Impact of the Glock Design Continues to Grow

Financial news announced yesterday by Smith & Wesson shows the increasing importance of injection molding to the firearms industry. The Springfield, Mass. company is acquiring all of the net assets of Tri Town Precision Plastics (TTPP) as part of a newly formed, wholly owned subsidiary called Deep River Plastics. Tri-Town is located in Deep River, Conn., which is located near the Atlantic Ocean about midway between New York and Boston.

M&P pistol with detached clip.

M&P pistol with detached clip.

TTPP, which was founded in 1982 by Scott Goodspeed, has been a long-standing supplier of polymer frames and related components for a large number of Smith & Wesson firearms, including nearly all of its military and police (M&P) models.  About two-thirds of TTPP’s recent revenues have been generated by sales to Smith & Wesson.  Other industries that TTPP serves include the medical, general industrial, aerospace, communications, automotive, and defense industries.

James Debney, CEO of Smith & Wesson, said, “We are pleased about today’s announcement, which supports our strategic focus on our M&P firearm business and is highly beneficial to our company in several ways.  Polymer injection molding represents a significant element of our production process. Acquiring this capability allows us to vertically integrate a key component of our manufacturing operations with increased flexibility, and is expected to thereby lower our production costs and reduce risk within our supply chain. In addition, we believe that the acquired technology will play an important role in enhancing our new product development process by providing our team with internal access to the tools and processes that will allow them to more quickly and efficiently explore, develop, and test new product concepts.”

The M&P is a semi-automatic pistol like the Glock, which was originally developed for the Austrian army and rapidly became a military and police favorite globally because of its

Molding plant in Deep River, Conn.

Molding plant in Deep River, Conn.

reliability and light weight. The Glock pioneered the use of a plastic frame.

The M&P, introduced in 2005, also uses a polymer frame, a DuPont Zytel nylon reinforced with a stainless steel chassis. Glock has never disclosed the polymer used in its frame, but it is widely also known to be a glass-reinforced nylon. Zytel is also used in the frame and grip assemblies in firearms produced by Kel-Tec CNC Corp.

The agreement provides for Deep River Plastics to acquire substantially all of the net assets of TTPP for approximately $23 million in cash. The company operates 95,000 square feet of manufacturing space that includes 45 injection molding machines and tool-building capabilities.  Presses range from a 55-ton Niigata to a 730-ton Demag. The incremental sales to non-Smith & Wesson customers in fiscal 2015 are expected to total $7 million to $9 million.

 

About Doug Smock

Former Chief Editor at Plastics World and Senior Technical Editor Design News
Defense, Design, Injection Molding, North America, Polyamides, Reinforcing Material , , , , ,

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