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What does the future hold for American gun companies?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Got_Lead?, Jul 19, 2011.

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  1. Got_Lead?

    Got_Lead? Member

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    It upsets me to read of the recent posts about Marlin shutting down its New Haven facility. And I'm not sure what to think about them being bought by Remington, and moving any remaining products to be made in Ilon. But it does concern me that I'm reading about lower quality, and poor customer service since the acquisition. Maybe this is just part of the learning curve, but somehow, I think it goes much deeper.

    I'm not sure what's happening to America. It used to be in this country, that people and companies took pride in making a quality product, and making it available for an affordable price. Sure, a company had to make a profit to stay in business, but that profit was based on a reasonable percentage, not "what the market would bear". But the name of the game today seems to be only to maximize profits. This was perhaps the death knell of the old world craftsmen, the men who fitted, polished, and took such pride in producing the finest firearms this world has ever seen.

    Sure, all the latest utility guns are very functional and inovative. But, if you've ever handled an old Colt, or Smith, there's a pleasure and satisfaction to be had just appreciating the craftsmanship that went into such a fine weapon. These are all pretty much things of a bygone era in this country, and it makes me a little sad.

    Call me a dismalist, but there sure seems to be a trend of gun companies closing their doors, and the ones remaining open having to fight the good fight, not only of economic woes, but of litigation, over and over, until they too seccumb.

    What will become of American gun companies?
     
  2. forestdavegump

    forestdavegump Member

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    Yes it saddens us all :(
     
  3. Lonerider357

    Lonerider357 Member

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    Yep, The new Remarlins are CRAP!!
    Heard of at least 3 that had to be returned for money back because even the best gunsmith couldn't make them work right!
     
  4. kwelz

    kwelz Member

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    Nostalgia has it's place. But that doesn't mean it is always right. The quality guns from today are every bit as good as these "fitted and polished weapons" It is kind of like saying that Cars today are inferior because they are not made by hand like the very early models.

    Now I won't disagree with you that some companies are taking the easy way out. Cerberus has really done a number on Marlin, Remington, and many of the other companies. They bought some good companies like Remington and some not so good companies like DPMS. Instead of bringing the bad companies up to the standards of the others they have brought the good companies down to the the bad level.
     
  5. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Gun sales are at record levels. Gun manufacturers have never been healthier financially.

    Inflation is commiting mayhem on all of the economy. If gun quality does not decline, then prices must rise. If prices rise, THR will be overwhelmed with threads such as "They sure is proud of them guns!" "I won't pay that rip off prices!"

    So, someone is to determine what is reasonable? The Obama Administration or the gun buying customers?

    A CEO has a duty to his shareholders to maximize profits.

    If you want a custom or semi-custom production firearm then you have many, many choices. Bring your checkbook.

    "Old world" so you want to buy European guns? There are plenty available. Bring money.

    You cannot get the labor costs of then either. Would you work for those wages and no benefits?

    You cannot get something for nothing. You pay for this craftsmanship or you find a way to make firearms with lower overhead via technology.

    Companies, guns or restaurants, open and close every day. If there is a trend in the good business it is a positive one.
     
  6. Sebastian the Ibis
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    Sebastian the Ibis Member

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    It's evolution nothing more. Novesky, LMT, POF, Spikes, BCM etc. make a better AR-15 than Bushmaster, DPMS & Remington. Colt & FN have the large contracts so DPbushington is stuck in the impecunious middle.

    DPbushington rested on it's marketing & cost-cutting and did not innovate, like GM and Chrysler did, assuming everyone would buy their products based on history - but they didn't. Cerberus has more government contacts than Dick Cheney, but when the DOD went looking for a DMR/replacement for the Remington M24 they selected Knights Armament over a Cerberus offering. The Brits went with LMT. Most of the members on this site looking for a new AR pay the same or $100 more for a Spikes or BCM because the quality is better. Or pay the same or less for a Del-ton/Stag which offer at least the same quality for less- but without the marketing.
     
  7. BluegrassDan

    BluegrassDan Member

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    It used to be in this country, post WWII, that we didn't have competition from the global market and everyone was buying from us. They had to buy from us because we were the strongest country financially. Europe and Japan were decimated by the war and we walked away on top. We could set the price.

    "It used to be in this country..."

    The older I get the more disenchanted I am with romanticizing the "good ole days of the 1950s," so to speak. It used to be in this country that things were just peachy if you were a white male. What if you were black and were not allowed to attend a school or sit in a restaurant because of your skin color? What if you were a woman and "expected" to serve your husband rather than become educated and have a voice?

    (I know my response is more like soapbox talk, but your original thread is littered with "romantic" imagery. E.g., "fight the good fight," "death knoll of the old world craftsman," etc.

    How many MOA guarantees did American companies have 25 years ago?

    There has always been, and always be, crappy products made in America or anywhere else for that matter. While I love my pre-64 Winchester 94, the craftsmanship is not that of the newer Miroku-made Winchester lever guns. On the other hand, I wouldn't trade my new American-made sub-MOA-shooting Kimber rifle for some "old" 2" group 1950s American-made collector's bolt gun.

    Marlin and Remington will get it together. If not, they'll end up like Winchester did a few years ago.

    Enough ranting. Time for me to go to work.
     
  8. Sebastian the Ibis
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    Sebastian the Ibis Member

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    Snarky Answer: International business is booming. Apparently, Mexican's are purchasing these products, made in America, as fast as they can!
     
  9. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    There is more sentimentality in that than fact. Manufacturers always have and always will -- and MUST -- make a product that is good enough for the market price point at which they are aiming, and/or good enough to compete with other similar products at that price point, but not a whole lot better. No manufacturer ever, who was destined to stay in business long, can work under a business model that their product will be the very best they could produce, AND that they will hold some perceived "affordable" price point. (Though the advertisers have always -- and will always -- tell you different.)

    In "the old days" manufacturing methods often required guns to be made out of more metal, and with a lot more hand-fitting, than is required by the better engineering and higher-precision machinery of today. Plastics were either non-existent, or were very inferior once they became available, so good old-fashioned wood was used for stocks and grips. Not because it was elegant or high quality -- because that's what we had to work with.

    Two other points to consider:

    1) There were indeed plenty of low-cost guns. Tons of them. Single-shot 12 ga. break-actions and pot metal revolvers, and plenty more that we tend to forget when we wax nostalgic.

    2) Guns cost A LOT of money back then. While the "average" shooter or gun-guy today feels like his collection is pretty modest if he's only got 10 or a dozen assorted firearms, most families back in the good old days made due with one gun (probably a cheap, break-action single shot 12 ga.) or maybe two (toss in a .22 rifle) for decades. Those beautiful S&W Registered Magnums, Colt Pythons, and other great guns of yesterday were just as -- or even more -- expensive then than they are now.

    I don't think you have a realistic view of the manufacturing world. Makers are cutting each other's throats to try and undersell each other. In today's climate, "whatever the market will bear" is pathetically close to the dead minimum manufacturers have to bring in to break even, with salaries, material price fluctuations, overhead, fuel & power costs, taxes, insurance, any R&D they can do to design the next new rifle you might want to buy, legal retainers to keep the lawsuits at bay, etc., etc.

    The reason companies consolidate and take products off the market and move to plastic parts instead of metal isn't because they're bloodthirsty capitalists. It's because those companies will go out of business if they don't. They aren't making enough on each gun sold to keep the lights on and they have to find ways to reduce total costs. Their competition is fighting the same battles and whoever can sell something just a bit cheaper will sell more units ... and maybe survive another year.

    Which old-world craftsmen? Pietro Beretta's guys back in the 16th century?

    You do know that precision work -- even precision hand-work -- is still available, right? But you're going to pay for it. They aren't giving it away just because a gun should feel or look a certain way. Modern guns are generally MORE precise and BETTER fit than the average old gun. They just look and feel different because of modern designs, materials, and engineering developments that let us do more with less.

    Yup. Nostalgia exists for a great many things. I'm a history guy. Historic work is how I make my living. I live with the fact that those things we think of as the greatest examples of the builder's art are NOT universally representative of how it was for the masses, and both are now, and were then, ENORMOUS investments for the people who undertook them.

    We live in a time of great appreciation of "surplus" and "used" items that we cherish for both their quality and their bargain value. Value always costs. Laying down a day's pay for something wonderful from a bygone era gives you a false sense of appreciation for the original owner who probably parted with a week's, or a month's, pay for that item when it was new.

    Naaah. Competition is good. Tough times toughen and strengthen those who can persevere. What will happen is that firearms technology will continue to develop and companies will make even better products even cheaper. 50 years from now we'll be waxing nostalgic over the good 'ol days when you could buy a Glock -- made from old fashioned solid polymer! -- for only $500.
     
  10. bigedp51

    bigedp51 member

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    Prior to the Irish potato famine starting in the mid 1800s the British Linen and clothing factories were located in Ireland. Rather than help the starving Irish the Linen industry was moved to India to make more profits.

    The profits from the Linen industry were used to buy opium which was traded to the Chinese for china dining ware to sell world wide. All this for the benefit of the share holders and the owners of the company.

    Below is a Remington 700 bolt, and this is not the same quality from the past. This Remington bolt had only one bolt lug touching and the bolt face looks like a beaver chewed the bolt recess out of the bolt face.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Remington is importing Mauser rifles from Serbia (Mitchells Mausers with a fancy stock) 25% of Remington DuPont IMR powder is made in Canada by General Dynamics weapons division. The other 75% of IMR powder is made in Australia by a French owned company. And Remington and Winchester no longer produce ammunition at the Lake City Army ammunition facility.

    All this in the name of shareholder profits and bonuses paid to upper level management. These shareholders care as much for you firearms owners as they did for the starving Irish.

    Government deregulation, lowering taxes for the wealthy and with the people at the bottom paying for it all.

    What flippin' planet do you live on.....................

    (don't bother calling me with your answer, you will just get my answering service in India and you won't understand a frigging word that they are saying) :rolleyes:
     
  11. Yo Mama

    Yo Mama Member

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    Not just gun companies. All business is suffering in this economy. Hmmm....maybe that's what our King wants?;)
     
  12. Horsemany

    Horsemany Member

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    Economics. In the 50's guns were more widely accepted by society. People were willing to spend more(factoring inflation) for a gun. Therefore the guns were higher quality. No offense to anyone but shooting/hunting is mostly a middle class sport and we all know how well the middle class is doing in America right now. Therefore you're getting cheaply made guns for the masses who don't want to pay much. Some foreign manufacturers are not going through that right now and the difference in quality shows.
     
  13. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Incorrect - they charged what the market would bear in contrast to their competitors - who were all American companies for the most part. Since now everyone thinks places like wally world have a good value, imports made to cheap price points have forced US companies to compete in the cheapest price category - because gun consumers won't pay for quality and what quality costs - all you have to do is read the numerous

    Really?? Yet another person who didn't make money in life crying the wealth-envy tune. If you want socialism so bad, move to a country where it is in full swing (although we are certainly tying to get there now)

    Remington hasn't been part of DuPont for decades. DuPont got rid of IMR a long time ago as well.............ignorance is bliss I guess
     
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    [MOD TALK: This is getting dangerously close to ending early because of political arguments we won't host here. Want to talk about guns? Fine. Want to talk about "-isms" and or "our King" -- take it somewhere else.]
     
  15. wingman

    wingman Member

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    Ah yes the race/gender card, with all due respect I was born and raised in the40/50's women by and large were treated with much more respect then today, women, society, families have lost along with morals, standards, values. I've seen more racism in past few years coming from all races then I did in the past. No gains here of course the press would like to believe otherwise we simply created a more angry society with political correctness.

    Like it or not quality of work has declined in America past 40 years, I never had to send a rifle back for repair until the 90's in past 15 I have returned 4 one so bad it was dangerous and it was destroyed.

    You can cited modern manufacturing, competition, economics 101, whatever but in the end we are building buying a huge amount of junk products. We have improved in medical, electronic and communication equipment but in other areas we are failing, this is not trying to romanticizing an era it's simply fact.

    Large pay outs do not guarantee good products or work. You buy, you take your chance but no longer sure of the end results.

    I see no teaching work/craftsman skills, most people feel its beneath there children to take shop/car repair/air conditioning, etc. what you end up with is a society looking for hand outs.

    America may come out of it if we become proud of the country once again stop purchasing China junk and teach skills again but I wont hold my breath.

    Sorry for the anger, but we can't continue to stick our head in the sand and expect it to get better.
     
  16. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Member

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    Some of the GOOD OLD DAYS I would rather not go back to:
    Take battery of 37 Plymouth in to basement on very cold nites so car will start.
    Burn coal in fireplace during WW2 because oil not available, ration books & food cupons--
    meat once a week or not at all, gasoline ration card, etc, etc.

    Most of the good old days were for the birds
    In the 1950's the average guy was making around $3000 a year & guns were expensive compared to today.
    Have fun---you got it made. --------------:)
     
  17. bigedp51

    bigedp51 member

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    We are talking about how things once were and the quality of firearms, at one time Remington and DuPont were linked and it has NOTHING to do with ignorance. I think the word that is being used here should be nostalgia of American quality and products in the past. (Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Remington, etc.)

    My first Remington 700 had a DuPont ™ Zytel finish and my 1978 reloading guide is not "ignorance"............

    it was a time of quality and bliss. ;)

    [​IMG]

    Social Security and Medicare are forms of socialism. ;)

    During the 1970s at a Washington DC gala party event a American reporter attending this party asked the Russian ambassador what he thought the differences were between Communism and Capitalism.

    The Russian ambassador replied:
    "the difference is under Capitalism man exploits man, and under Communism it was just the other way around. :eek:

    You guessed wrong based on a incorrect assumption and what governs a quality product.
    (AK-47s were made under socialism and they are more reliable than the M16 mouse gun)
    and Mikhail Kalashnikov didn't get a $20,000,000.00 dollar yearly bonus, all he got was a bigger apartment comrade. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  18. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Yes, reducing overhead is key to operating a profitable business, including gun manufacturing.

    Since the Irish did not want to work harder, they had their jobs taken away from them. They "starved" or relocated to become corrupt politicians in Chicago.

    Because to machine it right would take too much overhead. Reduce quality so you do not have to raise prices which would create angry threads on THR.

    Who cares if Remington imports Serbians guns? As long as it makes Remington money.

    Why should shareholders care about anyone, let along the Irish? Shareholders should only care about maximizing profits. If increasing the quality of guns does that, then do that. However, if you raise the price you decrease sales so gun companies are forced to keep quality down. If you want a quality firearm there are plenty makers making them (and it is NOT Marlin or Remington), you just have to pay, as always.

    What does any of that have to do with the gun industry?

    Government deregulation? In the gun industry? I'm all for it but has not happened.

    Lowering taxes for the wealthy? So they can reinvest their profits in Ruger, Les Baer or the like. I'm all for it.

    People on the bottom? They don't pay taxes so you think they have more money for guns? Is your point to eliminate taxes altogether and choke the government's life blood out of them? If so, I'm with ya.

    Yes and these sordid Ponzi schemes have want to do with the gun industry?

    You want to abolish them so gun makers have more money to reinvest in their businesses? If so, I'm with ya.
     
  19. bigedp51

    bigedp51 member

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    I care if Remington firearms are made in China or India in the name of company profits. Profits that these companies pay little to no taxes on and then donate a small fraction of these huge profits to Politicians to get reelected. Who in turn pass deregulation laws and allow off shore banking and investment and screwing the average American.

    You can sure tell who watches the "conservative" Fox News that belongs to Rupert Murdock (an ultra conservative Australian with American citizenship) and who is testifying before Parliament about his company's criminal activities and bribing government officials.

    What does this have to do with firearms, well money talks and corruption walks. :rolleyes:

    P.S. My ancestors were Scottish and Irish and didn't live in Chicago. :neener: (and they fought for freedom)

    [​IMG]

    (this means they are not as "windy" as you are) :D
     
  20. WinThePennant

    WinThePennant Member

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    Yes, it is VERY important that America maintain its manufacturing base, especially when it comes to firearms.

    For that reason, my next gun platform will certainly be American. I am partial to Sigs and Glocks, but to be honest with you nether company is producing the quality handguns they once did. I can't believe some of the stories I am hearing now about Glocks and Sigs. Twenty years ago, I would have never dreamed of hearing about entire product lines of Glocks and Sigs making it out the door with high operational failure rates.

    More and more people are buying S&W M&Ps. To be honest, that will probably be my next purchase.
     
  21. hq

    hq Member

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    Usually I lean towards buying something that lasts when I'm in market for a new gun. More and more often that has ment that I've bought second hand guns, in as good condition as I've been able to. Pride of ownership of fine firearms is a state of mind. Even though I'm not american, I ofter prefer guns manufactured in the US.

    Nowadays when even two finnish icons, Sako and Tikka, have been merged and bought off by Beretta, that has watered down a good part of the product line. No more hand-lapped barrels, for example, and Tikkas are little more than entry-level versions of Sako rifles. I really hated to see what some regard as the "ultimate AK", M92S, discontinued a few years ago when they lost the military contract to Norinco.

    Additionally, you can buy virtually any of these rifles for 20-40% less in the US than you can in Finland - and I live about 50 miles from the factory. Thanks, Beretta, for interesting marketing policies. :cuss:
     
  22. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Remington firearms are not made in China or India but if they were there would be nothing wrong with them. American consumers scarfed up hundreds of thousands of Chinese firearms. In fact many of the Chinese firearms (Polytech Type 56s, Norinco 1911s, M14 clones) are highly regarded today.

    What is wrong with competition? If the bloated gun makers of American cannot get their act together why should they not die off?

    Have you looked at the corporate tax rates in the USA compared to the rest of the world? We tax corporations heavily to the point of stupidity.

    We should abolish corporate taxes and eliminate the unemployment crisis and help gun companies reinvest in their companies to allow higher quality arms.

    What corruption in the firearms industry do you complain of?

    If you seek to eliminate economic rent seeking by corporations in general, should not we reduce the size and scope of the government?


    So, fighting for self interest is permissible as long as you are not a businessman?

    Why should not the Scots or Irish submit themselves to the greater good?
     
  23. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    In this thread, I find the fundamental ignorance of even the most basic economic principles so utterly astounding that I'm completely unable to form a coherent response.
     
  24. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    Here, I'll help. How does, "W-T-F?!?", grab you?
     
  25. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    +100
     
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