Alper ÇALIK / firstname.lastname@example.org
Samsun Yurt Savunma (SYS), parent company of CANiK firearms brand, achieved great success with its exports to the United States of America. The company won third place by export revenue to the USA with only pistol exports, achieving $70 million export revenue and a total of 291,000 pistols exported, while the category combined pistol and submachine gun revenue.
The most prominent pistol models the company sold were listed as TP9 SFx, TP9 ELITE SC, METE SFx and METE SFT. The company sold around 100,000 of its METE SFx and METE SFT models in just 4 months, with the models launching in August in the American market.
2 Million CANiK Brand Pistols in the Hands of Americans
The company took its first steps into the American market in 2010 and achieved 2 million pistol sales according to the latest data. The number of pistols the company exported to the American market in the last two years are listed at Table 1.
Table 1. Number of pistols SYS exported to the USA in last two years and the company’s estimate for 2022
|Year||Number of Exported Pistols|
Number of pistols SYS exported to the USA in last two years and the company’s estimate for 2022
Strategy Pays Dividends
C. Utku Aral, General Manager at SYS shared the following on the success of the company: “The reports on small arms exports to the United States of America are published yearly by various organisations, especially Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). According to these reports, we were at 4th place on pistol exports, with 3rd place going to Czechia last year. We passed Czechia this year, and companies from Austria and Brazil are ahead of us. We had passed Italian, Belgian and German companies in the past, and of course we are proud of our success.”
Mr. Aral summarised the strategy that led to the successes as follows: “We have been active in the American market for a long time, and we understand it very well now. We know what motivates American users to buy a pistol and we design our products with that in mind. Some of our customers are competition shooters, some of them are getting their pistols strictly for personal and home defence, for example. As we know the trends, we design every single one of our products to meet the needs of our customers as much as possible. We also predict the dynamics in the market very accurately. For example, American market saw a surge of demand starting with March 2020 due to rising security concerns, but we predicted this trend would taper off at the last quarter of 2021. With this in mind, we launched our METE SFT and METE SFx, the first models of our new METE series in August 2021, and we sold approximately 100,000 of just these two models in the last 4 months, avoiding this slowdown completely. There’s also the matter of production potential. If we let our competitors get ahead of us in this regard, we would not be seeing this success right now. As we can produce 450,000 pistols every year, we can easily meet the demands, both real and potential.”
Ahead of Competitors in Both Cost and Performance
Aral expressed the cost and performance of their products were ahead of the competitors and added: “As with every other market, the users in the American market are mostly concerned with two indicators: value and performance. As the users hear about the performance of your pistol not from you, but from the market, you absolutely do not stand a chance if your product is awful. As our CANiK brand pistols are the best in their class, we easily overtake our competitors. We also provide life-long warranty for the satisfaction of our customers without considering the costs for it. As for value, the customer wants to make the most of the money they spend. Having low prices is not enough in this regard. Some entrenched brands have lower sales prices compared to CANiK pistols, but as our users know our quality is unmatched, they pick our products when they consider performance/cost ratios.”
Compatibility with Accessories Yet Another Advantage
Aral, highlights the fact that CANiK brand pistols being compatible with accessories creates yet another advantage in the market: “Our aim is to have our customers not only purchase pistols but customise them to their needs with accessories. As such, we design our pistols in a modular manner compatible with all kinds of accessories. American users also prefer using their pistols with accessories. In addition, we have one of the biggest firearm accessory programmes out there and the biggest accessory companies produce special products for CANiK brand pistols. In addition, optical sights and holsters are included in most of our pistol bundles we sell. With all this in mind, our pistols create an even greater value for our customers.”
SYS Must Advance Further
Aral expressed they wanted the second place in the pistol exports to the American market and listed their future plans as follows: “We are making a complete renewal of our product line-up with our new models, we are making our weapons smarter, and we are revising our official accessory program to reach every single town in the USA. We also planned even more effective marketing campaigns even though we are one of the best already. We will be seeing these developments as they happen.”
CANiK M2 Heavy Machine Gun Showcased in the USA for the First Time
CANiK unveiled its CANiK M2 QCB heavy machine gun at SHOT Show, a fair held in Las Vegas in January, and this development led to the company enjoying attention from all over the world. Mr. Aral commented on the effects of the launch as follows: “We are seen as a positive brand by our American customers, even though they know us from mostly CANiK brand pistols. They do not know we also work on heavy machine guns and weapon integration solutions. When we unveiled our CANiK M2 QCB heavy machine gun in the American market, it made a huge positive impact on our branding there. We think we will see the effects of this surge in the following months. Also, as SHOT Show is a very famous fair followed closely by the entire world, we announced the existence of this heavy machine gun to all other markets.”
The Importance of American Small Arms Market
United States of America is the largest civilian small arms market in the world. According to a report by Small Arms Survey, based in Switzerland, out of 1 billion firearms in the world, 857 million of these belong to the civilians, and the Americans have the largest share with their 393 million firearms claiming a 45.8 percent share.
C. Utku Aral, General Manager at SYS expresses the importance of American small arms market as follows: “The USA is the biggest firearms market in the world. Many American civilians own firearms, and some of them even own more than one. In addition, most large malls in the country offer firearms and ammunition as a part of their offering. With this in mind, it is no surprise for many firearms companies launch their products in the fairs in the USA. American market can easily determine the small arms trend with its sheer size. When you have a large market share there, you can easily reach other markets too.”
Most Popular CANiK Brand Pistols SYS Exported to the USA
CANiK brand pistols SYS exported the most to the United States of America in 2021 and their features are as follows:
- METE SFx and METE SFT: Launched in August 2021 by SYS, these pistols offer many additional features in addition to their redesigned frames, with some of them being an enlarged optical interface, a special rear iron-sight that allows the cocking of the gun with one hand, a new beavertail and trigger guard for enhanced ergonomic comfort. In addition, the pistols can be drawn very quickly with special holsters and can be field stripped to their smallest parts thanks to their redesigned fully modular new frames.
- TP9 SFx: This model was developed to offer the greatest performance possible to competition shooters and even received Handgun of the Year award in 2017. Users can easily customise the pistol to suit their own needs, and the pistol offers a much more precise shots with its very tight tolerances. It is the biggest model in the TP9 family, with 132 mm of barrel length and 210.5 mm length in total.
- TP9 ELITE SC: Being sold with slight differences in Türkiye as TP9 SUB ELITE, this pistol won Conceal Carry of the Year award in 2020. The company defines the pistol as Türkiye’s first polymer-frame striker-fired sub-compact pistol. It was developed in line with the needs of users that were issued TP9 SFx pistol for their service, for them to have a small but powerful pistol as a backup.