Smith & Wesson Holding Corp Changes Its Name to “American Outdoor Brands Corp”

Smith & Wesson logo

First, don’t panic, all will be explained.

In a strange move, shareholders at Smith & Wesson Holding Corp have voted overwhelmingly to change the company’s name to “American Outdoor Brands Corp”, supposedly to reflect the company’s recent diversification efforts, such as its purchase of laser manufacturer Crimson Trace and knifemaker Taylor Brands.

What’s important to know for our readers who are surely held in suspense at this point is that “Smith & Wesson” will continue to be the brand used for the company’s firearms subsidiary, Smith & Wesson Corp. That is to say, the name change applies only to the holding corporation under which Smith & Wesson, Crimson Trace, Taylor Brands, and other subsidiaries operate.

That doesn’t change the strangeness of the name change, however. At the risk of editorializing a bit, “American Outdoor Brands Corp” has all the brand recognition and flavor of “Company Corp Incorporated, LLC”, and it’s not clear what about Smith & Wesson was so bad that it needed changing in the first place. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that a gun company lent its name to a larger holding firm, but perhaps that’s the problem. It seems likely that the stockholders felt their company being directly associated with such a well recognized gun company would negatively impact its performance, although the idea that a name change would substantially impact that sounds like wishful thinking to me.

H/T, Broń i Amunicja



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Kimberwarrior45

    Actually according to the CEO the firearms side provides about 80+% of the Holding Corp revenue and is the only thing keeping the Holding Corp afloat. Think, if you know that some of the new products you are going to market, shall we say, may not be up to quality standards or manufactured in a country(or donate to a cause) that does not meet what current S&W customers support and you still want your bonus then this makes total sense. The firearms side keeps the company afloat with an unsullied brand and the company ‘no one ever heard of’ now markets to the segment of the population who don’t like firearms much (from new acquisitions and products). So a bad name or a loss of share because management decisions will not be associated with what keeps the company in profit. Remember the Clinton years and that great decision S&W made.

    • Audie Bakerson

      I’m too young to remember the Clinton years other than Bill being a pervert. Care to refresh me on that?

      • Kimberwarrior45

        “on March 17, 2000, Smith & Wesson (S & W) signed an agreement with the Departments of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development in order to be dropped as a defendant in a handful of reckless lawsuits filed by municipalities against the firearms industry.” per https://www.nraila.org/articles/20000320/the-smith-wesson-sellout
        and
        “The company also believed the move had PR value: It hoped to burnish its brand by becoming the foremost firearms company that cared about safety. “perhttp://www.businessinsider.com/smith-and-wesson-almost-went-out-of-business-trying-to-do-the-right-thing-2013-1

    • borekfk

      Biggest foul up S&W ever made.

      • durabo

        You mean, after having been sued by Dr. Ing. Gaston Glock for patent infringement?

  • Geoff Timm

    Sounds like another attempt to appeal to the college investment funds. “We ain’t got no EVIL GUN COMPANY stocks, just BS Corp of CS Corp of Euphemism Corp. LlC. Geoff Who is cynical.

  • I’d be less upset with the Hillary holes on S&W revolvers if Ruger made an attractive doube-action revolver. Also, the drive to adopt a generic name makes sense. After every sensationalized shooting someone makes a big show of divesting from Smith & Wesson. Might as well genericize the name a bit. Then it it just blends into a portfolio.

  • Black Dots

    Given their recent acquisitions, I’m upset they didn’t change their name to Shooty Stabby LaserCorp.

  • durabo

    Oh, goody: Now I can buy a sports bra for my wife from this company!

  • Bill

    If it ain’t broke, fix it till it is. It would appear that they have learned nothing from Colt.

  • Al

    It is about optics….. and this will be a good thing. Mutual fund managers have to publish their top 10 or top 20 holdings on a regular basis. They cannot have gun manufacturers military contractors or tobacco companies in the top 10 list far too many people won’t buy the funds if they’re listed there. And just like Imperial Tobacco changed their name to Imperial Brands Inc. This allows portfolio managers to hold these names within their top 10 list. This means the professional money managers can pour more money into these companies.

  • J.E.Walker

    Pretty damn stupid change if you ask me. History tells us that this sort of change is just plain wrong. Management will come to regret it.