Remington is leaving home, for good. In a note to employees today, RemArms bigwigs say they will end firearms production in their Ilion, New York plant in the coming months.
It’s massive news for the company. Remington was founded in Ilion more than 200 years ago when Eliphalet Remington set up shop with his family. From muzzleloaders in 1816 to autoloaders in 2023, a lot has changed, and the factory in New York has gone through many unsettled times.
The last decade was particularly rough as Remington defended itself in a high-profile lawsuit following a mass shooting and went through multiple bankruptcies. RemArms survived, but not after selling off Marlin, H&R, Bushmaster and even the iconic Remington ammunition line.
Since production resumed after the last bankruptcy, the Ilion plant had scaled back massively from the mid-2010s. Just over five years ago, it had more than 1,000 employees and ran three shifts. Even that was a massive drop from the heady days of the late 20th century. Big Green dominated the sporting firearm market then. The Remington 870 and 1100 shotguns were top-selling pump and autoloader shotgun choices respectively. The Model 700 bolt-action along with the company’s full-power semi-auto and pump-action rifles were also top sellers, or near the top, in their respective categories. Remington made a lot of money back then and was said to have more than 3,000 employees in the plant at one point.
Shutting down in Ilion
But the latest bankruptcy in 2020, its second in two years, cut the company deeply. After selling off the brands mentioned above, about 250 workers returned to the Ilion plant. In early 2023, Remington started production of the 700-series rifles in Georgia, where their new corporate headquarters was also based. Earlier, in 2021, the new owners had said production would stay in New York, but recent gun control legislation seemed to spur management to pack up the plant and head south.
Reports from New York-based media say all the Ilion plant employees have been told their jobs are ending, and the plant is expected to finally close in early March, 2024. What this will mean for the company besides the obvious is unclear. However, Remington is just the latest gunmaker to leave the Northeast for the Southeast, with politics often seeming to play a role.
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