Recently IO Inc held there 2015 annual writers and buyers conference in Palm Beach, FL. This was the second year that I was in attendance at the conference, and there have been some changes to the company between then and now.
One of the larger changes is that Ramzi Kheireddine appears to no longer be with the company and Eduardo Debarros is now the VP of Production. Eduardo previously worked for Taurus (for 20+ years) and focused on their expansion and eliminating issues with production. “While at Taurus he [Eduardo] was able to help that company expand from 100 guns a week to producing more than 5000 guns a week”.
From the sounds of everything, IO Inc is hoping that Eduardo can help expand and optimize their production lines, help reduce waste, and improve quality.
Most of the products that IO Inc has are the same as last year, the AKM247 (AK), and its many variants, the M214 Sniper (AK), the M214 Nano (AK), and the M215 (AR).
They have added an under-folding and side-folding stock option to their AKM247 models (the AKM247-UF and AKM247-SF). They are also working on upping production of the M214 Nano (currently only 10 a day) and should be geared up for that within the next few months.
One of the new items is a limited quantity (500 for the year) PPS43-C Polish import pistol chambered in 7.62x25mm Tokarev with a 9.8″ barrel. This was converted to a closed bolt Semi-Auto from the original open bolt full-auto configuration. These should be available, but since the quantity is so limited, my guess is they will be hard to find (probably something you’ll have to ask for).
Another update they provided was on the Venom .45 ACP pistol. Apparently they have had some sourcing problems with the slides they were having manufactured and are moving away from the forgings. The new plan is to machine the slide from billet. They are hoping to have them available at SHOT show 2016. They didn’t have any demo models available for us to mess with, but they say they are coming.
Also in the works is a concept for an “SBR ready” AKM247 that has a pinned fake “suppressor” attached to the barrel so that you can file your paperwork, pay your $200, get a tax stamp and then, with a lot less hassle, remove the “suppressor” and have your SBR ready to go. No other work needed. This will be a nice and simple way to get an AK SBR without having to do a ton of the work that is required to change a barrel, etc. They are hoping to have this available next year.
At the Range
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our time on the range this time around. Last time things went pretty smoothly, however this time around there were a couple hiccups, and they were a little more frequent than I think anyone would have liked.
Some of the issues, probably a lot of them, were related to old/bad surplus ammunition and a lack of lubrication, but some were just plain old problems… What the cause of any of them were, I’m not 100% sure, but they were problems none the less.
One of the M214 Nanos had the bolt carrier come off track and got stuck, needless to say, that’s not a good thing. Also, there were a few failure-to-feed and a few failure-to-fire issues. The failures-to-fire appeared to be the cause of some bad surplus ammunition, and the failures-to-feed looked to be caused by some new magazines that needed to be smacked around a bit. After a few uses, and some oil, most of the issues seemed to go away, but they did still happen… There were also a few instances of the rim of cases getting ripped off, something that can be caused by over gassed guns, but it could also have been the old ammunition.
After some monkeying around, and some lubrication, things started to work a bit more reliably. And after about 10-15 minutes, everything seemed to be running a little more smoothly. But most of the firearms that were laid out, had an issue of some sort with the first shots. All I can really say is these things never go 100% without a hitch, but it’s always good to try and have things setup and tested before everyone get’s there.
Reiterated this year, customer service was one of the areas that was discussed quite frequently and many distributors that were in attendance commented on how much they appreciated IO Inc’s customer service.
IO Inc does offer a lifetime warranty on all of their products, and many people have said, they stand by it. Though, it’s always everyone’s hope to never have to use such a warranty. But it’s there in case you have issues.
Also in talking with a few shops and distributors, the failure rate of delivered guns has been pretty low, and better than some larger brands have had during their various runs. I don’t have any specific numbers, but “very low” was tossed around more than a few times by various 3rd parties. All of that being said, the time on the range, was a little disheartening no mater what anyone says.
Here is a list of all of IO Inc’s current/future products and their MSRP prices.
|Product Name||SKU #||Manufacturer||MSRP|
|AKM247 CA Legal||IODM2004||I.O. Inc.||$634.95|
|AKM247-C CA Legal||IODM2012||I.O. Inc.||$689.95|
|AKM247-T CA Legal||IODM2024||I.O. Inc.||$699.95|
|M214 CA Legal||IOIN1013||I.O. Inc.||$714.95|
|M214 FS||IOIN1011||I.O. Inc.||$749.95|
|M214 NANO||IONANO5001||I.O. Inc.||$604.95|
|M214 SNIPER W/SCOPE||IOIN0020||I.O. Inc.||$1025.95|
|M214 SNIPER CA Legal W/SCOPE||IOIN0021||I.O. Inc.||$1059.95|
|M214 SNIPER / NO SCOPE||IOIN0019||I.O. Inc.||$904.95|
|M214 SNIPER CA Legal / NO SCOPE||IOIN0022||I.O. Inc.||$939.95|
|M214 Ellett Edition||IOIN1014||I.O. Inc.||$645.95|
|Venom / Cerakote finish||Venom002||I.O. Inc.||$599.95|
|M215 AFRAME||IODM2010||I.O. Inc.||$735.95|
|M214 Low Profile||IODM2015||I.O. Inc.||$755.95|
|M215 MicroQR-7||IODM15P7QR||I.O. Inc.||$749.95|
|M215 MicroQR-7 300B||IODM15P7QR/30B||I.O. Inc.||$749.95|
|M215 MicroQR-7/4||IODM15P7QR4||I.O. Inc.||$749.95|
|M215MicroQR-7/4 300B||IODM15P7QR4/30B||I.O. Inc.||$749.95|
|M215 MicroFL-7||IODM15P7FL||I.O. Inc.||$749.95|
|M215 MicroFL-7 300B||IODM15P7FL/30B||I.O. Inc.||$749.95|
|M215 MicroQR-10||IODM15P10QR||I.O. Inc.||$749.95|
|M215 MicroQR-10 300B||IODM15P10QR/30B||I.O. Inc.||$749.95|
|Radom47 CA Legal||IODM3004||Pioneer Arms||$735.95|
This years conference went well, and there were more people than the previous year. I completely appreciate IO Inc’s hospitality and generosity towards the media and buyers, and definitely liked hearing from 3rd parties about how they stand by their product. However, the product demo was concerning. The various issues, even if they can be chalked up to bad ammunition or who knows what else, is definitely something to think about.
In talking with one of the groups in attendance, The Gun Range located in Northern California, they are planning to put some of the IO Inc products into their rental program to see how they perform under some real abuse. That will be a great stress test; everyone knows how people treat rentals. Once they have that done, I will reach out to them to see how everything is holding up, and if you want to go try one out, you’ll know who to call.
More to come sometime down the road…