The Challenger Arms Corporation Plainsman Pistol (Pneumatic) (1949-1951)

The Challenger Arms Corporation was a subsidiary company of the National Cart Corporation.  If you have been following our articles it will come as no surprise to you that the National Cart Corporation also produced the Apache range of air pistols and air rifles. After designing the Apache air pistol, Daniel Fogel, the Vice President of Design and Production at the National Cart Corporation, developed a .28 calibre air shotgun sometime mid-1948. But rather than add it to the Apache line Charles Burhans, the president of the National Cart Corporation, decided to market it via a separate company called the Challenger Arms Corporation. Perhaps Burhans had already realised that the Apache airgun range along with its high failure rate and free lifetime warranty was already doomed. Or perhaps they had not managed to productise the new air shotgun by the time the Apache and production tools had been sold to SIMCO. Whatever the reason, as far as Burhans and his associates were concerned, the Apache era was over and the Challenger range of air guns had begun! [1][2][3]

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Apache Airguns – Part 2: The Apache Air Rifle (1947-1949) by the National Cart Corporation

Part 1 of this series about the Apache airguns discussed the National Cart Corporation and the Apache Fireball air pistol. But the air pistol was not the first airgun that the company produced. Initially, Fogel, Vice President of Design and Production, designed an air rifle that became known as the Apache. Fogel didn’t just pluck his rifle design from the air. He studied current designs by the established and successful airgun manufacturers Crosman and Benjamin. Fogel may have also gained inspiration from a multi-purpose pump up air rifle that had been described in the June 1946 edition of Popular Mechanics. Interestingly, this rifle was designed by Mike Nagy and Tom Willoughby who, just like Fogel, were also aeronautical engineers. [1][2]

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Apache Airguns – Part 1: The Apache “Fireball” Air Pistol (1947-1949) by the National Cart Corporation

The Apache “Fireball” air pistol was part of a small range of airguns produced towards the end of the 1940s by the National Cart Corporation in Pasadena, California. I’m sure you are wondering why a company with such a name would consider manufacturing airguns. I know I certainly am. Before the introduction of airguns and employing around one hundred workers, the National Cart Corporation’s product line was a range of golf carts which, according to one of their advertisements, were known as the “famous tag-a-long golf carts”. In 1947, Stuart Klingelsmith, the public relations director of the National Cart Corporation, wrote an article in which he predicted that the potential earnings from the rental and sales of golf carts could reach multiple millions of dollars in that year. With such signs of significant revenue earnings, why would the company consider branching out into airguns at all? [1]

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