The Associated Press today has a story online about how firearm manufacturer Smith & Wesson Corp. is adjusting to changes in the gun market. I didn't realize this, but an important part of the new philosophy appears to involve plastics. As the story states, Smith & Wesson is known for heavy-duty steel weapons, like the .44 Magnum. But the 155-year-old company had to change when it lost market share to Glock, an Austrian competitor. Smith & Wesson once had a 98 percent share of the sale of handguns to police departments, but lost much of that when Glock introduced a lightweight polymer pistol in the 1980s. Last year Smith & Wesson launched its own M&P (Military and Police) line of polymer pistols. The new product is helping: according to the article, the company now has climbed back to claim about 10 percent of the police departments market (compared to Glock's 65 percent). This is an end market that we haven't written much about, but apparently there are some interesting things happening in the world of plastics and pistols.
Here's an unusual end market
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