A Year in Review

Posted by Clayton Mendel on December 22, 2013

Having just finished the monumental task of relocating the shop, I find the need to reflect on the year–the accomplishments, the loose ends, and what lies ahead for Eastern Sierra Armory.

First, the loose ends. I owe an apology to every customer that has a past due order waiting to be filled. The end of this year has provided both personal and professional challenges to the timely delivery of orders. The most challenging of which has been moving and relocating the shop, a task which took longer and was more disruptive than expected. Settling in and streamlining the new, much smaller shop, is still ongoing but production has resumed and orders will begin shipping again after the new year. To all of you, I appreciate your business and will be shipping your order as soon as possible.

The story of 2013 really began December 14th, 2012, when one deranged individual took it upon himself to kill twenty eight of his fellow human beings. The chain reaction of political and public outcry created such a frenzy that small dealers like myself became quickly overwhelmed. In short order Eastern Sierra Armory became a retail firearm business that competed for time and energy with the growing biathlon business.

Then along came a spider. Local politicians decided it was in our community’s best interest to levy a “Business Improvement District” tax on a wide variety of businesses. The net result was that it penalized small businesses and subsidized the biggest businesses in our community.

Decisions were made. Action was taken. In short order all retail operations at Eastern Sierra Armory ceased and the business got back to it’s roots—serving the biathlon community. Part of that process involved moving out of the old commercial location.

This year saw demand for the Gen2 stocks dramatically increase, necessitating plans for increasing production capacity. Snowsights for the MkII rifles made their debut enabling a number of new rifle options including left handed rifles. Savage’s far reaching distribution network created the demand for Eastern Sierra Armory to begin shipping internationally.

Moving forward, it is my hope that by focusing solely on biathlon, the large number of new projects in the workshop, halfway finished in CAD, and in my head will begin to see the light of day and ultimately continue to have a positive impact on the biathlon community. This coming year should finally see stocks for other rifles based on the still work in progress Gen3 stock. New equipment should help get lead times back down to the original target of 2-4 weeks. Last but not least, if we’re all very lucky and R&D continues how I think it will, we should see a new American biathlon rifle brought to market. For now, you’ll have to settle for the teaser picture.

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