A New Weapons Act Passed, Now What?
Ever since its establishment in 1972, Umarex has been pushing towards new horizons. Umarex has created a world of adventure for sport shooters, recreational shooters, trainers, and hunters. Millions of people enjoy shooting sports around the world and they expect exceptional products from Umarex – and they get them.
The first steps of the company led to the first big success: Umarex developed a line of guns with a powerful appeal. These blank firing guns and airguns could be freely purchased over the counter. That was a key advantage, because Germany’s new weapons act, passed in 1972, required a permit for the purchase of lethal weapons.
The Beginning of Officially Licensed Guns
In its first years, Umarex created a package in the shape of a book, containing a magnifying glass and a revolver with blank cartridges and flares. The set, which displayed the figure of Sherlock Holmes on the outside, sold at a rate of 80,000 per year. A license fee of 25 cents per set went to the family of Arthur Conan Doyle, which held the rights to the character.
Umarex began its expansion in the 1970s by exporting to Egypt, France, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland. In 1985, the company strengthened its international presence with the founding of Umarex Austria. Umarex Austria offers gun dealers in southeastern Europe a product range that is specially geared to the needs of recreational shooters and hunters. Its experienced and well-trained employees provide expert advice and are known for their excellent service.
Umarex Expands Partnerships
In 1993, Umarex and Carl Walther came together. It was a natural union, because Umarex had its roots in Zella-Mehlis, a town famous for its gunsmithing tradition, and Zella-Mehlis was also where the Carl Walther company, founded in 1886, had manufactured calculating machines and weapons.
In 1995, the managers at Umarex realized that a change was coming. Restrictions governing the purchase of blank firing guns would soon be tightened. Moreover, the market for imported airguns was saturated. It was time to introduce a new line of products. In Arnsberg, Umarex expanded the production by high-quality CO2 guns.
The Walther CP88 became a symbol of Umarex quality. This CO2 pistol gave Umarex an impressive technological lead. The groundbreaking idea, on which all later CO2 designs were based, was the innovative, patented “Fast Action” system. The gun was loaded by opening the barrel with the dummy slide catch. CO2 capsules were inserted by opening the grip plate.
When the CP88 was presented at the 1995 Shot Show in Las Vegas, Umarex scored a breakthrough. The major American firearms manufacturers, later joined by the oldest weapons manufacturer in the world, Beretta, granted licenses for replicas of their famous models. Today Umarex makes official airguns under the brands of Beretta, Browning, Colt, GLOCK, Heckler Koch, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, UZI, and Walther.
Umarex Sets Roots in the United States
Umarex continued expanding with the founding of Umarex USA in 2006. Umarex USA offers sporting goods dealers in North America a wide product range in addition to airguns that includes Axeon Optics, Exude Lights, Elite Force Airsoft, Rekt Dart Launchers, and T4E Paintball training guns. Its experienced gun techs give well-trained expert advice and excellent service as rated at Trustpilot, and a respectable number of the Umarex USA family participates in some discipline of the shooting sports themselves.
Umarex has retained one characteristic throughout its history: its independence as a mid-size, owner-managed family company. This trait determines its management style: modern and dynamic, but also with spirit. The company’s management places great store in the know-how and experience of its more than 900 employees worldwide.
To learn more about the companies of Umarex visit the European website, Umarex.com.