H&R Firearms, or H&R 1871, LLC, is a firearms manufacturer that was hoovered up by Freedom Group back in 2007. Like Marlin, H&R was a manufacturer of traditional firearms — things that Bernie Sanders might call “hunting rifles” and exempt from his assault weapons pogrom. Firearms like single-shot break-action rifles, prized for their light weight, simple design, and accuracy. Word comes that Freedom Group may now have successfully euthanized another American firearms manufacturer (again, like Marlin) but this time it appears to have been a business decision and not due to poor management and terrible quality control.
The video above is the latest in a string from people proclaiming the death of H&R through indirect observation. And they’re right — every store I can find is 100% sold out of H&R firearms with no end in sight for the break-action drought.
I reached out to Remington for comment, since they’re owner of the H&R brand. I gave them about 24 hours to respond, but haven’t heard so much as a peep — besides an automated acknowledgement that they got my email.
Freedom Group (and Remington in particular) have been in a bit of trouble over the last few years, both in terms of their reputation and their cash flow. Advanced Armament used to be the largest silencer manufacturer in the world, but under Freedom Group’s management they’ve slipped back to the middle of the pack. Marlin used to be a watchword for quality and now some gun stores refuse to stock their guns. The hilariously awful Remington R51 continues to be an abysmal quagmire with no end in sight. Add to that the court ordered recall of their Model 700 rifles (which could take well over 10 years to complete under good circumstances) and it’s safe o say things haven’t been going well for Big Green.
It would make sense that, for the time being at least, Remington and Freedom Group might reduce their footprint and focus on executing their core business perfectly. In this case that means the Remington 700 rifle line, the Remington 870 shotgun line, and the core Bushmaster AR-15 lines. The more SKU’s they keep on the shelves the less machine time they need to devote to products that might not have such a big ROI.
In that context it might make sense to put the H&R brand on the shelf for the time being. I just hope this isn’t the shape of things to come for Freedom Group — slowly shedding products and shuttering business units in an effort to keep the lights on long enough to be bought by someone else.