Breaking News: Kevin Brittingham Leaves AAC

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GearScout broke the news that Kevin Brittingham is no longer the president of the Advanced Armament Cooperation. I have independently confirmed that Kevin has left and an interim president has been appointed.

Kevin started AAC as a hobby and “bootstrapped” the company himself without taking outside financing. In 2009 he sold the company to The Freedom Group. The Freedom Group paid $11.1 million with an additional $8 million due to be paid in 2015 if certain financial and employment conditions were met. The big question is if Kevin will be paid out all, or part of, the $8 million.

I look forward to seeing what Kevin does in the future. He started a phenomenally innovative company. I wish him and his wife Cara, a former AAC blogger, all the best for the future.

Kevin Brittingham. Photo © Oleg Volk.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • wright

    Haley, Costa, and Brittingham are teaming up…

    • GunSlut

      I would like to believe Haley and Costa would be smarter than that.

  • Griff

    I heard rumors that he was forced out.

    • SPC Fish

      i have never heard anything good about him. he has been a huge asshole to potential customers and other people in the industry

      • 18D

        @Spc Fish- Is there any way you could elaborate on that. I’m always interested to know what companies have done to upset customers. It’s important to share your experiences so that we can be aware for future reference. We should always hold these manufacturers to a high standard of quality and service. Thanks.

      • rew

        18d – for one, he sued a guy for posting that FN wasn’t looking at AAC’s cans for the scar 17 http://www.silencerresearch.com/ian187.pdf

  • Lance

    Another problem for AAC and its parent The Freedom Group I think if Remington, AAC and other Freedom Group companies want to get better sales it be best to dump freedom Group and go on there own. they got good enough designs for it.

    • Other Steve

      “it be best to dump freedom Group and go on there own. they got good enough designs for it.”

      Lance you need to work on your English, and grammar. Spelling I’ll let you walk on because my iphone makes me look retarded sometimes and that’s just a fact of life.

      Anyhow… wtf are you talking about dump Freedom Group? It’s not like they have a choice in the matter. Those companies are wholly own subsidiaries of Freedom Group. THEY ARE FREEDOM GROUP. They together make up the group in GROUP. They can no more dump Freedom than Smith can dump Wesson.

      If perhaps your post was a warning to other companies that are considering being purchased by Freedom Group, this is not a rare situation exclusive to Freedom. This type of acquisition and old head being thrown out on this ass happens all the time.

    • Lance

      IM just saying with this debacle and the potential of the ACR which they have be better for some companies to get management to FG or dump them completely.

      • Owen

        Lance,

        That’s like saying “your car is poorly driven, so it should change its ownership”

  • jdun1911

    By staying with the company all you’re doing is getting in the way of the new management that wants to take the company in a new direction. If I were him I’ll take the money, buy a boat, and take a long vacation. No stress and a win win for everybody.

    His departure shouldn’t be a surprise. It all ends that way.

    • Steve

      Oh, I am sure he would rather have had the money.

      Remington would have forced him to stay on. The $8 mil was contingent on employment conditions (no doubt that being his employment as president) and financial (he has to meet targets).

      These kind of clauses are pretty standard when large private businesses are sold, but as you say, they can cause real problems when goals are not properly aligned.

      • jdun

        And that his mistake. When he sold his company he should made it a one lump payment without any condition except that you can’t compete with the new owner for X number of years (reasonable). Walk out of the door and never look back.

        It would be interesting to see who wanted him to stay in the company. If I were the buyer I would told the old owner “Here is your check and there is the door.”

  • SpudGun

    After the Freedom Group’s spectacular handling of the ACR, I’m looking forward to them running the good name and reputation of AAC into the ground for the sake of a few extra bucks.

    Now that the guy who started and loved the company is gone, it should be easier for Freedom Group to sack employees, move production, use cheaper and inferior parts, ignore quality control and a whole host of other fantastic ways to maximize profits, destroy morale and ruin the product.

    Corporate greed FTW!

    • Matt G.

      Once again I must agree with you spudgun, I don’t see freedom group doing anything worthwhile with the brand at all.

      • SpudGun

        Thanks Matt. I’ve worked at boardroom level and as a self employed freelancer and I know this dance all too well.

        You start a niche company because it is something you love and you hope it makes enough money to keep you alive and pay your employees. Then when it gets a bit successful, someone bigger comes along and dangles a big bag of money in front of you.

        That’s when the bullcrap comes out – they promise you this, they promise you that – we want you to run the company, we’ll protect you in the marketplace, we’ll help you grow the business, blah, blah, blah. It’s all basically lies.

        Then they screw you and if you object, they threaten to take you to court for a million years. Corporations don’t care about product, they don’t care about consumers, most don’t even care about the rule of law, they only care about making money.

        Anyways, I better stop this rant before I break out my Occupy tent. At least Kevin walked away with some money in his pocket and hopefully he’ll use the dough to start another company and come back stronger then ever.

  • Sally scrotpuncher

    What do they make anyway? Silencers?? Something in-obtainable to all but the 1% of elite, rich, wall street firearm owners. I am the unsuppresed 99%!! Lol.

    • Winston Smith

      You can’t afford a $200 tax, a Quicken online trust form, and don’t live in a free state? The suppressor itself will run about the cost of a quality pistol. One less handgun, plus paperwork, waiting, and the $200 tax stamp and you’re good.

    • jdun

      Suppressor is the fastest growing market in the firearm business. I actually got my new suppressor yesterday after a 7 months wait for my stamp. In the past it was 4 months.

      My next NFA item will be either another suppressor (built or bought new) or a short barrel double barrel shotgun.

    • 18D

      Where do people come up with this crap? Suppressors are hugely popular all over the country. They don’t cost much at all, unless your homeless. If your budget doesn’t allow one, then your tax check would easily cover it. Whether you choose to buy one with that money is your decision. But, don’t tell me they’re for the 1% of shooters that are rich. As civilians, LEO, and military start to figure out the HUGE advantages of supptessor use, the sales will go up even more.

      BTW, when you think of the top companies in the suppressor market, AAC will come up everytime! They make some of the most advanced cans in the industry. Cans that are currently riding on the ends of the rifles of the most elite military shooters in the world!

    • W

      nothing like flat out lying in order to stand on a personal political soapbox.

      Classic case of failure.

      btw, 18, silencers, in my opinion, are placed on the pedestal among mankind’s greatest inventions :)

  • Other Steve

    Steve, you didn’t mention the part about Kevin being escorted from the premises by lawyers and security guards! That’s a tiny detail that might be interesting to the story.

    It’s all over in the gearscout article.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      I am not saying Gearscout is wrong, but my sources were either unable to unwilling to confirm that.

    • Woodroez

      This is standard practice with some companies. Not special treatment to him, just routine. Steve’s source may not have mentioned it because it simply doesn’t bear mentioning.

  • chris

    The Truth About Guns has an article about this.

  • W

    oh great, just what we need, another leg on a monopoly.

  • tommy2rs

    Advanced Armament Cooperation? Really? First rule of writing for public consumption is that spell check is no substitute for proof reading. Nothing beats the old Mark 1 Mod 0 eyeball for that. Lol…that mantra was beaten into my skull while creating maintenance manuals for a lead acid battery plant.

  • http://deojesrandomstuff.blogspot.com Frank Wilson

    I own several of his cans and I wish him the best of luck.

  • Paralus

    Wait, are you saying a huge multinational corporation decided to force out the founder of his own company? Golly gee, what are the odds of that?

    Another reason to avoid Remington/bushmaster, etc.

    • jdun1911

      It’s not his company anymore. He sold it. The new owners has every right to fire or hire whoever they please.

  • “Dr.”Dave

    Good. Screw him.

    Its about time they threw that bum out. If I had bought AAC, its the FIRST thing I would have done, before I even toured the facility.

    AAC makes good products, that’s for sure, but their customer service is HORRIBLE. They took my money and I never saw my product. They lost all ‘records’ of my purchase, and the customer service rep that I was dealing with, according to AAC, “Has never worked for the company.”

    Surprisingly enough, the gun store I work for now had the EXACT same problem. Except they bought more than a dozen suppressors. They were quoted a lead time, paid for the products, sold many of them them in advance, taking AACs word that they would delevier on time and on budget.

    A YEAR later they were yet to hear from AAC. Then they called them up, got nowhere with customer service. So then one of our customers who had paid for a can called and AAC was kind enough to tell them that was no record of their order, no record of their payment, and when they asked to talk to their customer service representative, AAC said that they “Had no record of anyone working there by that name ever.” and that they had NEVER taken any order from our gun store, ever, even though we had been stocking their product for YEARS.

    Can you imagine how pissed off you would be if you ordered a suppressor from a company, paid for it, did all the BS paperwork in advance, and then called the company to check on your order a YEAR later and were told that the gun store you ordered it from had never placed it?

    We lost a LOT of customers because of AAC.

    AAC screwed me. AAC screwed the company I work for. So, screw them.

  • Rob

    I just got my tax stamp after waiting 5 months, ordered a threaded barrel, and picked up the tirant45 and noticed that it was missing an o-ring and the endcap tool s e-mailed AAC and they responded quickly and sent out the o-ring and tool. Took out the baffes and noticed that it had alot of carbon deposit on them and appeared to be shot, I payed for a NEW can but got a USED can. Contacted AAC and they told me that the dealer must have shot it but they will repair the baffles and replace them under warrenty and would be sent back to me in 3-5 days. Went to dealer to discuss with them and they told me that they never shot the can and called AAC and confirmed that once AAC gets it, 4 days it will be shipped back to me. AAC took delivery on Dec 12 so 4 days would be the 16th. E-mailed AAC on Dec 20 wit no reply and called on the 21rst and talked to someone who found my can and told me that they will replace the baffles and should either be sent out late Thursday the 22nd or Friday the 23rd. Nothing as of Jan 3rd and tried calling them but message stated that they were away from their phones. 9 business days before they went on vacation6 days) for a original quote of 4 days. I got screwed by AAC

    • Seriously?

      “Dr.”Dave,
      I’m sure you and the company you work for kept a receipt or record of your payments to AAC…a receipt shows proof of purchase, and with such a LARGE purchase a cancelled check is easy to find in your bank registry.

      If I were the one getting “screwed” by them I would have my information available to prove them wrong….

      As for the guy who “got screwed” over Christmas break….they just threw the owner out two days prior, the company is up in the air, and it’s Christmas break. Really?