What are the causes of the crisis arms market in the EU
The market of civilian weapons in Europe is going through difficult times — as assessed by experts, the results of the exhibition IWA-2016 in Nuremberg. It is Europe’s largest fair of hunting and sporting rifles and related products. Impressions from the IWA 2016 with “Tape.ru” shared the chief editor of the magazine “Kalashnikov” Mikhail Degtyarev.
“Ribbon.news”: the IWA Exhibition is held in the format business-to-business, and it is believed that it represents the main trends of weapons-Europe market. What can you say about the exposition of 2016?
Mikhail Degtyarev: First of all, IWA-2016 showed that the gun trade in Europe have a hard time. This was evident from the first steps. Area at the entrance to the exhibition is traditionally filled with advertising banners with the instructions of the stands with new products. Companies wasting money on it and fought for the square, tried to come up with a custom promocode, to fill the ad space interesting audio-visual products. This year the entrance area was virtually empty: there was only one banner of a new gun that I don’t even want to call it, the new guns appear constantly, and this unremarkable. This year no serious, interesting novelties was not. All sectors are represented only an evolutionary samples. It looks like a crisis.
The reason is the Europeans are not interested in the weapons?
The main problem is the socio-political situation in Europe. Foreigners speak in one voice about the refugees that Germany has to feed a million persons, and this has an impact on the financial well-being of citizens. Everybody is tired of the conflict Russia — Ukraine, which dragged Europe. Many of those with whom I spoke, indignant at the protracted embargo (against Russia — approx. “The tape.ru”), because it interferes with civilian arms business, “bows” of European politicians, first of all, Merkel.
However, the news is, though evolutionary…
Yes, the Blaser presented the long-awaited “plane” Blaser F16 in the price range closer to the average. This highly anticipated gun that meets all the requirements of its price niche and brand. Still shotguns Blaser, in fact, were represented by a single model F3, positioned in an expensive segment. It was unclear why the company ignores the mid-price range with its wide audience and gives the market to their competitors. Finally they have a competitive product, I would call moderately innovative, which is an advantage. This structurally simple rifle that meets all the requirements of a modern “verticalgap”. By the way, the chief designer of this model, like most modern rifles Blaser, the Russian Sergey Parsons, who began his career at the Tula arms plant. A new weapon, without doubt will be able to compete successfully with the “Browning” and “Beretta”.
You said that in the segment of short-barreled weapons are often new items appear. There was something worthy of special attention?
The Slovak company Grand Power s.r.o. presented to the public udarnikov pistol in caliber 9 mm Luger, an addition to a very well-known and common model Grand Power K-100. This pistol’s original trigger mechanism without trigger pull, which ensures extremely unusual, but very convenient operation of the trigger. This descent is able to neutralize the shooters error, but because the gun is going to be very comfortable for initial training. How he will become popular and will show whether needs reliability — time will tell. Gun commercial, so a year — and it becomes clear its position on the market.
What price ranges are fighting in the segment rifled carbines?
The company Sauer & Sohn the new carbine Sauer 100. It is even more simple model compared to previously released the Sauer 101. The reason for its appearance is the same as in the case of Blaser F16, weapons corporations seeking to close its range all price ranges. However, the attempt to “throw” on the market carbine Sauer 100 it seems to me doubtful, because the changes that have been made, a visual and constructive — looks pretty strange and, I would say, it is not clear for the German weapons school. There is a chance that this model will succeed because of the questionable technical decisions in the system of protection and design decisions that were supposed to lower the rifle.
It is known that the Russian exposition this year is more modest than in previous years: the event was attended only 27 companies. It was not the largest weapons manufacturer — concern “Kalashnikov”.
Concern “Kalashnikov” has not really come to the exhibition. His weapon (the Izhevsk mechanical plant and in Izhmash) was represented by foreign partners. But full-fledged weapons sector was at Vyatsko-Polyansky plant “Molot” (produces smoothbore shotguns and rifled carbines on the basis of the PKK under the name “the boar” — approx. “The tape.ru”). Division “Molot-guns” presented the whole range of modern smoothbore and rifled “the Boar”. Stand enjoyed great success. Smooth-bore semi-automatic carbines as “Vepr” VPO-205-03 with 305 mm barrel are very popular among power structures of different countries. New designs for rifled carbines “Vepr” like a foreign audience reaction is great.
And you have no idea why the Kalashnikov ignored show?
This is speculation: as I said, there are problems with the situation on the European market, and maybe the attention to this market relevant. Maybe changing the attitude of the concern to the civilian market at all: the other day I received information that in the autumn exhibition “Arms and hunting” (ARMS & Hunting 2016) in Moscow, concern “Kalashnikov” will not even participate. I’m talking about the priorities of a large structure in which there are still boats, drones, clothes and so on. Other things to remember about combat arms, state defence order. For civilian weapons throughout the boiler, from the point of view of attention, spending and profit, there is less room. But for the civilian market are not promising no changes — our weapons are now small, niche concern “Kalashnikov” will not give it.
On IWA-2016 were the booths of several of our ammunition factories. Unless their products are not subject to sanctions?
Yes, there were Barnaul cartridge plant Tula cartridge plant, chemical plant krasnohorska, the trademark “Record” (smoothbore ammunition) is a very promising product in terms of price and quality. I think they spent useful time at the exhibition. With regard to sanctions, the Russian cartridge factories in the sanctions lists is not included, open export markets. Russian ammo is very popular among foreign shooters because of the low prices. The scarcity of our ammunition only in the American market I estimate at least 100 million units a year. This is the least that I can count on verified information. If we consider that domestic ammo, unlike many other export-oriented goods are produced entirely from Russian raw materials, at current exchange rate difference all exports are of great importance.
I saw in the list of participants Russian companies, which produce accessories for weapons.
Moscow company “Dedal-NV” has a very serious weight in Europe — their booth was crowded. Their main segment is night sights and thermal imaging optics. They begin working with optical sights — sights for driven hunt Dedal DN 1-7Х24 (the company is positioning it as a competitor for the products of Swarovski, Zeiss, Schmidt&Bender — approx. “The tape.ru”).
The sight Dedal DN 1-7Х24
Of course, it should be noted the company Ataman is the only in Russia fully-fledged manufacturer of modern pneumatic PCP (pre-charge pneumatics, weapons with preliminary pumping cylinder — approx. “The tape.ru”). Unlike some Russian brands that have factories abroad, Ataman makes his weapons in Russia and executed in Nuremberg interesting, big stand. Their news got a very serious credibility with European experts in the sports pneumatic weapon. Great, if the company has enough forces to deal with European market and produce a decent quantity and quality of the range.
That means that sanctions will not too harm the business of Russian companies operating on the market of civilian weapons in the Old World?
As for weapons, in Europe we were never really well represented. The European market has its own characteristics: the segment where we are strong, — the so-called “black weapons” based combat system is here not as popular as in the US. Other Russian weapons before the sanctions and sold in small quantities, is not so significant for our arms factories and to European arms market. Moreover, our weapons are still somehow present in the market, because the contracts have been large, and stocks have remained. I can’t say that sanctions have hurt our plants and the market in European countries.