Amid social distancing and shutdown orders, Savage Arms had a virtual sitdown with firearm industry media to provide an update on where the company stands during what is certainly a difficult operating environment for many businesses. However, thanks to the recent bloom in firearm sales, Savage Arms, like many other manufacturers, are riding high.
“June was a record month for us,” said Savage Arms CEO Al Kasper. “We shipped over 100,000 units.”
To get guns out the door to distributors, Savage Arms maintained production amid coronavirus concerns, and Kaspar highlighted the precautions taken by the company to maintain safety while staying open.
“Savage did not close down during the pandemic,” he said. “We established protocols, kept track of who was sick, tested people after travel.”
The company also made use of masks and consistent cleaning and disinfecting of its workspaces, Kasper added. However, coronavirus concerns aren’t the only issues faced by the Massachusetts-based firm as it attempts to meet record demand and expand production.
Kasper told American Rifleman that, while they’ve streamlined processes as much as possible, the company wouldn’t be expanding its manufacturing capacity. Instead, Savage will focus on upgrading equipment in its effort to increase production numbers.
“We have the capacity to meet the demand as we see it,” he said. “We just need workers.”
While it’s expected that handguns and modern sporting rifles are driving many of the record-breaking firearm sales in recent months, Savage noted that it isn’t just ARs that are selling. The company noted that its entire stock of Stevens-branded shotguns, mainly those designed for defensive use, sold within a week.
Also selling well are Savage’s rimfire rifles, and Savage’s Vice President of Sales Rob Gates opined on the reason why.
“Rimfire guns are scarce,” he said. “Probably because of stay-at-home orders. People are finding ways they can go outside.”
Another popular seller this year for Savage Arms is the company’s 110 Ultralite. Introduced at SHOT Show 2020, the Ultralite is the result of collaboration between the Savage team and PROOF Research. PROOF lent its unique carbon-fiber-wrapped stainless-steel barrel design to the Savage 110 action, creating an extraordinarily strong and lightweight rifle designed for hunting. Available in several chamberings, the Ultralite .308 Win. weighs in at 5.8 lbs., unloaded.
Savage Director of Marketing Beth Shimanski also highlighted areas where they’ve seen incredible demand in terms of offered calibers. Right now, consumers are buying guns chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, and Hornady’s new 6.5 PRC and 300 PRC calibers are also popular requests. Additionally, many consumers have asked for an increase in the number of left-hand models available.
After striking out on its own more than a year ago, Savage Arms has not only survived, it has thrived. Kasper noted that the company expects to grow in the future, both in terms of brands under the Savage umbrella, as well as in the diversity of products available.
“The government has made it difficult,” he said.” But Savage has a very bright future. We continue to innovate, and we’re very actively looking at acquiring other companies within our space.”