View Full Version : The Cowboy Rifle is gone forever as of this week....

03-27-2006, 04:13 PM
This fucking sucks.

The first firearm I ever owned was a Winchester 30-30.

And it was due to John Wayne that I wanted to have one.

March 26, 2006 The maker of the gun that won the West has one final shot at staying alive.

Eleventh hour efforts to find a buyer for the U.S. Repeating Arms Company are underway tonight, but it's likely the company that built the Winchester rifle for the past 150 years will close this week.

The U.S. Repeating Arms factory in New Haven, Conn., has turned out the Winchester, one of the legendary pieces of American workmanship, since 1856. But in a few days, the production is planning to move overseas.

"Belgium," said Winchester employee Donald Harris. "I mean they probably don't even know where New Haven is."

From 19,000 Employees to 186

Where once during WWII the company had 19,000 workers, the remaining 186 find it insulting that this American brand will make hunting rifles in foreign countries. And, even worse, Winchester will no longer make its iconic level-action carbine.

For many Americans, Winchester's place in history started with "the gun that won the West," the Winchester 1873, which gave its name to the old Jimmy Stewart movie, "Winchester 73."

The model 73 appears in fine art depicted being used by soldiers, cowboys and Indians in a painting by Frederick Remington.

A statue of John Wayne, who shot his way through "True Grit" and the Hollywood West with a Winchester, graces the lobby of the Winchester factory. With a history like that, it's no wonder that Winchester has a spot in so many American hearts.

"They've been around for 150 years, and it's just the end of another era," said Ronald Rando, a gun dealer. "Something going down the tubes again."

Value of Older Guns Goes Up

Winchester also has a spot in some sentimental Americans' wallets. The value of older guns is going up. Rando has a gun from 1891 that he's selling for more than $10,000.

But right now, what really sells is assault rifles despite the timelessness and history attached to old lever-action guns (which mechanically differ little to those today).

But for some, those old guns are the only way to enjoy hunting and shooting tin cans with old lever-action guns.

"This is a deer hunting gun that all five of my sons, and even my grandsons, have learned to use from an early age," said John Anderson, a gun dealer.

But if he was still alive, probably even John Wayne couldn't ride to the rescue now.



Nitro Express
03-28-2006, 03:30 AM
I have some old winchesters from the late 1800's. Man, the price just keeps going up on them. They were my grandfathers and they all still shoot.

I remember when you could pick up an old Model 94 for cheap but now those are collectable.

I hated the newer ones with the push button safety on them.

It's sad to see Winchester to go the way of Colt but theres plenty of newer gun manufactures that fill the void.

Colt used to be the best 1911 pistol but the new Kimber pistols are so much better than anything Colt ever made.

If anything, some of these classic name companies have gone under because of them coasting on their brandname too much and not focusing on the changing market.

The reality is a major gun manufacture can't make it unless they get the large military and police contracts.

My bet is someone will buy the Winchester name and tooling. They will make the old classic gun designs and they will be well built and very expensive,

Nitro Express
03-28-2006, 03:39 AM
I wish the press would get it straight. Nobody is buying assault rifles in the sporting consumer market. They are buying semi-automatic rifles. Assault rifles have full-automatic capability which makes them a machine gun. Nobody is going to Cabelas, Big 5, or Walmart and buying one of those.

The term assault rifle comes from the term German Sturm Gewehr. A name Adolf Hitler himself gave to a neat little rifle that shot a medium power round full or semi-automatic.

03-28-2006, 04:47 AM
Sad. Another American product outsourcing I guess. Little respect for the Winchester '73-'94 in today's gun culture. Though these old-school western shooting competitions are popular, just not enough I guess. Luckily, my Dad passed along several '94's to me and my brother.

03-28-2006, 04:49 AM
Wnchester '92:

03-28-2006, 10:39 AM
Yeah Nitro but that is splitting hairs....I still consider an AR-15 or an AK-47 to be an assault rifle even if they are only semi-auto...

Nitro Express
03-30-2006, 02:19 AM
Originally posted by Hardrock69
Yeah Nitro but that is splitting hairs....I still consider an AR-15 or an AK-47 to be an assault rifle even if they are only semi-auto...

I'm anal about gun termonology. I have an accurized AR-15 I built myself. It's my main target shooting gun. I call the AK-47 that's semi-automatic only a Kaloshnikov. I put together a nice one out of Russian Izvesk arsenal parts and a USA built milled reciever. It's basically a fun screw around gun.

I still think the funnest thing I ever shot was a black powder Napolean cannon.

Nitro Express
03-30-2006, 02:25 AM
Everyone thinks the modern AK and AR-15 rifles are the badass evil guns, but a person that can handle a lever action well can put out a lot of lead too.

I had a Marlin 336 in 30-30 Winchester and I used to carry the spare ammo in bandoliers like Pancho Villa. I always loved shoving rounds in the trap door and getting quick shots off. I really wasn't that far behind a semi-automatic.