In these times of outrageous gun sales, there are some parts of the industry that aren’t doing too well.Â The Outdoor Wire reports that Knight Rifles, maker of in-line muzzle loaders, is shutting its doors.Â Market forces at work, but I think it’s a bit unfortunate.Â Â As the number of hunters decline, leaving the field through death, age or illness, they will begin to sell off their equipment. With fewer younger hunters to take up the supply, a surplus will be the result, which means we don’t need as many manufacturers of hunting equipment, including rifles.
I think the future of the shooting sports is in three places: pistols, practical rifles, and air guns.Â Anything you don’t need a huge range for probably has a future.Â Â They aren’t building 600 yard ranges in suburban areas these days, or even many rural ones.Â But you can set up a pistol or air gun range just about anywhere.
6 thoughts on “Knight Rifles Closing Down”
Anything you donâ€™t need a huge range for probably has a future.
I’d think the shotgun games would fit that bill nicely. Heck, I’m a gun nut, but trap shooting is the only thing I participate in resembling an actual sport or competition.
Part of Knight’s problem isn’t so much that “nobody’s hunting anymore”, it’s that the frontstuffer market is fiercely competitive and entry barriers are low. No FFL required to manufacture or sell, mail-order sales, and incredibly fickle customers make it a cutthroat segment of the industry.
Knight had some interesting products, but none that I was inclined to buy, since I’m not a hunter, and I don’t need something just for Black Powder season, or whatever.
I bought a used Remington 700 in .30-06 4 years ago for $345. I just shot it for the first time this past Saturday when a friend invited me to shoot on the range for which he is a member, and it’s a gem. A real honey. But I don’t know when I’ll get to shoot full powered loads out of it again. That range is an hour and a half away. There’s one to the north, but that’s 45 Minutes away. There are two pistol ranges that are within 15-20 minutes distance. I bet I have more places to shoot than anyone who doesn’t live in a place where they can shoot in their backyard, and it’s still a big inconvenience to shoot major caliber rifles.
Honestly, I think what did Knight Muzzleloading in was their recent lack of appeal to sportsmen/hunters. Granted, they sold good products that, in the beginning, were innovative for the in-line industry, but in recent years they were blown out of the water by Thompson/Center with the Encore and the Omega models. Just my two cents on the topic.
Knight did alot to dillute their own appeal and profitability.
I owned a Wolverine for several years, which was only slightly different than the original Mk-85. It was accurate, carried easily, and easy to shoot. BUT, it required a long a tedious tear down to clean.
When Knight literally introduced 5 competing new models over as many year span, albeit simpler to maintain (Bolt (Extreme), Revolution, Vision, Rolling Block and Shadow) the R&D cost plus the fragmentation of their own loyal market spelled doom.
Belatedly, they brought back the original design as the Bighorn, but then brought out yet another new model, the KP-1 centerfire.
Too many irons in the fire.
Jim B. pretty much got it right. When Tony ran the company and oversaw R+D as well as production, they went from a garage-based business to one that produced and sold thousands of high quality, accurate guns that led the rest of the muzzleloading industry into new and better products. Once the company was sold to the clowns from Pradco/Ebsco, the focus immediately became “cheap outweighs good” and they began to turn out second-rate guns that were T/C product “wannabees”. I, for one, will not spend another dime on Pradco’s garbage, and I would recommend that one be very cautious in purchasing anything from them that could be dangerous in the event of a malfunction. I will be waiting and hoping for Tony to start making guns of his own design again, and maybe he can bring his good name out from the ashes into which the fools from Decatur drove it.
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