Air gun maker rolls out new products, runs lean


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Drizzt
October 21, 2005, 12:32 AM
Crosman keeps its eye on target: competition

Air gun maker rolls out new products, runs lean

Amy H. Wu
Staff writer

(October 20, 2005) — Josh Coon, Crosman Corp.'s Internet guru, clicked onto the company Web site and began to build a customized air gun.

Barrel? Steel. Handle color? Silver. Coon did a test run of the soon-to-launch online "custom shop" where customers can create and buy guns.

"That is really cool, really cool," said Jock Elliott, a seasoned gun writer who was among a group of journalists seeing the demonstration.

The feature is an example of the technology and creative marketing that Crosman is trying to use to gain a competitive edge.

Tucked away in a rural area of East Bloomfield, Ontario County, Crosman's 250 workers design, produce and assemble what have been the bread and butter of its business since 1923: air guns and air gun ammunition. The company produces more than 1 million guns a year; 30,000 pounds of BBs and more than 3 million pellets are made per day.

The company's revenue has grown 50 percent in the four years since Crosman Chief Executive Ken D'Arcy came out of retirement to take the reins.

While the private company would not disclose sales numbers, officials said annual revenue ranges from $70 million to $100 million. For the first quarter of this year, sales grew 30 percent more than expected.

In addition to its full-time staff, Crosman has 200 seasonal workers and has seven open positions in production. Besides East Bloomfield, the company has a small plant in Stover, Mo., and a warehouse in Victor, Ontario County; it will add more warehouse space in Canandaigua.

One of the company's keys to success is introducing products — something it has emphasized since D'Arcy came on board.

"If you don't bring new products to market, you will quickly die," D'Arcy said.

When D'Arcy started, it had been eight years since a new air gun was launched. Now, Crosman introduces an average of two to three new air guns a year. In 2005, at least five new air guns are being launched, not counting the soft air and paintball lines Crosman carries.

Walking through Crosman's 217,000-square-foot plant on Routes 5 and 20, Dan Schultz, vice president of manufacturing, said that new technology has boosted productivity.

"We broke the operations up and introduced a revolver," Shultz said, pointing to the revolving assembly cell on the "Pumpster 760" line. Before the restructuring, there was one worker building an air gun; now there are four workers who rotate every two hours.

With the bottom line in mind, D'Arcy introduced a competitive bidding system — open to factories internationally and domestically — for new products. And China doesn't always win.

"In one case, we found out our factory was 30 percent lower in price than China and Taiwan," D'Arcy said. "We'll do absolutely anything that makes good financial sense. They (Crosman's workers) have to do it better, faster and cheaper than the guys in China."

While globalization is a reality, 90 percent of Crosman's sales still come from the United States. The company has stayed lean by outsourcing some of its service to other companies, sharpening its packaging, especially for big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart, and keeping all advertising and marketing in-house.

"We thought that cutting $3 million was huge four years ago, but that was just the beginning," D'Arcy said.

Then there is the company culture that tries to give its employees a vested interest in their products, in part by encouraging them to pull the trigger.

Crosman opens its indoor shooting ranges and an outdoor paintball field to its workers, and the company boasts an active shooting league.

"They are encouraged to shoot," D'Arcy smiled, clicking a trigger on an air gun.

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051020/BUSINESS/510200346/1001

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Drizzt
October 21, 2005, 12:34 AM
Crosman, sales on rise, debuts products

By ANDREA DECKERT
Rochester Business Journal
October 19, 2005

Crosman Corp. unveiled some of its new products Wednesday, including a commemorative model of its Pumpmaster 760.

The newcomers include the Nightstalker, a semi-automatic pellet air rifle, and the Remmington Summit, a .177-caliber air rifle and a portable air gun range. Crosman in October will make the 11 millionth Pumpmaster—it debuted in 1966.

The company manufactures and markets more than 50 models of air gun rifles and pistols as well as accessories, including BBs, pellets, targets and paintball guns. Its clients are retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kmart Corp. and sporting goods stores.

Kenneth D’Arcy, Crosman’s president and CEO, said new products have been a boost to the East Bloomfield company’s bottom line and have contributed to 40 percent of the company’s sales over the last four years. The firm plans to introduce two to three new products annually.

D’Arcy declined to disclose revenues for the private company, but said sales have grown 50 percent since 2001. The company sells roughly 1 million guns a year.

Crosman employs roughly 250 permanent employees, plus 200 more on a temporary basis. The firm is looking to hire a half dozen more for production work.

Company officials also announced a new feature on Crosman’s Web site that will allow people to custom order certain air guns. The feature should be available by the end of the month.

http://www.rbj.net/fullarticle.cfm?sdid=57380

mbs357
October 21, 2005, 12:44 AM
Sounds awesome.
I'd still like to see a pellet/bb pistol built like a real gun.
IE, Airsoft, but pellets. =D
There are similar from Daisy and the like...but I want it to be as identical as possible.
Edit: Going through the Crosman site to links it seems that my wish is near being answered.

Stand_Watie
October 21, 2005, 01:04 AM
Here's an idea for airgun manufacturers - probably already in use if my previous ideas are any indicator - large game airgun hunting.

I know for example that "muzzleloader" season has become an industry of manufacturers who make modern rifles that meet the legal requirements to be considered a "muzzleloader" - now if airgun manufacturers could break into that market in a serious way, I think they'd have something worth pursuit, and a fun diversification of the hunting market.

I know if I had money to burn and extra time I'd buy a large caliber, high range air rifle just for fun.

Standing Wolf
October 21, 2005, 01:13 AM
Josh Coon, Crosman Corp.'s Internet guru, clicked onto the company Web site and began to build a customized air gun.

Wouldn't it be neat if you could do that with cars? Oh. Wait. You can. Well, wouldn't it be neat if you could do that with guns?

Hawkmoon
October 21, 2005, 01:25 AM
I'd still like to see a pellet/bb pistol built like a real gun.
IE, Airsoft, but pellets. =D
There are similar from Daisy and the like...but I want it to be as identical as possible.
Your wish has been answered, but not by Crosman. Check out www.airsoftextreme.com and look for licensed soft air copies of Wilson Combat 1911s, made by Western Arms. They are so well detailed that in many cases you can put real 1911 parts into the soft air guns.

There are some other Japanese and Taiwanese manufacturers of both licensed and unlicensed clones that are almost impossible to tell from the real thing until you actually hold the gun in your hand.

The_Antibubba
October 21, 2005, 05:19 AM
I want a Crosman mortar!

Lex
October 21, 2005, 07:52 AM
Good for Crossman! Glad to see an American company doing well in the face of extreme competition with China.

I have some fond memories of my first BB/pellet guns...one of which was a Crossman.



Lex in NC

W Turner
October 21, 2005, 01:03 PM
If only Daisy would follow suit and start making a "real" Red Rider. I ahve heard about how much better built they used to be. Would be nice to see some of those for mine and my son's generations.....


W

Owen
October 21, 2005, 01:52 PM
There are some 9mm air rifles out there, that are suitable for the likes of coyotes.

Like this one.

Career 201 (http://www.airgunexpress.com/usedguns/usedrwscareerfire2019mmairrifle115-77-2125.htm)

As far as air pistols that look very much like real guns, check out some of the umarex offerings

Umarex M92FS (http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews5034.html)

Third_Rail
October 21, 2005, 02:12 PM
Stand_Watie, there are hunting airguns out there.

http://www.quackenbushairguns.com/

Stand_Watie
October 21, 2005, 10:03 PM
Oh, I know the rifles exist, but can you legally take game deer with them anywhere? That would crank up the market I'll bet. I know deer hunters who hunt rifle, bow, and muzzleloader, the last two not because they prefer them but because they get first crack at the deer with bow season and last crack at them with muzzleloader season. My 75 year old Aunt and Uncle are currently sitting in a tree up in the north woods and they'll switch for a rifle in Mid-November, and a muzzleloader in I think January if I'm remembering the seasons right. They'd be in that tree with a big rock if that's all the DNR would allow.

I'd expect transitioning from a rifle to an air rifle would be easier than to a muzzleloader for someone (especially like a small, elderly woman) who was sensitive to recoil.

JohnKSa
October 21, 2005, 10:16 PM
I'd expect transitioning from a rifle to an air rifle would be easier than to a muzzleloader for someone who was sensitive to recoil.If you get firearm power from an airgun, it comes with firearm recoil and firearm noise.Your wish has been answered, but not by Crosman. Check out www.airsoftextreme.com and look for licensed soft air...Umm... didn't he say: "IE, Airsoft, but pellets." Maybe I'm reading that wrong, but I would think from that statement he's already aware of airsoft...

mbs357
October 21, 2005, 11:07 PM
Airsoft is pretty awesome, aye. Western Arms is a great company.
And a lot of the make all steel (Or at least mostly steel) versions. Like that all steel CZ-75 airsoft by...Tokyo Marui?
*drool*
But eh, I could buy a real CZ for the price of that thing.
Man, the WAs on this site are some of the best looking airsofts I've seen.

solareclipse
October 22, 2005, 02:05 AM
Airsoft is pretty awesome, aye. Western Arms is a great company.
And a lot of the make all steel (Or at least mostly steel) versions. Like that all steel CZ-75 airsoft by...Tokyo Marui?
*drool*
But eh, I could buy a real CZ for the price of that thing.
Man, the WAs on this site are some of the best looking airsofts I've seen.

tokyo marui is banned from making metal stuff. all japanese makers are.

KSC made one but it has been discountinued. There are few metal kits for CZ but the high quality aluminum one has been out of production for years and out of stock everywhere.

though i hear you.. my real baby cost 325, the replica fully specced out, assuming you can source the parts would run me over 600. aw.

speaking of airguns i need to pick up some pellets....

Nail Shooter
October 22, 2005, 02:58 AM
quote:

"They (Crosman's workers) have to do it better, faster and cheaper than the guys in China."

________________________________________

It's too bad that management has that attitude. Sounds like the guy wants BETTER AND CHEAPER from his own people, if he decides to bid out something to China, than just cheaper is good enough.

I've been to the factory in rural NY state. What a beautiful area.

Stand_Watie
October 22, 2005, 03:56 AM
If you get firearm power from an airgun, it comes with firearm recoil and firearm noise...

I wasn't aware of that. Now I'm going to have to find somebody that has one and will let me try it out.

JohnKSa
October 22, 2005, 03:36 PM
Stand Watie,

You just missed it...

Every October, a group of locals hold an event called Autumn Airgun Festival in Lavon TX (just north of Rockwall). Among the various attractions (free food, door prizes, all day plinking, etc.) one of the organizers brings some of his big bore airguns and allows all comers to shoot them. Last year they had a 20mm airgun, but I think the biggest this year was a .50cal. :D

Average attendance is around 100, and EVERYTHING is free.

Last year I posted a notice on THR, but there was absolutely zero response so I didn't bother this year... :o

Good shooting,

John

mbs357
October 22, 2005, 03:39 PM
.50 inches = 12.7mm. ;D

I heard someone telling me about an M4 lookalike BB gun that not only fired full auto, but had some sort of mechanism that simulated the recoil of an M4...
Anyone heard of this?

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