Sunday, January 22, 2006

Goodbye, Mr. Winchester

Some very sad news out of New Haven, Connecticut: U.S. Repeating Arms Company, the makers of Winchester rifles (Model 70 and Model 94) is going out of business. The Belgian-based company that owns U.S. Repeating Arms decided to close the old New Haven operation founded by the late great Oliver Winchester.

To be fair, Winchester is the victim of increased competition in the world of firearms, and as the cited article points out, in the 1960's, Winchester streamlined models and this led to a lot of Winchester efficianados to say that the weapon had declined in quality. It is a shame that, for example, many foreign gunmakers make a better modern weapon than our U.S. makers do.

I own German-made guns and U.S. ammo...if you guessed Winchester, you're right.

Winchester ammunition will still be manufactured, however, as a Missouri company owns the rights to Winchester's ammunition business, as well as the name "Winchester."

What is sad is that the gun that is widely reputed to have won the West and helped settle large parts of our country will be no more. Winchester is a long-ignored and unrepresented part of our national heritage. It is truly a shame to see it go.


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