(Update Dec. 25: Adds Hipwell comment on CGN, adds link to Kodiak follow-up statement.)
TheGunBlog.ca — Wolverine Supplies Ltd., one of Canada’s largest independent gun distributors and retailers, and Kodiak Defence Inc. said they stopped working together to make and sell the top-selling WK180-C rifle.
Update Dec. 25: “I am very saddened by this development as it was my own ‘Pet Project’ and whilst I am technically retired and will be visiting family for Christmas I will endeavor to answer and questions,” John Hipwell, the founder and former CEO of Wolverine Supplies, said Dec. 20 on Canadian Gun Nutz.
The .223-calibre WK180-C was a dream-come-true for Hipwell, who initiated what became a top seller in a product category he invented.
Hipwell chose Ontario-based Kodiak to make a rifle with properties that didn’t previously exist together:
- “Non-restricted” legal classification
- Made in Canada
- Uses standard AR-15 magazines
- Sells for less than $1,000
Wolverine sold more than 3,000 of the firearms to Canadian sport shooters, hunters and firearm collectors.
Kodiak said yesterday it will continue to make the WK180-C and will work with North Sylva Co., Canada’s largest gun distributor, to get the products to stores.
Wolverine Supplies Statement, Today
Effective today, the 20th of December 2019, Wolverine Supplies no longer has a working relationship with Kodiak Defence, Westrifle, or Savminter Enterprises.
Along with this Wolverine Supplies will no longer be marketing and distributing the WK180-C.
Wolverine will be contacting all our existing retail customers who have placed deposits or have outstanding orders. Customers with deposits will receive a full refund with no administration charges.
Wolverine Supplies is currently taking steps to recover our considerable financial investment from Kodiak Defence. We apologize to you, our customers, for the delays in bringing this product to you, this was due to circumstances beyond our control.
During this time, we would appreciate your continued patience and understanding.
Source: E-mailed press release, also on Instagram
Kodiak Defence Statement, Today
Kodiak Defence Inc. has severed our working relationship with Wolverine Supplies Ltd. and will no longer be using them to distribute our products, namely the WK180C. When we designed and built the first WK180C, we were excited to work with Wolverine Supplies. Their retail and distribution network helped to get a quality rifle into the hands of many Canadians. Unfortunately, this cannot continue. Our working relationship was not one that satisfied either one of us and it is time that we go our separate ways.
We understand that there are many customers who have placed pre-orders with retailers, including with Wolverine Supplies. Wolverine has informed us that they will be contacting their customers in the coming days to advise them that their deposits will be refunded. To those who were patiently waiting their turn in line with Wolverine, we apologise that you have been caught up in this. We have had neither control nor visibility of the waiting list (that’s not a criticism; it just wasn’t in our purview) and are unable to provide any information about it, besides what we were told.
We will continue to produce the WK180C and have begun working with another distributor based in Toronto (North Sylva). We remain excited to be making the most popular Canadian rifle on the market and nothing about its production is changing, apart from how they end up in your friendly neighbourhood gun store. As a manufacturer, we typically do not sell to the public. Our new distributor also does not sell directly, but you will still see WK180Cs on the shelves and the webpages of your favourite retailers. We have been producing rifles steadily and, absent a short break next week for Christmas, will continue to do so until everyone who wants a WK180C in their hands has one.
We hope that you enjoy the holidays and we wish all our customers a very merry Christmas.
Kodiak Defence Inc.
Source: Kodiak Defence
Update Dec. 25: Kodiak Follow-Up Statement of Dec. 20
- Source: Kodiak Defence (Same link as Dec. 19 statement)