Industry reaction to Theoben rebirth

After Theoben’s apparent rebirth as a USA-based firm, members of the UK airgun industry have contacted Gun Trade News to give their responses.

It appears the move has divided the market: consumers will be hopeful their Theoben rifles will continue to be serviced, but the trade has expressed misgivings at what was once a flagship UK brand having effectively taken its business overseas.

102_Theoben Rapid Mk2webTheoben went into receivership in the UK in October 2012, but as Gun Trade News reported last issue, MD Martin Rutterford soon moved to set the Theoben name up in the USA under the banner of Rapid Air Weapons.

A statement given to Gun Trade News by Daystate said: “I find it difficult to palate that a strong, successful British airgun company has been run into the ground by self-interest and management incompetence. It slyly asset-stripped, destroying the company, leading to the laying off of all remaining employees, who have now been paid redundancy at British taxpayers’ expense.

“Theoben’s creditors, according to a statement by liquidators, are owed tens of thousands of pounds, and we are now told that ‘Theoben lives on’ and this will result in improvements.

“Production and quality control is now being supervised by Martin Rutterford, who has an unrivalled knowledge of the Rapid version since its launch 20 years ago. This is the same Martin Rutterford who has been MD for the last 10 years and has overseen the demise of this once highly respected company.

“If he can’t make a go of the biggest PCP airgun market in the world, how is he going to fare running the shop from a lock-up in Tennessee?”

Production continues in the US, with Rapid Air Weapons recently rolling out its new TM1000 target air rifle. Despite the negative reaction of some sectors of the UK airgun industry, it appears the USA-based outfit will press on unconcerned.

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5 comments on “Industry reaction to Theoben rebirth
  1. John Cherry says:

    Hi, great to see Theoben back on the gun scene THEE best air rifles in the world. I’ve had mine 20 years serial number 000092.It’s had 1 service and 1000s of rounds through it and still going strong. All the best for the future. JOHN

  2. Mephisto says:

    If a company goes into liquidation the name of that company should be erased and never used again. The Directors of that company should never be allowed to be directors for at least 10 years. Laws don’t apply to business people, they only apply to the the general public because businesses are allowed to make up their own rules as they go. The public have laws to obey but businesses have voluntary rules or agreements.
    I have a Rapid Mk 1 and it is a very durable, accurate, powerful rifle. I would upgrade but since this company has cut and run, I don’t know that they won’t do the same again.

  3. Nick Myatt says:

    Of had my rapid 7 22 years and far the best gun of had no trouble with it wot so ever after 1000s of pellets fired through it,people have been saying theoben have fallen behind times so how cum as soon as the painted had finished every top air gun maker copied it,

  4. Stevie Osceola Power says:

    How Can i find my Theoben fenman serial number date of manufacture? are the records, now in the USA? My serial number is….TB14834. As i would like to find out as much as i can about this fenman.Is spare parts,still available? and if so, can a list be published? But then Again…can these spares be shipped to the UK? Mybe not, as federal laws are quite strict! so were does that leave us now!

  5. Mr Mark L Chapman says:

    Hi sad news to hear about the Theoben story. As I had many good times working for them in the mid 90’s. All I can say is good one Rutti. Keep up the good work you were always the good one. As for Ben & Dave say no more he he but Jan bless her Aka. Dorean.fruity as fuck.

    Great times Bro’S.

    Chappie.

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