Thursday, January 19, 2006

Winchester Rifles to Be Discontinued - Yahoo! News

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The traditional Winchester rifles carried by pioneers, movie stars and Wild West lawmen will be discontinued in March, a Belgian manufacturer said Wednesday, confirming the end of an American icon that became known as "The Gun that Won the West."

Is it me, or is there something wrong with this?

Once the U.S. Repeating Arms plant closes March 31, the only new rifles carrying the famous Winchester name will be the modern, high-end models produced in Belgium, Japan and Portugal. The older models, including the famous Winchester Model 94, will be scrapped.

"The name will continue, but not with those traditional products," said Robert Sauvage, a spokesman for the Herstal Group, the Belgian company that owns U.S. Repeating Arms and the right to the Winchester name.

Herstal announced Tuesday that the U.S. Repeating Arms factory in New Haven would soon close, capping 140 years of Winchester manufacturing in the city.

But then I read this and felt much better:

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.

Sauvage said the Herstal Group wants to extend that right past 2007 but Olin has not decided whether to allow it. Spokeswoman Ann Pipkin said Olin is disappointed with Herstal's decision to close the plant and may sell the Winchester naming rights to someone else.

"The legendary Winchester name, we want it to be on a great-quality firearm," she said.

In other words, it seems that Herstal group has ticked folks off for screwing with their heritage.

Read the rest.

Winchester Rifles to Be Discontinued - Yahoo! News

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