Tanfoglio's New Approach to the US Market

Sole distributorship and broader product availability brings opportunity for retailers.

Tanfoglio's New Approach to the US Market

Italian gun manufacturer Tanfoglio has made some significant business changes of late, with more to come. Independent firearms retailers can benefit from these moves, which include new guns, a new exclusive importer and many fresh and improved pistol models arriving now and in the near future.

Independent FFL retailers that want to carry Tanfoglio firearms need to contact the Italian Firearms Group (IFG) Group of Amarillo, Texas, which recently became the sole U.S. distributor for Tanfoglio and their growing lineup of CZ-75-inspired pistols, the Defiant Series. Previously, Tanfoglio had split U.S. distribution with two different companies, IFG being one of those two. Now, though, IFG has the exclusive U.S. distribution rights to Tanfoglio products.

“The Italian Firearms Group is extremely proud to partner exclusively with Tanfoglio and we are committed to providing the best customer service possible in support of such an iconic brand,” says Justin Dodd, IFG’s chief of operations. “We currently offer over 20 unique products in the Defiant pistol series, and we’re focused on continued growth and evolution of the product line for the U.S. market.”

Competition Ready

Probably best-known for their competition pistols, Tanfoglio has also made significant inroads into the law enforcement and personal defense markets in recent years. Offered in Xtreme, Competition, and Defense variants, the core Defiant series continues to expand.

For example, and new for 2022, the Defiant Optics Ready Stock II was designed specifically for events in the IPSC’s Production Optics Division. The Optics Ready Stock II allows for direct attachment of many optics, plus is sold with adapters and plates to accommodate a wide variety of optics. The pistol is offered in 9mm, 40 S&W, 10mm, and 45 ACP.

The Defiant Stock II’s frame and slide are steel for strength and durability, while the  double-action pistol also features a 4.5-inch barrel that is polygonal rifled for extreme accuracy.

The new-for-2022 Limited Master Xtreme is another race gun designed to compete in ISPC’s Standard Division events. A single-action semi-automatic, the Limited Master Extreme features a polygonal-rifled barrel and a coned external profile for better accuracy and longer life. The Master Xtreme’s frame is crafted with a longer forend, running up to the slide muzzle, for better balance. The Limited Master Xtreme sports a black coating and is supplied with an ambidextrous safety, Xtreme aluminum grips, Xtreme hammer, Xtreme trigger, Xtreme guide rod, Xtreme firing pin, fully adjustable super sight, Xtreme front sight with fiber optic, and an extended Xtreme magazine well for fast and easy magazine reloading.

Among Tanfoglio’s established pistol lines, the Defiant Competition offerings include the Domina model, a work of art that’s also a leader in the Open ISPC Division events.  

For the entry-level competitor, Tanfoglio created the very popular STOCK I specifically for Practical Shooting Production Division and well as IDPA SSP and ESP classes. The Stock I allows the new shooter to approach the world of competitive shooting sports and the seasoned shooter to compete in divisions that have been until now reserved for very few models.

Internal Rails

I had the chance to review the Stock I in .45 Auto and found it very accurate and extremely comfortable in hand. In over 300 rounds, using various ammunition brands, the Stock I had zero malfunctions. This semi-auto clearly had many uses beyond competition, including home defense, hunting, law enforcement, open carry and just plinking. It was a bit large for concealed carry, though no doubt some customers would find this full-size handgun just right for that purpose, too.

Mechanically, one thing setting apart the CZ 75 design found on the Stock I and other Tanfoglio pistols from other semi-automatic pistols is the internal slide rails. That is, the slide rides on cuts inside the frame, unlike most semi-autos — including 1911s — where the pistol’s slide rides outside of the frame.

This internal slide rail design and frame assembly make for a much tighter fit than most semi-automatics, keeping out much of the dirt and debris that can get into a pistol’s interior with field use.

 The Tanfoglio Defiant Series lineup includes a half-dozen semi-automatics for the self-defense and concealed-carry markets, including the Defiant Force Plus in both full-size and compact models. They employ the same CZ-75-based mechanical layout of other Tanfoglio pistols, yet feature upgrades to the slide and frame, including improved ergonomics that make the gun instinctive to point and quick into action. 

The Defiant Force Plus is a hammer-fired SA/DA full-size semi-automatic pistol featuring a full-length, railed dust cover and stainless-steel slide. In the USA, this gun is available in 9mm and 40 S&W. This line of firearms has been the workhorse of the Tanfoglio line in Europe and is a favorite of law enforcement agencies and militaries around the world.

The Force Plus full-size sports a 4.40-inch barrel and holds 15+1 rounds in 9mm and 12+1 in 40 S&W, while the compact version has a 3.62-inch barrel and ammunition capacity of 13+1 in 9mm, 10+1 in 40 S&W.

Retail Support

As an independent FFL, you can expect some help when it comes to selling the various Tanfoglio lines.

According to Dodd, the basic design of the Tanfoglio handguns is a key to sales.

“All the benefits of the CZ 75 platform apply here to the Tanfoglio lineup of handguns,” he says. “Low bore access, inverse frame-to-slide rails, and overall world-renowned reliability are all CZ 75 design trademarks. These are just some of the reasons Tanfoglio pistols are fielded by major military and police agencies on at least four continents.”

And expect increased availability of the Tanfoglio lines now that IFG is the sole distributor. As Dodd notes, in the past not all Tanfoglio firearms manufactured in Italy were actually available in the U.S. But with the new IFG-Tanfoglio distribution agreement, IFG has access to all Tanfoglio models in production since 2018.

“With the new situation in place, it allows us not only to continue to release the new models brought out by Tanfoglio, but also to take advantage of the legacy models that have been in the market for decades but weren’t necessarily available here,” Dodd says. “Expect new sizes, models, and optic-ready guns to be available in this country very soon.”

Media wise, Dodd also notes that a number of Tanfoglio pistol reviews and stories will be out and circulating in print and digital platforms for 2022 and beyond, as well as various YouTube videos.

IFG has also retained the services of shooting industry veteran marketer Eddie Stevenson and his Driftwood Media company to further expand the IFG and Tanfoglio presence in the marketplace through increased media coverage.

IFG and Tanfoglio will have a strong presence at all the major trade and consumer shows, including the SHOT Show and the NRA Annual Meeting.

For Tanfoglio (and all its other brands), IFG can provide sales training (in person and/or online) for FFL retail staff, and IFG staffers are always available for questions via phone and email during business hours. Depending on buy quantities and sales volumes, IFG-Tanfoglio will also consider co-op advertising.

“Tanfoglio is going to continue to be a major player in competitive handgun circles and will be making a big push into the self-defense and concealed-carry markets this year and beyond,” Dodd says. “And here at IFG, my staff and I are ready and able to help independent FFL’s become dynamic partners in the Tanfoglio experience.”


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