As I interviewed the various reps from gun manufacturers I found some were reluctant to talk and some had definite things to say, but no one wanted to be directly quoted. I also got the impression that manufacturers don’t get a lot of direct questions about the actual business aspect of their companies. I explained to them that I wasn’t doing a hit piece, or trying to malign the cartridge, I just wanted to see what was going on with its popularity, and that seemed to ease the tension a bit.
Let’s start with the company whose name the caliber bears, Sig Sauer. The person that I spoke to in their booth seemed to know a bit about their marketing and he seemed very concerned about the companies image as it relates to this topic. I could see he was choosing his words very carefully. He said, I think it’s very popular with the “informed consumer”. By that he means people that research what they buy, and are concerned with getting the most from their handgun. He went on to say that he thinks the caliber is gaining popularity with law enforcement as they realize it’s benefits, and they were currently working with several law enforcement agencies to schedule try outs. I asked, What did he think about some of the other companies dropping their .357 SIG models this year, and how was it doing for them? He stated that he was sorry to see them dropping it, but with a little bit of SIG pride, seemed to indicate they weren’t major sales competition for them normally. He continued and said for SIG it’s been selling OK initally, but as commenter Alan observed, SIG is selling lots of conversion kits. In fact they are going to concentrate on sales of conversion kits, especially marketing them as a way to inexpensively update to something better for some law enforcement agencies and “informed consumers”. I got the impression from the way he said this, that they may have just had a recent marketing meeting about it. Overall he was a nice guy to talk to, a little wary, but I got the impression SIG is going to try and push more sales in the upcoming months. We must remember like any other company, gun manufacturers are trying to make a profit. If they have something new or different of course they will sell it. Especially if that thing has part of their name on it regardless of who manufactured it.
I don’t think .357 SIG is going anywhere. That wasn’t my intention writing about it. I was just interested in why we aren’t seeing more of it, and in fact if SIG decides to push it hard this year we may. Up next, what the manufacturers that are dropping it said.