Thursday, April 05, 2007

Remington Has Been Sold!

According to a "Special Bulletin from The Outdoor and Shooting Wires [subscribe here],

Remington Arms Company, Inc. one of the nation's oldest continually-operating firearms companies, is being acquired by an affiliate of Cereberus Capital Management, L.P. The $370 million dollar acquisition includes the assumption of all of Remington Arms Company, Inc.'s liabilities and product lines.

Shooting and Outdoor Wire goes on to explain:

The acquisition gives Cereberus two gun companies, Remington Arms and Bushmaster. Sources familiar with both companies say Remington will quickly add an AR-style rifle platform to complement their M24SWS Sniper Weapon System while Bushmaster will likely add signature branded ammunition and products.

There's nothing new about this. On January 19, 2006, I wrote about the demise of Winchester. Winchester still makes ammunition, but judging by their website there's no effort to produce Winchester firearms. That much is real, and proven. Yep, they're just an ammo-manufacturer, now.

So, what American Firearms Company is still making guns?

Let me see, we talked about Colt the other day. Rumor was they had been sold. As far as we can tell, this is nothing more than rumor. Oh, it's not that they're not up for sale (at least, they're actively looking for a buyer.) It's just that nobody wants to buy their Civilian Firearms Division. Why? Word is, they're asking for too much money. Rumors have been advanced that they were approached by both STI and Taurus. So far.

Colt is apparently still making firearms. So far. But they sure are desparate to get out of the civilian-fireams market. Not desperate enough, though, to price half the company sufficiently to attract legitimate buyers. So far.

How about Smith & Wesson?

According to Wikipedia, the folks (Tompkins, PLC) who owned S&W during the egregious Clinton Gun Ban fiasco in 2000 sold out to Saf-T-Hammer in 2001 for little more than the cost of the machinery and an agreement to pay their outstanding bills.

As far as I know, Dan Wesson is still in business ... except after Dan died (1996), his family sold the company to Bob Serva and is now doing business as CZ-USA.

Let's see, we still have Ruger.

According to available sources (notably Wikipedia ... a dubious source but good for a first-reference) "Sturm Ruger" is "... the largest American firarms manufacturere".

This in spite of "The Ruger Letter".
I'll let Wikipedia explain that:

After a spate of high profile shootings and incidences with the Ruger Mini 14 rifle, along with a number of unsavory associations the Mini 14 had gained with militias and extremist movements during the late 1970s and early 1980s, William B. Ruger expressed a highly unpopular position (amongst firearms owners, users and enthusiasts) by stating his personal views on the "sporting" nature of certain firearms.

In his letter to members of the House and Senate on 30 March 1989, Mr. Ruger stated in that which has come to be known as "The Ruger Letter":

"The best way to address the firepower concern is therefore not to try to outlaw or license many millions of older and perfectly legitimate firearms (which would be a licensing effort of staggering proportions) but to prohibit the possession of high capacity magazines. By a simple, complete, and unequivocal ban on large capacity magazines, all the difficulty of defining "assault rifles" and "semi-automatic rifles" is eliminated. The large capacity magazine itself, separate or attached to the firearm, becomes the prohibited item. A single amendment to Federal firearms laws could prohibit their possession or sale and would effectively implement these objectives."

In addition to the furor amongst hunters, sportsmen and shooters caused by "The Ruger Letter", Mr. Ruger made additional comments during an interview with NBCs Tom Brokaw that angered 2nd Amendment proponents even further, by saying that "no honest man needs more than 10 rounds in any gun…" and "I never meant for simple civilians to have my 20 and 30 round magazines…"

This is actually a very interesting insight on Firearms Manufacturers' Marketting Strategy, when you read the entire entry. I encourage you to go to the link and do so.

As far as I know, Ruger is still an entirely American company.

Glock, of course, is still doing a lot of business out of Gaston (* see comments, or note below). But they're also foreign-owned. The started out 'foreign owned', and altough they set up a manufacturing plant in America, they are still Austrian Owned.

I note that the Wikipedia article references Dean Speir's "KB!" article, which references my own "KaBoom!" article (referring to "... the tendencies of nervous, high-strung or over-stressed pistols to blow up during shooting."
Glock doesn't care. That company is a lot healthier than most Firearms Manufactureres in America.

Which brings us down to the 'smaller' manufacturers, who might as well be said to cater to 'niche markets' (albeit very profitably), such as STI and SV

I'm not going to dwell on the history of STI and SV here, although they should be the subject of future articles. For now, let's just accept that both of these thriving American Firearms Manufacturers started out making pistols designed for IPSC competition, and at least STI has branched out to serving Military and LEO applications.

Scroll through this article and you will see a lot of familiar logos. Reflect, if you will, on how well they typify American industry, culture and history. Then consider that they have almost all been either sold to foreign companies, or are for sale.

Scarey, ain't it?

* UPDATE: The Next Day
I have been reminded by reader comments that Glock's American manufacturing facility is located in Smyrna, Georgia. "Gaston" is the first name of the man who invented the Glock pistol. The mistake is retained to provide continuity between the text and the comments, and to demonstrate that writers get dorky after they work more than a couple of hours on a single article.
Jerry The Geek

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