"First with the Finest
in Quality Replica Firearms"
THE NAVY ARMS STORY - BY VAL FORGETT, III
For six decades, the Forgett family has provided hundreds of thousands of firearms and tens of millions of rounds of ammunition to shooters, hunters, sportsmen and collectors. What started in the basement of my late father, Val Forgett, Jr.'s home in Teaneck, New Jersey in the 1950's has grown into a multi-division firm providing quality and value to gun owners in the category of historic arms and ammunition. After graduating from Clemson University in 1991, I founded Gibbs Rifle Company, Inc., to distribute curio and relic firearms and ammunition and to craft 'Historical Remakes™' of classic military firearms. In 2005, I purchased Old Western Scrounger Ammunition from "Dangerous Dave" Cumberland and expanded his outstanding line of obsolete and hard-to-find ammunition. I have structured these varied divisions into Forgett Militaria, LLC, taking the great names and traditions started by my father, Dave and I and categorized them for ease of use and understanding by our customers.
How Dad founded and grew Navy Arms over the course of 40 years is well documented in books, magazines, websites and annually in the Navy Arms catalog. What is less well known are some of the origins of how got started, how he progressed Navy Arms and how he and I worked to transition the company to a new generation of ownership and management.
Therefore, starting in this, our 58th year of business, I will add new stories and chapters not widely heard before on Dad and Navy Arms. The first new story is how my father generated the funds to begin producing replica firearms by winning the contract to clear the famed Bannerman's Island of all live ordnance in 1956. The full story is HERE. There you can read about how a then-26 year old Val Forgett, Jr. spent the Summer of 1956 clearing thousands of live grenades, artillery and mortar rounds that had been stored there for decades. The funds he earned that summer gave him the means in which to begin production of the first run of replica 1851 Navy revolvers that started the revolution in replica firearms.
Before he passed away, Dad told this story to an assembled group of collectors, in his own words. Fortunately, that talk was captured on video and we are pleased to provide this speech on DVD to collectors, with 100% of the profits going to the NRA Foundation. Dad served proudly as the President of the National Firearms Museum and worked closely with the NRA Foundation to build the world-class museum that exists today. He would be proud to know that the entire collection of Navy Arms prototype guns were chosen to be featured in the front display case at the National Firearms Museum that greets every guest to the Museum. I am grateful for the work he started and honored to continue that legacy.