Boston Globe Photos of Connecticut River Firearm Manufacturers

Great photos of a few Connecticut River Valley firearm manufacturing facilities courtesy of the Boston Globe.

Read more about the amazing history of the Connecticut River Valley and firearms here.

Published in: on April 16, 2013 at 9:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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More thoughts…and ramblings

The following is just a summary of articles and associated thoughts in a stream of consciousness fashion. Apologies for it’s disorganization:

Firstly, here is an article regarding “What really makes schools safer?”

The article states that Sandy Hook had a security system, sign-in, doors were locked at 9:30am, they did lockdown drills. None of this made Sandy Hook safe.

“these incidents is they’re over so fast, a law enforcement response almost never accomplishes anything”

Agreed, there is NO WAY for law enforcement to respond in time.

Truthfully, I feel that we do not have a comprehensive plan of safety for our schools. I believe every school should have an armed security guard.  I believe teachers should be able to secure their classrooms. And have diligent emergency plans.  But really, having a trained security guard or others who can respond immediately is necessary for such incidents. Sadly.


Mental Health – the real culprit

“The New York Times observed: “They give lots of warning and even tell people explicitly what they plan to do.”

We are failing to report incidents to the background check. Failing to report at all in many cases. Truthfully, I believe it’s an issue of sensitivity. We are concerned and fearful because reporting is only allowed when we fear “there is an immediate danger to self or others”.  But what if we’re unsure of the immediate danger? Do we report an individual? ruin their life? have them forcibly committed? and lose their rights? – all because we had a feeling?

No, and therefore many never get reported.  But I wonder if we brought some moderation to the system. And allowed healthcare, educators, perhaps even employers, etc. to report a yellow flag.  Yellow flag meaning “It could be nothing, but something set me at unease.”  Now a single yellow flag or two would not necessarily trigger an alarm. But if a few were reported on the same individual, especially if reported by multiple separate institutions. Then an alert might be issued for an intervention.  The database would have to be very restricted, perhaps under one monitoring agency that was a combination of health professionals and law enforcement. But could a softer approach help eliminate these incidents?

Consider a soldier returning from Iraq with PTSD.  Raises a flag with family, raises another at work.  He needs help. But right now the option is often all or nothing.  You agree to be committed, or are forcibly committed and lose your rights. Who wants to do that to a man or woman who served our nation faithfully and is now struggling.

But if you could just say, “Hey, I think my patient/friend/co-worker/student/parishioner/etc needs help.” 

“The ability to hunt is part of our culture.”

I really don’t give a damn about hunting. I think it’s a good tradition. Good family bonding.  But to be seriously, I do not think it’s a constitutionally protected right. I care about the right to protect myself and the family I love.


Thoughts on the media: The media is doing everything they can to leverage this event.  And have gotten a fair amount of derision in the process (a lot of backlash in Connecticut as reporters hound classmates of the victims). Hype and agenda, how can today’s two bit media not leap at the bit.


Article on how school shootings potentially re-shape public opinion. And from the sound of the article, the future is a further divided nation politically.

Article on the quality of the media during such incidents. Also documents all the mis-information the media spews in a rush for headlines. Wrong name of shooter, wrong Facebook photo (blamed the brother by mistake), wrongly stated mother was a teacher at the school.

It is also sad how quickly the media starts spewing misinformation and stereotypes on the regular targets: Gun owners, goths, Asperger’s disorder.
Call for reason or is it?
This one is the typical misinformation, such as English Common law requiring duty to retreat. Which was only in cases of tavern fights/disputes. Not from a felon actively engaged in crime. Praises restrictions that allowed only the rich to travel armed, kind of like NYC today.
“In Chengping, Henan, China today, a deranged man slashed 22 schoolchildren with a knife. None died.”

That may be true. But many have died in other attacks since 2010. He fails to mention: March 2010 (8 children dead), April 2010 (16 students wounded, and another 28 students stabbed in a second incident), May 2010 (9 dead, 7 were children, and 11 others injured), August 2010 (3 children + teacher killed), August 2011 (eight children injured)

Published in: on December 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm  Comments (2)  
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Women and Gun Growth

Connecticut is seeing a surge in gun ownership among women. As a former Connecticut resident who is fond of reminding the gun community how much of our gun heritage originates in that small little state – this is GOOD NEWS!!!

Per the article, in the first half of 2012 over 3,500 women were issued carry permits. To put that in perspective, currently 30,000 women have carry permits.  So in a mere 1/2 a year Connecticut has added 10% again onto the number of women with carry permits.

Now realize, if you could earn a 10% return in 6 months you would be considered an uber-growth stock.  Let’s not forget we are talking about a New England state, one considered to be a liberal bastion. What this means is that the perception of gun ownership is ceasing to merely be a conservative, redneck ideal and is increasingly being viewed with broad political appeal

The effect on the future of politics may be profound. Currently, the vast majority of 2nd Amendment support derives from the conservative base. It’s often why we get slammed when Republicans are in office. If the Republicans don’t back our cause the Democrats are surely not going to leap to our defense.  But if firearms ceases to be a left/right issue, and the Democrats start to see more and more of their constitutuents supporting 2nd Amendment rights. The right to keep and bear arms will become a swing voter issue.  If you understand the game of politics, the swing vote is the mighty vote.  The staunch conservative and liberals seldom affect the outcome of elections. It’s that middle undecided vote, the vote that brings the 2%-4% percentage point difference in close elections, and decides who wins and who loses.

If this trend grows, more and more Democrats may find themselves less gung ho on gun control  Sure, you’ll have the die-hard liberals. But those Democrats who actually don’t give a darn about the issue one way or the other could begin to become supporters, if they view it as a way to garner an edge in an election.

The article includes a number of profound fact, just to summarize:

  • 43% of women polled reported having a firearm in their house
  • 23% of women polled said they own a gun
  • 3,500 new carry permits for women in the first half of 2012
  • Women focused training event – SOLD OUT
  • 73% increase in firearm sales to women
  • 50% increase in female participation in shooting sports

Wow, what can I say? This was one of the most informed, well researched and accurate articles I’ve seen on firearms in a very long time. Excellent job by the Hartford Courant!,0,1008483.story

#nraam PTR Industries

PTR Industries manufacturers a customized variant of the HK-91.


I was fascinate by their 50 round magazine. It was very heavy but featured and interesting and smooth operating mechanism for loading.

Published in: on April 13, 2012 at 11:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Connecticut…a heritage… (revised & updated)

I am a former resident of the State of Connecticut. It is a state with a very unique heritage.  Many great names, (though sadly, a few are defunct or merely names owned by foreign conglomerates).  However, there is a lot of firearm history in the Connecticut River Valley, many great names including Colt, Marlin, Winchester.

Connecticut firearm manufacturers:

Colt Firearms (Hartford, CT)
Marlin Firearms (North Haven, CT)
O.F. Mossberg and Sons (North Haven, CT)
Sturm, Ruger and Company (Southport, CT)
Remington Arms Company / Union Metallic Cartridge Company ( Bridgeport, CT)
Winchester Ammunition (New Haven, CT)
Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company
Smith & Wesson (is just over the board in Springfield, Mass)

Even the NSSF is in Connecticut
National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) (Newton, CT)

A recent post on Say Uncle encouraged me to revise, update and re-publish this post. He inquired why companies like Remington endure in such anti-gun states as New York. It’s hard to grasp the answer.  Yes, there is a fair amount of undertaking to relocate a factory. But this is done all the time.  And infact many companies have moved their factories (Ruger moved a lot of production to Arizona and New Hampshire), but some still retain their corporate headquarters in Connecticut.

I think in order to understand this reticence in departing Connecticut one must look at the history.  Let’s start with Eli Whitney, sure he is most famed for the invention of the cotton gin, but he was instrumental in the firearm industry.  Standardizing parts for mass assembly.  Prior it was common for one maker to construct an entire rifle, fitting each part. Eli Whitney structured his business around the parts, being made to an exacting specification so that they could fit together with any production units. Beyond the immediate tangible benefits in production, there is an added advantage in that field repairs are much easier when you can salvage parts from two broken muskets to fashion a single working one.

First contract of Eli Whitney as a firearms manufacturer, 1786. Signed by Oliver Wolcott, Secretary of the Treasury. (Courtesy of Wikipedia/WikiCommons)

The first pistol factory in the U.S. was constructed in Connecticut (and a couple others followed within the same year or so.

“In 1810, Oliver Bidwell built the first pistol factory in the United States on the Pameacha River in Middletown, winning a contract with the United States War Department for handmade pistols.”

“By 1904, Connecticut’s firearms industry was producing four-fifths of the ammunition and more than one-fourth of the total value of all firearms manufactured by nongovernment factories in the US.”

Think about 80% of all ammunition came from Connecticut.  And 25% of all firearms.  That’s why I advocate that there is really no place in the nation, and perhaps no place in the world that has quite the firearm history an legacy as the Connecticut River Valley. (Note, Italy with it’s very long firearm history, probably has the best competing argument. )

In fact, Connecticut has born the nickname “the arsenal of democracy.”

Yes, it’s very bittersweet when you compare the history with the present day status of the region. 


UPDATE: Great photos of a few Connecticut River Valley firearm manufacturing facilities courtesy of the Boston Globe.


Do you know “Cane-Fu”…grannies learn to kick some butt!

While we mostly focus on firearm related defense here at the N.U.G.U.N. Blog, we believe that defense and a ready mindset in general is important to the well being of the individual and society as a whole.

A reminder that simply be alert, prepared, and willing to fight is often enough to greatly increase your odds of survival when facing a predator(s).

This news clips features my former Sensei in Connecticut who has been offering martial arts instruction to the elderly.  With a focus on using what they have available to them. While many do not have the strength of a younger fighter, a large portion are cane-wielding.

Fun little video…enjoy!–O0U

New Haven, CT (former hometown) – 4th most dangerous city

New Haven, CT has come in 4th for most violent cities following Detroit/Flint, Michigan and St. Louis.

Having lived in the city of New Haven for many years, I can attest to the caliber of law enforcement the city has.  Good/effective cops are passed over for political/social reasons.  Many of the police are sub-par, & unprofessional.

When I was in high school, I was jumped by a mob that was racially motivated. Right before this happened, I watched a pair of mounted police see the crowd and activities and turn their horses around and leave.

Of course, this is the same city that when I dialed 9-1-1 to describe and on-going incident responded “It’s New Haven, whad’ya want us to do about it” for which the city would later send 3 police cruisers in response to fill out paperwork. 80% of my experiences with New Haven police have been negative.

Not all the police officers in New Haven are bad. But overall, it’s an ineffective force.  In a state that doesn’t make for easy access to handguns for it’s citizens, and a city which does it’s best to discourage legal ownership.

The irony is that the City of New Haven always seems to do better under Republican Presidents, and has high violence under Democrat ones. No real reason for it that I see.  But the city has had a Democrat mayor since 1954. I think the city needs a change. Not saying New Haven should elect a Republican. Just something other than a Democrat, and in particular, someone other than Mayor John DeStefano.  I think it’s about time New Haven got rid of it’s mayor. He’s been their since I graduated high school. Clearly, he’s doing a lousy job.

Marlin Shutting down Connecticut Factory

Per the Shooting Wire, Marlin Firearms will be closing it’s manufacturing facility in North Haven, CT.

Growing up my father had two firearms. A Ruger Security-Six and a Marlin .22, both of which were Connecticut companies.  In fact, there might not be any place in the world as richly steeped in firearm manufacturing as the Connecticut River Valley.

It is always sad to see smaller companies with long legacies be gobbled up by corporate entities.  Some would say “It’s just capitalism!”, but it’s really not.  There are so many tax breaks and loopholes a larger corporation receives that a small family owned business just cannot access. It puts the small/medium, non-corporate business on a very challenging business field.

I hope Marlin will remain a high quality product. But it is sad to see it lose it’s identity.  I spent much of my youth in New Haven, Connecticut. I worked in the former Winchester factory complex, after it had been converted to business space.

I think we are entering an era in the firearms industry which is very similar to the automotive industry several decades ago.  When all the founders, and their families are gone – and the industry is not just ruled, but completely filled with big corporations.

It’s my hope that smaller, independent companies like Ruger will continue and not be gobbled up by monstrous consolidating corporations.

Published in: on March 30, 2010 at 7:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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Cabela’s – Nightmare Shopping Experience

For the past several days I have been out-of-state visiting friends and family. Hence, the shortage of blogging. It’s been nice seeing old friends, and showing off Jericho to my family.

One event this week I feel compelled to blog about. My mother recently received her CCW permit (a requirement for purchase of a handgun where she lives).  When I was very young we lived in San Diego, and at that time we owned a .22 rifle and .357 Ruger Security-Six. However, we ceased being a gun owning family when we moved to Connecticut.

About a year ago my mother had an incident in which she rented an apartment to a convicted Federal felon.  We dealt with three different law enforcement branches (local police, post master, and parole officer).  My mom decided it was time to once again become a firearm owner.  So having received her CCW permit, it was time to purchase a firearm (or two).  Knowing I was coming up she waited for me so that she’d have some guidance in purchasing.

We decided to go up to the brand new Cabela’s.  There are sadly a lot less firearm dealers in Connecticut than in Pennsylvania. A true shame as Connecticut’s firearm heritage is vastly rich. In fact, Connecticut could easily be called the “gun capital” of America from a historic perspective.

So after an hour drive we arrived at Cabela’s, with family in tow.  My mother and I went upstairs to the firearm racks while my wife took our two children through the store looking at all the fish, bears (“grrrrr” as my daughter would say), and other animals.

We grabbed a ticket from the counter and spent some time looking at the glass cases filled with handguns.  We made a mental list of a few prospective purchases. Finally, it was our turn with the service rep. We handled a variety of handguns (which I will be detailing in a follow up post).  We settled on two firearms we wanted to purchase.

We had decided to take advantage of a Cabela’s promotion to earn $25 in points. So we were instructed to go downstairs to sign-up for the credit card.  Upon going downstairs we were informed that they were have computer problems but they should be up shortly. 30 minutes later they were still down.  It was quickly beginning to be obvious that they were going to be down for a while.  They said we could fill out an application and they would process it later that evening.  We asked would we still receive the discount – and were told no. Not unless we came back and made another purchase.

My mother asked to speak to a manager.  He agreed to give us a $10 gift card in lieu of the loss of discount.  But it took nearly an hour before we finally received our gift card.  Okay, so we were now ready to purchase the firearms.  We went upstairs, only to be told that the computer system that was needed to conduct the firearm purchase was a part of the same system as the credit card processing system and was also down.

Now realize that during all of this time my wife is trying to manage a newborn and a two year old who is increasing getting more restless. We spent some time shopping for accessories in hope that the computer system would come back up.  No such luck…

So after an hour drive, and 3 hours at Cabela’s, we had an hour drive back home – empty handed. The feeble $10 gift certificate not even coming close to the cost of the gas wasted in traveling to Cabela’s.  We would have to take a second trip on Monday. An hour up, and an hour back down. This time we were able to get the credit card application processed and to purchase the firearms.  But we still ran into problems. Somehow my mom’s new Cabela’s credit card was issued with an expiration date of 2007.  Which delayed out purchase. Finally, we arrived home with all the goods in tow.


This is by far the worst shopping experience I have ever had in the firearm purchase realm.  While many of the employees were apologetic.  One employee seemed on the virge of tears, frustrated that I was so dissatisfied and planning to call corporate headquarters.  Frustrated because the means to resolve my frustration was out of his hands.

This is a clear case of over-computerizing. Computers facilitate processes. But the failure of a computer system should not eliminate a store’s means to operate and conduct sales. Cabela’s corporate office should have provided it’s employee’s with a means of conducting such sales and processing. Even if it was nothing more than calling a central office and processing via phone. Cabela’s very nearly lost a $1,000 sale. Frankly, Cabela’s owes my wife an apology.

Rest assured I will be contacting Cabela’s corporate office.

Published in: on July 21, 2009 at 4:58 pm  Comments (4)  
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CT considering micro-stamping law…

Connecticut is considering the following microstamping bill proposed by Connecticut State Senator Looney (yes, that’s his real name)

If you live, work in, or own property in Connecticut. Please write your legislators and your governor.



House of Reps


List of Judiciary email addresses: 


Below is the letter I sent, as I own property in Connecticut, for reference; though it alludes to a few personal events of significance. :

SB 353

I am writing you concerning the proposed bill number 353. This bill proposes mandating microstamping as a requirement of the sale of all semi-automatic pistols after 2011.

It is my expectation that you will veto this bill were it to come to your desk. 

First off, this legislation is just foolish. As it will not accomplish any of the goals stated by it’s proponents to reduce crime.

Most people take less than 30 seconds to figure out how to by-pass this whole scheme.  They’d just file off the micro-stamping.  Easily done. And this is exactly what criminals will do.

And why is this applied only to semi-automatics, when revolvers are the most commonly used firearm by criminals?

All this bill will do, is make it all the more difficult for law abiding citizens to arm and protect themselves and their familes.  In direct violation of the protected rights outlayed both in the U.S. and Connecticut constitutions

“SEC. 15. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.”

As someone who on the three occasions he felt the need to call 911. Received zero response from the New Haven police department. Considers impeding in any way my right to defend myself as both reprehensible and morally wrong.

It is my expectation that if this bill were to come up for a vote that you would vote it down.