I recently received an inquiry from our own PaduchaMichael. He asked me if the factory was planning anything “special” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of NAA. His inquiry reminded me that the early history of NAA is somewhat vague (to me) and I determined that I would attempt to bring some clarity.
My friend, Ben Langlotz, is an intellectual property attorney and self-described “gun nut”. His practice is almost wholly focused on guns and ammo and other shooting sports products. His clients read like a Who’s Who of the industry, including North American Arms.
Ben’s newsletters are found on his blog http://gunpatent.com/blog/ While most of them address somewhat esoteric IP issues (how to protect your trademark, your new idea, etc.), he has recently expounded on wider industry issues. His 05/15 edition was entitled “How to Fix the NRA”. His last (05/29) was “Save the NRA: D-Wayne the Swamp”.
I think Ben’s insights and remedies are spot-on and I agree enthusiastically with most of what Ben says. I recommend that you read them.
While we met our goal of introducing the Ranger II before the end of last year, the introduction was not as successful as either the factory or our customers would have liked. While I’m disappointed, I’ll admit that I’m not entirely surprised. Our best efforts notwithstanding, we faced some glitches which effected both our output as well as apparent quality issues (sticky brass). I’m confident that we have successfully addressed those issues
Based on what I read on our Message Board (which includes virtually every post, every day), to this point our customers have been, for the most part, tolerant of our shortcomings, confident – as they should be – in our commitment to make things right. I reaffirm our commitment to making things right the first time but, admittedly, we occasionally come up short. We know very well that there are costs to both our reputation as well as well as our pocketbook when we have to recover and rework a gun. It continues to be our goal to avoid these unnecessary, avoidable costs.
Despite Jessica’s very best efforts, which were substantial, I am very sorry that we have disappointed some of our best customers by failing to ship all of our Early Bird orders before Christmas. I would be upset if I were one of them. I hope they’ll accept my apology.
So, we enter 2018 with the same resolution that we’ve had every year since I’ve been in business: to do/be better. While I believe we’ve achieved that most years, there’s still so much more that we can do and it’s our commitment to do it. I thank you for your business and your support. Please feel welcome to contact me directly Sandy@NorthAmericanArms.com with any complaints or advice you may want to offer. Happy New Year.
I’m late – again. So what. All anyone wants to hear about is Ranger II. The first deliveries have been made. You’ll find several first-hand reports on our Message Board http://naaminis.com/smf/index.php?board=3.0 from some of the fortunate Early Bird recipients who are sharing their impressions, experiences (range reports) and photographs.
In other news …
I wish to state – for the record, once, clearly, emphatically, unambiguously, unequivocally, etc. etc. – that I have never behaved in such a fashion as to threaten, assault, intimidate, or otherwise make someone feel uncomfortable in any sexual/personal/intimate manner, be they employee, co-worker, vendor, customer, friend, acquaintance, stranger, etc. etc. Do not expect ever to hear from me an apology, excuse, mea culpa or any other attempt to address any past bad behavior (at least as it relates to the above). In the event any accusation might ever be made, it would be a malicious, bald-faced lie.
Aren’t you glad I shared that with you? No?
Similarly, let there be no mistake or confusion that I am in any way attempting to dispute, demean, diminish or discount any of the similar reports regarding a whole cast of others that have become increasingly frequently made and widely reported. The described/alleged behavior in each case is inexcusable, abhorrent, criminal, immoral and deserves to be dealt with in the most severe lawful manner possible. The victims are due all the sympathy, retribution, compensation, etc. that is available to them in our courts/society.
That said, these stories/examples in almost every instance are of absolutely no interest to me and I consider them to be “fake news”, not because they didn’t happen (they probably did in most instances), but because they are not news and the outlets that dish out this garbage do disservice to us and bring discredit upon themselves by pandering to the prurient interests of a few. I’m not entirely sure where the line should be drawn – perhaps it’s appropriate to report on public servants, as it relates to their judgement. Perhaps, as well, news reporting personalities, as it relates to their credibility. Harvey Weinstein, Garrison Keeler, Kevin Spacey, ad infinitum? Stop it. These events are none of my/your business and revelation/resolution is/should be relevant to only the parties immediately involved. And I particularly don’t care about an ongoing tally per individual as the count increases.
I am so very sick hearing about all this garbage and don’t think these voluminous revelations serve any public interest except to “sell newspapers”. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I hope those fortunate individuals who have had the opportunity to see/handle/shoot our newly introduced Ranger IIs are happy with them and will share their impressions and experiences with our community, good bad or otherwise.
– Sandy Chisholm
It is with a great sense of pride (and similar sense of relief) that I introduce the long-awaited Ranger II Early Bird Program. Following this link (pre-order now closed) will take you to a dedicated page where you can enter your order.
The order window will be open for the month of October. At the end of the month, you will receive notice from the factory as to whether or not your order has been accepted and will be processed. All orders entered during October will not necessarily be accepted, as we expect more orders than there will be product to satisfy them. As I earlier indicated, we will prioritize acceptance and fulfillment of these orders based on the number of posts you’ve made to our Message Board. Admittedly, this is an imperfect/flawed measure of your “friendship” with the factory.
The EB allocation will be 250 pieces, and we will ship half of our production to satisfy these orders. The other half will be delivered to our “primary” customers, our distributor partners. We anticipate beginning production before the end of October and expect that for the foreseeable future, production will approximate 100 pieces/week, in which event all EB orders should be filled before Christmas – but, as we’re all aware, despite our best efforts, stuff happens. EB pieces will be identified with the serial # EBIIXXX. No custom serial numbers will be available.
We have met certain cost targets and are offering these (as well as later) pieces at MSRP $479 (plus $10 S&H for each piece). Each order can be for as many as two pieces. These guns will be chambered in.22WMRF. Each order can elect to have a second, LR cylinder included for $75. Each order will be secured by a credit card – which will not be charged until the order is shipped – or any other form of prepayment (check, money order, etc.). Before acceptance, each order must be accompanied by the FFL of the receiving dealer.
At the outset, all product will be of the shorter (1.5”) barrel length. In time, we anticipate offering 2.5” and 4.0” barrel lengths.
We thank you for your interest and your patience, not only throughout the protracted development period, but also as we attempt to satisfy EB orders, as well as afterwards.
If, during the process, you would like personal attention, you’ll find it at 800-821-5783 or Jessica@NorthAmericanArms.com. Depending on the traffic, you shouldn’t be surprised if we don’t respond as quickly as we usually do. If you want to offer further feedback, complimentary or critical, please direct it to Sandy@NorthAmericanArms.com.
Our preparation for the launch of this product reminds me of the joke whose punchline is “Stand back, Eve, I have no idea how big this thing’s going to get!”
Our anecdotal experience over the past couple of years at trade shows and the like (including the recent NRA-produced CarryGuard Expo in Milwaukee) suggests to me that there is some familiarity with our efforts to reintroduce this product. I’ve seen/heard of a great sense of anticipation (at least amongst our friends in our Message Board community). Resale prices for Ranger I would suggest that the demand will be strong. Only time will tell how the product is received and whether or not it will have legs beyond the initial surge. Assuming we can meet our admittedly premium price point (<$500), I believe this could become the flagship of our product line.
As earlier indicated, we will offer an Early Bird purchase opportunity for Friends of the Factory only, which will be defined as registered members of our Message Board community; simply becoming aware of the program and indicating your interest (on a specific sales order page we will create on our website) will not secure you a place in the line, which will be roughly ordered according to the number of posts you’ve made on our MB. I expect that the ordering window will be open for 30 days. While we have not yet determined the size of the allocation for the EB window, I expect it will approximate a couple/few hundred pieces.
During the EB program, output will be divided between EB participants and our best distributor partners. I expect the early production rate will be maddeningly slow and the time for us to fulfill accepted EB orders could stretch several months. When we receive all of the info we will require, including payment info. and the FFL of the receiving dealer, you will receive a confirmation of acceptance. All accepted orders will receive a Ranger II. As more details become available, we will share them.
To confirm: the Ranger II will be fitted with a magnum cylinder. A second cylinder chambered in LR will be available for the EB and thereafter. I expect that virtually all grips designed for the magnum frame will fit this model. Different barrel lengths will be offered (including a 4” model for our friends in CA) but only the short barrel will be available for the EB.
I was at the factory yesterday and will be returning tomorrow to visit with the manufacturing/engineering consultant who is scheduled to arrive today, and who will remain onsite “almost” until the project is ready for introduction.
While I am encouraged by what I see as the progress we’ve made and the brightness of the light at the end of the tunnel, I’m all too aware of the variety and unanticipated nature of the pitfalls which may yet remain between “here and there”, to include vendor cooperation/performance, continued tweaking to achieve a production-grade product and procedures, etc. etc.
I still have every reason to believe we can achieve our goal of “before Christmas” and “under $500”.
Yes, I expect we will offer an Early Bird purchase opportunity for registered members of our Message Board community – details to follow.
I look forward to reporting on our continued progress with firmer details as they become available. I appreciate your interest and your patience.
Earlier this month, I promised to reveal the current state of the development of the Ranger II.
Please find attached two recent photographs of one of several (almost identical) current prototypes.
During the development process, we explored a great variety of manufacturing techniques, including investment casting which is the process we use for all of our other models. Ultimately, we have determined that the frame of this gun will be created from a steel billet, the gun’s outline achieved by wire EDM, after which we execute our machining “magic”. This is an expensive process but gives us the maximum ability to control the very critical dimensions and tight tolerances that this gun requires.
I believe the overall design of this piece is largely complete. Similarly, I’m convinced that the development of the Ranger II is such that we’ve committed to design and manufacture CNC fixtures and create production tooling which will enable to move this project in-house and to prepare for ordinary production.
While NAA has been and continues to be, solely responsible for the design and engineering of this product, much of the manufacturing of the prototypes for this project has been done by several third parties. While they’re each good at their tasks (prototype machining, tool design and the programming of production-capable machine programs), the give-and-take between engineering and development has been retarded/interrupted as discussions regarding dimensions, tolerance stack-ups, and the tweaks that need to be made could not be effected quickly. We are now in the process of bringing all of these elements in-house and expect that the further tweaks to both engineering and machining, which will doubtless still be necessary for ordinary production, can be affected immediately.
Pricing and delivery dates have yet to be fixed, but I remain hopeful that “under $500 and before Christmas” are still achievable goals. More news will be shared at the point that it becomes available. That’s my story…
On or before Monday July 17 (2017), we will post pictures of one or more of the several prototypes of the still-under-development Ranger II, which represent the culmination of almost two years of our development efforts. I expect the pieces will closely resemble a gun. In my wildest dreams, it will be a functioning piece, maybe even a reliable one.
It’s no secret that these efforts have been plagued by mistakes and missteps along the way which have contributed to the delay. While we’re not out of the woods yet, we believe that most of that interruption is behind us.
What you won’t see or read about at this unveiling is any reference to cost or availability. This will come in due course, but if I were a betting man (which I’m not), I’d say under $500 and before Christmas seem likely at this point.
As more information becomes available, we’ll share it.