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Mystery company buying up U.S. gun manufacturers
New York Times via San Francisco Chronicle / sfgate.com ^ | Sunday, December 4, 2011 | Natasha Singer, New York Times

Posted on 12/04/2011 11:18:08 AM PST by thecodont

Scarborough, Maine --

[...]

In recent years, many top-selling brands - including the 195-year-old Remington Arms, as well as Bushmaster Firearms and DPMS, leading makers of military-style semiautomatics - have quietly passed into the hands of a single private company. It is called the Freedom Group - and it is the most powerful and mysterious force in the U.S. commercial gun industry today.

Never heard of it?

You're not alone. Even within gun circles, the Freedom Group is something of an enigma. Its rise has been so swift that it has become the subject of wild speculation and grassy-knoll conspiracy theories. In the realm of consumer rifles and shotguns - long guns, in the trade - it is unrivaled in its size and reach. By its own count, the Freedom Group sold 1.2 million long guns and 2.6 billion rounds of ammunition in the 12 months ended March 2010, the most recent year for which figures are publicly available.

Behind this giant is Cerberus Capital Management, the private investment company that first came to widespread attention when it acquired Chrysler in 2007. (Chrysler later had to be rescued by taxpayers). With far less fanfare, Cerberus, through the Freedom Group, has been buying big names in guns and ammo.

From its headquarters in Manhattan, Cerberus has assembled a remarkable arsenal. It began with Bushmaster, which until recently was based here in Maine. Unlike military counterparts like automatic M-16s, rifles like those from Bushmaster don't spray bullets with one trigger pull. But, with gas-powered mechanisms, semiautomatics can fire rapid follow-up shots as fast as the trigger can be squeezed. They are often called "black guns" because of their color. The police tied a Bushmaster XM15 rifle to shootings in the Washington sniper case in 2002.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/03/BUJ91M4HL0.DTL#ixzz1favHTgT0

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


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: 2ndammendment; banglist; bushmaster; cerberus; cerberuscapital; danquayle; dpms; freedomgroup; guns; hawaiianvacation; livefreeordie; makemyday; maybealittleblow; mymuslimfaith; nra; quayle; remington; semiautomatics; taqiyyaobama

1 posted on 12/04/2011 11:18:09 AM PST by thecodont
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To: thecodont
"Freedom Group."

It sounds like the same kind of name that the District of Criminals gives to legislation. The names of laws always are the exact opposite of what they actually do.

My bet is that the "Freedom Group" is owned by George Soros himself.

2 posted on 12/04/2011 11:23:43 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Holding our flawed politicians to higher standards than the enemy’s politicians guarantees they win)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Not Soros, Dan Quayle is one of the principles.
http://www.cerberuscapital.com/Biographies.aspx


3 posted on 12/04/2011 11:29:48 AM PST by mnehring
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To: thecodont

I can hardly think of a better hedge against economic turmoil than guns guns guns.


4 posted on 12/04/2011 11:30:11 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard

You’re sure right about that! Brilliant move.

And if Cerebrus ever takes this company public, the IPO will make Googles look cheap.


5 posted on 12/04/2011 11:31:33 AM PST by bigbob
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

You would be wrong about that ownership. Freedom Group has been good for the gun industry. Remington was an aging tired worn out company, filled with hanger ons and people that should have been let go a decade prior. Freedom Group has turned it and the others around. The gun industry is thriving today. Sales are up 25 to 50% for wholesalers and retailers.


6 posted on 12/04/2011 11:34:00 AM PST by macquire
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To: macquire
The gun industry is thriving today. Sales are up 25 to 50% for wholesalers and retailers.

Ubama has more to do with that than anybody.

7 posted on 12/04/2011 11:35:06 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Holding our flawed politicians to higher standards than the enemy’s politicians guarantees they win)
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To: thecodont

Not owend by Soros...that’s an urban legend. Its owned by conseravatives. I believe Dan Qualte sits on the board.


8 posted on 12/04/2011 11:39:24 AM PST by Jeff Head (Liberty is not free. Never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: thecodont
(Chrysler later had to be rescued by taxpayers)

I wonder why Natasha threw that in there. It is irrelevant to this article. General Motors "also had to be rescued by the taxpayers" and I don't think that they are out there buying up firearms manufacturers. Baseball bat companies maybe, but not firearms.

9 posted on 12/04/2011 11:48:11 AM PST by FlingWingFlyer (Stop BIG Government Greed Now!!!!)
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To: Jeff Head

IMHO I don’t like all guns and ammo sold by one corporation. First they will outprice and put out of business the small main street dealers. Then the CEO will be pestered by his associates in an elite cocktail party about the evils of guns and all we need is one major massacre by a lone gunman the CEO might eliminate certain guns from the production list. Happened with Sports Authority in my area. They had the best prices for guns. Then during the Clinton years, the CEO decided not to sell handguns, then not to sell ammo and then got rid of all the guns altogether. Talked to the clerk at the store who had the FFL to conduct the sales. She told me that the gun sales were brisk and brought substantial profits to the store. All those years they caused many small gun stores to close, only to stop selling guns after most of the small dealers quit.
Lesson learned. Have multiple sources for gun sales. If one decides to not sell guns, the rest will swoop in and take over the market. Never concentrate the decision to sell guns on one person (CEO) who controls thousands of stores.


10 posted on 12/04/2011 11:48:59 AM PST by Fee
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To: E. Pluribus Unum; Jeff Head; mnehring

No, not Soros. And
Cerebrus is no more mysterious than any private company. I think we’re for private capital on the right, Occupiers, the 0.1% of the population who claim to represent 99% won’t do it. Not political that I know of, but along with Quayle, John Snow, Treasury Secutary under GWB.


11 posted on 12/04/2011 11:51:09 AM PST by SJackson (Haven't changed the environment, just take a bath. Eat a piece of chocolate. You need one. Michelle)
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To: Fee
IMHO I don’t like all guns and ammo sold by one corporation.

I don't either, that's why we have anti-trust laws, but Bushmaster, Remington (Marlin) is probably a ways off from a firearms monopoly. It's good someone is investing in the industry.

12 posted on 12/04/2011 11:54:40 AM PST by SJackson (Haven't changed the environment, just take a bath. Eat a piece of chocolate. You need one. Michelle)
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To: Fee
IMHO I don’t like all guns and ammo sold by one corporation.

I don't either, that's why we have anti-trust laws, but Bushmaster, Remington (Marlin) is probably a ways off from a firearms monopoly. It's good someone is investing in the industry.

13 posted on 12/04/2011 11:54:46 AM PST by SJackson (Haven't changed the environment, just take a bath. Eat a piece of chocolate. You need one. Michelle)
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To: Fee

Left out Panther, still short of a monopoly.


14 posted on 12/04/2011 11:55:30 AM PST by SJackson (Haven't changed the environment, just take a bath. Eat a piece of chocolate. You need one. Michelle)
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To: Fee
IMHO I don’t like all guns and ammo sold by one corporation.

I don't either, that's why we have anti-trust laws, but Bushmaster, Remington (Marlin) is probably a ways off from a firearms monopoly. It's good someone is investing in the industry.

15 posted on 12/04/2011 11:55:41 AM PST by SJackson (Haven't changed the environment, just take a bath. Eat a piece of chocolate. You need one. Michelle)
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To: SJackson

This is all good.

Good to maintain multiple companies that might otherwise struggle under Obamanism, good that Freedom Group will find cost synergies that will help hold prices down, and good for America that they are investing during a horrible economic period. This is how capitalism works, folks.

A part of every acquisition is Dept. of Justice signoff that it doesn’t violate anti-trust laws. That’s big gummint at work “for us”.

Don’t like it? Go start your own gun or ammo company. It’s still (mostly) a free country. But don’t bitch when capitalism does what it’s supposed to do, at least not around here.


16 posted on 12/04/2011 12:00:57 PM PST by bigbob
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Not true. We saw a run up of 25% to 35% starting November 2008 (virtually the day after the election) and through 2009 because of Obama and rumors he would attempt legislation that would harm the industry. That belief died down in 2010 as it appeared the GOP would take the House but sales kept near pace with 2009 largely due to handgun sales. Now in 2011 laregly handgun sales are pushing the level of sales up 25 to 35% over 2010. The gun industry is on a banner year again.


17 posted on 12/04/2011 12:12:43 PM PST by macquire
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Not true. We saw a run up of 25% to 35% starting November 2008 (virtually the day after the election) and through 2009 because of Obama and rumors he would attempt legislation that would harm the industry. That belief died down in 2010 as it appeared the GOP would take the House but sales kept near pace with 2009 largely due to handgun sales. Now in 2011 laregly handgun sales are pushing the level of sales up 25 to 35% over 2010. The gun industry is on a banner year again.


18 posted on 12/04/2011 12:12:57 PM PST by macquire
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To: Fee

IMHO I don’t like all guns and ammo sold by one corporation. First they will outprice and put out of business the small main street dealers.


There are dozens of other companies making competing products. And Cerberus is not in the retail business. If it were, there are thousands of competing companies.

They’re big, but they have ample competition.


19 posted on 12/04/2011 12:41:25 PM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Author of BullionBible.com - Makes You a Precious Metal Expert, Guaranteed.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Leftists or even a government front buying them all so they can shut them all down, is my bet.


20 posted on 12/04/2011 12:44:28 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: thecodont

Sales may be showing that consolidation / centralization of the American gun industry has been good for sales but stats also indicate the increase in gun sales has been a direct effect of the faltering economy and general distrust about our future. Sorry to cite the obvious but the buying up of the arms manufactures in the US by a small group of wealthy people could result in the industry going the way of the MSM. Worse yet they could decide to close their doors and fold up shop.


21 posted on 12/04/2011 12:47:59 PM PST by drypowder
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To: thecodont

This might explain the sudden interest... hunting and Airborne qualified.

Apparently he sees a good potential in the market.
.
.
.

Stephen Feinberg Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Senior Managing Director

OCTOBER 3, 2005

(much more at the link)

PICKUP TRUCKS AND BUD
The mind-boggling rise of Cerberus — from a fringe vulture fund started with a grubstake of about $10 million in 1992 to a Wall Street powerhouse — has been driven by its enigmatic boss, Stephen A. Feinberg, 45. Like other hedge-fund managers and buyout kings, Feinberg has a penchant for secrecy, although his is more developed than most. While co-founder William L. Richter deals with investors, and lieutenants such as former Vice-President Dan Quayle jet around the globe to seal deals, the mustached Feinberg keeps very much to himself in a nondescript office on the 22nd floor of a high-rise on Manhattan’s Park Avenue. The walls are bare save for a lone photograph of a motorbike that is propped up against his window; a black kid-size motorbike with training wheels — a gift from an outside adviser — is parked next to his desk.

The son of a steel salesman, Feinberg was born in the working-class town of Spring Valley, N.Y. He still describes himself as “blue-collar,” even though he’s a Princeton grad and took home about $50 million last year. “While other hedge-fund managers are collecting fine French wines and flying around in private planes, he drives a Ford truck and drinks Budweiser,” says college roommate Jonathan Gallen, who runs his own hedge fund. Cerberus doesn’t even have a Web site — and it doesn’t reveal exactly which companies it owns. Feinberg declined to be interviewed or photographed for this story, but dozens of current and former Cerberus executives, investors, and associates spoke with BusinessWeek, many not for attribution.

Feinberg may be weighing megadeals, but at least by the standards of Masters of the Universe, his tastes are unpretentious. He lives with his wife and three daughters in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that cost less than $4 million in 1997. He also owns a 2,500-square-foot home in Stamford, Conn., that he bought in 1991 for around $500,000. To relax, he goes hunting, usually for pheasants and partridges on weekend trips to upstate New York with money-manager buddy T.K. Duggan. But last fall he raised the stakes by traveling to Colorado and scaling an 11,000-foot mountain in pursuit of bull elk. He felled the first one he saw with one shot, says Duggan.

When Feinberg was at Princeton it was far from obvious that he’d become a business mogul. He was brainy enough to beat classmates in games of chess but nervy enough to sign up for the Reserve Officers Training Corps, making jumps out of airplanes as part of his training in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. By senior year, Feinberg was the captain of the tennis team, but not because he was a natural athlete. “He was a hustler,” recalls roommate Gallen. “He wasn’t the most talented player, but he had incredible willpower.” He was also private back then: In his entry in the senior class directory, Feinberg mentioned Gallen as one of a handful of people who were his “few real friends.”

Feinberg majored in politics, producing a senior thesis arguing that drugs and prostitution should be legalized. For the paper, he not only delved into theories about the appropriate role of government but also spent a summer interviewing cops, hookers, and pimps in New York City. Feinberg took the position to impress a professor who he perceived as liberal after receiving a bad grade arguing the opposite view in a paper the previous year, says a person close to him. Today Feinberg contributes to Republican causes. He and his wife Gisela sent $114,000 in the 2003-2004 election cycle to committees working to elect Republicans to Congress.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_40/b3953110.htm


22 posted on 12/04/2011 12:49:35 PM PST by TLI ( ITINERIS IMPENDEO VALHALLA)
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To: bigbob

I agree. Were someone actually buying up companies to create a monopoly, to run or shut down, we have laws to deal with that, and it’s no where near the case here. My recollection, Remington was in financial trouble. If so, they might not be here. And this is a venture capital company, when the companies are healthy they’ll likely spin them off.


23 posted on 12/04/2011 12:50:13 PM PST by SJackson (Haven't changed the environment, just take a bath. Eat a piece of chocolate. You need one. Michelle)
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To: SJackson
I don't either, that's why we have anti-trust laws, but Bushmaster, Remington (Marlin) is probably a ways off from a firearms monopoly. It's good someone is investing in the industry.

The local gun store I do business with has had visits from Freedom Group brass, and they love the company. All gun manufacturing is done by small companies, and Freedom Group keeps some of the most respected ones going. Partly because these companies can now share technology, and pool resources.

Don't worry about some CEO deciding to stop all firearms production as the price of admission to elite cocktail parties. As The One has shown, he can seize any corporation he wants, and distribute it to his friends. If it works for some giant like Chrysler or Government Motors, it would be even easier for some "struggling" small business like Remington or Colt.

24 posted on 12/04/2011 12:51:40 PM PST by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: 300winmag
As The One has shown, he can seize any corporation he wants, and distribute it to his friends. If it works for some giant like Chrysler or Government Motors, it would be even easier for some "struggling" small business like Remington or Colt.

Yes, the Justice Dept could expand on it's position as the preferred supplier to Mexican drug gangs to supplying drug dealers and terrorists worldwide.

25 posted on 12/04/2011 12:55:05 PM PST by SJackson (Haven't changed the environment, just take a bath. Eat a piece of chocolate. You need one. Michelle)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Freedom Group is held by a good conservative. If I had his money I would be doing the same thing he is.


26 posted on 12/04/2011 12:56:58 PM PST by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: thecodont

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/c/Cerberus-Soros.htm

http://counterpsyops.com/2011/10/18/does-soros-own-all-us-gun-ammo-manufacturers/

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2011/10/nra-debunks-claims-that-george-soros-controls-freedom-group/


27 posted on 12/04/2011 1:04:01 PM PST by matthew fuller (Hey Buckwheat- What the Hell are we paying you for?...(GO NEWT!))
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To: 300winmag

300winmag,

(Not to highjack this thread, but) Your handle and tagline crack me up. I was at an outdoor range a while back when a fellow with a 300 Win-magnum set up next to me.

I was sighting in my old .22 rifle. He warned that I might want to put on my hearing protection.....I did for his second shot. :)

Jeez...that thing sent leaves airborne on the ground downrange of his bench.


28 posted on 12/04/2011 1:16:37 PM PST by myheroesareDeadandRegistered
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To: 300winmag

300winmag,

(Not to highjack this thread, but) Your handle and tagline crack me up. I was at an outdoor range a while back when a fellow with a 300 Win-magnum set up next to me.

I was sighting in my old .22 rifle. He warned that I might want to put on my hearing protection.....I did for his second shot. :)

Jeez...that thing sent leaves airborne on the ground downrange of his bench.


29 posted on 12/04/2011 1:16:49 PM PST by myheroesareDeadandRegistered
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To: Fee
only to stop selling guns after most of the small dealers quit.

Those "small dealers" were/are individuals who used to have the ability to deal in firearms out of their homes if they had the proper FFL. Case in point being a friend of mine.

Once the Feds upped the licensing fee for those individuals, they stopped applying for the license since the fees, and the record keeping wasn't worth the effort for their limited number of sales which were primarily to friends and family.......

30 posted on 12/04/2011 1:45:51 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (Be good, Santa is coming)
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To: SJackson
I don't either, that's why we have anti-trust laws, but Bushmaster, Remington (Marlin) is probably a ways off from a firearms monopoly. It's good someone is investing in the industry.

The local gun store I do business with has had visits from Freedom Group brass, and they love the company. All gun manufacturing is done by small companies, and Freedom Group keeps some of the most respected ones going. Partly because these companies can now share technology, and pool resources.

Don't worry about some CEO deciding to stop all firearms production as the price of admission to elite cocktail parties. As The One has shown, he can seize any corporation he wants, and distribute it to his friends. If it works for some giant like Chrysler or Government Motors, it would be even easier for some "struggling" small business like Remington or Colt.

31 posted on 12/04/2011 3:14:20 PM PST by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: CodeToad
Freedom Group is held by a good conservative.

Today maybe but what about tomorrow. Henry Ford would be spinning in his grave if he could see what the modern Ford Foundation has been turned into.

"The Ford Foundation’s personnel are continuing to operate under directives from the White House to so alter life in America as to make possible a comfortable merger with the Soviet Union." — H. Rowan Gaither, President The Ford Foundation (1953)

32 posted on 12/04/2011 3:15:02 PM PST by Roninf5-1
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To: SJackson
I don't either, that's why we have anti-trust laws, but Bushmaster, Remington (Marlin) is probably a ways off from a firearms monopoly. It's good someone is investing in the industry.

The local gun store I do business with has had visits from Freedom Group brass, and they love the company. All gun manufacturing is done by small companies, and Freedom Group keeps some of the most respected ones going. Partly because these companies can now share technology, and pool resources.

Don't worry about some CEO deciding to stop all firearms production as the price of admission to elite cocktail parties. As The One has shown, he can seize any corporation he wants, and distribute it to his friends. If it works for some giant like Chrysler or Government Motors, it would be even easier for some "struggling" small business like Remington or Colt.

33 posted on 12/04/2011 3:32:43 PM PST by 300winmag (Overkill Never Fails)
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To: myheroesareDeadandRegistered

Wear ear protection at all times when shooting, even with .22 cal. as hearing loss is cumulative and irreversible. Eye protection as well.


34 posted on 12/04/2011 5:14:40 PM PST by RicocheT (Eat the rich only if you're certain it's your last meal)
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To: TLI

Thanks for the story behind the story


35 posted on 12/04/2011 8:11:10 PM PST by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum)
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To: thecodont

This group worries me. They control the gun industry from powder to finished rifles. If they so choose, they can shut it down over night.


36 posted on 12/05/2011 8:23:55 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Cerberus Capital Management is a private corporation, meaning no ticker to see who owns what. Wouldn’t be surprised if this was a GS corp.


37 posted on 12/05/2011 8:31:03 AM PST by HollyB
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To: myheroesareDeadandRegistered

Been thinking about a Remington 7600 in .308 or .300WM.


38 posted on 12/05/2011 8:40:15 AM PST by tacticalogic
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To: SJackson

This is an interesting article on who owns which fire arm companies.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=35418


39 posted on 12/05/2011 8:49:32 AM PST by HollyB
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To: thecodont

Freedom Group are a collection of gun nuts who are following a lifelong dream of owning some fine gun companies. One of the big internet gun bloggers spent an afternoon with one of the principals and the guy lives, eats and breathes guns. And has an extensive collection of guns.

I am very pleased that my own favorite company, Harrington and Richardson is owned by them. High quality rifles at very reasonable prices.

Now, if H&R would put out a .45-70 with a 32 inch barrel, rolling block action with maybe a double set trigger, life would be perfect.


40 posted on 12/05/2011 9:26:37 AM PST by buffaloguy
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To: Jeff Head; All

This gets floated out there every now and then...How old is this urban legend??? Got to be over 6-8 years old by now...


41 posted on 12/05/2011 9:52:25 AM PST by stevie_d_64 (I'm jus' sayin')
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To: Hot Tabasco

That was the Clinton Administrations’ point. Drive the little guys out of business. Of course, the ‘industry’ has benefited from the reduction in competition.


42 posted on 12/05/2011 10:30:33 AM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: thecodont; All

What most people miss when they’re looking at who the money behind “Freedom Group” is the CEO they installed.

Bob Nardelli, formerly of Chrysler, formerly of Home Depot, formerly of GE.

You people can go do your own homework on Nardelli and draw your own conclusions.


43 posted on 12/05/2011 11:29:26 AM PST by NVDave
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To: thecodont

As long as they don’t buy Russia I should be fine. I’ve recently entered the quantity over quality stage of my collection.


44 posted on 12/05/2011 1:08:41 PM PST by The Toll
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To: All

Interesting...marking for later research


45 posted on 12/05/2011 7:36:12 PM PST by An American! (Proud To Be An American!)
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To: The Toll
As long as they don’t buy Russia I should be fine. I’ve recently entered the quantity over quality stage of my collection.

Don't forget Poland and Czechoslovakia. There are some realy bargains to be had out there.

46 posted on 12/05/2011 7:45:35 PM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: mnehring
Not Soros, Dan Quayle is one of the principles.

Ah. The drug kingpin. Figures.

47 posted on 12/06/2011 4:41:03 PM PST by archy (I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous!)
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