Jacob Herman, Century Arms’ Director of Business Development, shares the inspiring story of the incredible response to their all-American-made AKs. These firearms are appealing to a whole new audience who would never have considered purchasing a foreign-made AK.
FFL Unleashed: Century is almost a year into the launch of the C-39 and RAS-47 all-American-made AKs. What are you hearing from dealers and customers?
Herman: In a word, LOVE! The incredible acceptance by the American shooting public of the C39v2 has quickly made the AKs Century’s fastest growing product line. These guns give dealers a great story to tell because they are the best of both worlds. They offer a new standard of design and quality that’s 100 percent made in America combined with price points that no one else can match. It’s such a compelling story. It has built fantastic growth with a segment of gun enthusiasts who never before considered buying an AK. They shoot either the C39v2 or the RAS-47 and it quickly becomes their favorite firearm.
The first batch of RAS-47s sold out immediately. It’s the first time a stamped AK of this quality is available at this price point. It’s the best product on the market for half the cost. It’s a cinch for dealers to sell next to inferior, foreign stamped guns that cost nearly twice as much.
FFL Unleashed: How has this launch lived up to your expectations? What has surprised you?
Herman: The launch of the Century Arms American-made AKs far and away exceeded any forecast we could have imagined. It has created inroads with firearms owners who never would have considered a foreign-made gun. The American acceptance of these guns has been overwhelming, figuratively and literally. Because of the demand we almost immediately added a second shift at the new factory. The response has been so great, it’s created a huge surge in the overall U.S. market.
FFL Unleashed: Across your product lines, Century Arms has taken major steps in upgrading quality assurance. Talk a little bit, if you would, about this commitment.
Herman: Century has developed an unprecedented AK standard. We call it the Century Standard. These guns are designed 100 percent in-house from the ground up incorporating all of the positive attributes for which the original AK design is respected. Then we set about manufacturing and assembling them 100 percent in America. The parts we don’t make ourselves, we source exclusively from American manufacturers. We are the only exclusively U.S. manufacturer of AK rifles. And we can hold tighter tolerances than any other player in the AK market worldwide … period.
FFL Unleashed: Anything upcoming from Century you can share with FFL Unleashed’s dealer audience at this time? Any hints at what they might see by SHOT Show or beyond?
Herman: We can’t share too much right now, but dealers should be sure to stop by the Century Arms booth at SHOT Show to check out our new line of terrific accessories. And anyone who’s accuracy driven is going to be really happy with our new optics line. We’re also excited about the new SBRs (short barreled rifles). Dealers should be sure to take a close look at the line of Red Army Standard ammunition, too. It brings the same precedent setting highest standards of quality to readily available 7.62×39 ammunition and other Comm Block calibers.
FFL Unleashed: With the biggest firearms sales season of the year rapidly approaching, what support is Century Arms offering dealers to optimize their holiday season sales?
Herman: Dealers should watch for Century releasing a new marketing initiative directed towards energizing the consumer about the American-made AK and our quality standards. It will build on the incredible excitement we’ve already seen. We will also be debuting our Pro Discount Plan for counter staff and new sales contests in which counter staff can participate and win. Year round Century is dedicated to supporting our local dealer base. Our reps and our factory staff are always available for specials sales events and promo days in your store.