Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Winchester, Smith & Wesson, and New Haven

Here's a bit of potential good news for Winchester fans. Smith & Wesson will visit the New Haven, Connecticut Winchester factory to discuss a possible takeover of the plant with city officials. According to the New Haven Register, two other gun makers are in similar conversations.

City officials are trying to strike a deal with Herstal of Belgium the current plant owners. The city will forgive certain tax and other issues if Herstal cedes the plant to another gun maker. At the same time, Olin owns the Winchester brand and would have to allow another company to use the brand. It's a complicated situation with a lot of chances for failure, but maybe Winchester '94s, Model 70s, and 1300s will return.

The paper's article intrigued me on another level. Here's a Northeastern newspaper publishing an article about guns with no snarkiness. Yeah, there's a play on words, "City officials and a slew of hired guns have worked find a buyer...." The author couldn't resist that one, but the rest of the article says nothing about "evil killing machines" as we tend to expect from urban Eastern newspapers--or maybe that's just me.

Surprisingly, the article's authors also did their homework and report a little firearms history. It mentions that Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson faced hard times and were forced to sell out to Oliver Winchester. If this deal works out, it will prove that history has a sense of humor.

Now, if Smith & Wesson begins to make Winchesters, I hope they've fixed their own recent quality control problem.

No comments: