Wild-Ass Rumor of the Day: Freedom Group Sold to…Remington

New Remington Model 783 (courtesy ow.le)

The leadership of Freedom Group has generally been considered a detriment to the quality and ingenuity of its constituent companies, from the bungled relocation of Marlin’s production lines (I’ve still yet to see them produce an acceptable quality lever gun since the change) to the firing of Kevin Brittingham from Advanced Armament. More than a few of us at TTAG have been looking forward to the day when these entities would once more be free from the oppressive yoke of Freedom Group control and allowed to flourish on their own. If the rumors I’m hearing are accurate, sometime this week a big step toward that end will take place . . .

Knowledgeable, trusted sources have indicated to me that Remington (well, more likely a group of Remington managers) is about to announce the purchase Freedom Group from Cerberus Capital Management. Like a slave buying himself from his masters, that would unshackle these captive corps from FG’s current oversight and put the cornucopia of companies in the hands of people who know how to run a firearms manufacturer. And that might be just the first step in spinning off at least some of the collection into once-again independent concerns.

Yes, this still must be classified as a rumor at this point, but it’s something that we’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Stay tuned, folks.

comments

  1. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    “that would unshackle these captive corps from FG’s current oversight”

    Now Nick tell me if that is “corpse” or “core”…..

    1. avatar Jason says:

      corporations

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Jason got it.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          The way Cerebus has been running things, maybe Tommy Knocker had it right to suggest corpse. Some of these companies are now dead in the water, like AA and Marlin.

    2. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

      ??? It was a play on BHO’s pronunciation of “corpsman”.

      1. avatar Model 31 says:

        Hook’ed on pa-honiks work’ed 4 BO

  2. avatar Lemming says:

    “and put the cornucopia of companies in the hands of people who know how to run a firearms manufacturer”

    No, it’d put it in the hands of Remington.

    1. avatar DJ says:

      I was thinking the same thing…

      1. avatar ensitue says:

        Ditto

    2. avatar Blue says:

      Remington bought Marlin before being bought by the unFreedom Group/Cerebus. Remington fukked up Marlin.

  3. avatar PhoenixNFA says:

    They will still produce shit.

  4. avatar BlinkyPete says:

    I guess this is good news, but Remington is a company whose products I generally avoid. Ignoring the accidental discharge issue with the 700 series and it’s faulty safety switch left me feeling like this is a company I don’t want to do business with.

    1. avatar gloomhound says:

      I thought I heard from somewhere that the “accidental discharge” thing was proven untrue.

      1. avatar ensitue says:

        Correct, it was the result of anti-gun and sue happy lawyer hit pieces

      2. avatar BlinkyPete says:

        Um, nope, or at least not to my knowledge. If I’m wrong, please post a link. I’m not simply taking the CNBC story at it’s word, either. If you google “Remington Accidental Discharge” there are plenty of first hand accounts, not “my uncles best friends cousin’s mom said…” type stuff. There’s also plenty of technical analysis out there that largely points to Remington’s move to a new type of sear as the cause, and a temporary fix Remington release (at customer cost).

        There’s no question that anti’s will seize upon stuff like this whenever they can, but reflexively denying any kind of fault on the part of a gun manufacturer is just as obtuse.

        1. avatar BLAMMO says:

          I never felt like I got the story straight from either side. CNBC’s hatchet job on Remington was called into serious doubt by other things I read. But I never felt like I knew whom to believe.

        2. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          Again, I generally don’t take any MSM story at it’s word; at least not until I’ve researched the sources. My certainty with this issue is from first hand stories (admitted, from the interwebs), and from technical analysis of the issue. My understanding is it’s rare, and I know enough about the first rule of gun safety to prevent tragedy, but I still don’t like the way they handled it.

      3. avatar Hal says:

        Sorry friend but the 700 issue was real. I have witnessed a Remington 700 malfunctioning firsthand. The rifle worked fine for years and then began firing on its own whenever the operator would close the bolt. It was a sniper rifle owned by my agency. At first, the FI was screaming at the shooter… until he replicated the malfunction. Nothing even touching the trigger, so spare me the accusations. We were able to repeat it over and over again. Remington lost me after that. I prefer my Mossberg 500 TR to an 870 anyways!

        That having been said, I have never really owned any FG guns and therefore can’t bash the entire collective. My experience was with that one, single Rem 700. Actually come to think of it that’s not true; I also experienced the defective ACR trigger phenomena (AKA, surprise your rifle is now operaties on 2-3 shot burst). Still, that’s a relatively small sampling and I won’t allow it to colour me against ALL FG firearms per se. Seeing as how my stable is filled with LMT, BCM, CZ, Mossberg, Ruger, S&W, HK and Glock I guess it wouldn’t matter if it did 😀

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      Remmy paid out over $21 million in claims over the AD issue. For a big company, $21 million is chump change. But $21 million is not nuisance money for a small company.

      Yeah, the CNN “report” was a hatchet job, but Remmy produced rifles that were defective.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Technically, the only thing defective on those rifles was the “Walker Fire Control Group.” If you put a Timney (or other) aftermarket trigger into the Rem 700 rifle, the problem was solved.

        The problem came about because Remington is a company that is first and foremost driven by their obsession with maximizing profits at a price point. They’re not interested in producing quality arms. They want to sell a product (some rifle, say) at a particular price point that their marketing geniuses have ID’d as the sweet spot. To that end, they seek to sell a rifle that, once complete, comes in under $1K, with scope, sling, case.

        Any time something comes up that might increase the COGS of their products, Remington cuts quality rather than raise the price. They want to remain in that price band that their marketing people have ID’d as the “sweet spot” of marketing.

        And so it was with the Walker Fire Control Group. Rather than worry about heat treating and honing the trigger, they put in a connector of hardened and ground steel in front/on top of the trigger, so that they didn’t have to worry about finishing the trigger. The connector floated, and was held back onto the trigger by only a wee little spring, which controlled the trigger pull.

        Lighten that trigger pull spring too much, have a little grit or gummy oil in the trigger and the connector wouldn’t return with the trigger. If you had the safety on and the connector was still off the face of the trigger, the sear caught nothing but air and the rifle would go off by releasing the safety.

        It was a flawed design, but one driven by trying to get the COGS down. It can be solved by glueing the connector to the trigger. It could have been solved by doing what everyone else would have done, heat treat the trigger. But Remington is always seeking to cut corners in manufacturing, making everything as cheaply as possible. There is no corner that Remington won’t cut.

        And their rifles sell. You can see it here on TTAG. When the cost of a tangible product rises because the Fed is busy destroying the purchasing power of the dollar, people expect that they should be able to buy a quality firearm for peanuts. Remington knows what sells: Junk at a low price.

  5. avatar miforest says:

    big green used o be my default choice. especially for ammo , but FG ended that . Wheather this is good or just more bad depends on the core competencies of the group buying them. I hope for the best, but will wait and see. It will take time to replace the knowlege base on the floors of the plants , if they even have the sense enough to do it. oncelost , it is hard to get bace in any industry.

  6. avatar sagebrushracer says:

    I would dearly love to get my hands on a Marlin lever gun, one that I can use with confidence without having to take it to a gunsmith first.

  7. avatar Aharon says:

    Even if the FG companies start getting spun-off from the dark side of the force I am not buying until I know they have proven themselves with measurable empirical results ie I’m waiting at least three years before I will buy their products.

  8. avatar BurnOut says:

    Eh, like it or not, the Rem 700 is still the standard by which other bolt guns are judged (at least in the US). It can be thought of as the Ford Mustang of the rifle world; there are certainly better rifles, and there are certainly worse rifles… but they’re all compared to the 700.

    IMO there is a lot to be said for that. Furthermore, I think that putting the control of the company (not to mention the other companies that are part of TFG) back in the hands of folks who are concerned with making firearms (rather than solely concerned with making a profit) can only be a good thing.

    1. avatar Jeff says:

      I would say Toyota Camry

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Speaking as someone who sees the insides of lots of guns, I’d say that the Rem700 is more like the Ford Pinto of rifles.

      It works OK, just don’t get into an accident.

  9. avatar Andrew says:

    For immediate release – 11/4/13

    *Fireworks into as a monster truck with the American Flag jumps cars in the background*

    KA-BLAMMO! The most Awesome firearms make in the United States of Awesome is pleased to announce the acquisition of some lame-ass banker clubs! YEEE-HAW!

    We’re gonna rock and roll with awesome new firearms such as the E-Bullet, close-quarter turd launcher, and high-impact gelatin bullets!

    Remington Industries DBA SuperFYeahThisGunIsAwesome is proud to announce their recent buyout of Freedom Group DBA LameAssBankerClub. This unparelled accquisition will let Remington focus on their core industry of making somewhat questionable firearms.

    Remington President Dirt McGirt is stated as saying “Yeeeehaw!”

    (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself after the “reality tv” style ad they put our recently)

  10. avatar KCK says:

    “oppressive yoke of Freedom” Group

    Orwellian, if I’ve ever heard it.

  11. avatar 505markf says:

    I wouldn’t hold your breath, Nick, on AAC being spun back off anytime soon. At the end of the day, the true value in the AAC acquisition was not the people or the products, but in the intellectual property. I am sure that Kevin got screwed in that deal, and the sales of AAC are properly suffering, but imagine the long view. I absolutely believe that within the next 10-15 years, every state in which hunting is allowed it will be legal to hunt with suppressed long arms. It is just one of those things that makes sense from a hunter safety perspective and if it can be logically separated from other gun issues it would pass most state houses easily, especially if it is limited to long guns.

    So how valuable do you think it would be to already have the jump on marketing a line of integrally suppressed long guns might be as states start turning around on hunting with suppressed firearms? As much as people like to slam Cerebus, they were making good acquisitions particularly from a long term perspective. Another good example of that is ATK – check out the brands in their sporting division.

    All that said, the acquisition of Marlin really pissed me off as I was almost ready to pull the plug on an 1894 in 44 mag. I was only two months away from having the money to get one on order and they just disappeared from the market. The integration of Marlin into big green was pitiful. But not everything they do is that bad.

  12. avatar mlopilato says:

    Been a lot of shakeups on the manufacturing side of things lately. Feels like we’re about to start seeing good things happening.

  13. avatar The Last Marine out says:

    a little off topic , I have read a couple reports that the last LEAD processing factory/plant will be closed Jan. 2014 due to EPA regulations, that MEANS no more lead in the USA, Will have be imported at higher cost , mostly from CHINA , and also the UN arms control treated will ban imports of AMMO, mag’s, guns, and gun parts, kits, etc…ROBERT find out more on this ! THANKS…Is this big backdoor gun control or what?

    1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      Mostly a nonstory. The regulations that are closing the plant were put in place by Bush in 2008. Lead will still be recycled in the US. Lead will still come in from Canada. Sierra Bullets has come out and said that they didn’t use “virgin” lead anyway.

    2. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      “Will have be imported at higher cost , mostly from CHINA”

      Um, since when does importing stuff from China come at a higher cost?

  14. avatar Jay Wolf says:

    Slight thread deviation,
    Anyone know the serial number cut off on Marlin levers? If I come across one I want in the used market I want it to be a pre FG.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Jay W. I don’t know from serial numbers. What I look for is the manual safety, or lack of. I have a pre safety .30-30 and it has quality and reliability. If i was in the market for a Marlin lever gun I would get one without the manual safety. Same with the 94 Winchester.

        1. avatar Swarf says:

          I don’t know about the serial number cut off, but pre-Remington buyout serial numbers start with an M, post buyout is RM.

  15. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Boy, the hate is strong with this blog.

    I don’t see this being bad. It could be good. Or, it might be status quo / neutral, at worst. But I’ll have to wait and see. I don’t think Marlin can be saved, IMO. I haven’t lost all hope for Remington yet.

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    An employee buy-out of FG’s brands cannot possibly be a bad thing.

    Manufacturing all Remmy and Marlin components and products in the US would be a good thing. Too much of the US firearms industry has been offshored. I would hate to see the cash-strapped employee-owners to ship all manufacturing to Turkey or China.

    Moving Remington out of New York and into a firearms friendly state would be a great thing. While the feasibility of relocation is extremely dependent on finding top-notch workers, I understand that South Carolina welcomes firearms companies with open arms.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      The history of employee buy-outs of companies in unionized workforce states is one of frequent and sad failure.

      Unionized workforces have been insulated from economic reality for so long that they’re completely incapable of making the decisions necessary to continue their own existence.

      One of the best examples I can give is the South Bend Lathe Company. South Bend was one of the most common manual lathe (and other machine tools) seen out in the machinery market for decades. Even to this day, many gunsmiths swear by the South Bend “Heavy 10” (or model 10L) as “the lathe of choice” for a gunsmith.

      Anyway, in 1975, 100% of the employees voted to buy 100% of the assets of SB with a 100% loan.

      Five years later, these same employees went on strike against themselves.

      Unsurprisingly, the path from there was pretty obvious: they went out of business a few years later. The South Bend Lathe name is now owned by Grizzly, a machine importer. There are “new” SB lathes being made in Taiwan, but they’re not the same babbit bearing, belt-driven lathes of the old times that schools and small shops loved so well.

  17. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    For whatever problems Remington had with their triggers in the past, I have to say I’m pretty impressed with their new adjustable trigger. Granted, I don’t get out much, but it’s the best trigger I’ve used. There’s no travel at all, just put sufficient pressure on the trigger and it goes boom.

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