Red Jacket Firearms – Sons of Guns
The company is owned and operated by Will Hayden. The show will feature him, his daughter Stephanie, who is the office manager, and his diverse crew as they create and amplify weaponry for private collectors, the military and different police forces. The first episode was about a customer who saw a shotgun with a silencer in a film and wanted RJF to create one for him.
The history of RJF is one of many successful small businesses. The business began as a retail firearms shop that also had a firing range. They decided to custom-make their own firearms, but didn’t have enough money to market their products. So they went to gun shows, where they found their marketing niche and developed a regional reputation, which eventually grew into a nationally known enterprise. To this day, Hayden continues to go to gun forums; now, he mainly provides advise on how to solve problems with firearms.
The first season, which took about a year and a half to film, includes 12 different episodes. Originally, the producers of the program intended it to follow in the model of American Choppers, which is dominated by the interactions between a father and his two sons. Usually, at least in the episodes I’ve seen of AC, the dad and at least one of the sons argue throughout the hour, but miraculously create a modified bike. However, the producers of Sons of Guns had to modify their intentions when Hayden and his crew got along. So this program will actually feature gun-making and the skills that are needed in order to do a quality job.
Sons of Guns – Scorpion Strikes
Will and Joe test the FV101 Scorpion tank for a client. Image Credit: Discovery Communications.
A former client, Malcolm, whom RJF built a ′truck cannon′ for is back, this time with a surplus FV101 Scorpion recon tank. Malcolm wants Red Jacket to refurbish it so he can flip the tank for cash. Naturally, Joe is not happy as the company lost money with Malcolm′s other project, but Will and Kris are like two kids at a candy store. Even though this candy store has a round jammed in the barrel! Beyond that ′minor′ problem, the tank also has several major mechanical issues, like only being able to go in reverse.
Joe manages to get the tank into the shop′s garage. Will calls on Ira, an expert in artillery, as well as Flem, to help with the project. Meanwhile, Kris wraps up his work and is calling an early end to the day by taking the production line team out for drinks. Joe asks him to use the time clock to punch out. Kris refuses as he is on salary. Joe explains that workman comp laws requires that even the time for salary employees must be accounted for. Kris ignores him and walks out.
Flem arrives with a pry-bar to remove the shell casing from the Scorpion′s 76mm breech. Once this is done, Flem and Will carefully push the round out the back of the barrel. At first, they think the round is live, as it appears to have some sort of timer detonator. Will orders everyone out of the building as he unscrews it from the shell. Turns out that its a fake! Just something to look real.
A customer, Troy, arrives with a small handgun he wants repaired. Charlie recognizes it as a Velo Dog, a pistol that bicyclers used in the late 19th Century to shoot at dogs threatening to topple the rider from his ′Penny Farthing′. Ira arrives to help on the Scorpion. They first free up the rusty clutch linkages so the tank can now be driven forward as well as reverse. The next problem is with the gun′s recoil system. Flem tells Will that the gun is ′in battery′, but the recoil hydraulics are frozen.
Vince calls Joe about committing to their joint venture, but Joe refuses to do so. Joe wants to know everything , first. Joe then gets in Stephanie′s face over the Velo Dog gun. Joe says they′re losing money with the job. Stephanie defends the job since gunsmithing is what started the company. Joe says now is the time to grow the company.
Charlie tells Stephanie that the firing pin on the Velo Dog is very delicate and tricky. Also, ammunition is an issue, as the pistol uses 6mm rimfire cartridges. He thinks that the Winchester 22 rimfire will work, but its hard to come by, too. Stephanie finds one box of ammo through her contacts. Troy arrives and Charlie show him the work done. But the first test fire attempt fails and Charlie has to adjust the firing pin some more. Troy fires one shot and is happy. Less than happy is Kris, who vents his displeasure about Joe to Flem. Will overhears this as Stephanie tells her husband to not talk about it in the building.
Ira and Flem get the Scorpion′s recoil system working again. The next problem is the turret′s power drive. They can still turn the turret manually, but the electric drive is jacked up. Will talks with Kris about the changes at the company and advises him to roll with the punches and get a hobby. He doesn′t want Kris to dwell on work when at home. Will then takes the Scorpion out with Joe driving it. They think they have all of the mechanical issues solved.
The next morning, Malcolm joins the gang at the test range as Will and Ira pull up in the Scorpion. As they line up to shoot, the turret power gets jammed, forcing Will to go manual. But after that, they fire the gun three times, blowing up targets enhanced with explosives. Vince stops by to show Joe the paperwork on the arms deal he′s working on. He confronts Joe about feedback Vince has been getting from his contacts, whom are telling Vince that Joe is trying to buy the whole shipment for Red Jacket. Joe denies the rumors. So we′ll see if this deal goes through. So ends this week′s episode of Sons of Guns, Scorpion Strike.