Skip to comments.Smith & Wesson Retools Image as Lawsuits Falter
Posted on 10/16/2002 3:28:41 AM PDT by TroutStalkerEdited on 04/22/2004 11:47:19 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- For a brief time, one of the most fabled names in the gun business looked set to play the role of peacemaker.
In March 2000, Smith & Wesson, a unit of British conglomerate Tomkins PLC, agreed to settle a raft of government lawsuits by promising to restrict the marketing of its handguns. For gun-control advocates, it was a stunning victory. President Clinton hailed the pact as historic, asserting it would sharply reduce the flow of handguns to criminals.
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|Have the Washington-area sniper attacks changed your views on gun controls?|
|Yes, I now favor greater gun restrictions
12 votes (8%)
|No, I've always supported greater gun controls
50 votes (34%)
|No, I am opposed greater gun controls
29 votes (20%)
|No, but I'm afraid that Congress will be convinced to enact controls
23 votes (16%)
|Current gun controls already go too far
34 votes (23%)
148 people have voted so far
As a part-time gunsmith, I had purchased a sizable amount of S&W parts for their revolvers and semi-automatic handguns. Having worked on Smiths for a number of years I had a sizable client base for work. I was in the process of contracting the police department academy for the rebuiding of the academy revolvers, which take a huge amount of abuse. This promised to be a money generator and excellent experience.
After S&W signed on to the Klinton-Bore agreement, I was hounded by S&W for a copy of my business tax certificate, a list of customers, including type of firearm and work performed.
I would not participate and informed S&W. All the parts I had purchased were boxed up and sent back with a refund request. My reasoning was the agreement, and as long as S&W were signed to it, I would not work on ANY firearm manufactured by them.
Soon after the Tomkins sale, I was called by the Customer Service department and was asked if I would be willing to start ordering parts again. I said as long as Smith was part of the Kliton-Bore agreement there would be no business from me. The representative said that Smith was not going to cooperate any longer under the new management. Sales had fallen dramatically and they were looking to renew old ties.
I am still deciding if I want to take the risk. The offer is at a sunstantial discount, so there is incentive. My only problem is now I am part-time and have changed my priorities on gun-repair.
I had purchased two S&W's in the year prior to the agreement, and did not hesitate to voice my displeasure to management vociferously. I have been slow to warm up to S&W since then, but I'm now happy to welcome them back into the fold.
I'm glad to be corrected, but it's my understanding that it's still in force, particularly as pertains to dealers. PS, I'd be curious if that's no longer true.
Also, aren't there plans in the works to move the Springfield works to AZ to save on labor costs. Nothing wrong with that, but I think the biggest losers in this fiasco were the employees, who may be losing again.
I did hear that production may eventually move to AZ. The benefits being a non-union workforce. The employees of S&W were screwed by Thomkins and clinton and their own state.
The boycott worked beyond my expectations. The Brits are gone and American leadership with vision and committment to shooters and the NRA is clearly in place.
S&W has always offered some of the best double-action revolvers made IMHO. It's great to be able to again recommend them with pride and confidence.
And anyone want to bet who they voted for?
Payback's a b'tch.
That said, the old "Donut shop" K-15's we have here have absolutely the best fit and finish of anything in the house, and that's saying a lot.(Sigs, Berettas,Colts,etc..etc.)
Just looking at the numbers ($132,000 in profits on $20.6 MM in sales) and the prospect of another anti-gun president someday in the not too distant future, I wouldn't invest too much if I were you. Not unless something else happened in the interim, like a major Supreme Court ruling.
Should I purchase an S&W .357 longnose or stick with my plans to get a model 1911.
Be Seeing You,
Screwed by S&W too. During the boycott S&W used the distress of their long term employees as a major reason the boycott should be broken.
From my perspective it depends on what use you intend for the gun. Both have their merits and limitations. I will be glad to make a recommendation if you provide more information on your intended use.No doubt others on FR will also.
Don't be so quick to "welcome them back into the fold."
S&W have never repudiated or otherwise "unsigned" the disastrous agreement they signed with the Feds.
Sure, as long as the GOP controls the executive branch they're OK, but they've never severed their ties to HUD, and a change in admisitrations could put them right back in bed with the gungrabbers.
Don't believe me? Call them yourself and ask; you'll get a runaround, but the final answer is, "Well, NO."
They are hard to pass up, since the police went to Wunder9's, etc.
They really are works of art. The part that impresses me is the coverplate on the right hand side that covers the lockwork. That joint has to be a thousandth or two all around, max on some of these, and it is a fairly complex shape, too.