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Gun maker will take look at Winchester factory
New Haven Register ^ | 03/22/2006 | Andy Bromage and Damian J. Troise

Posted on 03/22/2006 10:55:40 AM PST by neverdem

NEW HAVEN — Smith & Wesson, the nation’s oldest and once its largest handgun maker, was named by city officials Tuesday as one of three manufacturers eyeing a takeover of the soon-to-close Winchester firearms factory.

Mayor John DeStefano Jr. confirmed Tuesday that Smith & Wesson executives will be in town this weekend to tour the U.S. Repeating Arms Co. factory at 344 Winchester Ave., where "The Gun That Won The West" has been manufactured for 150 years.

"There is a serious interest in the plant by a credible manufacturer," DeStefano said Tuesday. "Where it’s going to lead, I am not going to handicap at this point."

City Hall is asking USRAC’s parent company, Belgium-based Herstal Group, to cede control of the plant to the city or another gun maker. In exchange, the city has offered to forgive $17 million in tax abatements, lease obligations and workers’ pay the city says Herstal owes.

Meanwhile, the city is pressuring Utah-based Olin Corp., owner of the Winchester brand name, to grant the Winchester license to a firearms maker willing to take over the New Haven factory.

Smith & Wesson’s chief financial officer, John Kelly, confirmed the visit Tuesday, but both he and DeStefano sought to downplay its significance.

"We’ve been asked to come down and take a look" Kelly said. "Obviously, it’s a great brand, but I wouldn’t read too much into it.

DeStefano also struck a cautious, if hopeful, tone.

"Herstal does want to sell the plant," the mayor said. "Herstal has an interest in retaining the license from Olin, but Olin has said they would deal only with a bonafide manufacturer, which Smith & Wesson clearly is."

DeStefano added, "This is just a step in the process. I don’t want to build expectations that are unreasonable."

DeStefano said the city is...

(Excerpt) Read more at nhregister.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Connecticut
KEYWORDS: banglist; smithwesson; winchester
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1 posted on 03/22/2006 10:55:45 AM PST by neverdem
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To: Puppage; nutmeg
BANG!
2 posted on 03/22/2006 10:56:41 AM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

I may regret not getting that Model 70 I have always coveted!


3 posted on 03/22/2006 10:58:21 AM PST by Publius6961 (Multiculturalism is the white flag of a dying country)
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To: Publius6961

I hope they buy it. It would be a huge upset to see winhcester shut down.. I own a Winchester 1300 in 20 gauge and i love it. I would love to buy a Model 70 in .270 as soon as i get some $ together. Winchesters have been selling fast at the gun shop i go to.


4 posted on 03/22/2006 11:02:41 AM PST by BigTom85 (Proud Gun Owner and Member of NRA)
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To: Publius6961

I may regret not getting that Model 70 I have always coveted!
-----
Just bought one!!! ;-) -- a nice stainless classic in 30-06. It will become a collectors item --- :-)


5 posted on 03/22/2006 11:02:55 AM PST by EagleUSA
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To: AAABEST; wku man; SLB; Travis McGee; Squantos; Shooter 2.5; The Old Hoosier; xrp; freedomlover; ...
Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!
6 posted on 03/22/2006 11:08:33 AM PST by Joe Brower (The Constitution defines Conservatism. *NRA*)
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To: EagleUSA

Gun envy...


7 posted on 03/22/2006 11:10:17 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: EagleUSA
Just bought one!!! ;-) -- a nice stainless classic in 30-06. It will become a collectors item --- :-)

For me, the Model 70 has always been a classic.
My choice is sither .223 or .270 . Guess what I enjoy!?

8 posted on 03/22/2006 11:10:51 AM PST by Publius6961 (Multiculturalism is the white flag of a dying country)
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To: neverdem

Smith & Chester ?


9 posted on 03/22/2006 11:13:25 AM PST by Lockbar (March toward the sound of the guns.)
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To: EagleUSA
I bought the Model 70 Featherweight in 30.06 five years ago.

It's a work of art and shoots a .6 inch group CONSISTENTLY with 180gr bullets...out of the box:)

10 posted on 03/22/2006 11:14:35 AM PST by Mariner
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To: neverdem
City Hall is asking USRAC’s parent company, Belgium-based Herstal Group, to cede control of the plant to the city or another gun maker. In exchange, the city has offered to forgive $17 million in tax abatements, lease obligations and workers’ pay the city says Herstal owes.

Why would anyone reopen in New Haven? Buy the tools and move to more friendly environs.

11 posted on 03/22/2006 11:17:31 AM PST by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: neverdem

I suspect someone will take over the name, not sure about the plant tho. Manufacturing guns in New England does not make much sense to me.


12 posted on 03/22/2006 11:18:37 AM PST by yarddog
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To: neverdem

Smith has been cosidering gettting into long guns again, aside from the M&P 15. This would be a good way to do it.


13 posted on 03/22/2006 11:20:41 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Publius6961

I got a 1938 Mod 70 carbine late last year. It's value has nearly doubled.


14 posted on 03/22/2006 11:21:48 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: neverdem
The environment for a gun maker in New England isn't that good. They would be better served by moving to someplace like Texas, Oklahoma, or even South Dakota.

I suspect someone will pick up the name and leave the plant. Most of the equipment is in need of an upgrade anyway.
15 posted on 03/22/2006 11:22:01 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Publius6961
I am proud to say I have owned a Model 94 since the early 70's and was given my fathers model 70 after he passed. Both were manufactured in the late 40's. Both are the true essence of the winchester brand. Extremely well built, accurate, and dependable. Both can still shoot half inch groupings at 100 yards. At least in the right hands. They will be passed to my son, and I hope to my grand children and great grand children. I believe that they will still shoot just as well then as they do today if they are cared for.
16 posted on 03/22/2006 11:23:32 AM PST by Bigs from Michigan
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To: neverdem

Buy the company and then move it to a red state. Why are gun makers still operating in the Northeast US? ... for crying out loud.


17 posted on 03/22/2006 11:24:19 AM PST by hattend (Democrats have no grassroots coalition, they have nutroots (thanks PJ-Comix))
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To: redgolum

Early Winchesters were almost hand made. Where will anyone find that workmanship in these times ?


18 posted on 03/22/2006 11:25:30 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: redgolum

I understand that Wyoming is actively trying to recruit gun manufacturers by offering substantial tax incentives.


19 posted on 03/22/2006 11:25:46 AM PST by tcostell
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To: Joe Brower
Ya can't have too many gun plants!

Be Ever Vigilant!


20 posted on 03/22/2006 11:29:23 AM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: redgolum
The environment for a gun maker in New England isn't that good.

The environment for freedom and individuality is pretty poor in New England. It isn't just the politicians (although it's easy to hate the slimy scum bags.) THe problem is the people there. They just don't want freedom. They want to be serfs They enjoy the comforting chains and they enjoy licking the hands that feed them (with their own resources). They would be pathetic if they weren't so agressive in trying to inflict their love of government and hatred of freedom on the rest of us. As it is they are worthy of nothing but contempt.

21 posted on 03/22/2006 11:30:17 AM PST by from occupied ga (Peace through superior firepower)
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To: MileHi

How are the gun laws in Conn.?


22 posted on 03/22/2006 11:34:05 AM PST by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: Lockbar

No, Smith & Wessonchester. Maybe Wessonchestershire?


23 posted on 03/22/2006 11:52:04 AM PST by looscnnn ("Olestra (Olean) applications causes memory leaks" PC Confusious)
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To: hattend

Sioux Falls, SD
good for businesses.


24 posted on 03/22/2006 11:53:50 AM PST by Rakkasan1 (Muslims pray to Allah, Allah prays to Chuck Norris.)
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To: 45Auto
Not sure. Just short of draconian I would guess.
25 posted on 03/22/2006 11:55:29 AM PST by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: neverdem
There's a pretty rich irony in all this. Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson ran out of money in 1854 and were rescued by a feller named Oliver Winchester. That's how they ended up in New Haven. History Here. The wheel does turn, doesn't it?
26 posted on 03/22/2006 12:00:45 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill

Thanks for the link!


27 posted on 03/22/2006 12:02:49 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: Publius6961

For me, the Model 70 has always been a classic.
My choice is sither .223 or .270 . Guess what I enjoy!?
-----
Yep, me too :-) ..I use .221 Fireball, .223 Rem, and a new (rebarreled Ruger 1V) coming in 6mm BR...look out varmints!!!


28 posted on 03/22/2006 12:05:14 PM PST by EagleUSA
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To: Joe Brower
"There is a serious interest in the plant by a credible manufacturer," ...

Your opinion on this?

29 posted on 03/22/2006 12:05:24 PM PST by eskimo (Political groupies - rabid defenders of the indefensible.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Hasn't been that way since 1964 correct?

There are a few custom gun makers that still do work like that. But to be honest a hand made gun would be out of reach for most.


30 posted on 03/22/2006 12:08:22 PM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: EagleUSA

Yes! And I! I fought long and hard with the other half to buy a new Model 94 Trapper (30-30) last year, a rifle I've wanted since I was a child. I feel better that I didn't wait.


31 posted on 03/22/2006 12:10:48 PM PST by paulcissa (Only YOU can prevent liberalism.)
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To: redgolum
Yes. That's why pre '64s are so desirable. Their guns were more hand fitted than hand made. In 64, Winchester automated much of their long gun production in the name of efficiency.
32 posted on 03/22/2006 12:11:54 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: looscnnn
No, Smith & Wessonchester. Maybe Wessonchestershire?

No, Winsmith & Chesterwesson?

33 posted on 03/22/2006 12:13:51 PM PST by Cobra64
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To: Cobra64

BUMP!


34 posted on 03/22/2006 1:17:02 PM PST by Publius6961 (Multiculturalism is the white flag of a dying country)
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To: Cobra64; looscnnn; Lockbar
Smith & Wessonchester? Wessonchestershire? Winsmith & Chesterwesson?

"BARTENDER! I'll have whatever these gents have had."

35 posted on 03/22/2006 1:17:54 PM PST by HKMk23 (We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well, and live.)
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To: neverdem
I wish Colt had the wherewithal to buy Winchester. It would please me to keep it here in CT and two brands with such a heritage in the settling of the west would go well together.

Fond pointless dream, while I'm at it, I wish I had the wherewithal to but Winchester

36 posted on 03/22/2006 1:28:25 PM PST by muir_redwoods (Free Sirhan Sirhan, after all, the bastard who killed Mary Jo Kopechne is walking around free)
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To: neverdem

Winchester should be owned by an American Company.They are more than welcome to move to Kentucky as this is a VERY gun friendly state.


37 posted on 03/22/2006 1:29:33 PM PST by INSENSITIVE GUY
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To: BigTom85
hope they buy it. It would be a huge upset to see winhcester shut down.. I own a Winchester 1300 in 20 gauge and i love it. I would love to buy a Model 70 in .270 as soon as i get some $ together. Winchesters have been selling fast at the gun shop i go to.

If S&W buys the factory, they won't be making Winchesters. Winchesters will probably continue to be made by FN, either at FN factories or Browning factories (they also own Browning. That could be in US, Japan or Europe.

IMHO, S&W would be stupid to buy a gun factory in an anti arms rights and anti gun state run by union controlled politicritters. They should buy the tools and equipment, move 'em to Texas or Arizona or even Nebraska or Montana.

38 posted on 03/22/2006 1:36:35 PM PST by El Gato
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To: yarddog
I suspect someone will take over the name, not sure about the plant tho. Manufacturing guns in New England does not make much sense to me.

No need, FN already owns the name and the factory. All they are doing is closing that factory, not necessarily stopping production of "Winchester" guns. (Winchester ammunition is made by Olin, which spun off the gun maker some years ago, and later FN bought the spin off)

39 posted on 03/22/2006 1:38:59 PM PST by El Gato
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To: El Gato
They should buy the tools and equipment, move 'em to Texas

Texas. Yep!

40 posted on 03/22/2006 1:41:14 PM PST by TLI (ITINERIS IMPENDEO VALHALLA, Minuteman Project AZ Day -1 to Day 8, Texas Minutemen El Paso, 32 Days)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Do you or anyone else here know when Winchester last produced the Model 94 in the Winchester 32 special caliber. I've got a very old 94 that I got from my grandfather thats been in the family for quite some time. I would like to find the age of this rifle as my grandfather bought it used, which would seem to make it fairly old. I had it cleaned at a rifle shop once and the guy didn't want to give it back, I forget what he offered to pay for it, but being a family heirloom, he didn't have enough money. The only problem I now have with the 32 Special caliber is that finding bullets can be difficult and expensive. I'm glad I bought a few boxes of bullets a few years ago. I hope they stay good being stored in the house? I haven't hunted with this rifle in probably over 30 years when my health was a whole lot better. It sure is a nice very light weight deer rifle.
41 posted on 03/22/2006 1:43:15 PM PST by herkbird (Semper Fi)
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To: herkbird

Are you sure this isn't .35 Remington ? My copy of Fjestad's "Blue book of Gun Values" doesn't give a .32.


42 posted on 03/22/2006 2:00:46 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: El Gato

Not quite. It's really a messy situation.

Olin owns the Winchester brand, including it's use on guns, and licensed it to FN/Herstal (actually a corporate predecessor). That license expires later this year.

That's why the mayor has to ask Herstal to sell them the factory and Olin to let them have the name. He needs both to keep things going.

As for the actual rifle designs no one is saying much. It's pretty obvious that the newer Winchester designs, like the X2, belong to FN/Herstal. They can make those in Utah (they own Browning too) or Japan or Belgium.

If FN owns the rights to the Model 70, Model 94 and 1300 then there is no real compelling reason for them to sell those to a (new) competitor. Why not just move those to Belgium. Reintroduce them as the Browning Model 70, 94 and 1300 or (if those names are protected) the Browning Legacy Bolt, Lever and Shotgun.

Either way I would be surprised to see the mayor succeed. Weird he's even spending so much time on it.


43 posted on 03/22/2006 2:02:46 PM PST by Jack Black
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To: HKMk23
Smith & Wessonchester? Wessonchestershire? Winsmith & Chesterwesson?

"BARTENDER! I'll have whatever these gents have had."

I'm not as think as you drunk I am. - Margaret Hoolihan

44 posted on 03/22/2006 2:03:18 PM PST by Cobra64
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To: neverdem; All

Is Smith and Wesson still owned by the Brits?


45 posted on 03/22/2006 2:03:43 PM PST by Euro-American Scum (A poverty-stricken middle class must be a disarmed middle class)
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Oh, yeah. They are stopping production of all those guns. At least for the time being. The announced it in a press release a few months ago. March 30 is the end of the line for them.


46 posted on 03/22/2006 2:04:45 PM PST by Jack Black
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To: muir_redwoods
It would please me to keep it here in CT

Isn't it CT taxes and the labor unions who are screwing the pooch?

47 posted on 03/22/2006 2:05:06 PM PST by Cobra64
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To: herkbird

I have the same question about the production era of my Model 55 .30-.30.


48 posted on 03/22/2006 2:07:19 PM PST by Cobra64
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
It is all just a evolution in the manufacturing process for production guns. With close tolerance investment castings and CNC, new ones can be just as good, and in more that a few cases, better than the old ones.

OTOH, with flintlocks and percussion muzzleloaders, (inlines are not spoken by this child) the mass produced ones are more akin to clumsy clubs when compared to the hand built originals.

To assemble and emulate a reproduction of decent period flintlock, one is looking at seven or eight hundred dollars, just for the components, which in many cases consists of a slab of wood and raw unfinished castings. Then follows many, many, hours of precision handwork to do it right.
49 posted on 03/22/2006 2:10:44 PM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis
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To: EagleUSA
" and a new (rebarreled Ruger 1V) coming in 6mm BR...look out varmints!!!"

My son was going to buy a 6mmBR, but the cost of brass set him to the store for a new 6mm rem. cal.
50 posted on 03/22/2006 2:20:35 PM PST by Beagle8U (An "Earth First" kinda guy ( when we finish logging here, we'll start on the other planets.)
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