Chiappa Firearm Company is an incredibly modern and progressive company operating out of Brusha, Italy. It employs high-tech types and old school traditional craftsmen to turn out a wide variety of high-quality firearms. Currently Chiappa makes over 70,000 firearms a year out of their new ultra-modern 108,000 square foot main plant which employs 80+ employees and exports to 62 countries world wide.
The company was started by Ezechiele “Oscar” Chiappa. In the early 1950s Oscar started in his career with Tanfoglio as a production line worker. But within four years at the ripe old age of 22 he was promoted to manager of all production which at that time was revolvers for the most part.
In 1958 the owner of Tanfoglio became ill and abruptly passed away; his wife decided to sell the company. In the process, Oscar was removed from his management position so he decide to resign and move on. His life-long love of firearms, along with his machining expertise, kept him in the industry. He formed a new company to do subcontract work for other manufacturers. Eventually this new business lead to Oscar founding another company, Armi Sport.
Armi Sport manufactured replica firearms such as black powder and early western models as used in America’s Wild West. These were and still are popular thanks to movies and television. And back then American westerns were very popular with Europeans. Eventually Oscar’s replica firearm business bled over into the huge U.S. market.
Oscar’s son Rino (pronounced Reeno) virtually grew up in the gun industry going to dad’s factory when possible. Rino learned early on how to make firearms at Armi Sport. By the age of 10 Rino was able to correctly operate most of the machines. Rino’s manufacturing education continued at the family business after hours, through high school and during summer vacation from school.
When Rino was around 19, that the old Tanfoglio Company that dad, Oscar worked in went bankrupt. This presented an opportunity to the Chiappa family to pick up more firearm orientated milling machines for their growing company. Rino pressed for the family to buy these machines–and to restructure the current Arim Sport. Imagine, the non-emotional and quiet family discussions these easy going Italians had around the dinner table… NOT.
In the mid-80s Rino took over management with dad Oscar watching to make sure he did not screw things up. But Rino had things well in hand and was growing the company and now granddad Oscar was teaching his young grandchildren how to make guns. In 2002, work was nearly completed on the new current super modern factory when Oscar took sick and passed away; he never saw the new factory completed later that year.
The company was growing very quickly and now with the name of Chiappa Firearms they expanded production further into modern firearms (some revolutionary like the Rhino Revolver). Production of their quality replica and blank firearms continued.
Chiappa’s replica firearm unit reverse engineers vintage firearms and then using modern equipment creates accurate high-quality replicas. Chiappa machines all the parts and components from solid bar stock–no castings. All wood parts are hand oiled 3 to 4 times and hand polished. This is old country quality combined with modern day technology producing beautiful quality firearms.
Rino is an active NRA member and he is not just a gun maker and designer; he is an avid hunter, shooter and President of SASS in Europe.