Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Talked With CO Arms

Yesterday I had a long talk with Tom of CO Arms, the only gun maker in West Tennessee.

CO Arms is a small outfit, located just south of Millington Tennessee. All contact info is on their web page.

While CO Arms is small (they employ about seven people in the shop), they are far from inexperienced. Tom estimates they have over 200 years of machine shop experience between them. The operation began as a gunsmithing/customization business, but when they ran into poor production standards from their suppliers, they decided they could do it all in house, and better.

So, the gunsmithing is on hold, and their sole focus is on making CO Arms pistols: the Scorpion, Shield (formerly the Stinger, renamed out of respect for the Les Baer pistol of the same name) and the AWP. Most of the work is done by CNC, but some hand machining is done and internal parts are hand fitted.

They also offer customization of their products, built to order. Tom says ideally, he’d like to sit down with the customer and discuss what all they want done, but he will do business by phone or email if necessary. Turn around time on a custom order is three weeks. (!)

I also asked him about a couple of things I read over at Linoge’s site. The testing at Tactical Response in Camden is still in the works, as is the spring shoot. Truth be told, Tom is the gun maker. Publicity and events and such are handled by his lovely fiancĂ©e Dee, and/or Josh at Blue August. Tom’s interest lies in making a good gun, which is fine by me.

While I hope to get in on the spring shoot, I’m really interested in the stress test. From what Tom tells me, they put about 2000 rounds through the pistol in two days, which seems like a whole lot to me. =) Tom says he’s personally put over 800 rounds through his in a day with no problems.

I hope to put a few downrange soon, as Tom has invited me to come out to the shop and take one out back for a little can shooting.

I plan on doing just that.


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