Smith and Wesson SWOT

SWOT Analysis Smith and Wesson

Company History

Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation, a global leader in safety, security, protection and sport, is parent company to Smith & Wesson Corp., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of quality firearms and firearm safety/security products and parent company to Smith & Wesson is based in Springfield, Massachusetts with manufacturing facilities in Springfield, Houlton, Maine, and Rochester, New Hampshire. This SWOT analysis is about Smith and Wesson.


  • Only 7% of their sales are produced from international venues. A vast majority of their sales are in the United States market, and while they are an international company, their sales and market share in foreign markets are low.
  • They do not dominate the hunting enthusiast market.
  • From 2004 to 2009, sales of revolvers dropped from about 40% of the company’s sales to around 20%.


  • To diversify and add breadth to its brand, the firm licenses its name to makers of apparel, watches, sunglasses, gift sets, and more.
  • The creation of law enforcement products that do not injure public offenders; such as guns that shoot "bean bags" or "large pellets."
  • Technological advancements for this company are always leading to more opportunities-for instance they could create a gun that has fingerprint recognition capabilities and can only be fired by whoever programmed the gun.
  • Expanding its products in the areas of tactical and long-gun lines, as well as non-firearm products and services.


  • Their major competitors are Browning Arms, Glock and Ruger.
  • Sales of firearms in the United States are based on laws passed by the government giving citizens the right to carry weapons; however, this is a hotly debated issue and could change.
  • Expanding into foreign markets is challenging due to political and legal laws prohibiting the sale and use of weapons. In some countries only law enforcement is allowed to carry weapons.

Smith & Wesson is one of the world’s most recognizable brands, and for good reason. Since we first opened our doors, we have focused on designing and manufacturing innovative solutions that are unparalleled in the field of personal safety and protection. Read more…

This case study has been compiled from information freely available from public sources. It is merely intended to be used for educational purposes only.

Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson formed their partnership in 1852 in Norwich, Connecticut, with the aim of marketing a lever action repeating pistol that could use a fully self-contained cartridge. They went bankrupt and began again in 1856, when Smith & Wesson produced a small revolver designed to fire the Rimfire cartridge they patented in August of 1854. This revolver was the first successful fully self-contained cartridge revolver available in the world. Smith & Wesson secured patents for the revolver to prevent other manufacturers from producing a cartridge revolver – giving the young company a very lucrative business and established Smith & Wesson as a world leader in handgun manufacturing.


  • Thompson/Center Arms, Inc., a premier designer and manufacturer of premium hunting rifles, black powder rifles, interchangeable firearms systems and accessories under the Thompson/Center brand. Smith & Wesson licenses shooter eye and ear protection, knives, apparel, and other accessory lines.
  • Smith & Wesson is the largest manufacturer of handguns in the United States and one of the most recognizable brands in the world. They manufacture and distribute a full line of firearms for defense, law enforcement, hunting and sporting.
  • They provide products that are utilized by virtually every police agency and military force around the world and The Smith & Wesson Academy is America’s longest running firearms training facility for law enforcement, military and security professionals. Law enforcement personnel from every state and over 50 foreign countries have come to the Springfield, Massachusetts facility to receive state-of-the-art instruction, to prepare for and exceed the demanding needs of law enforcement. The academy’s superior training gives today’s police force the tools necessary to handle tomorrow’s most extreme situations.
  • They are a company dedicated to research and development and have produced the first American made double action auto-loading pistol, stainless steel firearms and perimeter security systems and have driven product development for more than 150 years.
  • In 2009 they won the first ever ASIS Accolades Award for the Expeditionary Mobile Barrier (EMB) in the category of Most Transformational Product or Service. The EMB is a completely mobile barrier that can stop a 7,500-pound vehicle traveling 45 miles-per-hour. This product increases the likelihood that vehicle occupants will be unharmed. It is immediately resettable after impact, with few or no replaced parts. An adjustable net allows the system to secure a variety of roadway widths without requiring additional parts.
  • Smith and Wesson’s Universal Safety Response (USR) serves a variety of clients in the defense, transportation and petrol-chemical industries, as well as corporate facilities, airports, Fortune 500 companies, national laboratories and museums. USR’s security systems are also used by the US Homeland Security and to safeguard high-risk facilities.
  • They are a leading advocate of the development and use of firearms safety devices, incorporated multiple safety features into each of their handguns, maintained the country’s longest-running shooters training facility, promoted the NSSF "Child Safe" gun lock program nationwide, and they currently license numerous safety devices to the shooting sports market.
  • Despite the economic recession in the Unites States, sales grew 13.2% in 2008.
  • They have a 70% market share in the handgun segment of the firearms industry in the United States.