch from a bigger jag to the next smaller size to adjust patch fit as the job requires.

Tipton Jag Kit

Nickel-Plated Jag Kit Also Available
MidwayUSA also markets a 12-piece Jag Set with nickel-plated jags. This is a smart innovation that has been well-received by shooters. The nickel jags aren’t affected by solvents so they don’t give “false positives” when you’re cleaning copper fouling from your barrels. The Nickel Jag Kit, item 812503, is currently priced at $24.49, but, it also goes on sale from time to time. When it’s on sale, you can pick up the Nickel-Plated Jag Kit for under $20.00.

Tipton Jag Kit

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »