When did the New Haven factory close and why?


A Quick Update on Winchester Rifles and Shotguns (written and published in 2006).

There have been many questions over the past several [years] about the future and status of Winchester brand rifles and shotguns. We hope that the questions and answers below will help clear up any misconceptions and assure you that we are aggressively moving forward in providing a line of rifles and shotguns with the quality, durability and good design you expect from the greatest firearms brand of all time.

Q. I heard that your company is closing down the Winchester firearms factory in Connecticut. Is this true?

A. Yes, this is true. On January 17 of 2006 it was announced that U.S. Repeating Arms Company (the company that makes Winchester brand Model 94s, Model 70s and the Model 1300 Speed Pump Shotgun) would be shutting down one of the factories which makes Winchester guns. The factory is located in New Haven, Connecticut.

Q. Why is the plant being closed?

A. Over the years, many efforts were made to improve profitability at the manufacturing facility in New Haven, and the decision to shut this factory was made after exhausting all available options.

Q. Are there other factories making Winchester products?

A. Yes. Our other factories will continue production uninterrupted. Products made at these factories include the Super X line of shotguns including the new Super X3 autoloader and the new Super X Rifle (SXR) centerfire autoloader. Both are made and assembled in Portugal. In addition, we will continue with our line of quality Select [and today, Model 101] over and unders: the only production Belgium-made over and unders in the world. Our special historic guns -- 1885s, 95s, as well as other limited series rifles -- continue to be made at our factory in Japan. These factories are unaffected by the New Haven closure and we continue forward with our production and future plans.

Q. How does this announcement affect the service and repair of the Winchesters I own or Winchesters I may buy this year?

A. Service is not affected at all by the plant closure. It continues from our network of Winchester Authorized Repair Centers (ARCs) and/or from our service facility in Arnold, Missouri. We have a continuing commitment to service that is an unchanged part of the Winchester legacy.

Q. Was an official press release sent out by U.S. Repeating Arms concerning the closure?

A. Yes there was. It was released January 17, 2006. The text is included below:

For Immediate Release -- January 17, 2006 -- U.S. Repeating Arms Company To Close New Haven, CT Facility -- U.S. Repeating Arms Company, maker of Winchester brand rifles and shotguns will close its New Haven, Connecticut manufacturing facility. Many efforts were made to improve profitability at the manufacturing facility in New Haven, and the decision was made after exhausting all available options.

Effective March 31, 2006 the New Haven manufacturing facility will stop manufacturing the Winchester Model 70, Model 94 and Model 1300.

Winchester Firearms will continue to sell and grow its current line of Select Over & Under shotguns, the new Super X3 autoloading shotgun, the new Super X autoloading rifle and Limited Edition rifles. The company also plans to introduce new models in the future. There will be no change in Customer Service.

This action is a realignment of resources to make Winchester Firearms a stronger, more viable organization. Winchester Firearms plans to continue the great Winchester legacy and is very excited about the future.