June 8th, 2020

SIG Sauer Will Shut Down German Firearms Production Facility

eckernforde germany sig sauer closing factory
SIG Sauer Eckernförde fireams production facility. Photo credit Alexander Losert, SIG Sauer

The parent company of SIG Sauer USA and SIG Sauer Germany will be shutting down a production facility in Eckernförde, Germany. SIG Sauer firearms production will continue elsewhere. One big reason for the shutdown, experts report, were the anti-gun policies of the current German government. In addition, because SIG Sauer is a multinational enterprise owned by Lüke & Ortmeier Holding Gruppe (L & O Holding Group), it was excluded from many German military and police contracts. Also the economic effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic hurt the company. SIG executives* stated:

“The locational disadvantages in Germany for SIG Sauer do not economically allow for manufacturing of sports and LE/military firearms in the future. Legislation is increasingly restricting the use of sports firearms. When awarding public contracts, both the German police and the Bundeswehr prefer a few local producers. SIG Sauer is systematically excluded from tenders due to its international orientation, most of its developments originating from the USA. In addition to the existing problems, there are the current effects of the Corona crisis, which place an additional considerable economic burden on the continuation of business operations in Eckernförde”.

So what SIG Sauer guns have been produced in the Eckernförde factory? German website All4Shooters answered: “A large part of [SIG Sauer’s] European catalog products comes from Eckernförde, Germany. In addition to the complete P220 and P226 X series, this includes the P210 series, various classic P226/P229s, as well as the SSG 3000 and STR rifle lines.”

eckernforde germany sig sauer closing factory
Sig sauer p210 pistol germany

What is the Future for SIG Sauer USA?
The Shooting Wire noted: “With L&O Holding Group’s announcement [that] SIG Sauer GmbH division in Eckernforde, Germany was being shut down, the speculation began almost immediately as to what the impact might be on SIG Sauer’s operations in Newington, NH. Since the U.S. operation has recently celebrated scores of defense and law enforcement contracts, any disruption in that operation could have a significant impact on the status of our military and many law enforcement agencies.” However, SIG’s official release affirmed that SIG Sauer USA will “continue business as usual”.

SIG Sauer Official Statement about USA Operations:

L & O Holding group has announced that it is closing its SIG SAUER, GmbH (Germany) division in Eckernförde, Germany. L&O Holding owns and operates numerous business units in the defense and hunting market including SIG SAUER, GmbH (Germany), SIG SAUER, Inc. (U.S.A.), and German Sports Group, GmbH (GSG), among others.

SIG SAUER, Inc. operations in the U.S. will continue business as usual. The U.S. based division, headquartered in Newington, New Hampshire, has over 2,300 employees throughout 9 facilities in New Hampshire, Arkansas and Oregon where the company designs and manufactures firearms, ammunition, optics, suppressors and air guns[.] SIG SAUER, Inc. markets and distributes its U.S. made products in 88 countries. The SIG SAUER, Inc. International Sales Team, based in Europe, will expand its responsibilities to include the German market.

SIG Sauer Rifle and Pistol Production Will Continue in the USA

What Went Wrong in Germany for SIG Sauer?
Why did SIG Sauer Suffer Business Setbacks in Germany? The Firearm Blog (TFB) suggested multiple issues: “A number of factors have led to the downturn in SIG Sauer GmbH’s fortunes, [including its] exclusion from Bundeswehr small arms programs due to ITAR restrictions (as the company’s firearms are principally developed in the US, by SIG Sauer, Inc). The impact of the European Union’s increasingly hampering firearms legislation and recent legal issues have also been factors. The ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic has also no doubt played a part with sales slowing significantly in 2020.”

SIG Sauer Company Background and Organization
SIG Sauer was created in 1976 as a partnership of Swiss company Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft (SIG) and German enterprise J.P. Sauer & Sohn. SIG Sauer products were sold in the USA under the SIGARMS brand for some years, and then SIG Sauer Inc. was created in 2007. Currently, under L & O Holdings, SIG Sauer runs as three entities: SIG Sauer, GmbH (with Eckernforde facility), SIG Sauer, Inc. (U.S.A.) and SIG SAUER’s International Sales Team (based in Europe).

* In a press release to German media, SIG Sauer Mng. Dir. Tim Castagne declared that “SIG Sauer [GmbH] is systematically excluded from the tender because of its international orientation.”

Permalink Gunsmithing, Handguns, News, Tactical No Comments »
June 8th, 2020

Ten Greatest Lever Guns of All Time — What’s on YOUR List?

Greatest top 10 lever RifleShooter magazine Winchester Savage Ruger

RifleShooter Magazine released a list of the Ten Greatest Lever-Action Rifles of All Time. Writing for RifleShooter, Brad Fitzpatrick examined a wide selection of lever guns produced in the past 150 years, and came up with this short list of ten “all-star” lever action rifles:

Rifleshooter marlin 336 1894 1886 lever gun

1860 Henry Rifle
Browning BLR
Marlin 336
Marlin 1895/444
Ruger 96/44

Savage Model 99
Winchester Model 1873/73
Winchester Model 1888/88
Winchester Model 1892/92
Winchester Model 1894/94

As with all “Top 10″ lists, this will be controversial. Where is the Winchester model 1866 “Yellowboy”, the favorite of Native Americans? Where is the iconic Winchester model 1895, the beloved gun Teddy Roosevelt called “Big Medicine”? But other choices are hard to fault. The Henry Rifle, the first popular cartridge lever gun, surely belongs on the list. And, believe it or not, the Winchester Model 94 is the best-selling sporting rifle of all time in the USA, according to RifleShooter.

Greatest top 10 leer guns yellowboy 1866

Greatest top 10 leer guns yellowboy 1866

So what do you think of RifleShooter’s Top 10 list? Does it make sense, or did RifleShooter magazine get it wrong? NOTE, on the Rifleshooter Lever Gun Page, to see descriptions/photos of ALL the guns, you need to click the gray arrows that appear (barely) below each gun description (see below). That will scroll through the ten guns horizontally, back and forth.

Rifleshooter marlin 336 1894 1886 lever gun

Fitzpatrick writes: “The lever action played a very legitimate role in America’s westward expansion. It could bring meat to your table or protect your land and assets against rustlers. Nostalgia aside, the lever gun is an effective hunting tool for those willing to live within its limitations. While it can’t beat a bolt gun with a light trigger and free-floated barrel in a long-range shooting competition, a lever action in the right hands can be rather accurate, especially given new advancements in rifle design and bullet technology.”

Historic American Arms — Teddy Roosevelt’s Lever Guns
These two lever action rifles, owned by President Theodore Roosevelt, are part of the NRA Museum collection. First is a Winchester 1886 rifle known as the tennis match gun because Roosevelt used winnings from a tennis match to buy it. Below that is a suppressed Winchester model 1894 rifle. Roosevelt liked to shoot varmints around Oyster Bay (Long Island, NY) with this gun so he wouldn’t disturb his neighbors — the Tiffany and Du Pont families.

Teddy Roosevelt Winchester 1894 1886 lever gun

Teddy Roosevelt Winchester 1894 1886 lever gun

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June 8th, 2020

For Less Run-Out, Try Rotating Your Cases During Bullet Seating

Bullet Seating Reloading rotate cartridge Run-out TIR

Here is a simple technique that can potentially help you load straighter ammo, with less run-out (as measured on the bullet). This procedure costs nothing and adds only a few seconds to the time needed to load a cartridge. Next time you’re loading ammo with a threaded (screw-in) seating die, try seating the bullet in two stages. Run the cartridge up in the seating die just enough to seat the bullet half way. Then lower the cartridge and rotate it 180° in the shell-holder. Now raise the cartridge up into the die again and finish seating the bullet.

Steve, aka “Short Range”, one of our Forum members, recently inquired about run-out apparently caused by his bullet-seating process. Steve’s 30BR cases were coming out of his neck-sizer with good concentricity, but the run-out nearly doubled after he seated the bullets. At the suggestion of other Forum members, Steve tried the process of rotating his cartridge while seating his bullet. Steve then measured run-out on his loaded rounds. To his surprise there was a noticeable reduction in run-out on the cases which had been rotated during seating. Steve explains: “For the rounds that I loaded yesterday, I seated the bullet half-way, and turned the round 180 degrees, and finished seating the bullet. That reduced the bullet runout by almost half on most rounds compared to the measurements from the first test.”

READ Bullet Seating Forum Thread »

run-out bullet

run-out bullet

Steve recorded run-out measurements on his 30 BR brass using both the conventional (one-pass) seating procedure, as well as the two-stage (with 180° rotation) method. Steve’s measurements are collected in the two charts above. As you can see, the run-out was less for the rounds which were rotated during seating. Note, the change is pretty small (less than .001″ on average), but every little bit helps in the accuracy game. If you use a threaded (screw-in) seating die, you might try this two-stage bullet-seating method. Rotating your case in the middle of the seating process won’t cost you a penny, and it just might produce straighter ammo (nothing is guaranteed). If you do NOT see any improvement on the target, you can always go back to seating your bullets in one pass. READ Forum Thread..

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »