The National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers has announced their 2012 industry awards at this year’s NASGW’s 39th Annual Meeting and Expo honoring nine outstanding manufacturers and Olympian Kim Rhode for their contributions, performance and leadership in the world of firearms. These names represent companies (and Olympians) that have had a hand in elevating the status of guns as a whole.
The NASGW’s picks for leadership awards are Leupold, Birchwood Casey, Hornady Manufacturing and Ruger. Leadership awards are given to companies who not only manufacture great products, but are also involved in expanding the industry. Ruger is a clear leader and major contributor with programs like their “1.2 Million Gun Challenge to Benefit the NRA.”
But all of these names represent great companies that offer high-value products, and such a wide variety of products, and if you were limited to just guns and accessories from those four you’d be pretty well set. Leupold makes glass for every occasion, Hornady has a huge catalog of ammo that’s ever-expanding and Birchwood Casey makes everything else you need to enjoy a day at the range, from targets to cleaning products.
This year the NASGW added four new awards for excellence in manufacturing to Nikon, Crimson Trace, Winchester Ammunition and Glock. All of these companies make undeniably proven tough and reliable products. With Glock’s track record we’re not surprised to find that they’ve been awarded the first Excellence in Firearms Manufacturing award, and the other names aren’t far behind.
“Glock is proud to be recognized for its attention to detail and commitment to excellence in manufacturing,” said Josh Dorsey, Glock Vice President. “This award is a testament to our hard work and dedication to delivering our best, every day. We are in great company among the other award winners in the optics, accessories and ammunition categories.”
It’s a refreshing surprise to see that Kim Rhode is also being honored, and a nice reminder that a single person can do as much for the gun world as entire companies. By winning the gold at the 2012 Summer Olympic games in skeet she set a new record as the first American to win five consecutive Olympic medals, and a personal best with a ninth and hopefully not last international championship.
But one award has us scratching our heads a little. The NASGW has named Mossberg the 2012 Innovator of the Year. Naturally we’d pick Ruger on account of their many new and interesting products that have come out this year, including the Single Nine, the 10/22 Takedown and its variants and the Ruger American Rifle, but they did already receive one award, so it makes sense to laud another company. This also marks the sixth year in a row that Ruger has been awarded the NASGW Firearms Manufacturer of the Year.
Still, we think there have been other, more innovating companies than Mossberg, which did come out with a few tactical and zombie-themed variants this year. But SIG hasn’t stopped putting out new products from the P938 launched at the top of this year to the P227 announced just this morning.
Smith & Wesson has been plenty busy too, with the instantly-successful M&P Shield for concealed carry and their recent line of CORE red-dot ready full-size M&P pistols. Smith is leading the industry with these innovative handguns, and their continued gains in law enforcement contracts and stock prices reflect this strongly.
Apart from our slight objections, we congratulate all these companies as they really are leaders and and solid manufacturers. If you think Mossberg earned this honor, tell us why. If not, who do you think truly outshone them for 2012?