Gun Company Troubles

If the media is to be believed, gun companies are all making money hand over fist: Black Friday gun sales set all time records and the re-election of President Obama has sparked impulse buying.  However, there are a few companies that are experiencing some difficulties right now.

A fire in mid-November shut down the Dan Wesson Firearms plant, halting all production of their guns.  The good news is only one employee was injured, and he or she did not need hospitalization.  The bad news is the company does not expect to re-open for business in 2012.

Superstorm Sandy wiped out the Henry Repeating Arms manufacturing facility in Bayonne, NJ in late October.  An estimated three feet of seawater flooded the facility, damaging at least 100 of the company’s manufacturing machines.  Additionally, parts of the facility’s roof was destroyed and some inventory was soaked with sea- and rainwater.

Fortunately, Henry is making good progress toward recovery.  In a November 20 press release, Henry announced that the damaged machines would all be repaired or replaced by December 1.  That is amazingly fast.

One of my local dealers is a Gold Star stocking dealer of Henry firearms, and he is eager for the company to get rolling again.  It seems that the Henry lever guns are particularly favored for Christmas gifts in my area this year, and with the exception of a couple of their AR-7 Survival Rifles, he is sold out.

In a completely non-natural disaster, the Government Accounting Office dismissed Colt Defense’s most recent protest in the US Army’s M4 contract.  GearScout has an excellent report on the issue, including a detailed summary of how Remington Defense was awarded the contract and all of the subsequent appeals and protests filed by Colt.

Nothing appears to be finalized, but I would definitely say that the next 120,000 M4 carbines issued to US soldiers may have “Remington” on the receiver.

The really sad possibility is that if the Army does award the contract to Remington, Colt may file a federal lawsuit.  That would likely tie up things for a few years.  Meanwhile, troops go into battle wondering if they will ever be issued new guns.

Colt has struggled a bit over the years, and has had some difficulty in remaining competitive in the consumer market.  I hope that they are able to become more competitive and not rely on their name alone to sell guns.

Best of luck to all of these manufacturers!

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

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