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Smith & Wesson Retools Image as Lawsuits Falter
The Wall Street Journal ^ | Wednesday, October 16, 2002 | VANESSA O'CONNELL and PAUL M. BARRETT

Posted on 10/16/2002 3:28:41 AM PDT by TroutStalker

Edited 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.


(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist

1 posted on 10/16/2002 3:28:41 AM PDT by TroutStalker
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To: TroutStalker
Current results of the poll:

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


2 posted on 10/16/2002 3:45:04 AM PDT by TroutStalker
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To: TroutStalker
S&W bailing on the Klinton-Bore contract is pretty much my experience.

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.

3 posted on 10/16/2002 3:55:05 AM PDT by Pistolshot
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To: Pistolshot
Unfortunately, many people such as yourself, have been economically impacted by Thomkin's decision to capitulate to the clinton administration. On the bright side, they provided a lesson to others in the industry that we will not tolerate a sellout, as they finally retreated back to Britain with their tail between their legs.

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.

4 posted on 10/16/2002 4:08:19 AM PDT by TroutStalker
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To: *bang_list
bang
5 posted on 10/16/2002 4:12:23 AM PDT by RogueIsland
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To: Pistolshot
I was deeply disappointed when S&W signed that agreement. I had purchased a snub nose .357 a couple of years prior and I really like that gun. Glad to see that they got their priorities straight. Welcome back Smith and Wesson!
6 posted on 10/16/2002 4:41:04 AM PDT by stevio
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To: Pistolshot; TroutStalker
Translation: The federal settlement was dead...

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.

7 posted on 10/16/2002 4:41:41 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson
One of my dealers here said that the provisions of the agreement are no longer being enforced. That being the case, it is esentially dead.

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.

8 posted on 10/16/2002 4:50:09 AM PDT by TroutStalker
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To: stevio
Welcome back Smith and Wesson!

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.

9 posted on 10/16/2002 4:59:24 AM PDT by toddst
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To: TroutStalker
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.

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.)

10 posted on 10/16/2002 5:03:54 AM PDT by Gorzaloon
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To: Gorzaloon
If I owned S&W, it would already be gone from Kennedy country.
11 posted on 10/16/2002 5:14:02 AM PDT by TroutStalker
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To: Pistolshot
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.

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.

12 posted on 10/16/2002 5:34:58 AM PDT by The Other Harry
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To: Pistolshot
Once again, we have gun control "advocates" vs. "pro-gun forces" and the "gun lobby."

The WSJ is just as bad as the rest of the liberal media once you get away from its editorial page.
13 posted on 10/16/2002 5:36:47 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: Maceman
So what's the consensus?

Should I purchase an S&W .357 longnose or stick with my plans to get a model 1911.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

14 posted on 10/16/2002 5:42:35 AM PDT by section9
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To: section9
Try shooting a 6" barrel 686, you'll be amazed at what the revolver can do to a target.
15 posted on 10/16/2002 5:50:54 AM PDT by dasher
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To: Vic3O3
Ping
16 posted on 10/16/2002 6:15:25 AM PDT by dd5339
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To: dasher
My sister bought a 686 to carry when she's on the road hauling horses (she's into cutting). She'd never fired a handgun and wanted me to show her the basics. Needless to say, I was impressed with the 686 and I ended up buying one for myself. Nice weapon.
17 posted on 10/16/2002 6:34:07 AM PDT by tje
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To: TroutStalker
Yes, I now favor greater gun restrictions 36 votes (5%)
No, I've always supported greater gun controls 170 votes (25%)
No, I am opposed greater gun controls 147 votes (21%)
No, but I'm afraid that Congress will be convinced to enact controls 95 votes (14%)
Current gun controls already go too far 237 votes (35%)
18 posted on 10/16/2002 6:56:36 AM PDT by KarlInOhio
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To: TroutStalker
I will settle for nothing less than a full apology to all American gun owners! Until that apology is offered I'll never but anything that Smith & Wesson sells- ever again!
19 posted on 10/16/2002 7:02:04 AM PDT by Destructor
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To: TroutStalker
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.

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.

20 posted on 10/16/2002 7:30:39 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: Gorzaloon
K frames are the only S&W's I have. 37 of them....
21 posted on 10/16/2002 7:43:01 AM PDT by Psycho Francis
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To: section9
Should I purchase an S&W .357 longnose or stick with my plans to get a model 1911?

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.

22 posted on 10/16/2002 7:46:00 AM PDT by toddst
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To: TroutStalker
" In numerous conversations with retailers and others, Mr. Scott says he emphasized his commitment to gun owners' freedoms."

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."

23 posted on 10/16/2002 7:48:43 AM PDT by Redbob
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To: Psycho Francis
K frames are the only S&W's I have. 37 of them...

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.

24 posted on 10/16/2002 8:20:29 AM PDT by Gorzaloon
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To: Gorzaloon
I've always been a fan of the K's. Little large for some hands, but like you say, they are works of art. From a bygone day, I might add. All of mine date from the 50's & 60's.
25 posted on 10/16/2002 9:24:29 AM PDT by Psycho Francis
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To: Psycho Francis
One result of the buy out is that all Smith and Wesson revolvers now have a little "safe-T-hammer" lock on the left hand side, right under the cylinder release lever. These are sometime referred to as the "pimple lock". I haven't shot a "pimple lock" enhanced revolver, but they add a bunch of unneeded parts and reduce the simplicity, beauty and reliability of the gun. They are an obvious place for grit to get into the mechanism.

Along with the apology I'd like to see the pimple locks removed, or at least made optional, for those of us who have no use for them.

For semi-autos I don't think they are as good as HK, SIG, Glock, Kimber and Springfield.
26 posted on 10/16/2002 10:30:11 AM PDT by Jack Black
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To: Jack Black
I'll do anything and everything I can to avoid buying an internally locked gun of any kind. I'm glad my 686 is an old one with the firing pin on the hammer where it belongs.
27 posted on 10/16/2002 11:16:14 AM PDT by dasher
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To: Psycho Francis
I'm going to make you hurt with the next statement. I acquired for $150 a very nice S&W Hand Ejector .44 Special Model 1926. It has that old time long action that is like oiled glass, single action break is 3.0 lbs. It was very popular with Peace Officers in Texas and the southwest.
Keep your powder dry
28 posted on 10/16/2002 11:56:45 AM PDT by TEXASPROUD
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