For those of you who did not have the opportunity to attend our 2014 Annual Meeting, below is a portion of the minutes from the meeting so you have an idea of what goes on. Much more fun was had during the weekend by the members. We had a rifle match at Red Castle Gun Club; social gathering and opportunity to view the collection of one of our members; outstanding dinner and auction; and two days of the show to wander around as well as help out in our booth.
Make room in your schedule to attend in 2015. If you are not a member yet, please join so you don’t miss the fun.
May 3, 2014
The Mannlicher Collectors Association
April 4, 2014
The President, Rob Blank, after enjoying a meal at Siegis' Restaurant in Tulsa, called the meeting to order.
Introductions of all present around the room occurred, with members and wives present giving their name and a brief description of their background. The owner of Steyr Mannlicher, Dr. Ernst Reichmayr, was introduced. Thanks were offered to Tiny Tomsen for hosting the event.
The Vice President, Dr. Andrew Tadie, offered a toast to the departed founders of the Mannlicher Collectors Association (MCA), Mr. Roy Leopard, Don Henry, and to Charter Members Norman and Inga Tonn.
Dr. Reichmayr spoke to the assembly of the history of Steyr Mannlicher, starting from 1370, making arms of the times. In 1864, Josef Werndl took over the factory in Steyr, Austria, upon the death of his father and began the production of Mannlicher firearms. In 1894 the factory began making bicycles, because they needed extra business. Due to WW I military orders went up, resulting in the hiring of 6000 employees producing 8000 arms a week at the peak. In 1903 Steyr started exporting to the United States through Abercrombie & Fitch.
After the enforcement of treaties in the aftermath of WW I Steyr stayed in business with the manufacture of automobiles and bicycles. Some arms were also manufactured. Between the end of WWI and the German occupation, there were many mergers, so thus the company made tanks, tractors, autos, bicycles and bearings until 1984, when the conglomerate was broken apart. After the breakup Steyr was reduced to making guns with 600 employees. In 2007 there were 80 employees when Dr. Reichmayr acquired the company.
Dr. Reichmayr is from Steyr, having been born there. His Grandfather was supervisor over stock making at Steyr. Both his Father and Grandfather were hunters, and at the time, Steyr was the only rifle made in Austria.
He purchased the Steyr Mannlicher factory mainly through emotional attachment. The company was in an awkward situation at the time. $25 million was invested in the venture and the company now employs 200 people. Its production is as high now as it was in the 1970's when 600 people were employed.
The United States operations had moved a few times. One of the changes made was to start importing Merkel and Anschutz rifles. The merger was necessary to consolidate the sales force and provide an expanded product line.
The office and facilities are now located in a new facility in Bessemer, Alabama. The official opening of the new facility was April 4, 2014. It has a very large display of current production guns. The sales of Law Enforcement/Military and Hunting/Sporting equipment are currently split 50-50 between the types. Their wish is to concentrate on quality of product.
In answer to questions from the assembled members Dr. Reichmayr noted that Steyr Mannlicher is not related to Steyr Motors (now a Chinese firm); they are not importing Mauser arms to the U.S.; the trademark of Steyr is shared by all companies that split in 1984; Anschutz owns the air rifle portion of the former Steyr production; and Steyr is still making handguns.
Dr. Reichmayr was presented with a Steyr Mannlicher target that was used at the 2014 Mannlicher shoot conducted the previous Thursday at the Red Castle range in Tulsa. The target had been signed by the all the participants in the shoot.
After Dr. Reichmayr finished his speech the floor was opened for nomination of officers for TMCA.
It was determined that, due to the need to publish the meeting location for next year as soon as possible, the meeting be held during the Wannemacher show in Tulsa in April 11 & 12, 2015. In order to handle the discussion and business of the annual meeting it was determined that the meeting should be held during the day on Friday, early enough to handle all of the business at hand, which includes electing officers to positions that are vacant and determining the location of the meeting in 2016. Location of the meeting in 2016 should not be Tulsa, but a different location in order to mine new members.
Rob Blank indicated that the raffle of the gun purchased last year would occur at next year’s meeting.
Lynn Levengood acted as auctioneer for the club items that had been donated during the year. Many interesting and unusual items were auctioned off over a wide range of bids.