LJWorld.com weblogs Random Thoughts from the Lab
Gun and Ammo Companies Under One Roof... Good Thing or Bad?
When searching for my AR-15 last spring, I considered several different models as I was a novice in the AR world. After reading several websites and magazines over the period of a couple months, I went to the gun stores to check different models out. It was then I first heard about how many gun companies are under the same ownership. I found out that Remington, Bushmaster, DPMS, H&R, Marlin, and several other famous firearm companies are owned by a holding company called Freedom Group, which in turn is owned by Cerberus Capital Management (the very same Cerberus who owned Chrysler prior to the bailout). Since then, they have acquired ammunition companies and are rumoured to be looking into a powder company.
After reading a little about Freedom Group, I noticed a rumour was spread that George Soros actually owned it and had nefarious plans to circumvent the 2nd amendment by shutting everything down. This led to the NRA investigating and coming out strongly saying that the Soros story was nothing more than an internet hoax and he has nothing to do with Freedom Group. Cerberus also seems to be pretty ruthless when it comes to making money and they have said they started acquiring these companies because guns and ammo was an area hedge funds have ignored and they seen the opportunity to make millions, so there is no risk of any of nefarious intentions (at least while these companies are profitable).
I still am leary about all these names under one roof. Consolidation has already somewhat happened when the old Bushmaster factory was shut down to move it closer to Freedom Group's base of operations (luckily, the former owner of Bushmaster and many former employees formed Windham Weaponry and started producing their own AR's). Having all these names under what is basically a hedge fund can lead to pushes for efficiency (think outsourcing), less innovation, and poor quality control. Plus, we seen how well Cerberus ran Chrysler with major outsourcing happening during their tenure as owner.
Personally, I think I will continue to purchase firearms who are still owned and ran by gun guys. And in case you are wondering, my choice of AR was a Ruger SR556. It seems many gun owners on this site already have quite the collection, but if you are in the market, would the consolidation of these companies under a hedge fund affect your decision on a purchase?