Rumors about the internal workings of Utah-based SilencerCo have bounced around social media for the past 48 hours. And while there has yet to be an official word from the company itself, there are a few industry insiders with a tangential relationship to SiCo that have offered up their insight and analysis. I’ve combined their anonymous comments on the company’s ongoing workforce issues below:
With the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) possibly horizon and a reduced political threat to firearms and suppressors, people have relaxed on their gun purchases. In addition, the whole firearm industry was planning for a different election outcome and stocked up on black rifles and ammo – people just aren’t buying many guns right now.
As such, dealers can’t buy as many suppressors to sell because they stocked up on modern sporting rifles and ammunition that nobody is buying. And now people aren’t buying suppressors because of the HPA possibility. It’s a weird confluence of events.
The industry is in flux at this moment. SilencerCo manufacturers everything in-house, so they have the capability of running a large staff at max output. With over 100 machines to manufacture parts, each machine needs an operator.
So with sales down, they had to let some of their staff go. It wasn’t anywhere near 80%, as some are reporting. However, it appears every department was affected and had staff let go, including some executives. So it was a seemingly company-wide adjustment.
This is all has a very temporary feel and it must be weird for everyone involved. When sales increase, I know SilencerCo will ramp back up. This is just a temporary low point and eventually the whole industry will climb out of this dip.
I have held off posting information until TFB received an official statement from SilencerCo. As of this writing, my emails to CRO Jason Scauble have gone unanswered. I can’t say I blame him, really, they are obviously dealing with complicated events. However, a little information goes a long way to easing fears and calming nerves.
As competitive as the industry is, there are very few manufacturers, dealers and distributors who take pleasure in another company’s misfortune. This should be especially true at this moment, since the economic downturn in the firearm industry has the potential to spread to other market players.
My nickle’s worth of free advice: if there is a silencer you are interested in, buy it. No one is asking you to keep companies afloat with additional purchases. However, if you are waiting for HPA to pass before buying more cans, you are doing everyone a disservice – including yourself.
Here’s a good read from our friends at RecoilWeb on the current state of the silencer industry.