ArmaLite announced that they have been acquired by the Strategic Armory Corps, the parent company behind Surgeon Rifles and AWC Silencers. The acquisition is to expand SAC’s gun portfolio, increasing the company’s offerings and target market.
Surgeon is a leader in precision long-range rifles and AWC Silencers makes hard-use suppressors and custom target-grade ammunition. ArmaLite fits right in.
ArmaLite is best known for being the original company behind the AR-series of rifles, including the AR-10 and AR-15, which are without a doubt the most popular family of rifles on the market today (if you didn’t know, AR stands for ArmaLite Rifle).
There have been many variations of the original rifle and today’s ArmaLite produces some of the highest quality firearms in the market. ArmaLite will continue to operate out of its facility in Geneseo, Illinois, which houses approximately 90 personnel. Mark Westrom, the seller of ArmaLite, will remain as an investor in SAC and will serve on its board of managers.
“ArmaLite is a tremendous addition to our group of outstanding companies and broadens our product line so we can better meet the needs of our customers”, said Mark Johnson, SAC president in the press release. “The history of Mark Westrom over his 19 years of leading ArmaLite will provide a wealth of industry knowledge to our leadership team and allow us to further expand our ability to meet the ever increasing demands for the highest quality products by our customers and the marketplace.”
The company currently manufactures semi-automatic AR rifles as well as precision and duty bolt-action rifles, in common calibers like .308 Winchester and .300 Winchester Magnum and more exotic chamberings such as .338 Lapua, .416 Barrett and .50 BMG.
Armalite also markets Sarsilmaz pistols under their brand name. The Sarsilmaz guns, or AR-24 pistols, are CZ 75-derived and priced competitively and built to last.
As of now there are no indications that anything will change at ArmaLite, although with a stronger backer they may be able to deliver more products faster.
With current backlogs on some firearms orders expected to take many months to fill, the best thing SAC can do for their new brand is to give them room to work.
However, some have high hopes for the new partnership, as there are a handful of ArmaLite guns that have been unfortunately discontinued. The possibility for this is being discussed over at the Firearm Blog.
One of those rifles is the AR-18/180, which would be extremely well-received if it were put back on the market. There are many AR-type rifles available from great manufacturers; an updated AR-18 would truly be different, and in a sense, innovative. The AR-18 is a stamped and welded low-cost steel alternative to the AR-15 that is quite durable, reliable and accurate.
But for now the safest course is most likely to take care of back-orders. There’s a lot of pressure to finish business before taking on new challenges.