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Posted: 3/5/2016 11:34:47 AM EDT
Source: TTAG

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2016/03/foghorn/kevin-brittingham-launches-q-new-firearms-rd-manufacturing-shop/

Kevin Brittingham Launches ‘Q,’ New Firearms R&D Shop

bio-kevin-brittingham

Kevin Brittingham doesn’t play well with others. But he does play exceeding well on his own. Which is where the once and future firearms industry entrepreneur finds himself after leaving SIG SAUER for greener, less bureaucratic pastures. Kevin’s new, independent venture is a stone’s throw away from SIG in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I spent an hour talking to Kevin about “Q” and his vision for the future. First, a potted history . . .


Kevin started AAC silencers before silencers were cool. He grew the company from a backyard operation into a multi-million dollar business making industry leading suppressors. He sold AAC to what was then called The Freedom Group (now Remington Outdoors) — only to find himself fired from the company he founded.

Kevin eventually landed at SIG SAUER, bringing SIG’s silencer line to market and assisting in the development of several projects. Earlier this year he decided SIG wasn’t a good fit and left to form his own company. He’s back where we started: at the helm of his own small startup firearms company.

“Back in October I was approached by a Texas oil billionaire,” Kevin told TTAG. “He wanted a majority ownership of the new company, but some of the people I wanted to bring over didn’t want that.”

And for good reason. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Kevin tends to become agitated when working for anyone other than himself. His collaborators know this.

“Ethan Lessard [good friend, head of AAC R&D, and the driving force behind the most innovative designs of the last few years] said he’d follow me so long as I had control over the company. I had to ask myself, do I really believe in my ability to execute? If so, then I should put up my own cash.”

Kevin did exactly that, funding the majority of the new company from his personal, post-AAC fortune.

His vision for this new venture: produce the world’s best firearms and accessories focusing on quality, not quantity or making money.

“To me, money doesn’t really motivate me” Kevin remarked.

No surprise there. Following his breakup with AAC Kevin had enough money to live comfortably for the rest of his life.

“All I really want at this point is a plane, and for that I need like $20 million. To me, the difference between $20 million and $90 million doesn’t matter. If I can be the best making the best stuff and make $20 million, or make something ‘good enough’ and make $90 million, I’ll choose to do it right every time.”

The first products slated for production: a set of firearms accessories, followed by a line of silencers for SHOT Show 2017.

“I want to build the best silencers in the world,” Kevin said. “The SIG SAUER silencers are the very best on the market right now, and it’s gunna be really hard to top them. That 762Ti-QD is the best silencer for civilians, period.”

I asked what specifically he would want to focus on improving. The locking mechanism was Kevin’s reply. “SIG SAUER’s locking system is great — people shouldn’t think that this means it has problems. I just think there’s ways to improve it.”

Most companies with that kind of focus would want to immediately invest in manufacturing. Kevin sees it differently.

“Manufacturing in house isn’t interesting to me,” he said. “You lack the ability to be agile. My goal is to make the best products. You can spend money buying machines and hiring people to run them, or you can spend money hiring the best engineers, the best QC team, and the best final assembly team.”

Kevin was spoilt for choice in terms of staff. Once the ground work was in place, resumes started flowing in. Dozens of top industry experts want to be a part of Kevin’s mission to provide the highest quality firearms to American soldiers and civilians. And doing so profitably.

Q’s core group shifted from SIG SAUER. Robby Johnson is the overall VP, Ethan Lessard is in charge of engineering, Lindsay Bunch is VP of operations, and Jessica Gauvin is leading the business development section.

Kevin attributes the strong following to his management style. “You gotta have a team, and you gotta believe in them. My job is to create an environment for these people to excel, and to do it as a team. Not to manage them into the ground.”

As far as the new company’s name in concerned, Kevin’s been thinking about it since the early days of AAC.

“When I started AAC, it was early enough that the domain name ‘aac.com’ was actually available but I wanted something descriptive and powerful, so I went with ‘Advanced Armament’ and bought ‘Advanced-Armament.com.’ It was a pain in the ass to type out, and engraving that whole thing on firearm receivers was annoying.

“This time I wanted something short and simple. I wanted the company to be professional, but I also want it to be young and cool. Something that I could easily stylize and wouldn’t take up much space when engraved on a receiver.”

I pressed Kevin on what the Q stands for, asking if it had anything to do with fictional British spy James Bond’s clever clogs quartermaster. He wouldn’t budge.

“I haven’t told anyone what it stands for, and I don’t think I ever will.”

Ultimately, what Q “stand for” depends on the products it produces. Watch this space.
Link Posted: 3/5/2016 11:58:04 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/5/2016 12:14:52 PM EDT
Interdasting.
Link Posted: 3/5/2016 12:38:38 PM EDT
You cannot deny his impact on the industry and laying the groundwork for other manufacturers. He's obviously a smart guy and knows how to brand and run a business. However, he seems to be real fond of himself which makes him difficult to work with. I'll keep an eye on what he does but I won't be rushing to buy anything from him (just like the Sig cans).
Link Posted: 3/5/2016 3:49:03 PM EDT
Goloud:

If you are going to put up a piece on the history of Kevin Brittingham business experiences perhaps you should have started with Gem Tech.
Link Posted: 3/5/2016 4:01:35 PM EDT
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Goloud:

If you are going to put up a piece on the history of Kevin Brittingham business experiences perhaps you should have started with Gem Tech.
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He didn't write it. It came from TTAG as he states in first line.
Link Posted: 3/5/2016 5:47:05 PM EDT
He only needs $20M... at least he's not asking for too much
Link Posted: 3/5/2016 6:02:42 PM EDT
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Goloud:

If you are going to put up a piece on the history of Kevin Brittingham business experiences perhaps you should have started with Gem Tech.
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This is just current silencer news. Not trying to editorialize on KB.

And like WJ said, I sourced The Truth About Guns. Even though it's not my top firearm "news" site.
Link Posted: 3/5/2016 6:57:24 PM EDT
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Goloud:

If you are going to put up a piece on the history of Kevin Brittingham business experiences perhaps you should have started with Gem Tech.
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why don't you tell us about it, been awhile since i heard the story.
Link Posted: 3/5/2016 9:00:01 PM EDT
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why don't you tell us about it
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Goloud:

If you are going to put up a piece on the history of Kevin Brittingham business experiences perhaps you should have started with Gem Tech.

why don't you tell us about it

Link Posted: 3/5/2016 9:12:45 PM EDT
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Goloud:

If you are going to put up a piece on the history of Kevin Brittingham business experiences perhaps you should have started with Gem Tech.

why don't you tell us about it

AAC Gem-Tax.
Link Posted: 3/5/2016 9:19:05 PM EDT
I wasn't there, but from reading the lawsuit he filed against Remington/Freedom Group/AAC, it seems they really tried to screw him over.  In the end, he won.  No commentary on how well he plays with others. Was somewhat underwhelmed with SIG's suppressor line.  I also don't buy into alot of the criticisms of Kevin.  The whole Gemtech thing is also BS. Everybody is ripping off Maxim and there's not much new under the sun.
Link Posted: 3/5/2016 9:25:34 PM EDT
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AAC Gem-Tax.
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Goloud:

If you are going to put up a piece on the history of Kevin Brittingham business experiences perhaps you should have started with Gem Tech.

why don't you tell us about it

AAC Gem-Tax.

Lol, that's not surprising.
Link Posted: 3/5/2016 11:53:22 PM EDT
It will be interesting for sure. I think the market is different now as opposed to when AAC was breaking new ground. I'm hoping for the best; the silencer industry needs all the wins it can get.
Link Posted: 3/6/2016 7:35:48 AM EDT
Im just curious where in NH he located if he's only a few miles from Sig. Is in on Pease like Sig or somewhere in Newington ala H&K, or even in Dover where Sig has a small shop they do basic machining at?
Link Posted: 3/6/2016 8:18:40 AM EDT
It sounds like he's starting a company that's not going to make suppressors but firearms and accessories. Cause that's what this market needs. Another accessory manufacturer.
Link Posted: 3/6/2016 8:40:32 AM EDT
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He only needs $20M... at least he's not asking for too much
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At least he was honest, I guess. But I did find the "all I want is an airplane" comment a bit... pretentious.

I recognize that there are many types of business personalities and some might not be a match with mine.
Link Posted: 3/6/2016 8:46:25 AM EDT
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It sounds like he's starting a company that's not going to make suppressors but firearms and accessories. Cause that's what this market needs. Another accessory manufacturer.
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Sounds like he isn't going to be making them. Just designing and selling them.  The making will be jobbed out to various machine shops.
Link Posted: 3/6/2016 8:53:22 AM EDT
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Sounds like he isn't going to be making them. Just designing and selling them.  The making will be jobbed out to various machine shops.
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It sounds like he's starting a company that's not going to make suppressors but firearms and accessories. Cause that's what this market needs. Another accessory manufacturer.

Sounds like he isn't going to be making them. Just designing and selling them.  The making will be jobbed out to various machine shops.

Yep.

Which is a little strange. For someone who wants total control, relinquishing supply chain management, QC/QA and timelines to outside vendors doesn't seem like a good match.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong here, but if you are making controlled items, they have to be done in house under your own FFL/SOT?
Link Posted: 3/6/2016 9:19:12 AM EDT
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Yep.

Which is a little strange. For someone who wants total control, relinquishing supply chain management, QC/QA and timelines to outside vendors doesn't seem like a good match.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong here, but if you are making controlled items, they have to be done in house under your own FFL/SOT?
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It sounds like he's starting a company that's not going to make suppressors but firearms and accessories. Cause that's what this market needs. Another accessory manufacturer.

Sounds like he isn't going to be making them. Just designing and selling them.  The making will be jobbed out to various machine shops.

Yep.

Which is a little strange. For someone who wants total control, relinquishing supply chain management, QC/QA and timelines to outside vendors doesn't seem like a good match.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong here, but if you are making controlled items, they have to be done in house under your own FFL/SOT?

You can outsource a lot of the manufacturing today.  In a nutshell it depends how many processes are left to complete controlled items.  Take baffles for example.  Welding and opening the bore aperture with a wire EDM to the specific caliber is two processes.  The baffles won't simply "drop in" to make a silencer.  A lot of the small components on silencers are outsourced and cast or MIM.  The locking collar on certain rifle cans are outsourced and cast, the latches on other rifle silencers are also cast.  

Investment casting is a much faster and therefore cost saving way of manufacturing.  But the machines required to do it are large and expensive upfront.  Companies can just add that outsourced manufacturing into the overall cost of their products.  Then they hire outside sources who specialize in that particular type of manufacturing to make their components.
Link Posted: 3/6/2016 9:22:36 AM EDT
Didn't he have a non compete?  No surprise he wouldn't be able to make suppressor a his first year.
Link Posted: 3/6/2016 9:23:40 AM EDT
Thanks, makes sense.

I got the impression that Q wouldn't have any manufacturing facilities and that it would all be outsourced.

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

You can outsource a lot of the manufacturing today.  In a nutshell it depends how many processes are left to complete controlled items.  Take baffles for example.  Welding and opening the bore aperture with a wire EDM to the specific caliber is two processes.  The baffles won't simply "drop in" to make a silencer.  A lot of the small components on silencers are outsourced and cast or MIM.  The locking collar on certain rifle cans are outsourced and cast, the latches on other rifle silencers are also cast.  

Investment casting is a much faster and therefore cost saving way of manufacturing.  But the machines required to do it are large and expensive upfront.  Companies can just add that outsourced manufacturing into the overall cost of their products.  Then they hire outside sources who specialize in that particular type of manufacturing to make their components.
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It sounds like he's starting a company that's not going to make suppressors but firearms and accessories. Cause that's what this market needs. Another accessory manufacturer.

Sounds like he isn't going to be making them. Just designing and selling them.  The making will be jobbed out to various machine shops.

Yep.

Which is a little strange. For someone who wants total control, relinquishing supply chain management, QC/QA and timelines to outside vendors doesn't seem like a good match.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong here, but if you are making controlled items, they have to be done in house under your own FFL/SOT?

You can outsource a lot of the manufacturing today.  In a nutshell it depends how many processes are left to complete controlled items.  Take baffles for example.  Welding and opening the bore aperture with a wire EDM to the specific caliber is two processes.  The baffles won't simply "drop in" to make a silencer.  A lot of the small components on silencers are outsourced and cast or MIM.  The locking collar on certain rifle cans are outsourced and cast, the latches on other rifle silencers are also cast.  

Investment casting is a much faster and therefore cost saving way of manufacturing.  But the machines required to do it are large and expensive upfront.  Companies can just add that outsourced manufacturing into the overall cost of their products.  Then they hire outside sources who specialize in that particular type of manufacturing to make their components.
Link Posted: 4/17/2016 7:59:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 10:01:06 AM EDT
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Whoa, I'm late to this bit of news.

After reading comments posted on a few sites/forums that made the announcement, I'm betting SIG's battalion of attorneys will be silently laser-focused on all things that transpire ... and go after "every aspect of their technology".


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Didn't he have a non compete?  No surprise he wouldn't be able to make suppressor a his first year.


Whoa, I'm late to this bit of news.

After reading comments posted on a few sites/forums that made the announcement, I'm betting SIG's battalion of attorneys will be silently laser-focused on all things that transpire ... and go after "every aspect of their technology".



He may just copy yours.
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 10:02:55 AM EDT
Lol, I'm glad this got bumped
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 10:06:41 AM EDT
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Lol, I'm glad this got bumped
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The last KB thread got locked several months back. Did anyone get sued for their comments in that thread?
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 10:32:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 10:38:11 AM EDT
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No idea what SIG's total out of pocket costs were for the weeks / months the "Quiet Team" was on their payroll ... they did end up with nice video out of the deal  -

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=URKL9SknbHI
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Lol, I'm glad this got bumped

The last KB thread got locked several months back. Did anyone get sued for their comments in that thread?


No idea what SIG's total out of pocket costs were for the weeks / months the "Quiet Team" was on their payroll ... they did end up with nice video out of the deal  -

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=URKL9SknbHI

So are you a seasoning company making silencers?
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 10:56:58 AM EDT
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So are you a seasoning company making silencers?
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Lol, I'm glad this got bumped

The last KB thread got locked several months back. Did anyone get sued for their comments in that thread?


No idea what SIG's total out of pocket costs were for the weeks / months the "Quiet Team" was on their payroll ... they did end up with nice video out of the deal  -

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=URKL9SknbHI

So are you a seasoning company making silencers?

His new company better not have any snazzy marketing videos. Let's not forget to let the product speak for itself.
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 12:15:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 12:41:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 12:48:52 PM EDT
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We are a paint can lid company, now dabbling in heavy metal.
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Any plans for additional silencer models/lengths/designs?
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 1:07:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 4:36:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 7:23:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 9:43:45 AM EDT
The Sig cans interest me but I haven't found a ton of insight or reviews out there (granted I haven't looked very hard) but they rarely are in discussion here. Plus at their price point they aren't really separating themselves from anybody.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 11:17:08 AM EDT
I foresee huge marketing hype, followed by parties where you get to stand in line for hours to shoot their wears while watching motorcycles do double back flips. Of course somewhere in that there will be the call for people to get Tattoos to show their life time dedication so they can get discounts, but of course once the ink is dry the inkies will say hey WTF!
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 8:17:25 PM EDT
Was he referring to AAC when he said marketing company making suppressors?
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 8:29:52 PM EDT
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Was he referring to AAC when he said marketing company making suppressors?
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Intentionally vague for whomever it may apply. IMHO
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 8:33:23 PM EDT
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Was he referring to AAC when he said marketing company making suppressors?
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SiCo I'd imagine.
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 9:56:54 PM EDT
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SiCo I'd imagine.
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Was he referring to AAC when he said marketing company making suppressors?

SiCo I'd imagine.

100% on the money.
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 10:10:54 PM EDT
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100% on the money.
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Was he referring to AAC when he said marketing company making suppressors?

SiCo I'd imagine.

100% on the money.

At the time, this was the most obvious interpretation
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 11:11:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 12:08:19 AM EDT
Some people just can't work with other people, apparently.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 12:58:08 AM EDT
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At the time, this was the most obvious interpretation
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Was he referring to AAC when he said marketing company making suppressors?

SiCo I'd imagine.

100% on the money.

At the time, this was the most obvious interpretation

If that's true. That marketing company makes hella good suppressors and has the customer service to back it up. Marketing will only get you so far; quality product and good customer service keeps you in busines
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 1:16:47 AM EDT
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If that's true. That marketing company makes hella good suppressors and has the customer service to back it up. Marketing will only get you so far; quality product and good customer service keeps you in busines
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Was he referring to AAC when he said marketing company making suppressors?

SiCo I'd imagine.

100% on the money.

At the time, this was the most obvious interpretation

If that's true. That marketing company makes hella good suppressors and has the customer service to back it up. Marketing will only get you so far; quality product and good customer service keeps you in busines


I felt that it was pointed straight at SilencerCo. They're a marketing machine, but I don't hold that against them. I wonder why other silencer companies aren't also marketing. The best thing SilencerCo ever did in my opinion was the comparison videos between their silencers and others. Even if your silencer isn't the quietest, being that transparent goes a long way in my book.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 1:58:56 AM EDT
^^ Also, the more people who know about the legality and ease of suppressor ownership simply adds potential customers to SiCOs base.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 2:06:04 AM EDT
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^^ Also, the more people who know about the legality and ease of suppressor ownership simply adds potential customers to SiCOs base.
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Yeah, I'm shocked by the number of people I've run across that think that SilencerCo is the only company that makes silencers, SilencerShop is the only company that sells silencers, and trusts are the only way to buy silencers.

I think SilencerCo has made a big enough splash that we stand a real chance of getting silencers changed to Title I status. Also I want an Omega 9K to put on my PDW, so maybe it's just wishful thinking.
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 10:27:45 AM EDT
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...I think SilencerCo has made a big enough splash that we stand a real chance of getting silencers changed to Title I status......
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Link Posted: 4/21/2016 11:20:46 AM EDT
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...I think SilencerCo has made a big enough splash that we stand a real chance of getting silencers changed to Title I status......



whats funny?  the law being changed or that silencerco has mythical powers?
Link Posted: 4/21/2016 11:31:06 AM EDT
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whats funny?  the law being changed or that silencerco has mythical powers?
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...I think SilencerCo has made a big enough splash that we stand a real chance of getting silencers changed to Title I status......



whats funny?  the law being changed or that silencerco has mythical powers?

They do have mythical powers. Every few months they cast a spell on my bank and a suppressor appears in my safe.
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