Calico Light Weapons Systems
|Headquarters||Cornelius, Oregon, U.S.|
|Products||, Firearms, Magazines, Speed loaders, other firearm accessories|
Calico Light Weapons Inc. (CLWS) is a privately held manufacturing company based in Cornelius, Oregon. The company was established in 1982 in Bakersfield, California, and released its first production weapon in 1985. Calico was sold in 1990 but remained in Bakersfield. The company was sold again in 1991 to the original concept designer, and in 1998 operations were moved to Sparks, Nevada, where replacement parts for existing weapons were produced.
In 2006, Calico was sold once again, and moved to Hillsboro, Oregon, where full production of firearms resumed. Calico implemented a CNC machining process and upgraded materials used in manufacture. Additionally, there were minor redesigns of some production models to increase durability and reliability.
CLWS produces a line of pistols and pistol-caliber carbines. Calico firearms feature a top-mounted, helical-feed, 50 or 100 round magazine that ejects spent shells from a port in the bottom, making a brass catcher more practical in various situations. The Calico 9 mm pistols, carbines and submachine guns use the roller-delayed blowback principle used in the Heckler & Koch series of firearms.
At the 2012 SHOT Show, Calico exhibited a prototype 12 gauge shotgun with top-mounted helical magazine.
Although reviews of the product line were very favorable, Calico is working to secure big military and law enforcement and export contracts. Sales were severely curtailed by the introduction of the Federal assault weapons ban in 1994 which limited magazine capacity of newly made firearms to ten rounds. Once the legislation was allowed to sunset in 2004, Calico began producing firearms again. Calico weapons are sometimes seen in various movies and science fiction films ranging from Spaceballs to James Bond due to their reliability, capacity and futuristic appearance. The company tagline is A Revolution in Firepower!
In February 1999, a jury in the Federal District Court in Brooklyn found Calico (along with five other gun manufacturers) negligent in its marketing and distribution practices, and that those practices contributed to illegal gun trafficking into the state of New York. Calico's advertisements stress its weapons' high ammunition capacity, durability, and "overwhelming firepower advantage." The company also stresses the alleged suitability of its firearms for sporting use. Ads feature wholesome couples in the outdoors using Calico firearms, noting, "Calico firearms incorporate leading edge technology to make shooting safer, more fun, and easier than ever."
Calico remains one of the largest manufacturers of large magazines for automatic and semi-automatic weapons (50 and 100 rounds).
- .22 LR Pistols
- Calico M110
- .22 LR Rifles
- 9mm Pistols
- Calico Liberty III & Liberty III Tactical
- 9mm Rifles
- Liberty I and II
- Liberty I and II Tactical
- M960 series submachinegun (military and law enforcement only)
- .22 LR Pistols
- 9mm Pistols
- Modern Small Arms - Ian Hogg, ISBN 1-85841-075-4