Who owns the Winchester firearms trade name Olin or FN?
The ancestor of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company was the
Volcanic Repeating Arms Company. It was later reorganized into the
New Haven Arms Company, its largest stockholder being Oliver
After the American Civil War, Oliver Winchester renamed the
company the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.
Winchester Repeating Arms Company went into receivership in
1931, and was bought at bankruptcy auction by the Olin family's
Western Cartridge Company. Oliver Winchester's firm would maintain
a nominal existence until 1935, when Western Cartridge merged with
its subsidiary to form Winchester-Western Company; in 1944 the
firearms and ammunition operations would be reorganized as the
Winchester-Western Division of Olin Industries.
In 1980 the plant was sold to its employees, incorporated as the
U.S. Repeating Arms Company (USRAC), together with a license to
make Winchester arms. Production of ammunition and cartridge
components under the Winchester Ammunition Inc. name was retained
by Olin, not licensed to USRAC.
From 1981 until 2006, Winchester guns were made by the USRAC.
When USRAC went bankrupt in 1989 it was acquired by a French
holding company, then sold to an arms making cartel sponsored by
the Belgian Herstal Group, which also owns gun makers Fabrique
National (FN) and Browning.