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Remington Is Planning to File for Bankruptcy (bloomberg.com)
20 points by williamstein 4 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 50 comments



Part of the problem gun companies face is that guns are reliable -- very reliable. Like "last 100 years" reliable. And guns are likely to be maintained, stored properly, and not simply lost.

I think that's part of the reason for all the gear and "tactical" stuff and expensive assault rifles... they tend to keep the revenue flowing.

And I also think that's why people who are against guns in general want assault rifles banned -- they drive the success of the gun industry. If you just go by the numbers, I don't see any justification for banning really any kind of rifle (unless it's full auto or something)[1].

[1] Around 5% of murders and probably lower for accidents and suicides https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-...


for the record, "assault rifle" is a defined term, it generally means a select-fire (can switch between single shot or burst/auto) rifle with an intermediate sized cartridge. these are almost entirely illegal and almost impossible to get legally in the US due to federal law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Firearms_Act)

"assault weapon" is a vague political term made up by the anti-gun lobby to ban weapons that are "like" assault rifles but are limited to semi-auto fire (one trigger pull = one boom) - http://assaultweapon.info is a quick slideshow presentation explaining the history


Assault Rifles are effectively already banned.

An "Assault Rifle" is an automatic weapon with a detachable magazine. One trigger pull = more than one bullet. Contrary to popular belief, an AR-15 is not an Assault Rifle (AR = Armalite Rifle, Armalite being a company). It is possible for individuals to own an automatic weapon, but the legal supply there of was frozen in 1986. If you want one, you need to reside in a state that allows individuals to own one (not all do), you also need to get a Class III firearms license from BATFE (prepare your butthole for a thorough examination for 6+ months). Since the supply is frozen at 1986 levels, you can expect to spend $10-40k for a single automatic rifle. All of this is outlined in the National Firearms Act (NFA). I am not aware of any legally owned NFA rifle being used in any crime because they are so expensive/rare.

An "Assault Weapon" is a semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine and 2 of 5 cosmetic features that do not in any appreciable way effect the dangerousness of the rifle (pistol grip, telescoping stock, etc . Semi-automatic means one trigger pull = one bullet. Assault Weapons like the AR-15 are frequently demonized because they look scary and are functionally identical to most non-bolt-action hunting rifles. They are used in very few crimes. For more information, google "Federal Assault Weapons Ban".


Class III will allow you to own automatic rifles registered after 1986.

Pre AWB items don’t need any special licensing but they cost an arm, leg and like 5 kidneys.


> Class III will allow you to own automatic rifles registered after 1986.

Outside of very narrow exceptions, such as dealers purchasing weapons for demo purposes while marketing to police departments, it is impossible to legally own an automatic weapon in the US manufactured and registered after 1986.


Class III SOT is a dealer, you need the FFL to match iirc type 9 FFL and class iii/is sot is the “easiet” combination to get.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Firearms_License


I just picked up a '64 SKS. Fires like it just left the factory. Unless I get a squib, my AR-15 will last for years. And if something breaks I can replace the part. I have no reason to get another AR unless I want a different caliber or a a SBR or something. Remington sold me what I wanted, so I never need anything else from them.

The gun industry loves when people rally for guns to be banned, it's why the NRA takes such a hardliner stand. Conflict will drive sales. I think the general populous has come to the notion that guns will never be banned (if it was going to happen, it'd have happened after Vegas. What a fucked up world we live in...), so there is no reason to stockpile. Also, the 2nd hand market is booming, which I think is a major factor.


Doing my best to walk on eggshells here.

>I think that's part of the reason for all the gear and "tactical" stuff and expensive assault rifles... they tend to keep the revenue flowing.

Fear sells. In the case of ARs and the vast accessory market, it's been quite lucrative since 2008 or so.

>And I also think that's why people who are against guns in general want assault rifles banned

As people on both sides of this debate are bound to point out, "assault rifle" doesn't mean much in terms of operating characteristics. It means a lot in terms of marketability, though!


> As people on both sides of this debate are bound to point out, "assault rifle" doesn't mean much in terms of operating characteristics. It means a lot in terms of marketability, though!

I honestly don't recall the last time I saw a gun company market something as an "assault _____".

Many pro-gun folks have been trying to get the term "Modern Sporting Rifle" to stick. I find it kind of silly, myself. They're just "ARs" (for AR-15-pattern rifles) or "AKs" (for AKM-pattern rifles).


What are semi-automatic Mini-14s, M1As, Sig 556s, Steyr AUG, Bushmaster ACR, etc. (the list is endless), then?

They're not "assault rifles" because that definition requires select-fire capability.

It would be nice to have a catchall term that means "semi-automatic detachable-magazine-fed rifle chambered in an intermediate cartridge" but is a bit less of a mouthful, and doesn't have an inaccurate, negative, politically charged connotation like "assault weapon" does.


Perhaps "modern sporting rifle"? That seems to be the term the gun industry has settled on.


"AR" comes from their original manufacturer, Armalite. The "Armalite Rifle 15" was a downsized version of the AR-10, chambered in 7.62.


> "assault rifle" doesn't mean much in terms of operating characteristics.

I think you're both mixing up assault rifles and assault weapons. Assault rifles are full-auto or burst fire, medium length rifles. Assault weapons are guns that happen to fall under very specific and changing laws.


> "assault rifle" doesn't mean much in terms of operating characteristics

In my experience, what reasonable gun control advocates mean when they talk about ARs are rifles equipped with gas powered repeating actions.

There is a fundamental difference between a bolt-action rifle, which has no practical way to be converted to an automatic weapon, and gas powered semi automatic that anyone who knows how to type "youtube" into the browser bar can turn into a bullet hose.

There was a good writeup on this here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/06/opinion/banning-bump-stoc...


Use of fully-automatic firearms and rapid-fire devices like bump stocks for crime, including mass shootings has been exceedingly rare. I haven't seen gun control advocates talk about this much until the Las Vegas mass shooting.

Instead, they typically argue that semi-automatic rifles are too deadly in their original configuration. While I can understand the argument, it doesn't seem to be very rooted in reality given that their use in crime is exceedingly rare. The vast majority of crimes committed using firearms involve handguns.

I think it's likely the people pushing for restrictions or bans on semi-automatic rifles want them as a stepping stone to additional firearms restrictions, as the data available suggests it would not have a significant impact on crime even if a ban greatly reduced the availability of such rifles. They're being targeted for bans because they're an easy target; it's easy to argue to the average person that there's no legitimate reason for civilians to have them.


"I think it's likely the people pushing for restrictions or bans on semi-automatic rifles want them as a stepping stone to additional firearms restrictions"

I think it's more like a culture war -- go after the enthusiasts and influencers first. Take away someone's rifle when they got it from their grandfather, and you take away one rifle. Take away all of the young enthusiasts' rifles, and you also take their friends and family out of the picture for generations hence; and take away a lot of revenue from the industry as well.


It is difficult to legally define an assault weapon when you still want to allow hunting rifles, and manufacturers are looking for any loophole. Congress did a fairly reasonable job in 1994 under the circumstances. There is a reason armies go to war with assault rifles and not hunting rifles. Intermediate cartridge, pistol grip, large box magazine, and in some cases collapsable stock make a weapon adequately accurate at medium range, handy enough in close quarters, and able to deliver a large volume of fire. These weapons are useful for two things: looking cool and killing people.


"Doing my best to walk on eggshells here."

Why? Sincere question. I think it would shed some light on why our political discourse has taken a turn for the worse.

Just say what you want to say. Others should give you the benefit of the doubt that you aren't evil, and ask for clarification as required.

(Note: by "clarification" I don't mean "clarify which side you are on so I know whether to be outraged or not", I mean to clarify whatever unique perspectives you have to offer.)


"[Assault rifle] means a lot in terms of marketability, though!"

Money, more importantly. That's why people who want to starve the gun industry make them illegal; not because they are dangerous, but because they are a good revenue source for the industry.

Also, assault rifles are favored by younger enthusiasts, so banning them is a way to nip the market in the bud.


I don't think that's the reasoning behind it. I think it's more that they've been made the scariest form of gun by the media (disregarding the fact that pistols kill an order of magnitude more people). Any time a semi-automatic centerfire magazine fed rifle is used in a mass shooting, media outlets want to focus on the weapon the shooter used. Then people who know nothing about guns except that they hate them rally to ban the ones with the aesthetic features they've seen on TV, and that's how you get idiotic legislation like California's assault weapon laws (ex: a rifle with a pistol grip is illegal while the exact same gun with a rifle stock is legal).


> If you just go by the numbers, I don't see any justification for banning really any kind of rifle (unless it's full auto or something)

I've long thought that if possible, banning handguns and allowing rifles would get us a long way towards some sane medium. Most the sport/safety features of having a gun are still present in rifle form, and many of the problems are mitigated, since it's much harder to hide.

The problem is that when I've brought it up, many 2nd amendment proponents come up with odd and not very convincing reasons why they are still important, and if you press them come around to just admitting they believe it's all just a slippery slope and a play by politicians to complete gun bans (just like any other reforms).

I'm not convinced any forward progress can be made on this issue when such distrust exists between at least one side of the issue, and the other often willfully ignores any valid points against their position.


"I've long thought that if possible, banning handguns and allowing rifles would get us a long way towards some sane medium."

That would be an interesting compromise, but there are a bunch of things to consider:

* You'd need really strong protections for all kinds of semi-auto rifles to convince people that it's not just a gun-grabbing conspiracy.

* Home defense might be more complicated. It would seem that long guns could work -- though perhaps we'd need to redefine them down to a little smaller size. But keeping a rifle ready, yet away from children is a little more complicated than for a pistol I think.

* A lot of people aren't really protected by police, and it would trouble me to take away their handguns. But maybe that ship has already sailed because carrying a gun is not recognized as a right in some states.

* Recent estimates suggest there are about a zillion handguns in the country. Even with 100% compliance, that suggests a logistical challenge. And with less than 100% compliance, that creates a lot of interesting challenges.

Really, I'd be OK with your proposal. It crossed my mind before. I think it could be OK constitutionally speaking (and I'm fairly strict as far as the Constitution goes), largely because rifles are just a lot better for pretty much anything other than carrying. So, given that carrying isn't really protected, pistols don't really seem so important in areas you can't carry anyway.

Then again, some people like pistols, and that's reason enough to respect their rights (if you believe such a right exists). Freedom means you don't always get an answer to the question "why?". As long as we want Oklahoma to be a state, rather than some kind of landlocked territory, we have to have some deference to their way of life.


> You'd need really strong protections for all kinds of semi-auto rifles to convince people that it's not just a gun-grabbing conspiracy.

I'd support that. There are many valid uses for guns, and I do believe in their protection under the constitution (and I believe they have a good reason to be protected). I just don't think handguns are a useful progression of those reasons.

> Home defense might be more complicated.

In execution, possibly. It's slightly more unwieldy. I'm not sure a shotgun isn't a better choice in that situation anyway (and it has less lethal ammo options for those that want that).

> But keeping a rifle ready, yet away from children is a little more complicated than for a pistol I think.

I'm not sure it is when you are taking what I believe most people would say are appropriate steps to secure a gun when there are children in the house. Lock the gun somehow or lock up the gun in a gun safe. A safe would have to be bigger for a rifle, but a trigger guard should be fairly cheap. It may not help with theft, but I'm not sure the incentives apply quite the same with stealing rifles as handguns.

> A lot of people aren't really protected by police, and it would trouble me to take away their handguns.

An exchange program, possibly?

> Recent estimates suggest there are about a zillion handguns in the country. Even with 100% compliance, that suggests a logistical challenge.

It does, and this proposal might be entirely infeasible. That said, if we reduce the number of handguns to the point that they are much less common and/or worth much more money, we might find their use in a lot of crimes diminished. Banning sale of handguns and a generous federally funded turn-in program (e.g. 50% over MSRP for anything bought over a year prior to law passing with serial and registration showing such, 90% MSRP for more recent, adjust for inflation as the program runs in the future and there is no longer a recent MSRP).

As people turn things in over time, or guns get stolen and turned in for quick cash with few questions (and no returns to the owner, sorry), handgun supply might go low enough that the more lucrative way to use them is to sell them to a private collector willing to pay a lot of money rather that keep them for actual use (whether that be illegal or protective). I'm not sure how that would work with the turn in program.

> Then again, some people like pistols, and that's reason enough to respect their rights (if you believe such a right exists).

Huh? Since when does what some people like play into a discussion about national safety? Some people like driving at extremely high speeds as well, but we don't protect their preference by allowing that everywhere, we cordon that behavior to small specific venues. I'm not opposed to special licenses for gun ranges to carry their own handguns for in-house rental use.

All our laws that restrict liberties are a trade-off for safety, and should be viewed in that light. In that argument, what people like carries fairly little weight with me. What is functionally equivalent in the most acceptable ways while achieving the safety gains we are looking for is where the argument should center, in my opinion.

> Really, I'd be OK with your proposal. It crossed my mind before.

Thanks. It's nice to hear what sounds like an honest assessment. While I fully admit it's logistically challenging to say the least (but let's admit it, what solution or event partial solution to this won't be?), I think it might be the best "bang for our buck", in that it has the least impact of actual use for most the reasons people cite they want a gun while eventually providing a nice boost in safety. It definitely wouldn't be cheap or easy though.


This is true. I have rifles that are 100 years old, and they are in as new condition. Clean and oil after firing and they will last forever.

The majority of my rifles are old...30+ years and are as new. I haven't purchased a new rifle in many many years.


The orgy of gun hoarding over the last decade or so is staggering. It’s truly bizarre and unsustainable.

Add a lag in that insanity to the pump and dump mismanagement of private equity guys sucking the place dry and poof.


It's a little strange that these big gun companies are not private, independent, and debt-free. They've been around for long enough -- why do they subject themselves to the whims of investors? Why not just keep chugging along and protect their products?

I guess the obvious answer is "money". Seems sad that the spirit of independence is so shallow.


They are mostly private companies where the families cash out and the fate of the company and brand depends on the buyer.

It looks like Remington got picked up by an equity group that bought the firm, borrowed as much as possible, paid itself as much as possible and is now liquidating.

It’s a common business model. See Toys R Us and even the KMart/Sears shitshow as recent variants on the theme. The movie Wall St described similar strategies from the 80s.


A look through the relevant Wikipedia article shows Smith & Wesson having changed ownership 5 times since 1965 when the Wesson family sold its controlling interest, presumably to cash out. The last sale was in 2001, for a mere $15 million.

The company's current market capitalization is over half a billion dollars.


> The orgy of gun hoarding over the last decade or so is staggering. It’s truly bizarre and unsustainable.

It's due to two things, in my opinion: the expiration of the "Assault Weapons Ban" in 2004, and the rise of first-person shooter video games.


Americans bought out the gun stores because they are racists and Obama is a black man. There’s a reason they call him “the best gun salesman in America.”


Too bad Hillary didn't win, she was another black man who could have taken the title. There was a similar buying frenzy leading up to the 2016 General Election.


Sad. I've had a great experience with my 1100 and 870 shotguns and 742 deer rifle. But, on the other hand, those are all second-hand, older models that were manufactured in the 1970s or 80s, and are likely to last the rest of my lifetime - and are in fact superior quality to the replacement models that were subsequently introduced.

For typical civilian usages, firearms were essentially perfected over a half-century ago.


I don't think the economics of gun sales have really anything to do with public opposition to assault rifles; I doubt 1 gun control advocate in 200 even knows that assault rifles are relatively lucrative. I sure didn't; I'd have assumed the money was in hand guns.


Honestly I really don't know, but they are:

* more expensive

* amenable to more gear of various kinds ("tactical")

* the ammo is much more expensive, and much easier to fire quickly

* used more among enthusiasts, a.k.a. "influencers"

So basically, you sell a pistol to someone, get a $500 sale in a competitive market (probably low margins), and sell some ammo and range time a few times a year.

But if you sell the tactical stuff (e.g. assault rifles and other gear-accomodating stuff), you are likely to get a few high-margin follow up sales and a more enthusiastic customer who might involve their friends, use more ammo, etc.


I'm not expressing skepticism that they're an important component of the weapons industry's cash flow. I'm just saying that gun control proponents don't know this, and so it's unlikely that their strategy is built around it.


I think you probably need to split gun control proponents into (at least) a couple of buckets.

There are casual gun control proponents who likely don't know this about the gun industry.

There is another, much smaller, but potentially more effective, cohort that very much do. I've read literature from and spoken to activists that very much are attacking assault weapons strategically. Both because of them being an easier target, especially after a mass shooting, and because of the revenue implications.


Fuck the fact this comment became more topical soon after I wrote it.


Remington Outdoors isn't filing for bankruptcy because of politics or because guns last a long time, as others have suggested. They've been acquiring big-name arms manufactures like Remington Arms, Bushmaster, and Marlin, then throwing quality control out the window while they ride the reputations of their subsidiaries into the ground.


Exactly. See the fiasco with the R51.


I just read bout that...what an appalling effort, and they should have known better. They have serious issues of a newly designed pistol cannot match a $150 Makarov in terms of manufacturing quality.


"Half the guns in America are owned by only 3 percent of the adult population, with an average of 17 firearms each."

Interesting. So there are really two target markets - people who want one gun for use, and people who are into guns as a hobby.


This isn't really something that's specific to guns. Any hobby is going to end up with statistics like this. If you take a sample of say, motorcyclists - you might find that for 10 people who own exactly one, there's a collector who owns 20 who skews the average strongly (and a few more who own 2-5).

Guns are cheaper (on average) than motorcycles, they last longer, have been around longer, and tend to get passed down by generations (so one might find themselves with their grandfather's collection of 20 guns, and then add another 20 over their lifetime, then pass them along to their grandchild), so the skew is going to be much stronger.


Remington has been badly mismanaged for years - this isn't news to anyone in the gun world.


This needs to be closer to the top, no need to extrapolate further. Remington has been outputting crap for years, this doesn't represent the gun industry as a whole like some other commenters seem to be inferring.


The irony of it all - by electing a republican* president, the democrats have a victory which would not have been possible if a democrat president took office.

I wonder if this effect has a name and whether it can be applied to computer security too? For instance, having a pro-encryption-backdoor president inadvertently increasing security.

*republican in name only


I don't think anyone anti-gun really sees this as a victory. I doubt the closure of Remington will reduce gun sales.


Guns are easy to make if you have the right tools. There will always be someone making and selling; even if it is the local store down the road. This will change nothing.

Arms sales are a big market. I think what happened here is that Remington took a bet on the Civilian Market in the US and lost.


It's more like they got loaded down by debt, had terrible QC issues (brand new shotgun barrels rusting before they were even fired by the customer), and then were finally done in by the declining sales.


>> Guns are easy to make if you have the right tools.

That's a bit much. Rifling barrels is not a trivial task.


It's more trivial now than it was when they did it in the 18th century...




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