Iconic Winchester rifles to be discontinuedBreaking News
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 the plant employs fewer than 200 now. 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 Sauvage said it was unclear whether any buyer would be allowed to use the Winchester name.
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 plans to extend that right past 2007. Olin officials did not return a message seeking comment Wednesday.
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.
"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."
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Transcribed Document: Soviet Politburo Discussed CIA Billion Dollar Spy Adolf Tolkachev
- Pentagon withholds Iraq War photos showing detainee abuse
- These Rebels Have Amassed A Library From Syria’s Ruins
- Was 1916 fire at Canadian Parliament set by German saboteur?
- United Nations Calls On U.S. To Pay African Americans Reparations For Slavery
- Juan Cole says America’s inclination to turn to the military started with Manifest Destiny
- History Jobs Drop
- Paul Krugman gives credence to Robert J. Gordon's pessimism about American economic growth
- Harvard President Drew Faust Condemns Free Tuition Proposal from Outsider Overseers Ticket
- Andrew Roberts says Trump is the Mussolini of America with double the vulgarity