Industry News: Volume 3, Number 3
Bushmaster Manufacturing Moving to New York
The Freedom Group announced a manufacturing relocation of the Bushmaster Firearms International manufacturing facility located in Windham, Maine, to Ilion, N.Y. The company expects to create 40 to 50 new positions at the Ilion facility as a result of the relocation. Presumably, the Bushmaster move will occupy existing space within the Remington manufacturing facility, also located in Ilion, New York.
Indictments Issued Against Sabre Defence and Individuals for Alleged Firearms Export Violations
A federal grand jury has indicted the company, its owner and four company executives on charges related to international firearms and trafficking violations of the Arms Export Control Act. Named as defendants in a 21-count indictment were Sabre Defence Industries, LLC owner Guy Savage, SDI president Charles Shearon, SDI CFO Elmer Hill, Michael Curlett, SDI-US sales manager, and SDI-US international shipping and purchasing manager Arnold See. Savage was arrested in the United Kingdom, and is awaiting extradition to the United States.
According to the indictment, the defendants were part of a conspiracy to illegally import and export regulated firearms and firearm components and technology to and from the United States. The indictment alleges that Savage directed the illegal activities from his personal residences in the United Kingdom, as well as from a related company owned by Savage, Sabre Defence Industries Ltd (SDI-UK), which is a licensed manufacturer, distributor and importer of firearms and firearms headquartered in the United Kingdom.
ATK Awarded Multiple U.S. Government Contracts
Alliant Techsystems announced it has received a $49 million contract from the U.S. Navy to produce a new special operations ammunition round with improved accuracy, stronger barrier penetration and a lower muzzle-flash. ATK Security and Sporting developed the round in partnership with the Naval Surface Warfare Center – Crane Division under the Special Operations Science and Technology (SOST) ammunition program.
ATK also received a $50 million follow-on contract modification for production of the Mortar Guidance Kit (MGK) under the U.S. Army’s Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative program. The contract is in response to an Army urgent Operational Needs Statement (ONS) and will mean more precision mortars going to U.S. forces in Afghanistan. ATK was previously awarded a contract in June 2010 to field an initial quantity of rounds under the Army’s ONS.
Combining GPS guidance and directional control surfaces into a package that replaces standard fuzes, the MGK transforms existing 120mm mortar bodies into precision guided munitions. This puts organic, precision engagement capability into the hands of local battlefield commanders. The design is based on ATK’s Precision Guidance Kit technology for artillery.
“Delivering affordable precision is a core capability of our business,” said Bruce DeWitt, ATK Advanced Weapons Vice President and General Manager. “Using our expertise in guidance, fuzing, and gun-hardened electronics, we have proven that the timeline and cost of producing a precision weapon can be greatly reduced. In under a year, we have proven a reliable design, initiated production and fielded a precision weapon. This is truly unprecedented in our industry.”
Lawsuit Filed, Challenging U.S. Barrel Import Ban
The Firearms Import/Export Roundtable (FAIR) Trade Group has filed suit against the U.S. federal government, challenging ATF’s revised interpretation of the Gun Control Act. Despite any change in language to the existing regulations, ATF has begun enforcing their new interpretation of the GCA affecting the importability of certain firearm barrels. A press release regarding the pending litigation may be found online at www.fairtradegroup.org/Press%20release%202-24-11.pdf.
BAE Systems Awarded M777 Contract
BAE Systems was awarded an order for 46 M777 howitzers from the U.S. Department of Defense and takes the total number of guns ordered to 1001. The order comes as BAE Systems continues deliveries of M777 to Canada and Australia, in addition to the U.S. Weighing in at less than 4,200kg, the revolutionary M777 is the world’s first artillery weapon to make widespread use of titanium and aluminum alloys, resulting in a howitzer which is half the weight of conventional 155mm systems.
5.4 Million Firearms Manufactured Within the U.S. in 2009
According to data released in late January in ATF’s Annual Firearm Manufacturing and Export Report, U.S. firearm manufacturers produced more than 5.4 million firearms in 2009. The data represents the most current information regarding the manufacture of firearms in the United States; the reporting deadline for 2010 was April 1, 2011.
U.S. State Department Cable Demonstrates Mexican Government Link to Mexican Drug Cartels.
U.S. State Department cables released by WikiLeaks confirm that Mexican drug cartel weaponry is coming from an elaborate international operation whereby the cartels are acquiring military-grade arms through various government channels. This release comes on the heels of a report issued recently from the STRATFOR research group challenging the myth that 90 percent of recovered firearms in Mexico come from the United States. The STRATFOR report concludes that in 2008 the number was less than 12 percent.
Glock Introduces New Gen 4 Models
Glock unveiled Glock models 26 (9×19) and G27 (.40 caliber) Gen 4 models. Similar to the other Gen 4 models, the models 26 and 27 will feature a multiple backstrap system that allows the user to change the circumference of the grip to fit their individual hand size. The grip, which has a new Rough Textured Frame (RTF) surface designed to enhance grip traction, offers three options: a short frame version, medium frame or large frame that are easily changed and secured with a single pin. The trigger mechanism housing has also been dimensionally adapted to fit in the smaller sized grip space. Finally, the magazine release catches are also significantly enlarged and reversible for the left handed shooter.