This And That

I was out of town at the end of last week at a company meeting. I missed that the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee was having a hearing regarding the death of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata. However, David Codrea didn’t miss it nor the fact that two BATFE officials on their own accord skipped the meeting despite being “invited” to appear.

He (former Agent Vince Cefalu) was referring to Thursday’s appearance (video below) before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Activities by Thomas E. Brandon, Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The hearing was held to further explore the ambush murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata by cartel operatives in Mexico, where “straw-purchased” guns allowed by ATF to “walk” across the border were recovered from the scene.

Two of Brandon’s agents, Associate Deputy Director Ronald Turk and Dallas Field Division Special Agent in Charge William Temple, were no-shows to the hearing. They decided on their own not to come testify, and Brandon informed Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz that he agreed with their decision.

Recognizing a continuation of the stonewalling that was dragged on for years by ATF and the Department of Justice under the Obama administration, Chaffetz was having none of it. He immediately issued subpoenas for Temple and Turk to appear on March 22.

Ronald Turk, you may recall, is the one who wrote a white paper discussing, among other things, removing suppressors from the NFA. You’d think a guy who is clearly aiming to be named the new Director of BATFE would want some face time with Congress even if it wasn’t going to be all favorable.

I also missed that Remington Arms Company is again laying off employees at their Ilion, New York plant due to slowing sales. My friend Rob Morse didn’t miss it. He noted:

Remington Arms is moving out of anti-gun New York..one layoff at a time. They expand their production in Alabama during a market increase, and cut from the New York plant during the downturns. I guess elections have consequences as New York voters raised both the price of doing business and of owning a gun in NY.

If you listen to the news lately, you would think that the mainstream media has been teleported to the 1950s with all the hysteria over Russia. It is almost like that 60s move The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming! Lest you think that we in the gun culture are exempt from the Russian hysteria, Sebastian discusses a Daily Beast article trying to tie the NRA to Vlad (the Impaler) Putin.

I did work the GRNC booth Saturday morning at the Asheville Gun Show. While our business was a bit slow, the crowds seemed bigger than this time last year. I don’t know whether it was bargain shopping on the part of attendees or because we were supposed to get snow Saturday night.

I didn’t check the prices of ARs at the show but they did seem down at the Winston-Salem show I attended the preceding weekend. If anyone is looking for an AR15, now is as good a time as you’ll ever get to buy one. I have seen Ruger AR-555s selling under $500 at multiple locations, off-brands for under $400, and the S&W M&P-15 in the low $500 range. If you want to look for deals, check the Reddit sub group called gun deals.

Gun Industry News – 3

In the third bit of gun industry news, Remington Arms has announced a limited lifetime warranty for all Remington firearms produced after January 1, 2016.

In celebration of its 200th year in business, Remington Arms is introducing a new limited lifetime warranty for all Remington firearms purchased on or after Jan. 1, 2016.

“We take pride in crafting dependable, quality firearms designed to last a lifetime in the field or on the range,” said Leland Nichols, Senior Vice President/General Manager of Firearms & Accessories. “We’re proud of the Americans who manufacture our products and want to showcase their skill by offering a limited lifetime warranty on all of our firearms.”

The warranty covers the original purchaser of a new firearm from defects in materials and workmanship for the duration of their ownership of the firearm. It allows for repair or replacement of any part(s) of the firearm, or replacement of the firearm if un-repairable, so long as all other requirements of the warranty are fulfilled*.

All products purchased Jan. 1, 2016, or after are covered by the limited lifetime warranty offer.

Remington Arms was born in 1816 when Eliphalet Remington II turned his first rifle barrel in his father’s New York State forge. He soon began making his own flintlock rifle, selling thousands to American gunsmiths and creating a name for himself in the firearms business.

Twelve years later he and the factory were in Ilion, a city that has become synonymous with Eliphalet’s firearms. From there Remington won military contracts, armed the Federals in the Civil War, and saw his three sons join him in what became a family business.

In its 200 years Remington has introduced truly paradigm-shifting creations, from the Model 700 to the 870. With handgun designs providing an important piece of the company’s portfolio in its early years, Remington once again offers pistols with its 1911 and .380 ACP varieties.

For more information on the warranty and to learn more about Remington’s history, visit remington.com.

* Remington does not warrant against any type of defect to the firearm that Remington did not cause, including but not limited to:

  • Failure to provide proper care and maintenance
  • Accidents, abuse, or misuse
  • Barrel obstruction
  • Handloaded, reloaded, or improper ammunition
  • Unauthorized adjustments, repairs, or modifications
  • Normal wear and tear

Coming on the heels of Remington’s troubles regarding triggers in the Model 700 and the R-51 debacle, perhaps this is an effort to assure consumers that their troubles are in the past. I will be checking out their booth at the NRA Annual Meeting later this month.

Commentary on Facebook hasn’t been too generous. Grant Cunningham posted news of the new warranty with this comment, “Somehow I don’t think many R51 owners will be impressed.” The other comments were even less generous.

Speaking of the R-51, Richard Johnson of Guns, Holsters and Gear reports that he is hearing rumors that Remington will reintroduce the pistol at the NRA Annual Meeting. If so, that lifetime warranty was announced in the nick of time for potential buyers!

PS: I don’t think it is smart business for a company headquartered in Madison, North Carolina with their largest operations in Huntsville, Alabama to be bragging that they “armed the Federals in the Civil War.”  Are they trying to appease the anti-gun social justice warriors who want any vestige of the Confederacy erased by saying “we were for the other side”?

The Effects Of The NY SAFE Act Coming Home To Roost

The backers of the New York SAFE Act said the law would make New Yorkers safer. About the only thing I can see that it has done is to cost good, hard working New Yorkers their jobs.

This view is shared by Fran Madore, President of United Mine Workers Local 717. The union represents the overwhelming majority of the workers at Remington’s Ilion, New York plant.

A union official said Saturday the Remington Arms Co.’s decision to open a manufacturing plant in Alabama does not bode well for Ilion, and he’s blaming New York’s SAFE Act restrictions on assault weapons.

“It can’t be good,” said Fran Madore, president of United Mine Workers Local 717, which represents 1,180 of the 1,300 Remington employees in Ilion. “How can it be good?”

Madore said plant officials told him they wanted to meet with him Monday. They did not say what they wanted to talk about, but Madore said he assumes it will be about the company’s reported plans to open a 500,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Ala.

In his interview with the Syracuse Post-Standard, Madore goes on to say that the NY SAFE Act crippled them and that he is worried that jobs will lost in Ilion.

I think Mr. Madore has good reason to be worried.

A Way To Commemorate The War To End War

World War I was first called the war to end war in August 1914 by H. G. Wells. It was thought that defeating “German militarism” would bring about an end to war. How naive some were at the beginning of that brutal and horrible war which introduced tanks, planes, and chemical warfare to the arsenal of battlefield implements.

Also introduced to more widespread use in World War I was the 1911 pistol which first saw use in the latter stages of the Moro Rebellion in the Philippines. While originally only manufactured by Colt and the Army’s Springfield Armory, the need for more pistols saw other manufacturers given contracts to make the 1911. Included in this list of manufacturers was Remington-UMC.


To commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War One, Remington is teaming up with Turnbull Manufacturing to reintroduce a historically accurate Remington-UMC 1911. They will only be making 1,000 sets which include the 1911, the holster, 2 magazines, a lanyard, and mag pouch. I don’t know how much this commemorative set will be but I guess it won’t be cheap. According to the comments, you will be able to order this through your local Remington dealer.

Nice!

Remington Looking At Georgia?

Georgia is home to both Glock and Daniel Defense. It is also being considered by Beretta who was reported to have scouted a central Georgia location earlier this year. Now it appears that Georgia officials are working hard to convince Remington Arms to relocate from Ilion, New York to their state.

State Sen. Burt Jone (R-Jackson) discussed this in a Q&A session with the Butts County Partners for Smart Growth this past week. Butts County is midway between Atlanta and Macon along Interstate 75.

Jones, R-Jackson, said that while Beretta has narrowed its focus to two Georgia locations — not in Butts County — the Remington Arms Company is considering relocating from New York, where its Ilion Firearms Plant and Custom Shop is located. He said state officials are working to try to bring the plant to Georgia and he’s hoping to land it in his district, possibly his home county.

Jones discussed the possibility during a question-and-answer session after his remarks Thursday to the group Partners for Smart Growth.

Remington, he said, “is looking to leave New York due to taxes, due to the unions, due to all the factors that run businesses away from your community, and they have zeroed in on the state of Georgia as being one of the states that they’re considering.”

He said he is working to get Butts County and District 25 on a list of “potential landing spots” for Remington.

“It could mean literally thousands of jobs for a community, wherever it might land,” Jones said.

It may only be wishful thinking on the part of the state of Georgia and Sen. Jones that Remington would leave New York. However, it is a fact that the NY SAFE Act has cost that state jobs. American Tactical and Kahr Arms are relocating out of state and others have decided any expansions will be made in outside of New York.

UPDATE: Tom at Fill Yer Hands reminded me that Heckler & Koch has operations down in Columbus, Georgia.

H/T Tim Glance

Not Just Famous For Country Music

Nashville, Tennessee is justly famous as being the center of country music. It is home to both the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. And, if the rumors being reported by The Tennessean are correct, the future home to a major Remington Arms manufacturing plant.

One of the nation’s largest gun manufacturers, Remington Arms, has looked at sites around Nashville for a potential corporate relocation or expansion that would likely include hundreds of manufacturing jobs.

The Madison, N.C.-based company, which is part of the nation’s largest firearms company and has its largest plant in Ilion, N.Y, has scouted sites near Nashville’s airport, Lebanon and in Clarksville, Tenn.

Why Nashville?

According to the story, a plant in Middle Tennessee would place it between their plants in Lonoke, AR and Mayfield, KY. Moreover, it would only be a 2 hour drive to their technical and research center in Elizabethton, KY. They also have a distribution center run by a third party in Memphis.

An expanded article in today’s Tennessean notes that owners of industrial locations are having their properties scouted.

Reports about Remington’s search for sites come as owners of large tracts of land and economic development officials said they’re seeing more corporate relocation and other prospects in Middle Tennessee. Within the past two months, local real estate investor and developer Bert Mathews has encountered unidentified prospects at his 180-acre Buchanan Point site near Nashville International Airport off Interstate 40.

They include a 50-acre user, a 10-acre user and other users that had sought space for a 250,000-square-foot building. “Everybody’s looking at Nashville,” said Mathews, also a past chairman of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Local and regional economic development officials were mum when asked about Remington’s search. “It is the policy of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council to refrain from discussing business recruitment projects, whether they be rumored or real,” said spokeswoman Robin Burton.

If Remington chooses to relocate operations from New York, it would add to the list of companies doing or planning to do so in part to protest stricter gun laws.

I should emphasize that these are only rumors but I doubt The Tennessean would have run a story specifically naming Remington Arms unless they had a solid source confirming the visits by Remington.

On the face of it, Middle Tennesse makes sense. You have engineering programs at Vanderbilt and Tennessee State along with engineering programs at Tennessee Tech, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Memphis which are within easy driving distance. You have a transportation hub with the intersection of Interstates 24, 40, and 65 and a good airport. And you have a gun-friendly, business-friendly right-to-work state.

What’s not to like about all of that if you are in the firearms industry?

Remington Breaks Ground On Ammo Plant Expansion

As I reported a few months ago, Remington is planning to expand their ammunition manufacturing plant in Lonoke, Arkansas. Yesterday, they held their ground-breaking ceremony. It attracted the politicians as both Gov. Mike Beebe (D-AR) and US Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) spoke. I’m sure as Democrats in an increasingly red state they wanted to be perceived as pro-gun. Pryor, by the way, was one of the few Democrats to vote against Manchin-Toomey.

The plant expansion is a $32 million project and is expected to be operational somewhere around mid-year 2014.

Remington Plant Manager Jim Grahlmann declined to comment on the purpose of the new facility, for competitive purposes, he said. Grahlmann added that while he couldn’t be specific, the new plant will add 50-100 “relatively high skill positions.”

He added that some of those jobs may be offered to current employees of the plant, depending on their qualifications.

Grahlmann said the new addition to the plant will be 35,000 square feet and should be constructed by June 2014, though he is unsure of when it will officially open, due to the company having to move the equipment into the facility.

While the plant manager is being a little closed mouthed about the purpose of the new facility, the PR department of Remington was not so reticent.

The Remington expansion will help meet consumer demand for quality ammunition products at a time when many sportsmen and gun owners are struggling to find supply. Further, it will stimulate both the state and local economy.

“This groundbreaking ceremony marks a significant event for Remington and for the Lonoke community,” said George Kollitides, Chief Executive Officer of Remington. “It demonstrates our commitment to state-of-the-art facilities; ensuring quality, increasing product availability and improving on-time delivery to our customers. The expansion also allows us the opportunity to provide job growth within a community that has supported us since we laid the first cornerstone here in 1969. We are honored and pleased to celebrate this expansion with such great partners.”

I really did like one comment that Gov. Beebe made regarding supporting expansion versus only recruiting new businesses.

“As we strive to create new relationships with new partners, we must never forget the ones we already have,” said Gov. Mike Beebe in reference to helping an existing manufacturer. “It is so much easier to expand existing business than it is to create new ones.”

THV Channel 11 has more on the ground-breaking below. I do want to correct one mistake that anchor Craig O’Neill made. He stated that Remington was the only company to make both firearms and ammunition. That is incorrect. ATK which makes Federal Ammuniton would also fit in that category with its acquisition earlier this year of Savage Arms.

“Industry Leading Firearms Manufacturing Company” Is Considering Rockingham County, NC

The Town of Mayodan and the Rockingham County Partnership for Economic and Tourism Development have announced that an industry-leading firearms company” is considered locating a major facility in Mayodan. The unnamed company will be hosting an open house on June 18th for potential employees. They are trying to find out if there are enough qualified employees to staff the plant.

As I posted in mid-May, Ruger had announced at their Annual Meeting that they had narrowed their search for their third manufacturing plant down to North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. One of their major requirements was an existing manufacturing facility of approximately 250,000 square feet. Rockingham County has approximately six available facilities that would meet this qualification according to a list from
Rockingham County Partnership for Economic and Tourism Development. Mayodan has two facilities on this list that were former Unifi Textile plants. 


Rockingham County is also home to the headquarters of Remington Arms/Freedom Group which has about 200 employees in Madison. However, as WGHP MyFox8 reports, the company considering Mayodan is not Remington.

Officials have not disclosed what the company is, but Graham Pervier, president of the RCPETD, said it is not Remington Arms.

Pervier could not say how many jobs would be created as a result of the possible expansion, but he said it is “a substantial number.”

The company is now working to decide whether the region has enough qualified candidates to support the expansion, Pervier said.

Town officials in Mayodan are quite excited about this possible new company and are strongly urging potential candidates to send their resumes.

“We’re pretty excited about what this could mean for our community,” Mayodan Town Manager Michael Brandt said. “This offers the potential to reuse one of our existing buildings and provide hundreds of much needed jobs for the area.”

Brandt said the amount of support demonstrated in this early candidate screening process would be a major determining factor in the company’s decision on location.

“So we really need people with the right skills and experience to apply as soon as possible,” Brandt said. “There’s a short timeframe here and we want to show the workforce is here and ready.”

The latest unemployment reports show that Rockingham County has a 10% unemployment rate. Mayodan, which is located in western Rockingham County, is located equidistant (or about 30 miles) from both Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

The Demand Curve Has Shifted To The Right

With all the new shooters coming into the market, the demand curve for ammunition has shifted significantly to the right. In other words, the market for ammunition has grown and grown substantially. Unfortunately, supply has not kept up with demand. One just has to go to the sporting goods department at any Walmart to understand that.

One of the common questions that Rob Morse and I asked of ammo producers last week at the NRA Annual Meeting was about supply and whether we’d be seeing the shortage easing. The answer was always that they were working at full capacity and they didn’t know when they’d catch up with demand. The problem for manufacturers beyond filling orders is deciding whether or not this current demand for ammunition is a short term up-cycle.

Remington has made the decision that the increased demand for ammunition is here to stay. As reported in the Outdoor Wire this morning, Remington announced a $32 million expansion to their ammo plant in Lonoke, Arkansas. They expect this new capacity to come on line in the second quarter of 2014.

“We are proud to provide job growth within communities that have supported us for so many years, while meeting the increasing global demand for superior ammunition products,” said Jim Grahlmann, Lonoke Plant Manager. “This expansion reinforces our commitment to deliver the finest quality products for our customers.”

“We continue to invest in all of our manufacturing operations because we are committed to ensuring quality, increasing product availability and improving on-time delivery,” said Kevin Miniard, Chief Operating Officer of Remington. “This significant investment in Lonoke is a testament to that commitment. Our customers can count on Remington to invest in its manufacturing operations in order to ensure that its facilities are state-of-the art and its employees are the best in the industry.”

If Remington is willing to spend $32 million to expand plant and capacity, it is as good an indicator as any that the increased demand we are seeing for ammunition is not just some short term event. Remington is betting house money that it is here to stay.

Remington Takes A Stand

Remington has set up a new website that allows people to send a prepared email regarding gun control efforts to elected officials at the national and state level. The website called “Take A Stand Now” also has a way to send a selection of prepared Tweets to your senators and congressman.

This brings to four the number of firearms and ammo manufacturers who have provided an easy way to send a pro-gun rights message to the White House, Congress, and the State Houses.

I used it to send out the pre-written message on Saturday morning. I received a personal email from State Senator Jim Davis (R-Macon) by that afternoon. My point is that the message does get through.