Two New England gun-making facilities will soon close their doors. The operations of both Bushmaster (Maine) and Thompson/Center Arms (New Hampshire) are being relocated to other facilities owned by their respective corporate parents.
Bushmaster Plant in Maine to Close
First, the Freedom Group, which owns Remington, Bushmaster, Marlin and other companies, announced that it will close Bushmaster’s Windham, ME facility, “effective March 31, 2011″. According to an official press release: “The Company will relocate manufacturing of all Bushmaster products currently produced at Windham to other, existing Freedom Group Facilities. The move will have no impact on customers or the existing supply base.” John B. Blystone, Chairman of the Freedom Group’s Board of Directors, commented: “We are continuing to adjust our operations in order to remain competitive…. Given increasing costs and pricing pressures affecting the entire firearms industry, this action is clearly necessary[.]”
T/C New Hampshire Facility To Be Phased Out
Smith & Wesson, parent of Thompson/Center Arms (T/C), is pulling the plug on T/C’s Rochester, New Hampshire operation. The Rochester factory will be phased out starting in January 2011, and finishing before the end of next year (2011). T/C production will be switched to Smith & Wesson’s Springfield, MA facility. Some workers may be relocated, but most will lose their jobs. According to S&W Mktg. Service Director Paul Pluff: “We needed to streamline in order to make our company more efficient and profitable.” S&W Human Resources VP Bill Lachenmeyer explained that the plant closure was due to a big decline in T/C sales over the last three years. S&W invested heavily in the new line of T/C Icon hunting rifles but the Icons didn’t sell well. Likewise sales of T/C’s signature Encore and Contender tilt-breech hunting pistols declined in the economic downturn.