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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Massad Ayoob

UH, OH…

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Layoffs at Remington, a huge arms/ammo manufacturing entity and something of a bellwether for the industry.

Layoffs at Colt, too – including Brent Turchi, head of the Custom Shop, who has long been one of Colt’s great ambassadors.  American industry has an unfortunate habit of trying to lose weight by cutting away brain tissue instead of fat.  Rumor is that Mark Redl will be adding Brent’s duties to his own.  Mark is another of Colt’s great assets.

NRA seems to see some light at the end of the tunnel for Colt, and I hope they’re right.

Discussion of same here.

22 Responses to “UH, OH…”

  1. Roger Willco Says:

    I stink at business, but I try to understand it anyway. Could it be that with Trump in the White House, Americans feel safer, and they are buying fewer firearms and less ammo? Could the 8-year firearms buying frenzy be slowing down, and would that be the reason for the layoffs?

    Forgive my self-interestedness, but I hope the price of ammo will come down. I don’t shoot often, and when I do, I fire fewer rounds. I want my stockpile to stay high, and I haven’t been buying many cartridges. If the price comes down, I will buy more, shoot more, and then buy more again. That would be a win-win situation for both me and the ammunition companies.

    Hmmm, I wonder if President Hillary Clinton could have been an even better firearm salesman than President Barack Obama. The stock market and the firearms business were the bright spots in the Obama economy.

  2. .45StayAlive Says:

    This is what happens when the World’s Greatest Gun Salesman retires after eight years of exemplary service.

  3. Dave (the Liberal, non-Uncle one) Says:

    Way off topic, but the popcorn self-defense retired LEO shooter in Florida has been denied the first-stage self-defense immunity provided for under Florida law. Judge said she didn’t believe shooter’s testimony that he was in reasonable fear of his life. Order makes interesting reading:

    http://www.wtsp.com/news/curtis-reeves-denied-stand-your-ground-motion-will-face-trial/421379261

    And, yes, every news article about this says that the judge denied his “stand your ground” when what the court did had nothing to do with SYG.

  4. Jack Says:

    Let me begin by saying I’ve bought Remingtom Arms rifles since the 70’s. I own a number of expensive Remingtoms. Recently I had a nightmare experience with Remingtom when I had to send in (2) Model 700 CDL’s due to trigger recall. After sending the guns in as asked I waited about (4) months and started calling the small gunshot in Tennessee where they Remingtom had me ship my rifles. The contact was difficult at best after getting Remingtom involved I found out my rifles had not been repaired yet in the four months anyway a few more months passed I received them back one was fine and one was damaged where it needed barell and stock replacement so here we go again months passed many phone calls to Remingtom again with small gun shop this time in NC what happened to my rifle is the gun shop had lost it. Anyways, Remingtom has turned into terrible customer service and I’ve herd this from numerous people in the gun business which is very unfortunate. There sales have suffered due to this and poor management which is linked together. On the other hand companies like Ruger Springfield Karh Arms and Smith and Wesson are fast turnaround, polite to deal with plus repair their own products. This makes a difference when buying guns these days because there not built like they use to be.

  5. Mas Says:

    Our friend Andrew Branca’s take on the Curtis Reeves case mentioned by Liberal Dave can be found here: http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/03/order-denying-immunity-in-popcorn-shooting-riddled-with-legal-errors/ .

  6. BgDnTX Says:

    I am a small FFL that does not stock many firearms; my distributors ship 2-day air and I don’t have a million bucks to set up a retail shop. I can’t buy Colt firearms unless I stock about $20,000+ in firearms up front, which I’m not going to do. So I don’t (can’t) get Colt anything.
    It hasn’t hurt me at all. I buy S&W and Ruger revolvers, which are less expensive and sometimes better, ARs that are as good or better (Daniel Defense etc.), and semi – auto pistols that are plentiful and come in all variations. About the only thing I miss is a Colt 1911 occasionally.
    I wonder how much business they have lost by cutting off the little guys like me. Maybe the trouble at Colt is management not workers.

  7. BgDnTX Says:

    In my previous post I said I had to buy $20,000+ in firearms. I need to clarify that by saying I have to be a Colt Stocking Dealer, which means I have to stock over $20,000+ in Colt firearms. I don’t know any other manufacturer that requires this.
    I can live without Colt.

  8. Max Weinstock Says:

    I bought my last Colt when the brand new Combat Commander shed the safety plunger tube, two front sights, and a rear sight. I had drop the gun off in Hartford three times before they finally fixed the problems.

    I adore the design, but back then, Colt quality was abysmal.

    Here’s hoping that things have turned around there.

  9. Tom R. Says:

    I haven’t and won’t purchase anything Remington since having a model 700 some years back with the trigger problems. I sent it in for repair and took nearly a year to get it back at which time I sold to the first person that would buy it.
    As far as 1911’s go, I’ve carried one of one variety or another for just over 50 years, but none of them have been a Colt. My current one is a Metro arms American Classic Commander that has over 4000 trouble free rounds through it and my total cost when I bought it was 489 bucks tax and all.
    I think Remington, Colt and a few other are putting themselves out of business due to their over pricing and pee poor service. Just my opinion.

  10. Objectivist Dad Says:

    @Roger Wilco Why apologize for being selfish? Shooting more is clearly a value to you, and lower prices would help you achieve that.

    As to Remington etc, could this be similar to what happened with Harley Davidson? Basically assuming they were too big to fail and acted like it?

  11. Dave (the Liberal, non-Uncle one) Says:

    The important part of Andrew Branca’s analysis is not, frankly, his analysis of legal errors but his last section entitled “Judge’s Errors Were Not Harmless” where he goes on to say, first, that they may have indeed been harmless “I … do not know whether defense counsel raised the ‘prevent a forcible felony’ argument during the hearing. Perhaps they did not, in which case it may be too late to raise that argument now…” and, second, even if they did and it was appealed and deemed to be harmful error that “a reasonable finder of fact [i.e. the judge who issued this order] would nevertheless still conclude that Reeves had failed to establish self-defense by a preponderance of the evidence”. I’m no expert on Florida law, but I rather suspect that if an appellate court found the judge’s failure to consider the “prevent a forcible felony” argument harmful that they would simply remand the case to the judge to consider that point.

  12. Dave (the Liberal, non-Uncle one) Says:

    Oh, and PS, as much as I hate the term, isn’t it fake news to entitle a section “Judge’s Errors Were Not Harmless” and then to _immediately_ go on and admit that they may, indeed, have been harmless due to defense counsel’s omission, but that we should _presume_ that it was harmful because competent defense counsel wouldn’t have omitted it?

  13. F-111 John Says:

    Any potential “Trump effect” on firearms sales has only been in effect since November 8th, just four months. That is not enough time for slack sales to cause a large manufacturer like Remington to start laying off workers. No, the cause of the layoffs had to occur further back in time.

    I give you the Remington R51. Buy an R51, get an R1 1911 in compensation. That couldn’t have been good for the bottom line, and the reintroduced R51 Gen 2 hasn’t exactly been a barn-burner of a seller, which isn’t going to make up for all of those R1s that went out the door for R51 prices.

  14. Larry Cunningham Says:

    I keep hearing people say that we have become complacent since President Trump has taken office and stopped buying new guns. I for one stocked up on powder, projectiles and reloading equipment in fear of him losing. I have enough to last for several years now and don’t have the money to purchase more firearms. I do have money put away for a CZ P10c when it makes its way to the store. I want to use it for my Mag 40 in June so I hope it comes soon.
    If I had additional cash at the time I would be able to buy more, just probably not Colt due to the cost.

    Larry Cunningham

  15. Fruitbat44 Says:

    I find conspiracy theories fun they’re tongue-in-cheek, and decided unfunny when they are taken seriously, so placing tongue-in-cheek; Trump and Hilary’s candidacy where all the work of the firearms industry! HRC to boost sales in anticipation of an anti-gun presidency, and Trumps candidacy was there to make sure she won! But then Russia hacked the ballot papers and the rest is history . . . Removing tongue from cheek.

    As to state of Remington, oh dear. I hope it turns around. There is a, IMHO, interesting thirty-minuute talk about the history of Colt, which would seem to be of relevance to Remington’s situation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk_TxE1d9HY

  16. TN_MAN Says:

    I have never owned a Colt firearm of any type. Frankly, it has always seemed to me that other manufacturers (Smith & Wesson, Ruger, etc.) offer more value for the money. My tendency is to always try to get good “bang for my buck”. 🙂

    I have never been one to buy anything (a gun, a car, etc.) just because of name-brand appeal. I am more of a “value” shopper and Colt has just not been offering a lot of value in recent years.

    Nevertheless, I have always lusted for a six-inch Colt Python (in Colt Royal Blue, Please!). Unfortunately, since Colt stopped making them, the price of all used Colt “snake” revolvers has shot through the roof. I have been unable to bring myself to part with enough money to buy a used one at their current, inflated prices.

    I see that Colt has recently reintroduced a version of the Cobra. If Colt could only be persuaded to bring back the Python (at some sort of reasonable price point), I would snap one up in an instant! I might consider it even if it was only offered in stainless rather than the Royal Blue that I lust after.

  17. jack zeller Says:

    Like the FFL holder above, I can no longer get Colts from my distributors because I refuse to purchase 15/20000 dollars of Colt inventory at once. I am a little dealer and simply cannot afford to do that. I used to (up through 2016) sell quite a few but no longer can. Bad for me, but great for Smith & Wesson. I have sold at least six customers Smith’s that came in here looking for a Colt AR platform and pistols. One customer wanted to know what I thought of the .308 Colt. I showed him the M&P 10 for a thousand less and told him that with mine, I get 3/4 inch groups all day long as long as I stick with the 168 grainers. He bought one on the spot and brought a friend in to order another.. IMHO Colt won’t last too long unless they move to a gun liking state with MUCH cheaper energy costs than Conn. And as far as paying their help high wages, the have too. Checked the cost of living in Connecticut index lately?

  18. RIK Says:

    Perhaps Colt will do what Beech aircraft did in 2008, that a new product can be purchased only directly from the company, no more authorized dealers.

    As for impending layoffs, I opine a majority of owners are well inventoried for the time being. Any impending layoffs may be the result of Just In Time manufacturing. Time will tell, methinks it is short term.

  19. Roger Willco Says:

    If Colt’s and Remington’s business is hurting after the eight-year BOOMING firearms market, they must be managed very badly. Looks like an opportunity for a turn-around artist to get in there and start paying attention to customer service again. I guess it’s easy for successful people to get comfortable, and then get lazy. And it looks like that happens to people in government and private industry. Reminds me of the story of the grasshopper and the ant.

  20. TRX Says:

    As I understand it, Colt got Borged by asset strippers years ago, and no longer owns their factory, their intellectual property, or even the Colt trademark. “Colt” is just a shambling zombie under a layer of remoras.

  21. Justin Opinion Says:

    In the early 1980’s I watched as the “Big Three” in Detroit begin to sink into the quagmire of outdated business practices and deaf arrogance. People lost jobs. Some deserved to, some didn’t. Some of the big firearms companies are much older than the rusty old auto-makers, and are even more steeped in their traditions and complacent in their arrogance. I think displaced talent will be quickly reeled in by competitors that can use the fresh but seasoned brains and skilled hands. The creeps in white shirts and neckties have probably already set themselves up with nice fluffy parachutes, but I hope they come to rest on jagged rocks – because it is they who have caused the problem. I feel for the semi-skilled worker who has invested herself/himself in learning to do a great job making something that will either no longer be made, or be made by someone else. Layoffs for these folks are often a reboot that sends them back a step or two in their next job. For them and their families, I hold much sympathy. For the pompous executives that have ridden a once beautiful horse to death, I hope the horse falls on them.

  22. Willi Says:

    I suspect that the problem with Colt is poor management, for at least a century. I’ve not seen a label for the problem, so you could call it “Management Replication”, perhaps. A company tends to replace managers at all levels with people who are as close to a match as can be found to their predecessors. Colt has had bad management from day one. An armament business on the winning side, that loses money during a world war, is the definition of poorly managed.
    Moving the company out of CT would help, but that is only half of their difficulty. A COMPLETE change of management is required to even attempt to fix them. If they have been gutted as badly as TRX says, they can’t be saved. There is no profit in attempting it, as the money would not go to Colt. Stick a fork in them, they’re toast. Sad.

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