After a great dissatisfaction with the firearms on the market and convinced that he could make better guns, Eliphalet Remington II founded Remington in 1816. His decision had been made that year when his homemade gun was so highly admired at a shooting contest. After forging it himself, he had taken it to a gunsmith in Utica, New York to finish making it into an actual gun.
The company actually started that very day with all the admirers placing orders with him to make their guns. Up to that time the available guns on the market were so bad that most people just made their own. They fashioned homemade rifle barrels by simply heating and hammering iron strips around a metal rod. The result was sufficient at best and usually very crude. The founding of Remington had been a desire birthed in him in his youth by his father.
His father worked as a blacksmith and wanted to expand his business into the rifle-making industry. After finally realizing the dream, he set up shop. It was not long before he was selling guns all across America. In 1828, he situated its final headquarters in Ilion, New York. At this time it officially became known as the Remington Arms Company.
He spent the next decades perfecting his craft and making increasingly better firearms, some of the best in the world. Remington’s market during the early to mid 1800s was particularly huge with a good many civilians commonly using guns for various reasons. Remington has had a strong hand in every American war since its existence, particularly the Civil War, World War I, and World War II.
The World War I was huge for the company since it was contracted by several of the allied powers to produce their firearms. Their production demand got increasingly greater as the war progressed. This was especially the case after the U.S. entered the war effort. However, one of its biggest clients during these years was Russia who had ordered a huge amount of guns and ammunition from Remington. When Russia stopped being able to pay the money it owed after a huge political change, Remington was hit very hard. They had all these guns and ammunition made specifically for one. With the Russian contracts suddenly made void, Remington was going to be stuck with it and suffer a big loss. But the U.S. government stepped in to save the day by taking them off their hands.
After the end of the war, the began to place a focus on their hunting lines. During the 1930s, Remington bought and merged with the Peters Cartridge Company to become Remington-Peters. As in World War I, the company did extremely well throughout the entirety of World War II. The year 1940 is seen as an exceptionally successful year for Remington. They began the year with 4,500 and by its end had increased that total to 6,700. During the 1940s the company worked closely with the U.S. government to oversee ammunitions productions.
The profits in 1940 were five times greater than 1939. It was so successful that the Remington leadership decided to expand their operations. To this end, Remington bought a number of empty buildings and turned them into parts of its growing operation. So when the U.S. entered the war after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, Remington was more than ready. One of the many firearms it used was a bolt-action rifle it had only just finished developing when America entered the war. It had just started producing them in mass when they had curb that production to churn out many other firearms as well for the war effort.
During these war years, Remington made firearms for all of the U.S. military branches. Although they made about 2,000 high powered rifles to the navy, they were never used. After the war and up to the present time Remington has remained having very close ties to the military, maintaining its worldwide supplies of guns and ammunitions. Throughout 50s and 60 Remington branched into many other none gun-related product areas. But the main line of expertise and products has remained guns and ammunition.
They also remain the primary producer of guns for multiple international military forces. In addition, their guns are highly respected throughout the gun industry itself and are often used as examples in manufacturing their own brands. In 1993, the inner workings of the company changed dramatically when Dupont, who had owned Remington since the 1930s, sold the company to investment firm, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Then in 2007 the heavily in debt Remington was sold again to Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm. Remington soon became an extremely profitable company again. Remington itself began to purchase and absorb successful ammunitions and firearms companies.
In addition, it was during these successful years they returned to some earlier abandoned practices. In 2010, that Remington returned to the handgun market after leaving it several years earlier when they were strapped for cash. In 2013, they started producing air rifles again after discontinuing the practice in 1928. In 2014, it began production of a factory in Huntsville, Alabama that would be by far its most state-of-the-art to date. The factory is said to have boosted Alabama’s economy by about $87 million.
Remington’s work throughout the south is doing so well that it is predicted that Remington will soon leave its previous home in the north altogether. Remington is committed to furthering excellence and to ever striving to achieve greater developments in firearms. Among their many, many groundbreaking firearm innovations, their Model 700 and Model 870 are seen as the best guns of all time. Other guns that are almost at that status are the Versa Max, the Model 1911, and the R51. This is the type of iconic product they hope to achieve again and again. To this end, they continue to build new factories and buy and absorb new companies for over 200 years. It has also earned the title of “America’s Oldest Gunmaker.”
by J Hines