Skip to comments.U.S. Repeating Arms Announces Plans To Close Winchester Plant
Posted on 01/18/2006 9:18:54 AM PST by kiriath_jearim
U.S. Repeating Arms Announces Plans To Close Winchester Plant
3:23 PM EST, January 17, 2006
Associated Press NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- U.S. Repeating Arms said Tuesday it will close its Winchester firearm factory, threatening the future of a rifle that pioneers toted into the Wild West and John Wayne hoisted onto the big screen.
"It's part of who we are as a nation just like it's part of who we are as a city. It's the gun that won the West," Mayor John DeStefano said. "What are we going to have, Winchester rifles manufactured in China? Is this what we're coming to?"
The announcement touched off a lobbying effort by city officials and union leaders who hoped to find someone to buy the plant before it closes March 31. If no buyer comes forward, it could spell the end for nearly all commercially produced Winchesters, said Everett Corey, a representative of the International Association of Machinists District 26.
"Winchester would be pretty much defunct," he said. "They're not going to produce them, other than a couple custom-type models."
The company has been plagued by slumping firearm sales. More than 19,000 worked there during World War II, but the plant employs fewer than 200 now.
"Several generations have worked at this place, a lot of fathers and brothers, sons, uncles and daughters," said Paul DeMennato, facility director at U.S. Repeating Arms. "A lot of marriages were people who met at Winchester."
U.S. Repeating Arms, which is owned by the Herstal Group, a Belgium company, has said for years that it was on the brink of closing the plant.
DeMennato said the company is negotiating the sale of its plant. The Winchester name is owned by Missouri-based Olin Corp., which had sold U.S. Repeating Arms the right to use the name until next year.
Olin had no immediate word on its plans for the Winchester name. DeMennato said he hopes the name will be sold along with the plant.
On the Web:
U.S. Repeating Arms: http://www.usracmfg.com
Winchester firearms: http://www.winchesterguns.com
My first check, on my first checking account, 33 years ago, was for a Winchester Model 1200 12 guage. Still have both the gun AND the cancelled check.
This news sucks.
I've got mine...and they can pry it out of my cold dead hands! There is even a picture of it on my homepage.
Herstal Group - also known as "FN", if memory serves.
As I recall, the unions and political climate in the area, along with low sales of 'retro' Winchesters, are what doomed this plant. All of a sudden, these idiots (unions/pols) realize that they just killed the goose that laid the golden eggs. Ooops!
make that 35 years ago.
but who's counting?
I think it was Jimmy Stewart with the Winchester--John Wayne had a pistol.
***Olin had no immediate word on its plans for the Winchester name. DeMennato said he hopes the name will be sold along with the plant. ***
Sell the name to Uberti of Italy. They are making the nearest copies of old Winchesters since the 1960's.
This is just a guess, but wouldn't these be two of the reasons the plant is closing in the first place? Are revenues that bad, or is the cost of doing business what is behind the decision?
FN owns Winchester? Interesting.
Move the plant to Tennessee. There is a market for some of FN's products including the FN-FAL and FN-FNC.
Course, they haven't made THOSE in 40 years . . .
DeStefano is a RAT and everything has a cause and an effect. The effect of the anti-Second Amendment RAT agenda has caused this shut down. All DeStefano has to do is look in the mirror when he wonders how this happened. And, I just wonder how cooperative that union was with management. What a shame....
Texas would be better. We buy a lot of their products here anyway...
Stewart starred in the Anothony Mann classic, "Winchester '73."
Go to the website and buy one !!! I am looking at the model 94 legacy with the 24 inch barrel- only $474
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