How did Arnold Schwarzenegger help launch SureFire? The company was founded as Laser Products Corporation after Dr. John Matthews developed and patented a laser-aiming device tailored for firearms. During its first year of operation it introduced the LPC Model 7, which was mounted atop a Colt Trooper .357 Mag. It was the world’s first commercially available laser-aimed gun, but an exotic accessory with a price tag too lofty for the average gun owner.
Most firearm enthusiasts didn’t know about the invention, anyway. Then in 1984 a pair of unrelated events proved pivotal in the company’s success. The movie “The Terminator” hit the silver screen, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character made his first attempt on Sarah Connor’s life with a .45 Longslide (seen above, courtesy of SureFire) carrying a SureFire laser. The same year the Los Angeles Police Department’s SWAT Team borrowed SureFire lasers for shotguns pulling security at the Olympics in Southern California.
SureFire celebrated its 40thanniversary in 2019 and owes part of its success—at least the early part of it—to the movie.
“I’m proud of what the SureFire team has accomplished, but I’m even more excited that we’re already laying the groundwork for the future, developing innovations that will redefine several market segments in which we are involved, and a few new ones as well,” SureFire President and founder Dr. Matthews said. “But this has never been about us. It has always been about our customers and helping them win the fight. They’ve had our back, and we’ll continue to have theirs.”
As demand for the technology grew in the military, law enforcement and with civilians, the company also developed weapon-mounted lights and introduced the first compact high-intensity flashlight, the Model 6P. It created an all-new premium tactical lighting market, where SureFire’s innovation has shined for 30 years.
“We made our mark with laser sights and tactical illumination tools, but we didn’t stop there,” said Dr. Matthews. “Our basic mission has always been to produce products that help good guys who go into harm’s way, and we’ve never stopped innovating to give our customers the advantage they need and deserve.”
Now in its 41st year, SureFire not only produces extreme-duty illumination products and tactical tools, it offers and Ear Pro hearing protection and communication devices. In addition, its battlefield-proven suppressor designs include the SOCOM model, the official suppressor of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Special Operations. This year it even introduced the flash hider every fashionable Ma Deuce wears for .50-caliber civilian rifles.
It’s an interesting success story, yet another one from the firearm industry. I apologize in advance, however, to your family and friends. You’ll never watch “The Terminator” again without interrupting that scene with Schwarzenegger to explain how he helped launch SureFire.
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