Expanding the Base
Most people today naturally relate the name “Smith & Wesson” with the handguns the company produces, but in years past, it has built a few rifles and shotguns, and today, it even produces a series of Ar-style rifles.
In 2007, however, the company substantially expanded its operation by purchasing Thompson/center Arms, Inc. for a reported $102 million. The two operations became interwoven throughout S&W’S Springfield facility. Not only did this purchase expand its firearms-production capabilities to include modern, smokeless-powder rifles and a few black-powder weapons, it enabled the company to manufacture its own rifle and pistol barrels in-house. Barrel making is a complex process that requires great expertise. For example, a single handgun barrel that’s only a couple of inches long involves 72 individual machining and manufacturing procedures. Clearly, the ability to do this all in-house gives S&W an advantage.