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Webleymkv
February 4, 2006, 08:03 PM
I was at the local Gander Mountain the other day and they had a sign up that read as follows: "Winchest is closing XX plant and discontiuing the Model 94 Lever Action Rifle, Model 1300 Pump-Action Shotgun, and Model 70 Bolt-Acton Rifle. Get one today while they last." Now, I can see the shotgun going because of competition from other makers. I can even fathom the lever-guns going away because honestly, I think Marlin makes a better one (Although it's still a shame to see the gun that won the west go, I'd think cowboy shooters would keep it alive). But I cannot for the life of me understand discontinuing the Model 70! The rifleman's rifle will be no more!?! Why?

Cooler King
February 4, 2006, 08:24 PM
I can't speak specifically to the Model 70 but I've always loved the Winchester lever actions. I've got two Trappers, having just recently purchased a 357. When I heard Winchester was shutting that plant down, it felt like part of America had died. :(

Dfariswheel
February 4, 2006, 08:44 PM
It's simple, the company is going out of business.
They were allowed to use the Winchester brand name, but that agreement was due to expire next year.

With sales down, the company just folded, and since they were the only maker of guns like the Model 1894 and the 70, that's it.
Unless someone else takes over and manages some kind of agreement over the trade mark Winchester name there'll be no more Winchester's.

DPris
February 4, 2006, 09:34 PM
DFaris,
Company headquarters says they're not going out of business, just closing the American plant & dropping those three models.
Whether or not they'll stay afloat for long with overseas production remains a question, and as far as I know the licensing issue has not been decided.
There's also the possibility of moving production to the FN plant in South Carolina, but USRAC says there are no plans to move or re-introduce the models.
It's a wait & see, but USRAC is still running.

Web,
Sales were not sufficient to keep the plant running, plain & simple. They couldn't drop the 1300s & 94s and just run the plant on 70s sales.

Denis

Webleymkv
February 4, 2006, 09:56 PM
Web,
Sales were not sufficient to keep the plant running, plain & simple. They couldn't drop the 1300s & 94s and just run the plant on 70s sales.

Denis

I understand this, but I would think that sales of the the Model 70 at least (if not the 94) would be brisk enough to move production to another plant.

DPris
February 4, 2006, 11:15 PM
Web,
Speculation that the New Haven plant closing is a union buster and production may be moved elsewhere is denied by USRAC, but there would be three or four basic options for producing any or all of those models at some other location. You'd be looking at the most obvious, the US FN plant, and I don't know if they'd have the facilities to do it without some serious expansion, which could be a possibility. The second would be to move the New Haven plant to a non-union state. The third would be to move production to an FN facility in Belgium, which might have the capacity to do 70s, but not likely all three models. The fourth would be the Miroku plant in Japan, which, again, would not be set up for large volume production without serious expansion. A fifth option might be one of the plants that produces rifles for Browning.
Or, you might see a combination of any of the above.
Overseas production of any of the models would have one of two results, depending on where it was sourced. Production from China (Mexico, Taiwan, or any of the other "cheap labor" nations that people are doomsdaying) would almost certainly mean a reduction in overall quality and damage to the brand name. Production in "higher quality" nations like Belgium and Japan would almost certainly mean at least a slight improvement in quality, along with a noticeable increase in prices.
No offense to union members intended, but the best scenario for keeping those three models, or any one of them, in the market, would probably be to keep production in this country, relocate to a non-union state, and start over, with increased emphasis on quality control.
Denis

PAHOGHUNTER
February 5, 2006, 02:34 PM
I think the news gets worse, a gunsmith told me on Thur. that when WINCHESTER, stops making any model they sell all of the parts. He said he called them for a extractor for a model 94 and couldn't get it, he found one with another vendor and had to pay over $30.00 for it, this is not good news.

DPris
February 5, 2006, 04:11 PM
USRAC service department told me specifically they'll maintain parts for the discontinued models for ten years.
That assumes, of course, that they'll be in business to do that for ten years.
Denis

Davis
February 5, 2006, 04:25 PM
This is not the first time Winchester has gone bankrupt. They did so in the 1930's, then for all practical purposes in 1980 or so.

Davis

TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT
February 6, 2006, 05:23 AM
As stated above I think that it is sad to see a part of America's history fade away, after all winchesters were the gun that won that West and were carried on screen by John Wayne. I have a model 94 in 30-30 that I used to kill my first big game animal which was a wild boar. I am glad that I was fortunate enough to get a piece of an American icon before it is gone for good or moved out of country.