Zenith Firearms is a company out of Afton, Virginia that is most known for their huge variety firearms from companies based out of Turkey. They have sold everything from Tisas 1911s to HK MP5 Carbines and Pistols made by Turkey’s military arms manufacturer, MKE. on September 21st, Zenith sent out a press release to all the customers on their email list announcing a serious shift in their focus as far as products and future intentions.
Zenith Firearms announced that they are no longer going to be importing handguns and shotguns from Turkish manufacturers such as Tedna, Girsan, and Tisas. Their intention is to use a newly acquired 84,000sqft industrial facility in order to get started in the manufacturing of firearms and accessories. The plan is to transfer all the firearms that aren’t roller-delayed blowback, to the Texas-based wholesale liquidator CDNN Sports. All warranty services for the discontinued firearms will be honored, though.
Zenith will be now focusing solely on bringing their roller-delayed blowback rifles and pistols to the civilian shooter market and getting into the manufacturing industry themselves. In short, Zenith is going to be working with MKE in order to become the largest importer of H&K roller-delayed blowback firearms in the US. These firearms made by MKE are nothing short of H&K roller-delayed blowback firearms.
WHO IS MKE?
MKEK, or MKE in Turkey is one of the last and largest H&K roller-delayed blowback manufacturers sanctioned and under the authority of H&K to fill orders for H&K roller-delayed blowback firearms internationally. The only difference between MKE and H&K is that MKE makes the H&K weapons in Turkey instead of Germany. The metal composition, tolerances, and process for manufacturing are all the same. Even the machines are the exact same as the ones used in Germany. Now just know that MKE does way more than just these firearms, but Zenith is going to focus on this corner of their production for their customers here in the US.
WHY THE SUDDEN CHANGE?
Zenith has been the sole importer of a wide range of firearms for a couple years now. They have pulled in a wide variety of pistols and shotguns to give everyone a taste of the quality of Turkish firearms in general. I personally really like the pistols they have brought to the market such as the Girsan MC-28 and the Girsan Regard. These pistols were built to very high standards and built to serve the needs of the Turkish Ministry of Defense. The MC-28 recently won the contract for the Ministry of Defense that was about as big as our Modular Handgun Program here in the US. So, if these Turkish pistols and shotguns are such good guns, so why are they going away? Well, it is simple. The roller-delayed market has taken off and Zenith has recognized the markets desire to have the MP-5 platform back on the civilian market. They have also recognized that the roller-delayed blowback has not changed much at all as far as function and with keeping up with the expectations of shooters today.
With this market shift, Zenith also intends on being the biggest supplier of firearms, parts, maintenance services, accessories, and training for Law Enforcement and military units in the country. This is a pretty bold shift, but I think it is highly probable if they do it correctly. They also intend to get themselves deep in the game as far as research and development for improving the roller-delayed platform and getting it caught up with 21st century demands. Again, bold but heavily needed and probable if they do it right.
Zenith saw a chance to consolidate on their service, sales, and development as a company by making this shift in their business model. I can’t blame them, but it is quite a big change. Their intention in 2018 is to be able to consolidate their focus and make their services more streamlined, begin domestic manufacturing of firearms or at least firearms accessories, make their products more visible, and increase their ability to meet customer demand. They would like to be able to expand on and contribute to the hard-to-find accessory market and improve on the design of the roller-delayed platform. I am going to follow up with Zenith Firearms at SHOT show in 2018 to get us more details directly from them.
So in a nutshell, Zenith is no longer going to be selling any handguns or shotguns as they did in the past. The only pistols they will be carrying are going to be their MP-5 variants. They will also keep a generous stock of pistols and rifles in 5.56 NATO and 7.62×51 NATO. Again, all of the firearms they are going to have available are basically H&K firearms that are made on H&K tooling, exactly to H&K specs, on behalf of H&K, and just happen to be made in Turkey.
When I got the email announcing these changes, I was not sure what to think. But after some time to think about the fact they have so much money invested in so many areas, I don’t blame them for focusing on an area that they will have almost unlimited potential in terms of expansion and development. Who knows what the future holds for Zenith, but I will say that I hope the saying is true for them…Fortune favors the bold.