April Soapbox – Things Are Getting Better, Across the Board

It appears to me that the cosmetics and reliability of our currently produced Rangers is improving to where it is now virtually on a par with that of our other guns.  My impressions are based on several different inputs: primarily reports from the factory, both qualitative as well as quantitative, but also to include reactions from our end customers, which I receive directly as well as anecdotally from our user community (Message Board).  There is a whole slew of reasons for this improvement: engineering and assembly tweaks, better vendor performance as well as a better understanding of this gun and its idiosyncrasies by the factory technicians – these all contribute to a better product.

I’m also pleased to report that we’ve made improvements to our Hoglegs, Earls, Sidewinders, Pugs, etc. etc.  In fact, it’s our goal to make every gun we manufacture better than the ones we manufactured the day before.  Sometimes those “improvements” are more substantial than others (e.g. MM and BW cylinder pins), but most are incremental and almost indiscernible.  Notwithstanding, our goal always remains the same – do better and make a better product.   That’s our mission.

As always, I promise a personal response to a personal inquiry to either Sandy@NorthAmericanArms.com or 215-385-2315.

March Soapbox – The Debate Continues

I hesitate to enter the debate about gun violence control measures, such as which ones should be adopted, etc.  I think I have an informed perspective, but it’s simply my personal opinion.  I could talk at length about a range of issues, but to the extent that anybody cares to hear anything I believe, I offer just a couple of my thoughts.

What has to/will pass?

FixNics legislation, which is named after the National Shooting Sports Program of the same name http://fixnics.org/#&panel1-4.  The program was begun years ago by the industry in support of efforts by DoJ, FBI, ATF, etc. for the betterment of a critical service (background checks).  The only reason that the legislation hasn’t passed unanimously is because it’s been attached (in the House) to companion legislation supporting national reciprocity of concealed carry licenses.  Left on its own merits, it’s a no-brainer.

What shouldn’t/won’t pass?

Raising the age limit to purchase a firearm to 21.  The age limit to purchase a handgun is 21.  If 18-21 year olds cannot purchase a firearm of ANY type, they have been arbitrarily stripped of their constitutional rights.  That there are politicians who are willing to discuss this possibility, let alone vote in favor of it, should make you VERY afraid.

On another note, sometimes I agree with Rex Tillerson, who reportedly called Trump a moron.  “Take the guns first, go through due process second”.  Really???  That’s as ignorant as it is moronic, and just another reason to be afraid.  I fear this presidency is not likely to end well.  Sigh …

~ Sandy Chisholm

February Soapbox – Off but not Quite Running

I’ll admit to being disappointed, but not entirely surprised, that our introduction of the Ranger II has been something less than flawless.  Unfortunately, I’m very surprised that in a number of instances it’s been as unsuccessful as it has been.  There have been several reasons for this.  Despite our best efforts to anticipate and address all the contingencies that surround a new product introduction, sometimes you simply “don’t know what you don’t know”.  We’ve also found that we’ve made some mistakes we don’t usually make.

Just one example of our struggles has been with regards to the flow of component parts.  Poor purchasing decisions, in conjunction with or prompted by a seemingly never-ending list of ongoing tweaks intended to further enhance performance or production (many of which make existing inventory obsolete) compound some output issues.  The other models in our line no longer require tweaks.

Curiously, we’ve suffered some challenges with relatively simple tasks like the reaming of cylinders, a process which we have done generally successfully on millions of parts over the past 40+ years.  I am every bit as confounded as many of you over some of these missteps.  Sometimes, we are slow to implement new process or adapt to other changes in what has otherwise been a fairly simple world for us, where most model changes have been purely cosmetic.  Re-engineering the Ranger II has been a much bigger challenge.  That a company of the size and with the resources of Remington would face similar struggles (R51 pistol) doesn’t provide us any comfort.

That said, one assurance I can give you is that we will overcome these obstacles and that we will make “right” any and every mini-revolver we have ever manufactured.  This is who we are.

It should go without saying that this factory (or most others) recognize quite well the economic benefits of doing the job right the first time, particularly in our case where the factory bears the brunt/entirety of the expense of fixing problems.  We’d be foolish indeed to send out a gun which we have any reason to suspect may be returned to us for repair/warranty issues – particularly when we warranty virtually everything that happens to any gun that we have ever manufactured/branded, even guns that have been abused by a previous owner.

We test fire every gun that leaves this factory with at least five rounds of a wide variety of commercially available ammunition.  Could we do it with 20 or 100 or more rounds to assure greater certainty?  Yes, we could, but you likely wouldn’t want to pay for that and most (reasonable) people don’t expect us to do that.  If during the process we see any evidence of a problem, we address it before the gun leaves the factory, otherwise we know it costs us substantially more to have the gun later returned to us – we’re not that stupid.

Why does some ammunition seem to work well and some others don’t?  I’ll admit I don’t have any idea but I’m aware that it happens, in our guns as well as others.  The problem is even more confounding when many people report contradictory experiences (A works well, B doesn’t in one case, and B works well but A doesn’t in another).  We invite our customers to try a wide range of different brands (other than Anguilla) in our guns to identify any idiosyncrasies.  Notwithstanding, it remains our mission to manufacture guns that work reliably with all ammunition all the time (but we don’t guarantee it) and we attempt to remedy problematic cases through our warranty service.  Lastly, please be mindful that in all cases, the problem is not always with the gun.

While it’s disappointing to you (and us) if a newly-manufactured gun needs repair service, we offer that service cheerfully and attempt to deliver it quickly.  If any of our Ranger II Early Bird customers have lost confidence or patience in our company &/or this products and would like to act on our offer, we are quite willing to have you return your gun to us for a full refund.

– Sandy Chisholm

 

 

January Soapbox – The Year is New, but the Resolutions are Old

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.