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Posted: 3/28/2006 7:24:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 7:36:47 AM EDT by danpass]
From AOLNews

It's High Noon for the Gun That Won the West
Winchester Rifle Maker May Close This Week


(March 28) - The maker of the gun that won the West has one final shot at staying alive.



Jupiter Images
For many Americans, Winchester's place in history started with "the gun that won the West," the Winchester 1873.

Talk About It: Post Thoughts


Eleventh hour efforts to find a buyer for the U.S. Repeating Arms Company are underway tonight, but it's likely the company that built the Winchester rifle for the past 150 years will close this week.

The U.S. Repeating Arms factory in New Haven, Conn., has turned out the Winchester, one of the legendary pieces of American workmanship, since 1856. But in a few days, the production is planning to move overseas.

"Belgium," said Winchester employee Donald Harris. "I mean they probably don't even know where New Haven is."

From 19,000 Employees to 186

Where once during WWII the company had 19,000 workers, the remaining 186 find it insulting that this American brand will make hunting rifles in foreign countries. And, even worse, Winchester will no longer make its iconic level-action carbine.

For many Americans, Winchester's place in history started with "the gun that won the West," the Winchester 1873, which gave its name to the old Jimmy Stewart movie, "Winchester 73."

The model 73 appears in fine art -- depicted being used by soldiers, cowboys and Indians in a painting by Frederick Remington.

A statue of John Wayne, who shot his way through "True Grit" and the Hollywood West with a Winchester, graces the lobby of the Winchester factory. With a history like that, it's no wonder that Winchester has a spot in so many American hearts.

"They've been around for 150 years, and it's just the end of another era," said Ronald Rando, a gun dealer. "Something going down the tubes again."

Value of Older Guns Goes Up

Winchester also has a spot in some sentimental Americans' wallets. The value of older guns is going up. Rando has a gun from 1891 that he's selling for more than $10,000.

But right now, what really sells is assault rifles -- despite the timelessness and history attached to old lever-action guns (which mechanically differ little to those today).

But for some, those old guns are the only way to enjoy hunting and shooting tin cans with old lever-action guns.

"This is a deer hunting gun that all five of my sons, and even my grandsons, have learned to use from an early age," said John Anderson, a gun dealer.

But if he was still alive, probably even John Wayne couldn't ride to the rescue now.

Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:40:26 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:41:05 AM EDT
Damn shame!!
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:46:02 AM EDT

But right now, what really sells is assault rifles -- despite the timelessness and history attached to old lever-action guns (which mechanically differ little to those today).



Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:46:58 AM EDT
Man, I really want a lever-action carbine. I gotta go home and see what size dies I have and see if they make one in that caliber!
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:49:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:

But right now, what really sells is assault rifles -- despite the timelessness and history attached to old lever-action guns (which mechanically differ little to those today).






I wish I could buy some assault rifles. All this semi auto shit we have sux!

Fucking media, I wish they could get it right a few times.

Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:50:44 AM EDT
They and Browning are both owned by F.N. so you have them to thank.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:50:46 AM EDT
On the news this morning they are going to Govenor Rell to see if the state will help them keep the plant open in New Haven. I kind of doubt anything but a miracle will keep the Winchester name or the plant open. Hell, The Stop&Shop company is closing it's warehouse in North Haven so 800 more people are going to be out of work and the State did nothing for them.
As far as buying a winchester cause the price is going up go ahead. But as far as I'm concerned they didn't make anything I want.
Most manufacturing jobs have left Connecticut except for Sikorski, Pratt&Whitney and Electric Boat. The Gun industry is just a small blip on the radar screen.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:50:49 AM EDT
Time to sell that rusty old lever action in the closet!

People are now paying a premium for an obsolete design.


(Just kidding, I want a .45LC Saddle Ring Carbine to go with my Uberti Scofield. I might have to buy the Uberti rifle instead.)
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:58:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SS109:
Time to sell that rusty old lever action in the closet!

People are now paying a premium for an obsolete design.


(Just kidding, I want a .45LC Saddle Ring Carbine to go with my Uberti Scofield. I might have to buy the Uberti rifle instead.)



Marlin.

Henry.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:58:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 8:00:14 AM EDT by warlord]

Originally Posted By BOBK48:
.
.
Most manufacturing jobs have left Connecticut except for Sikorski, Pratt&Whitney and Electric Boat. The Gun industry is just a small blip on the radar screen.


The whole gun manufacturing industry from the manufacturing to retailing is considered by many to be a cottage-type industry, that is why the anti-gunners have been trying to put the gun industry out of business at the manufacturing level, and of course the CT is an anti-gun state. Yep, don't expect the state of CT to come to the rescue of Winchester. Remember the employee union was part-owner of Colt when they were on the skids.

Personally, I think the Merlin 336 series rifles with the Mirco-groove rifling are a better gun, and stronger.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:07:48 AM EDT
Warlord,
The State of CT was or still is a shareholder in Colt. They help bail out Colt when They had a strike that went on for years. I don't see the state doing anything for the Winchester plant or former employees. Although we have some asshole laws. We still have a ccw, no magazine restriction, postban ar types are ok and we can own full auto weapons.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:10:47 AM EDT
Someone needs to photoshop a Winchester Carbine with a VFG and collapsible stock!
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:11:51 AM EDT
crap
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:13:31 AM EDT
If they made a better product that was more in demand, they woudn't be closing their doors.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:17:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Q3131A:
If they made a better product that was more in demand, they woudn't be closing their doors.



+1
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:20:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Q3131A:
If they made a better product that was more in demand, they woudn't be closing their doors.




+1

The Only thing Winchester Ever Made that I would Buy is A Model 12 and 1897
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:21:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Q3131A:
If they made a better product that was more in demand, they woudn't be closing their doors.



The present issue of AMERICN RIFLEMAN broke the news with part of the front editorial saying no more winchester model 70's.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:23:34 AM EDT
Well, there's still Marlin. I have thought about getting one of their lever actions in .357 to go with my GP100.

Or in .45 LC. But then I'd have to get a SAA to go with the rifle.............
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:27:39 AM EDT
I've got a Winchester M94 30-30. It's a beautiful gun, very accurate and a pleasure to shoot.

It's a shame when any US gun manufacturer closes it's doors. Especially when it's a company that's been so much a part of American history.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:30:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:31:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 8:34:19 AM EDT by Luckdog]
I got the last new Winchester 94 in my area about a month ago.
I always wanted one and it is a great rifle and more than accurate enough for my woods deer rifle this year.
All of the Wally Worlds in my area are out of all Winchester 94s, 70s and 1300 (the pump shotguns) and the few gun shops have none either.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:39:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By akethan:
They and Browning are both owned by F.N. so you have them to thank.





ummhrm.......next time try an antiquated product line, union driven wages out of line with competitors and rising raw materials costs.

Oh yeah, and the "winchester" brand license expires at the end of the year. Perhaps maybe that plays a part in it?
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:44:54 AM EDT
Oh Well, another part of US history downthe shit hole
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 9:01:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By taptap:

Originally Posted By akethan:
They and Browning are both owned by F.N. so you have them to thank.





ummhrm.......next time try an antiquated product line, union driven wages out of line with competitors and rising raw materials costs.

Oh yeah, and the "winchester" brand license expires at the end of the year. Perhaps maybe that plays a part in it?



and FN should have vamped up the Winchester and Browning line.

Like Browning FALs and Wincester ARs
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 9:03:07 AM EDT
Marlin's are better.

A Marlin in .357 mag is one hell of a fun rifle to shoot.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 9:04:33 AM EDT
why should we buy them "now"?
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 9:11:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Q3131A:
If they made a better product that was more in demand, they woudn't be closing their doors.

+1
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 9:17:04 AM EDT
I bet the name will get licensed by someone and will come back. Not that it's the same, but somebody will capitalize on the brand equity that remains.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 9:20:21 AM EDT
Winchester quit making the Model 88 in 1973 and it's been all downhill since.

Said it was too expensive to keep making it.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 9:23:30 AM EDT
Last month called.... or was it two months ago?
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 9:31:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 9:32:37 AM EDT by imposter]
Winchester rifles are made by USRAC, which, along with Browning and FN, is a subsidiary of a Belgian company. Most of their rifles were made in New Haven, CT. That plant is shutting down, although some other Winchester rifles and shotguns imported from elsewhere will still be available.

Absent some agreement, USRAC will soon no longer be able to make Winchester rifles anyway. The license on the Winchester name expires in 2007. At that point, Olin (the company that makes Winchester ammo) will have the rights back.

As part of USRAC's deal with the union in CT, USRAC can not produce 70s or 94s anywhere else in the world until 2008.

At some point, 70s and 94s will go back into production. Unfortunately, they may not be made in the USA.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 9:34:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 9:34:56 AM EDT by CamperDad]
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 9:40:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RAINBOW6:

Originally Posted By Q3131A:
If they made a better product that was more in demand, they woudn't be closing their doors.



The present issue of AMERICN RIFLEMAN broke the news with part of the front editorial saying no more winchester model 70's.



I think a lot of old guys would say the Winchester model 70 hasn't been made since '64.

Only so long you can rely on a "new coke" Model 70, a levergun that is outclassed in nearly every way by Marlin's, and a pump shotgun that is outclassed by Mossberg's and Remington's offerings. I agree it's a shame. Those older model 70's, 94 leverguns and 1300's are classics.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 9:43:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 9:45:19 AM EDT by _DR]

Originally Posted By Lancelot:
Last month called.... or was it two months ago?



+1


Old news. Heard about this weeks ago. You guys been under a big rock or something?
You should come out from the undergraound shelter every now and again and read the news.

I doubt we are going to have "overnight" lever action collectibles out of current production Winchester lever action rifles.

Link Posted: 3/28/2006 9:56:06 AM EDT
"level action" ...... ........ AOLNews ...
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 10:00:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Short-n-sweet:
I've got a Winchester M94 30-30. It's a beautiful gun, very accurate and a pleasure to shoot.

It's a shame when any US gun manufacturer closes it's doors. Especially when it's a company that's been so much a part of American history.



+1

2 weeks ago I was at a gun show and I saw a Win. M1 Carbine. I really wish I had the $650 for it
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 10:01:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By _DR:

Originally Posted By Lancelot:
Last month called.... or was it two months ago?



+1


Old news. Heard about this weeks ago. You guys been under a big rock or something?
You should come out from the undergraound shelter every now and again and read the news.

I doubt we are going to have "overnight" lever action collectibles out of current production Winchester lever action rifles.




This just in.......The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor........


This is too old to cry "dupe", unless you mean the poster and not the post.


Link Posted: 3/28/2006 10:07:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JBowles:

Originally Posted By Q3131A:
If they made a better product that was more in demand, they woudn't be closing their doors.



+1

+2
They failed to evolve with the times.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 10:55:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:

Originally Posted By JBowles:

Originally Posted By Q3131A:
If they made a better product that was more in demand, they woudn't be closing their doors.



+1

+2
They failed to evolve with the times.


All they really need to do to stay open and relevant is make the controlled feed Mod 70 with a good adjustable trigger. Speed up the lock time, and make sure no damn locking system in built into the rifle. Remington had them beat on all acounts until the J lock was installed into them.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 11:01:14 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 11:07:09 AM EDT
China:

"All of your manufacturing are belong to us".
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 11:31:33 AM EDT
That's a fact & made in CT.

Originally Posted By AmericanPatriot1776:
Marlin's are better.

A Marlin in .357 mag is one hell of a fun rifle to shoot.

Link Posted: 3/28/2006 6:31:48 PM EDT
The Model 92s either real or replica are much better for pistol caliber cartridges.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 6:34:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 6:35:35 PM EDT by Wave]
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 6:35:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 6:35:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:

Originally Posted By JBowles:

Originally Posted By Q3131A:
If they made a better product that was more in demand, they woudn't be closing their doors.



+1

+2
They failed to evolve with the times.



Sad but true. I own two Winchester rifles. One was made in 1944, the other in 1972. They haven't come out with a successful new gun in decades.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:19:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jwr6:I think a lot of old guys would say the Winchester model 70 hasn't been made since '64.

Only so long you can rely on a "new coke" Model 70, a levergun that is outclassed in nearly every way by Marlin's, and a pump shotgun that is outclassed by Mossberg's and Remington's offerings. I agree it's a shame. Those older model 70's, 94 leverguns and 1300's are classics.



I think that by any reasonable standard other than simple nostalgia it can't be argued that the new model 70's coming off the line are better than the pre-64's in pretty much every measurable sense. Modern CNC machining and a return to the controlled round feed are big reasons why. Even their push feeds are better than the remingtons, simply by virtue of their 3 position safety. I don't know about the rest of you, but I like being able to lock my action shut when I'm thrashing through thick brush, etc., yet be able to bring the weapon into action at a moment's notice with a simple flick of my thumb.

No one built a safari rifle in even near the same league as Winchester's express models, other than perhaps Ruger, but unless you wanted a single shot number 1 (not my first choice when facing animals that bite back!) you had to pay at least twice the price for the Ruger express rifle. Only recently has Remington offered a controlled round feed in their bolt guns, and I have yet to hear if it's reliable. No controlled round feed and a repeating action and it isn't a dangerous game rifle in my book, and there are a lot of guys out there who think like me. What does this leave us with? The CZ's? Ok, they are the same price as a winchester, and have rather odd lines, inferior iron sights IMHO, and the front sling swivel is on the stock rather than a barrel band. Certainly this is a major styling faux pas, if not a functional one in a heavy recoiling rifle...

I know someone will mention savage's express guns. What do they offer? One caliber? And what if you hate that hideous muzzle brake? I have also had less than stellar feeding in the Savages I've owned in belted calibers... Doesn't make me wanna go hunting kodiaks or cape buffs with one very badly...

As for the regular model 70's, I have seen nothing in the same price range to rival the look and quality of a model 70 super grade, other than perhaps the Remington 700 CDL, but again, no 3 position safety... Not to mention controlled round feed or fixed ejector. All these things are something I WANT in a bolt gun.

As for the 94, I have never ever fired a lever gun that fits me so well or handles so quickly and points so instinctively. I honestly find Marlins heavy, awkward, and unnatural to aim. A winchester 94 is like an extension of my will... Sure they aren't built like a bank vault, including in the weight department, but I find that part of their appeal; that they can be so light and graceful to operate, yet possess all the strenth they need. I never cease to be amazed at the frequency with which you see 100 year old M94's that are still in regular use today...

I also found the 9422 to be by far the most accurate .22 levergun I have ever owned or had occasion to fire hands down. And it shared the grace of it's bigger brother as far as handling and weight.

So you bashers say what you want. I don't feel that Winchester firearms were outdated or obsolete in the slightest. I found them to be absolute perfection in their categories. To each their own. I will have my fingers and toes crossed that someone will bring these great guns back into production asap. If they have to take the production offshore or move to a red state to do so then more power to them. I'm sure all you Glock, Sig, Browning A-bolt, Steyr AUG, FN, etc. fans couldn't find fault with a foreign-made Winchester...

And yes, I am a glock shooting, AR building gun nut, but I can still appreciate other types of weapons as well. Why must a design be less than 50 years old to be worthy of our consideration? My personal favorite handguns are the S&W double actions as a whole, the 1911, and the Colt SAA... While some may call them obsolete I call them perfect.

Consider this... the Model 70 is a newer design than the 1911 and many other guns which us arfcommers love so much... Considering the improvements made to it in just the past couple decades I would consider it positively modern!

Just my $.02... flame away you Winchester haters!
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:21:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

Originally Posted By _DR:

Originally Posted By Lancelot:
Last month called.... or was it two months ago?



+1


Old news. Heard about this weeks ago. You guys been under a big rock or something?
You should come out from the undergraound shelter every now and again and read the news.

I doubt we are going to have "overnight" lever action collectibles out of current production Winchester lever action rifles.




This just in.......The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor........


This is too old to cry "dupe", unless you mean the poster and not the post.





+1

I bought a Winchester about two months ago when it was announced that they were closing the plant.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:33:07 PM EDT

But right now, what really sells is assault rifles -- despite the timelessness and history attached to old lever-action guns (which mechanically differ little to those today).


First, that's just stupid.

Second, gosh that's stupid.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 7:42:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By leelaw:

But right now, what really sells is assault rifles -- despite the timelessness and history attached to old lever-action guns (which mechanically differ little to those today).


First, that's just stupid.

Second, gosh that's stupid.



Let me add a third... GOSH that's STUPID!!!

SEMI-AUTOMATIC rifles are finally getting the respect they are due by the shooting community, but I wouldn't consider them the top seller overall by a long shot. They just might have the most loyal fans though!
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