Crimson Trace

SUBSCRIPTION    SUBMIT RELEASES    ADVERTISE    ARCHIVES    CONTACT                                  FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2014
— ACQUISITIONS
Dometic's acquisition of Atwood complements and further diversifies Dometic's existing product offerings and strengthens the company's global footprint. | For More...

— CONSERVATION
The Catlin Seaview Survey is collaborating with the National Oceanographic and Atmostpheric Administration's (NOAA's) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries to record and reveal America's protected marine sanctuaries. | For More...

Michigan's Deer PLAN grant program, which is administered by the DNR's Wildlife Division, has set out to produce tangible deer habitat improvement benefits and reduce negative impacts to agricultural operations, while fostering positive relationships between the DNR, sportsmen's organizations, private landowners, and other partners. | For More...

— CONTESTS
IHEA-USA (www.ihea-usa.org) reminds all interested photographers that the deadline for entering images for the 2014 IHEA-USA Photo Contest is 11:59 pm Eastern time, tonight (October 31, 2014). | For More...

— EVENTS
Homeschooled families are invited to the Calvert Marine Museum on Wednesday, November 19 to jump into River to Bay: Reflections and Connections. Children age 5 to 12 will enjoy special hands-on workshops focusing on animals, habitats, and challenges facing the Chesapeake Bay. | For More...

Brian D. Smith, founder and CEO of the Monster Buck Classic We Are Kansas event, announced yesterday that the Monster Buck Classic has officially released their 2014 Booth Payment Promotion Plan. | For More...

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Education Program coordinated activities at the annual Mother-Child FUN Camp Oct. 3 through 5 at the Woodworth Outdoor Education facility, with eight families participating. | For More...

Last Saturday, October 25, at the San Antonio (Texas) Police Training Academy, 340 disabled veterans and family members served by over 100 volunteers, enjoyed a day of shooting, air soft, laser games, food, great gifts, an impressive raffle table and good fellowship among others who are trying to re-build their lives after being wounded in service to our country. | For More...

— HALLOWEEN SAFETY
Halloween is the second most popular holiday in the United States and the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that Americans will spend more than $7 billion this Halloween. Amidst all of the costumes and trick-or-treating, the Halloween Industry Association (HIA) is offering safety tips to parents and caregivers to make sure families have as much fun as possible on this popular holiday. | For More...

— HUNTING
Annual roadside quail surveys have been completed for 2014, and the results are good news for quail hunters in Oklahoma. The statewide quail population index increased 66 percent from the previous year. | For More...

Applications are being accepted for Utah's 2015 sportsman permits. One sportsman permit is offered for each of the following species: Desert bighorn ram, Rocky Mountain bighorn ram, buck deer, buck pronghorn, bull elk, bull moose, hunter's choice bison and hunter's choice Rocky Mountain goat. | For More...

If you didn't obtain a Utah limited-entry cougar hunting permit this year, no problem. Permits to hunt cougars on harvest-objective units go on sale Nov. 6. | For More...

Iowa's furharvester season begins at 8 a.m., Nov. 1 and hunters and trappers can expect to find a significant increase in the raccoon population over last year. Other furbearing animals have a mixed outlook population-wise. | For More...

— INDUSTRY
EZ Kut Products, a leading provider of innovative pruners, loppers and accessories for the outdoor market, today announced several positive developments which position the Company for the future. | For More...

For food banks nationwide, acquiring protein is a challenge because of the high cost of meat. Fortunately during hunting season, hunters help make up the shortfall with generous donations of protein-rich, low-fat venison that provide 11 million meals annually to the less fortunate. | For More...

Liberty Ammunition announces the 10mm Auto as the newest addition to its Civil Defense line of high performance personal defense ammunition. | For More...

The Pope & Young Club, the only bowhunting specific organization working to protect and defend bowhunting across North America, announces 3Rivers Archery as their newest Corporate Partner. | For More...

Modelorama, one of the leading retail beer and sundry chains in Mexico, is now stocking the Chillin' Brew brand of Arctic Ice for their thirsty customers in select locations throughout the country. | For More...

Burris Company, Inc. is proud to announce it was recognized by the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW) as the 2014 "Excellence in Manufacturing" award recipient for the optics category. | For More...

The new Firearms of the Texas Frontier exhibit at The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, features a Colt Model 1855 Revolving Carbine on loan from NRA Museums. | For More...

— INSTRUCTION
Panteao Productions announces the upcoming launch of the Make Ready to Survive instructional video series. The Make Ready to Survive videos are a true tutorial to help you and your family. Whether you live in the heart of the city, on the outskirts in a quiet neighborhood, or out on a farm, the Make Ready to Survive videos show you techniques that are critical for survival and much more. | For More...

Rob Pincus, owner of I.C.E. Training Company and the developer of the Combat Focus® Shooting Program recently released a new DVD in the Personal Firearm Defense Network series that cover many topics about the fundamentals of personal and home defense. | For More...

— JOBS JOBS JOBS
Our ATK Sporting Group is seeking a National Account Manager with Amazon Sports to support the customer Amazon to add to the team. This person will be based in Overland Park, KS. | For More...

— NEWS
Bidding for the Benjamin Armada Navy SEAL Foundation Edition air rifle has topped $3,000 for the two week auction that ends this weekend on GunBroker.com. Crosman has partnered with industry leaders Magpul, Surefire, Zeiss Sport Optics and Tarjac to create a one-of-a-kind package with 100% of proceeds going to support the Navy SEAL Foundation. | For More...

— ORGANIZATIONS
The new Firearms of the Texas Frontier exhibit at The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, features a Colt Model 1855 Revolving Carbine on loan from NRA Museums. | For More...

Nationwide's "Preserve your Passion" contest recently ended with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) collecting the highest voter percentage and winning the top prize of $45,000. | For More...

— PHOTOGRAPHY
Photographers are always looking for a way to reduce the strain on their neck and shoulders that comes from traditional camera neck straps. Camera gear from Cotton Carrier® is engineered to eliminate neck and shoulder pain, while keeping the camera safe and secure - the ideal holiday gifts for professional and amateur photographers. | For More...

— POACHING
NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers became aware of an illegally killed moose in Wolfeboro, N.H., through an anonymous Operation Game Thief tip on Saturday, October 25th, 2014. | For More...

— PUBLISHING
Firearms and self-defense law authority Massad Ayoob lays out the rules of engagement for armed citizens in his latest title from Gun Digest Books, Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense. | For More...

— RADIO
To help bowhunters make the most of their time afield, Editor Christian Berg has teamed up with celebrity hunter John Dudley to offer practical rut-hunting recommendations on the latest episode of Petersen's BOWHUNTING Radio | For More...

— RECOGNITION
Mike Gofron and Mark Martin have enjoyed illustrious careers as professional walleye anglers. The Berkley pros compete at the highest level and have been recognized for their achievements by being inducted into the 2014 Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. | For More...

— RECREATION
The U.S. Forest Service will waive fees at most of its day-use recreation sites from Nov. 8 - 11, 2014, in honor of Veteran's Day. | For More...

Almost 143 million Americans, or 49.2 percent of the US population, participated in an outdoor activity at least once in 2013 according to The Outdoor Foundation's 2014 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report, the leading report tracking American participation trends in outdoor recreation with a focus on youth and diversity. | For More...

— RETAIL
Advanced Technology International® (ATI), a leading manufacturer of U.S. made firearm accessories, will now be carried in select MC Sports stores throughout the Midwest. | For More...

When the doors of the Bass Pro Shops Niagara-on-the-Lake Outpost swing open on November 19, visitors will be amazed at how artisans have captured the beauty and outdoor opportunities found in this southern part of the Ontario province. | For More...

— SAFETY
With deer becoming increasingly active, and daylight saving time about to put more vehicles on the road during the hours when deer move most, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is advising motorists to slow down and stay alert. | For More...

— SHOOTING COMPETITIONS
Eric Grauffel prevailed as the Men's Production Division, Gold Medal Champion; this being his sixth consecutive World Champion title. Simon "JJ" Racaza placed second, titling him the Silver Medal Champion, and EAA Corp Shooter, Ben Stoeger closed out the Men's winner circle as the Bronze Medal Champion. Each of the three winning competitors were using Tanfoglio Stock II Pistols. | For More...

Dave and Brooke Sevigny took home Standard Division wins at the 2014 US IPSC Nationals, held at the Universal Shooting Academy in Frostproof, Florida. Both also collected team gold medals at the World Shoot XVII. | For More...

— SHOT SHOW 2015
SHOT Show Management is actively contacting exhibitors to ensure that the 2015 directory listings and product categories have been updated in the SHOT Show database. The deadline to make the printed directory is only a week away, November 7, and exhibitors are scrambling to complete the task. | For More...

— STATES
Final Poacher Sentenced from 2013 Abalone Sting Operation In total, $139,883 in fines and 11 fishing license revocations were handed out to the 18 subjects in a year-long proceeding after a 2013 sting operation. | For More...

The staff of the Michigan Historical Center recently unveiled the newly refurbished building façade based on Muskegon's Hackley House as the kickoff to a series of upgrades and renovations that are planned for the long-term exhibits of the Michigan Historical Museum in downtown Lansing. | For More...

The Colorado Waterfowl Stamp Art Committee has selected Richard Clifton's wood duck pair resting on calm waters in front of a partially submerged cottonwood branch for the 2015 Waterfowl Stamp. | For More...

The N. C. Wildlife Resources Commission has approved temporary rules allowing the issuance of permits and licenses for "farmed cervid" facilities. The temporary rules for permits and licenses apply only to "farmed cervids, " defined as any member of the deer family that is not a white-tailed deer or an elk. | For More...

— SWEEPSTAKES
One lucky winner, 18 years-of-age or older, will receive an assembled in U.S.A. Viking FI 4x4 in Hunter Green, total approximate retail value is $11,799. | For More...

— TELEVISION
The guides of Mellon Creek Outfitters head out after a long season's work to do a little hunting. On the menu, black bears in New Mexico. | For More...

Sportsman Channel has engaged in a new sponsorship with Prime Bows for the network's Whitetail Weekend programming block. Whitetail Weekend airs Saturdays and Sundays. | For More...

Kenneth Lancaster, host of Sportsman Channel's Antler Insanity and Shine Cox, pro staff member, head to the Buckeye state for a unique birthday present - a monster buck for Lancaster. | For More...

Doug returns to the southwest Colorado mountains to spot and stalk mule deer just south of Norwood. Hunting at an elevation of 8,000 feet, Doug and his guide glass an area covered with thick cedars and oak brush that looks promising. | For More...

— WEBSITES
Jump online today to see the new Shimano - at least in cyberspace - with the launch of the tackle makers upgraded web site at http://fish.shimano.com. | For More...

— WILDLIFE
A booming international trade in turtles has put pressure on populations across the country and has led to concern about the long-term survival of several species. (MORE) | For More...

FEATURE
Ruger Call Summarizes Gun Business
Editor's Note: Yesterday, Outdoor Wire Digital Network Publisher Jim Shepherd sat in on the analysts conference call that followed Sturm Ruger's Wednesday announcement of disappointing third quarter results. In the course of that call, Shepherd listened as analysts probed for answers to short-term questions and Ruger CEO Michael O. Fifer responded with answers that echoed the long-term outlook of most industry leaders.

Today, his take on a call that once again points out a critical difference in thinking between Wall Street speculators and business leaders.



Ruger's Fifer on Q3 2014 Drops: "It's only one quarter. Nothing is broken."

Ruger CEO Michael O. Fifer had one response in this morning's conference call with Wall Street analysts that nailed a key difference between his job and the thinking on Wall Street. After nearly a half-hour of being quizzed on the company's latest -and admittedly disappointing- third quarter earnings, he responded -for the umpteenth time- to the question "when will the downturn end?"

Ruger CEO Michael O. Fifer to analysts: "It's just a quarter. Nothing is broken." Photo from Ruger website.
"It's just a quarter," he responded, "Nothing is broken."

"We are in this for the long haul," he said, "and we're positioned for that. We will be just fine."

At that point, he defended that assertion by (again) pointing out the company, despite that disappointing 43% drop in Q3 sales and profits, was healthy.

"Ninety-eight percent of our accounts receivable are current," he said, "we have twenty-eight million dollars in cash with zero debt. Ruger is a healthy company and we're positioned for the future."

That having been stated, he did tell the analysts that in his estimation, it might take as long as a year before retailers get their inventories down to what he called a "30-turn" - inventories at levels that would get them into the position to need to reorder products every 30 days.

Today, he admitted, they're holding enough Ruger product that they're not being compelled to reorder by customers.

That situation, he said, wasn't something Ruger could control.

In fact, a key portion of the company's overall strategy helped accelerate the precipitous declines in second -and third -quarter sales.

"Our business model sets very clear minimum selling prices for Ruger products," he explained, "over the long haul, that model guarantees retailers a healthy profit on Ruger products."

But, he explained, it also makes Ruger's sales vulnerable when other manufacturers were deeply discounting product. "A forty percent discount," he said, "is essentially trading inventory for cash."

"When you're shopping for a gun and we're at our normal price while you can't see through the glass top of the retailer's counter because of all the other companies' rebate cards or discounts," he explained, "it's a tough deal to pass up a competitor's product that's discounted that much. They buy the other product and we lose that sale-and short-term, some market share."

"I'm certain that's hurt our sales some," he said, "and I admit I'm surprised they can keep such brutal discounting going. They did it in the second quarter, through the third quarter and some are still discounting."

"Eventually," he said, "that's going to impact their business."

"You can't service debt, invest in new projects or even set cash aside. Like I said, I'm surprised they've kept the discounting up so long. Even I can do the math on that one."

Fifer also defended the company's decisions to treat the quarter as exactly that- a correction quarter- and not a reason to panic.

Unlike some "unnamed competitors" Ruger intentionally kept personnel despite a thirty-six percent reduction in production. Neither, he said, has the company reduced research and new product development. Both, Fifer says, are critical to keep the company and its products in the minds of consumers.

"We're in a good position," he said, "we have more engineers than they (competitors) do, we have more money for research and development, no debt and our long-term strategy isn't designed to overreact to short-term challenges."

New product development is a critical part of that strategy, and Fifer told listeners there were "lots of new products coming over the next 18 months". He amplified on that position by explaining that many of the company's new products were, in fact, "a year or more behind in their introductions" due to the exploding demand for exiting products in 2013.

Ruger's new product introduction strategy, he explained, didn't help slow the third quarter drop in sales -despite the introductions of two new products- a revision in their popular SR-9 pistol and an all-new 556 Modern Sporting Rifle.

"Those products are popular," he said, "but they were only available for so little of the third quarter that they really didn't help our sales numbers."

One analyst pressed Fifer as to whether the company would "punish" distributors for selling out the deeply-discounted products from competitors, leaving Ruger inventory sitting on shelves.

Seeming to see that question as both a criticism of distributors and Ruger's two-step selling process, Fifer was quick to defend distributors and the distributor-based sales model.

"First, he said," I don't think distributors are doing that. A lot of the discounting is coming directly from the other companies. That's not doing anything to help distributors."

"And we're working with distributors that aren't selling our products as effectively as others. We don't think they're doing anything wrong."

Distributors, he explained, are critical participants in the overall business model of the gun industry.

Distributors, he explained, mean retailers need only place "one or two calls" to replenish inventories sold over a weekend.

Without distributors, "retailers might have to make dozens of calls after a busy selling period- it might be a week or two before they get around to calling everyone. They just don't have the time to reorder everything all at once. And our product would sit until they ordered it from us."

Secondly, Fifer says distributors offer something critical to the overall health of the industry: credit.

"Distributors offer terms to retailers that, frankly, we couldn't afford," he explained, "Retailers work with distributors to get the most favorable terms they can for themselves; distributors also have trained sales forces to reach out to all the retailers."

"Because of them," he explained, "Ruger doesn't need an elaborate credit department and I don't have to manage a huge field sales force that's trying to reach more than 12,000 retailers nationwide. We deal with distributors. The two-step sales process works - for all of us."

One comment seemingly missed by the analysts with their constant focus on short-term sales (and ultimate goal of making markets) concerned two "new normals" Fifer said indicated were good signs - in today's current sluggish marketplace, and the future.

First, gun buyers are no longer "old white guys" (Fifer's laughing term). Today's marketplace, he says, "is made up of young people from rural, suburban and urban areas. And they're buying their first guns."

"Some," he acknowledged, "may never buy another gun. Some may never shoot the gun they buy. But plenty of them according to all the industry research are practicing, getting training and learning to shoot."

That, he says, is the key to a new generation of gun owners. "They're going to discover the same thing we did," he said, "Shooting is fun - a lot of fun. And at that point, they're hooked."

Instead of one-time buyers, Fifer says "they become customers for life. And buying the newest-guns with the latest features is just what gun lovers do."

"Ruger," he said with certainty, "can -and will- respond with innovation and products they're going to want. That's why our long-term outlook is very positive-despite the fact that being a public company, I have to come on these calls every few weeks and answer the same questions over and over."

After the hour-long discussion between the CEO of a major industry player and the ever-skeptical market makers and analysts, some things seemed very apparent:

First, companies looking at historical trends and not short-term results tend to come through the bumps in the marketplace in good shape.

Ruger, for instance, acknowledgesCalifornia as a dying marketplace for semi-automatic pistols. According to Fifer, they've essentially written off $10 million in sales there. Microstamping requirements, he said, "make it impossible to do business there. It just doesn't work."

Rather than waste time and energy there, Ruger's plan is drive-and meet- demand where guns -and gun owners- are welcomed, not demonized.

And it seems business analysts, despite their focus on the gun industry, don't seem to have much of a handle on the demographic makeup of today's gun buyers.

Of course, with most of the financial world huddled in and around anti-gun hotspots (Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City), it's tough for them to get even-handed reporting or information on the gun industry. And from personal experience I know many covering the industry aren't pro-gun; they're only pro-profit.

As always, we'll keep you posted -which reminds me - this is "Spring forward- fall back" weekend- yep Daylight Savings Time as of 2a.m. Sunday morning.

Halloween night..a time for fun, and caution. Be careful out there.
When you show up an hour early Sunday morning instead of sleeping in, don't say we didn't remind you.

And finally, as we go get ready for ghosts, goblins and ghouls to descend on our front porches this evening, a word of caution: not every zombie at your door tonight has evil intent. Be safe, be careful and have a great weekend.

--Jim Shepherd
Oct 31-Nov 2
Cops Range at Rolla MO
Oct 31-Nov 2
Hansen Range, Punta Gorda Florida
Nov 2
Rio Salado Sportsmans Club, Mesa Az.
Nov 7
3043 E. SCHOOL ROAD, BELVILLE, TEXAS 77418
Nov 7
Sanners Lake Sportsman's Club
Nov 7-9
South River Gun Club, Covington, GA
Nov 11
Nov 29-30
Hernando Sportsmen's Club, 16121 Commercial Way (Highway 19), Brooksville, FL
Dec 4-7
The Mirage Hotel & Expo Center, Las Vegas, NV
Dec 4-7
Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV
Dec 20
Universal Shooting Academy - Frostproof, FL
Jan 14
Elm Fork Shooting Sports, 10751 Luna Road, Dallas, TX 75220
Jan 20-23
Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Subscribe to our RSS Feed
The Outdoor Wire is an opt-in only newsletter. If you've received this newsletter by mistake,
you can remove yourself from future mailings by following the following link:
www.theoutdoorwire.com/optout.php?email=###email###