Factory & EXA 2011 Visit

 Garda

In April 2011, I was invited by Armi Sports to visit their factory in Brescia Italy. I decided to take up their offer, "who wouldn't" and combine the trip with a visit to EXA 2011 Gun Show, and a short break in Lake Garda.

We flew in to Milan Airport; "Malapensia" got the shuttle bus to Milan central train station, and jumped on the Euro Star high speed train to Garda. The flight took about an hour and a half on a budget carrier, then to Milan and on took another one hour forty. I could not get a flight to Verona as it was too early in the season, but will look at this as an option next time, cutting the travel time to around two and a half hours.

The hotel was very nice and right on the front with views over the stunning lake. It was a very relaxing and beautiful place, with great food and wine, busy but in a relaxed atmosphere. If you are a shopper then there are a number of quality cloths and shoe shops, delicatessens that put ours to shame, with obviously many family run restraints serving good food at reasonable prices.

 

 Lake Garda, little misty in the morning

Milan Train Station, just like back home!

Note the huge spicy sausage in the deli window, one slice lasts all week.

   

The atmosphere is a family and couples one, with people sitting talking, eating and drinking or just promenading late in to the night. The children are respectful and well behaved from what I could see so even those who avoid holidays where children are running a mock, will still enjoy their time in Garda.

 

Armi Sports Factory

Old & New

The factory is to the south of Brescia, in a more industrial area as you would expect.

I was shown around by my contact and friend Cinzia Pinzoni. The first photo shows an old barrel cutting machine that is still used today for some models, it is also able to cut quite precise smaller components as shown.

  

Armi Sports is one of the few factories that make all parts in house, the picture bellow shows a more up to date machine, with one new machine still not sighted not long arrived, with a price tag in to the hundreds of thousands. Reno Chappia is a lover of new innovation to compliment the skills of the the old school craftsman.

 


This machine is an example of this philosophy, this machine is used for reverse engineering. An original part is place on the table and the arm manipulates a laser guided micro probe that precisely measures the part. This information can then be computerised and downloaded to a modern C.N.C machine to be cut out of modern quality materials. This makes all parts interchangeable with the originals in almost all models.

 

The stocks are finished and fitted to each action, numbered to that action and then dismantled so the actions can be mounted on a rough cut stock to be proofed, as with the UK the proof house does tend to throw firearms around a bit with little care. On their return, they are matched up again and sent for final finish.

 

 

 The Range

I was invited to the basement test range where they test fire all pieces,  classic and modern with continued development of the modern firearms in their range. The picture bellow shows the very popular Rhino with the barrel at the bottom of the chamber, thus giving better balance and gun control. This model also has a flattened cylinder for better comfort on a holster with a slimmer profile.


It is almost impossible to describe the overwhelming pleasure shooting on the range gave me, with a smile that lasted for the rest of the trip. Cindy and the other girls in the office thought it was very funny, but when it was explained that our hand guns in the UK were stolen from us in 1997, and this was the first time since then that I was able to shoot a proper hand gun with a sensible length barrel, then the gun cabinet was opened and it was insisted that I was to keep going until my hands were blistered.


1911 .22 RF

 

 A Few Pictures From The EXA 2011 Show

 

 

New Line Of Falco Firearms and Shotguns I will be bringing In.

 

 I started to cry at this point.

 

I would like to thank all at Armi Sports, especially Cindy and Suzanna Chiappa for their hospitality during the visit and hope to see them all again soon for a longer stay in their beautiful country.