all started many years ago, way back in 1962. The Jackson's were operating
a manufacturing facility totally removed from the shooting sports. For
some reason they decided to take up a new hobby which was rifle shooting.
In a very short time they were involved in bench rest shooting and decided
that the equipment which was available at that time was of good quality
but left a lot of room for improvement. Thus the first product of the new
adventure was conceived. A high quality, heavy duty rifle rest designed
specifically for bench rest shooting. This must have been a good idea
because this rest, virtually unchanged, has been in continuous production
for 40 years. Not to bad when the Jackson's thought that if they sold
maybe 50 to 100 of the rests it was going to be a good investment. Boy did
zeroed in on reloading dies next with the same fervor for improvement as
they did with the rifle rest. Sure enough in 1963 the first Reloading Dies
were made available to the public from their new company, Wichita
Precision. Then innovation took over and new concepts in reloading were
born. Wichita Precision then developed the first nitride die, which they
patented. Next they developed the cut away window die, which facilitated
bullet seating which they also patented. Next came the micrometer top
adjustable bullet seating die which also merited another patent.
a very busy year in 1963. The Jackson's also took time to design a new
rifle rest which they called the Unlimited Rest.
Jackson's became ardent shooters and they of course used their own
shooting equipment. It was not long before Nolan Jackson set a World Bench
Rest Record. In fact it happened in 1963.
came and went. The reloading die business was closed due to other business
obligations even though the sales were extraordinary. The call of the
shooting sports could not be shaken and in 1970 the Jackson's obtained an
order to manufacture a Sling Swivel for the M40 military rifle. Must have
made a good part for 32 years later it is still being manufactured.
next adventure took a few years to develop. The world had to wait until
1976 for the introduction of their next product. A new company was formed
Wichita Arms and a new rifle called the Classic was born. This rifle had
all the craftsmanship of old world manufacturing but with the latest in
technology in materials and production. It had an octagon barrel and
action with the barrel gracefully tapering to the muzzle. It was hand
fitted and finished with the finest trigger and wood available. Of course
they were made and finished to the customer's specification.
same year saw the introduction of the Wichita Varminter Rifle. This rifle
was of the same quality as the Classic but it featured a round action and
same year also saw the introduction of the Wichita Bench Rest Actions.
Again the Wichita Arms looked to innovation. A round action with a shell
holder bolt face. A whole series of actions based on the Classic Action
with a new concept. A right hand bolt with left hand feed. A left hand
bolt with right hand feed. It was also offered with the normal right hand
bolt and right hand feed and a left hand bolt with left hand feed.
a new organization was formed which was called IHMSA and was formed for
the promotion of handgun silhouette shooting. Elgin Gates, the founder,
wanted a new series of cartridges developed and to be designated as
official IHMSA cartridges. The new cartridges were developed by Wichita
Arms and were based on the 220 Russian cartridge from Sako. These new
cartridges were designated as the; 17 IHMSA, 22 IHMSA, 6mm IHMSA, 6.5mm
IHMSA, 7mm IHMSA, 30 IHMSA, 8mm IHMSA, and lastly the 35 IHMSA.
was an active year as a new pistol was also developed for silhouette
pistol shooting. This pistol was based on the round Classic action with a
synthetic fiberglass and foam stock. The pistol was introduced to the
public at the NRA Convention that same year in Salt Lake City. This
pistol was later offered in your choice of calibers and either a
fiberglass or walnut stock.
Business was keeping Wichita Arms quite busy but Nolan Jackson still
managed enough range time to set a NRA National Silhouette Pistol record
in 1980. This year also saw the introduction of a line of sights and ribs
for competition use in the shooting sports.
saw the introduction of various comps for several revolvers, Smith and
Wesson and semi-auto pistols, 1911 Colt. This year also saw the
introduction of a scope mount, and muzzle break for the Mini 14.
International Silhouette Pistol was introduced in 1984. This pistol
featured a break open action and again designed for competition use. Even
though designed for competition use the pistol was found afield on many
hunting trips. The pistol was featured interchangeable barrels and was
initially offered in 22 Long Rifle, 30-30, 30-30/7mm, 357 Magnum, 357
Maximum. Talk of other chambering soon followed.
dry spell occurred and it was not until 1995 that we saw a new product
from Wichita Arms. To add to their precision shooting accessories a Pistol
Rest was added to their rest line of products. To round out their line of
shooting rests the Magnum Rifle Rest was added in 1999.
Rifle Rests have been in production for 40 years and a new product was
conceived as an essential addition for these rests. In 2002 the Wichita
Windage was introduced. This device can be attached to the Wichita Rifle
Rest and several other manufacturers rifle rests to add Windage adjustment
capability without having to purchase a new rifle rest or rest top.
drawing table looks cluttered and the design activity is picking up. There
appears to be new products on the horizon for Wichita Arms. Whatever the
products may be the central mandate of quality and precision shooting will
be foremost in all Wichita Arms products.
Wichita Arms, Inc.