Thompson/Center Arms’s Rochester plant closing

Smith & Wesson is closing the Thompson/Center Arms factory in Rochester, NH and moving operations to the S&W plant in Springfield, Mass. reports

Pluff said there will be meetings with employees to discuss severance issues and the possible relocation of some local workers to Springfield. Employees have also been told the company was continuing to look for a buyer for the foundry at the Rochester facility.

The relocation is scheduled to commence in January 2011 and conclude by November 2011.

“We needed to streamline in order to make our company more efficient and profitable,” Pluff said, noting the size of the Springfield facility as part of the reason for relocation. “We are not going to bring the foundry operation to Springfield. We’ll try to sell that to another company.”

“We continue to be 100 percent behind the Thompson/Center brand,” said Mark Smith, Smith & Wesson’s vice president of operations.

I feel very sad for the Thompson/Center Arms employees.

[ Many thanks to Tipper for emailing me the link. ]

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.


  • That is too bad. I’ve always loved my Omega. I hope that most if not all of the impacted employees find new employment. I also hope that the quality of TC firearms continues to be top notch.

  • jdun1911

    It only a matter of time before S&W close shop in Massachusetts. All gun factories in the North East are living on borrow time. Is not if but when S&W and other gun companies move their business to the South or Middle America.

  • It’s terrible seeing these closures, epecially at this time of year. I have been a victim of redundancy in the past and it’s devestating – I hope the employees are getting all the support they need to get over this.

    The effect goes beyond those who were employed and thier families but also has a drastic impact on the local community.

    My heart goes out to anyone in this position.

  • Jim

    Very sad to hear, but if it means T/C stays open I’m for it. My R-55 is one hell of a gun.

  • Flashman

    I predict S&W will soon be sold to the likes of Norinco or Taurus with manufacturing operations moved to China or Brazil and the US division retained for “sales, marketing and technical research” purposes.

  • Van the Handcannon Man

    I guess I shouldn’t have my Contender second-hand…

  • Wow, to say that moving operations from NH to Mass will be more cost effective makes no sense. The taxes in Mass are huge compared to NH.

  • Grey

    I ddon’t expect S&W to be sold off to anyone anytime soon. The economy is still in the crapper, and people don’t have money for guns they don’t absolutely need. S&W’s inventories have been growing, as they try to make work for their employees, but the situation is not sustainable in the current enviroment.

    Consolidation is workable. I expect that S&W will consolidate manufacturing as much as possible, with the off-chance that they will eventually move manufacturing operations to some midwestern or southern state with a more favorable tax and hiring environment. Maybe Indiana or Kentucky.

    Why anyone would want to maintain a manufacturing plant on the east coast, I will never know. The firearms crowd is largely more patriotic than other marketing segments. Moving S&W off shore would result in massive losses in business. This would be great for Ruger and Remington, but it won’t happen.

    When the economy does turn, sales will pick up again. Guns are discretionary spending.

  • snmp

    In past, Taurus & S&W have been member of the same group (sisters compagnies) with technologies transfer from Taurus to S&W

  • atm

    This always happens when big companies buy up smaller companies. At first they say “no changes will be made, everyone’s jobs are safe”, then a year later, the facility is closed down and manufacturing is moved to the parent company.

    This happens every day in every industry.

  • 7.62×25

    I’ve read some misconceptions about my home state of New Hampshire that need some clarification for some posters. The LIVE FREE OR DIE state has no state income/general sales taxes or any other business taxes other than a 3.5% tax on LLC’s and capital gains and is in fact ranked as having the second lowest tax rates in the country. NH has one of the most liberal gun laws in the nation. The NH State Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. In fact New Hampshire prohibits civil liability causes of action against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition for the harm caused by the criminal or unlawful use of their products by others. Reason why SIG SAUER is located in NH along with HK’s manufacturing facility and many others. I hope this clears some things up.

  • Pancho

    While some other plant closing and consolidation in the industry can be tied to the cost of operating in the North East. I don’t feel that that is the case with TC. They are a victim of the changes brought on by their corporate management. When S&W bought TC they had a modest offering of break action single shot rifles and a couple of muzzleloaders. In the last couple years TC has expanded and offered more models of Break Action rifles, 2 bolt action rifles, and a new rimfire.

    When TC was a niche company making a modest product line of Break Action, Interchangeable barrel rifles they were all alone in the market place. They then decided to go head to head with Remington, Savage, Browning and the unrelenting options that the traditional bolt rifle makers offer. We have a lot of options for bolt action rifles in a relatively soft market place.

    In addition it might be said that the inline Muzzleloading rifle market has finally started to taper off, after decades of feasting. Knight already closed and was sold. CVA is offering some very competitive and attractive models at lower cost.

    Why buy an $800 Encore when you can buy a $300 Savage Edge and a $200 CVA and still have $300 left over to buy food. They might be the victims of their own ill timed expansion. TC made a play at being a bigger brand than it was and they lost. People put their dollars somewhere else.

  • mike connelly

    Rochester is not a bad place to run a business and the labor costs are not too high. Those people have been making great guns for a while with great customer service. wonder how thierquality/servic will be now?
    Thanks S+W for screwing the hard woking folks at TC.

  • mydadsguns

    My family has been in the firearms business for 60 years I myself for 42 of them years. I remember when winchester was bought out back in 1981 and for the next few years we could not keep a pre-1980 win in stock. My dad remembered the same thing happening when winchester sold out back in the early 60’s he could not keep a pre-64 winnie in stock and now look at the $$$ those vintage winchesters bring. Last year we sold more T/C’s made in Rochester NH than the previous two years and just in the last few weeks every T/C I had in stock has gone out the door. Now I am not complaining about the sales even all my older used T/C barrels that I had laying around some for years have been sold thats “GREAT” the thing is most all of the guys that bought up my stock said they are all done with T/C now that they are moving out of Rochester and from now on will only buy Rochester made T/C’s. I have been selling guns to most of these guys for many years now some of them 25 years or more and if they are only going to buy Rochester made T/C’s from now on than I to my be done with anything that comes out of MA. Now, I just hope I can keep enough Rochester made T/C product’s in stock after all my customer’s keep my family feed and have been doing so for 60 years now I can’t say the same for s&w.

  • dcg309

    Last post was in March 2011 since I picked up this dialogue. I generally spend January thru May making weekly trips to a group of gun shops in NH. This year (now July) Iā€™m still doing it. The mood on T/C isn’t favorable to S&W. Some people remember when S&W sold-out the industry and the 2nd Amendment awhile back and don’t trust what they say as the Truth. All of this is sad, but especially for those employees of T/C who wore their logo with pride. Unfortunately, the 2n Amendment industry is no different than any other. It’s driven by market forces and must do what it can to survive. Have you tried to buy any real “Black Powder” lately i.e Goez? The reg’s and insurance have forced many shops to switch to synthetic yuk stuff. The smartest thing the industry can do is stop feeding off itself by allowing unreasonable regulation (when’s the last time you heard of a black powder cache blowing-up?). I don’t believe S&W cares about the 2nd Amendment, because it’s about as American as a bud plant. Sure, they employ Americans, but its decision making head-set is not. The reality is that you can buy guns & related items all you want and the liberals know they can’t stop us. On the other hand, they do know that through reg’s, insurance, tort, and the like we will not be able to afford to protect ourselves and hunt, because we can’t afford it, the risk of being arrested due to confusing applications by activist police and judges is high, and people will just give-up the fight. Every gun club and 2nd amendment advocate needs to speak-up. T/C was acquired by S&W and that’s that. Let’s see if they are a good steward or a predator wolf. You also might want to check the quality standards deployed when foreign barrels are imported and use by previously mentioned American distributors. Check the barrel proofs and be sure you’re not trying to shoot 40,000psi loads in a barrel proofed up to 10,000 only. The good news is that there are hundreds of gunsmiths and craftsmen across America waiting to take T/C’s place. Give them your business and enjoy the heritage that our ancestors have left to us to preserve…..join the NRA, so when you put that buck this fall in your fridge you have also put a buck in the only national organization dedicated to protecting our freedom and that of future generations.