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    The Calico Company is Back!

Click on any of the ads to enlarge

    I am happy to announce that the long dormancy of the Calico company has ended. The company has a new websites, and is once again filling orders, supplying parts, and offering accesoroies (though they still never answer their phone).
    The Calico Company (California Instrument Company) initially made instruments for oil drilling rigs, but soon saw their market diminish due to an increase in government regulations on oil exploration and drilling. The .22 model was introduced in 1986, while the 9mm version came out in 1990. They have relocated to Sparks Nevada in order to escape the political climate in California. The initial production of the guns seems ot have been undertaken in Cleveland, Ohio. My knowledge of the company is very spotty. They are still in production of military guns, and it is still possible to get civilian versions of the .22, and possibly the 9mm using legacy magazines produced before the imposition of the gun bill in 1994. I would not wait too long before ordering, however, because once they are gone, they may be gone forever. Once again Calico has been the victim of poorly thought out government regulation in the form of the so called crime bill of 1994. I find it just a bit disturbing that a felon was able to sit in the White House and pass legislation curtailing the rights of those of us who actually do obey the law. This is made that much more disturbing when those rights are guaranteed by the Constitution. Until I get some more actual facts about the company, I will post these ads that I found in some old gun magazines, and the few facts that I have. Both ads may be brought up full size by clicking on them. The first one is from a Soldier of Fortune magazine from 1986, the second is from a Guns & Weapons magazine from 1991. You might note the changes of address. Clicking on the images will bring up full sized versions. Note also the original price ($299), less than the present day cost of a replacement magazine..
    The above ads are from a time before the magazine ban, and much of the assault rifle foolishness. Reagan was president then, and the Dole Amendment had just been passed, allowing for the importation and sale of large numbers of surplus military arms. These were good times for gun owners, and enthusiasts. I suspect that, under this optimistic mood, the leadership of the Calico Company saw an assured future in the gun business. Pity they were so wrong. The ads shown below were sent to me, along with price, and models lists, in response to a call to the number listed on their site.
    The company president was Mike Miller. He and the designer of the helical magazine, Cliff  David (eventually to become vice president), reorganized the company as Calico Light Weapons Systems. It is ironic indeed that the state from which the company drew part of it's name, hounded Calico until it was finally deemed necessary to move to Sparks Nevada. Below, are a couple of recent tear sheets. These were for guns produced during the ban, using legacy magazines. It wass good to see that Calico was still offering a product line. Though I would have been a bit happier if they had not been so low key. I can certainly understand the pointlessness of spending money on a market for a product that, largely, can not be sold, but a bit more information on their website would have been nice. Clicking on the images will bring up enlarged versions.

    The company now makes a series of submachine guns for military, law enforcement, and foreign sales, and was in very limited production of civilian arms, where they were still allowed. Much of this may be attributed to the foolish legislation enacted towards restricting magazine capacities, and the use of semi- auto firearms. Civilians are allowed to buy a Calico produced line of paint ball guns (for now), and some civilian versions of the Calico .22 may still be had using magazines produced before the ban. There is even some limited availability of the 9mm models. Accessories may still be had, and the military orders seem to be keeping the company alive for now. The web site has been under construction for as long as I have been visiting it, and a call to the phone number given, connects me to an answering machine which offers to send a price list in return for my name and address. The price list is fairly extensive, and includes prices for parts as well as for the guns themselves. A copy of the list is included below. Accesories may be ordered direct, though the guns themselves must be purchased through an FFL dealer (oh, to have my license back for a day). The post ban models use pre-ban magazines, and are not available with folding stocks. Other than this, the weapons are the same. These guns never have had a huge following, being thought of by some as "gimmicky", and by others as being examples of  those terrible dreaded "assault weapons". This, along with the magazine bans, and the outlawing of these weapons in some localities, may reduce the demand for these little guns to the point where the legacy magazines in stock might be able to satisfy the demand for new guns until the ban ends.
    It can only be hoped that at the expiration of the magazine ban, in the fall of 2004, the company will market aggressively to civilians again. I see no reason why this should not happen, provided they can keep themselves afloat during the interim. The numbers below were taken from American Firearms Industries statistics.

Production of Civilian Models

Year 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 Totals
Pistol 9mm 349 900 495 676 2569 - 4989
Pistol.22 532 1800 675 688 625 - 4320
Carbine 9/22 2136 1900 0 1743 5058 668 11505

Price lists, and ordering information

     I have heard nothing but good things about the company's service, and it's dedication to it's customers, before the dormant period. I have never had to avail myself of these services personally, since none of my Calicos has ever given me the slightest cause for complaint. It should also be obvious that I greatly admire the design and quality of their firearms, and I can certainly sympathize with their plight at the hands of those who have no respect or understanding of the Constitution, or of representative and limited government. The parts lists, and price lists could not be accurately rendered by my OCR, so they are in the form of jpg files.
Weapons and Accessories Magazine Repair Kits
Parts List 1 Parts List 2