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Springfield Armory History: How One of the Biggest Firearms Brands Came to Be

By    |   Monday, 27 Apr 2015 04:06 PM

A name, history, and philosophy connect the Springfield Armory in Geneseo, Illinois, and the U.S. government’s Springfield Armory, which was closed in 1968.

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The Springfield Armory was established in Springfield, Massachusetts, nearly two hundred years ago on the orders of George Washington, then Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. Originally the armory stored ammunition and gun carriages, but in the 1790s, it was turned into a manufacturing facility for muskets and eventually other guns.

When the armory was closed in 1968 due to budget concerns, businessman Elmer C. Ballance obtained the Springfield Armory trademark to use for his company, LH Manufacturing, which produced the M1A rifle. That firearm was a civilian production of the M14; Springfield Armory was a successful operation, and in 1974, Ballance sold the company to the Reese family, which today still owns and operates it in Geneseo, Illinois.

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Springfield Armory is one of the largest firearms manufacturers in the world, and not only does it value history by “resurrecting” firearms of the past, it looks to the future. Its website recounted the company history and its connections to the government armory, saying that after the Springfield armory closed, “the walls of Springfield Armory would house historians, paying homage to the past rather than those with an eye to the future.”

The company revitalized history by reproducing some of the original Springfield Armory’s most distinguished designs, including the M1 Garand, the 1911-A1, and the M14. In 1985, after the military began retiring the 1911 model, Springfield Armory began to manufacture them for purchase by the public. Over the decades, the company became a leading producer of the 1911s. The historically significant 1911s have a wide range of uses, from concealed carry, to home protection, to spending time on the range.

Springfield Armory did not let the history of the M14 fall by the wayside, either. In 1959, the U.S. military replaced the M1 Garand with the M14. In 1974, Springfield Armory offered the M1A– a civilian semi-automatic version of the M14, allowing the gun buying public to experience its reliability and accuracy.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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When the armory was closed in 1968 due to budget concerns, businessman Elmer C. Ballance obtained the Springfield Armory trademark to use for his company, LH Manufacturing, which produced the M1A rifle.
guns, springfield armory, gun history
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2015-06-27
Monday, 27 Apr 2015 04:06 PM
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