Massachusetts-based Smith & Wesson on Monday announced it intended to divest the company of the Thompson/Center Arms brand in the near future. 

In a release, the publicly-traded company (NASDAQ: SWBI) said the move to sever the T/C branch of the storied American gunmaker was to better focus on core S&W brands. 

"Thompson/Center is a beloved hunting brand with a longstanding heritage, and we are committed to ensuring a smooth transition," said Mark P. Smith, president and CEO of Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. "Thompson/Center Arms' loyal consumers should rest assured that they will continue to receive the world-class firearms, accessories, and customer service support that the brand has been known for since its founding in 1965."

Smith cautioned that S&W will remain "fully committed to the hunting and long-range shooting market," even without T/C while allowing the company to "immediately redirect manufacturing capacity to increase overall production volumes, allowing us to gain additional market share while simultaneously increasing profitability."

While a buyer for the T/C brand has not been identified, Smith said the planned carve-off will not result in a workforce reduction as employees will be repurposed. 

Thompson/Center was founded 55 years ago in Rochester, New Hampshire and over the decades has concentrated on single-shot pistols, rifles, carbines, and shotguns as well as muzzleloaders and the short-lived R-55 series semi-auto rimfire rifle. Since it was acquired by S&W in 2006 and moved production to Springfield, Massachusetts, T/C has expanded its catalog to produce bolt-action rifles such as the Compass, Dimension, Icon, and Venture lines. In 2019, Thompson/Center reentered semi-auto rimfire rifle production with the new T/C R22 series rifles. 

As for S&W, the company recently split from the American Outdoor Brands Corporation, retaining the iconic 169-year-old Smith & Wesson and its associated M&P and Performance Center brands as well as Thompson/Center Arms, and suppressor maker Gemtech. AOBC retained its non-firearm brands such as Caldwell, Crimson Trace, Wheeler, Tipton, Frankford Arsenal, Lockdown, BOG, Hooyman, Schrade, Old Timer, Uncle Henry, Imperial, BUBBA, UST, and LaserLyte. 

Smith & Wesson's common stock closed 7.3 percent up on Monday. 

Banner photo: Thompson Center Contender in the Vault.