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Eliphalet Remington

When I was growing up in Little Falls, New York in the 1960s, the men who worked in Snyder’s  on East Main Street or at the Remington factory  in nearby Ilion had good jobs. The work was highly skilled and the pay gave their families a solid middle class life. And those men produced solid goods that stood the test of time.

 We owned the products of those factories. I had an ancient Snyder bicycle that took me anywhere I wanted to go. And one of my father’s proudest possessions was a Remington Springfield 30-06 bolt action rifle.  A standard US infantry weapon for World War I and the first part of World War II, the 30-06 was a reliable deer rifle even after a half century of use.

 Although Snyder’s was closed decades ago, Remington Arms in nearby Ilion is humming with activity - the only major manufacturing firm left in a valley strewn with abandoned factories. The work at Remington is still highly skilled, much sought after, and still pays well. But the workers in Ilion built the Bushmaster .223 assault rifle used to kill the children of Newtown.

Understanding the different fates of these two firms is a window into what has gone wrong with America.

The story of the Snyder Manufacturing Company is the simpler one.  Homer P. Snyder, a friend of my grandfather and later a congressman, came to Little Falls from nearby Amsterdam early in the 20th century and set out to meet the growing demand for bicycles. In both world wars, Snyder’s switched to defense production but when peace came, they returned to making the fine bicycles for which they were known.  In the face of much cheaper imports, made mostly in Taiwan, Homer’s grandson Bill sold out in the early 1970s to Mossberg, an arms manufacturer who eventually dropped bicycle production and closed the factory.

 The Remington story begins way back in 1816 when Eliphalet Remington, a blacksmith, forged his own flintlock musket and, according to legend, won a local shooting contest. Neighbors admired its accuracy and ordered their own guns. By 1828 Eliphalet and his son Philo had built a factory in Ilion and were producing muzzle loaders using the new all-weather percussion caps. In 1847 the father and son invented a breech-loading carbine and sold it the U.S. Navy, their first military contract.  During the Civil War, the Remingtons supplied a large proportion of the small arms used by the Union forces. The Ilion plant and new factories elsewhere in New York and Ohio produced rifles and pistols during World Wars I and II. Remington continued to make a variety of sporting rifles and shotguns – as well as typewriters and safety razors - but thanks to steady  military contracts, never experienced the kind of foreign competition that destroyed Snyders and countless other factories in the Mohawk Valley.

In 1927 Remington became Remington-Rand, an entity that lasted until 1958 and built early business machines and the first widely used computers, the giant UNIVACs. Its president, James Rand, also pioneered union-busting and boasted of his success in a pamphlet entitled “The Mohawk Valley Formula," his playbook for union-busting, with heavy emphasis on misinformation and provoking violence. Even so, wages and conditions at Rem Rand rose to union levels during and after World War II.  In the 1950s the firm became Sperry Rand in the 1950s, a company that later morphed into Unisys, once a major computer manufacturer but now specializing in software services.

Through various owners over the decades, Remington Arms has continued to produce firearms without interruption. Its latest corporate transformation has made it the centerpience of  the Freedom Group Family of Companies,  which bills itself as “one of the largest manufacturers in the world of firearms and ammunition, including Remington®, Bushmaster® Firearms, DPMS/Panther Arms™, Marlin®, H&R®, The Parker Gun™, Mountain Khakis®, Advanced Armament Corp. ®, Dakota Arms®, Para™ USA and Barnes® Bullets.”

 And behind this giant is the even more gigantic Cerberus Capital Management, known for such major deals as buying and selling both Chrysler and GM's finance division in recent years – as well as for hosting Dan Quayle as its chairman of global investments and former treasury secretary John Snow as chairman of capital management. But owning the company that made the .223 Bushmaster used at Newtown – no matter how profitable– proved to be an embarrassment for Quayle, Snow and  Cerberus founder Stephen Feinberg.  

After a phone call from California, Quayle and friends knew they had to sell:

 "An official at the California teachers’ pension fund, which has $750 million invested with the private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management, was on the line, raising questions about the firm’s ownership of the Freedom Group, the gun maker that made the rifle used in the Connecticut school shootings."

The Cerberus board has avoided a public relations embarrassment but the sale is meaningless. Arms manufacturing companies are booming in America, no matter in whose balance sheet they appear, and much of this industry has been consolidated by Freedom Group.   And weapons like the Bushmaster .223 are central to Freedom Group’s profitability. Long ago, a bolt-action rifle could be sold to the army for 40 years and the same gun, or a version of it, did make sense as a hunting rifle useful for generations.

As technology accelerated, a company like Remington could no longer sell the same gun to the army for decades. Staying competitive required expensive research and continual re-tooling and if Remington lost out on military contracts, the company’s future would be at risk. That’s why it made good business sense to pitch virtually the same weapons to the civilian market – as a backup in case the military contract never came through and all that research money be wasted.

Marketing ever newer assault rifle models allows Remington to offer a brand new product to gun owners who already own older versions. Gun owners need to be convinced that they have to get the latest and most modern assault rifle – much like Iphone owners need to be motivated to buy the latest version - which can be very expensive. The new Bushmaster ACR, for example, offers an unprecedented ability to change calibers, barrel lengths and stocks with a typical price of $2000 to $2500.

The civilian market is an extra bonus for a company that has had a steady stream of military contracts for two centuries. On April 20, 2012 Remington won its most recent contract, a $16 million deal for 70,000 to 100,000 M4A1 carbines, which are offer a fully automatic version of the standard infantry M4 – and a huge $180 million contract for yet- to-be developed future guns.

 The Bushmaster and other assault rifles on the civilian market differ from these military models only in that the trigger must be pulled for each shot. The difference is really very slight and for a madman intent on killing a large number of unarmed people, the way the Bushmasters operates is, frankly, ideal. The military versions which fire great bursts of bullets are more appropriate when someone is shooting back at you and there’s no time for taking careful aim.

And the relatively smaller caliber of the civilian model also makes it ideal for mass killers. According to Guns & Ammo magazine, the .223 caliber load is popular because “it has better fragmentation upon impact, meaning it will deal a lot of damage with less chance of accidentally continuing through the target and endangering whoever's in the background.”

 Better fragmentation upon impact? That means horrendous damage to the human body and unimaginable damage to the bodies of small children. That means that the Bushmaster .223, made in Ilion by skilled American workers, is just about the best weapon a mass murderer could want.

The H.P. Snyder Manufacturing Company doesn’t make bicycles in Little Falls any more. Hand tools are no longer made in Utica. Slippers are no longer made in Dolgeville, Carpets are no longer made in Amsterdam. Televisions are no longer made in Schenectady.

But guns are still made in Ilion. Guns like the Bushmaster .223.

A more concise version of this essay was published as "Lethal Business, Haunting Questions"  in The Albany Times Union.

Cross published with illustrations and complete sources at Upstate Earth

Originally posted to Valatius on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:19 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Somehow I do not think that Eliphalet Remington (11+ / 0-)

    would be happy today.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 01:12:04 AM PST

  •  T and Rd (10+ / 0-)

    A good background on the arms industry in small town upstate NY. I saw a video just last night of work in the Remington plant, they were making bolt guns. I was surprised at how small an operation it was, they turn them out in ones and twos and twenties. It's not an assembly line of hundreds per hour.

    One quibble. The 223 sized bullet is prized because it wounds not kills. The idea being that one wounded soldier takes at least 2 or 3 to take care of him. And the standard military round that people buy by the thousands is hard jacketed, meaning it doesn't expand rapidly.

    I'm not going to even discus what type of bullet or gun is best for mass killings. Notice the difference in number of woundings between Aurora and Newtown? I'd think there's a reason.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 04:26:24 AM PST

    •  Which is why (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, Yasuragi, SilentBrook, JVolvo, WakeUpNeo
      And the standard military round that people buy by the thousands is hard jacketed, meaning it doesn't expand rapidly.
      Them stocks of thousands bought, especially after the Sandy Hooks, showing how much they really care about the younger generations among us as so called responsible adults, have Law Enforcement once more in a bind because ammunition can't be produced fast enough, that sold to law enforcement and even military and bought in the civilian market. Along with buying thousands of rounds that aren't produced here but in the lower waged countries like China, ask a gun owner about it's arsenal and where from!

      Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

      by jimstaro on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 04:44:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A diary well done. (18+ / 0-)

    Sadly there's never been much corporate responsibility shown in NY manufacturing.  GE is still a massively profitable enterprise which has taken a "not us, we're not paying" position on Dioxin contamination.  Mallory Battery Co. left a superfund site behind too.  The list goes on.

    Sadly, if the fate of Ithaca Gun Co. is included, the marketplace requires this sort of bloodlust for contracts and aggressive product marketing.  A quality "old school" product means bankruptcy, much as having a infinitely repairable TV or Freezer means you've priced yourself above the $300-$400 market for the new wiz-bang/throw away in 3 years market.

    Now, after polluting China for decades, we're moving companies back on-shore.  Will we make them face their past misdeeds?  HELL NO, it's a matter of JOBS... and I don't mean Steve.

  •  This (11+ / 0-)
    Better fragmentation upon impact
    Is also why one who owns, or seeks out to, these types of weapons don't buy them for hunting, really ruins the wild game cookout, nor even sport shooting and can never give a coherent answer when asked why they own them why they own the extended clips for nor why they stock thousands of rounds, and I know many who do, except to always come to the paranoid ideology of a government take over of their individual lives!

    Welcome to the once United States, United no longer and for some time now, as they create the takeover of rights themselves while wanting their own held firm!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 04:36:19 AM PST

    •  Well, here you go, then... (8+ / 0-)

      I can answer your concerns, at least from my own point of view -- with the acknowledgement that I do not own nor care to own a Bushmaster.

      "Better fragmentation upon impact" means better stopping power, which is useful for both self-defense and hunting, as well as prevents the overpenetration that many people worry about (for instance, a self-defense shot going through a wall to strike an unintended target).

      Claims about certain types of ammo ruining a cookout simply shows ignorance about preparing wild game.

      Why I "stock thousands of rounds" is because when I find a good price, I stock up -- and there is often a significant price reduction when buying in bulk, particularly military surplus ammo.

      I couldn't respond to your reference to "extended magazines" without a clearer indication to what you are referring.  Something like a twenty- or thirty-round magazine is quite useful for either target shooting or, the main reason I use one, for pest control (my area is overrun with wild hogs which can destroy an entire season of crop growing in a week).

      The only government takeover of my life, as you describe it, that I envision in the near future is the continued encroachment upon privacy issues, largely undertaken by the Republican part (although, sadly, Democrats do the same now and then).  

      So, there is a coherent answer for you.  You may disagree with it, or choose to disregard it, but I'm willing to state, on my own behalf, that it is most certainly coherent.

      Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

      by theatre goon on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 05:15:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, that's an incoherent lie. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Buckeye54, SilentBrook, Inventor, splashy

        I've helped butcher deer.

        And none of the actual hunters I've helped were dumb enough to hunt with fragmenting ammo, precisely because it makes the processing extremely tedious.

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:02:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, and typical (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Smoh, Inventor

        condescension. Nice start there.

        And you're probably all huffy about why people treat you the way you get treated. Funny.

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:05:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who's huffy? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc

          Someone made an inaccurate statement about fragmenting ammo, which I corrected.

          I also responded to their statement that no one has ever been able to give them a coherent response to some questions, offering a coherent set of answers to those questions, at least from my own perspective.

          So, you are incorrect about both my being huffy and any condescension on my part.

          Your claim of my "incoherent lie" simply exposes your ignorance on the subject -- not my problem.

          Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

          by theatre goon on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:01:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, someone made and accurate comment (0+ / 0-)

            and you responded with a demonstrable lie.

            "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

            by nosleep4u on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:36:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nonsense. (0+ / 0-)

              I can only assume that if you could show that my statement is a "demonstrable lie," then you would, y'know, demonstrate it.  Here's a hint -- asserting it is not the same as demonstrating it.

              The fact that you haven't shows that you are just trying to make a personal attack against me.

              That being the case, it is clear that you have no interest in carrying on an adult, meaningful discussion.

              Good day to you.

              Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

              by theatre goon on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 11:21:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Fragmentation (4+ / 0-)

      Doesn't matter the gun - matters more the ammunition.

      A gun that you hunt with or use for personal protection - the desired ammo is the type that fragments on impact.

      More dangerous to the thing being shot but less dangerous to others since the ammo doesn't pass through.

      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ctexrep on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 07:18:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's simple physics, really. (4+ / 0-)

      muzzle velocity is energy.  The speed at which the projectile leaves the barrel is a function of the propellant, barrel length, and a few other factors; but essentially you're looking at kinetic energy -- energy of/in motion.

      The equation looks like this:

      Ek = 1/2 mv2

      The ideal situation is converting that kinetic energy to strike energy (impact) when the round fired hits the target fired upon.

      strike energy is stopping power.

      you want maximum stopping power on your target.

      if you are remotely close to a responsible shooter, you want to minimize the chances that you do collateral damage downrange through either

      (1) missing your target altogether

      or

      (2) having a through-and-through wound, that deflects or alters the path of the round but does not stop the round from continuing downrange to hit something beyond the intended target.

      Of course, the physics of shooting and the physics of firearms imply some things that such incidents as the Clackamas mall or San Ysidro McDonald's mass shootings obviate: rational use of the firearm for its designed purpose by a trained and competent person.

      My solution would be to ensure that we train -- and test for competence -- our population as a whole. Then individuals could choose to be shooters, or not, just as today's individuals can choose to be bus riders or subway users or car drivers, or not.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:32:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  IMHO, we'd be better off training DRIVERS (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SilentBrook, MichaelNY

        better, rather than trying to teach an entire nation, many of whom (including myself) may have absolutely no interest in acquiring shooting skills.

        However, based on what I have seen on highways and streets in the past several decades, there are a LOT of folks who either never TOOK a driving class, or failed it and still got a license. And they're dangerous!

        That said, some state that statistics prove we kill more folks with cars than guns, while others point to a convergence taking place, where gun deaths are climbing, and accident deaths declining.

        What will happen to that curve in the future will be decided by actions we take now...

        Help American return to sanity - vote the GOP OUT OF the House Majority and reduce their numbers in the Senate in 2014 elections. America requires Democratic action in order to survive!

        by dagnome on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:28:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sure some people feel driving is a right (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theatre goon, fuzzyguy, MichaelNY

          but it is in fact actually a privilege. Loss of privilege SHOULD follow on inappropriate use of it.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:42:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The reason driving deaths are declining (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          Is because we got the insurance corporations in on it by requiring insurance to drive on public roads.

          That lead to the insurance corporations doing research on safety, and publishing their results on how safe different vehicles are on a regular basis, to lower their costs.

          It's why I would like to see gun owners, manufacturers and dealers to be required to have insurance. There would be a big push by the insurance corporations to make the guns safer.

          Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

          by splashy on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:43:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  At the risk of derailment, a great idea (0+ / 0-)

          Improving driver education and skills is low-hanging fruit for saving lives.

          Gotta quibble, though: aren't vehicle accident deaths actually declining?

      •  So, you want to FORCE everyone to learn (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        How to use a gun, regardless of what they want?

        Not everyone learns, or wants to learn, how to drive. No one forces them to either.

        It's annoying how some gun owners seem to think that it's no big deal to have to deal with guns.

        Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:41:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let's say have everyone learn to recognize (0+ / 0-)

          that an inanimate object in and of itself is not a talisman of evil ... we can progress from there, I'd think.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 10:42:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Please see new long comment below... n/t (0+ / 0-)

      -7.25, -6.26

      We are men of action; lies do not become us.

      by ER Doc on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:02:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't own one but can answer one question (0+ / 0-)

      "Thousands of rounds" can be used up by diligent practice in a few years. Buying in bulk to save money makes sense if you have a safe place to store it.

  •  Nice diary. (11+ / 0-)

    I'm in law enforcement, and I'm perturbed at both sides in this gun battle.  It's much more complicated than people make it out to be from either perspective.

    There's no reason we have to allow 30 round magazines.  There's also no reason it should be possible to buy a bunch of guns in the south and import them up to NY or Chicago with no chance of tracing them.  I see no reason that we can't have background checks, although I doubt it will really help that much.

    A large part of the problem is that the NRA has been so unwilling to compromise at all that any kind of common sense regulation has been stifled.  And now they really do bear the brunt of the blame for Newton and the other massacres.

    On the other hand, the reactionary congress may push through silly regulations that just piss off law abiding gun owners and make them vote for Republican nut jobs.

    There are so many guns in America that, at this point,  it is hopeless to actually solve this problem definitively.  All we can do is hope for some common sense, but my hopes for common sense legislation on anything in this poisoned political atmosphere have evaporated.

    •  I like your comment Farlfoto (4+ / 0-)

      I believe that a real solution involves both gun owners and those who want more gun control getting together and talking.

      On the other hand, the reactionary congress may push through silly regulations that just piss off law abiding gun owners and make them vote for Republican nut jobs.

      "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

      by high uintas on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:12:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We need more posts like yours (0+ / 0-)

      "It's much more complicated than people make it out to be from either perspective".

      There are a lot of complications when you try to regulate diverse technology for a diverse population.

      It would help if people didn't react with anger when someone points out a complication.

      "There are so many guns in America that, at this point,  it is hopeless to actually solve this problem definitively".

      People do underestimate the inventory problem, but inventory reduction is possible if only on a multi-generation time scale. Targeted inventory reduction could work faster IF there's an identifiable set of high risk owner/gun combinations.

  •  Minor quibble: Remington and Remington-Rand were (8+ / 0-)

    never the same company...

    In 1927 Remington became Remington-Rand, an entity that lasted until 1958 and built early business machines and the first widely used computers, the giant UNIVACs
    .
         E. Remington & Sons started making early typewriters in 1874. They had purchased the basic design as part of a diversification plan. They were also making sewing machines at the time. Remington Arms sold the typewriter business to The Standard Typewriter Manufacuring Company in 1886, including the right to use the name "Remington," and the company changed its name to the Remington Typewriter Company in 1902. After the 1927 merger with the Rand Kardex Company and the Powers Accounting Machine Company, the renamed Remington-Rand Corp. continued to manufacture and sell typewriters. During the WWII war effort, the Remington-Rand Company did switch its business to making the M1911A1 .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, but that was its only time making weapons.

    -7.25, -6.26

    We are men of action; lies do not become us.

    by ER Doc on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 07:06:57 AM PST

    •  Thanks for this information (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      I had the impression that Remington Rand had some kind of facility in Ilion in the 1960s but I think now I was confusing Ilion with Utica a few miles farther west, where Sperry Rand did build UNIVACs. The fact that Remington Arms has stayed so completely focused on firearms production is even stronger evidence for the success of its narrowly focused business model.

      For anyone interested, this is the historical timeline, according to Remington: an unrelenting stream of firearms sold to the military and to the public through good times and bad.

      If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

      by Valatius on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 11:24:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here is some more info on the town, & company (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Valatius, SilentBrook, MichaelNY

    Calls for Stricter Gun Laws Worry Ilion, N.Y., Built by Remington - NYTimes.com
     http://www.nytimes.com/...

    The company is a rare economic bright spot in this part of the Mohawk Valley. The area has lost over 11,000 of its manufacturing jobs since 1990, or more than half, according to the State Labor Department. But Remington has added positions in recent years as its parent company consolidated production of other gun brands, like Bushmaster and Marlin, in Ilion.

    “Not only have they stayed, but they’ve grown,” said John Scarano, the executive director of the Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce. He added that the jobs at the plant were “not minimum-wage jobs — they’re good jobs,” and, indeed, many of the job postings on Remington’s Web site recently were for skilled engineering positions.

    Yet the talk of new gun laws, in a state that already has some of the most restrictive in the nation, has some people on edge.

    Workers Union reaches agreement with Remington Arms | NBC
    -WKTV News Channel 2 - Utica News, Weather, Sports - | Local News

    ILION, N.Y. - By a substantial margin, members of United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) Local Union 717 have ratified a new five-year agreement with Remington Arms that features significant improvements in wages and jurisdiction.

     http://www.wktv.com/...
  •  Sounds like another failure to enact tariffs (11+ / 0-)

    There would still be good factory jobs in NY, with people making things other than guns, if we hadn't rejected tariffs and hadn't sold out our entire country in exchange for slave labor, cheap plastic crap and massive pollution.

    I don't fault the workers for continuing to have jobs.  I fault our trade policy for making it near impossible to build things like bicycles here.

  •  Cerebus never owned GM. However, they did (4+ / 0-)

    make a controlling purchase of GMAC, GM's financial division.

    Sorry, I know that is really just a tangent to the main thrust of this well written diary, but I did want to point that out.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:16:46 AM PST

  •  bigtime& we won: plays into a general lack of (3+ / 0-)

    precision pervasive in the rhetoric deployed to back up the viewpoint of "what's wrong with America" includes the 2nd Amendment.

    People don't seem to think they need to pay attention to detail when they're "fighting the evil that is guns".

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:36:54 AM PST

    •  .... (0+ / 0-)

      Bigtime probably misread.

      And behind this giant is the even more gigantic Cerberus Capital Management, known for such major deals as buying and selling both Chrysler and GM's finance division in recent years –
      We Won provided similar info as to whats already in the diary.
      The work at Remington is still highly skilled, much sought after, and still pays well.
      And as for the union, the busting took place back in the late 50's, there is no specific mention that there is no union today at the plant.  
      In 1927 Remington became Remington-Rand, an entity that lasted until 1958 and built early business machines and the first widely used computers, the giant UNIVACs. Its president, James Rand, also pioneered union-busting and boasted of his success in a pamphlet entitled “The Mohawk Valley Formula," his playbook for union-busting, with heavy emphasis on misinformation and provoking violence.
  •  I worry about the loss of manufacturing jobs when (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    we talk about cutting the bloated defense budget. For better or worse,they represent about 9% of America's manufacturing jobs.

    This 2010 Report states that there are 1,050,618 workers employed in ten categories of military manufacturing. Aerospace employs the largest  number - 480,668. The small arms category employs the least - 143.

    The Census data shows about 10,000 employees in firearms manufacturing during 2010, so yeah... the civilian market is huge compared to military production.

    Then there's this article on the $19 million in tax subsidies granted to companies that assault rifles.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:56:48 AM PST

  •  I understand that diaries can be republished, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PHScott, ER Doc

    with all the prior comments intact, something seems amiss. It seems you are discouraging any fresh discussion.

    A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. - Greek proverb

    by marleycat on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:32:45 AM PST

  •  I think I see the problem here. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annecros, ER Doc

    There's a view that all features common between military firearms and civilian ones serve only improve performance in combat.  At first glance that's pretty reasonable conclusion to reach.  Civilians aren't likely to be in combat.  Hunting isn't anything like combat, and civilian self defense typically differs for combat experienced in armed conflict.

    On the other hand, we also tend to confuse--again with good reason--combat with simply "killing people."  But combat is also slugging through mud and rain, or sand in above-100 degree temperature, or keeping a steady eye and arm under stressful conditions, and keeping foreign objects out of your eye and bright flashes from blinding you.  In other words, it's about safety.  And its about keeping safety affordable.

    So consider the features of an AR heritage rifle.  Its material make up and modularity is designed to improve its survivability and reduce cost of ownership.  The grip is designed to improve control under recoil, which reduces the risk of things like this from happening. A detachable magazine is useful for both soldier and the varmint hunter, and it is certainly useful for a civilian defending themselves against multiple intruders.  The fragmenting round (there are also full metal jacket .223s) are useful in hunting for ensuring swift take down of your quarry.  In home defense, they reduce the risk of over-penetration.  (Also, let's not kid ourselves, any ammunition will do tremendous damage to a child, adult or any living thing).  

    So that leaves us with the features not common between the civilian and military AR lineages.  Basically,  select-fire for three round or fully automatic operation.  

  •  Those jobs in Ilion aren't as cushy as they once (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc

    were when Remington was owned by DuPont. The wages now are just above minimum wage and the union is pretty much gone. Remington used to have three factories all making hunting rifles and shotguns. The Mohawk Valley is slowly depopulating because all the good jobs are going to Syracuse and Albany. The Mohawk Valley's future is not in guns but technology and tech services.

  •  There is one advantage to reading all this again; (0+ / 0-)

    the first time through, I ignored this part of the discussion...
        The context of that comment about "better fragmentation upon impact" is in reference to firing the weapon inside the home for defensive purposes. It refers specifically to the impact of a bullet on hard surfaces, which will causes the lightweight, relatively fragile .223 bullet to fragment, reducing the likelihood of penetrating walls and endangering people in adjacent rooms. It does not refer to the inherent tendency of the bullet to fragment when striking soft targets like wild game or people.
         If, while hunting, you want maximal expansion and fragmentation on impact, you use hollow-point ammunition. That is what you choose for hunting smaller creatures not intended for eating, (so-called "varmint" hunting.) This would include shooting coyotes as well as shooting woodchucks, ground squirrels, and other digging pests.  
         If you are hunting animals for meat, you want good expansion without fragmentation, so you generally use soft-point ammunition. That's what is typically used for deer hunting, although the 5.56 x 45 caliber, (commercially referred to as .223 Remington caliber in the U.S.) used in the typical AR-15 is almost universally considered to be too small and under-powered for deer hunting. The smallest bullet type typically used for deer hunting is the .243 Winchester, which uses a bullet only slightly larger than the .223, but a larger case, and more powder. The 7.62 x 39 caliber used in most AK47-type rifles uses an even larger bullet, but with a small case and therefore less powder. It has a lower velocity than the 5.56 x 45, but the heavier bullet allows it to retain more energy at hunting distances. As far as I know, the 7.62 x 39 is the lowest power round that is typically used for deer hunting. The Hmong immigrants in Minnesota and Wisconsin often use inexpensive SKS-type semiautomatic rifles in 7.62 x 39 for deer hunting; they or their forefathers typically learned to use that type of rifle during the wars in Laos in the Sixties and Seventies.
         The military is prevented by international treaty and convention from using fragmenting or expanding ammunition. They use the full-metal-jacket ammunition exclusively. It is specifically not intended to expand or to fragment when it hits a person. This is also the type of ammunition typically used in target shooting. For casual target shooting, military surplus-type ammunition is cheaper. For serious competition, specially-designed full-jacketed bullets have the most consistent trajectories.
          When the M-16 was first adopted by the US military in the mid-Sixties, there was a lot of concern expressed, especially in the senior enlisted ranks, about the dramatic decrease in power from the .308 round used by the M-14 to the .223 round. This was answered by a spate of propaganda from the higher-ups about how the M-16's round "tumbled" in a devastating fashion never before seen in a military round. This was faithfully passed on by the drill sergeants and weapons instructors, so that many people whose only knowledge about weapons came from their military instructors still believe this. It is untrue. The .223 Remington is no more deadly than any other small high-velocity rifle round, such as the .22 Hornet, .222 Remington, or .220 Swift, and is much less powerful than the rounds typically used by deer hunters, or by the military rifles of WW I and WW II.
          The bullet will often tumble after impact with something hard, such as a bone, but no more so than any other light high-velocity rifle round. The larger rifle rounds formerly used by the military had much more energy, and therefore more often shattered a bone on impact rather than glancing off and tumbling, but it is difficult to argue on a medical basis that the tumbling is somehow more devastating than the shattering of the bone.

    -7.25, -6.26

    We are men of action; lies do not become us.

    by ER Doc on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:33:46 AM PST

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