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  • Winchester

    I think this might be the end of the Model 70.

    How many people still work there?

    I guess maybe the corp. heads couldn't squeeze anything more out of the workers, and the state. (I know that they are owned off shore for years. Its just another fallen American giant).



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    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."
    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

  • #2
    They said they could get the same high qaulity work in Belgium as they could in the US. Belgiun wages are higher so this was just a ploy to keep Belgiun worker employed.
    If a US company did this they would be screaming to the EU and UN. I won't be buying another Winchester.
    Non, je ne regrette rien.

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    • #3
      I'm sad to hear it. Ever since I was about 10 years old my Christmas lists have had either Winchester or Browning on them. (Usually Browning first.)

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      • #4
        If what I read was true all the guns but the custom ones will be gone. US repeating arms only owns the rights to use the Winchester name until sometime in 2007. Olin still owns the rights to the Winchester name.
        Oh and there are less than 200 employees left now. Winchester has not been competitve with Marlin for many years, at least as far as lever actions go. And other than the pre-64 rifles (Belgian made)there not even competitve with Remington or Ruger on there bolt actions

        <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">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.</font>

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        • #5
          <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by chief:
          They said they could get the same high qaulity work in Belgium as they could in the US. Belgiun wages are higher so this was just a ploy to keep Belgiun worker employed.
          If a US company did this they would be screaming to the EU and UN. I won't be buying another Winchester.
          </font>
          You're kidding, right? They're unionized, with Med, dental, and a 401K plan. Also, the New Haven plant is old, and I mean OLD - it opened in the 1860's. Since they have to renegotiate for the use of the name(and probably have to pay a fortune for it), they said the hell with it.

          I have a feeling that Olin will wind up selling the name, possibly to one of the new firearms consortiums that are starting to spring up like Dakota Arms(which now owns Nesika Bay, Miller Arms, and a few others). Hell, Safe T hammer might buy them up. They bought up Smith and Wesson.




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          This Old Shed
          EGO partum , proinde EGO sum

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          • #6
            Belgium's minimum wage is 9.40 US per hour.
            Non, je ne regrette rien.

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            • #7
              I had a Winchester single-shot 12 ga. I wasn't impressed but it was a cheap gun. I had to do a couple of repairs to it even though it was brand new.

              I now have my deceased father's Winchester 30-30. When we bought our 30-30's he liked the Winchester brand. I looked at the Marlin and liked the way the empty case ejected to the side instead of hitting me between the eyes the way the Winchester did. I also liked the way I could mount a scope on top of the Marlin but the Winchester required a side mounting of a scope. The Winchester's guts would drop below the rifle when the lever was operated but not so on the Marlin. I've seen a lot of field rubbish collect on the works of the Winchester because of this.

              I've never thought much of Winchester. I only bought one of their guns and I sold it a few years later. I'd never buy another Winchester.

              I have two Marlins, a Ruger, a Remington, two Mossbergs, a Stevens, and some others but only the one Winchester, for which I didn't pay a penny.

              [This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 01-22-2006).]

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              • #8
                <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by TECHSHOP:
                I think this might be the end of the Model 70.

                How many people still work there?

                I guess maybe the corp. heads couldn't squeeze anything more out of the workers, and the state. (I know that they are owned off shore for years. Its just another fallen American giant).

                </font>

                When Winston Rod Company(fly rods) changed hands they tried to reign in the workers at the shop where they made cane fly rods. The rods are all made by hand and the employees pretty much dictated their own hours.
                The market for bamboo rods is an extremely small one. At $1500.00 0n up for a rod you can see why. The buyers aren't really interested if the rod comes from Winston. They are buying a work from the person who built it.Most of the rods never get fished.
                In any event the master builders took their tools and started up their own shop.
                Winston is just another graphite rod maker.Beancounters have killed more jobs than anything else.

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                • #9
                  I thought this was from the newest M/W article part 2 .

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                  The tame Wolf !

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                  • #10
                    I used to work for a company that made some firearms parts and visited Winchester on a couple of sales calls. Things I noticed: very top heavy with management (and I'm sure large salaries); very rigid work schedule - the whistle blew and every worker stopped immediately, put down whatever he was doing and went on break. They also had a lot of old machinery, some of it dated from the 30's and 40's. That's not inherently bad, but took highly trained and paid operators to run. There was also a lot of rework lying around - guns that had been sent back for repair and in racks along the wall.

                    Contrast this with Mossberg, still family owned and operated (we also sold parts to them). They assemble in Eagle Pass, TX, where the wages are reasonable, but the engineering and procurement are still done at corporate in Massachusetts. Their prices are reasonable with good quality but they can still run it to make a profit and keep the business going.

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                    • #11
                      I've had a couple of model 70 Winchesters since 1970. Which I glass bedded and hand loaded for. A 30-06 and .270.
                      I will say they are the most accurate rifles I own with the exception of my match air rifles. They will group under dime size groups at 100 yards. While speaking with Jack O Conner he recomended the Winchester model 70 to me. I sure hope that someone continues to make them.
                      Chuck

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                      • #12
                        <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by chief:
                        Belgium's minimum wage is 9.40 US per hour.</font>
                        It doesn't matter, the guns, for the most part, were made by Miroku in Japan. Only the high end stuff was made in Belgium.


                        HTRN

                        ------------------
                        This Old Shed
                        EGO partum , proinde EGO sum

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                        • #13
                          My first rifle was a Win. M250 22RF lever action. The first highpower rifle I bought (1968) was a Win. M70 in 243Win. I've owned several other M70s over the years; still own several, and won't be selling any of them in this lifetime. My biggest regret is not starting a collection of the 'real' Wincheters (pre-1900) lever action & single shot rifles sooner. As it is, all I've been able to collect over the years are one each - 1885 highwall, M86, M92, & M94 - but I'm damned thankful to own those few rifles. The workmanship is superb on them, especially the way the old master craftsmen fitted the buttstocks to the actions. The bore of the 40-65 barrel of my old '86 is pitted from neglect from the days of black powder & mecuric primers - looks a lot like a rough old sewer pipe through a borescope - but it still shoots cast bullets with great accuracy. Makes me wonder how it must've shot when it was new in 1897.

                          Winchester's name is forever tied to the winning of the West, and rightfully so. No matter what some people think of the Winchester trademark today, to many of us, it's still connected with the phrase "The rifleman's rifle". I hope someone or some company with a serious sense of tradition & history, along with the ability to produce true quality firearms buys the rights to the name.

                          Edited to ad that the only guns made in Japan were 101 over&under shotguns, and all the reproductions of lever action, single shot, and M52 22RF sporters. None of their bolt rifles were made in Belgium either. The M70 & M94 have always been made in the U.S. I think there's some confusion over FN Brownings and the fact that FN owns USRAC. Look close at any of the FN police sniper/tactical rifles - they're all made on a version of the M70 action.

                          [This message has been edited by flatlander (edited 01-22-2006).]
                          Regards,
                          Dennis

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                          • #14
                            <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by HWooldridge:
                            Contrast this with Mossberg, still family owned and operated (we also sold parts to them). They assemble in Eagle Pass, TX, where the wages are reasonable, but the engineering and procurement are still done at corporate in Massachusetts. Their prices are reasonable with good quality but they can still run it to make a profit and keep the business going.</font>
                            They save money by not putting any lights in the assembly plant. So I conclude, after noticing that Mossbergs look like they were assembled in the dark. Once you get one which actually fits together (as in, shotgun barrels actually fitting into the frame, etc), a Mossberg is a perfectly good gun.

                            So. Good design, shoddy assembly. Quite a bit like Winchester/USRAC after all.

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                            • #15
                              <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by flatlander:
                              The workmanship is superb on them, especially the way the old master craftsmen fitted the buttstocks to the actions.</font>
                              Winchester hasn't been able to do that for a LONG time. They did OK in the wood-to-metal department up through the 1930s, perhaps. But recall the scandal during WW1 when Pershing wouldn't take M1917s from Winchester because W. couldn't make interchangeable parts. Black Jack would take Remington- and Eddystone-made 17s only. WW1 revealed that some of our most famous gun makers, like W. and Colt, were mired in the pre-Eli Whitney era.

                              I can't figure out from the news reports whether the ammunition operation will continue. USRAC made the rifles, not the ammo.

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