Chiappa Firearms "International Media Days"
That’s the name we have assigned to this event, reserved to selected media professionals from various countries, discovering the Chiappa Firearms brand, the company’s facilities and the products
Due to the attacks it normally receives from the “civil society”, the gun industry is never inclined to open the door to the general media, a fact that greatly reduces the promotional opportunities towards a wider public.
In order to promote the company’s activity, the applied technology and the products line in general, the few observable events are always restricted to a selected public of specialized media from the gun world. Nonetheless, the way such events are organized and the spirit by which the communication professionals are selected and invited, can make a lot of difference.
In terms of innovative spirit, among the few positive events seen up to now in Italy there is the one organized by the Italian company Chiappa Firearms, that in June has received (and hosted) a selected group of international media members for a full day tour inside the factory facilities, followed by day at the range, for an extensive test-firing session of its product line at the Shooting Academy Club A.S.D. shooting range, near Brescia, Italy.
A quite rare event for the canons of the Italian gun industry, with selected print and online International media professionals invited to attend.
Welcomed at the Chiappa Firearms headquarters in Italy, the guests have had a full-day tour around the over 6.000 sq.mt. (>64,000 sq.ft.) production plant, which the company announced is soon to be doubled thanks to the recent acquisition of a nearby structure that will allow Chiappa Firearms to better serve the increasing demand by the Italian, European, and international shooters’ community.
It was interesting to find out that Chiappa Firearms is actually at the cutting edge of technology, employing a CAD engineering center with rapid prototyping and 3D printing capabilities, as well as modern multiple CAM/CNC machines, where over ninety employees work full-time in three shifts, producing the wide variety of models listed in the Chiappa catalog.
Among the machines, two have attracted our interest in particular: a very modern machine for the rifling of barrels of any caliber, technologically superior even for the standards of many big seized International companies; then, a massive five-axis machine used for the manufacture of wooden stocks and pistol grips, a unique piece of technology designed specifically for Chiappa Firearms.
Every single firearm manufactured by Chiappa undergoes several tests and quality controls all through its manufacturing process and an adhesive label with a QR code is applied to each firearm, to be scanned on terminals scattered all through the Chiappa Firearms plant; this allows workers to keep track of all the quality controls and tests that the gun underwent through the various stages of manufacturing, from early working to packaging and shipment, and immediately pinpoint potential issues. Firearms that show malfunctions or defects are sent back to the relevant department so that the issues may be fixed.
At the end of the visit, the guests were given an extensive introduction to Chiappa Firearms’ best and latest product – the eagerly anticipated CBR-9 Black Rhino Personal Defense Weapon – with a full overview of its technical and manufacturing features, intended modes of use, manual of arms, and disassembly.
The CBR-9 was at the center of the guests’ attention the following day, with five samples available for testing at the Shooting Academy Club. The guests were manageability, light weight, low recoil and accuracy of the CBR-9 Black Rhino – definitely a good sign ahead of the commercial availability of this new weapon, announced for the next months.
As communication experts, we have noted that a big part of the “positive surprise” that the new Chiappa CBR-9 Black Rhino has inspired in all the attendees has been due – we have to admit – to one particular aspect: for years in fact we have been used to think about Chiappa Firearms as a manufacturer of playful guns, strictly speaking, and because of this, apparently less challenging from an industrial point of view.
But since the company tour first, then after the field test of the new Chiapa CBR-9, all attendees have realized that there is an ever more strict relationship between the technological evolution that has characterized the Chiappa company in recent years and its present ability to realize technically demanding weapons, exactly like the CBR-9 Black Rhino.
Available for the guests to test fire was also a wide choice of Chiappa’s hunting, sport shooting, and defense-oriented firearms, ranging from historic replicas such as the Enfield 1858 muzzleloader and the Spencer lever-action carbine down to the model 1898 lever-action shotgun and other modern Winchester-based lever-action rifles, as well as the FAS 6007 olympic pistol, the Rhino line of revolvers – including the newest Charging Rhino and Nebula variants – and the 9mm and .22 Long Rifle versions of the M1, PAK, RAK and M4 lines.
The sheer quantity of firearms and ammunition made available by the company allowed the guests to familiarize with the Chiappa Firearms products line and test the guns extensively out of the typical controlled conditions of in-house shooting galleries where this kind of test is normally carried out.
With all the guns made “scorching” in the real sense of the term, also because of the beautiful, but implacable sun.
The experience of the Chiappa Firearms International Media Days shows how important it is nowadays, even for the best-established companies, to hold this kind of events in good considerations as part of a good marketing communication strategy.
Hopes are that time may be ripe – or soon to be ripe – to plan similar events for a much wider attendance, down to the general public, in order to refresh the public image of the civilian arms industry which, particularly in Europe, has been tarnished relentlessly by decades of unchallenged anti-gun propaganda.