Upon crossing the bridge into Arkansas from Oklahoma on U.S. Highway 64, you’ll find yourself in Fort Smith, an historic city with roots going back to a Wild West town on the edge of the Indian Territory. This is the home of Umarex USA, Inc. and Walther Arms, Inc. They are subsidiaries of the German firm of Umarex, a conglomerate involved in the airgun and firearms industries since 1972.
If you are unfamiliar with the Umarex name, my bet is you are familiar with some of the airguns in their extensive lineup — airguns such as the faithful CO2 BB firing copies of historic firearms in their Legends line, or the awesome replica of the famous Colt “Peacemaker” in both BB and pellet firing models. The lineup goes on to include break barrels, CO2 and PCP offerings with names like Hammerli, Ruger, Beretta, HK, UZI and, of course, Walther as well as a few other major names in the industry. Umarex has licensing agreements in place with each of them in order to use the name branding of those companies and/or produce practically exact duplicates of their famous firearms. Of course, Umarex also produces airguns under their own name that cover all levels of airgunning from entry level to high-end in price ranges that fit just about any pocketbook.
I had the great pleasure of visiting with Umarex USA’s Director of Marketing, “JB” Biddle at their plant when I was in Fort Smith recently. JB graciously spent the entire afternoon providing me with an in-depth tour of their expansive facility. Currently the plant is a distribution center, Consumer Services call center and repair depot that opened in Fort Smith in 2010. The original 117,000 square foot plant was expanded in 2013 to accommodate the opening of the …read more