Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

For the general discussion of SCCY Industries firearms. Includes the SCCY CPX-1 & CPX-2 compact 9mm and CPX-3 subcompact .380 ACP handguns.

Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby FloridaPilot » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:05 pm

My SCCY was the first firearm I've purchased. I'm that short period of time, I've inherited my grandfathers .38 that I shot as a child, rented a few different guns at the range, and set my sights on my next firearm (probably a year in the future). I've had limited experience with the SCCY, but have effectively fired 1250 rounds without major issue.

Which turns my attention to the company: As stated on their website, the CPX series has been reviewed by dozens of reputable publications, received positive reviews from well regarded YouTube channels, and even made its way into the NRA Gun of the Week (I know, not the "diamond star" standard, but one has to hope the NRA knows what they're talking about). Problems persist. New pistols still experience issues.

So, how, then, does SCCY remain in business? I submit to you, if SCCY had to repair more than a certain percentage of weapons produced, they'd not be able to maintain profitability. Specifically, SCCY has a lower margin that other firearms in the same category, such as the M&P Shield, or Baby Glock. With such a lower margin, it's necessary to reduce the amount of warranty work performed, as the liquidity just isn't there.

The upkeep and maintenance on CNC mills is pricy, and their operation is expensive. Yes, one eliminates the need for humans, but parts in CNC mills do fail and they can be quite staggering in price. Electricity, raw materials, shipping to distributors, cardboard boxes, design and engineering costs, R&D costs, it all adds up. Yes, Mr. Roebuck does a lot of engineering, but he can't do it all.

My wife bought a Honda Civic a while ago. The Civic is a well regarded car. Hundreds of thousands of them have been produced since their introduction. It's a staple of the American roadway. But her civic has returned to the Dealer 11 times for warranty work in the 2 years we've owned it. It's a civic. These things don't happen to a Civic... Until they do.

I know several people have had bad experiences with their SCCY. Many of the users here don't trust them, and frustrations grow high because of the warranty work that needs to be done sometimes. I understand, I really do. There's a concern about reliability in the self defense scenario. However, to date, SCCY has manufactured over 350,000 pistols. Without knowing how many of those 350,000 have been truly returned for warranty, we can't have a statistically justifiable number to call the pistol "unreliable."

Please bear in mind: I'm not saying EVERY CPX IS reliable. I'm saying we don't have quantifiable evidence to suggest otherwise. Even if 1,000 users on this board had issues with their pistols, that's less than one third of one percent of all SCCY pistols manufactured reported here as defective. (I know, reliability has varied over time and thus can't be treated as a constant, but regarding the fact that we don't have those variables it's only fair to see it as a constant).

There has to be something here, right? Hicock45, a YouTube marksman who is very positively regarded, didn't dismiss the gun even after he had issues with it (that turned out to be the result of him loading 11 rounds in a magazine). The NRA highlighted the gun. And after 12 years they're still in business.

Their model can't be volume, as annually it's tiny, though growing. It's obviously not premium pricing. They don't have the accessory markup that S&W does. So how are they doing it? I just don't see the money. If their pistols really are that bad of quality, and they have that many issues, how do they keep the lights on with a no-questions-asked warranty and a shoddy product?

These are my thoughts. But I would like a thoughtful discussion on the business model, and what you see as successes and failures of SCCY Industries. I've not been around long enough to comment on the dark, early days. So please feel free to submit history as well. I'm genuinely curious.

Thank you in advance for the civilized, intelligent conversation.
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Re: Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby Mrbone » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:59 pm

They are junk guns. Mine has gone back 5 times. Even had the whole gun replaced. The replacement was broken right out of the box.That is not a good product or company. As for the cost of repairs, they are using wood shims on some fixes... And as to Hickok and the 11 rounds, thats malarkey because back before sccy disconnected itself with this forum, their armorer jason came on here and told us all that 11 rounds is fine and he even carries his that way. I always put 11 in the mags. And if you look in hickoks video, the pins have walked out. Dont you think its odd that you see TONS of bad issues here YET these guns get good reviews in magazines? They are inconsistent. Instead of fixing the few issues this gun has like snapping ejectors walking pins and whatever else, they continue to sell junk guns. For christs sake we are talking about a company that has been making ONE MODEL of gun for over 10 years and its still not right. No dealers in my area will even stock sccys.
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Re: Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby FloridaPilot » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:31 pm

Mrbone wrote:They are junk guns. Mine has gone back 5 times. Even had the whole gun replaced. The replacement was broken right out of the box.That is not a good product or company. As for the cost of repairs, they are using wood shims on some fixes... And as to Hickok and the 11 rounds, thats malarkey because back before sccy disconnected itself with this forum, their armorer jason came on here and told us all that 11 rounds is fine and he even carries his that way. I always put 11 in the mags. And if you look in hickoks video, the pins have walked out. Dont you think its odd that you see TONS of bad issues here YET these guns get good reviews in magazines? They are inconsistent. Instead of fixing the few issues this gun has like snapping ejectors walking pins and whatever else, they continue to sell junk guns. For christs sake we are talking about a company that has been making ONE MODEL of gun for over 10 years and its still not right. No dealers in my area will even stock sccys.


I understand the exasperation here. I wasn't aware of the 11 round comment from SCCY, either. But I'm afraid you've missed the point of the discussion I'm trying to foster: How is SCCY still in business if all they produce are junk guns, and have been doing so for 10 years? How have their sales increased rather than decreasing from a bad reputation?

EDIT: Remember, we're looking at what is a successful business model. They're growing and making profit, and therefore operating a successful business model.
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Re: Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby getvicious » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:10 am

One thing SCCY has managed to do is not scale back their warranty. They still warranty used guns. Kel-Tec used to warranty used guns too but stopped that practice a few years ago. Whatever SCCY is doing has let them continue that practice. Keeping their warranty and their growth in sales, their business practice works.
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Re: Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby economod » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:30 am

From the start, I wanted mine to work as much as anybody. But my overpriced cpx was never right. I learned the truth shortly after it came back the second time, revealing their wooden shims that they used to refit their defective receiver. Unregulated-quality production-defective craptastic-trigger sneakyfix-warranty dangerous joke pistol. No thanks.

Apparently they're not all bad. But I wouldn't call mine a production anomaly. More of a calculated risk, since they knew it was permanently-defective and temporarily-repaired, yet they sent it back to me anyway, without any explanation or description of service. Just part of their "successful business model". Attaboy. I netted a $48 loss. Good riddance.
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Re: Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby FloridaPilot » Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:30 am

I dunno. I'm just rather confused about how they're doing it. They don't advertise heavily, you don't see many in-store endorsements, and they certainly don't have any law-enforcement programs that I'm aware of. I'd guess that the cost of manufacture hovers somewhere between $80-120 for materials (based on currently assessed retail-priced materials in Orlando) and labor, plus the liability insurance and shipping to a distributor. Many of us purchased our SCCY's for around $250, so taking off a 10% margin for the seller, and another 10% for the distributor (guesstimates, could be low, could be high), you're left with somewhere in the neighborhood of ~ $100 profit from each gun. Figure the cost of one prepaid overnight shipping round-trip, plus the cost of a replacement part and labor, and the profit is gone...

Replacing a gun altogether... I mean, that's clearly a loss for them...

Which leads me to my assumption: I'm going to guess that less than 10% of the firearms produced are returned for warranty service. I think if it broke that number, or somewhere around that number, SCCY's loss of profit would require them to retool their warranty, which they haven't done in 12 years. That's not saying only 10% are shipped with issues or suffer from issues. I also have to wonder how many of their pistols are purchased, tossed in a drawer, and forgotten about. How many purchased never see "adequate" range time to verify reliability.

SCCY is a private corporation, so sales figures aren't public. But I would love to see those numbers -- how many are purchased annual versus how many are returned for warranty services.
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Re: Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby FloridaPilot » Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:33 am

parkerd wrote:Florida Pilot:
I admire your engaging defense of SCCY. However, unless you are an officer or senior manager of SCCY Enterprises every statement you made is just conjecture not backed up by fact.
You have no clue regarding their profit margin, the cost of CNC machines, their breakdown, their cost and their upkeep. You don't know the rate of return, the cost of utilities such as electricity. You don't know how much engineering Joe Roebuck does, if any. It appears his brainchild the CPX3 isn't turning out as expected. You don't even know how many people SCCY employs and what they do. And you don't know how many pistols SCCY has produced. Serial numbers are no indicator of production amounts. You don't know how they keep the lights on and continue production. Maybe they are making a profit. But there are thousands and thousands of companies, some very very large that have continued in business for a long long time, sucking up investors dollars, until they closed the doors.

Major gun reviews are useless. Most major gun reviewers are sent the firearms by the manufacturers and in some cases receive product or compensation. Bad reviews put them out of business. But if you were to research the internet you would find a decent number of negative reviews.

While you spent a lot of time justifying your mom and dad's purchase for you, there is nothing you stated that you know anything about or have any verifiable information. But I admire your efforts.


You're quite right. Most of this is conjecture. But to soak up investor dollars while operating in the red for over a decade seems preposterous. I'm not defending them. If they make a crap gun they make a crap gun. I've already settled on my next purchase not being a SCCY. I'm just genuinely curious about how, after a decade of producing a shoddy product and, based on the comments here, having a majority of them returned for service they're still able to keep the doors open.

EDIT: Submitted the prior to the end of typing.

Again, I'm not trying to support, endorse, or otherwise adjudicate SCCY from any malpractice. I have a genuine interest in how they're doing it. There has to be some sort of logical number in play. Like you pointed out, we have no clue what their margin is. It could be much higher than I estimate. I DO have a background in CNC machining and I DO have a good understanding of the cost associated with their machining process. The machines they use (Fanuc Robodrill T14's, as advertised on their website), run somewhere in the neighborhood of $20-$36K depending on a myriad of factors, such as model year, new or used, and the like. They're not cheap at all, and I do know their maintenance schedule. It's not cheap.

I can't find the article online, but a while back I read in the local paper that Joe Roebuck had stated he was considering moving the business to another state (I believe it was North Carolina) due to that state dangling tax incentives, and his need to find more manufacturing space. Daytona wouldn't give him a tax break on moving to a new facility. That hasn't happened to date, but the fact that at one point he was seeking to move to another state to grow suggests the company is growing, or at least has enough liquidity on hand to pay the cost of shutting down production, loading it on a truck, moving it to another state, and train a whole new fleet of workers. Or he was bluffing and he doesn't have the cash, who knows?

My point is they're not operating in the red -- or at least they haven't been operating in the red for 12 years. Find me one venture capitalist, one investor, one bank who's going to watch their money get flushed for 12 years and not pull the plug, especially if the product is as dire as you purport it to be. I'm not claiming it to be an M&P or Glock. I'm saying that somewhere, somehow, the logic for me doesn't connect. I want to know those numbers, or at least have a logical conversation about what those numbers could theoretically be.
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Re: Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby getvicious » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:33 am

parkerd wrote:
getvicious wrote:One thing SCCY has managed to do is not scale back their warranty. They still warranty used guns. Kel-Tec used to warranty used guns too but stopped that practice a few years ago. Whatever SCCY is doing has let them continue that practice. Keeping their warranty and their growth in sales, their business practice works.


Well, we really don't know that since we haven't seen anything recently on someone returning a used gun for for warranty service. Their warranty statement:

The model CPX firearm is warranted to be free from defect(s) in material and workmanship for a lifetime from the date of purchase. Turnround time is approximately two days from date of receipt (subject to change without notice). WARNING: Modifying the firearm from its original design may cause serious injury and/or death.
In the event your firearm requires service outside the warranty, SCCY Industries will contact you and give you an estimate of charges before any work is performed. Upon approval, SCCY Industries will require all charges to be paid-in-full before the firearm is shipped back to you to your original address.

That's very true for this forum. I'm also on some FB groups and they do report normal warranty support and some have been on used pistols in the recent past. It seems like their original warranty support for the life of the gun is being honored. That's a good thing.

And yes, all the talk about SCCY making money and their business model is conjecture - both the positive and negative comments.

The only two things we seem to know for a fact is SCCY is still honoring the original warranty (per owner reports in the FB groups and here in this forum) and they are selling a lot more guns that they did a few years ago (per the BATF annual reports and owners reporting their serial numbers).

BTW - That's an interesting comment about "Major gun reviews are useless. Most major gun reviewers are sent the firearms by the manufacturers and in some cases receive product or compensation. Bad reviews put them out of business." I assume that applies to reviews of all firearms from all manufacturers. I tend to believe most reviews are not using the same standards that people profess to have here. The Nano review really drove that home for me. From an earlier post of mine:
I read a review of the Beretta Nano the other day and noticed something about performance standards.

In the October 2012 issue of American Rifleman there is a review of the Beretta Nano beginning on page 92. The thing that caught my attention is this statement on page 93: "The Nano uses dual recoil springs, which caused some problems during our testing. The section of the recoil spring guide that captures the larger diameter spring broke after six round, rendering the pistol inoperable. Beretta quickly replaced the firearm, and no further issues were encountered." At the end of the article is this statement: "The Nano is ideally suited for it's intended purpose: a major caliber defensive firearm for everyday concealed carry."

Given the test result for this review (a 50% failure rate) I wonder at the glowing recommendation. I have a JA-380 and have to wonder if it were to be tested and experienced the same failure if it would receive the same praise at the end of the review.

I see the comments on various forums I belong to about CC pistols and how people seem to state the need for 100% reliability, and will state they won't carry a pistol based on some mechanical / maintenance issue. This recommendation seems to fly in the face of that type of standard.

Of course I also see comments about a particular pistol not being "suitable" for CC due to some issue yet some other particular pistol being termed "suitable" even though the same or similar issue has been experienced with it.

I just find it interesting how our standards for an item intended to fill a common need emphasize different characteristics and seem to be influenced by the perceived "quality" offered by a particular manufacturer, the location a review is published in (magazine, forum, you tube, etc.) and the amount the reviewer likes a particular brand.

In this review it's obvious that the reliability of the test pistols was not a factor in the overall result. Why do I say that? The tested pistols experience a 50% failure rate yet the result was a very high praise for this pistol, calling it "ideally suited" for it's defensive role. The reviewer obviously considered the recoil rod assembly failure a fluke and was impressed by the way the 2nd pistol functioned as it was used in the test. :kickback:
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Re: Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby BadMonk » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:03 pm

True, they are selling more guns which begs the questions. Are new owners/the general public being hoodwinked by SCCY for ten years? If so, how is that being accomplished since SCCY doesn't spend on marketing? My pistol has been back for warranty work once (and the problem could have been my fault).
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Re: Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby Mrbone » Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:47 pm

I have a feeling that alot of these guns are purchased and never fired or fired 50 rounds a year. Not to mention they are geared toward novice shooters. These novice shooters prob dont know anything about guns and after a few mags are willing to tell anyone that will listen that its a good gun. After owning this gun I will never say that another gun is good until I put over a thousand rounds through it.
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Re: Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby FloridaPilot » Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:45 pm

Mrbone wrote:I have a feeling that alot of these guns are purchased and never fired or fired 50 rounds a year. Not to mention they are geared toward novice shooters. These novice shooters prob dont know anything about guns and after a few mags are willing to tell anyone that will listen that its a good gun. After owning this gun I will never say that another gun is good until I put over a thousand rounds through it.


Interesting. That's one of my assumptions as well. Many SCCY's are bought and then quickly put away, assumed to be in good working order.
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Re: Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby Drec » Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:51 am

It's possible that one of these guns is purchased, shot a couple of times and then just carried. It's small enough for that purpose.
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Re: Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby thadscottmoore » Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:35 pm

bought mine about a month a go. right out of the box, I had issues with failure to feed (had failure to feed with each magazine load). Called SCCY and they suggested swapping out the magazines. They sent me two new ones- meanwhile, I ordered Galloway 20# recoil spring and stainless guide and the trigger kit. After receiving the new clips from SCCY and the upgrade parts from Galloway- took it back to the range and fired 400 rounds without any issues. To date I have shot about 1200 rounds through it with no problems since using the new magazines and Galloway parts. Holds a pretty decent group- recently installed the laser kit and like it. Their customer service seems top notch for me so far. Its not a Sig Saurer, but- for the price- cant really complain. I paid over 700 for my wife's Sig and paid a fraction of that for my SCCY. Even after all the mods, I am far less invested than the Sig. Cost and Customer service are both a plus for their business design.
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Re: Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby Drec » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:36 am

thadscottmoore wrote:bought mine about a month a go. right out of the box, I had issues with failure to feed (had failure to feed with each magazine load). Called SCCY and they suggested swapping out the magazines. They sent me two new ones- .............................................................................

Your story is similar to mine. The only difference was that they asked for my serial number and said they were sending me a new slide and barrel; which they did. Since then I haven't had any FTF.
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Re: Let's Talk: SCCY The Company

Postby Drec » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:49 am

I used to work at The Boeing Company in Seattle. One of the other engineers and I had been working on a project that involved a casting that would come into Boeing that would be rejected in receiving and inspection, because of linear inclusions (cracks in the casting). After dealing with this issue a long time, we put in a for a cost saving to machine the part out of plate, based on the rejections; which was rejected. We were told that it couldn't be considered a cost savings, because rejections were part of the manufacturing process and funding was out of a different bucket of money.

Later we went a different direction submitted a design improvement, using the same design that was rejected before; which was now accepted as it was a better design.

What I was trying to show is that sometimes we will analyze a situation trying to figure out how someone can do something that doesn't make sense. When the structure that is driving them has different dimensions.
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