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Smith & Wesson Is Fighting Its Way Back
NY Times ^ | April 11, 2006 | LESLIE WAYNE

Posted on 04/11/2006 10:19:42 PM PDT by neverdem

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — It is hard to imagine a company sinking as low as Smith & Wesson, the legendary arms maker that equipped soldiers from the Civil War to Vietnam and 98 percent of American police forces.

Just two years ago, the company's chairman was found to be a convicted felon: he had failed to disclose spending 15 years in jail for armed robbery. Federal investigators were looking into accounting irregularities, and the company's stock was stuck at $1.50 a share.

Adding to the company's woes, American soldiers for the last decade have carried Italian-made Berettas, while most police forces long ago switched to handguns from Glock, an Austrian company.

But now, with new owners and a new chief executive, Michael P. Golden, who once sold power tools for Black & Decker and bathroom fixtures for Kohler, Smith & Wesson is coming back to life — thanks to an expanding Pentagon budget and growing spending by the Homeland Security Department.

With consumer sales of rifles, shotguns and handguns remaining flat for the last decade, Smith & Wesson is casting its lot with Washington, where it is making headway with a new "Buy America" pitch in Congress and at the Pentagon.

The company recently won contracts to supply pistols to the fledgling Afghan security forces, its first Pentagon award in 15 years. Next, it wants to put a Smith & Wesson back into every American soldier's hand — a major contract worth up to $600 million.

Smith & Wesson was not the only American gun maker whose fortunes fell in recent years. Just last month, in nearby New Haven, the Winchester firearms factory — where the "gun that won the West" was made for 150 years — closed its doors. Another neighbor, Colt's Manufacturing, is a shadow of its former self...

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


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: Massachusetts; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: banglist; nra; smithandwesson; smithwesson; sw

Jodi Hilton for The New York Times
At the Smith & Wesson plant, Armand Dacruz inspecting parts.

Jodi Hilton for The New York Times
Several dies for forming revolvers.
Audio Slideshow: Smith & Wesson, Past and Present (in a sidebar equivalent)

IMHO, this was pretty good for a business article.

1 posted on 04/11/2006 10:19:45 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: Joe Brower
I thought I recognized the weasel's name.

"Repealing the assault weapon bans opened a new market for military-style and exotic weapons for consumers," said Robert A. Ricker, executive director of the American Hunters and Shooters Association, a membership group. "A lot of guys delight in having the biggest and most nasty-looking guns. That's one of the industry trends."

MAYOR MCCOLLUM, FORMER GUN INDUSTRY EXEC URGE OPPOSITION TO LEGAL IMMUNITY FOR GUN INDUSTRY

Robert A. Ricker, former Executive Director of the American Shooting Sports Council and former Assistant General Counsel for the NRA described a "see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil" mentality within the gun industry when it comes to business practices that aid criminal access to guns.

2 posted on 04/11/2006 10:28:38 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem
Smith and Wesson sold their soul to the devil when they sided with the gun-banners.

They can kma and go out of business for all I care.
3 posted on 04/11/2006 10:57:51 PM PDT by Beagle8U (John McCain, you treasonous bastard)
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To: Beagle8U

They might rebound with new leadership. I hope they do.


4 posted on 04/11/2006 11:01:18 PM PDT by eastforker (Under Cover FReeper going dark(too much 24))
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To: Beagle8U
Smith and Wesson sold their soul to the devil when they sided with the gun-banners.

That was when Tomkins owned S&W. I returned about $6000 worth of parts to them when they did that. After Tomkins sold them to the conglomerate I recieved a number of calls from S&W about the changes they were making, one of them was to dispose of the deal they made with the Clintoon administration.

Skeptical? Yes, however they have been good to their word about dealing with me and records of parts sales. So don't hold past actions with present management. S&W might just be keeping the Winchester name going too. Watch, listen, learn.

5 posted on 04/11/2006 11:09:03 PM PDT by Pistolshot (Condi 2008.<------added January 2004. Remember you heard it here first)
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To: eastforker
I will never buy another S&W. I'm a smith and a collector but they sold themselves to the Klinton gungrabbers and they can go down the drain as far as I'm concerned. They sold me out and I will never forget it!
Every time I buy another Ruger I send them an E-Mail telling them about it.
6 posted on 04/11/2006 11:13:11 PM PDT by oldenuff2no
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To: oldenuff2no; Beagle8U
I will never buy another S&W. I'm a smith and a collector but they sold themselves to the Klinton gungrabbers and they can go down the drain as far as I'm concerned. They sold me out and I will never forget it!

The management that sold their souls to gain the good graces of the abominable bent one's administration is long gone. Where have you guys been, sleeping?

7 posted on 04/11/2006 11:20:49 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

A more logical approach is to find out where that management is today, and to boycott and otherwise legally take actions against them where they are currently located.

Only legal actions, like boycotting their present companies. No harrassment, no violence, etc.


8 posted on 04/12/2006 1:05:05 AM PDT by 2ndClassCitizen
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To: neverdem
"The management that sold their souls to gain the good graces of the abominable bent one's administration is long gone. Where have you guys been, sleeping?"

I know they have new management, but the stockholders of the company have to pay a price for ever letting those nitwits have control.

Thats the bad thing about making stupid company decisions, and boycotts, they last for many years afterwords.

If they do everything right from now on, it still may take a generation to get their reputation back.
9 posted on 04/12/2006 1:34:10 AM PDT by Beagle8U (John McCain, you treasonous bastard)
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To: neverdem
So Bush helps out his brother Clinton again by having the military buy Smith & Wesson.
10 posted on 04/12/2006 1:56:27 AM PDT by liliesgrandpa (The Republican Party simply can't do anything without that critical 100-seat Senate majority.)
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To: liliesgrandpa

It's almost as if Clinton has the confidential FBI files on everyone in power. Ooops...been there...done that!


11 posted on 04/12/2006 3:40:59 AM PDT by The Duke
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To: liliesgrandpa



Those that want to harbor hatred against the Smith & Wesson brand name are as foolish as those that would not buy a Sony TV today because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.


12 posted on 04/12/2006 3:58:30 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (The Democratic Party will not exist in a few years....we are watching history unfold before us.)
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To: oldenuff2no
I feel the same about S&W but I also remember Ruger making a deal with the gun grabbers about "self-imposed" magazine capacity limits and the Old Man made very public pronouncements that private citizens didn't need hi-cap mags. It'll probably be a while before I buy S&W OR Ruger...
13 posted on 04/12/2006 4:11:46 AM PDT by wastoute
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To: wastoute
It'll probably be a while before I buy S&W OR Ruger...

Which is why I buy Kimber and the ugly but accurate Savage.

14 posted on 04/12/2006 4:17:22 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: neverdem
I've absolutely detested S&W ever since they jumped in bed with the Clinton Administration To reduce gun violence" back during the Left's last big push to destroy The 2nd Amendment.

For your Reading enjoyment:

http://clinton5.nara.gov/WH/New/html/20000317_2.html
15 posted on 04/12/2006 4:18:51 AM PDT by KoRn
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To: Beagle8U

Keep in mind that was when the Brits owned the company and those folks are long gone. Unlike people, companies do change when the leadership is swapped out.


16 posted on 04/12/2006 4:21:00 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (If McKinney gets a free slap, then we all should get a free slap)
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To: oldenuff2no
As far as handguns goes I own.

2 Glocks
3 Rugers (Mark II,III)
1 Taurus

I guess I still hold a bias against S&W cause of their sellout w/ the Toon. I guess if they've changed their policies I may reconsider buying one, but I've never found myself thinking "yeah, I'm going to go buy a S&W today."

While I'm bitching a bit here I will say that Ruger ticked me off with the changes they may to the MKIII. A mag. disconnect and the LCI? Give me a freaking break!!
17 posted on 04/12/2006 4:37:20 AM PDT by OXENinFLA
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To: redgolum

Kimber frames were made by Smith and Wesson. I guess you might as well give that pistol away.

Smith is under new management. The morons who would boycott an American company for past agreements don't seem to have a problem buying ChiCom AK's. Go figure.


18 posted on 04/12/2006 5:08:22 AM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (Vote a Straight Republican Ballot. Rid the country of dems. NRA)
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To: Shooter 2.5
Nah, I like the Kimber. When did Kimber start making their own frames?

As to S&W, a good portion of the "bad" management was replaced. I personally don't like their guns for unrelated reasons (although the new M&P pistol looks interesting). S&W has a long way to go to rebuild their reputation, and I imagine that a number of loyal customers have left for good.

Ruger's haven't really appealed to me either (beyond my old 10/22!). Beautiful guns, but I have had bad luck getting them to shoot well.
19 posted on 04/12/2006 5:42:39 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Erik Latranyi

I'm looking at S & W again. The idiot gun-grabbing Brits are gone. If I find a piece I like that fits a need and carries an attractive price, I'll buy from S & W.


20 posted on 04/12/2006 5:48:45 AM PDT by sergeantdave (Communism is 3 people voting on what's for dinner but you still get the same old rice)
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To: redgolum

I've always liked my Rugers. Their autos are very lefthanded friendly, unlike S&W.


21 posted on 04/12/2006 5:48:52 AM PDT by ABG(anybody but Gore) ("By the time I'm finished with you, you're gonna wish you felt this good again" - Jack Bauer)
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To: sergeantdave
If I find a piece I like that fits a need and carries an attractive price, I'll buy from S & W.

That is all they are asking from firearm enthusiasts.

22 posted on 04/12/2006 5:51:48 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (The Democratic Party will not exist in a few years....we are watching history unfold before us.)
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To: neverdem

God, what a biased and factually inaccurate piece of dung.

1. "...equipped US Soldiers from the Civil War to Vietnam..." is a lede that took profound ignorance to write. During the Civil War, Smith made feeble pocket pistols chambered for rimfire cartridges, not military weapons. The only Smith weapon issued during Vietnam were WWII vintage revolvers to some aircrews and, after 1973, to female military police. Smith revolvers were substitute standard in the World Wars and were sometimes bought by soldiers or officers as private purchase weapons, but they have never been first-line US military weapons -- ever. (Actually, I'm not sure about the period between 1890-something and 1911, when a Colt .38 revolver was standard... the Smith may have been a first-line issue weapon too, but who cares as these guns were combat failures?)

2. US troops do not carry "Italian-made" Berettas. They're designed in Italy, but every single one is made in Accokeek, Maryland.

3. Springfield Mass is in the western quarter of the state, on the Connecticut River, and it's near Hartford. Yet this Times bimbo refers to "Nearby New Haven." Maybe two, three hours of hard driving. I understand that for a typical Times Manhattanite snob, everything north of the Tappan Zee is Indian country or maybe Canada, but this reporter was too lazy to look at a map.

4. I note that they pull up an anti-gun stealth group guy as their "industry spokesman." Ricker's "American Hunters and Shooters Association" is a Soros- and Lewis-funded anti group that just wants "reasonable" gun laws -- like banning handguns and "assault weapons".

5. Smith's sad fortunes date from its knuckling under to the Clinton Administration, as noted in the article: "But Smith & Wesson fell more drastically than the others, mainly because of its agreement in 2000 to adopt gun safety measures to settle lawsuits brought by state and federal agencies. That Clinton-era accord resulted in a boycott by the National Rifle Association and made Smith & Wesson an industry outcast." Even there she cannot get her facts straight. The NRA did not organise any boycott, did they? What killed Smith's consumer sales (just when they'd fixed decadeslong quality problems) was consumer revulsion.

6. Smith has never repudiated the Clinton agreement. If you ever buy a Smith or have dealings with the company, your data is not safe or secure, period.

7. Smith's recovery is not due to consumer respect returning (among informed consumers, it hasn't), but (as the article makes clear) by funnelling money to crooked lobbyists (including Abramoff), who in turn kick it back to crooked Congressmen, who push Smith's crummy products.

What we have here is the Times swooning over a company that has decided that its future is in selling exclusively to Big Brother. Hey, it's a business model and one that works: "faced with market rejection, the company turned to bribing a corrupt Congress for corporate welfare."

Note that the NY Times thinks that's just dandy.

Most of Smith's top-selling guns today are so-so copies of other firms' weapons, notably Glock and Colt. If this is the rebirth of an American legend, let it die.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F


23 posted on 04/12/2006 6:32:37 AM PDT by Criminal Number 18F
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To: Shooter 2.5
The morons who would boycott an American company for past agreements

Show us morons where Smith's new management from the toilet industry has repudiated the old agreement. They're just not talking about it and pretending it doesn't exist.

In any event, the products are unreliable (M39, 59 and subsequent) or derivative (Swocks). Smith made good revolvers through the first two-thirds of the 20th Century. Compare a 1955 Smith to a 1995 one (if you can find a 1995 one) and it's night and day.

Kind of like comparing a Swock to the Glock it's reverse-engineered from. Nobody buys those but big-city PDs, and they do it because their chiefs are usually empty uniforms who illustrate how affirmative action can take a person far beyond his or her Peter Principle level.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F

24 posted on 04/12/2006 6:39:55 AM PDT by Criminal Number 18F
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To: Beagle8U; oldenuff2no; liliesgrandpa
I know they have new management, but the stockholders of the company have to pay a price for ever letting those nitwits have control.

Do you own any stock? If you don't have control over more than 50 percent of the eligible voting shares, you can't do much of anything. I can't tell you all of the times that I received ballots for voting my shares of other companies or mutual funds after the deadline for voting had already passed.

25 posted on 04/12/2006 7:04:07 AM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: Beagle8U

I will never buy a handgun with an internal safety lock. I hope S&W goes out of business.


26 posted on 04/12/2006 7:35:19 AM PDT by 04-Bravo
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To: neverdem

Interesting stuff here- When the company was sold to the Workers, I bought 1000 shares of stock for one dollar a share--it closed today at $6.29 a share--didn't hear that the old agreement was NOT made null and void.Oh well, will keep it till it starts going down and will sell.


27 posted on 04/12/2006 5:56:21 PM PDT by contrarian (Illegal aliens, Illegal immigrants, PRECITIZENS-- Don't care what you call them, THEY ARE CRIMINALS.)
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