Column, No. 141:
Remington: The Gun No One Wants to Buy
A RemArms "Fieldmaster": complete with low-grade open pore mismatched walnut stock, plastic trigger guard, a grand total of one choke tube, cheap bluing, no warranty, no customer service, little hope, and no joy.
Back on October 21 of 2020, Chase Campbell of WUTR-TV reported “Richmond Italia is the new owner of the Remington Arms plant in Ilion.”
“Upper management for Remington — and I don’t want to use the word hunters — but they’re not going to be suit and ties,” said Italia. “They’re going to be guys that get their hands dirty, guys that are going to walk the floor and talk to the employees.”
According to Italia, the building is dated. He wants to renovate it and make it modern.
“You have this super modern facility with untrained staff [in Alabama] and then you go up to New York and you have the opposite, where you have incredible staff, in an antiquated facility,” said Italia. “So, I believe that probably was the single biggest mistake that the old management has done.”
Italia plans to bring back as many workers to manufacture guns as possible. About 600 plant employees are still on furlough, but it shouldn’t take much longer, according to Italia. . .
“We’re not talking, we’re not shutting down for six months,” said Italia. “We’re talking weeks to a maximum a couple of months. Maximum.” Unfortunately, what Mr. Italia claimed was absurd, as RemArms didn't so much as have a firearms manufacturing license at the time.
In the year and a half since “Roundhill” purchased Remington Arms (now called RemArms, LLC) at bankruptcy auction, most everything promised or implied by Roundhill has been sadly, wildly untrue. The idea that RemArms was only going to be shuttered for weeks to a couple of months couldn't have been more dishonest, misleading, or just plain wrong. Just a few days prior to the WUTR-TV reporting on October 16, 2020, paintball equipment makers G.I. Sportz Inc. and Tippmann went bankrupt after defaulting on $29 million of debt. Rich Italia was once the CEO of G. I. Sportz, then was Ken D'Arcy who left for Remington, then Rich Italia again at G.I. Sportz. Italia's G.I. Sportz went belly-up, as did Remington Outdoors while Ken D'Arcy was CEO. https://news.bloomberglaw.com/bankruptcy-law/paintball-empire-enters-canadian-receivership-u-s-bankruptcy . RemArms just laid off 30 or so employees this month (March, 2022). Ken D'Arcy is the current CEO of RemArms.
Even today, there are only a handful of RemArms guns on Gunbroker . . . mostly roughly finished 870 Express models and a few plastic-stocked Model 700s. The RemArms.com website is a cheap cut and paste of the old website, with no information on what is available or what is going to be available, and no retail pricing. A year and a half later, there is no RemArms customer service. RemArms product, what scant little there is, comes with no warranty.
Those with 1100s, 11-87's, V3's, Versa Max can get no parts or service from RemArms. Those with R51's, RP9 / RP45, or RM380's can get no help from Rem Arms, nor expect any support in the future. While Rich Italia claimed “it shouldn’t take much longer” to bring back the 600 canned former Remington employees, there is little hope. Still only 200 employees or so have been brought back. To add injury to insult, RemArms claims to be locating to the abandoned Emma Hill automotive floor mat plant in LaGrange, Georgia.
Emma Hill Manufacturing was liquidated in December, 2021. The touted RemArms 856 jobs in LaGrange, Georgia, are all jobs that won't be in Ilion, New York. It should make everyone wonder why Roundhill bought the Ilion plant at all. Far from wanting to “make it modern” as said by Rich Italia, the only modernization it is ever likely to get is the liberal application of modern moth balls.
Although Roundhill purchased the former Remington plant for $13 million, on March 5, 2021, Roundhill sued Remington Outdoor for $5 million plus, asking for:
A judgment against Defendants for breach of the Roundhill APA for
is nasty stuff, which resulted in the Court dismissing it:
DISMISSING ADVERSARY PROCEEDING UNLESS FURTHER ACTION IS
12/21/2021. I note that the empty
Huntsville facility sold for $25 million dollars, while Roundhill
paid $13 million for Ilion . . . which was not at all empty.
It sounds like RemArms has put the screws to Herkimer County (seeking over $17 million in tax breaks), negotiated in bad faith both with Remington Outdoors and the UMWA, screwed the loyal former Remington employees, and has exhibited callous disregard for those with loyalty and respect for prior Remington history. For those who like to say “Time Will Tell,” Time has already told.
There are more distasteful hijinks, as in Roundhill threatening to sue Ruger for transferable use of non-transferable patents: “Ruger agreed to provide Roundhill, “a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free license” (the “Ruger License”) to use Patents Nos. 10,254,063 and 10,718,584 (the “Patents” or “Ruger Purchased Patents.”). As a matter of federal law on patent transferability, ownership has been granted to Ruger.” Roundhill apparently is already contemplating the sale of all of RemArms.
RemArms is well on its way to becoming the most disgraceful, incompetent want-to-be firearms maker in the United States. They have richly earned their place as the cobby brand of firearms to steadfastly avoid: warranty and customer service not included, and not available. It is hard to imagine a start-up company with no customer service department to so much as answer the phone, and no warranty . . . but RemArms has managed to do just that.
While they sought the benefit of using the 'Remington' name, they are unwilling or incapable of doing anything at all for the legions of Remington owners that built the brand in the first place.
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