AP/ SF Chronicle on S&W 500 Mag


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Guy B. Meredith
February 13, 2003, 11:16 PM
Check out

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/a/2003/02/13/national1107EST0565.DTL

Note the political content of the last two paragraphs.


Smith & Wesson introduces .50
caliber revolver

TRUDY TYNAN, Associated Press Writer

Thursday, February 13, 2003

(02-13) 14:59 PST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) --

Dirty Harry is now outgunned: Smith & Wesson has introduced its biggest handgun ever, a .50-caliber Magnum.

The five-shot revolver with an 81/2-inch barrel weighs about 41/2 pounds -- roughly a pound more than the big black .44 Magnum wielded by Clint Eastwood in the Dirty Harry movies. It fires a new .50-caliber cartridge that the company said produces nearly three times the muzzle energy of the .44 -- or enough stopping power to bring down a charging bear.

"The primary market for it is hunting" big game, spokesman Ken Jorgensen said.

Steve Comus, publications director of the Safari Club International, said he expects Smith & Wesson to sell several thousand of the weapons to sportsmen interested in hunting with handguns.

Some questioned the wisdom of producing a more powerful handgun.

"It boggles the mind," said Tom Ortiz, executive director of the Violence Policy Center. He predicted the new Magnum would create "a new order of threat to law enforcement."

Smith & Wesson first brought out the .44 Magnum in the 1950s.

The new gun, which sells for $989, is one of nine models Smith & Wesson introduced this week at a trade show in Orlando, Fla. President Roy C. Cuny said it was the largest number of new introductions in recent years.

The introduction of the big gun marks a sharp departure for the 150-year-old company, which for the past five years has concentrated on the development of lightweight revolvers using alloys of rare metals.

Among the other new guns being introduced by Smith & Wesson is the industry's lightest-ever .44 Magnum. It has a 4-inch barrel, scandium frame and titanium cylinder, and weighs in at 1 pound, 101/2 ounces.

"We see this as an opportunity for backpackers," Cuny said. "A light firearm of this caliber, in fact, provides protection against bears and other big things."

Despite a spike following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, handgun sales have long been on the decline in the United States, and Smith & Wesson has struggled along with other gunmakers.

But Smith & Wesson, long the industry leader, also lost business in recent years after striking a deal with the Clinton administration in 2000 to install safety locks on all its guns and change its marketing practices. Other gunmakers decided not to follow Smith & Wesson's lead, and gun advocates accused the company of selling out.

In 2001, the ailing gunmaker was sold by its British owner to an Arizona startup company that all but abandoned the agreement with the government and adopted an aggressive and unapologetic marketing stance.

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10-Ring
February 14, 2003, 12:00 AM
SF could easily be the most liberal city in this state & the chronicle the most liberal paper in that city. Of course they're gonna slam S&W's new guns...you expected any less?
They should've outlawed Twinkies too!:banghead:

gun-fucious
February 14, 2003, 12:00 AM
"It boggles the mind," said Tom Ortiz, executive director of the Violence Policy Center. He predicted the new Magnum would create "a new order of threat to law enforcement."


yeah right,
those Balmer street thugs are gonna trade in their 25 cal ravens for a thousand dollar 50 mag

DadOfThree
February 14, 2003, 01:06 AM
No, what boggles the mind (and probably a few brain cells) is
Among the other new guns being introduced by Smith & Wesson is the industry's lightest-ever .44 Magnum. It has a 4-inch barrel, scandium frame and titanium cylinder, and weighs in at 1 pound, 101/2 ounces.
shooting a 1 1/2 pound .44 mag pistol!! OUCH!! :D

Guy B. Meredith
February 14, 2003, 01:22 AM
The interesting thing is that this is more in the tone of a new product announcement. I cannot remember ANY firearm products being given public exposure in terms of being a new or novel product rather than the "cause" of a crime. Maybe I just don't read papers often enough.

Actually I thought the article was pretty even handed considering the SF Chronicle's editorial bent. On the other hand, a Boston rag omitted the VPC comment.

Sactown
February 14, 2003, 01:23 AM
What the heck does a VPC croney have to do with Smith and Wesson's new firearm? Is the Chronicle going to have editorial comment from Alcoholics Anonymous when they do a wine review? Should Weight Watchers have comment for restaurant reviews? Maybe have some environmentalists weigh in on new truck reviews? Stop the madness.

Justin
February 14, 2003, 01:29 AM
"It boggles the mind," said Tom Ortiz, executive director of the Violence Policy Center. He predicted the new Magnum would create "a new order of threat to law enforcement." If anything is boggling, it's how I can manage to keep my dinner down after reading a statement like that.

Seriously.

Are these people really that stupid?

Kahr carrier
February 14, 2003, 06:52 AM
What boogles my mind is how S&W new pistol offerings are around $900-$1000 dollars,like their 500 Mag ,45 Pc revolver and their version of the 1911 . Heck you almost have to rob a bank to buy one of their guns.:(

Guy B. Meredith
February 14, 2003, 12:12 PM
Kahr carrier,

The prices have been about the same for several years, so at least you can find solace that you are not paying for current inflation.

My budget would never have allowed a PC revolver, either. Luckily S&W was nice enough to supply one for a raffle I won. My PC627 V-Comp cost me $20 in raffle tickets and also FFL fees.

The 627 with the tapered barrel is the one I had been hoping I would win in the raffle rather than the V-Comp, but for $20 I won't complain.

The 500 is not even a possibility for my shopping list. Wrong price and don't need something that big for anything I'm likely to do.

David Roberson
February 14, 2003, 01:31 PM
I liked this part, re the sellout to the Clinton administration:

"In 2001, the ailing gunmaker was sold by its British owner to an Arizona startup company that all but abandoned the agreement..."

Yeah, ALL BUT ABANDONED. When S&W repudiates this traitorous deal with something approaching the level of publicity with which they announced its signing, then I'll consider getting another S&W. Until then, the .500 Magnum and oll other S&W guns can sit on shelves unsold as far as I care.

Time for Mike Irwin to chime in here, too.

Standing Wolf
February 14, 2003, 09:40 PM
"It boggles the mind," said Tom Ortiz, executive director of the Violence Policy Center. He predicted the new Magnum would create "a new order of threat to law enforcement."

Nope. The revolving door so-called "criminal justice system" still poses the greatest danger to law enforcement officers.

Mike Irwin
February 15, 2003, 02:00 AM
"All but abandoned the agreement..."

That's not unlike Ted Kennedy all by diving back down to save Mary Jo...

That's not unlike Bill Clinton all but telling the truth to the American people his Oval Office hijinks.

That's not unlike Saadam Hussein all but cooperating with weapons inspectors, or destroying his stocks of biological weapons.

In other words, it sounds nice, but the reality is anything but.

When the next anti-gun administration comes into office and it needs to make very visible political hay, let's see how well that "all but abandonment" serves either S&W or American gunowners.

Maybe then we can all but have our Second Amendment rights...

With all but "friends" like Smith & Wesson, who all but needs enemies?

Justin
February 15, 2003, 02:48 AM
A question about the oft-lamented agreement:

S&W signed on after being promised certain things by the Clinton administration (LEO/military contracts, and immunity from being sued.) Then, the Clinton administration stood by while various municipalities attempted to sue the bejeezus out of S&W.

So it's obvious that the Clinton administration didn't hold up their end of the bargain.
S&W didn't hold up their end (after being sold off.)

Does this not, in effect, make the agreement null and void?
I mean, even if Clinton 2 got elected to office and tried to enforce the agreement, wouldn't S&W's lawyers just have to point out that the agreement is toast due to Clinton's justice dept. reneging on the original requirements?

Not trying to start a flame war, just honestly curious.:confused:

larryw
February 15, 2003, 01:18 PM
Justin, those are reasonable questions. Apparently, some would rather have SW get into a legal battle with the same Federal Govt who's already said that the agreement wouldn't be enforced.

Yep, lets pick a fight with a larger opponent who's already walked away saying, "you win". :rolleyes:

David Roberson
February 15, 2003, 06:48 PM
Of course, the truth is that the federal government hasn't said "You win," or anything close to it. Some Bush administration officials have simply said that they don't intend to enforce the agreement. Not that it's null and void, or cancelled, or anything else. Just not enforced right now. If I drive 75 in a 65 zone on the interstate and a state trooper sees me but doesn't stop me and write me up, that doesn't mean that speed limits are abandoned, just that the trooper didn't feel like writing me a ticket at the moment. Another one tomorrow may have a different idea.

You can bet that President Hillary Rodham Clinton will be more than willing to enforce the agreement. And why not? S&W signed it with great fanfare and self-congratulation, and has taken no steps to disentangle itself from the pact.

When I see a public announcement from S&W that they've abandoned the agreement, a pledge not to do something like this again, and an apology for trying to sell out the rights of their customers, I'll go buy a Performance Center gun the next day and will fight tooth and nail to defend them. Until then, I wish them a speedy bankruptcy.

JeremyIA
February 15, 2003, 07:06 PM
David Roberson--Why should the new owners of S&W apologize for the idiocy of the UK creeps that used to own the company? The deal is scrapped and they went to HUD to make sure it was scrapped. They've been quite public about it. What do you want? Do you want the new owners (who had NOTHING to do with the original deal) to hang a few folks or maybe do some public bloodletting?

larryw
February 15, 2003, 07:42 PM
The agreement was never finalized as it needed a signature from a judge to become a consent decree; it was little more than a PR stunt and is just as enforceable. Take a look at the SW section on the top of this page (http://www.shotshowreports.com/2002pg2.html) for some relevant info, the details on the "agreement" and their current status.

Boycott did the job intended: Brits dumped and ran, and now, instead of blaming them for the stupidity of ONE person, its time to put the good people who remain at SW back to work.

Standing Wolf
February 15, 2003, 09:20 PM
When S&W repudiates this traitorous deal with something approaching the level of publicity with which they announced its signing, then I'll consider getting another S&W. Until then, the .500 Magnum and oll other S&W guns can sit on shelves unsold as far as I care.

I'll buy used Smith & Wessons, but I don't do business with anti-Second Amendment bigots.

David Roberson
February 16, 2003, 02:49 PM
JeremyIA -- Your report that the deal has been scrapped and that S&W has confirmed this with HUD is wonderful news. I have followed this case closely for years and you are the first I know of to announce this. Please provide a citation of your source for this information.

Larryw, I noted with interest that the page you cite indicates S&W asked the AG to let them out of the agreement, but that he only announced that it wouldn't be enforced. Do you see any difference? (How long do you think Ashcroft will be AG?) Also, these confidential whisperings by S&W representatives about the status of the agreement have been going on ever since they signed it. I myself had a lying S&W rep at the NRA annual convention tell me that S&W wasn't actually going to do anything to live up to the agreement. This was only days before I heard from dealers who had just received from S&W their documents spelling out what dealers had to do to continue selling S&W guns.

If the agreement is really dead, why doesn't S&W make a formal announcement to that end? They could say that the government has violated its end of the agreement and that it's therefore void, as Justin suggests, or they could announce in combination with HUD or the AG that the agreement is officially void (not simply "not being enforced today"). Instead, the company quietly tells all sorts of things to compliant gun writers and buys large ads in previously-skeptical gun publications such as American Handgunner that then write stories about how great S&W is and how we should start buying their guns again and put Americans back to work.

Standing Wolf, I'm with you.

S&W was very vocal and public about signing the agreement. If it has been cancelled or voided, they should be equally willing to announce this and to admit that their effort to curry favor with the goverment was a mistake.

(Edited to correct a spelling and a punctuation error.)

Don Gwinn
February 16, 2003, 03:18 PM
JeremyIA, I'm sorry, I'm going to have to ask for your source on that. Not only have I never seen that happen, I have never been in contact with anyone who did. If they did that, I would commit to buy a new S&W in the next year. I'll say this, though. If S&W has indeed arranged with HUD to have the deal voided, they have not been at all "public about it." To the contrary, they're keeping it awfully secret. I was moderating the Legal and Political forum at TFL before the deal happened, and never since has anyone even suggested that the deal was ever actually voided.

LarryW, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to call shenanigans on your statement as well. This administration is choosing, for now, not to enforce the terms of the agreement. They have NOT said "you win" or anything of the sort, and they have NOT, unless JeremyIA's secret source is correct, abrogated the agreement. It remains in effect. They can choose to enforce it whenever they need to. For instance, if there were, say, a debate over the Assault Weapons ban sunset a year from now, and George Bush decided he needed to distance himself from gun owners, he could easily announce that he's going to enforce the terms.

Assuming that doesn't happen, the next administration could easily be the one to do it. The next administration might be Democrats. They might be RINOs. We just don't know.

The agreement was never finalized as it needed a signature from a judge to become a consent decree;
With all due respect, every lawyer on TFL said that simply wasn't true. Are you a lawyer? Can you explain your legal reasoning as to why a simple contract between two parties requires a judge's signature? There's no judge's signature on my contract with my employer.

BOBE
February 16, 2003, 03:26 PM
Someone earlier in this thread asked "Are these people really that stupid?" Never believe that these people are stupid! But remember this; they have an agenda, and will use any way or means to influence people to think their way!!

waterdog
February 16, 2003, 05:02 PM
S&W sure is trying to get some market share back after f*****g
the Americann gun owner.

I like others, won't buy one of their guns until the agreement is GONE, not just sitting there waiting for the next admin.

waterdog

MountainPeak
February 16, 2003, 06:42 PM
I'm glad they informed me my boycott was over "safety locks"! :D :rolleyes:

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