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  1. #1
    L8models's Avatar
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    Smith & Wesson Enters Shotgun Market

    Company to Launch Fixed-Action and Semi-Automatic Shotguns at 2007 SHOT Show

    SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (Nasdaq: SWHC), parent company of Smith & Wesson Corp., the legendary 154-year old company in the global business of safety, security, protection and sport, today announced that it will enter the market for shotguns in 2007 and plans to unveil two new lines of innovative shotguns at this year's Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show, January 11-14, 2007 in Orlando, Florida.

    Michael F. Golden, Smith & Wesson's President and CEO, said, "We conducted an extensive study in 2004 which told us that consumer purchase intent strongly supported a Smith & Wesson entry into the long gun market for rifles and shotguns. At approximately $1 billion, nearly 60% larger than our traditional revolver and pistol market, the long gun market represents a significant opportunity for growth. The study further indicated that the Company's brand would be well-received in the highly fragmented, $350 million shotgun segment. As a result, we have entered into an agreement with a team of industry veterans, who have formed a partnership and constructed manufacturing facilities with the sole purpose of producing our innovative line of Smith & Wesson designed shotguns."

    Smith & Wesson Elite Series(TM)

    The Elite Series will initially consist of the Elite Gold(TM) side-by-side 20-gauge shotguns, and the Elite Silver(TM) over-and-under 12-gauge shotguns. The Elite Gold models will feature a patent-pending, Smith & Wesson designed trigger plate action, which enables a gracefully rounded and sculpted receiver; hand-cut checkering and engraving; AAA (grade III) Turkish walnut stocks; and a precise wood-to-metal fit. The Elite Silver Series will feature over-and-under 12-gauge shotguns that share the same custom design features as the Gold Series, with the addition of machined, monobloc barrels. Both the Elite Gold and Elite Silver shotguns will be crafted with hand engraved receivers finished in a true bone charcoal case hardening, for added protection and distinct coloring. The Smith & Wesson Elite Series will provide consumers with high-end shotguns in a value-added price range. Additional configurations and gauges within the series will be added in the future.

    Smith & Wesson Heirloom Warranty(TM)

    In conjunction with the launch of its Elite Series, Smith & Wesson will introduce the Smith & Wesson Heirloom Warranty program, which will come standard with the purchase of each Elite Series shotgun. The Heirloom Warranty program is the first warranty of its kind in the firearms industry, and provides both the original buyer, as well as the buyer's chosen heir, with a lifetime warranty on all Elite Series shotguns.

    Smith & Wesson 1000 Series(TM)

    The Smith & Wesson 1000 Series of semi-automatic shotguns has been designed with features that place the 1000 Series among the lightest weight and most reliable self-loading shotguns on the market. At the core of the new 1000 Series is a gas cylinder mechanism that has been uniquely engineered to deliver top performance, regardless of even the harshest conditions. Lightweight, durable and capable of handling today's hardest recoiling loads, the 1000 Series will initially be available in 29 separate configurations. Each shotgun in the 1000 Series will also feature a broad array of components and accessories to satisfy the needs of professional sportsmen as well as novice hunters.

    The Smith & Wesson Elite Gold and Elite Silver Series of shotguns, as well as the new 1000 Series of semi-automatic shotguns, have been designed by Smith & Wesson and incorporate several pending patents. Because the series will be produced in facilities dedicated entirely to manufacturing Smith & Wesson shotguns, as opposed to private labeling, Smith & Wesson shotguns will be distinct and unique in the marketplace.

    Golden continued, "By partnering with seasoned veterans and securing dedicated facilities in Turkey that have been built entirely for our use, we are entering the market with new products very quickly, with a high degree of quality, and with no investment of capital. The exclusivity within our agreement also allows us to control every element of product design, quality, and capacity, and will insure our ability to develop and deliver new and innovative shotgun models on a regular basis. That innovation has become a hallmark of the Smith & Wesson brand."

    "Our entry into shotguns represents our continued expansion as a global provider of products and services for the safety, security, protection and sport markets. Having successfully entered the long gun market with the introduction of our M&P15 tactical rifle series in February 2006, our move into shotguns represents the second chapter in our long gun growth strategy. We continue to explore opportunities in the market for hunting rifles as well, which represents the third and largest segment of the long gun market where we have yet to offer products. We are excited about carrying the strength and reputation of the Smith & Wesson brand further into the long gun market, and we look forward to delivering to our new shotgun customers the same level of quality and customer service that has made us a leader in the firearms industry," concluded Golden.

    About Smith & Wesson

    Smith & Wesson is a global provider of products and services for the safety, security, protection and sport markets. The Company manufactures firearms and handcuffs and is home to America's longest-running firearms training facilities for America's public servants. The Company also markets a variety of products for sport shooters including firearm safety/security devices, shooter protective gear, knives, apparel, and other accessory lines. The Company is based in Springfield, Mass., with manufacturing facilities in Springfield and Houlton, Maine. Contact (800) 331-0852 or log on to www.smith-wesson.com.

    Certain statements contained in this document may be deemed to be forward-looking statements under federal securities laws, and Smith & Wesson intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor created thereby. Forward-looking statements include the Company's potential participation in the long gun market; the Company's ability to successfully compete in the shotgun market; the Company's ability to introduce additional configurations and gauges of its Elite Series and 1000 Series shotguns in the future; the Company's ability to develop and deliver new and innovative shotguns in the future; the Company's ability to control all elements of design, quality and capacity; and the Company's opportunities in the market for hunting rifles. The Company cautions that these statements are qualified by important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected by the forward-looking statements contained herein. Such factors include the acceptance of the Elite Series and 1000 Series of shotguns by customers; the performance, capabilities, and durability of the Company's shotguns in actual use; the Company's ability to have shotguns manufactured in accordance with their intended features and performance; as well as other risks as identified from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and Annual Reports on Form 10-K.

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