Hello to all of Sandy’s Soapbox readers. My name is Amelia Thorn, I am the Marketing Manager for North American Arms. I introduced myself last year in 2018, so many of you are probably more familiar with me this time around. I would just like to reiterate right here at the beginning, I am a marketing team of one, so if you have any news, ideas, comments, questions, concerns, etc. I would be happy to personally take care of them or listen to what you have to say. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.
This past week I was able to attend the SHOT academy. A summit for marketing managers and business owners, writers and more, to come and attend a meeting strictly about the upcoming SHOT Show. We talk about ways to be successful, things to keep in mind, new products that each company might be launching and much more.
This was my second year attending and as someone so new to the industry, I always have the best time meeting, reintroducing and learning more about what this vast industry has to offer.
SHOT show is the biggest event that the outdoor industry has to offer and if you have ever been, you know just the scale of it. Next year will be my third SHOT show, next to Sandy’s nearly 25 years attending, I have a lot to learn. But you will always see Sandy at our booth, and I know both he and I look forward to seeing all of you there next January for another exciting, and even more successful SHOT show.
My friend, Ben Langlotz, is an intellectual property attorney and self-described “gun nut”. His practice is almost wholly focused on guns and ammo and other shooting sports products. His clients read like a Who’s Who of the industry, including North American Arms.
Ben publishes a monthly newsletter, typically lengthier and always better-written than my own modest Soapbox. Ben is very thoughtful, professional and is more disciplined than I am and never “goes fishin’”.
Ben’s newsletters are found on his blog http://gunpatent.com/blog/ While most of them address somewhat esoteric IP issues (how to protect your trademark, your new idea, etc.), he has recently expounded on wider industry issues. His 05/15 edition was entitled “How to Fix the NRA”. His last (05/29) was “Save the NRA: D-Wayne the Swamp”.
I think Ben’s insights and remedies are spot-on and I agree enthusiastically with most of what Ben says. I recommend that you read them.
I suspect many/most of you are at least somewhat aware of some of the difficult circumstances currently surrounding the NRA. I expect you will become increasingly more so as the shitstorm continues to grow. And it will. And it’s serious
In a capsule (volumes of news stories in exhausting detail have been written of late which you can easily find), it began late last month when the NRA announced that it was suing its longtime advertising partner, Ackerman McQueen, claiming fraudulent billing practices and gross overcharges (AMcQ was paid in excess of $40 million last year by the NRA). This claim additionally appeared to strain the relationship between NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and titular NRA President Oliver North, who is paid $0 by NRA but reportedly in excess of $1 million by Ackerman McQueen. Charges of self-aggrandizement by several NRA executives were leveled with North reportedly threatening to extort LaPierre unless he resigned. In this struggle, LaPierre survived (momentarily) and North is gone.
The NRA also launched suit against the State of New York, claiming it was unfairly attempting to destroy the NRA’s recently created insurance product, CarryGuard, by unfairly using the State’s leverage with the insurance commission and other financial institutions. Perhaps in response, the Attorney General of the State of New York (who recently branded the NRA a “terrorist organization”) announced a new investigation into the organization with an eye towards revoking the its non-profit status, the effect of which would literally destroy the organization.
All of the recent reporting – which has been voluminous – has been very damning indeed and paints a very dark picture of the future of the NRA. I’m sure you can imagine how the likes of former Mayor Blumberg, Gabby Giffords and the rest of the anti-gun crowd are salivating over the prospect of the extinction of the NRA, which appears to be a very real possibility. I expect we’ll be reading about this story for months to come.
The threat that the NRA is facing is real and the possible/likely consequences cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, most of the wounds the NRA is suffering are self-inflicted. Unlike the hyperbole the NRA typically spouts, this time – I believe – their future is in real doubt. Stay tuned.
Related to http://naaminis.com/smf/index.php?topic=19696.0
Breaktop barrel lengths: I believe we’re still on track to begin delivery of the 2.5” models in early April and will then work on the 4” models.
I believe that the polished/blued and case hardened guns are the highlight of our product line and are an extraordinary value, considering the additional time and effort required for their manufacture. Because we use different materials for these (carbon steel), I don’t expect to offer these finishes on other models.
I’ll admit that I don’t have much enthusiasm for the challenge coin idea.
The Guardian accessories and custom shop options are on the website https://northamericanarms.com/accessories/custom-shop/. I don’t anticipate any new additions.
Our coating vendor is Richter Precision http://www.richterprecision.com/. Both coatings are done by Physical Vapor Deposition and while they are very durable (the vendor quotes Micro-Harness > 80 Rc), they canbe scarred. As for all firearms, they should be handled “thoughtfully”.
Something super secret to raise your eyebrows? Not from me!
So, another SHOT Show has concluded and, notwithstanding the continued softness in the market, this one was “almost” bigger and “nearly“ better than ever before, approx. 700,000 sq.ft. of display space and 60,000 in attendance. Curiously, the Show will expend next year beyond the confines of the Sands Convention Center to include floor space at the MGM Grand, and then to include still more space at Caesar’s the following year. The logistics for managing the foot traffic are still not clear to me, but we don’t intend to budge from the location we’ve enjoyed for the past several years.
You’ll read that there was very little “new” introduced by NAA. A 2.5” barrel Ranger II (set for production in April, with a 4” model before year’s end, I hope), a truly black (coated) Black Widow http://naaminis.com/smf/index.php?topic=19005.0 , a “rainbow” mini for TALO http://naaminis.com/smf/index.php?topic=17974.msg170765#msg170765 come to mind. While not innovating very much, we continue to try to “do things” better and make better guns. While sometimes the progress seems glacial, I feel we’re making progress none the same.
I’ve noted some recent remarks on our Message Board regarding main spring tension. It’s very annoying that we (and you) continue to suffer from inconsistent heat treating of different batches of springs which is typically the culprit here. We would rather they be too stiff than too light, which typically results in misfires. We’ll be happy to send a replacement spring if yours is problematic.
I send loads of thanks to my team that travelled to Vegas to present NAA at the recent Show. While it can be lots of fun, it certainly is lots of work and frequently entails the risk of post-Show illness: “crud”, flu, cold and other assorted ailments which go hand-in-hand with large crowds, close spaces and lots of personal contact. As usual, I’m suffering as I’ve learned is much of my team. My apologies for their discomfort and my great thanks to them for another job well done.