Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 34 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Remington Exits Bankruptcy

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

Reuters:

U.S. weapons manufacturer Remington Outdoor Co Inc. said on Thursday it had emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy with less debt and more stable financing that may help it ride out a slowing market for firearms.

Remington, America’s oldest gunmaker, filed for bankruptcy protection in March, weeks after a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida killed 17 people and triggered intensified campaigns for gun control by activists.

Under the reorganization plan, inked two days before the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting, creditors including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Franklin Advisors will take ownership stakes in the company in exchange for forgiving more than $775 million of debt.

Remington also received a $193 million new lending package funded by seven banks, including Bank of America Corp.

It is morning in Remington country,” Chief Executive Anthony Acitelli said in a statement.

Investors in Cerberus Capital Management LP, the previous owner, had urged the private equity fund to sell Remington after its Bushmaster rifle was used in a school shooting in 2012 in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, in which 20 children died.

Remington has said its bankruptcy would not affect lawsuits against it, including one filed by the families of Sandy Hook victims. It is also appointing a new board of directors.

Bank of America has hinted that it may sell its participation in Remington’s exit financing package.

“These companies have a real opportunity to solidify a brand that is in sync with what customers want now and in the future,” said gun control advocate Igor Volsky. He called Parkland “a tipping point for Americans waking up and saying that guns are a real problem.”

I’m not sure if this is “morning” or sunset in Remington country.  Someone else now owns the controlling interest in Remington, apparently, and BoA is apparently looking for a buyer, while going on record saying that “guns are a real problem.”

You may be watching Remington in its death spiral.

Please, Please Buy This Gun Company

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

Andrew Ross Sorkin writing at NYT:

The usual suspects of potential buyers are circling, including rival gun manufacturers like Sturm, Ruger & Company and some small financiers willing to accept whatever criticism would come from buying Remington.

More tantalizing is a pie-in-the-sky idea: whether a beneficent billionaire, like Michael R. Bloomberg, could buy the company and either try to transform it or shut it down — a sort of philanthropic euthanasia in the name of gun control.

Yet all of those options have challenges. So here’s a practical idea that should be considered more than just a thought experiment:

What if the big banks that have provided financing to Remington during its bankruptcy were to back — and partner with — one or more of the big private equity firms in an effort to transform the company into the most advanced and responsible gun manufacturer in the country?

After all, virtually all the banks have a “social impact” unit or at least an initiative meant to “do good.” And so do many private equity firms, like TPG and Bain Capital.

And they would not be out to kill the business; quite the opposite: They could create a profitable model for the rest of the industry using technology and sound sales policies to reinvent the modern-gun manufacturer.

A reimagined Remington with a new management and mandate could develop smart-gun technology. It could back fingerprint technology meant to prevent anyone who is not the gun’s owner from shooting it, a measure that could greatly reduce suicides and the potential for guns to be stolen. It could add an identity stamp to ammunition fired from any of its guns. It could also establish and standardize responsible sales policies for retailers to sell its firearms.

What would happen, for instance, if a consortium were to come together so that the banks offered the buyer a below-market loan, giving a socially responsible investor the advantage of a lower cost of capital? What would happen if one of the big retail chains like Walmart and Dick’s — both of which have already established that they only want to sell guns in a responsible way — were to guarantee distribution, sales and marketing support?

Yes, Andrew, in your world little girls like puppy dogs and purple unicorns throwing pixie dust in the air as they fly across the sky spreading cheer and happiness to all.  It’s a nice vision – for a little girl.

The reality is that Remington would quickly go out of business, the “smart gun” wouldn’t sell, and no more people would buy guns from Walmart or Dick’s than do now.

This is what happens when social planners who know nothing about what they’re trying to plan collide with more capital than should ever be under the control of one man.

So here is a suggestion, Andrew.  Take the challenge.

Perform a fault tree analysis of smart guns.  Use highly respected guidance like the NRC fault tree handbook.

Assess the reliability of one of my semi-automatic handguns as the first state point, and then add smart gun technology to it, and assess it again.  Compare the state points.  Then do that again with a revolver.  Be honest.  Assign a failure probability of greater than zero (0) to the smart technology, because you know that each additional electronic and mechanical component has a failure probability of greater than zero.

Get a PE to seal the work to demonstrate thorough and independent review.  If you can prove that so-called “smart guns” are as reliable as my guns, I’ll pour ketchup on my hard hat, eat it, and post video for everyone to see.  If you lose, you buy me the gun of my choice.

To date, no one has taken me up on the challenge.  That’s disappointing, because I’d like a free gun.  If you don’t like that challenge, here’s another one.

Talk law enforcement into taking a smart gun.  All officers, no exceptions.  Find a department somewhere in a large city to agree to arm all of their officers with smart guns.

See if you can pull this off, Andrew.  I’m watching and listening.

Postscript: Poor Remington.  What an awful time to be in bankruptcy.

Bank Of America To Make Bankruptcy Loan To Remington

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 1 week ago

Reuters:

Bank of America Corp is preparing to provide critical financing to Remington Outdoor Co, which makes assault-type rifles, just weeks after the U.S. bank said it would stop financing “military-style” firearms for civilians.

The bank is contributing $43.2 million to a $193 million lending package funded by seven banks, according to court documents, which will help put Remington back on stable footing as it emerges from bankruptcy later this month into an uncertain environment for gun makers.

The package replaces a similar credit facility the banks committed to providing Remington. Both were agreed in late March, before Bank of America, the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, changed its policy to stop financing companies that make military-style guns for civilian use.

Anne Finucane, Bank of America’s vice chair, said in April that the bank had decided on its pledge to help reduce mass shootings, saying in an interview with Bloomberg TV that “it is not our intent to underwrite or finance military-style firearms on a go-forward basis.”

[ … ]

But withdrawing from the deal would hurt the bank’s reputation for standing by its lending agreements and could undermine Remington’s survival, according to one person familiar with the bank’s thinking.

Surely BoA knew about this loan package before it’s stupid announcement on other firearms manufacturers.

That means one of two things.  Either BoA is full of liars and crooks who were only trying to make an appearance of cooperating with the gun controllers, or Remington has been strong armed and is preparing to jettison its Bushmaster line of guns.

If the first is true, it doesn’t mean BoA will lend in the future to firearms manufacturers.  It just means that they are liars.  If the second is true, this is the end for Remington.  There will be no recovery.  Tikka can easily supplant the Remington 700 because it’s a better gun.

Remington Is In A World Of Hurt

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 3 weeks ago

Bloomberg:

Remington Outdoor Co. has only been in bankruptcy for a month, but creditors are already planning an out.

The U.S. firearms and ammunition juggernaut will likely go up for sale directly following its bankruptcy, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Certain stakeholders, some of whom haven’t been publicly identified, have already started putting out feelers for potential strategic buyers, these people said.

Rather than hold the collection of 13 brands that includes a 200-year-old rifle maker, ammunition manufacturers, silencer companies and traditional firearms manufacturers, the lenders will be trying to offload at a particularly fraught time.

You can say that again.  This isn’t a good time for Remington to be doing anything like this, and I don’t expect them to last long.

Remington Firearms $950M In Debt

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 1 week ago

From several readers.

ILION, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – One of the largest U.S. makers of firearms made in Upstate New York has filed for bankruptcy, according to a report from Reuters.

Remington Outdoor Company Inc., of Ilion, has reached out to banks and other agencies to seek financing to file for bankruptcy, according to Reuters.

The company is working with an investment bank to restructure its $950 million in debt.

Remington has not officially filed for bankruptcy yet.

There have been no immediate plans to shut down, Reuters says.

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, who represents Herkimer County, issued the following statement:

“Remington Arms is an iconic business in our region that has employed generations of families for over two hundred years. Remington is one of our nation’s longest continuously operating manufacturing facilities. Unfortunately, economic downturns in the firearms industry and outstanding debt have forced Remington’s parent company to seek new credit options and financing through bankruptcy protection. In addition to volatility, Governor Cuomo’s anti-Second Amendment policies have negatively impacted Remington’s Ilion production facility. I have been a strong supporter of Remington Arms and its hardworking employees. My office will continue to offer support to Remington and the families impacted during this difficult time.”

This is tough.  It’s difficult to see how Remington pulls out of this.  $950M is an awful lot of money for a firearms manufacturer.

I don’t know what the future holds for Remington, but it would have been better to have dealt with the issues that were the possible root causes of this long ago: [1] reliance on government contracts, [2] ensconcing in an anti-gun state, [3] reliance on union labor, and [4] lethargy in dealing with the Walker fire control system problems.

Move South, dear people.  Move South.  But leave the progressive politics behind.

Financial Woes For Remington

BY Herschel Smith
11 months ago

Philly.com:

Remington Outdoor, the second-largest U.S. gunmaker has suffered a “rapid” and “sharp” deterioration in sales and a similar drop in profits since January, and faces “continued softness in consumer demand for firearms,” credit analysts at Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings said in a report today.

S&P as a result has cut the company’s corporate credit rating — already at a junk-bond-level CCC+ — two full notches, to CCC-, a move likely to make the company’s high-yield debt less attractive to investors and lenders, and force Remington to pay more in interest. The company could face a change in control, bankruptcy, or default on its debt by next year.

A backlog of unsold, unwanted firearms will force Remington to operate at a loss and “pressure the company’s sales and profitability at least through early 2018, resulting in insufficient cash flow for debt service and fixed charges,” unless Remington gives up cash to pay for ongoing operations, S&P adds.

S&P expects “a heightened risk of a restructuring” of Remington’s $575 million senior secured loan and asset-based lending facility, which it is supposed to pay back in 2019.

If Remington defaults on its payments, based on the company’s current value, S&P expects first-lien creditors may receive around 35 cents back from every dollar they have lent or invested. Lower-rated creditors would get back less, or nothing.

Default is not yet “a virtual certainty,” the report added.

And yet I know firearms manufacturers who can’t keep up with the demand.  I currently have one on backorder that no one is able to find, anywhere.  As they say, if you make things that people want, at a high quality, for a good price, the people will come.  If not, they won’t.

Remington (Ilion) Furloughs Work Force

BY Herschel Smith
12 months ago

WKTV:

ILION – NEWSChannel 2 has confirmed that Remington Arms will cut back on production shifts through the end of this year.

Ilion Mayor Terry Leonard tells us he received word Wednesday from the plant manager that Remington will enact involuntary furloughs due to market conditions and high inventory levels. Leonard says days will be taken out of the production schedule.

A furlough is when a company requires employees to take time off without pay, often in an effort to save money during a period of decreased workload.

The exact number of dates, and when they will happen, will be announced within the next week.

Remington laid off 122 employees in March, and another 60 workers in September of 2017.

It’s hard to see how Remington pulls out of this slump.  Many manufacturers are hurting at the moment, but Remington is dealing with (a) declining quality [so I am told, I have no Remington firearms], (b) the Walker Fire Control System, and (c) union labor.

The best thing I could recommend is to close up shop in New York, move the entirety of their operations South, and focus on quality.

Oh, and as for that ridiculous Sandy Hook lawsuit that just won’t go away, fight it, but rather than expend legal fees, stay out of the state and never sell another product in Connecticut, which is what they want anyway.  Hell, I wish every firearms manufacturer would refuse to sell in Connecticut, starting with the police.

By the way, we’ve yet to see even a single death certificate for any alleged Sandy Hook shooting victims.  Remember that.

Remington Ordered To Pay $500,000 In Personal Injury Case

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 4 months ago

Guns.com:

A federal judged ruled against Remington Arms in a personal injury case despite arguments that the gun maker is protected under Louisiana law.

Judge Ivan Lemelle ruled that the case has merit under the Louisiana Products Liability Act, saying the law protects gun makers from lawsuits except in cases involving a defective firearm. He awarded $500,000 to the plaintiff, Precious Seguin, for her claim holding Remington liable for producing a defective product.

According to court documents, Seguin was injured during a hunting excursion in October 2013. As she tracked the blood trail of a wounded deer with her father, brother and a family friend, her father’s Remington 710 bolt-action rifle discharged as they made their way through the brush. The bullet struck her right buttock, traveled through her hip and exited through her right elbow.

The lawsuit argues the rifle’s trigger design, the infamous Walker Fire Control, a mechanism that has been linked to almost a dozen deaths and numerous injuries, allowed the gun to discharge without the pull of a trigger. In Seguin’s case, her father had the rifle strapped over his shoulder and pointed upward until a branch knocked it up and backward, at which time the safety moved to the fire position and unintentionally discharged. Before Seguin was injured, they had not experienced an unintentional discharge with the rifle.

So this is more on the Walker Fire Control System.  Good grief, people.  I was among the most vocal critics of Remington on the gun blogs, using my engineering credentials to advocate that Remington had misled their constituency and gun buyers, and in fact they’re still lying.  The Remington 700 has indeed been tested to fire when the trigger isn’t being pulled.  Their own test data shows it.  Good Lord!  Their own test data shows it.

But how far do we take this?  Now that Remington has settled the issue in court, it’s finished.  Let it go.  Everyone who knows anything about guns – and you shouldn’t be a hunter if you don’t know anything about guns – knows what Remington has been charged with, and knows that Remington settled.

Legal settlements mean something or they don’t.  Besides, I don’t know what really happened on that day Seguin was injured since I wasn’t there, and neither do any of my readers, and neither does the idiot judge who ordered this payout.

It’s time to put this to bed.  It’s finished.  Buy Remington, or don’t.  It matters not to me.  But this issue is closed as far as I’m concerned.  I hope Remington’s lawyers end this swiftly and surely.  If they don’t, let me make it clear.  At this point I have no compassion left for people who want to sue Remington for damages from a trigger system that has been recalled.  Do your homework, people.

 

Sandy Hook Families’ Last Gasp Against Bushmaster

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 7 months ago

Newstimes:

NEWTOWN – The 10 families whose lawsuit against the world’s largest dealer of AR-15 rifles was dismissed last year say their case should be reinstated, arguing that the Sandy Hook massacre was no accident.

“The notion that what happened at Sandy Hook on December 14, 2012, was unimaginable is a lie,” argues the families’ lawyer, Josh Koskoff, in 50-page brief submitted to state Supreme Court this week. “Sandy Hook was simply gratuitous, senseless proof of what was already known: preparation is no match for an AR-15.”

The families’ argument that Remington is liable for the massacre of 26 first-graders and educators by an AR-15-wielding 20-year-old named Adam Lanza was thrown out of Superior Court in October. The judge ruled that Remington is protected by federal law against claims when people misuse firearms.

The families are sticking to their argument that Remington was liable, saying the company ssly marketed the semi-automatic rifle to civilians.

Remington has until May 1 to respond to the brief. A court date to hear both sides of the appeal has not been set.

The families argue that the Remington rifle used by Lanza was developed “as a weapon of war so powerful, so accurate and so destructive to the human body, it vanquished the need for skilled hands or forgiving terrain.”

I’ll bet you didn’t know you were that good at close quarters battle just because you own an AR-15, did you?  Your purchase of an AR-15 has literally “vanquished the need for skilled hands.”  There is no need to go to the range and practice.  Your gun is magic.

Okay, let’s play this game one more time.  Here’s a note to attorney Koskoff.  Let’s start the discovery process by you producing all of the death certificates resulting from the Sandy Hook event.

I’m waiting.

Remington Recalls Yet Another Batch Of Rifles With Faulty Triggers

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 7 months ago

Alloutdoor.com:

From the Remington site, this.

WARNING:

STOP USING YOUR RIFLE. Any unintended discharge has the potential for causing injury or death. Immediately stop using your rifle until Remington can inspect it to determine if the XMP trigger has excess bonding agent used in the assembly process, which could cause an unintentional discharge and, if so, replace the trigger mechanism. If you own a rifle subject to this recall, Remington will provide shipping, inspection, replacement of the trigger mechanism if necessary, and return at no cost to you. DO NOT attempt to diagnose or repair your rifle yourself.

Contact Remington

For the safety of you and those around you, Remington strongly encourages you to STOP USING YOUR RIFLE immediately and contact Remington for inspection and repair. To participate in this recall, visit the Remington Recall Center at xmprecall.remington.com. Or call Remington on its toll-free XMP-Recall Hotline at 1-800-243-9700 (Prompt #3 then Prompt #1) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT. You will be asked to provide your name, address, telephone number, and the serial number of your rifle.

E-mail: ucamdn28@prodigy.net.mx

We apologize for this inconvenience. We want our customers to enjoy the shooting sports safely. It is imperative that owners of Model 700™ and Model Seven™ rifles subject to this recall do not use their rifles until they have been inspected as part of this recall program.”

So this is the right way to do a recall, unlike what they did with the Walker Fire Control System.  Remington should be commended for accepting responsibility right up front and getting out ahead of this problem, whatever it is.

Speaking of which, what is it?  What can’t Remington get right about their trigger systems?  I just don’t understand why this is a recurring theme with Remington.  Their engineering department needs to do a serious gut check on what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

I’m not likely to buy a Remington anyway, since they’re owned by Freedom Group, which is owned by Cerberus, which is owned by Steve Feinberg, who owns DynCorp, which – along with the CIA – is involved in nation toppling in North Africa for the purpose of trafficking in money, oil, weapons and children.

My Tikka does just fine.


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