"...it shows how important product innovation is to the buying public if you want to stay on top."
-Minneapolis Star Tribune-
We live in a time when expectations run high for performance of everything that we use. We expect things to work as advertised and we expect that the "next greatest thing" will meet our new needs and desires. There's nothing wrong with that of course but it does put tremendous pressure on everyone who makes products of any kind for retail consumption.
The cost of research and development can be great. It takes many man-hours, expenditure of real dollars for prototypes and testing both in house and in the field long before a product can make its way to the marketplace.
Most manufacturers "test the waters" before finally taking their product public and that can be a gut-wrenching experience for them. Some design feature may not appeal to the test group and then questions arise as to whether that is an isolated case or whether the general public will feel the same way.
Even products that perform better than the competition may not be successful if the cosmetic appeal is not there. In this day of so many marketing outlets, it's also at times a major decision as to where to spend precious advertising dollars. Money spent in the wrong venue is just money lost and that can not be used to promote the new product elsewhere.
Knight rifles set the standard a few years ago. They helped to popularize the concept of in-line muzzle loaders and probably were responsible, at least in part, for the popularity of muzzle loading deer seasons in many states.
For whatever reason, too much competition, not enough innovation or a failure to capture the hearts and minds of enough of the muzzle loading shooters, Knight Rifles is closing its doors.
As Brian so succinctly stated, "Sadly it's true."
"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."