Hudson Mfg Bankruptcy and the Reality of Firearms Manufacturing

We have just seen the news that Hudson Manufacturing has filed for bankruptcy – and the HMG Sturmgewehr rifles are also still nowhere to be seen. What’s the deal?


  1. You should take no blame in any of this. I have read several times where people were upset with you over the Hudson. It was and is a great design. I unfortunately “invested” in the HM STG. My wonderful wife “bought” me one for my birthday last year. Needless to say I’m still waiting. I truly hope they come to fruition but I’m not holding out hope.

  2. It helps to have a basic understanding of business concepts such as:
    • Total Market Available (how many of these can possibly be sold?)
    • Upfront costs – how much do we need to spend before we sell the first one?
    • Fixed costs vs variable costs. How much do we spend per month even if we make zero? and how much extra do we spend per unit?
    • Cash requirements: how much do we need to spend each month?
    • Value pricing: for example how much is the first one worth to someone? The 10,000th?
    • Elasticity of demand: How will sales be impacted by price? By competitive products being available? etc.

    These concepts all apply to firearms manufacturing and sales as much as they do to bicycles and shoes.

  3. Sad story, but I thought the presentation of the A model and the promise of the polastic gripped model were too early. Establish a model, sell enough to have a reserve. Then take on new project. The Hudsons were so enthusiastic about their pistol. Maybe too much and bit off more than they could chew at one time. *sigh*

    IF someone wants to buy one (or two; one for shooting the other for collecting):


  4. Regarding reliability newly produced AK “series 100” made by Izhevsk:
    are labeled “failure test passed” if it is 0,2 % or less (in other word: no more than 1 failure in 500 shots).
    So what is that threshold value used in U.S.A for their fire-arms?
    And there is yet one thing which needed to be mentioned when going into production: patents infringements. Many-many-many words could be written here, but I think 2 will suffice: Rollin White

    «Молот-Оружие» presented new machine gun: (as you might deduce from finish of this example, it is still work in progress)
    Description given by said producer:
    Development initiated by «Молот-Оружие». Machine gun caliber 7,62 mm with combined feed – belt, magazine, chest (photo[first link]). Not Kalashnikov reiteration. Younger brother of ВПО-214. Short-recoil operated. Barrel can be changed.

        • Old gamers here are starting to get the Duke Nukem Forever vibe ! loool
          (for nongamers; crappy obsolete sequel game released after more then a decade of supposed development, but was highly hyped and anticipated in the turn of the millenium, as the original game was legendary. I remember buying a magazine I usually was not reader of, just because it had some info about the game on the front page, to be disappointed with small article inside and couple of supposedly ingame photos)

          • totally off topic now:

            2019 is the year of the revival of oldschool first-person-shooters. Ion Maiden (yes without R), Dusk, Wrath: Aeon of Ruin, Project Warlock and many more. Good times if you like good level design.

            But back to my question: What did HMG say on Facebook?

          • Basicly, “everything is going great” (their words), were doing qc, but wait a little longer, april maybe, maybe later etc.
            And that they are a small company with no such risks of bankrupcy.

          • Btw. thanks for pointing out these games!
            Im out of that sphere for quite years, but would like to return for some nostalgic throwback (time is never enough)

  6. As it looks, time for tinkerers with less than perfect product is gone, especially when they overprize their product. If in addition the quality is not consistent and by expectation, it is a clear case. Basic rule of market applies as it should.

    We saw what happened recently to Ford motor company (large transmission recurring problems) and lately to Boeing aircraft company (outright disaster).

      • Interesting stuff. Czechs/ Moravians are lately producing some rather novel solutions in firearms, two of which come immediately to my mind. One is Alfa line of revolvers using 9mm pistol ammunition and the second is FK Brno. They seem to be completely off the scope what we are used to.

        Yes, some real innovation is still possible.

    • Aircraft crashes are (sadly) how progress is, has always been, and always will be made in aerospace. The FAR 25 regs governing FAA certified construction are basically a compendium of root-cause analysis of many, many crashes.

      If Hudson had followed the same path as their neighbors down the street, STI, I think they’d have done better. They had a premium product with an emphasis on excellent marketing and some nominal advantages; why they were trying to appeal to a mainstream audience at all with large (for a small outfit) quantities and competitive (but still high) pricing? At least for the first few years, lower volumes with higher margins and a focus on quality would seem like the logical way to go, delving into the more pedestrian versions once the most expensive R&D and startup costs had been offset.

      • “Aircraft crashes are (sadly) how progress is, has always been, and always will be made in aerospace.”
        If we could speak about more bright side of that, fatal accidents become less frequent, see here
        Fatal Accidents Per Year 1946-2017
        Fatal Accidents Per Million Flights 1977-2017

      • Charming; about aircraft, I can see that in two seater military aircraft but I don’t think it is appropriate for 200 seat etc civilian ones, the aircraft promotion board wont hire you! For telling the truth. This plane to me seems like a Eurofighter, it isn’t very good at flying without the software. But it can… At a push stay in the air, unlike the Boeing passenger plane. I agree with you about they probably should have went for the fewer but higher priced market; if the guns were more accurate than usual by design.

  7. This is heartbreaking in a number of ways.

    For one, the gun store I work has two broken H9’s (one on sales (trigger), one on the range(extractor)) and we’re just kind of stuck with them.

    The second thing is I’ve found that doing things in this industry seems somewhat effortless to me. Like troubleshooting customer’s AR builds, building AK’s, detail stripping down a Taurus PT92 (the frame is surprisingly more complex than a Beretta 92’s), sandblasting, parkerizing, painting etc. Like, it is a lot of work, but it doesn’t feel like work. Sitting down and focusing on working with guns like this doesn’t have the same mental exhaustion that comes with the careers I’ve had do. It’s disheartening that the next logical step is so much of a nightmare.

    For those that want to get into the designing/development part of the industry, it seems like the best/least risky ways to do it are custom services built on existing platforms and not over extending yourself while managing expectations. For example, AK kit builders on customer supplied parts kits, Glock frame stipplers/slide machining, and cerakote/refinishing services. But these kinds of services aren’t set up for mass production and they also have their pitfalls too, so you’ll see long waits and high prices, or creating a nightmare for yourself if you can’t manage it well.

  8. Ian
    In no way can you (or Karl) be blamed for people investing in either of these companies. You two provided very good information, on what was there at the time and had no reason to believe that there was any reason not to do so.If you “smelled a rat”, you would have said so. You two are honest and don’t hold back on the truth whatever it is. That is why you two have such a following 🙂

  9. Ian, I had your attitude also. when I heard future versions of this were in the works, I decided to wait. In particular I was waiting for one pre-cut for red dot sights, I didn’t want to shell out $1100 (that’s what they were going for around here) then another few hundred for a milled slide. Like you said, good guns fail commercially quite often and this is no exception. I think, once they got behind the 8 ball on things, it snowballed and they just couldn’t recover. Thanks for all your hard work and keep it up.

    • This. No reserves if something goes wrong, like problems with a parts supplier. They now sue each other, which keeps Hudson from making and selling guns. Which is what most of these small firearms makers kills. If everything goes according to plan it works. One hiccup and that was it.

  10. Really like what your doing with your web site.Pls dont stop,there is nothing wrong with being excited for something. It is the little things that make us happy right.Your site delivers what most sites cant. No extreme political crap,accurate history, and a nerdy breakdown of guns most would like to shoot/own that they never be able to never will be touch and or buy.No shame, life is about buyer beware. If people have not figured that out that yet should they be buying anything?Keep up the good work.Your delivering.

  11. It’s not just firearms manufacturers, or manufacturers in general — startup companies of all kinds have a rather high mortality rate. That’s why I have a lot of respect for people who succeed with a startup.

  12. Well thats a shame about Hudson, specifically. Maybe ye olde machines would be better; were you have a hundred… One does one cut etc, read it on here thats what they did once. For consistency; well you’d need more operators, which cost but… Niche market guns aimed at the very rich seem to do well, Holland and Holland, maybe they should have gun niche target gun instead of general carry etc; charged more made fewer.

    Those machines of Garands sound really important to that guns success.

    • I really liked that Jager pistols method of putting one together, I wonder if you could have slipping tolerances; wee moving plates that adjust like a bridge. Nitinol… Multiple piece cuirass.

      Burp. Pardon me.

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