Your gun company’s top 5 changes

Photo of a 686 taken by Randy Samos and hosted by Oleg Volk Click to visit his site

Photo of a 686 taken by Randy Samos and hosted by Oleg Volk – Click to visit his site

The Mad Ogre suggested what I’m going to call a game and said…

Pick a Gun Company.   Any existing Gun Company, big or small.  You are now the CEO, Chairman of the Board, and Majority Shareholder.  It’s your company.  You can do anything you want with it.    What are the TOP FIVE things you would do with your Gun Company?

He picked Sig Sauer.  Click here to see his post.

He can have it.

I have always thought they were too big for what they are and the stamped metal controls never appealed to me. (Yes this is coming from a Glock shooter.)

I want Smith & Wesson, but don’t be surprised if some of them are the same… seems like the industry has some specific issues.

#1 Build a Mid-sized M&P9

I can’t say this loudly or often enough.

When Smith & Wesson decided to build the M&P they decided that they only wanted it to come in 2 non-competition sizes rather than the 3 that Glock standardized on and to make a pinky-grip for the M&P9c. That was a mistake.

When I did the analysis for the Size Matters post. I actually calculated the formula for the perfect ratio of length and width, which incidentally goes from the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, through the Glock 19 to the Commander & Government Model 1911′s

The 9c is the deep concealment gun and it is longer and taller than the Glock 26 which is already too big for some. The Standard 9 has a shorter barrel which reduces sight radius, does nothing for conceal-ability and then has a grip that is too long.

I’d shrink the M&P9c to 10 rounds. Add .25″ to the Standard 9 and add a Glock 19 sized 15 round option.

#2 I’d rationalize the SKU’s

The company that only wanted 2 sizes of M&P’s (Skipping the really important one) actually offers 24 SKU’s, with the VTAC models, 10rd California models, Safety models, and Magazine Disconnect Models.

Not any more!

Semi-autos are full capacity, safety models are LEO only, no magazine disconnect.

They make 39 J-frames. 27 mid-sized revolvers. 29 N-frames. 12 X-frames and even 3 versions of the Taurus Judge. I think that might be a bit excessive.

#3 Make a Detective Special

I know it can be done… Colt came out with the d-frame 53 years ago.

Every pocketable CCW 38 revolver today has 5 rounds, the D-frame had 6. Even my 6 yo knows 6 is better than 5, show her a 5 year old and she’ll tell you.

It would literally be the talk of SHOT Show, which is odd since Wyatt Erp even carried a 6 shooter.

#4 Hold the government to the same laws as citizens

The 2A crowd has a REALLY long memory and isn’t fond of forgiveness. Smith & Wesson has burned some bridges in the past and I think a public statement that the law is the law and applies to every citizen equally would go a long way.

I’d like to think that would a move out of the north-east, but even my imagination isn’t that good.

#5 I’d actually make magazines

So this isn’t just a Smith & Wesson thing and many companies are having issues recovering with magazine availability. (except for AR’s which we have plenty of). When I looked just looked my supplier had a few M&P Shield Mags in 7 & 8 and Full-size 40 mags.

2 Magazines are fine for people that don’t actually train with their guns… 6 is closer to a minimum if you do and not being able to get them makes training a real pain.

So what company would you have chosen and what would you do?

PS… Kevin if your reading this you must choose CZ.



  1. Dan A says

    A midsize M&P would be great, but I see no reason to make the 9C smaller, if you want smaller that’s what the Shield is for. Also making the safety versions LEO only makes no sense at all.

    I’ll throw in my own for S&W: The ambi lower on the M&P10 is nifty, offer them for the M&P 15 too.

  2. Blehtastic says

    1. Modernize the M1A so all models come standard with vltor stock systems and the wood or basic polymer stocks are the special orders.

    2. Quit overcharging for checkmate industries magazines.

    3. Reengineer/update the xdm while maintaining magazine compatibility. Make them more competitive. Maybe lose the grip safety.

    4. Bring back the double stack .45 1911 and make a Hi Power.

    5. Throw my weight around in Illinois politics now that things appear to be turning for the better.

  3. TD says

    Outstanding work, Ron! I love the concept and I really enjoyed your observations! There is one item that I was very disappointed to see missing from the list–remove the internal lock from the revolvers. I know that S&W’s acquisition by Saf-T Hammer in 2001 makes it unlikely, but legions of S&W wheelgunners like me hate the lock for two very important reasons: First, there’s enough smoke to make us worry that there might be a legitimate fire when it comes to inadvertent engagement/malfunction of the lock during shooting, and; Second, the lock is a virtual finger poke to the eye that reminds us of the 1999 Clinton/Cuomo/Shultz/HUD sellout where a British-owned S&W caved to the Clinton Administration’s anti-gun demands and abandoned/betrayed its loyal customers. You’ll recall the HUD pact required S&W to install an internal locking device within 24 months, and S&W did just that. Over the last 13 years, the folks at Saf-T / S&W have spent a lot of time and money trying to convince the market that the HUD pact was an unfortunate relic of it’s British-owned past that they had nothing to do with and did not support. They have tried to sell us on the notion that the new, American-owned S&W represents a break from that dark past, and it’s not fair to blame them for the “sins of the father.” However, the internal lock which disgraces all their revolvers came after the Americans bought the company. That lock is an American lock, not a British one, and it’s a constant reminder that the current S&W management is not “walking the walk” on the HUD history. If they truly disagree with what the Tompkins-owned S&W did in 1999, then they need to remove that lock and prove it–not with words, but with action. Besides, it’s a silly feature anyways, that adds no real utility to the gun, doesn’t enhance safety one whit, and makes it unsightly. This is the mechanical equivalent of a “no guns” sign posted at a school–protectionist culture fantasy. It doesn’t belong on their guns and it’s an insult to the consumer that S&W has let it remain.

  4. nksmfamjp says

    I pick Springfield. . . .

    1911: Make better guns. Follow the DW and Les Baer marketing model. Not custom, just better. Drop the MIM 100%.

    XDM: Change the market focus to high end XD that is capable of IDPA, IPSC, Bullseye work. There are tons of people looking for a high end range gun. Comps, packages with RMR’s, match triggers, 2″ at 50 yd SS barrels,

    XD: Make it bullet proof. Make it the LEO gun. Get out there and beat S&W and Glock at this game. It is fundamentally better. Go sell that. Make more thumb safety versions to help in this conversion, but keep the non-TS versions.

    XD Mod2: This is the off duty or hi cap CCW. Now get out there and sell that.

    XDS: This is the CCW gun. . . .Just needs some more push. Partner with a real holster maker like Comp Tac.

    Get rid of the kits unless you are selling with a HQ holster like CompTac, etc.


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