Traditional Winchester rifles to be discontinued


Published: Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 10:21 p.m.

The traditional Winchester rifles carried by pioneers, movie stars and Wild West lawmen will be discontinued in March, a Belgian manufacturer said Wednesday, confirming the end of an American icon that became known as "The Gun that Won the West."

Once the U.S. Repeating Arms plant closes on March 31, the only new rifles carrying the famous Winchester name will be the modern, high-end models produced in Belgium, Japan and Portugal. The older models, including the famous Winchester Model 94, will be scrapped.

"The name will continue, but not with those traditional products," said Robert Sauvage, a spokesman for the Herstal Group, the Belgian company that owns U.S. Repeating Arms and the right to the Winchester name.

Herstal announced Tuesday that the U.S. Repeating Arms factory in New Haven would soon close, capping 140 years of Winchester manufacturing in the city.

"Economically speaking, we cannot continue. We have lost a lot of money," Sauvage said.

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