SureFire Cuts Staff Due To Decline in Military Sales

It’s a pretty rough time for many in the firearms industry these days, Colt recently filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and PTR Industries has been having trouble paying their rent. The Fountain Valley, California based gun accessories and flashlight maker SureFire, LLC recently announced that they too are in some financial troubles and will be laying off staff due to a drop in revenue from military spending.

“We had to make some difficult decisions to layoff some very good people,” said SureFire founder Dr. John Matthews in a release announcing the layoffs. “SureFire ramped up to meet the demands of our military but we must ‘right-size’ now that military spending has declined.”

SureFire is known for their muzzle brakes, suppressors and flashlights but relied heavily on sales to the military. They didn’t mention how many employees will be let go, just that it will affect all departments.

Ray I.

Long time gun enthusiast, archery noob, Mazda fan, Sci-Fi nerd, Whiskey drinker, online marketer and blogger. My daily firearms musings can be found over at my gun blog and Instagram.

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  • Frank

    Shame to see. They and Maglite are the only big US flashlight manufacturers left. It goes to show you the folly of relying too much on spending that can raise and lower depending on the direction of the wind.

  • Timothy G. Yan

    Damn, how can I spend my money on overprice $400 LED light and $200 flashhider now?



      Got a Cree light on eBay for less than $5 free shipping 300lumen bright as hell. Never looked back since.
      Got a 1600 lumen Cree light for less than $15 light up my camp site during janurary camping trip like its middle of The afternoon.
      Both still working and still running on $1 store el chepo AAA battery. Can’t beat that.
      Oh did I mention zoomable? And strobe function? Its just awesome for that price.

      • Budogunner


  • milesfortis

    Maybe they’ll drop some coin and work on getting suppressors removed from NFA purview.
    I’d like to see suppressors be nothing more than an accessory on a shelf, but I’d accept them just being ‘firearms’.

    • Ethan

      I honestly think that may happen in the next decade. Suppressor have come a LONG long way in the last few years, and once they cross a certain “public re-education” threshold, there will be no stopping it.

  • Ethan

    We’re starting to see a trend of big companies who rely primarily on government contracts become increasingly unstable.

    It would seem the commercial market is where its at for most companies now.
    Just my $.02

    • Dan

      Hmmm…. seems to be a recurring theme about companies/people relying to heavily on Uncle Sam

  • GreeK Preparedness

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…wasn’t also the Commercial flashlight market lost by Surefire 3-4 years ago? (with the overpriced 6PXs and the models that were promised in Shotshow and half of them appeared 2 years latter on the market?)

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Maybe they’d sell more if their flashlights didn’t cost as much as a new gun.

    • Vitsaus

      Exactly. They priced themselves out of the market. Times were good before, there was a war on, there was a mad rush for guns and accessories. Now consumers don’t have the money and there are plenty of affordable options that are “good enough.” They forget that wars eventually end, and economies take a while to recover.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I have never understood why flashlights are so expensive, especially gun lights that, for those of us who are not Navy SEALs, are rarely used anyway. They got fat and happy and thought the gravy train was going to last forever and look what happened,

        • Back when they were using incandescent bulbs, shock-proofing was a big deal and required real engineering. The high prices were somewhat justified. But now that we’re using LEDs, it’s real hard to understand why the prices remain so high. LEDs are solid state, and shock-proofing them is not that hard to do.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            They were charging what people would pay.
            That time is now ending apparently.

    • Grindstone50k


      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Whatever. I just stuck a Glock tac-lite I got for $30 on my rifle. Works just fine.

      • Robert Jacobo

        Really? If you can afford them, good for you! That does not make the light worth what you paid. If you want to impress your mall ninja friends cool.

  • Joshua

    Surefire makes good stuff, but without a military price tag few can afford their overpriced lights.

    The M952V costs $600 for a civilian, and while it is a good light the military price is 1/5 of that.

  • Grindstone50k

    Sorry but not sorry. My Streamlights and Inovas deliver value at a far lower cost.

    • Budogunner

      In the suppressor community, mentioning Surefire usually gets you sneared at. They depended on those military contacts pretty heavily, I believe.

      • Mike N.

        Silencer Shop did a test of a bunch of 30cal cans, one of which was a SilencerCo SpecWar 762 and another was a roughly equivalent Surefire that cost a lot more. All of the cans did about the same (within a couple of dB), except for the Surefire, which did so poorly they though it was broken.

    • Kivaari

      Muzzle brakes costing more than I paid for AR15s and AKs not that many years ago.

  • tony

    Good products, just too pricey,
    Aimpoint and ACOG will be next if gov contracts drop

    • Kivaari

      You’re right on that. Not many of us have access to Chinese loans. Nor do we have $18 trillion debt loads, even though it feels like that some days.

    • uisconfruzed

      I did my part & just ordered another Micro.

    • floppyscience

      Pretty sure Trijicon will stay nice and fat considering their hold on the civilian pistol sight market. How many pistols come with their sights as OEM? And how many other night sight MFGs use their tritium?

  • micmac80

    Market is booming so only way they fail as company is if they become the parasites that rely on taxpayers to fund them.
    The prices of surefire have been skyhigh and you only have so many gear wh*res that are prepared to pay for all the gucic tactical .

  • Brandon

    Does that mean I’ll be able to get a SOCOM300 before the fall sometime? Because my local shop has no stock of anything Surefire?

  • Chuck Mahon

    Just means that there will be some consolidation in the industry – Surefire is an amazing company with a history of innovation – likely you will see them find a bigger dance partner to merge with and continue producing cool things!

    • plumber576

      Please not Freedom Group.

  • phauxtoe

    SUREFIRE lights

    Great Product – No Question!
    Over Priced – No Question!

    There is no reason they cost that much,
    well okay they cost that much because our Dopey Government will pay that much!

    • Former CPA

      There is very good reason for the cost: all of the executives earn huge salaries. The VP of manufacturing pulls in over $350k plus a huge annual bonus, director of the suppressor division gets about $175k, the CAO get over $250k, one VP has no responsibilities and gets $200k a year but he is a longtime friend of John’s. None of these salaries was cut, but they cut people who survive on much less. Drive by the parking lot and check-out the high-end cars of the executives. One retiree of Surefire, Tim LaFrance, drives a McLaren! So the next time you pay full price for one of their lights, remember where your hard-earned money is going.

  • Kivaari

    I retired in 2002. Up until that time I had both department and privately purchased Surefire lights. Pricing was insane at that time, but since I worked and was paid, I wanted the best lights I could find. BIG BUT, even then Surefire lights were overpriced. A light for an MP5 or M4 costs more than most guns I had bought over the previous 40 years. There is no reason a flashlight should costs $400. Now I see lights close to $1,000. For a damn flashlight.
    When we get pretty good $10 lights, it dis-incentivizes us to fork over big bucks for what are mostly hobby guns. Ending the military role, means these companies need to stop gouging the public. We don’t have Chinese money to support our fantasies of chasing bad guys in the mountains of Afghanostan or North Idaho.

  • nadnerbus

    To echo the comments about insane costs, I’ll point out that their rather nifty 60 rounder MSRPs at 130 freaking dollars. Or, you could spend twenty to thirty dollars and get two 30 rounders…

    If you walked into the LGS and saw Surefire 60s for, say, $45, how many people here would pick one or two up? Make money on volume guys!

  • sam

    I hate to see it happen to a company that’s apparently willing to do cadmium plated springs. I mean, it’s gritty, but classy.

    • Robert Jacobo

      Do not need cadmium plated springs! WTF?

  • TBW

    I hate to see good companies and people suffer. I think Surefire makes excellent products and don’t mind paying more for excellent quality, especially when Made In America…

    • reasonable

      I can get better elsewhere. I don’t mind paying for the best value, no matter what country it comes from.

    • Robert Jacobo

      The made in America propaganda is used too often. Their products are over priced, as some have mentioned, because our tax dollars are being used. There is NO reason for the prices they and others charge. Oh, get rid of the “your life depends on it” sales pitch.

  • john4637

    I could be wrong but I feel that the military will cut back buying as many firearms as they can from US manufacturers in order to force many in closing their doors, then under the new trade law “TPA”, the president has the power to exclude importation of any type firearm he has a ha%don for, thus clandestine “gun control”. Nah! Obama is too honorable to do some thing like that!

  • BalloonKnot69

    Looks like their greediness finally caught up to them. Unless they significantly lower their civilian prices I say good riddance.