[Is It Dead?] Hudson H9: Lawsuit & Current Status

Like a shooting star of the firearms world, the Hudson H9 burned brightly when it was introduced, shined hot and bright for a brief time, but ultimately burnt out and ran cold.

Introduced by Hudson Mfg. at SHOT 2017, the H9 was posed to take the gun buying public by storm.

Reviewers had good things to say about it, especially considering that it’s the flagship pistol from a brand new company, and the pistol did fairly well, again, especially considering that Hudson was brand new at the time.

Hudson H9
Soon to only be remembered in myth and legend – the Hudson H9

However, since then things haven’t been so hot.

Hudson has had a rough go of it lately, culminating in the company declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy on March 14th.

So how did Hudson get to this point and what do you need to know if you’re the proud owner (or an owner, anyway) of a Hudson H9?

Let’s get right down to it, starting with how Hudson got into this position in the first place.

The Hudson H9A

One possible cause of Hudson’s cash flow issues is the Hudson H9A, first introduced at SHOT Show 2018.

Hudson H9A - Recoil
Hudson H9A – Recoil Magazine

That’s not to say that the H9A wasn’t a good gun. In fact, it was almost the exact same gun as the H9 and it performed just as well, but with an aluminum frame that led the H9A to be about a half pound lighter and about $200 cheaper.

These advantages likely caused many people who would have bought the H9 to decide to wait for the H9A to become available for purchase instead.

Unfortunately, Hudson didn’t get the H9A out quick enough, leading the company to take the cash flow hit, plus they still had to pay the federal excise tax on the H9s they had produced even though they weren’t being sold.

Add to this the cost to continue development on the H9A in order to try to get it out for sale and reverse the problem and, of course, the regular cost of running a business, and Hudson Mfg. was in dire straights.

broke meme

This wasn’t clear to the public though.

CVMI Lawsuit

The public didn’t get a hint of Hudson’s troubles until a lawsuit was filed against them by Cambridge Valley Machining Inc. (CVMI) in August 2018.

The suit alleges that Hudson contracted CVMI to machine handgun parts including 10,000 of each grips, barrels, and strikers for a total of $1,687,500, but after CVMI delivered these parts, Hudson allegedly failed to pay an outstanding balance of $384,730.99.

mask accountant
Okay…add the balance…carry the 2…

On top of that CVMI also claims to have produced more parts, totaling at $184,070 which Hudson also owes to CVMI, that they never delivered to Hudson due to the outstanding balance.

Additionally, the contract also puts an interest rate of 1.5% a month on any unpaid balance, plus CVMI is also seeking attorney fees, late fees, and collection costs in their suit.

All of that added together comes to a possible $750,000 or even more that Hudson could have to pay out.

Now according to a court filing by Hudson Mfg. in December of 2018, CVMI continually provided inadequate parts, leading to “cash flow issues” for Hudson that prevented them from producing the H9. Hudson alleges that these production problems from CVMI was a breach of contract itself, so they were not obligated to pay for the parts.

parks and rec accountant
Hudson’s accountant face when he saw the final totals, probably.

No matter how it actually went down, it’s clear that Hudson was in significant financial trouble.

And knowing what we do now about the H9A, we can see in hindsight that Hudson was actually struggling even more than it appeared at the time.

Customer Complaints & Going MIA

Knowing that it’s probably not surprising that in fall 2018, Hudson started experiencing widespread complaints about customer service from Hudson H9 owners who had experienced breakage or malfunction.

Now the Hudson H9 was only introduced in 2017 and with any new firearm, some mechanical issues are to be expected, especially from a new manufacturer. The real problem was the customers reported going weeks or months without hearing from customer service about their problems or even never hearing from customer service at all.

waiting meme
Waiting to get a firearm fixed is always a rough time

Some of these users had already sent in their guns for repairs through Hudson’s warranty service department when they stopped hearing back from the company and have been unable to get their pistols back, fixed or otherwise.

Customers also attempted leaving comments on the company’s Facebook page, which stopped creating new posts in December, but the company didn’t respond to these comments.

Meanwhile, the company’s website stopped being updated in January and that same month Hudson failed to appear at their booth at SHOT Show 2019.

Hudson booth 2019
The empty Hudson booth at SHOT show 2019, Recoil

These experiences led one customer, Josh Supnick, to start H9owners.com, a website dedicated to gathering customer experiences in order to start a class action lawsuit against Hudson and encouraging customers to file individual complaints against the company as well.

The class action suit hasn’t come to fruition and it’s unclear what the suit’s future will be now that Hudson Mfg. has filed for bankruptcy.

And don’t forget that during this entire period Hudson was also facing intense competition for sales from plenty of other high-quality gun manufacturers and the company’s growing negative reputation certainly wasn’t helping them.

But What Can I Do if I Have an H9?

If you already have an H9, this story might be interesting, but it doesn’t really address the concern that’s probably biggest on your mind: what do I do about any problems with my H9?

Well, if Hudson is currently in possession of your pistol, you’re unfortunately going to have to keep waiting, at least for right now. It’s not yet clear if or when Hudson will return any H9s and in what state they’ll be in when they’re returned.

disappointed

According to the bankruptcy filing, Hudson’s liabilities are somewhere between $10-million and $50-million, while their assets are less than $50-thousand.

At this point, all of Hudson’s assets will be sold off to begin to cover their liabilities, but any sold H9s that are in for repairs is not their property and therefore shouldn’t be sold with the company’s assets. With that said, it seems pretty clear that Hudson also doesn’t have the funds to mail back all the H9s either.

KE Arms

On the other hand, if you have an H9 with problems that’s still in your possession or are just concerned about what will happen if your H9 has problems in the future, I have good news!

One of Hudson’s suppliers, KE Arms, who produced slides and prototype H9A frames, has some leftover stock that they retained due to Hudson’s outstanding balances. They’re now looking at making these parts available to consumers as a way to help H9 owners out and to recoup their own losses.

You can purchase these parts at HugsonGunParts.com

They’re also looking into manufacturing small parts for the H9 and are in contact with other Hudson suppliers who produced other parts for the H9.

Lastly, KE Arms is still offering work on existing H9 pistols such as slide milling, magazine baseplates, and more.

Parting Shots

And that is the story of Hudson Manufacturing.

As far as we know, this was not a failure due to negligence. The product wasn’t bad or unsafe. No one lied or embezzled. This was simply an example of how incredibly hard it is to start a firearms company from scratch.

Firearms is a hard market to make a name in. If nothing else, we might at least respect the tenacity and American spirit that it took for Hudson to embark on this journey.

Bad weather american
This dude has the Spirit flowing through him, the American Spirit.

While Hudson ultimately failed, there is some hope that we might see the H9 rise again. If we’re lucky, another brand will pick up the IP and spend the capital to work out the bugs and bring it back to market along with the H9A.

But that same could have been said for dozens of failed firearm designs over the centuries.

Do you own a Hudson H9? Would you buy it if it came back on the market? What manufacturer would you like to hypothetically acquire the rights to bring the H9 back? Let us know in the comments! Need a pistol that is actually still on the market, then take a look at the Best 9mm Pistols!

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26 Leave a Reply

  • John

    I’d like to see PSA pick this up. They’d probably move everything in house and bring down costs pretty good. If they worked on the bugs and this was retailing with an aluminum frame at around $700-750, I bet it would have a real come back. I still want one and with KE Arms servicing many of the issues at the moment, I just might anyway.

    5 months ago
  • Bones

    Awesome article, thanks for the info. Was hoping to buy one, so it's sad to see they might not be around anymore.

    8 months ago
  • S F

    I sent my H9 in twice for repair. Never got it back the second time. I would have accepted an email from the Hudsons simply stating they can never return my firearm for whatever reason. What pisses me off the most is the complete radio silence from them. The last email from Cy Hudson in December of 2018 promised to not leave their customers in the dark; yet they did it anyway. I would like my property back even if it is in pieces or inoperable. I really want my H9 back but I highly doubt anyone would be getting theirs back at this point.

    10 months ago
    • Araceli Guerrero

      Have you tried disputing with credit card company?? I told my husband we should do that, he didn't want to.... he said since we purchased from third party vendor. I am furious, we too sent our gun for repair and they kept it :(

      6 months ago
  • Johnny

    Colt should buy the design and production rights. It's sort of kind of 1911 based and they haven't come up with a pistol design of their own worth a damn since John Browning died......

    11 months ago
  • Bam

    Tone down the %^#[email protected]^ .gif files! All that motion is annoying at best. For those of us with motion sickness issues, it is even worse. If not for being able to block elements on webpages, I wouldn't have even finished the article.

    11 months ago
    • Dam

      There are literally four, go give your balls a tug

      10 months ago
  • Jim

    bought a new un box 1 today at what I would consider a reasonable price. if the H9A ever shows up. I'd consider 1 as well. love the machine work that went into these pistols.

    11 months ago
  • Alexander Hood

    I will buy a Hudson h9 right now. Even knowing that they are out of business. The gun looks amazing and it’s new innovations are some of the best I have seen. I want one right now.

    1 year ago
    • Gary Wilkins

      Me too

      1 year ago
  • Sean Clagg

    Sounds familiar to a certain company in the 1980’s that made a pistol that had a 3 year backlog & magazines weren’t interchangeable mostly. Excellent pistol though name won’t be mentioned as I believe the company is trying a reboot. Another famous longtime manufacturer with a horse logo same problem in addition to one that just moved to TN another with a US plant in Columbia, SC that made fine hammer fired weapons. Striker fired if I have to go with one I still prefer the HK, Walther or XD. The XD original in .40 is one of the best duty carry I’ve ever fired.

    1 year ago
  • Jp64

    Saw one NIB at a gunshow recently. It was the first one I've seen in person and looked to be well made but the price point was a little considering the competition

    1 year ago
  • Daniel D

    I’d like to know more about any surplus fire sales of stock Hudson will have to get rid of.

    1 year ago
    • Dave Gerba

      Grab a Gun was blowing out brand new H9's for $599 right after the news of the lawsuit hit. That's still too much money to pay for a paperweight.

      1 year ago
  • Elliot

    What Hudson manufacturing did to their customers that needed warranty work was/is criminal and should be treated as such

    1 year ago
  • Chip Burnette

    I love my H9, so far I have over 6,000 rounds without a hitch through it. I hope KE (or somebody) will make a success of providing support to existing H9 owners. I will be in the market for critical replacement parts, including a second slide, which I plan to have milled.

    1 year ago
  • Robert M. Copley

    Well, what happened to Hudson and the H9 and miscarriage of the H9A shouldn't happen to any manufacturer regardless of what they manufacture but, I think that the IRS for one should forgive all taxes that they "think" they feel are due. Too bad that all manufacturers can't have the same kickbacks that farmers collect as in subsidies or how about Chrysler and GM-AKA (Government Motor Works). It seems as though Winchester could have used a little help in its day as well, not to mention Remington Arms and their problems. Well, there are no friends in business unless one is willing to sell its soul to the Devil as in the Federal Government.

    1 year ago
    • Justin C

      Farmer are not living big by any stretch. Those subsides you speak of, have helped my family BARELY scrape by some years after terrible storms wiped out ALL of our crops. There is a huuuge difference between family farms & California Valley corporation, wallstreet owned "farms". Its important to know and make that distinction.

      1 year ago
    • Pogo

      Are you serious??? What about all those FAT government contracts gun companies get and money they receive for contracts not delivered? Businesses fail, that’s part of life. As for farmer subsidies the system isn’t perfect but our supermarkets are full of affordable food because supplies are regulated. I’m pro gun but I’m very anti hypocrite.

      1 year ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      Remington did receive a federal buy out in 1917 for some 280,000 Mosin-Nagant rifles. However, their more recent troubles were completely of their own making.

      1 year ago
  • Robert Waite

    Being a finance nerd and having consulted for "financially stressed companies", it appears that Hudson was doomed from the day they opened the doors. They seem to have been so woefully under-capitalized, that it is a wonder that any supplier was willing to extend them any credit... From a cursory read of the bankruptcy filing, the math just didn't add up. One can only assume suppliers were convinced to extend credit on something other than a mathematical ability to pay their bills, regardless of how great their sales revenue was. This seems to be a classic situation of a visionary inventor who needed to have been partnered with a hard nosed bean counter. A business getting their "cash flow nose" over their ski-tips and tumbling to their death is the number one reason over 50% of ALL business go bust during their first year.

    1 year ago
    • Robert M Copley

      Ditto that!

      1 year ago
  • Bruno

    I had the chance to buy a brand new for $599 and I took it!! I enjoy shooting it. So far so good. I’d like to see Smith & Wesson to pick up the IP.

    1 year ago
  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    If I wanted a nine, I'd buy a Hi-Power.

    1 year ago
  • NoNameHaveI

    I love my H9, and I have 3 buddies that would fight each other to be the one I sold it to if I ever did sell it. I had planned to purchase a H9A and would definitely do so if another manufacturer bought the IP and produced it.

    1 year ago
  • Pogo

    I was never impressed with their pistol design but it’s a shame people are losing their jobs. Building pistols beats digging ditches any day.

    1 year ago
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