How America's Oldest Gun Maker Went Bankrupt: A Financial Engineering Mystery

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he news spread around Huntsville, Ala., in the winter of 2014. Remington, the country's oldest gun maker, had decided to expand from its historic home in upstate New York to a gigantic former Chrysler factory near the airport.

Workers at the new plant, the company said, would earn a minimum average of $19.50 an hour assembling shotguns, pistols, hunting rifles and AR-15-style semiautomatics. The city's mayor wrote in a newspaper column that he was thrilled that Remington's quest for a new factory space had ended in Huntsville. He calculated the typical annual salary as $42,500.

Huntsville is a boomtown in the Southern mold. The unemployment rate is lower than the country's, and educated workers are in high demand. Southwest of downtown, in a facility that synthesized chemical weapons during World War II, the Army maintains a major research center and garrison. Orbiting the Army base are military and aerospace contractors: Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Gru
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