Remington Arms Company, Inc. was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons. It is the oldest company in the United States which still makes its original product, and is the oldest continuously operating manufacturer in North America.
E. Remington and Sons (1816–1896) was a manufacturer of firearms and typewriters. Founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, on March 1, 1873 it started manufacturing the first commercial typewriter.
It is the only U.S. company which produces both firearms and ammunition domestically, and is the largest U.S. producer of shotguns and rifles.
After a 12-year absence in the handgun market, Remington announced the Model 1911 R1 in April 2010, slated to be available through select independent dealers beginning June 2010.
The last handgun produced by Remington Arms, the Model XP-100R, ceased production in 1998.
Its products are distributed in over 60 foreign countries, making its base wider than those of its competitors.
Remington has also developed or adopted more cartridges than any other gun maker or ammunition manufacturer in the world.
Remington is part of the Freedom Group, owned by Cerberus Capital Management.
Remington was founded in 1816. Eliphalet Remington II believed he could build a better gun than he could buy. Farming communities in the region were famous for their diverse skills and self-sufficiency, and the winter seasons were used for crafts that provided goods for self-use and also for sale. Eliphalet’s father was a blacksmith, and wanted to expand his business into rifle barrel production. Local residents often built their own rifles to save on costs, but purchased the barrel. Eliphalet’s father sent him to a well-known barrel maker in a major city to purchase a barrel, with the mission of observing the barrel-making technique. At the time, the method was to heat and wrap long flat bars of iron around a metal rod of the caliber desired. By heating and hammering the coiled bars around the central rod, the barrel metal became fused into a solid cylinder, at which point the rod was pressed out. After the young man returned home, his family added a successful barrel making operation to his father’s forge, in Ilion Gorge, New York.
He began designing and building a flintlock rifle for himself. In the fall of that year, he entered a shooting match; though he only finished second, his well-made gun impressed other shooters. Before Eliphalet left the field that day, he had received so many orders from other competitors that he was now officially in the gunsmithing business. By 1828, the operation moved to nearby Ilion, New York, at the same site which is used by the modern Remington firearms plant.
In 1865, Remington incorporated into a stock company, and in 1873 began a new venture, producing Remington brand typewriters. Remington sold the typewriter business in 1886. The typewriter company eventually became Remington Rand, and the firearms business became Remington Arms Company. In 1888, Remington was purchased by Marcus Hartley and Partners, a major sporting goods chain who also owned the Union Metallic Cartridge Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The Bridgeport site became the home of Remington’s ammunition plant.
In 1912, Remington and Union Metallic Cartridge were combined into a single entity, called Remington UMC. Even today, Remington produces U.M.C. brand ammunition. In 1915, the plant at Ilion was expanded, and with this expansion became basically the same plant as today.
During World War I, Remington produced arms under contract for several Allied powers.
Remington produced M1907-15 Berthier rifles for France, Pattern 1914 Enfield rifles for Britain, and Model 1891 Mosin-Nagant rifles for Imperial Russia. As the war intensified, Remington production grew ever greater.
When the U.S. entered the war, Remington became deeply involved in the war effort. Notable contributions by Remington included development and production of the U.S. M1917 Enfield rifle, a simplified version of the British Pattern 1914, and development of the Pedersen device.
Late in the war, the collapse of the Imperial Russian government had a severe impact on Remington finances. Russia had ordered enormous quantities of arms and ammunition, but ran short of money to pay for the orders. They delayed payment, pointing to alleged defects in Remington products. When the Bolsheviks took power in the Russian Revolution, they repudiated the contract entirely. Remington was left with huge stocks of guns and ammunition, and no prospects for payment. U.S. government intervention was required to save the company from bankruptcy.Noting the explosive growth of business at the beginning of the war, and the precipitous decline at the end of the war, Remington made the conscious decision to promote and emphasize their line of sporting products. They viewed hunting products as a more stable business which might help them to survive future ups and downs.
During the Great Depression, Remington was purchased by the DuPont Corporation, which had made its fortune with improvements to gunpowder. A year later, Remington purchased the Peters Cartridge Company; today, many of the Remington headstamps still have R-P on them for Remington-Peters.
In 1940, the U.S. Army became worried about its ammunition capacity, and asked Remington to collaborate in a plan for national expansion. With the aid of DuPont, Remington built the Lake City Arsenal and Denver Ordnance ammunition plants, and three more plants later on. Though the plants belonged to the U.S. government, Remington was asked to oversee their operation. Among the weapons Remington manufactured for the government during World War II was the famous M1903A3 Springfield bolt-action rifle.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Remington branched out into other products besides guns, with the purchase of Mall Tool Company in 1956. One of the products was chain saws.
The M24 SWS military sniper rifle, based on the Remington 700.
In 1962 Remington introduced the Model 700 bolt-action sniper rifle. The rifle became one of Remington’s most successful firearms, and quickly lent itself to developments of many sub-variants, including the Remington 700 BDL, Remington 700PSS for police and law enforcement agencies (the rifle, later renamed 700P, is very popular among law enforcement agencies) and the military M24 SWS which was the USA Army standard sniper rifle between 1988–2010 and still serves among other armed forces around the world, such as the IDF. Other firearms companies designed and manufactured sniper rifles based on the reliable and accurate Remington Model 700 action.
In 1986, Remington closed its ammunition plant in Bridgeport, Connecticut, creating a brand-new facility in Lonoke, Arkansas. This site was chosen as the geographic center of the sporting ammunition market. A year later, Remington built a new clay targets plant in Athens, Georgia.
In 1993, Remington was sold by DuPont to the investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R’).
In June 2007, a private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management, acquired Remington Arms for $370 million, including $252 million in assumed debt. This happened because Remington was millions of dollars in debt and did not report a profit during the years 2003-2005.
In December 2007, Remington Arms acquired rifle-maker Marlin Firearms.
As of 2009, ammunition sales continued to remain high during the ongoing United States Ammunition Shortage. Chief Executive Officer Ted Torbeck was quoted in the Chambersburg Public Opinion newspaper on 2009-11-30 from Remington’s most recent quarterly earnings conference call as saying “Since the U.S. presidential election, demand for (ammunition) has risen amidst concerns that the new administration will further restrict the use or purchase of firearms and ammunition and levy additional taxes on these products. Since that time we have responded by ramping up production, providing for additional employee overtime, establishing additional production shifts, and expanding our supply chain, none of which has required significant capital.”
In October 2009, Remington Military products acquired suppressor manufacturer Advanced Armament Corporation.
In 2010, Remington introduced the fastest commercially available shotgun shell, Hypersonic Steel, with a patented wad technology that allows the shot to travel at 1700 FPS.
In late 2010, Remington introduced the Versa Max auto-loading shotgun. It’s patented Versa Port system self-regulates gas pressure based on the length of the cartridge used, enabling the shotgun to shoot light 2 3/4″ target loads, 3″ hunting loads, and 3 1/2″ magnum hunting loads.
In 2012, Remington won the U.S. Army contract to manufacture 24,000 M4A1 carbines at $673 per unit worth $16,163,252 total.