Anyone ever toured a gun manufacturing plant before?


October 7, 2004, 12:37 AM
I am a member of a professional engineering fraternity, Theta Tau. We have Professional Development sessions, where each member explains a tidbit about their major, like something they are doing. An electrical engineer would briefly explain a camera system, for example, and what was involved in their design of the system and what stuff they did, like creating the circut board and programming it to spec. A civil would tell of how a road or bridge is actually engineered, and not slapped together (I didnt really think there was much to a road).

Sometimes we do plant tours. We have toured the local Pratt & Whitney plant, the Dassault-Falcon Jet plant in Little Rock, and a few others in the works, like Anheuser-Busch and Superior Wheel. It occured to me that Wilson Combat would be really cool to tour, especially as we have no Industrial Engineers currently (for the assembly line, etc), but a few Mechanicals. We could get both sides of that. All the member seemed receptive to the firearms PD I did last semester, and were intrigued to learn some facts for a change, and to handle what was probably their first firearms in some cases.

Now I haven't called them yet, but has anyone ever done this sort of thing? How receptive are gun manufactures to this sort of thing?:confused:

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October 7, 2004, 12:43 AM
I've gone on a private tour in the Remington plant in Illion NY before. It's a great place, good people, and they just make a quality product. I was working for a Congressional candidate at the time, hence the personal tour. But most gun manufacturers that i've dealt with, both large and small, are receptive to members of the public coming in groups to take a tour. It's great PR.

4v50 Gary
October 7, 2004, 12:55 AM
Remington, S&W, Ruger, Calico (when it was in California). Been to a couple of barrel making shops too. Couldn't get in H&K or Mauser when I was in Oberndorf. :( They were afraid of industrial espionage.:o

October 7, 2004, 09:43 AM
Toured the gun factory at the Washington Naval Yard. They used to make the 16 inch guns for the battleships. Nice tour.

October 7, 2004, 12:58 PM
Ive been to parts of the Waffenfabrik Bern facility and SIGARMS in Switzerland....


October 7, 2004, 01:15 PM
Hakan got to tour CZ in The Czech Republic some time ago, and posted pictures at CZ Forum. Not only did he tour, but also got to handle rare CZs, and fire several of them, such as the CZ75 full auto...
I would love to tour a factory, even if it was just Ruger up north of me...:cool:

October 7, 2004, 01:42 PM
I toured the part of the Hammerli factory in Switzerland when I was living there. They weren't receptive to tours, a friend of a friend who worked there got me in. They were still making the 208 pistols at that time and I got to see their testing process.

October 7, 2004, 06:34 PM
Cool, thanks. I will have to give them a call.

October 7, 2004, 07:06 PM
Most manufacturing-based companies are set up to do tours for the public, friearms related or not. But it's not a guarantee -- I was really surprised to learn that Harley Davidson does not give tours when I was in Milwaukee 2 years ago.

Call each company's Public Relations dept (maybe Investor Relations), tell them that you're students in the eng. fraternity, and ask for a tour! Companies almost always like to help out students.

October 7, 2004, 07:21 PM
Odd. Harley-Davidson was enthusiastic when we called to tour their Kansas City plant, where they designed the V-Rod from the ground up.


October 7, 2004, 07:40 PM
When I toured Remington 30 years ago everyone there was surprised since tours were very rare.

4v50 Gary
October 7, 2004, 10:18 PM
I toured Springfield Armory several times and went over the grounds of Harper's Ferry once, does that count for #5 & #6?

BTW, when in Springfield, Massachusetts, don't forget to stop by the Indian Motorcycle Museum (it's down the road from the S&W Academy).

October 7, 2004, 10:39 PM
I toured the Harley-Davidson plant in Kansas City about a year ago, so I can verify that they do offer tours from time to time. When I went they were giving tours to the public one weekend and then also had an example of each one of their bikes for demo rides.

October 8, 2004, 12:42 AM
The Wisconsin Harley engine plant I went to about 6 years ago was doing tours. About half of it was shut down, since they were moving their then new engine down to the Kansas plant.

October 8, 2004, 10:44 PM
I toured the Colt factory in Hartford and the Saco Defence plant in Maine. Just called them and asked. I was USAF CCT at the time.

October 9, 2004, 09:04 AM
S&W gives great tours...have been there three times, the last with a S&WCA group...

Colt's also used to give tours, but with new management I'd want to confirm before a trip.

About 30 years ago Winchester had wonderful tours.

In Arkansas, Remington's ammo plant at Lenoke used to give tours.


October 9, 2004, 11:18 AM
I just toured Remington. It was interesting to see the product go from raw material to the finished product.

rick newland
October 10, 2004, 09:49 AM
After I retired from the Air Force I worked at the Kaiserslautern Rod and Gun Club for a couple of years. Our ordering guy had been in Germany for thirty years and had contacts everywhere. We toured H&K, Merkel, FN, Walther and Peters Stahl. The one I enjoyed the most was going to the main warehouse and gunsmiting facility of Frankonia. Racks and racks of unissued M-1 Garands and the bitch of it all couldnt ship one or several back to the states since they were war surplus.

Tracy Hightower
October 10, 2004, 11:20 AM
I toured the Glock Factory in Deutsch Wagrum Austria. It was an incredible opportunity. I learned a lot that I did not know about manufacturing in general.

October 10, 2004, 03:19 PM
I used to live less than a block behind the Oly Arms plant in Lacey/Olympia wa. I needed some parts for my Oly A1 so the service rep told me to come on back to the parts werehouse and show him what I needed. Really cool stuff in a gun factory.

October 10, 2004, 05:36 PM
I took a tour of the FN Manufacturing plant here in Columbia last year as part of an Officer Professional Development (OPD). All the officers from my unit went. Not sure if they'd do tours for civilians. The Columbia plant also makes Browning and Winchester barrels.

We got to see every stage of production of the M-16, M-249, and M-240, from machining of the receivers to testing. Pretty cool stuff.

One thing that was really cool was a bulletin board in the employee lounge/cafeteria. It had the names of every relative of a plant employee serving in the armed forces. And there were a lot of them.

Kinda helps with the quality control when you know some of the folks using them on the sharp end.

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