March Soapbox- Corona Virus

Who knew?  A month ago, I’d never heard of it.  One of those curious, foreign calamities that had a news value but otherwise appeared to present very little threat to “us”.  Boy, has that changed, and who knows what the endgame is.

Here’s a small patch of silver lining: the existence/threat of this virus has (at least temporarily) squelched the growing crisis in Hong Kong regarding human rights.  It appeared inevitable that the Chinese government would ultimately launch a Tianamen-style crushing military response.  That threat (temporarily) no longer exists, but no thoughtful individual imagines that the underlying issues that led to the rioting are anything but momentarily dormant – the conclusion of that story has not yet been told.

The first signs of an economic impact – the almost unprecedented, precipitous decline of the stock market – have become blindingly apparent and they resonate across the entirety of the economy (reality check: the DJIA average now stands at roughly what was a record high as little as five months ago).  While fear has exaggerated the decline, there are clearly real supply chain disruptions that make tariffs look like a speed bump.  Ask Apple how this will impact their business.  The ripples are beginning to circle the globe.

For example, next week’s IWA exposition, the international equivalent of SHOT annually held in Germany, has been “postponed”.  The liklihood of the NRA Convention being conducted in Nashville in about six weeks?  I doubt it.  The prospects for the Olympic games being contested in August in Tokyo?  I doubt this “thing” is going to be fixed in time to assure the safety to the potential attendees.

We’re just getting a taste of the impact of this virus here at home and while it’s far too early to imagine the possible outcomes, I’m not reassured about our ability to combat the contagion.  It’s my increasingly cynical nature to fear the worst when my government echos Franklin Roosevelt (“The only thing we have to fear …”).  My imagination runs wild.

History has shown the impact that the threat of social unrest has on the firearms market.  I’d very gladly forgo the likely increase in business for a solution to, or even mere mitigation of,  the problem.

BTW, Bernie vs. Biden?  (Biden at a town hall 02/20: “Gun manufacturers, I’m coming for you, period”.  Oh please … bite me).  A titanic struggle between Lilliputians.  A war of wits between unarmed opponents.  The Democrats will deserve the outcome of the nomination/election process that appears increasingly likely.

So, that’s my story.  Happy March!

February Soapbox – NSSF Real Solutions

It’s nice to be back.  I missed you guys and girls.

I’ve just returned from SHOT, a little the worse for the wear, but I was happy to reconnect with so many old friends and industry associates.  Our response to the inquiries “What’s new?” was a relatively modest one.  You’ll have seen or will see some additional barrel lengths, specifically the 4” Ranger II (California: you’re welcome).  We’re also looking at offering some additional colored finishes (bronze and dark blue were shown at the show) as well as a faux case-hardened look (not my personal favorite, I’ll admit, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder).  You can probably expect to see these offered as TALO special editions.  Otherwise, I answered the question with “Same old low prices, same old high quality and same old good customer service”.

I wanted to briefly redraw your attention to the state of the firearms industry and last year’s stunningly abrupt reversal in the anti-gun rhetoric spewed by Joe Biden, echoed by several others of his fellow candidates, where he shifted his sights away from the NRA and refocused them, instead, on the universe of firearms manufacturers who he characterized as “the enemy” of public safety  I use that as counterpoint to a campaign designed and supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation called “Real Solutions” which illustrates the policies and programs created and championed by the industry which actually have a demonstrable, positive impact on public safety.  This is joined by a companion program recently launched called “Gun Owners Care”, an effort intended to deflect the broad-brushed criticisms that gun owners like you and me are inherently bad people because of our enjoyment of firearms and the rights and traditions they embody.

We are not the enemy and I’m tired of the slander routinely heaped upon us.  How about you?

November Soapbox – Early History, Part 2

NAA 1976 Article

The attached article is another I found in my files of old stuff.  The one thing the article makes very clear is that there was no legal transition from Rocky Mountain Arms to North American Arms.  It’s my understanding that RMA simply went caput, but clearly Dick Casull survived and took much of his engineering – specifically for the smallest and biggest single-action revolvers – with him.  Coincidentally, last month I heard from a lady who acted as Dick’s caretaker during his final days.  Now charged with sorting out his “stuff”, she said she had several RMA stock certificates and asked if me if I felt they were of any value.  I told her that I thought the historical value of the certificates was priceless (to some), but that I felt certain they had no $$$ value.

Upon the dissolution of RMA, my understanding is that Dick Casull then formed a partnership with a fellow named Wayne Baker.  Wayne is a colorful old rascal who I last saw at last year’s SHOT (or possibly the year before).  I don’t recall the basis of Dick and Wayne’s acquaintance.  Dick’s skills were clearly engineering and product development.  Wayne, I assume, brought to the partnership some business skills and probably whatever capital was necessary.  Dick and Wayne ran this new business –  then called North American Arms – on a shoestring and depended on suppliers to help fund their business.  One of their primary suppliers was a firm run by a fellow named Frank Talley who was building a pretty successful business manufacturing highly-engineered and precisely-machined electro-mechanical assemblies (bomb racks, missile launchers, etc.) for defense/aerospace customers.  As well as having a fleet of the highest-tech NC machines as well as his own investment casting facility, Talley Manufacturing could/did become a critical supplier to NAA.  It’s my understanding that Dick and Wayne were not successful with running the NAA business and ultimately gave the business to Frank Talley in lieu of satisfying the growing obligations  to Talley that NAA had incurred.  “Frank, you now own a gun company”, which he ran showing it little time, attention &/or resources, and the business muddled along with modest success for several years.

In the meantime, Dick and Wayne regrouped and moved themselves and their business interests to the Star Valley of Wyoming and once again attempted to bring to market both the biggest and smallest frame single-action revolvers, this time calling their business Freedom Arms, located in a town of the same name.

More to follow; stay tuned …

October 2019 Soapbox – The Early History of NAA

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.

When I several years ago abandoned my “official” office in PA (an executive office suite – a precursor to WeWork – where no one came to visit me ever) and started to conduct all of my business from my home, I purged a LOT of stuff that I had accumulated over the previous 25-or-so years.  I’ll admit there have been times I wish I hadn’t been so efficient/draconian then, as I’ve found too often I’ve looked for files and other things that had been relegated to the dumpster.  Fortunately, there were some gems that I kept for posterity, a couple of which I’m happy to share.
The oldest document I could find is an article written by Clair Rees and published in the April 1973 edition of Shooting Industry which describes the formation (in the Fall of 1971) of a new firearms manufacturer whose name many of you will likely recognize: Rocky Mountain Arms Corp.  You’ll be interested to read of the variety of different products which were part of the RMAC portfolio, to include a .22 Short caliber mini-revolver.


While the article identifies several people involved in this start-up business, the only one with whom I’m familiar is Dick Casull, “the greatest gunsmith-inventor since JohnMoses Browning”, according to some.  I had the occasion to meet Dick on several occasions, and to spend time with him and his wife, Jerri, at their home in the Star Valley of WY.  Of the several products which were part of the RMAC portfolio, the one that gets “first billing” in the article is a large-frame single-action revolver chambered in the eponymous .454 Casull, which ultimately became the foundation of Freedom Arms product line (more on this later).  The article note that Casull’s .22 Short mini-revolver had an MSRP of $69.50.


I will share additional materials in subsequent Soapboxes.  In the meantime, I would be happy for any in the audience to share with me any additional information about NAA’s early years that can be documented.  More to follow.



September 2019 – Ranger II Press Release

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

North American Arms Presents a New Solid Ribbed Barrel on the Ranger II

Provo, Utah,. August 19, 2019 – North American Arms( proud to introduce a new variation of the popular Ranger line of mini-revolvers. This new Ranger features a solid ribbed barrel on The Ranger II for both the regular barrel length and the extended barrel in a 2.5”. This new version of the firearm will be released immediately and is currently in production this August.

“This improved part geometry brings The Ranger II back in line with the rest of our world renowned mini-revolvers” said Matt Lewis, Head Engineer of North American Arms. “Since the start of production on The Ranger II we have we have wanted to create something that our customers were asking for, while keeping in line with our history of 40 years’ worth of mini-revolvers. With this new addition to the gun, we will be able to do just that.”


With this change, The Ranger II will nowbe in perfect line with the rest of the mini revolvers offered at North American Arms as the bead blasted finish mimics the same factory finish applied to all mini revolvers at NAA. The solid ribbed barrel will also employ a wider sight rib which will open up the possibility of future sight configurations. Leaving opportunity for growth in options for The Ranger II in the future. Additionally, this will add more weight to the gun, reducing muzzle flip and recoil overall.


The Ranger II photos available here

North American Arms has long history of beautiful and practical mini revolvers and is constantly looking to improve the quality, efficiency and the overall appearance of the NAA mini. Over the last several years, the Ranger II has been a top priority for the factory and North American Arms is excited to produce something of such a high standard. The Ranger II with the new Ribbed Barrel will be sold to distributers across the country who will distribute them to sporting goods dealers across the U.S. The Ranger II will be available at any of your local gun dealers.


Stay tuned for additional offerings on The Ranger II in different barrel lengths, colors and coatings.



North American Arms Resources:


About North American Arms

North American Arms is a firearm manufacturer that has manufactured firearms since 1971. NAA launched as a development to Rocky Mountain Arms, where firearms were designed by Dick Casull, known for the creation of single-action revolver handguns that were named ‘the world’s largest and smallest’ of revolvers. In the early 1980’s NAA became a subsidiary of Talley Manufacturing, an aerospace manufacturing company. Several years later, Tally Manufacturing was acquired by Teleflex, Inc, and made the executive decision to sell the small gun business to Sandy Chisholm, President of North American Arms, in 1991. The business has remained in Provo, Utah for the last 25 years, where it has proved to be one of the best concealed firearm manufacturers for personal protection, law enforcement and collectors. North American Arms will continue to make Convenient, Reliable, and Effective and firearms.


For more information contact:

Amelia Thorn

Public Relations Specialist

Telephone: 801-669-7988

Fax: 801-374-9990



July 2019 – SHOT Academy

Hello to all of Sandy’s Soapbox readers. My name is Amelia Thorn, I am the Marketing Manager for North American Arms. I introduced myself last year in 2018, so many of you are probably more familiar with me this time around. I would just like to reiterate right here at the beginning, I am a marketing team of one, so if you have any news, ideas, comments, questions, concerns, etc. I would be happy to personally take care of them or listen to what you have to say. You can email me directly at I would love to hear from you.

This past week I was able to attend the SHOT academy. A summit for marketing managers and business owners, writers and more, to come and attend a meeting strictly about the upcoming SHOT Show. We talk about ways to be successful, things to keep in mind, new products that each company might be launching and much more.

This was my second year attending and as someone so new to the industry, I always have the best time meeting, reintroducing and learning more about what this vast industry has to offer.

SHOT show is the biggest event that the outdoor industry has to offer and if you have ever been, you know just the scale of it. Next year will be my third SHOT show, next to Sandy’s nearly 25 years attending, I have a lot to learn. But you will always see Sandy at our booth, and I know both he and I look forward to seeing all of you there next January for another exciting, and even more successful SHOT show.

NRA – The Saga Continues

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 publishes a monthly newsletter, typically lengthier and always better-written than my own modest Soapbox.  Ben is very thoughtful, professional and is more disciplined than I am and never “goes fishin’”.

Ben’s newsletters are found on his 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.


– Sandy