USRAC/Winchester is quitting


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lawson4
January 17, 2006, 10:41 AM
USRAC (manufacturers of Winchester firearms) is closing as of April 2006. The company has been losing money for years and the owners (FN Herstal) finally decided it was bleeding them enough.
It was announced to us because we supply parts to them.

lawson4

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El Tejon
January 17, 2006, 10:41 AM
Surprised that this had not been done sooner.

walking arsenal
January 17, 2006, 10:59 AM
So does this mean no more winchesters?

Hobie
January 17, 2006, 11:14 AM
USRAC (manufacturers of Winchester firearms) is closing as of April 2006. The company has been losing money for years and the owners (FN Herstal) finally decided it was bleeding them enough.
It was announced to us because we supply parts to them.

lawson4Any public source verification?

El Tejon
January 17, 2006, 11:15 AM
Until they are sold again. Don't know how many are in the pipeline?

lawson, any clue on back orders?

whitebear
January 17, 2006, 11:20 AM
I couldn't find anything about this via Google News search. I'll keep looking.

Technosavant
January 17, 2006, 11:43 AM
Well, I guess I won't be getting that model 1300 Defender shotgun.

Dang shame.

kentucky_smith
January 17, 2006, 11:55 AM
I'm calling BS on this one.

JohnBT
January 17, 2006, 12:05 PM
I've read rumors/reports on a number of boards that the Herstal Group is closing the New Haven CT plant. Whether it's true or not remains to be seen. They have announced the new SX3 shotgun line, so it doesn't look like the Winchester name is going away anytime soon.

John

Hobie
January 17, 2006, 12:13 PM
I've just heard from a writer that only the CT plant is closing March 31st (if I understood correctly). Models built there will be unavailable for a bit.

kentucky_smith
January 17, 2006, 12:13 PM
that makes a bit more sense, yet still disappointing.

Gunblast
January 17, 2006, 12:28 PM
Only the Models 70, 94, and 1300 are scheduled to be discontinued.

At this time, there are no plans to build these antwhere else. The Jap/Belgium/Portugal guns are not affected.


It is a very sad day, to be sure.

Jeff Quinn
gunblast.com

lawson4
January 17, 2006, 01:02 PM
We have a copy of the letter from the VP of HR at the New Haven Plant.

lawson4

Leif
January 17, 2006, 01:14 PM
Looking at the Winchester website, there seems to be a whole lot of new models offered, esp. for Models 70 and 94 ... :confused:

Speaking of which, has anybody seen one of the new takedown 94's? Just curious.

McCall911
January 17, 2006, 02:27 PM
Winchester quitting????

That's about like saying that Christmas is about to be discontinued!

Oh, wait. We're about to that point nowadays also.

:fire: :mad:

Father Knows Best
January 17, 2006, 02:42 PM
There haven't been any new Winchesters in a long, long time. Oliver Winchester's company, New Haven Repeating Arms, is long defunct. U.S. Repeating Arms, a subsidiary of Belgium-based Fabrique Nationale Herstal, is just a relatively recent (1981) licensee of the Winchester firearms brand name (which I believe is owned by Olin, the company that makes Winchester brand ammunition). If FNH gets out of the business of building Winchester brand firearms, some other licensee will pick up the torch. It's no different than, say, "Armalite" or "Springfield Armory" brand firearms. The current production firearms bearing those brand names are built by companies that have nothing to do with the original Armalite company or the U.S. government's Springfield Armory -- they just license the right to slap those brand names on their products.

The same is true of many other American firearms brands. For example, Eliphalet Remington founded the company that made the famous New Model Army revolver of Civil War fame (erroneously referred to in many cases as the "1858" Remington), and later the Rolling Block single shot rifles and many others. The Remington family has been out of the firearms business since before the turn of the 20th century, however. The firm went bankrupt in the 1880s, and the Remington brand name was purchased by others.

So don't fret. Whatever happens, you'll always be able to buy guns with "Winchester" stamped on them. The only question is who actually makes them, but that's always been in question.

kentucky_smith
January 17, 2006, 02:58 PM
But the model 70, 1300 and 94 have been an integral part of shooting sports for a long-time. :(

Detritus
January 17, 2006, 03:42 PM
But the model 70, 1300 and 94 have been an integral part of shooting sports for a long-time. :(

99.999% chance that FNH will close the plant, then sell the name and plant to another Co. in fact they likely already HAVE a buyer lined up, that's business.

Hobie
January 17, 2006, 03:50 PM
http://leverguns.sixgunner.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=14190

For those who have are in any way appreciative of the past, this is indeed a sad announcement.

********************************************************

From Browning:

DATE: January 17, 2006

TO: FNH USA Distributors

FROM: Louis Dillais /Rick DeMilt

SUBJECT: Closing of USRAC Manufacturing Facility

Dear FNH USA Distributor,

While the HERSTAL GROUP has made the decision to close the USRAC manufacturing facility in New Haven, CT (please refer to the attached Browning press release), FNH USA is pleased to confirm we hold sufficient inventory of USRAC-made FN products and spare parts to meet your Customers’ requirements.

All WARRANTIES AND REPAIRS of FN products will continue to be serviced by FN / Browning distribution center located at Arnold MO.

FNH USA, with the support of FN Herstal, is investing into new and exciting products that will continue the legacy of FN firearms expertise. Many of these new and exciting products are currently under development and manufacturing at FN MANUFACTURING (FNM) in Columbia, South Carolina and are scheduled to be delivered this year.

FN MANUFACTURING is an ISO 9001state of the art facility with R&D, manufacturing, testing and repair/maintenance capabilities which, over the last
30 years, has produced most of the US Military small arms, such as the M16
A2, A3, A4 rifles as well as the M249 and M240 light/medium machinegun families. FNM also manufactures our FNP line of handguns and the FN 303 less lethal
launcher.

As we move forward, you can be assured of a continuing supply of FN products that are representative of the latest manufacturing technology and advanced firearms design.

REAL WORLD PRODUCTS FOR REAL WORLD OPERATORS.

Best regards,

Louis Dillais
President & CEO

Rick DeMilt
Director of Sales & Marketing

***********

From USRAC:

Contact: Scott Grange
For Immediate Release
(801) 876-2711, ext. 306

Paul Thompson
(801) 876-2711, ext. 229

U.S. Repeating Arms Company To Close
New Haven, CT Facility

U.S. Repeating Arms Company, maker of Winchester brand rifles and shotguns will close its New Haven, Connecticut manufacturing facility. Many efforts were made to improve profitability at the manufacturing facility in New Haven, and the decision was made after exhausting all available options.

Effective March 31, 2006 the New Haven manufacturing facility will stop manufacturing the Winchester Model 70, Model 94 and Model 1300.

Winchester Firearms will continue to sell and grow its current line of Select Over & Under shotguns, the new Super X3 autoloading shotgun, the new Super X autoloading rifle and Limited Edition rifles. The company also plans to introduce new models in the future. There will be no change in Customer Service.

This action is a realignment of resources to make Winchester Firearms a stronger, more viable organization. Winchester Firearms plans to continue the great Winchester legacy and is very excited about the future.

kentucky_smith
January 17, 2006, 04:01 PM
putting resources developing things like the p90 and FN Five-seveN, and 5.7x28 :rolleyes: which seem to be selling.:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :fire: :mad:

David4516
January 17, 2006, 04:28 PM
I can't imagine Winchester without the Model 94 and the Model 70.

Are they not going to make them ever again, or is this just untill they set up a new plant or something?

grimjaw
January 17, 2006, 04:37 PM
Guess I better get that Legacy model sooner than I planned. :(

jmm

Father Knows Best
January 17, 2006, 04:42 PM
For those who have are in any way appreciative of the past, this is indeed a sad announcement.

What's sad about it? Are you all that brand conscious? Oliver Winchester's company (New Haven Repeating Arms) has been dead and buried for many, many decades. The company that is closing a plant is Fabrique Nationale Herstal, which happens to have a subsidiary called "U.S. Repeating Arms Company." That's pure smoke-and-mirrors branding, because "U.S. Repeating Arms" sounds like an American company name, and is awful close to the sound of "New Haven Repeating Arms." It's still a Belgian conglomerate, however, and it's only been manufacturing "Winchester" brand firearms since 1981. That's only the last 25 years. So what if they stop? It's not like Winchester brand firearms manufactured since 1981 have been special in any way. The last Winchester brand firearms to be recognized as truly special in any way were made prior to 1964 -- well before FNH/USRAC appeared on the scene.

Keep in mind that Olin Corporation still owns the Winchester firearms brand. FNH/USRAC is just a licensee, meaning they pay money to Olin for the right to slap the Winchester name on FNH/USRAC products. Either FNH/USRAC will resume manufacture of the models 94 and 70 at some other plant, or I bet that Olin licenses the rights to those models to some other company.

Regardless, nothing much changes. There may be a temporary interruption in your ability to get some models of "Winchester" brand firearms, but it will only be temporary. Whenever production resumes, by somebody, the new ones will be no more or less "authentic" than the FNH/USRAC versions we've been buying for the last 25 years.

Harry Stone
January 17, 2006, 04:43 PM
Even though the only Winchester I've ever been really interested in is the model 12, it's still sad news to hear.

JohnBT
January 17, 2006, 05:20 PM
"Are you all that brand conscious?"

Sure, I wasn't really looking for a Winchester duck gun, but when I saw that the SX2 Waterfowl was made in Belgium I jumped on it. FN, made overseas, cost too much = must be good, right? Right, especially since it was in 99% condition and almost $500 under the $1215 MSRP.

Just fooling. Sorry to see them go. I've wondered if this would happen ever since the Hertral Group acquired USRAC in 1988. Now that the Browning and Win shotguns are nearly identical they might as well go ahead and merge the companies into Brownchester.

John

bobelk99
January 17, 2006, 05:27 PM
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/connecticut/ny-bc-ct--winchesterclosing0117jan17,0,7667864.story?coll=ny-region-apconnecticut

BulletFan
January 17, 2006, 05:56 PM
Such a tragedy.
Winchester: You shall be missed!

Rembrandt
January 17, 2006, 06:00 PM
I wouldn't be surprised to see a new buyer emerge, should make existing Winchesters highly collectible. If they are picked up by another company it will make original Winchesters worth more just as Belgium Brownings are-vs-Japan made Brownings. My advice...."BUY ALL THE WINCHESTER'S YOU CAN AFFORD"

AirForceShooter
January 17, 2006, 06:00 PM
looks like they're gone!!!

AFS

ArmedBear
January 17, 2006, 06:32 PM
Wow!

It's taken a remarkable effort on the part of the company's management to ruin Winchester. They've snatched defeat from the jaws of many potential victories.

Starting in 1964, they wrecked their reputation for selling the American equivalent of the Mauser hunting rifle.

When the Model 70 finally rose again to its former glory -- the new-production Classic Featherweight is a GREAT rifle, though expensive -- they proceeded to spend all their R&D and marketing efforts on pushing an endless array of unnecessary new cartridges, some of which had ejection problems, etc. Many desirable Model 70 variants come only in Winchester-only cartridges. That dog don't hunt.

Then, Winchester missed the boat completely, though they had YEARS to get it right, on the CAS market. People are joyfully paying more for Italian and Brazilian Winchester repros than they'd pay for a "real" Winchester, because the copies are nicer. Winchester didn't do the OBVIOUS: re-introduce the top-eject 94, then the 92, 1886, 1873, and 1866 with nice polish and good triggers, at high profit margins. Colt may be stupid, but they're not too stupid to sell SAA's for highly-inflated prices -- they sell all they can make.

Winchester let Henry steal their thunder on the .22 end, then with pistol caliber centerfires, and Marlin finally trump them in the world of .30-30 and .45-70, as well as in Cowboy Action and in the .22LR market with their excellent Model 39. Note that the 39 has been made for over 100 years! That should allow a competitor ample time to come up with a better gun, if they wanted to. But Winchester has been resting on its laurels and producing 94's that rate a Don't Buy from Gun Tests! Who would have thought that would happen?

Their shotguns are excellent, but they don't fit well into market niches. The 1300 is far and away the prettiest gun for the price, but the 870 is tougher and the 500 is cheaper. Pumps are working guns, these days, not wall-hangers. Their semiautos are excellent but their prices will turn off most buyers. Beretta and Benelli are eager to sell you a really good semi in that range, and Remington sells them a good deal cheaper, even the pretty ones. I like their O/U's. I guess there are a lot of good O/U's for the price range, though, and they're not American. American-Made would have been a good selling point. If I want a Browning, I'll get a Cynergy or BT.

So I have to say I'm not shocked.

Perhaps someone else will grab the flag and run with it. The Winchester name and product line could be very successful if done right. I hope it happens.

The Real Hawkeye
January 17, 2006, 06:43 PM
Yeah, they made a lot of stupid decisions, such as marketing the Short Magnums instead of offering their Model 70 in classic calibers like .35 Whelen. What a shame. Well, I have my Classic Featherweight in .270 Winchester, and my Safari Magnum Classic 70 in .416 Remington Magnum. Would have liked a Super Grade, but I guess I have to buy a used one.

Checkman
January 17, 2006, 07:08 PM
I got one of the new Winchester M1895's made in Japan back in 98 and I finally purchased an original 1897 riot gun manufactured in 1955 - right at the end of that model's production run. Great shotgun. Yes Oliver's company went away a long time ago. Some could say that it ceased to exsist when Olin purchased it back in the 1930's. It's sad, but the name won't go away. As other have said somebody will eventually buy the right to the name. If they haven't already.

There aren't any of the grand old companies left. They've all been purchased by international conglomerates. It's the Super Box Store Effect - taking over the world.:( :mad:

So it goes.

The Real Hawkeye
January 17, 2006, 07:13 PM
How much do you want to bet that in a year or two, Model 70s and 94s will be coming out of Japan with the Winchester name on them. The Japanese plant does fine work, and they will make them every bit as well, if not better.

Rembrandt
January 17, 2006, 07:28 PM
Hummmm?....reading between the lines...

Quote: "DeMennato said the company is negotiating the plant's sale. Missouri-based Olin Corp. owns the Winchester brand name....Olin sold the plant to U.S. Repeating Arms along with the right to use the Winchester name until next year."

...possible translation: Legal use of the "Winchester" name ends next year, somebody wants to re-negotiate the contract for it's further use. Olin is asking for more money, USRAC is saying they are not profitable and are willing to close the plant.....(who's bluffing and who will blink first?)

Quote from Winchester: "Winchester Firearms will continue to sell and grow its current line of Select Over & Under shotguns, the new Super X3 autoloading shotgun, the new Super X autoloading rifle and Limited Edition rifles. The company also plans to introduce new models in the future. This action is a realignment of resources to make Winchester Firearms a stronger, more viable organization. Winchester Firearms plans to continue the great Winchester legacy and is very excited about the future."

....possible translation: Word "NEW" is used several times, that means the old product line has gone flat and management wants some fresh products. Appears USRAC wants to continue the product line, but only the more profitable items, dropping the losers (models 70, 94, and 1300). Perhaps closing the existing plant for a more modern site is part of the move. If "NEW" items are in the future, new tooling would be needed, a new plant might be the most cost effective. Union contracts may be part of the rising cost, a move overseas or to a gun friendly state could make them more competitive.

RonS
January 17, 2006, 07:54 PM
200 more families in the US just got it in the neck.

The Real Hawkeye
January 17, 2006, 07:57 PM
200 more families in the US just got it in the neck.Thanks NAFTA. Thanks Republicans.

Ohen Cepel
January 17, 2006, 08:12 PM
Now just what did the Republicans do to force the closure of this plant?

If the left had their way we wouldn't have the right to own a gun at all.

TexasRifleman
January 17, 2006, 08:13 PM
Thanks NAFTA. Thanks Republicans.

Who passed the Commerce in Arms protection law? Without lawsuit protection they would all be gone in very short notice.

I'm not exactly sure what NAFTA has to do with this. You thinking Winchester is moving it's factory to Guadalajara?

SemiAutoMan
January 17, 2006, 08:14 PM
I would honestly like to see an american buy the company and make Winchester a great american gun once more.. However selling based on the brand name puts it at a disadvantage when you can buy an sks or ak cheaper.

Lone_Gunman
January 17, 2006, 08:19 PM
Father Knows Best, I think you are telling us something just about everyone is aware of.

The concern is not that "Winchester" is dead, but that the guns won't be available, at least until someone else buys the brand.

JohnBT
January 17, 2006, 09:05 PM
"There aren't any of the grand old companies left."

What, Marlin doesn't count? It's still family owned.

Anyway, the news flash should read, "The Herstal Group of Belgium, owned primarily by the Walloon Regional Government, announces the closure of one factory in the USA."

FN built most of Mr. Browning's best guns and now they're building some of Winchester's best, too.

I predict, based on no facts whatsoever, that Winchester will arise from the ashes bigger and better than ever. Of course, they might end up being called Brownchester, but that's to be expected since the ownership of Browning and Win moved overseas last century.

Now if they will just release the new SX3 shotguns they've announced I can get a 12 ga. Superlite Hunter. They're probably on a slow boat from Europe as I speak.

John

Eskimo Jim
January 17, 2006, 09:11 PM
I can't believe that the Model 70 will no longer be made. At one time that was the "Rifleman's rifle" and the one that most other rifles were judged against.

Whether it is an American company or a company wholely owned by a foreign company, it is about the same as if Oreos were suddenly taken off the shelf.

I'd say that Winchester does make arms that people want. They just have to be made more cost affectively. I bought a 9422 because it was being discontinued. Now the classic firearms of the entire company are no longer being manufactured? I'm still stunned. How could USRA miss the entire CAS increase in popularity? Still stunned.

-Jim

Wiley
January 17, 2006, 09:50 PM
A WWII poster I saw on http://www.wwii-collectibles.com/Merchant2/

The Real Hawkeye
January 17, 2006, 09:52 PM
I can't believe that the Model 70 will no longer be made. At one time that was the "Rifleman's rifle" and the one that most other rifles were judged against.Actually, somehow we did without the Model 70 for all the years between 1964 and 1992, or thereabouts. Not as if it hasn't gone off the market before. And don't tell me that thing they called a Model 70 between those dates bore any relation with the real thing. They should have been honest and admitted that the Model 70 was just being discontinued in 1964 and announced the Model 80, or whatever other number struck their fancy.

HiVelocity
January 17, 2006, 09:53 PM
Folks, I just received an e-mail from a good friend with affluent contacts. He advises me that he was just informed that the Winchester plants are shutting down in the U.S. Alledgedly may be regrouping over seas somewhere.

I guess all these folks with Winchester on their firearms are going to appreciate quickly in collectability and $$$$.

Anyone else hear anything regarding this info?

JK in SC

LawDog
January 17, 2006, 10:00 PM
Multiple threads merged.

LawDog

hksw
January 17, 2006, 10:35 PM
Sad to hear of the fall of most of Winchester. No doubt someone will continue on with it.

So, let the speculation begin.

My guess is that FNH will tranfer production of the M70 and 1300 (tooling and production) to SC or another location. How else are they going to keep supply of their SPR and Tac Shotgun? (Not that they are great sellers but I haven't heard anything yet of their demise.)

cracked butt
January 17, 2006, 11:04 PM
Thanks NAFTA. Thanks Republicans

Geography lesson time. FN is located in Belgium it also produces rifles and shotguns in Japan Neither one of these countries are located anywhere in North America. :neener:


winchester hasn't produced anything exciting in a very long time. The Win 70 classic rifles are OK, the newer 94s are crap, and the only two winchester shotguns I'd ever have a remote interest in are the 97 and model 12.

guy sajer
January 17, 2006, 11:06 PM
I received this from one of our suppliers . Several other distributors confirmed it . :(



This just came in to us from Winchester Firearms:

Effective March 31, 2006 the New Haven, CT manufacturing facitlity will stop making Winchester Model 70 bolt action rifles, Model 94 lever action rifles and shotguns, and Model 1300 pump action shotguns.

The shutdown is due to rising manufacturing costs and the company not reaching profitability goals.
Winchester will continue to sell and manufacture Select O/U shotguns, the new SX3 shotguns, the new Super X autoloading rifle, and select limited edition rifles. There will also be new models introduced in the future.

Guys, the Model 70's, 1300's, and 94's we have now will be it! There may be a few more trickling in as they complete assembly of the remaining parts at the factory, but the number will be very small. Please let your dealers know to jump on these guns NOW if they want to have any this year, or possibly ever.

CrazyIrishman
January 17, 2006, 11:18 PM
Although I haven't bought a Winchester in a while I sure will hate to see them go belly up. My son has a couple Winchesters (a '94 in 30-30 and a Mdl 70 in 270) that he really likes.

Owen
January 17, 2006, 11:26 PM
I am a supplier to FN.

This is confirmed: It's posted all over FN Manufacturing. (FN owns USRAC)

Ironbarr
January 17, 2006, 11:42 PM
http://www.wtkr.com/Global/story.asp?S=4375064

Rob1035
January 17, 2006, 11:49 PM
crap, i was looking at the defender as my first HD shotty

Ironbarr
January 18, 2006, 12:01 AM
crap, i was looking at the defender as my first HD shottyAll it takes to save it is money... got some??

Owen
January 18, 2006, 12:01 AM
USRAC has been in the red for 20 years. FN Herstal just stopped the bleeding.

xd45gaper
January 18, 2006, 12:03 AM
this is bs, i still have to buy a model 1300 upland special and a model 94 :(!!!

i find it so hard to beleve that they are discontinuing there top 3 models of firearms :banghead: :cuss: :fire: :mad: :( :( :( :(

jeff-10
January 18, 2006, 12:05 AM
If they stop selling 94s and 70s, they pretty much are headed out of business. Not to mention what happens to all those WSM and WSSM cartridges they developed if there aren't 70s chambered for them?

Ironbarr
January 18, 2006, 12:07 AM
I guess the value of my Mod 02 .22 single-shot bolt will zoom after March 31. It was born in 1903.

xd45gaper
January 18, 2006, 12:13 AM
walmart has nice price's on winchesters. i think im going to buy the ones ive been wanting and maybe a couple more to make some money. i would rather see them stay in business though :( sad to see such great firearm company go out of business.

i would think those 3 models would make up the bulk of there sales thats just me though.

alamo
January 18, 2006, 12:25 AM
They're closing the whole factory:


End of an era as Winchester rifle plant prepares to close

By MATT APUZZO
Associated Press Writer

January 17, 2006, 4:52 PM EST

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- U.S. Repeating Arms Co. Inc. said Tuesday it will close its Winchester firearm factory, threatening the future of a rifle that was once called "The Gun that Won the West."

"It's part of who we are as a nation just like it's part of who we are as a city," Mayor John DeStefano said.

The announcement touched off a lobbying effort by city officials and union leaders who hoped to find a buyer for the plant before it closes March 31. If no buyer comes forward, it could spell the end for nearly all commercially produced Winchesters, said Everett Corey, a representative of the International Association of Machinists District 26.

"Winchester would be pretty much defunct," he said. "They're not going to produce them, other than a couple custom-type models."

The company has been plagued by slumping firearm sales. More than 19,000 people worked there during World War II, but the plant employs fewer than 200 now. All will lose their jobs when the plant closes.

The Winchester model 1873 lever action rifle was popular among American frontiersmen at the end of the 19th century for its reliability. John Wayne made the Winchester rifle a signature of his movies and Chuck Connors posed menacingly with his Winchester on the poster for the television series "The Rifleman."

"Marlin made lever-action rifles but nobody ever had a Marlin in films or TV series. They were always Winchesters," said Ned Schwing, a firearms historian.

Perhaps the company's greatest unofficial spokesman was President Teddy Roosevelt, who used the 1895 model on his famous 1909 African safari, which historians credited with boosting the sale of Winchester sporting rifles.

Since the plant opened in 1866, tens of millions of Winchester rifles have been produced, the bulk of which came between the late 1800s and the end of World War II, said firearms historian R.L. Wilson, who has written books about Winchester. More than six million copies of the Winchester Model 94, the company's most popular rifle, have been produced.

"Several generations have worked at this place, a lot of fathers and brothers, sons, uncles and daughters," said Paul DeMennato, facility director at U.S. Repeating Arms.

U.S. Repeating Arms, which is owned by the Herstal Group, a Belgium company, has said for years that it was on the brink of closing the plant.

DeMennato said the company is negotiating the plant's sale. Missouri-based Olin Corp. owns the Winchester brand name. In the late 1970s, after a massive strike by its machinists, Olin sold the plant to U.S. Repeating Arms along with the right to use the Winchester name until next year.

Olin had no immediate word on its plans for the Winchester name. DeMennato said he hopes the name will be sold along with the plant. Nobody at Herstal's headquarters in Belgium could be reached Tuesday afternoon. ___

On the Web:

U.S. Repeating Arms: http://www.usracmfg.com

Winchester firearms: http://www.winchesterguns.com

Ironbarr
January 18, 2006, 01:17 AM
Just checked my 02 and it is stamped "Winchester Repeating Arms Co."

Dienekes
January 18, 2006, 01:27 AM
Another great American company run into the ground--snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

I suppose my Winchester M1 Garand just went up in value, but I'd rather not make my money that way.

ArmedBear
January 18, 2006, 01:55 AM
The era ended in 1964.

lbmii
January 18, 2006, 02:21 AM
No on else has brought this up but the first thing I thought of was Union busting. Are not most US firearms factories eastern state strong union shops?

atek3
January 18, 2006, 02:56 AM
USRAC has been in the red for 20 years. FN Herstal just stopped the bleeding.

No on else has brought this up but the first thing I thought of was Union busting. Are not most US firearms factories eastern state strong union shops?

Did anyone one else notice the irony that these two posts were back to back?

I'm suprised no one has brought this up but the first thing I think of when looking at a failing industry is heavy union membership (domestic autos, airlines, domestic steel).

atek3

stevelyn
January 18, 2006, 03:34 AM
I mentioned unions screwing themselves out of jobs on a similar thread on another forum and was immediately accused of union bashing.:rolleyes:

atek3
January 18, 2006, 03:52 AM
I mentioned unions screwing themselves out of jobs on a similar thread on another forum and was immediately accused of union bashing.:rolleyes:

I'm just going to say it... Unions are NOT the source of good jobs, the weekends, and apple pie. Unions sap businesses of their competitiveness and if I was a business owner and my employees decided to unionize I'd close the company down. However, this is total thread jacking, back to the subject at hand, the USRAC closures.

Omaha-BeenGlockin
January 18, 2006, 05:48 AM
Olin still owns the name---its up to them whether Winchester continues or not. FN got tired of paying for the name rights.

Browning and Winchester were becoming so similar---the parent company said why bother anymore-----was there much crying when GM shut down Oldsmobile??? Didn't think so.

The statements about the unions are more than likely true also.

Now to the core---there was a complete lack of innovation in the product line----same as Colt----just variations on the old tired theme. No new manufacturing methods---no completely new models---nothing.

Where's the Winchester bolt action .22 or new Winchester pistol??? You got it---there ain't none.

Do I own a Winchester?--ya---but got it on the cheap ---cheap cheap. Otherwise---why bother.

Marlin makes a better lever action--own a Marlin---won't even consider a 94.

Just about everybody and their brother makes a better bolt action than the model 70----even the lowly Savage is more accurate---and I'm betting the Tikka T3 has really shook things in the bolt action arena for the last few years. The one who really needs to be listening to this is Remington---cause they're next. Own a few Rugers--Sako's--Browning-----and yes a model 70 cause I got it cheap---cheap cheap. Won't own a Remington 700 either---cause there are much better choices out there.

The 1300??---just look closely at this forum---lots of talk about 870's---500/590's and Nova's----a few squeaks about the 1300. Own 4 870's--a Nova and a BPS ----no 1300's.

This is just one guy---and I'm telling you where my dollars do the talking.

Most of my NIB purchases in the last few years have been mostly Rugers--a couple T/C's---Bushmaster/Rock River parts for building--a couple Brownings---one Winchester---cause I got it cheap----cheap cheap.

Seems a lot of others have been buying the same kinds of stuff I've been buying too huh.

Not saying good riddence---but I'm saying this is a shake up that had to happen---it was bound to happen---sooner or later. There are losers in every competition.

Matthew748
January 18, 2006, 07:35 AM
Boy, that's terrible news. I hate to see any of the big names go down.

On a personal note, the next 2 rifles I planned to purchase were Winchesters. The Safari Express in .375H&H, and one of their lever actions in .44 Mag were on my radar screen. I do not have time to shop around for them now, so it looks like its back to the drawing board.

BigG
January 18, 2006, 08:17 AM
Don't worry; Springfield Armory (sic) can now buy the name and make "real" Winchesters. :scrutiny: [insert sarcasm here]

USSR
January 18, 2006, 08:27 AM
Olin owns the Winchester name, and since it is a well established and respected one, I would expect someone to pick up the rights to the Winchester brand name and start production once again, although more than likely in a smaller and more modern facility than the New Haven, CT factory.

Don

longhorngunman
January 18, 2006, 08:33 AM
Winchester hasn't been Winchester in many years. What do you expect, trying to run a firearms plant in the socialist utopia of New England.

db_tanker
January 18, 2006, 08:42 AM
I hate this crap.

I can only hope that someone steps in and save this...can't really call it a company. Icon doesn't cover it either. Its Winchester. Hell, its part of America.

D

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 09:24 AM
Couple of comments. First about the reactions to my NAFTA comment, and then about unions.

NAFTA was predictably bad for American industry, and the Republicans supported it. That which is generally bad for our industry is generally bad for our economy. Bad economies result in a general suppression of industry, not just those that move to Mexico.

Now for unions: Nothing wrong with unions if all they constitute are organizations of workers who collectively bargain. If you are at liberty under the law to bargain with your employer as an individual, you ought to be at liberty under the law to bargain with your employer as a group. That's part of living under liberty. The problem comes in when government and law starts to butt into the picture. Laws come down on one side or the other, and throw the system out of its natural equilibrium. Left to its natural equilibrium, there will be stability and justice between workers and employers. Workers will not demand too much, because the employer may well decide that he's better off just hiring replacements, even considering the cost of training. Employers will not ignore legitimate demands of workers because if he does they may go on strike, and this will badly effect his bottom line. There is a balance there. It is only when government enters the scene that the balance is thrown off and we get the problems we have today relating to unions.

TABING
January 18, 2006, 10:01 AM
Just spoke to a friend who runs a BIG gun shop in Northern Arizona. He said he knew about the closing for a while, there are still lots of guns with the distributors, (he's got $9000.00 worth coming in next week, he plans to hold them for 6 months and let me pick the ones I want when I'm on leave from the big sandbox, and sell the rest at double price calling them "pre 06" LOL), and production will be moving to the far east AND/OR South America.

Halffast
January 18, 2006, 10:16 AM
I sat down with the owner of a big gun shop here and he looked through all of his distributers and could not find a single Winchester lever action available. He had a 94 in .38-55 and a Trapper in .44 in stock. I bought the .44. He told me that he hardly sold any Winchesters any more. I asked about the model 70 as I figured he would have sold a lot of them. He told me that he sold less than 10 last year.

David

Logan5
January 18, 2006, 12:46 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/01/17/winchester.ap/index.html

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (AP) -- U.S. Repeating Arms Co. Inc. said Tuesday it will close its Winchester firearm factory, threatening the future of a rifle that was once called "The Gun that Won the West."

"It's part of who we are as a nation, just like it's part of who we are as a city," Mayor John DeStefano said.

The announcement touched off a lobbying effort by city officials and union leaders who hoped to find a buyer for the plant before it closes March 31. If no buyer comes forward, it could spell the end for nearly all commercially produced Winchesters, said Everett Corey, a representative of the International Association of Machinists District 26.

"Winchester would be pretty much defunct," he said. "They're not going to produce them, other than a couple custom-type models."

AZ Jeff
January 18, 2006, 01:50 PM
Thanks NAFTA. Thanks Republicans.
That's one of the sillier (or more ignorant) statements I have seen in some time.

While there are PLENTY of things the Republicans have done wrong, and thus to which we can attach blame, the closure of USRAC is NOT one of them. Your comment smacks of pure partisanship and is counterproductive.

When a topic arises where you have REALLY VALID comments, they will be dismissed as coming from a guy who blames "the other team" no matter how valid, and hence your credibility will be zilch.

Save the sniping for places where it's valid.

JesseJames
January 18, 2006, 01:58 PM
Wow, I just bought a used Winchester model 1300 shotgun not too long ago.
I guess now it'll be worth something in the distant future.
Fine shotgun. Real workhorse.
So sad to see the death of an American institution like Winchester. Kind of like Ford or Chevy closing shop and calling it quits.

Malone LaVeigh
January 18, 2006, 02:24 PM
So should I go out and buy a 94 or not?

Thanks NAFTA. Thanks Republicans.
Thank Bill Clinton for NAFTA. Come to think of it, Clinton was the most effective prez the Repubs ever had.

Father Knows Best
January 18, 2006, 02:27 PM
I hate this crap.

I can only hope that someone steps in and save this...can't really call it a company. Icon doesn't cover it either. Its Winchester. Hell, its part of America.

D

Read the posts above. There's nothing to save. 1981-2006 "Winchesters" were really made by a subsidiary of Fabrique Nationale Herstal (FNH), a Belgian-based international arms conglomerate. They just licensed the right to the Winchester brand name from Olin Corporation.

It's unclear to me from the announcements whether FNH will continue to manufacture some models under the Winchester firearms brand, or is ceasing use of that brand completely. If the latter is the case, then Olin will certainly re-license the rights to the brand to some other company. If the latter, then perhaps FNH will resume production of the affected models elsewhere, or Olin will license the rights to those models to some other company. In any case, the Winchester brand certainly won't die. It's worth far too much.

The "real" Winchester died in the 1930s when Olin Corporation bought out Oliver Winchester's old company (New Haven Repeating Arms). The period until 1964 still saw some decent "Winchester" brand firearms, but pretty much everything since then has been forgettable. People were just paying for the brand name.

Ironbarr
January 18, 2006, 02:37 PM
Just checked my 02 and it is stamped "Winchester Repeating Arms Co."Father, any idea when this 1903 produced .22 with that stamp changed to "New Haven Repeating Arms"??

Sounds like there have been several iterations over the past 100-plus years.

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 03:04 PM
That's one of the sillier (or more ignorant) statements I have seen in some time.

While there are PLENTY of things the Republicans have done wrong, and thus to which we can attach blame, the closure of USRAC is NOT one of them. Your comment smacks of pure partisanship and is counterproductive.

When a topic arises where you have REALLY VALID comments, they will be dismissed as coming from a guy who blames "the other team" no matter how valid, and hence your credibility will be zilch.

Save the sniping for places where it's valid.I already responded to this criticism a few posts above, but you appear to have misidentified my position on the political spectrum. I am a right wing registered Republican. Naturally, if the Dems had their way we'd be in a worse mess than we are. Regardless, I expected the Republicans to defend our industries, as they had in our nation's past, but they have not done so, and show no interest even today in doing so. One by one we will lose them all, and the Republicans will just go on quoting Adam Smith as we become a nation of consumers, devoid of manufacturers.

Lone_Gunman
January 18, 2006, 03:07 PM
No, 94's suck. Thats why US Repeating Arms is going out of business.

I think we are just as well without Winchester. The last interesting product they made was produced 1895. Since then they have been steadily in decline, with brief exceptions being of course during WW 1 and WW 2.

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 03:12 PM
No, 94's suck. Thats why US Repeating Arms is going out of business.

I think we are just as well without Winchester. The last interesting product they made was produced 1895. Since then they have been steadily in decline, with brief exceptions being of course during WW 1 and WW 2.You've got to be kidding! The guns they made in the 1950s were the best manufactured and most inovative sporting arms in the world, with lots of models and variations to please just about anyone. Do some research before you malign a great name like Winchester.

Rupestris
January 18, 2006, 03:18 PM
I'm sure production will resume in the future. Bad part is, it'll probably be in a third world country and quality will drop even further.

We'll just have to ask "Is that a Pre '06 model?" when buying used.:p

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 03:25 PM
A proper tribute:Winchester Repeating Arms Company of New Haven, Connecticut, is the greatest sporting arms factory in the world, an institution with an enormous plant in which are manufactured double-barreled shotguns, repeating shotguns, .22 bolt-action and slide-action rifles, bolt-action and lever-action big-game rifles, single-barrel shotguns, shotgun ammunition, center-fire metallic cartridges and rim-fire metallic cartridges. Winchester is unique. No other firm that I know of in the history of arms manufacture has turned out as many different kinds of sporting weapons in as great a quantity. -Jack O'Connor 1952, The Big-Game Rifle

AZ Jeff
January 18, 2006, 03:29 PM
I think we are just as well without Winchester. The last interesting product they made was produced 1895.
That's the first time I have heard someone suggest the M70 was not a notable rifle, and that arm was introduced WELL after 1895. I think you are being a bit shy with your praise for Winchester's product line in later years.

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 03:33 PM
A proper tribute:Winchester Repeating Arms Company of New Haven, Connecticut, is the greatest sporting arms factory in the world, an institution with an enormous plant in which are manufactured double-barreled shotguns, repeating shotguns, .22 bolt-action and slide-action rifles, bolt-action and lever-action big-game rifles, single-barrel shotguns, shotgun ammunition, center-fire metallic cartridges and rim-fire metallic cartridges. Winchester is unique. No other firm that I know of in the history of arms manufacture has turned out as many different kinds of sporting weapons in as great a quantity. -Jack O'Connor 1952, The Big-Game Rifle

AZ Jeff
January 18, 2006, 03:43 PM
I already responded to this criticism a few posts above, but you appear to have misidentified my position on the political spectrum. I am a right wing registered Republican. Naturally, if the Dems had their way we'd be in a worse mess than we are. Regardless, I expected the Republicans to defend our industries, as they had in our nation's past, but they have not done so, and show no interest even today in doing so. One by one we will lose them all, and the Republicans will just go on quoting Adam Smith as we become a nation of consumers, devoid of manufacturers.
My apologies if I misinterpreted your comments. Yes, the loss of manufacturing prowess in the US is a disturbing trend. Winchester's demise has it's roots in several complex issues including the following:
1. Winchester's inability/unwillingness to make capital eqpt. investments due to political climate for arms maker's in the US
2. US DOD desires to place R&D for small arms in the hands of the private sector, aggravating investment risks for outfits such as Winchester.
3. General US labor relations issues over the past 30+ years, versus other world labor markets

kentucky_smith
January 18, 2006, 03:45 PM
I love my Model 70 Classic Featherweight. Fit and finish is far superior to anything I've seen from Ruger or Remington.

MCgunner
January 18, 2006, 03:50 PM
The '94 had a 112 year run...:(

ATAShooter
January 18, 2006, 03:51 PM
Winchester has been bankrupt and bought out a couple of times. Like somebody already said, some company will lease the name and start production. I just hope it's a U.S. company. USRAC relied on it's sister company Browning too much to cater to the specialty groups ( Trap, Skeet, ect. ). USRAC wasn't crap to begin with,... they never listened to what the public wanted, and obviously bankruptcy is going to be the result when you don't do that. They ignored the groups of shooters, ( Trap, skeet, sporting clays, rifle, ect. ) and went with " Oh well, one gun, and if they don't like it ,...oh well" attitude. I feel no mercy for them. When you have big shoots, such as ATA state shoots, you should have reps there pushing those guns, listening to the shooters and their feedback. They didn't care, and NOW they whine like EEyore, " Oh bother, Christopher Robin, come pin my nuts back on ". They won't find any sympathy from me... if they want sympathy, they can find it in the dictionary between Sh*t and syphyllis. If Oliver Winchester could have seen what USRAC did to his name, he would roll over in his grave. I am a Model 12 shooter so I DO like Winchesters....REAL Winchesters.

alan
January 18, 2006, 03:52 PM
I couldn't find anything about this via Google News search. I'll keep looking.

a sad note from local paper, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, National Briefs, page A-6, 18 Jan edition.

By-lined New Haven, Conn. U.S. Repeating Arms Winchester factory scheduled to close 31 March, unless a buyer can be found. Closing attributed to "slumping firearms sales".

It was a small item in the paper.

f4t9r
January 18, 2006, 03:59 PM
If we keep going like This (USA) all guns and ammo are going to come from other countries. Just look around its happening.
Can you imagine calling One of these Countries in a time of War. Can you send guns and ammo so we can defend ourselfs against your Country.

Thank about it

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 04:01 PM
I love my Model 70 Classic Featherweight. Fit and finish is far superior to anything I've seen from Ruger or Remington.Ditto. Love my Classic Featherweight in .270 too. Much better fit and finish than anything I've seen from Ruger or Remington.

SSTHitman
January 18, 2006, 04:06 PM
I dont know if I could shoot anything other than a Mod. 70. I was hoping to add the .325 WSM to the collection this summer.

f4t9r
January 18, 2006, 04:09 PM
Maybe we could get a group buy here at THR and save the company.
Before it goes overseas like everything else.

Lonestar.45
January 18, 2006, 04:16 PM
Looks like those WSM's and WSSM's really helped out with sales, eh? :rolleyes:

Don't get me wrong. I love Winchester, but their WSM/WSSM campaign left me wondering if drunken monkeys had taken over the company.

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 04:20 PM
Looks like those WSM's and WSSM's really helped out with sales, eh? :rolleyes:

Don't get me wrong. I love Winchester, but their WSM/WSSM campaign left me wondering if drunken monkeys had taken over the company.I agree. Nobody needed those new rounds. Like we didn't already have great rounds for every conceivable purpose.

mtnbkr
January 18, 2006, 04:27 PM
Ditto. Love my Classic Featherweight in .270 too. Much better fit and finish than anything I've seen from Ruger or Remington.
The finish on my FWT was nice, but the fit left something to be desired. I don't really care since I bought it to be a hunting rifle. I did have to work on the barrel channel and I'll eventually glass bed the bottom metal's inletting since it's currently too deep. Still, once I did some work on it, it turned into a nice shooting rifle. The FWTs are the only Winchester I'd own right now.

Chris

Carl N. Brown
January 18, 2006, 04:35 PM
My gut feeling has been that Winchester has not been Winchester
since Olin Matheson took over in the 1960's.

It still hurts to see Winchester go the way of Harrington & Richardson
and so many other gun names I grew up with.

ATAShooter
January 18, 2006, 04:46 PM
Winchester has been bankrupt and bought out a couple of times. Like somebody already said, some company will lease the name and start production. I just hope it's a U.S. company. USRAC relied on it's sister company Browning too much to cater to the specialty groups ( Trap, Skeet, ect. ). USRAC wasn't crap to begin with,... they never listened to what the public wanted, and obviously bankruptcy is going to be the result when you don't do that. They ignored the groups of shooters, ( Trap, skeet, sporting clays, rifle, ect. ) and went with " Oh well, one gun, and if they don't like it ,...oh well" attitude. I feel no mercy for them. When you have big shoots, such as ATA state shoots, you should have reps there pushing those guns, listening to the shooters and their feedback. They didn't care, and NOW they whine like EEyore, " Oh bother, Christopher Robin, come pin my nuts back on ". They won't find any sympathy from me... if they want sympathy, they can find it in the dictionary between Sh*t and syphyllis. If Oliver Winchester could have seen what USRAC did to his name, he would roll over in his grave. I am a Model 12 shooter so I DO like Winchesters....REAL Winchesters.

chuckles
January 18, 2006, 04:55 PM
It makes me sick to think they are going. I have a 9422, A Win Garand, and a 95 and just ordered a new 94 and couldn't be happier. Maybe if I'd bought some earlier they would still be around. :(

ArmedBear
January 18, 2006, 04:57 PM
The FWTs are the only Winchester I'd own right now.


I like their O/U's. I know some people have had bad luck with them, but the ones I've played with are well put together.

Other than that, the Featherweight.

Some M70's might be nice if they weren't being used as a vehicle to foist redundant proprietary cartridges on hunters. Turned me off right away.

The 94 is arguably the worst lever gun on the market. How the mighty have fallen. CAS could have saved Winchester, but obviously the company WAS managed by monkeys.

As it stands, I'd choose a Marlin, American-made and a better gun with a better design and better quality for the same money. Or, I'd get an Uberti for vintage beauty, or a Puma. Note that Uberti sells more SAA's than Colt because Colt's guns are three to four times as expensive. But Uberti gets twice the money for a "Winchester" that Winchester does! If you've handled (fondled?) an Uberti lever gun, you know why.

If it didn't take so long, I'd think someone wanted to sink the company for a tax writeoff or something.

adaman04
January 18, 2006, 05:01 PM
A big problem for me and a lot of other is how some models are offered in very limited calibers, most of which are the WSM and WSSM rounds. They pushed those rounds so hard that it hurt them quite a bit. A couple of guns I was looking at went something like this:

"Wow, that's a nice Winchester, can I get one in .223?"
"Yep...223 WSSM"
"No thanks."

They are cool rounds, but for shooting crows, a dollar a pop is a little much. All they could do now, is tool down and start making less models and drop the price DRASTICALLY, just like Savage did in the 1990s when they almost went under. Now look at Savage, they're thriving.

They should make the featherweight rifles in both finishes and DROP THAT PRICE. I know if the price went down I could find a reason to buy one, even though I don't neccessarily need one.

Omaha-BeenGlockin
January 18, 2006, 05:01 PM
On the short mags---at one of the local dealers----EVERY Browning and Winchester on the rack is a short mag of some sort---I almost bought into the hype when they first came out---but now have no desire for one at all---good luck finding even a plain jane .223--.308--.270 or .30-06.

I can honestly say at least Browning has lost out on a sale due to that situation---and I took a Ruger home in a standard caliber.

The strange looking rifles(long barrel--short stock)--feeding problems---less rounds in the magazine---high cost--- and limited availability of the short mags is what put me off.

MechAg94
January 18, 2006, 05:02 PM
Winchester has been bankrupt and bought out a couple of times. Like somebody already said, some company will lease the name and start production. I just hope it's a U.S. company. USRAC relied on it's sister company Browning too much to cater to the specialty groups ( Trap, Skeet, ect. ). USRAC wasn't crap to begin with,... they never listened to what the public wanted, and obviously bankruptcy is going to be the result when you don't do that. They ignored the groups of shooters, ( Trap, skeet, sporting clays, rifle, ect. ) and went with " Oh well, one gun, and if they don't like it ,...oh well" attitude. I feel no mercy for them. When you have big shoots, such as ATA state shoots, you should have reps there pushing those guns, listening to the shooters and their feedback. They didn't care, and NOW they whine like EEyore, " Oh bother, Christopher Robin, come pin my nuts back on ". They won't find any sympathy from me... if they want sympathy, they can find it in the dictionary between Sh*t and syphyllis. If Oliver Winchester could have seen what USRAC did to his name, he would roll over in his grave. I am a Model 12 shooter so I DO like Winchesters....REAL Winchesters.

I am glad the Republicans are not bailing out American companies that fail due to their own bad business practices. That last thing we need is for the govt to prop up companies that are hacking it even if it is a company with a name like this. The best thing they can do is remove some regulations to make it easier for new gun companies to start up in the US. I am sure someone will eventually make a Winchester brand or copy at some point.

EJ
January 18, 2006, 05:04 PM
Anytime we lose a US company it is sad -- It's unfortunate that USRA couldn't be more responsive and capture a portion of the cowboy action market instead of leaving it to Uberti et all--

ArmedBear
January 18, 2006, 05:10 PM
They are cool rounds, but for shooting crows, a dollar a pop is a little much.

You're not even factoring in the price of a new barrel for the barrel-burner!:)

rockstar.esq
January 18, 2006, 05:48 PM
Truly sad to hear that Winchester's on the block again however I have to agree with ATAShooter in that Winchester wasn't paying attention to average shooters. I know there is a difference between a shooter and a collector. A shooter values a firearm for what it's worth to him. A collector values a firearm by what it's worth to someone else. For collectors Winchester was a means to an end, for the rest of us other options were/ are simply a better value. Maybe the next owner could oblige us with a website that was worth a hoot!

colt.45
January 18, 2006, 05:52 PM
this is the worst news ive ever heard. my dad talked to a guy in carters country gun store and colt might do the same and then start over:(:mad::(:mad: i love colt, its my name and both companies are a part of america.

Lone_Gunman
January 18, 2006, 06:06 PM
I guess some of you guys like Winchester better than me...

As for the Model 70, it is a good gun and I guess a lot of people like them, but I personally don't think it is all that notable. Its just another bolt action rifle that does the same thing about 10 other brands would do.

I guess I am gonna get flamed for saying this, but we will all do fine without the Model 70.

As for the comment about the 94's produced in the 1950's being some of the best production guns around, that maybe true, but Winchester was a different company, with different owners back then too. Their current 94s are pretty low on my desirability list.

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 06:36 PM
But Uberti gets twice the money for a "Winchester" that Winchester does! If you've handled (fondled?) an Uberti lever gun, you know why.How long do you think it will be before Uberti starts putting out some really well made Model 94s? I have one of their '73s and one of their '66 Yellow Boys. Truely finely made weapons. Cost a bundle, but worth it. And no safeties other than originally designed to have.

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 06:41 PM
On the short mags---at one of the local dealers----EVERY Browning and Winchester on the rack is a short mag of some sort---I almost bought into the hype when they first came out---but now have no desire for one at all---good luck finding even a plain jane .223--.308--.270 or .30-06.

I can honestly say at least Browning has lost out on a sale due to that situation---and I took a Ruger home in a standard caliber.

The strange looking rifles(long barrel--short stock)--feeding problems---less rounds in the magazine---high cost--- and limited availability of the short mags is what put me off.Very true. Winchester lost a sale from me recently because of that. I have been hankering for a Winchester Classic 70 Super Grade in .35 Whelen. Called the company and was told that the closest they have to that is one chambered for the new .325 WSM. No thanks.

Lone_Gunman
January 18, 2006, 06:41 PM
How long do you think it will be before Uberti starts putting out some really well made Model 94s?

I am not sure they will do that. They might, but I am not sure how much appeal the 94 has to the cowboy crowd. The Ubertis are much nicer than any new Winchester... and if they do as good a job with the 94, they will cost more than people are used to paying.

mtnbkr
January 18, 2006, 07:04 PM
I guess I am gonna get flamed for saying this, but we will all do fine without the Model 70.
I agree. The only bolt rifle they make that I'd buy again is the Featherweight (even with the warts mine had). I like it's styling, the way it fits me, and the weight. Nobody else makes a gun like that. The other 70s are just standard bolt guns.

Chris

Father Knows Best
January 18, 2006, 07:17 PM
I am not sure they will do that. They might, but I am not sure how much appeal the 94 has to the cowboy crowd. The Ubertis are much nicer than any new Winchester... and if they do as good a job with the 94, they will cost more than people are used to paying.

Agreed. The Winchester 94 is a piss-poor rifle for cowboy action shooting. The main problem is the action length. Cowboy action uses pistol cartridges. The 94 action was designed for longer cartridges like the .30-30. It doesn't scale down well. The Uberti 1860, 1866 and 1873 replicas are all replicas of guns designed for pistol length cartridges. The toggle link action uses in those guns is also exceptionally smooth and fast, though much weaker than the 94 action. Since cowboy action shooting uses light loads, though, the relative weakness of the toggle link action is no disadvantage.

The Winchester 92 is a decent cowboy action rifle, but hasn't been built with the Winchester name on it in a long, long time. Instead, companies like Taurus and Rossi have been making them. Even Browning got into the act for a while with the Japanese (Miroku) built versions, which are of very high quality.

I think you could make some money in cowboy shooting with the Winchester brand, but it would come from selling Winchester branded recreations of the models 1873 and 1892, not the 94. I think a good Winchester branded double gun would also sell (remember the model 21?).

The Real Hawkeye
January 18, 2006, 08:08 PM
The Winchester 92 is a decent cowboy action rifle, but hasn't been built with the Winchester name on it in a long, long time.Actually, I bought a newly manufactured Winchester 92 just a few years ago. It was made in Japan, but had the Winchester name on it. Very well made rifle with an excellent trigger. Only problem with it is that it's got a manual safety, which somewhat lessons the appeal. It's in .44 Mag, so it could make a fine close range deer/black bear/boar gun. Had it for a few years, but have never fired it. Maybe I'll keep it that way and see what kind of price it will bring after Winchester closes its doors. I even have the box it came in, with the paperwork and owner's manual.

Spec ops Grunt
January 18, 2006, 09:04 PM
Well I better hurry up and get an adult stock for my 1300 before there gone.

Dr.Rob
January 18, 2006, 09:08 PM
The only Winchester in my safe is a double shotgun from the 50's... model 24 I think. Never wanted a Winchester rifle. (Ok maybe the 70 safari series)

Sad days ahead unless FN renegociates a better deal...

:cuss:

benEzra
January 18, 2006, 09:09 PM
Winchester hasn't been Winchester in many years. What do you expect, trying to run a firearms plant in the socialist utopia of New England.
Lots of successful gun companies in New England. Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Bushmaster, and (I think) Springfield Armory come to mind. S&W is even in Massachusetts...

Ironbarr
January 18, 2006, 09:38 PM
Lots of successful gun companies in New England. Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Bushmaster, and (I think) Springfield Armory come to mind. S&W is even in Massachusetts...Didn't we just go through an example of foreign management with S&W???

Bigman
January 18, 2006, 11:10 PM
Winchester is going out of busines March 1 -2006
now watch every thing that says winchester Go sky high
in the price
this is what im doing every thing that says winchester
if i can buy it at a good price
im buying as much as i can

good investment

Bigman
January 18, 2006, 11:15 PM
USRAC (manufacturers of Winchester firearms) is closing as of April 2006. The company has been losing money for years and the owners (FN Herstal) finally decided it was bleeding them enough.
It was announced to us because we supply parts to them.

lawson4
I was told winchester is out of busines march-1 -2006

watch the prices of winchester merchandise sky rocket
in price

NeoCon
January 18, 2006, 11:39 PM
I saw this come up on other discussion boards today. But I am not yet convinced. The places one would expect to see such a statement - the Wall Street Journal and trade publications do not have anything. Furthermore of the many newspapers that carried this story on 18 January, they all carried the same AP story written by Matt Apuzzo. At a quick glance it doesn't look like local papers had their own reporters cover this story. Hopefully it is just a hoax.

Cosmoline
January 18, 2006, 11:41 PM
I don't like seeing a QUALITY US arms maker go under. But Winchester stopped being that a long time ago. The company's best years were pre '64. The recent production has ranged from medium quality .30-30's to absolutely horrible CAS carbines. On the plus side, Marlin should see a boost from this.

BTW, this has been CONFIRMED with bells on:

http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/ap/2006/01/18/ap2459202.html

http://espn.go.com/outdoors/hunting/news/2006/0118/2297213.html

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/connecticut/ny-bc-ct--winchesterclosing0118jan18,0,126625.story?coll=ny-region-apconnecticut

jeff-10
January 18, 2006, 11:54 PM
But I am not yet convinced. The places one would expect to see such a statement - the Wall Street Journal and trade publications do not have anything.

Cosmoline's links obviously shows it isn't a hoax. The reason it isn't making a lot of news is because the factory only employs 200 ppl. It seems Winchester has been dying the slow death for awhile now.

losangeles
January 19, 2006, 12:39 AM
Wow, and I was thinking about getting a 94 recently.

OK, I can see how the price will increase due to supply-and-demand, which is an upside. But if it becomes a discontinued model, I can see some downsides. That means new parts may (not always the case of old guns) no longer be produced and you certainly won't have a factory warranty for your recent purchase.

Ryder
January 19, 2006, 01:34 AM
I only have one, not plans for another

280PLUS
January 19, 2006, 08:16 AM
Just fyi ( i haven't read the whole thread) but there was an article about the closing in yesterday's (1/18/06) Hartford Courant Business section...
Here it is as a matter of fact:

Traditional Winchester rifles to be discontinued when plant closes
January 19, 2006
Associated Press NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The traditional Winchester rifles carried by pioneers, movie stars and Wild West lawmen will be discontinued in March, a Belgian manufacturer said Wednesday, confirming the end of an American icon that became known as "The Gun that Won the West."

Once the U.S. Repeating Arms plant closes March 31, the only new rifles carrying the famous Winchester name will be the modern, high-end models produced in Belgium, Japan and Portugal. The older models, including the famous Winchester Model 94, will be scrapped.


"The name will continue, but not with those traditional products," said Robert Sauvage, a spokesman for the Herstal Group, the Belgian company that owns U.S. Repeating Arms and the right to the Winchester name.

Herstal announced Tuesday that the U.S. Repeating Arms factory in New Haven would soon close, capping 140 years of Winchester manufacturing in the city.

"Economically speaking, we cannot continue. We have lost a lot of money," Sauvage said.

More than 19,000 Winchester employees worked in New Haven during World War II, but after years of a softening firearms market, the plant now employs fewer than 200. All will lose their jobs when the plant closes.

Officials and union leaders said they hoped someone would buy the plant and continue building the traditional rifles, but the Winchester name wouldn't necessarily come with the factory. Such an arrangement would need to be worked out separately.

Missouri-based Olin Corp. owns the Winchester brand name. In the late 1970s, after a massive strike by its machinists, Olin sold the plant to U.S. Repeating Arms along with the right to use the Winchester name until next year.

Sauvage said the Herstal Group wants to extend that right past 2007 but Olin has not decided whether to allow it. Spokeswoman Ann Pipkin said Olin is disappointed with Herstal's decision to close the plant and may sell the Winchester naming rights to someone else.

"The legendary Winchester name, we want it to be on a great-quality firearm," she said.

The Winchester model 1873 lever action rifle, popular among American frontiersmen at the end of the 19th century for its reliability, inspired the 1950 James Stewart film "Winchester '73."

John Wayne made the Winchester a signature of his movies and Chuck Connors posed menacingly with his Winchester on advertisements for the television series "The Rifleman."

President Teddy Roosevelt was also a Winchester devotee, using the 1895 model on his famous 1909 African safari, which historians credited with boosting the sale of Winchester sporting rifles.

While collectors were drawn to Winchester's many commemorative or special-edition rifles, sportsmen often still hunt with rifles that are generations old, a longevity that historian R.L. Wilson said became both the hallmark of the Winchester brand and part of its demise.

"It's not unusual in my work, I'll talk to someone, they'll say, 'I've got my rifle that belonged to my grandfather. I'm still using it,"' Wilson said. "These things get recycled as long as you keep a gun clean and you look after it."

Sauvage said Herstal is proud to have manufactured Winchester rifles for so long. He said he thinks customers will continue buying the new line of weapons, which can be produced quickly and for less money, because Belgium, like America, has a reputation for quality manufacturing.

Others say it won't be the same.

"It would be like Chevrolet going out of business or Chevrolet being made in Japan or China," firearms historian Ned Schwing said. "Winchester is an American legend, whether you're a gun person or not."

Father Knows Best
January 19, 2006, 10:22 AM
Actually, I bought a newly manufactured Winchester 92 just a few years ago. It was made in Japan, but had the Winchester name on it. Very well made rifle with an excellent trigger. Only problem with it is that it's got a manual safety, which somewhat lessons the appeal. It's in .44 Mag, so it could make a fine close range deer/black bear/boar gun. Had it for a few years, but have never fired it. Maybe I'll keep it that way and see what kind of price it will bring after Winchester closes its doors. I even have the box it came in, with the paperwork and owner's manual.

I stand corrected. Apparently, Miroku has been building them in "limited editions" under license again for the last few years. The current CDNN catalog lists them (along with "limited edition" Winchester 1885's and 1886's).

That just proves my point. Miroku isn't going away, and neither is Olin (who owns the Winchester name). I've got 50 bucks that says Miroku keeps right on churning out those model 1892's. Miroku or someone else will also pick up the rights to produce model 94's, model 70's, etc.

Father Knows Best
January 19, 2006, 10:27 AM
This is crap:

Traditional Winchester rifles to be discontinued when plant closes
January 19, 2006
Associated Press NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The traditional Winchester rifles carried by pioneers, movie stars and Wild West lawmen will be discontinued in March, a Belgian manufacturer said Wednesday, confirming the end of an American icon that became known as "The Gun that Won the West."

Once the U.S. Repeating Arms plant closes March 31, the only new rifles carrying the famous Winchester name will be the modern, high-end models produced in Belgium, Japan and Portugal. The older models, including the famous Winchester Model 94, will be scrapped.

"he name will continue, but not with those traditional products," said Robert Sauvage, a spokesman for the Herstal Group, the Belgian company that owns U.S. Repeating Arms and the right to the Winchester name.

First of all, many "traditional" Winchester products are already being produced overseas by other companies. These include the models 1885, 1886 and 1892. They'll continue for sure. Olin (the company that actually owns the Winchester Firearms brand) will see to that.

Second, the model 94 will not be "scrapped." The Belgian company (FNH) that has held the license from Olin since 1981 will no longer be making it. If there is a demand for it, Olin will license the rights to someone else. I'm sure Miroku, which has been making the model 92 for 30+ years, is quite capable of making the model 94. The quality would almost certainly improve, as Miroku 92's are fine rifles.

Finally, the model 94 was NOT "the Gun that won the west." If any Winchester rifle can lay claim to that title, it is the model 1873. The only producer of the model 1873 for the last half century or more has been Uberti. Even the model 92 has more claim to that title, and USRAC never (to my knowledge) built the model 92. The model 92 has been built in Japan (Miroku), Brazil (Rossi) and Italy over the last 30 some years, but not in the U.S. All indications are that the 1873 and 1892 models will continue to be produced in those places, just as they always have been.

Father Knows Best
January 19, 2006, 10:28 AM
watch the prices of winchester merchandise sky rocket
in price

If you believe that, then I have a couple of bridges to sell you.

AirPower
January 19, 2006, 11:03 AM
Here's a thought, why wouldn't FN Herstal just keep the Winchester name and plant, import semi complete rifles such as PS90 and PS2000, and then assemble them under Winchester. Now FN can duck under the import ban and have easy access to US market, also you have Winchester guns made for 21st Century. Woulnd't that be pretty cool?

Slater
January 19, 2006, 12:52 PM
The Winchester 1300 Defender sells/sold for around $270-300 in my neck of the woods. A Norinco Ithaca 37 clone sells for $150, and I think the Remmy 870 knockoff is similar. The Chinese can make an all-steel (including the trigger guard) shotgun for half of what it costs Winchester to make a shotgun with an aluminum receiver and plastic trigger guard. I guess the economics were indisputable. The Benelli Nova is giving that segment of the market a run for it's money too.

Father Knows Best
January 19, 2006, 02:23 PM
Here's a thought, why wouldn't FN Herstal just keep the Winchester name and plant, import semi complete rifles such as PS90 and PS2000, and then assemble them under Winchester. Now FN can duck under the import ban and have easy access to US market, also you have Winchester guns made for 21st Century. Woulnd't that be pretty cool?

Because FNH doesn't own the Winchester name. It just licensed it for 25 years from the actual owner (Olin Corp.). Under U.S. trademark laws, the OWNER of the trademark (not the licensee) has to exercise control over its use and take reasonable steps to ensure quality, etc. Thus, the terms of the license agreement between Olin and FNH almost certainly restrict the use of the Winchester brand name to certain specified models, made in certain places and to certain acceptable quality standards (not very high, apparently). FNH has to get Olin's permission to put the Winchester brand name on any new model.

Olin has no incentive to allow the use of the Winchester brand name on a modern firearm like an assault rifle. The "Winchester" brand is iconic. It is American and stands for the old west and traditional American values. It is inconsistent in many ways with 21st century plastic assault rifles. Olin likely believes that allowing its use on such guns would dilute the value of the brand.

In addition, FNH would never want to use the brand in that way for the simple reason that FNH doesn't own it. If FNH marketed the PS2000 as a "Winchester", and was successful, then what happens when the license agreement expires? FNH would lose the right to continue marketing under a brand name that is established, or would have to pay through the nose for a renewal of the license. FNH is much more interested in establishing and enhancing the value of brands that it actually owns.

The Real Hawkeye
January 19, 2006, 04:45 PM
I stand corrected. Apparently, Miroku has been building them in "limited editions" under license again for the last few years. The current CDNN catalog lists them (along with "limited edition" Winchester 1885's and 1886's).

That just proves my point. Miroku isn't going away, and neither is Olin (who owns the Winchester name). I've got 50 bucks that says Miroku keeps right on churning out those model 1892's. Miroku or someone else will also pick up the rights to produce model 94's, model 70's, etc.I hope you are correct. I would like to see what they could do for the Model 70 Super Grade. Would be nice if they offered them in traditional American Calibers, including .35 Whelen, and not in WSM calibers. If the quality would be as good as the Miroku Model 92 that I already have, I bet that would be a dandy of a Model 70 Super Grade.

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