I was looking at Winchester Home page and I did not see the BB in Traditional or Black Shadow so I called Winchester and Customer service said they will sell out of the Traditional BB and Black Shadow but they will keep the Timber Carbine. Marko
That figures.... Winchester finally got back into the Big-Bore lever-gun market, and they abandon ship because it doesn't go 4000 fps! Who knows? It's too bad, because they are once again leaving a good concept and product... just like they did the .375 Winchester and the .356 Winchester. No, perhaps not their run-away best sellers, but a strong, steady loyal following there for them if they cared enough to cater to true users of their products!
The simple fact of the matter is USRAC/Browning is involved with a 4-country/culture manufacturing base. The Japanese, French, Belgian, US and their insideous beurocracies. If somehow, we could get ownership of our sporting arms manufacturers, we'd be better off. They foreign ownership only wants to bleed off the profits, irregardless of our desires. I'll give Ruger and Marlin credit for their marketing acumen. Some things they do hurts some feelings, but as a whole they go with a flow that satisfies a lot of the sporting arm users wants. Winchester's legacy in the M94 and they are producing a mere pittance of the CAS crowd. I hope someone gets the rudder on the ship to get it headed in a positive direction. Somethings can be accomplished by multi-national corporations, but the sporting arms purchasers are a persnickety lot.
(Edited by RugerNo3 at 8<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->4 am on April 26, 2001)
Kudos to RugerNo3! Look at the Smith & Wesson situation. If it had been owned by an American, I doubt the entire fiasco bringing the greatest handgun manufacturer to its knees would've happened. The same can be said about Winchester/USRAC. Much like our natural resources, we must control our arms industry independent of outside influences. As RugerNo3 said, Ruger and Marlin aren't perfect but they're pretty darn good friends in these worrisome times.
Greetings to all, I am an avid fan of the 444 Marlin, which in my opinion does not get the respect it richly deserves. That said, I am an owner of a 94 AE BB Black Shadow. I agree wholeheartedly with Ruger No3's post.
It seems that USRAC is inherently eager to drop, what may possibly be the best levers in the lot. No disrespect to the Timber Carbine, but having non-ported choices is nice.
For the life of me I can't figure out why they jumped ship so quicky (and this was prior to corporate shifting)on the 94 AE XTR chambered in 307, 356, and 375 Win. The 307 Win bottleneck puts to shame the 30-30 Win balistically, kind of a super 30-30. All the above chamberings are treasured jewels. especially with the 94 AE's 52,000 C.U.P. rating.
I hope someone knowledgable gets a hold of the reigns at some point and looks out for the guy on the outside for a change.
I really think with the advent of the internet that this a golden opportunity for firearms manufacturers to connect with the customers they serve.
Marlin is very smart creating a Forum on their website to keep tabs on what their customers are saying and interested in. However, this an exception not the rule. I know for a fact that Thompson Center for instance could care less about the internet. This is a big mistake in my opinion.
The gun manufacturers could use this opportunity to change model offerings and change quickly to the demands of their customer base. Also to keep tabs on problems with their products and enact quicker, better fixes for them.
The market research potential of this medium is worth it's weight in gold to a small company trying to change with their customer wants and needs. Interest could be assessed for a new gun model or variation for example to get a better handle on how well it would sell or if it looks like a wasted effort.
The gun owning community is fairly tight knit and I believe would be a natural to respond to market surveys utilizing the internet.
This whole game of using the Internet to market and sell products is a one way street. Most net entities don't want to hear from you unless you have some immediate profit for them. I've been on the verge of stroking out at times because I can't reach a person via any information from a business's website. Sometimes it's even a chore to find an email address. Maybe it's the anonymity of the net and how easy it is for someone to say something that they wouldn't normally, that causes business to ignore what they hear via Internet customers. I think the model is shifting significantly though and businesses who don't provide the two way street will be out done by their network savy competition.
Kudos to those forward thinking (and customer oriented) ventures who do provide good contact and listen to their customers. Obviously BearTooth fits into this category.
I've calmed down now. To #### with Winchester. I'm not about to support a company who doesn't support me. If they no longer want to manufacture the BigBore, I'm gonna let them go. Besides, I need another lever rifle like I need a third hole in the head.---------------------Bob
I wouldn't go that far. What you should do is write the CEO a letter, saying something to the effect "Why do you let a good idea fail? Why won't you keep a good product in the line? Look what Marlin is doing with their Guide Guns, don't you want to compete any longer?"
In the end I think they could sell a lot more 444s, .45-70's, etc. than .300 WSM's.
Bill- I've been a loyal Winchester customer for years. I am left-handed. Winchester was the last major manufacturer to offer a left-handed rifle. Suddenly, it's the greatest invention they made. Want to buy one? Sorry, we don't have any. So I try lever-actions. I admit to being underwhelmed when the BigBore was chambered in .444 Marlin. It also made me laugh a little. I bought the first 444 BigBore in the state. The .356 was a much better cartridge. I sold the 444, unimpressed with the cartridge compared to my 45-70 Marlin. My major objection with Winchester is, where is all the ingenuity and originality of the original Winchester? Has Winchester just become a "me too" company? Do we really need a shorter "magnum" rifle cartridge? The technology exists to make standard length rifles lighter than ever before. Jumping back to the topic, Winchester has never fully explored the possibilities of the BigBore action. The gunwriter "sages" probably did more damage to the BigBore than anyone else, outside of Winchesters own marketing people. In todays market, you can't just sit on your hands and wait for business to come to you. You must earn it. Every day.---------------------------Bob
First of All1.. You all don't fathom what happened to the great Winchester Company the early 60's! I do because I was there! Lets go back to 1960...Everyone knew Fair Trade was going to be voted out. That meant that the Retailer and the Wholesaler could discount their products. This had dramatic impact on distribution levels. It caused severe shifts in who was stocking firearms and ammo..It became a "dog eat dog" situation. The old line wholesalers needed 13% profit to break even! Everyone thought the Mass Merchandiser was the future prime outlet...except the WW Sales Force! We knew that the MM would use our products as Lost Leaders and when they All had it they would drop it and use something else! John Olin was getting old and losing control of the Board! The "Fast Shuffle Wonder Boys" convinced the Board to make a new line of firearms aimed at the MM's! When the Olin family controlled the company..it was "break even on the guns, make profit on the Ammo!" All that was gone now! Each item must show a profit or out the door. We were losing ผ on each Mod. 12 that went out the door and that was in 1960's dollars! The return rate on some of the post-64 guns reached 24%!!!!!!!!! Things went from bad to worse...then the severe six month union strike. That finished the Olin family. The WW company was spun off to US Repeating Arms. For them it was to be survial only! After WW was spun off, the Sales Force was cut 50%!!!!!!
Friends...this is only the tip of the iceburg! If you think the gun companies make guns for you, forget it!!! They make guns for MONEY!!!! If it doesn't move 100,000 units they drop it! Product Life is build into every firearm that is made in the States! The best advertising that they have for the junk coming out is the "syndicated pulp paper gun writers" and most shooters still believe their garbage! Man..you are being "Had" by the best cover up organization going!
Is there an answer? The boycott on S&W put some fear in them! They never thought people could think on their own! So...It's time to face the real world on what is happening. in general, on the Firearms and Ammo levels!!!!!!
Best Regards. James
James makes an excellent point that some of us tend to forget- the gun business is a business like any other. If the products they create don't sell in big quantities, they get dumped for something new that the maker hopes will. I'm sure we all remember those great days in the '80s to early 90's of Smith & Weson's "Gun of the Week Club." Man we had just about anything we could want. The Model 24 was reintroduced, there were all sorts of specialized hunting N-frames, and carry-oriented J- and K-frames. An enthusiast's bonanza! Yet when it all settled down, it was only collectors who bought these special runs. The folks at my favorite gun shop told me they doubted more than 25% of any given run were shot at all.
Now how many collectors, serious ones with serious amounts of disposable income, are there? Certainly not enough to warrant production of low-volume guns like my beloved Model 24 or, in this thread, the Traditional & Black Shadow Big Bore 94. Obviously these two rifles weren't marketed properly. I look over almost all gun rags even though I only read three or four. I've personally seen a grand total of 2-4 ads for either gun. If you're familiar with Dick's Sporting Goods, they often have half a dozen Guide Guns in stock. Big Bores are nowhere to be found. That's a major player in the gun business. Why didn't USRAC deal with them?
Dear Friends All....It's Forums like this one(If there are any like this one!) that must take the place of our old and departed gun "Gurus"!If these old heads were trying to write today, none of the "Rags" would but their info! You are the "Team" that young shooters are turning to for honest answers, be they may what may they be!
Marlin has captured the lever gun market, just as Billy Ruger captured the single action market and Mossburg captured the pump shotgun market.
All is not bad!...As the Sporting Goods "Pie" gets smaller the gun makers will listen more to shooters demands. They know now that whats left of the market can freeze a company off the market...ergo that S&W mess. So what is Smith hits the wall! Someone will pick up the pieces and run with them.
Beleive what I say...They are more frighten by Forums like this than any other means of advertising. At present we represent a somewhat small voice, but you bectha it growing!
Look at the growth of this Forum since it was expanded to cover what we cover now....and there is more to come. We will be testing BTB bullets this summer on actual living targets, not Gel or wet paper, and by Fall will publish the results. We will be testing against wild hogs, trapped and in the wild! Did I catch your attention on that? Our so-called Forum Marketing Plans are light years ahead of any other forum on the net...and there is a plan!
We will tell it like it is, and let the cards fall where they will. The tests will be done under controlled situations, and will not be like some I have seen where the shooter brags about how many deer they have killed!!!!! We have killed just as many on a crop damage....but prefer not to brag about it as they do on other forums and webpages! The shooter that kills one or two animals a year, doesn't have the in depth knowledge that a hundred kills a year can provide if the tests are done right. It's just that simple! That may ruffle some feathers, but so what! We are out to provide data, not BS or to massage someone's ego. Keep tuned in...there's lots more to come!!!!!
Best Regards To All, James
As is so often if not always the case, Mr. Gates is right on the mark. This forum is a veritable goldmine of knowledge and experience. (Notice I separate the two, the are different.) We have people who are longtime commercial ammo makers, firearms industry executives, game wardens, and avid shooting enthusiasts like myself. It is this tremendous mix that makes this web destination what it is, and that spells E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-T.
James, I greatly look forward to the experiemnts you just mentioned. Here in Pennsylvania I can realistically take two deer, a black bear, and an elk if lucky enough to draw a tag. If I would donate large parts of the meat, I may take two more whitetail does. But that's it. The tests you mentioned will prove quite interesting to me and others. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the big ammo companies may "horn in" to see what's what.
Mr. Gate- Thank you for not trying to defend Winchester or S&W. Winchester needs to do more market research before acting on what I can only think of as a "hunch". The 444 in the BigBore is okay, but they could have proceeded with the 45-70 1894 and really had something. Instead, they kill the Bigbore. Don't shoot the messenger.... In my area, new Winchester anythings are very rare, except for the Wal-Mart 1300s, at firesale prices. People aren't going to buy guns just because of the name on the barrel, people now days want innovation, even excitement. They want something different. This is what I fell Winchester needs to know. I'm not going to even start on S&W.--------Bob
Dear Friends and All...The comments on this subject should point to very clear what we are....A Team! If anything was learned from my years with the gun companies it was to not beleive your own BS!
Remember what I have said about a Team and study the absolute wording...."A Team is a Group of Individuals who Collectively Agree to pursue a Comman Goal!" A "Team" can accomplish much, where a "Group" can not! "Individuals" maintain their "Identity". "Collectively" gives strength in numbers. Need I say anything about "Common Goals"????? When this Forum and Webpage becomes Number 1, there will be people watching it, to be sure! And it will happen! As has been said...This "Mix" will pay off!
Best Regards To All, James
(Edited by James Gates at 11:36 am on May 6, 2001)
Very interesting and informative comments. You mention "Product Life." Do you mean that the manufacturers intentionally make guns to wear out so that they can sell more? I guess that's a naive question...
Of course, they are in business to make money. I suppose they have to find ways to make guns sell, since a well-made gun should last a lifetime.
You all keep up the good information and ideas. This site and Jeff Cooper's Commentaries online make better reading than any gun magazine out there.
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