Tactical Weapons Firearms

Remington leaving New York after 200 years

Although it has seen layoffs, temporary closures, and bankruptcies, Remington's 2020 bankruptcy was the beginning of the end for the historic factory.
Miguel Ortiz Avatar
(U.S. Coast Guard)

Remington is a legendary name among firearm manufacturers like Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Beretta. While Beretta holds the title of oldest firearm manufacturer in the world, Remington claimed to be the oldest U.S. factory still making its original product. The Ilion, New York, facility began producing firearms in 1816. Although it has seen layoffs, temporary closures, and bankruptcies, Remington’s 2020 bankruptcy was the beginning of the end for the historic factory.

A Security Forces airman behind an M24 sniper rifle, based on the Remington Model 700 (U.S. Air Force)

On July 28, 2020, Remington filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company’s assets, including iconic brands like Bushmaster, DPMS, and Harrington & Richardson, were divided and sold off. Vista Outdoor purchased the Remington brand name and licensed it to the new company, Remington Arms. Although the new RemArms, LLC announced plans to relocate its headquarters and open new manufacturing facilities in Georgia, the Ilion Facility continued to employ about 270 workers.

The Remington MSR is often replicated in video games, airsoft, and even Nerf (reddit.com/r/nerf)

On November 30, 2023, RemArms sent a letter to the plant’s union, United Mine Workers of America, informing them of the scheduled closure of the Ilion Facility. “I am writing to inform you that RemArms, LLC has decided to close its entire operations at 14 Hoefler Avenue, Ilion, NY 13357,” the letter read. “The Company expects that operations at the Ilion Facility will conclude on or about March 4, 2024. The Company did not arrive at this decision lightly.”

The RSASS was restricted to military and law enforcement sales, but was still known and popular in civilian gamer and gun circles (reddit.com/H3VR)

The International President of United Mine Workers released a statement calling the closure “extremely disappointing” and the holiday announcement “a slap in the face.” Local officials also lamented the shuttering of the Ilion Facility, highlighting the loss of revenue for the area and the displacement of local workers, some of whom are legacy Remington employees.

Remington produced the M1903 Springfield for WWII (reddit.com/r/forgottenweapons)

A joint statement by local and state Republicans also expressed goals to assist employees facing the coming layoffs while decrying New York’s regulations and taxes which, they say, continue to force businesses and companies to leave the state. “It is because of New York Democrats’ unconstitutional gun grab policies that the oldest gun manufacturer in the country has been run out of the state,” Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) said in her own statement.

The M40 sniper rifle is based on the Remington Model 700 (U.S. Marine Corps)

In its long history, the Ilion Facility has manufactured a wide range of firearms for both the civilian and military markets including the M1903 Springfield and M1917 Enfield rifles under contract. The legendary Model 700 bolt-action rifle was a popular hunting rifle before it was adopted by the Marine Corps as the M40 sniper rifle and the Army as the M24 Sniper Weapon System. Remington’s Model 870 pump-action shotgun is one of the most popular around the world, being used by militaries and law enforcement agencies alike. In 2012, Remington Military/Remington Defense secured a $16M contract to produce M4/M4A1 carbines for the U.S. military at the Ilion Facility.

adaptive combat rifle in video games
The ACR has been widely featured in video games and movies (Infinity Ward)

According to a 2023 report by Wall Street Journal, Remington made a deal with video game company Activision Blizzard to place the Adaptive Combat Rifle in the 2009 game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Its inclusion in the franchise propelled the ACR to near-mythical status in popular culture despite poor commercial sales and no military adoption. Other Remington products made their way into Call of Duty games, including the R5 RGP, Modular Sniper Rifle, and Remington Semi-Automatic Sniper System.