Despite the monthly reports of record gun sales, the firearm industry remains in trouble. Remington just got out of bankruptcy, for example. We’ve written a lot about Federal Premium Ammunition’s struggles as well. There are definite problems.
And now, another company is declaring bankruptcy.
Freedom Munitions is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It’s filing for bankruptcy along with other related brands including Howell Machine and X-Treme Bullets. The brands are owned by Howell Munitions & Technology and all four entities are filing in Reno, Nev.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows companies to reorganize their structure and debt. The Freedom Munitions website is still up and running where they sell guns, ammo and other shooting accessories. The X-Treme Bullets page is up and working, too.
“We would like to take this time to assure our valuable customers of the ongoing commitment to provide affordable ammunition to shooting sport enthusiasts around the country,” said Freedom Munitions.
“Freedom Munitions will continue to manufacture ammunition, ship orders and provide the best service we possibly can,” they added. “We are still here and plan on maintaining a steady path of manufacturing cost effective ammunition and moving towards a positive future.”
Freedom Munitions is known for its inexpensive target and plinking ammunition. They manufacture and remanufacture popular ammunition and largely sell it online. They also sell other prominent brands of ammo.
The thing is, ammunition sales are still relatively strong across the industry from what I’ve found. Companies like Freedom Munitions should be doing just fine.
But they’re not.
Right now, people’s jobs are on the line. Their livelihoods. I’d say the reasons for why this is happening are irrelevant, but they’re not. Without understanding the reasons for this, it’s impossible to fix the problem.
One potential cause is that the company over-expanded during the ammunition shortage a few years back. During that time, some ammo was almost impossible to find, especially .22 long rifle, and a lot of companies expanded operations to meet the growing demand. However, demand soon returned to saner levels, leaving companies with a lot more overhead.
Frankly, that makes perfect sense to me. It’s easy enough to do when things get crazy in the industry, but there’s an aftermath that needs to be managed properly. However, part of “managed properly” also means letting people go when they’re no longer needed, and that may be something some of these companies wanted to avoid for various reasons, most of them pretty noble.
Unfortunately, nobility doesn’t always work in business.
Luckily for the folks at Freedom Munitions, this is a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This is about restructuring, about setting the company back right and moving forward. While there’s still a possibility that good people will be negatively impacted, it’s far less than if the company were to go completely belly up. At least this way, most people will get to keep their jobs.
Meanwhile, it means there’s less likely to be another shortage of inexpensive ammunition for plinking or training purposes, and that’s a win for the entire firearm community.