Knight closing the doors

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Knight closing the doors

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » June 4th, 2009, 6:17 pm

Did anyone eles hear about Knight closing up shop? I read that they are going to keep the service and parts end open, but not going to make any more guns?

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Brian Lovett
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RE: Knight closing the doors

Postby Brian Lovett » June 5th, 2009, 4:35 am

Sadly, it's true. Knight Rifles will stop production June 30. Most dealers will continue to sell Knight products through 2009. Knight's warranty and customer-service arms will remain open to service guns and sell some accessories.

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RE: Knight closing the doors

Postby Fan Club » June 5th, 2009, 4:43 am

I also posted this in the General discussion forum.
This is from the Minneapolis Star Tribune-

> It appears not all news happens to be good news in the firearms industry. Despite the fact tactical firearms, handguns and many calibers of ammunition are flying off the retail shelves at record paces, other segments of the shooting industry have apparently fallen on harder times. The latest victim of slumping sales was just announced a few days ago.  Knight Rifles, the manufacturer largely responsible for pioneering the in-line muzzleloader back in the mid-1980s, will be ceasing operations at the end of June.

In 1998 Knight Rifles, originally located in Centerville, Iowa and founded by Tony Knight, was sold to EBSCO Industries, Inc. with manufacturing facilities eventually moved to Decatur, Alabama. In a recent press release it states the decision to close their manufacturing operations is because of an "overall industry downturn." Sources familiar with Knight's marketing woes indicate that sales have been rather sluggish for the brand during the past several years. The loss of Knight Rifles is significant to the hunting industry because it shows how important product innovation is to the buying public if you want to stay on top. In time, competition from makers such as Thompson/Center and Connecticut Valley Arms (CVA) offered products that simply featured better or more economical systems for the hunter. Even though Knight Rifles have always been synonymous with a quality modern muzzleloading product, it appears the competition has successfully eroded the market share away from the once dominant manufacturer.

If you own a Knight Muzzleloading Rifle and require either warranty service or repairs, you are urged to make those arrangements as soon as possible.   Contact: (256) 260-8900 or by e-mail at <

That's a shame. I'm glad Tony was able to sell his company and get out ahead of time. The story is inaccurate. Tony actually started Knight in Lancaster, Missouri, just south of the Iowa line. He moved to Iowa early on as they gave him a better business tax break than he could get in Missouri. My father and his friend traveled to Lancaster in 1985 to meet Tony, tour the facility and hunt turkeys. They met several other locals and although Knight moved on, we still turkey hunt and have a lease in the Lancaster area.
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it." Teddy Roosevelt

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RE: Knight closing the doors

Postby allaboutshooting » June 5th, 2009, 6:33 am

" 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."

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