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America’s Most Famous Gun Maker Wants to Change Its Name

Inside the National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meetings & ExhibitsInside the National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meetings & Exhibits
A Smith & Wesson gun. Bloomberg — Getty Images

After 164 years, the gun maker Smith & Wesson wants to change its name.

The company said Monday that it’s planning to change its name to American Outdoor Brands—a moniker that better represents “the company’s expanding strategic focus on the growing markets for shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiasts,” according to a press release.

The company’s board of directors has already approved the new name, and shareholders are slated to vote on it at a Dec. 13 meeting. However, the change only effects the company’s holding name—not the brand name of its guns, according to Smith & Wesson. That will remain untouched.


The switch is a way for the gun maker to be known for more than just guns: Smith & Wesson also own non-weapon consumer brands in the $60 million outdoor sporting-goods market.

“We believe the name ‘American Outdoor Brands Corporation’ will better reflect our family of brands, our broad range of product offerings, and our plan to continue building upon our portfolio of strong American brands,” said CEO James Debney in a statement.

Smith & Wesson, which was founded by Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson in 1852, made the handgun Clint Eastwood carried in Dirty Harry. It also made handguns for Civil War soldiers, according to the company.