New California Armory one of the three main suppliers of small arms to the New California Republic Military along with the Gun Runners trade organization and Sequoia Arms, as well as one of a number of industrial outfits in the NCR using machinery such as presses, machine tools, and conveyor belts scavenged from pre-war factories.
New California Armory began as Buster's Fine Emporium of Armaments, a shop in Shady Sands, CA founded by John "Buster" Williamson, a man famous for both his short stature, as well as his obsession with collecting and restoring pre-war firearms, in 2217. The Emporium was one of many competing gun stores in the city of over 10,000 people, but quickly gained an edge over other vendors thanks to gaining a reputation for superior quality restorations of pre-war weapons. The mysterious figure known as the "Chosen One" is said to have purchased weapons from Williamson during 2241. On a scavenging run for weapons in an abandoned pre-war weapons factory about 15 miles from Shady Sands in the year 2252, Williamson realized that many of the presses and other machining tools could be restored to working order. Williamson managed to transport the parts by pack brahmin back to the Shady stands, and reconstruct the mechanical press, running it off a fusion generator. Using pieces of steel reclaimed from scrap, Williamson began manufacturing simple stamped metal weapons, including 9mm submachine guns based on scavenged plans for the WWII-era M3 Submachine Gun. While these weapons were still homemade weapons manufactured in small batches, the use of the mechanical press still allowed Williamson to manufacture more home-made weapons than competing gunsmiths, at a rate of about two to three per day.
This increasing productivity, and thus revenue allowed Williamson to pay a crew to permanently seize the abandoned factory. Over the next few years, Williamson brought more and more of the machinery up to operating standards. At the same time, an industrial revival in the NCR began to gain momentum with the revival of several steel and other metal mills, though they operated by melting down the abundant pre-war scrap, rather than processing new metal. Nonetheless, by 2265, much of the factory had been brought back online, allowing the production of M16A1 and R91 assault rifles, for which the factory was originally designed to produce. With his success manufacturing first the stamped metal SMGs, and then the manufactured rifles, Williamson was able to pay a crew of workers to man the factory. Initially the output was only about 20 rifles per day, modest compared to pre-war factories, but far greater than other gunsmiths, who required several days simply to restore a pre-war assault rifle by hand.
In the coming years, the revenues allowed Williamson to repair more machinery and hire more workers. In 2269, the NCR military, who had previously purchased weapons in small numbers from Williamson, approached him and offered him 400,000 NCR Dollars for a shipment of 200 M16A1 rifles to arm the Shady Sands garrison. While the price, at 200 NCR per rifle was less than a quarter of what an home-made assault rifle normally sold for, thanks to the mass production capabilities, this deal proved profitable for both the NCR and Williamson. While Williamson was not overly trusting of authority, he could not deny the profitability of the deal, and the order was completed within three days thanks to improvements Williamson had made since he started using the factory. Since then, the NC Armory has been a major provider of weapons to the NCR military, including most of their M16A1 Service Rifles.
In honor of his new clients, as well as the fact that his weapons were traded widely throughout the NCR, Williamson renamed the company New California Armory, though he remained wary of the NCR government, and was quick to point out the name was meant to show the company served the people of NCR, with the government simply being the largest client, and that he was not in any way affiliated with said government.
In 2283, Robert Williamson passed ownership and management to his son John.
Nearly all weapons produced by NC Armory are copies of pre-war weapons, many of which are based on "Buster" Williamson's collection of pre-war small arms and weapons blueprints. Below are some common products manufactured and sold by NC Armory:
- NCA Peacemaker: Named for the Colt Single-Action Army, but actually based on the Ruger Vaquero, a copy of the weapon. Chambered for .357 or .44 magnum.
- NCA-Browning Hi-Power: Copy of pre-war Browning Hi-Power semi-automatic pistol, 9mm caliber.
- NCA Blaster: 5.56mm autorevolver, copy of older weapon in existence since at least 2161. Considered more a novelty than a serious weapon due to the prohibitively high recoil of its 5.56mm rounds.
- NCA Desert Eagle: Large-caliber handgun, chambered for .357 magnum, .44 magnum, or .50 AE.
- NCA "Caravanner": Double-barrel over and under shotgun, based on pre-war model. One of the best-selling weapons of NC Armory, popular with caravan crews, traders, wastelanders, farmers and settlers in the NCR and beyond.
- NCA-870: Copy of Remington 870 pump-action shotgun.
- NCA M3 Submachine Gun: Copy of the WWII-era SMG. First product produced by NC Armory, as well as on of their most produced. Typically chambered for 9mm, however, 10mm and .45 ACP variants are available.
- NCA M16: Copy of M16A1 5.56mm assault rifle. Standard issue with the NCR Army, semi auto only, full auto, and select fire variants exist.
- NCA AK-112: Copy of Soviet-made AK-112 assault rifle, intended as a cheaper alternative to the M16 for civilian market. Available in 5.56mm and 7.62mm Soviet.
- NCA-70: Copy of the Winchester Model 70 bolt-action rifle, by far the most popular weapon of NCA, manufactured in both 7.62mm NATO/.308 caliber, along with the 5.56mm and calibers normally considered pistol rounds, including .32, .38, and .44 magnum. Examples seen as far away as the Capital Wasteland.
- NCA RPG-7: Copy of Soviet RPG-7 85mm rocket launcher, used alongside other launchers by NCR Army.