Bushmaster factory closed


The Bushmaster factory in Windham, Maine will close at the end of March next year. The Freedom Group is consolidating production.

The full press release …

Freedom Group, Inc. (“The Company”), the world’s leading innovator, designer, manufacturer, and marketer of firearms, ammunition, and related products for the hunting, shooting sports, law enforcement, and military markets announced today that it will close its Bushmaster Firearms International manufacturing facility located in Windham, Maine, effective March 31, 2011.

The Bushmaster brand and products remain key strategic assets within the Freedom Group portfolio. The Company will relocate manufacturing of all Bushmaster products currently produced at Windham to other, existing Freedom Group Facilities. The move will have no impact on customers or the existing supply base. The Company noted that all affected employees will be offered a comprehensive severance package, including outplacement services.

John B. Blystone, Chairman of the Board of Directors, commented, “We are continuing to adjust our operations in order to remain competitive and to continue to grow. Given increasing costs and pricing pressures affecting the entire firearms industry, this action is clearly necessary and responsible.”

This is a sad day for Windham’s Bushmaster employees and their families.



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • JR

    For those who wish to express their concern about the Freedom Group’s continued job cuts go to the Freedom Group’s website and leave them a polite message.
    http://freedom-group.com/ Contact link is at the bottom of the page.

  • barry mackenzie

    As long as the brand remains…

    Of course people are their most valuable assett yada yada yada

  • Jamie

    I’ve never been a fan of Bushmasters and their sloppy fit between the upper & lower. I do feel bad for the people who lost their jobs though.

  • Milo

    As large holding corporations continue to downsize Americas gun making capabilities, I have to wonder how long before it all come to an end,,,

  • jdun1911

    I always amazed that there are actually business still operating in the North East as well as the West Cost. With ultra high taxes and anti-business environment I don’t know why any sane business person would want to open shops in those states.

  • Nadnerbus

    “jdun1911on 11 Dec 2010 at 6:54 pm link comment

    I always amazed that there are actually business still operating in the North East as well as the West Cost. With ultra high taxes and anti-business environment I don’t know why any sane business person would want to open shops in those states.”

    This right here. If you want businesses to operate in your state, you have to give them a competitive tax and regulatory environment to work in. Not to say companies won’t downsize regardless, but when they do, you can bet it will be in the high cost states.

    It’s OK though, I’m sure Bushmaster will pass the savings on to its customers. Right? Anyone?

    Maybe we can get that ACR for two grand instead of 3 =P

  • subase

    Probably just the end of the gun buy craze which spiked, now they getting rid of excess production capacity.

    And I guess the economy continues to go down people are buying pistols secondhand (the are concealable) or already have and can’t afford anymore.

  • Stefan F

    Sad day for employees, but if they made a top tier AR they wouldn’t be in the situation their in.

  • Canthros

    The black rifle market is kinda oversaturated after last year’s buying frenzy. On top of that, I’m not sure the domain knowledge involved in that market niche is as rare as some others (especially with Bushmaster not being the only black rifle manufacturer in FGI’s stable).

    I’m more surprised DPMS didn’t get consolidated first. Maybe FGI is betting on a stronger market for AR-10-alikes.

  • Jamie

    Guys guys, it doesnt say it is killing the brand, just closing a single factory with in the cerberus/freedom group.

    Bushmaster sells well, i do not know how profitable they are compared to their peers in the family, but they have allot invested in the name alone.

    They are almost certainly going to built in the same space used elsewhere, or they will knock down a wall and add factory space and run 2 lines, 24 hours per day or something like that.

    They will have one plant manager managing a bigger plant, one less state to fret over laws and lobby in, and have lawyers from that state on retainer.

    If they can get all operations in a tax friendly state they can distribute all the guns they make from the same spot, have the same lawyers on retinaer for the whole line up of all the guns, and also for employee claims, etc.

    This is how cerberus makes money, they stream line stuff.

    There is allot of room in 4-5-6 little companies to combine them, and wring out a few percent here, a few percent there, and instead of 5 companies all making independently 10% on say 20 million bucks, you have one big company making 18% on 100 million bucks.

  • Corsai8X

    I always find it sort of confusing when the same press release that talks about being “the worlds leading” anything talks about a plant closing in the next breath “to remain competitive”. But wait, if the first were true then wouldn’t the second be automatically true and then wouldn’t the entire reason for the release be unneccessary?

  • G3Ken

    I’ve heard knocks on Bushmaster, but I have to say that my experiences have been 100% positive. My brother had a pre-ban Colt and laughed at my POS Bushmaster, but after a long day at the range, my rifle outperformed his Colt and was 100% reliable. He couldn’t say the same. Two weeks later, he had no more Colt and three new Bushmasters, one for each member of the family. He’s since had an addition, so maybe #4 is on the way.

    I am glad I didn’t buy into the talk about them. I prefer first hand info.

  • Anthony

    I’m actually from Windham, and this is an extremely sad time for us, not only are we losing jobs, but we are losing a very respected business, one that was actually founded in the town. This is what I dislike about the corporate culture in America, always looking out for the bottom line and disregarding the effect it will have on the local economy.

  • Canthros

    @Jamie: AFAIK, they’re closing Bushmaster, the company, and folding the brand into FGI’s holdings, with production to be source through Remington’s manufacturing plants. Similar to what they did with Marlin. It’s certainly not the end of the world, but it’s not better than bittersweet, either.

  • Jason

    I had no idea when I bought my Bushmaster XM15-E2S recently that they were closing down the Windham, ME facility.

    I had to send my barrel back, because the FSB taper pins were a PITA to remove, but everyone I dealt with was extremely nice. It’s just a shame the pins were a #$%^ to get out, and now I am currently without my AR-15 in the arsenal. (for the time being…)

    Good luck to all who work there, you have all been great!

  • HeavenlySword

    @ Anthony

    Companies, at their heart, MUST reduce risks and increase profit potential wherever possible- they can’t afford to sacrifice the bottom line for the local community.

    Corporations that do so cease existing fairly quickly.

  • Roger

    Cerberus bought and closed Marlin last year. Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. is one of the largest private equity investment firms in the United States. They have their teeth in everything. It is about money.

  • Anecdotal

    Private equity firms no different than leveraged buy out firms. They just learned to stop calling them that after they got a bad name. All they do is squeeze a company dry and move on. They’re like locusts and its a shame they’re doing this to a number of top American gun makers.

  • Tim

    “This is what I dislike about the corporate culture in America, always looking out for the bottom line and disregarding the effect it will have on the local economy.”

    A companies bottom line is THEIR local economy. This statement is akin to you saying, “I’m not leaving my job for a better one, cause the old company might suffer”

  • schizuki

    “This is what I dislike about the corporate culture in America, always looking out for the bottom line and disregarding the effect it will have on the local economy.”

    I also live in Maine, and it’s that attitude – that companies have a “responsibility to the community” – that makes it difficult for companies to do business here.

    Companies exist to make money, not to be social welfare agencies.