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Maybe they are tired of fighting the establishment. With changes coming and no body knows for sure exactly what legislation is going to be enacted, this may be a good time to shut down and just walk away.
 

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Most likely no one in he family wanted to take over the business or the cost of running the business has gone up and just won't cover the overall expenses.
 
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IIRC , they had a run of (500?) Pythons with non-fluted cylinders that looked cool as a jewel!
 

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Davidson's seems to be the big distributer for special run guns now.
Every "special editon" firearm that I've bought has been from Davidson's or TALO. I've heard of Lew Horton been never seen one at my LGS.
 

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Every "special editon" firearm that I've bought has been from Davidson's or TALO. I've heard of Lew Horton been never seen one at my LGS.
Probably before your time into guns. Hortons was big in the late 70s-90s.

The one on the left , a 657 Classic Hunter from 1991. Hortons did a couple runs , 500 , then 2000. Actions were done by the S&W Custom Shop. The trigger pull on mine is superb.

20120812_01.jpg
 

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The owner of my local shop jokes about dusting the ARs being part of owning a gun shop right now. Had to hurt the great LH. I loved the runs of unfluted revolvers they offered in the 90s.
 

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I have a nice Smith 24 2 1/2 or 3 inch .44 sp that I bought used the late 1980s. I is a superior revolver and is even more used now than when I bought it. Sad to see an outfit like Horton leave the field.
 

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In a way I blame the gun manufacturers. They want you to carry every model they make to be a dealer for them. like Sig, HK and various others. No one wants to stock models that are hard sellers and expensive to boot. That is money tied up for the business. I think eventually your going to see no dealers just direct sales from manufacturers like the old world used to be. Shops closing all the time. Too much competition out there and lets be frank it's a cut throat business. Everyone is looking for a deal. There is nothing wrong with that but the profit margin on new guns are very low to stay in business. There is a better profit on older guns or used guns if you will.
 

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In a way I blame the gun manufacturers. They want you to carry every model they make to be a dealer for them. like Sig, HK and various others. No one wants to stock models that are hard sellers and expensive to boot. That is money tied up for the business. I think eventually your going to see no dealers just direct sales from manufacturers like the old world used to be. Shops closing all the time. Too much competition out there and lets be frank it's a cut throat business. Everyone is looking for a deal. There is nothing wrong with that but the profit margin on new guns are very low to stay in business. There is a better profit on older guns or used guns if you will.
Zackley! Gun makers that have minimum stocking levels for a retailer to be a "stocking dealer" are often too high an investment for a gun store or they're required to carry dead or very slow moving products to maintain the stocking status. The LGS to me gave up being a stocking dealer for Kimber several years ago just because of that reason...and they still have a few Kimbers in stock they've been unable to sell. Colt is or was guilty of the same thing...small retailers simply can't afford it so Colt has little presence locally.

It's also true that there's more profit margin in used guns than new...just like in the auto business. The dealer costs are often easily found online so it's easy to compare guns or cars from one dealer to another. It can't be done with used inventory as there's no way of knowing what a dealer paid for a used car or gun.

The profit that keeps gun stores in business is accessories...selling new guns without much profit might give some cash flow but not enough profit to keep the lights on long term unless you sell a very high volume. It's the accessories that keeps one in business.
 
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I talked to Earl Minot at Horton's today...prince of a guy. I wanted to verify the provenance of a S&W I just purchased (yet to be delivered). It's definitely a Horton piece which is the good news. I asked about the closing and he said Lew is in his eighties and wants to retire and no one in his family is interested in continuing the operation. Earl said he's been there for like thirty-plus years and has had a hell of a ride and good time.

Earl said his time is pretty much taken up with finding new homes for product in inventory but was happy to talk with me for a few minutes.
 

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Earl sent me some Lew Horton letters on a couple of my Colt handguns just off a phone call from last year. I have one more that fell off the radar screen at the time. I’m gonna give that a retry, because it’s a special edition Colt SAA and worth the effort most likely.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
It's sad and rather difficult to believe that a major and famed distributor like Horton's couldn't find a buyer.

It seems to be a "thing" these days for old line gun related businesses to not have children willing to take over or to find a buyer.
Just some recently.....
Lew Horton.
Tex Shoemaker.
Robar.
Elert Brothers. (No great loss to me, they campaigned to eliminate hobby FFL Dealers).
 
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