Proudly Pinoy-made

Mar 18, 2017

If you are a gun enthusiast, i.e., a collector or a sports shooter, chances are you've heard of Armscor's Rock Island Armory which is based in the United States. It is now a respected name among gun enthusiasts across the globe for its reliability in the manufacture of firearms and ammunition and in fact has landed on the cover of some of the most popular gun magazines in the United States. Rock Island Armory was established by Martin Tuason, son of Bolo who successfully reigned over the mother company Armscor for decades until he passed the baton to son Martin just two or three years ago.

I maintain regular subscriptions to gun magazines, relishing my monthly rations as my bed time reading. Guns & Ammo is one of these magazines and I was pleasantly surprised to read something that caught my eye. The author wrote a comparative study of the performance of some ammo that he actually tested on the range, twenty six of them actually, many of which I have never even heard of. This just goes to show you that I am no expert in the field, just a plain enthusiast who is still eager to learn.

In the January 2017 edition of G & A, the author Tom Beckstrand meticulously tested some ammo brands, one of which is the load for the Armscor 22 long rifle which I am reprinting here verbatim:

"This ammunition is made in the Philippines, so I was pretty excited to test it. The American and European makers are well-known and come with a certain set of expectations, but this was my first brush with Philippine rimfire ammo, and I had no idea what to expect.

Results? It printed great! Accuracy was much better than expected, with groups hovering between .11 inch and .3 inch. We were so shocked to see a 36-grain copper-plated hollow point group so well.

The chronograph wasn't nearly as kind. This load had the highest extreme spread of any round tested (62 fps) and a standard deviation of 23.2. While the accuracy was surprisingly good, those small groups will likely only hold up at closer distances."

The review, while stating some negatives as well, also came with a comparative chart with all twenty six loads. The average velocity of the tested Armscor 36-gr Lead JHP was a high 1,306, and of the twenty six loads, only the Federal Champion 40-grain Lead RN (1,309), the Winchester Super-X Superspeed 40-gr RN (1,307), the CCI Mini-Mag 40-gr Copper plated Lead RN (1,350), the CCI Velociter 40-gr Copper Plated Lead HP ((1,446) and the CCI Copper-22 21-gr Copper/Polymer HP (1,827) were in the same league or bested Armscor. For best grouping (in inches), Armscor likewise registered an impressive .11 along with three others, bested only by the Wolf March 40-gr Lead RN with a best grouping of .07. Armscor had the best average grouping shared with three other loads and was bested only by two out of the twenty six. Some of the more recognizable (for us Filipinos at least) and well-respected brands in the chart included Winchester, Remington and Browning, but then again, the experts out there will be more familiar with the other makers.

That is pretty impressive for a Philippine-made ammunition, and with a young and bright Martin at the helm, there is much in store for this proudly Filipino brand which is slowly making a name in the global arms market that used to be dominated by European, American, Turkish and Israeli manufacturers.



My daughter gifted me with a turn table and a couple of vinyl records to go with it. For this old deejay, it was a blast from a glorious past and it gave me immense pleasure. With a lot of help from a techie poker mate, Archt./Coach Rey Madrid, the turn table was set up in no time and now we have endless nostalgic music from my era during our weekly forays with the group over the round table.

Of course, the quality of the music is so much better now than back then when we as deejays were spinning stacks of them on a daily basis. How technology has managed to resurrect something from an all but forgotten era and improved tremendously on it is still beyond me, but I am sure many in my generation are enjoying this resurrection. I was also pleasantly surprised to come across this store which just opened its new branch at the UP Center. The roving staff of Business & Leisure's news segment for leisure seekers, Lifestyle Chronicles (LC) chanced upon this one called Satchmi Store when they covered its opening for LC. This store sells these turn tables and scores of vinyl records, old films and working vintage cameras that go with them, all in excellent working condition. As the group behind Satchmi claims, "we are a group of meticulous curators" and they sell lifestyle items for old world enthusiasts. Interesting stuff indeed, and they have created their own niche and filled a need for collectors, music lovers and baby boomers like me. One can even enjoy coffee and grab a bite while browsing in the store.

Mabuhay!!! Be proud to be a Filipino.

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About the Author

Ray Butch Gamboa graduated from the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a course that should have been preparatory to a law degree, but the call of broadcasting aborted his plans.

At the age of 16, while still a student, Butch tried his hand at disc jockeying, landing a job at Mareco Broadcasting Network's AM stations DZBM and DZLM. From there, Butch moved on with his illustrious career as a popular disc jockey, riding the airwaves of Bob Stewart's middle-of-the-road music at DZXX, and ending his disc jockeying career at ABS-CBN's DZYL and DZQL.

From there, he stayed on with ABS-CBN, covering live the proceedings at the Manila Stock Exchange and eventually entered into the world of television sales as an account manager for the premier channel of ABS-CBN Channel 2.

In the early 70's, at the outbreak of Martial Law, Butch was one of the thousands of professionals who woke up jobless when then President Marcos declared the new status of the nation. With the closure of ABS-CBN, Butch ventured into different fields outside of broadcast. He tried his hand and with ease and success at export (Costume jewelry), real estate (brokerage), and restaurants (fast food).

In 1987, after the revolution, with the broadcast industry back to its free state, and with its irresistible call ringing in his ears, Butch made his inevitable comeback and pioneered in a local motoring show, producing Motoring Today on Channel 4 and co-hosting with local motor sports' living legend Pocholo Ramirez.

After 4 years, he ventured into another pioneering format by producing and hosting Business & Leisure, which was originally aired on ABS-CBN's Channel 2. The format eventually espoused similar ones in other different channels. But the clones in due course faded away leaving the original staying on airing on Channel 4 and eventually on Shop TV on Sky Cable's Channel 13.

The following year, the pioneering spirit in Butch spurred him to produce another TV show, Race Weekend, also on Channel 4, covering circuit racing at the Subic International Raceway after the motor sport's hiatus of 17 years. But when similar shows with duplicated formats sprouted, he decided to give way and ended the program after a year, although still enjoying unparalleled viewership.

In 1998, when the local automotive industry was in a slump, Butch contributed his share to help the ailing industry by producing another popular motoring-related show, this time exclusive to the automobile and its industry—Auto Focus, which became a vehicle for local automotive assemblers and importers to showcase their products and dwell on the industry's latest technological developments.

In 2003, Butch teamed up with his brother, Rey Gamboa who was a former Shell executive and presently one Philippine Star's business columnist to co-produce and co-host the TV show Breaking Barriers on Channel 13. It is a talk show that features guests who are in the news and in the middle of controversies. The program ventures to draw deeper insights into current issues to learn how they impact to our daily lives.

Today, Motoring Today on its 28th year of service to the general motoring public still enjoys its unprecedented loyal vierwership nationwide while Auto Focus, after 16 years has firmly established its niche viewership among automobile enthusiasts and on the other hand Business & Leisure is on its 24th year dishing out current business issues and lifestyle features.

Today, aside from writing weekly columns for the Philippine Star (Motoring Today on Wednesdays and Business & Leisure on Saturdays) and executive producer / host of weekly TV shows (Motoring Today, airs Sundays on Solar Sports Channel 70, Business & Leisure, airs Tuesdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13 and Auto Focus airs Thursdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13, Ray Butch Gamboa is currently the Chairman and CEO of Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp., President of Gamcor Management and Development Corp., Chairman of Asia-Pacific Realty Corporation, President and Chairman of Socio-Communication Foundation for Asia and Founding Chairman of the Society of Phil. Motoring Journalists (SPMJ)