|04-03-2006, 01:46 PM||#1|
lets go partner
Join Date: Oct 2004
Celebrated Winchester rifle may have fired last shot
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The famous Winchester rifle glorified in American Westerns may have fired its last shot as a plant where it had been manufactured since 1866 closed its doors last week.
One hundred eighty-six employees of the US Repeating Arms Company plant located in New Haven, Connecticut, were thanked for their work Friday, two days after the facility stopped all manufacturing activity, said Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo, a spokeswoman for the city government.
She told AFP that the mayor's office has been searching for an investor, who would take over the plant, but has to overcome several obstacles on the way to achieving this goal.
US Repeating Arms Company and its New Haven plant belong to Belgian manufacturer Herstal, which has purchased from US firm Olin the right to use the famous brand name.
"Herstal owns US Repeating Arms and Olin owns the license to the Winchester name so they own the brand name," Sullivan-DeCarlo said.
"We've been talking to different gun manufacturers, and at the same time the mayor has been talking to Olin about possibly keeping the name Winchester here for whoever comes in the factory," she continued.
"Because otherwise, our fear is that the Winchester name will end up overseas."
That would be a rough turn for the celebrated lever-action 1873 gun that made rapid reloading and fire possible and helped conquer the West.
It was Oliver Fisher Winchester, who in 1853 founded New Haven Arms Company, which in 1866 became known as Winchester Arms Company.
The Winchester rifle was in fact based on the Henry rifle that was used during the Civil War.
Pioneers heading West adopted the rifle, and near-mythical personalities like Buffalo Bill made it their weapon of choice.
Western movies and television series had helped maintain the gun's celebrity status long into the 20th century.
Josh Randall, a character in the miniseries "Wanted: Dead or Alive" played by actor Steve McQueen, used one of these gun with a sawed-off barrel.
James Stewart used the 1873 model in "Winchester 73."
The rifle had been modified several times and was used by US troops during World War II.
To keep the plant in New Haven, the city government would like to be able to offer a new investor the possibility of keeping the Winchester trademark and is negotiating this option with Olin.
"We have asked that Herstal not renew the Winchester license now, or for a term of not less than 10 years," New Haven Mayor John DeStefano told the City Council in mid-March.
There is concern that Herstal will keep the brand name to manufacture the rifle at its other plants outside the United States. It is already happening with several other Winchester rifles, but they are not based on the 1894 model, a derivative of the 1873 model. A total of six million such rifles have been manufactured since the end of the 19th century.
If this proposal is not acceptable, the mayor is offering to have Herstal transfer its interest in the facility, the inventory and the intellectual property to the city for a symbolic amount of money in exchange for a waiver of the financial obligations owed to the city and the union.
"If Herstal is willing to do this, it would help the city move ahead smoothly in finding a new user for the site," DeStefano said. "We have several interested companies."
"Winchester has operated in New Haven for 140 years, and is an American icon," added the mayor, fully aware of the fact that if the eventual new owner is not allowed to used the name Winchester, the property would not pack the same bang for the buck.
|04-03-2006, 02:54 PM||#2|
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Folsom Prison
There will still be winchesters, though prolly made overseas. Marlin and even the new henry repeating co has been kicking their butts, anyway.
|04-03-2006, 05:59 PM||#3|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Jul 2003
Winchester will just turn over to Browning most likely.
|04-03-2006, 06:41 PM||#4|
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Elway was just an arm =MacGruder
damn shame ...Just imagine if they quit making the Corvette , Rock and Roll Music ...... Winchester is apart of American History .........