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…