Smith & Wesson Expanding Brand, Changing Name


Smith & Wesson is big in the concealed-carry market, but the company will adopt a new corporate name to reflect their larger business holdings. (Photo: Smith & Wesson/Facebook)

The Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. will adopt a new corporate name starting Jan. 1, 2017. The change reflects their expansion into the greater world of outdoor activities. The company’s new name will be the American Outdoor Brands Corp.

Along with the name change on the business side of things the company will adopt a new NASDAQ stock exchange listing, AOBC. Smith & Wesson has traded under the name SWHC since 2002 shortly after they were acquired by Saf-T-Hammer in the previous year.

On the eve of the decision James Debney, Smith & Wesson CEO said, “By executing on our strategy to be a leader in the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast markets, we have successfully grown from a single operating division to four operating divisions … [and] more than 18 respected consumer brands.”

“We believe the name American Outdoor Brands Corporation will better reflect our family of brands, our broad range of product offerings and our plan to continue building upon our portfolio of strong American brands,” added Debney. “Looking forward, we intend to aggressively grow organically and through strategic acquisitions, focusing on brands and products that best meet the needs and lifestyle of our target consumers.”

See Also: Crime drop is due to armed citizens, says Detroit Police Chief

The Smith & Wesson brand will continue to live on and represent the company’s firearms business. The change reflects that the holding corporation does more than guns. Just this August Smith & Wesson purchased knife maker Taylor Brands for $85 million and Crimson Trace for $95 million.

That being said, selling guns has been very good for the corporation that will formerly be known as the Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. The gun maker has been busy expanding its M&P brand. New M&P firearms include rimfire training and plinking rifles, competition and hunting pistols and rifles and expanded concealed-carry options.

Smith & Wesson earnings totaled $723 million in 2016 and the company projects it will earn between $920 million and $930 million by the end of 2017.

Gun sales have been off the charts for two years straight. Between political pressure to enact new gun control laws by any means necessary and a presidential candidate (Hillary Clinton) running on the issue of gun control, gun owners have been snapping up firearms of all types.

See Also: How Many Guns Are in the U.S.? Likely More Than You Think

“There have been more guns sold since I’ve been President than just about any time in U.S. history,” said Mr. Obama last June, reports Bearing Arms. And just as guns sales rise crime continues to drop.

By using FBI records, some estimates say that there are between 412 and 660 million privately owned guns in the U.S., more than there are people by far. This flies in the face of reports of declining gun ownership.

It’s no wonder that companies like Smith & Wesson are expanding.  What do you think of the new name?

Click here to shop for Smith & Wesson products on GunsAmerica.

About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. His ambition is to follow Thomas Paine, as a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 45 comments… add one }
  • LG December 20, 2016, 8:25 pm

    Smith and Wesson, starting under the reign of depraved Mr.Clinton and his courtesans, has been showing two faces. One enriching themselves selling weapons, the other appeasing and collaborating with the gun grabbing administration, specially when this Mr/ Clinton pushed through a gun ban on semi auto rifles with the vague “appearance” of military so called “assault rifles”.
    They continued their cooperation with the enemy by marketing this atrocity, the revolver with a locking built in system. Instead of fighting back against the fascist pseudo-liberals S&W has worked WITH them against the interest of the patriots. I am on the market for a snub nose revolver and a 1911. I shall NEVER even consider a new S&W, as they have to choose side, they are with us or against us. They cannot take our money and render grace to gun grabbers, at least NOT MY money.

    • LG December 20, 2016, 9:19 pm

      I almost forgot … Merry Christmas

  • Hank December 18, 2016, 2:46 am

    Changing the name of Smith &Wesson is a very big mistake, sales will go down like a whore on New Years Eve. I’ve been a sales rep for 30 years now and laugh my ass off when big names are changed, if ain’t broke why try to fix it. Big, big mistake, at least put Smith &Wesson some on your logos. Stupid! !!!! Let me know if your hiring because you’ll definitely need help in advertising and sales. Lol
    Hank at 410 562 4637

    • Bill December 18, 2016, 10:15 pm

      They’re trying to get away from the gun name in order to confuse the ant-gun activists.

  • TIM K NORTON December 17, 2016, 10:49 pm

    Clint Eastwood is gonna be p.o.ed

  • TIM K NORTON December 17, 2016, 10:46 pm

    What in the world would Dirty Harry think?

  • Tim December 17, 2016, 9:26 am

    Oh sure, because it’s worked out so well for Freedom Group Inc. aka Remington, etc. They bought Para USA, one of my favorite brands, explaining that they were keeping the name. The plan in 2012 was to bring Para under the umbrella of the Freedom Group line and keep it going. Since then, they completely destroyed Para and incorporated the exclusive features their 1911 pistols had into the Remington brand. Now, they are making a couple of pistols with almost exactly the same specifications as Para built them, only mass produced with no custom fitting and finishing. And the biggest question I have is what happened to all the Para USA employees?

  • blu December 16, 2016, 10:21 pm

    Remember the last time the dumass brits owned S&W , They almost lost it .

  • Paul December 16, 2016, 4:57 pm

    Sounds like the beginning of the end! American Outdoor Brands Corp has a ring to it, like Freedom Group…..Barf, puke, gag!!

  • Alan B. December 16, 2016, 3:10 pm

    Gerber and Kershaw used to be knives that were proudly made in Oregon until their Parent Companies decided they could make a LOT more money by having their/Our knives made in the Far East. Even the USA stalwart Buck Knives is branding Chinese junk with the Buck logo. The only People buying these knives are the folks that know nothing about them. Guess what, That’s one helluva LOT of People! Firearms are no different as far as marketing goes, everybody want’s to save money. Who’s the loser if your gun is built in America with outsourced budget parts? Here’s a hint… It’s YOU! So I wonder if the fiddling with the S&W group moniker is a precursor to building a more lucrative Enterprise thru cutting costs with the cheaper materials and labor that the East has in abundance. Or is that already how a new M&P Sport AR 15 can be sold for $499 ?

  • Max Hoyle December 16, 2016, 12:49 pm

    They need to move from Mass! I don’t buy anything that comes from there, Conn, NJ, NY, Cal,Col or any of the anti gun states!

  • Bob December 16, 2016, 12:43 pm

    The only Smith&Wesson branded products other than firearms have been cheaply made Chinese merchandise, such as flashlights that fail and knives that won’t hold an edge. I hope they can do better than that or the brand will go in the toilet, AGAIN. I would hate to see a return to the Bangor Punta days.

  • Bruce December 16, 2016, 12:26 pm

    Trying to hide their history as a firearms manufacturer to attract investors and as a result alienating the ones that supported them because they were a firearms manufacturer. I wonder if they are setting up the S&W to be spun off into their own company to be sold off if firearms sales start to decline.

  • KimberproSS December 16, 2016, 10:22 am

    Sounds good to me. The brands will remain the same. The holding company that owns S&W has a broad product offering already and I am sure with all the growth are sitting on a bag of cash they would like to use to buy more. Having an innocuous name will help them market to the progressive liberals. It is the world we live in.. Good luck.

    • Z December 16, 2016, 11:04 am

      No such thing as – the progressive liberals !!!

      We must start naming things by it’s real names – Communism.
      Not progressive, not liberal, not leftist, not patriot, not democrat, not anything else (except Communism).
      They made fake, smoking screen names to dumb Us the People.

      • Roc December 16, 2016, 3:51 pm

        You got it. Enough said.

      • Howell B December 18, 2016, 9:11 pm

        S&W are not near the quality they used to be, I’m 73 and have several Smiths. It always seem to change the minute they get bought out as the new people only want to buy the name not the patient.

  • Larry O December 16, 2016, 9:49 am

    The brands, e.g., Smith & Wesson, Crimson Trace, Taylor Brands, et al, will still be marketed and sold under those brand names; only the holding company that owns those brands is changing its name. While I would have chosen a different name for the holding company it doesn’t really matter as that name, American Outdoor Brands (note the plural in the name), will only in the stock market, not the consumer market place.

  • Cam December 16, 2016, 9:43 am

    I bet it’s so they can sell camping stuff and other sporting stuff to slowflakes without immediately setting of alarms that they are buying and supporting a gun company.

  • Z December 16, 2016, 9:36 am

    Or maybe (just maybe) it’s just a step to cull all guns manufacturing ???
    For example :
    if bunch of Bloombergish fellas will buy all mayor manufacturers around, what they will do …

    BTW – S&W name will stay, of course till they will make guns, then GONE.
    Who will be interested in making and/or buying GMO infested “Smith and Wesson Scout Cookies” …
    Made for American Outdoor Brands Corp. sounds much more PC !
    BTW2 – PC means Practical Communism too …

  • Minnesota Moose (USMC Retired) December 16, 2016, 9:34 am

    It would seen to me that many of the responders need to improve their Critical Reading skills. This business name change is to attract investors, not all investors recognize Smith & Wesson in a positive light. The Smith & Wesson trademark and brand are not going anywhere. to wit: “The Smith & Wesson brand will continue to live on and represent the company’s firearms business. The change reflects that the holding corporation does more than guns. Just this August Smith & Wesson purchased knife maker Taylor Brands for $85 million and Crimson Trace for $95 million.”

  • Stemm December 16, 2016, 9:28 am

    They need to get rid of M&P, the government would prefer M&P&G being there the only ones who think should own guns. I stopped buying Smith & Wesson when they started using M&P .

    • Miles Huggins December 17, 2016, 5:56 am

      Theres been a smith and Wesson m&p since like the 30s or 40s so u stopped way back then

  • Johnny December 16, 2016, 8:13 am

    American Organic…What!!! Who’s going to remember that name. People that come up with this decisions should not be in charge of a company. A name sticks to the mind because is unique. That name will have a great impact on their future business. It’s called bankruptcy.

  • Paul Porwoll December 16, 2016, 8:07 am

    S&W’s strategy for a corporate name change based on product expansion mirrors what Philip Morris did in 2003 when it changed the name of its company to the neutral-sounding Altria. OK, I get it. But let’s get real. This change was really driven by perceived needs to shed an “offensive” name to soothe the anti-smoking and anti-gun lobbies and constituents. S&W seems ashamed of its heritage but is willing to roll the dice that its current fans will buy its guns anyway, while the company can safely market to non- or anti-gunners with their other product offerings. Grow some balls, S&W and be proud of what you are and have been. Your loyal customers are seeing right through your charade. Good luck keeping them, much less growing your company. A bad, bad move.

    • Miles Huggins December 17, 2016, 5:59 am


    • 2Bornot2B2A December 19, 2016, 7:01 am

      Yep, it’s all about the Benjamins it would seem. Glad I’m a Springfield, Ruger kinda guy, although I own one S&W .40 but then in a different light, maybe all that extra profit will go into some new gun R&D.
      As with everything, time will tell.

      • Dep January 1, 2018, 10:27 am

        Just too ironic that Smith & Wesson is located in Springfield, MA….. lol

  • Terry December 16, 2016, 8:03 am

    A mellianeol must now be in charge of this grand company steeped in American heratage. Now they can put their new guns in a cabinet right next to their participation trophys
    Where are we going?

  • Roger December 16, 2016, 7:31 am

    Come on guys, Read the seventh paragraph from the end of article. This holding Corp is not going to drop the Smith&Wesson name.

  • james Wimberly December 16, 2016, 6:43 am

    One of the cola companies tried changing a tried and true thing that worked. Too bad for that decision. Who wants an AOBC over a “Smith”, a “Smithy” or “S&W”? Did the PC police claim another victim? Guess us diehards will be going over to some other brands that still sound like a real gun.

    • Wilbur December 16, 2016, 7:59 am

      They are talking about the parent holding company. I highly doubt they would ever get rid of the S&W brand name which is iconic to say the least.

      • American December 16, 2016, 11:13 am

        Well I hope they get rid of that frame lock. Why are the old S&W’s selling so good ?

  • james Wimberly December 16, 2016, 6:43 am

    One of the cola companies tried changing a tried and true thing that worked. Too bad for that decision. Who wants an AOBC over a “Smith”, a “Smithy” or “S&W”? Did the PC police claim another victim? Guess us diehards will be going over to some other brands that still sound like a real gun.

  • Jon December 16, 2016, 6:40 am

    Keep firearms under the S&W brand. Put all other outdoor products under AOBC.

  • Magic Rooster December 16, 2016, 6:29 am

    The name change is in order to make the stock “less offensive ” to stock brokers and potential investors. Everyone knows what S&W is, and idiot “day traders ” will be able to trade this new brand guilt free.

    • mark December 17, 2016, 10:32 am

      Buck-them if they feel offended, then they are no longer American’s !

      Pack your bags and follow that Fat-Ass Rosie O’OOOOO Donnel off into the sunset ……..

      My Immigration Policy we seek folks, who seek Liberty……….

      It’s ok to Act like Men again Trump Won………..

  • Steve December 16, 2016, 6:26 am

    Smith & Wesson is truly an iconic name and should NEVER be changed to anything else.
    They can use the other name as a subsidiary name. Brit buckles will never be the same, as hats and shirts.
    Who would wear a shirt with this idiotic name?

  • Mark December 16, 2016, 6:20 am

    Worst idea ever. Will not be buying one of their guns under that name.

  • William December 16, 2016, 5:21 am

    Changing the name of Smith and Wesson, is one of the stupidest ideas; I have heard! Who ever came up with that should not just be fired, but run out of the country! Smith and Wesson, is an American icon period!

    • Blasted Cap December 16, 2016, 6:43 am

      Apparently you missed the part of the article where they state that the Smith and Wesson brand will live on.
      The only thing changing is the name of the ownership group.

  • Brian Dollins December 16, 2016, 3:12 am

    Don’t care. I just wish they’d go back to selling revolvers as God intended. WITHOUT key locks.

    • James Collins December 16, 2016, 7:10 am

      Amen BRYAN

    • Cam December 16, 2016, 9:50 am

      Me too, they do make some very limited runs.
      I love the competition 686 and 629 that has an internal locks. I mean nothing says competition like an internal safety. Additional parts that rub and wear against the trigger is pure genius.

  • Mike December 16, 2016, 3:08 am

    The new name sucks. Sounds just like any other large corporation that wants to be PC while only concerned with profits

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