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Could looking back be the way forward?


JAB

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I first wrote this as a response in the thread about Remington filing for bankruptcy but, realizing it went far afield from the topic, I decided to start a new thread.  I realize that Remington's woes haven't come solely from a slump in sales but that bankruptcy combined with the current zeitgeist have me thinking how firearms companies - and the firearms community, in general - might need to weather the storm that is potentially coming.  So these are my thoughts:

Personally, I think that the future for Remington (and Marlin - and Winchester, too) may well lie in the past.  Right now there is a lot of heat being dumped on semiauto firearms and especially on AR15 type rifles.  I also believe that there is also a wave of nostalgia that is getting ready to break over the country that is going to impact the wants and buying habits even of individuals who weren't around when the 'nostalgia' items were more popular in the first place.  Heck, I read an article the other day that was talking about how cassette tapes are making a bit of a comeback and have also read that board games seem to be gaining popularity as a means to socialize - I have even noticed that several of the microbreweries around Knoxville have a stack of board games in one corner or another that people can take out and play while they hang out and drink beer.  I believe that firearms companies could somewhat take advantage of such trends.

I think there are a lot of folks who aren't specifically anti but who also aren't specifically firearms enthusiasts who could be reached if these long standing companies (or at least the legacy companies that have the rights to use the branding) put a little less emphasis on building yet another line of plastic fantastic bottom feeders that look the same as every other pistol or rifle of the type and focus a little more on updated versions of more 'traditional' firearms - with said updates including making them affordable.

These companies still make lever action rifles and Marlin apparently pushed a few new ones at SHOT show this year.  The problem is that most of those new Marlins looked, to me, to be geared toward people who are already gun collectors and enthusiasts with prices that will likely reflect the same.  Likewise, things like double barrelled shotguns still exist but to my knowledge no American company still makes a good side by side double with a 'value' price like the old Stevens doubles, etc.  Instead, the American made doubles tend to be high dollar models geared toward avid bird hunters or skeet shooters, etc.  Heck, even dumbass Joe Biden 'endorsed' the idea of having a double barrel shotgun for home defense (even if his comment encouraging people to just shoot into the darkness without being sure of their target was stupid and irresponsible.)

The same thing seems to be happening with revolvers.  Sure, there are wheel guns like the EAA Windicator and the Rossi and some Taurus models but I can't think of any revolvers on the new gun market with a name like Remington, Smith and Wesson, etc. that are regular, full sized revolvers with an affordable (as in budget/value line) price tag made by an American company.  I know that Colt has brought back/is bringing back some version of the old Detective Special.  I think that they should follow that up by bringing back the last iteration (late '70s) of the Police Positive.  Likewise, maybe S&W should gear up some of the old tooling (if they still have it and can find it) and start making the Model 10 in .38 Special, again.  Remington could also get into the game.

Let's face it, most people don't need an AR15 with a 30 round mag or a semiauto pistol with a 15 round magazine to defend themselves and their homes.  Do I support efforts to ban or limit the availability of such firearms and/or magazines?  Do I think we should just roll over and allow such firearms to be taken?  Hell no!  But for the industry to survive the current, growing perception of such firearms among the general public - and to still manage to sell firearms to said general public - putting the majority of their eggs in the 'high speed, low drag' basket may not be the best approach.  Like it or not, those of us who are interested in maintaining and even growing our firearms rights as well as the companies which manufacture firearms are going to have to find a way to market and sell firearms to Millennials and their children.  I also believe that as life gets more and more hectic and fast paced for these individuals they will increasingly yearn for a 'simpler time' - probably a 'simpler time' that never really even existed, as is often the case with nostalgia - and which they weren't around to experience first hand.

Of course, maybe these are just my thoughts because I, personally, prefer revolvers, levers and pumps to semiautos and even with semiautos I prefer some steel and maybe some wood (although I own some semiautos, too - and even a couple of 'plastic' ones) but I really think that the way forward for firearms companies and for the continued strength of gun rights lies with getting people on board who might never dream of owning an AR or a Glock but who might not hesitate to buy a lever gun like Grandpa used or a revolver like Grandma kept next to her bed at night.  Get those people 'into the fold', so to speak by increasing the choices and availability of such firearms as well as extolling their utility and virtues and - whether or not they go on to purchase more 'modern' type firearms - I believe that they will be less likely to support the loss of the right to keep and bear arms.  Just something to think about.

Edited by JAB
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A lot of handgun makers have been doing just that for several years now. Most all of them have fairly plain, reasonably priced offerings on the market. Many of which are aimed specifically at first time buyers. But no, they really ain't like they used to be. Modern manufacturing techniques, modern materials and lawyers have put an end to any hope of going back to what used to be. Sorry, but that just ain't gonna happen.

 While there are several very good, but economy priced bolt actions available, most have composite black stocks.  Decent wood seems to be a thing of the past except on the higher end rifles. I consider a lever gun with tactical, plastic furniture to be an abomination.  Unfortunately, black and tactical is where the money is these days. 

I'm afraid the days of shiny blue steel and fine walnut are long gone. The gun companies just can't afford to bring those back. :(

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16 hours ago, Grayfox54 said:

Unfortunately, black and tactical is where the money is these days. 

I'm afraid the days of shiny blue steel and fine walnut are long gone. The gun companies just can't afford to bring those back. :(

 

I disagree.  Black and tactical is where the money from a lot of folks who are already 'in' to firearms is whether it is their first purchase or their fiftieth.  There are likely some folks who are new to guns who gravitate in that direction, as well.  However, I still say that there is a very large, untapped market for blued steel and wood and that such a market is about to grow as societal attitudes potentially prevent growth and possibly even result in some losses in the black and tactical market segment.  Doesn't have to be fine walnut - think Marlin's Glenfield line and others where the furniture is simply 'hardwood'.  Doesn't even have to be high-end bluing.  If Taurus and Rossi can build and sell revolvers and rifles in the modern market for, in some cases, a few hundred dollars less than the competition then why can't S&W, Remington, etc.?  One of the least expensive firearms on the market - the Heritage Rough Rider revolver - has wood grips.

Again, think along the lines of 'field grade' or 'utility grade' firearms.  I am not talking about rarified safe queens to sell to collectors or museum quality heirloom pieces with gorgeous walnut and beautiful, old Colt style bluing.  I am talking about good, usable firearms to sell to the non-enthusiast but non-anti new husband/father (or new wife/mother) who wants something behind the closet door or next to the bed for protecting his/her family in an environment where those same folks are, at least for a little while, are possibly not going to be looking at all favorably upon 'scary' black and tactical firearms.  That is why I specifically referred to the Model 10, the Police Positive and the like.  To be completely honest, I wouldn't mind the opportunity to buy a couple of those 'utility' grade firearms, myself.  Further, money could be made in the aftermarket as some buyers may decide that they want to upgrade the wood, etc. to make their gun their 'own'.  I mean, folks these days do seem love to accessorize, customize and personalize just about everything.

Edited by JAB
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On 3/29/2018 at 5:52 PM, Grayfox54 said:

I get your point and I completely agree with it. I too would love to see some nice, affordable, field grade guns come on the market. The trick is gonna be to convince the big name makers to do it. And that I believe just won't happen. :(

You certainly have a point about convincing the big name makers and that just might be a bit difficult.  Even if there would be people standing in line yelling, "Shut up and take my money," they may well be so stuck in their tacticool ways - just because that is where the money has been for the last, few years - that they will lose lots of money and we will lose many, potential members of the gun owning community.  It is entirely possible that the suits in the corporate offices won't budge and may continue to refuse to budge until it is too late.  I guess that is the cost of having corporate types and investment groups running gun companies rather than firearms enthusiasts who also have a good bit of business acumen.

Edited by JAB
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  • 2 weeks later...

I find comments such as this, “Let's face it, most people don't need an AR15 with a 30 round mag or a semiauto pistol with a 15 round magazine to defend themselves and their homes.”  to be the biggest problem with keeping our 2A rights alive.   In one fell swoop you managed to throw under the bus what our rights are all about. It isn’t what we need, it’s about what we should be able to own.

Case in point, your 15 round mag comment. Have you ever needed to fire at someone under a stressful situation? Have you ever needed to fire at someone who was returning fire? If the situation ever arose, I’m certain you would want maximum capacity for the firearm. I for one don’t want some politician deciding for me what I might and might not need. 

As gunowners statements that include “most people don’t need” only serve to hurt us. It’s what Fuds say. 

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Ironically as I have evolved in my firearm ownership over the years I have started to seek out and purchase more wood stock firearms. Have already purchased one for my son who is just around the corner from starting to use it for deer hunting. It all starts with our kids and youth to pass on and to ensure our 2nd Amendment rights survive. I work with several millennials and they are all pro gun or grew up around guns surprisingly. If you want to ensure survival of the 2nd Amendment take your kids, your friends, etc. out shooting and show them proper methods, safety, shooting practices and such. I have introduced several new gun owners and hunters over the years and continue to do so (kids and adults). It’s the only way the 2nd Amendment will confine to survive. The NRA and politicians are far from a guarantee to just sit back and do nothing. Do your part.


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