U.S. Repeating Arms Company

The U.S. Repeating Arms Company. Inc. (USRAC) is the current business name of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, famous for making Winchester rifles.

U.S. Repeating Arms Company
PredecessorWinchester Repeating Arms Company
Founded1981 (1981)
FounderEmployees of Winchester Repeating Arms Company
Defunct1989 (1989)
Area served
ProductsRifles, Shotguns, Ammunition
ParentFabrique Nationale de Herstal

USRAC's predecessor company adopted the Winchester name in 1866 when Oliver Winchester reorganized the New Haven Arms Company and changed its name to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. In 1931, Western Cartridge Company (later Olin Corporation) purchased Winchester Repeating Arms and combined with it to form Winchester-Western.

In 1981, The U.S. Repeating Arms Company was formed by Winchester employees to purchase the rights to manufacture Winchester-brand rifles and shotguns in New Haven, Connecticut, under license from Olin Corporation.

In 1989, after bankruptcy of the employee-organized corporation, USRAC was taken over by Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN), a Belgium-based international group producing firearms.

In early 2006, it was announced that the plant in New Haven would close and production of several Winchester rifles would cease worldwide; some models would be continued in plants outside the United States. This has changed, as according to Winchester Repeating Arms' website, Winchester guns are still being produced by FN in both the US and Belgium.

Production of ammunition and cartridge components under the Winchester Ammunition Inc. name was retained by Olin, not licensed to USRAC.

Industrial activity in Newhallville was reduced drastically after 1965, when Winchester, at that time the largest employer in New Haven, decided to move its main production line to East Alton, Illinois.[1] After a machinists' strike in the late 1970s, the plant was sold to U.S. Repeating Arms.[2] The neighborhood's long history of arms production finally ended completely in 2006, when the U.S. Repeating Arms factory closed, laying off 186 workers.[3][4]

See also


  1. Bowie, Nicholas (Spring 2009). "Poison Ivy: The Problem of Tax Exemption in a Deindustrializing City, Yale and New Haven, 1967-1973". Foundations. 3 (2): 61–90.
  2. Associated Press, 'Gun that Won the West' becoming just part of history, USA Today, January 18, 2006
  3. Tess Wheelwright, The Last Good-Bye, The New Haven Independent, March 30, 2006, and Paul Bass, The Earth Moves On Winchester, The New Haven Independent, August 11, 2009
  4. Out With A Bang: The Loss of the Classic Winchester Is Loaded With Symbolism, Washington Post, January 21, 2006
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