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Armando Lite II

Discussion in 'Band of Glockers' started by horge, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. horge

    horge -=-=-=-=- Lifetime Member

    Likes Received:
    Jan 22, 2004
    almost home
    Even the most ridiculous lies can bear a fragile tie to interesting fact.

    The ArmaLite company was Filipino.
    For a little while, at least.

    ArmaLite began in 1954 as a small-arms division of US defense contractor Fairchild, which saw fit to license out its best designs to Colt's Manufacturing Co. --apparently Fairchild was poor at marketing small arms. Independence from Fairchild in 1961, as 'Armalite Inc.', did not free the fledgling from the old, fatal combination of good engineering and spectacularly bad marketing: witness AR-18 onward. The company foundered steadily over the next two decades.

    In the Philippines, Elisco Tool Manufacturing had been license producing Colt's M16's for police and military use, but the license agreement was drying up and there was intractable disagreement between Colt's and the Philippine government. Fishing around for an alternative 5.56mm platform, the neglected AR-18 caught the Philippines' attention.

    In 1983, Elisco bought the ailing ArmaLite Inc., lock stock and barrel. Factory equipment and patterns were shipped to the Philippines and finances were geared up to begin mass production of AR-18's for local use and export to regional buyers. Elisco retained ArmaLite's U.S. presence to hopefully tap the private market there.

    That was in 1983.
    That same year Ninoy Aquino came home and was murdered.
    Three years later the dictator Marcos was toppled, and Cory Aquino was elected president, and lot of National Defense self-reliance programs were orphaned.

    From knee-capping the local manufacture of combat aircraft by the Philippine Aerospace Development Corp. (PADC), to illegally raiding the Naval Shipyard in Cavite for equipment to upgrade a private shipbuilder's (BASECO)... a lot of local defense capability and potential was lost.

    Elisco's ArmaLite Division was no exception. Without financing and Presidential protection, the company was strangled by a swarm of politicians demanding their advance cut in the forthcoming A-18 action. In 1987, after less than a year of losses to such corruption, a sinking Elisco closed its US presence, and dropped the AR-18 project altogether.

    Stillborn, ArmaLite Division of Elisco in the Philippines swiftly faded from memory.


    In 1995, an enterprising gunmaker, Eagle Arms, purchased the ArmaLite trademark. As 'Armalite Inc.', it is today making a name for itself in the US civilian market for semi-automatic rifles, through its semi-auto AR-10 line. Its .50 BMG sniper rifle AR-50 has also generated a great deal of interest.