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Could someone give me the chronological order of the companies that Ron Yates was associated with? Then maybe I can date my AK

not any particular order

1. Arsenal USA Houston, Texas
2. Elk River Tool and Die
3. Global Trades/ Armory USA
4. RPG Arms

Thanks
 

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This is the way I remember it.

1. Global Trades/ Armory USA
2. Arsenal USA Houston, Texas
3. Elk River Tool and Die
4. RPG Arms
 
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Pretty sure Ron told me Arsenal USA was the original name, then they later changed to Armory USA because of some trademark issues.
I was told it was changed because people were confusing it with Arsenal Inc, even though Arsenal USA was in business first. I have a gun they built using a real FEG hi cap receiver, & a mint Polish milled #'s matching kit. Excellent gun! GARY
 

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Here is my list as I recall in chronological order.

1. Global Trades: This was the parts house and import side of every thing else Ron started and ran.

2. Arsenal USA: Was the first iteration of their manufacturing business. Was a separate business on paper but shared the same industrial warehouse building as Global Trades main office.

3. Armory USA: Changed from Arsenal USA because K-VAR backed door-ed Ron in squeezing him out of parts from Arsenal of Bulgaria with an exclusivity agreement.

4. I.S.D of Bulgaria: Towards the end, Ron was a 1/3'rd partner in setting up I.S.D of Bulgaria to import the SSR-85C series of rifle. I.S.D of Bulgaria was staffed by former Arsenal of Bulgaria employees and build rifles using surplus Bulgy milled kits on Global Trades's 1.6mm receivers made in Bulgaria. Ron told me personally that he had three sets of dies for the 1.6mm receivers, two kept in Houston and one set sent to I.S.D of Bulgaria.

5. RPG of Pasadena Texas: This was the last gasp of rifle building by Ron and basically used the floor sweepings and a few receivers he had left.

I leave out "Elk River Tool and Die" because my understanding was that Ron basically sold the remaining parts of Global Trades and the assets of Armory USA to a gentlemen named "Hector" out of Idaho. A few years earlier, Ron had sold Hector a complete professional AK building setup for Hector to run out of his shop in Idaho and Global/Armory USA would channel their customer kit building orders to him and just concentrate on production rifle builds only. When Ron hit the ropes, he made a sweat heart deal with Hector who came down and basically setup Elk River Tool and Die in the shadows of Global Trades and Armory USA. Ron to my understanding was at best, just a cursory consultant for Hector and did not run Elk River tool and die.

6. Texas AK Triggers, Pasadena Texas: Welcome to Texas AK Triggers This is the last and only current company I know of that Ron Yates has his hand in. He basically runs this out of his house and is a very low volume business. These triggers are a leftover from when Global Trades marketed them. Just as in the Global Trades days, these are contracted parts made for Ron by another company in the Houston area and marketed by him. Ron has to be pushing into his 70's by now and I think this company just is to keep him occupied with something to do.
 

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I'm very late with this news - today I was informed that Ron Yates has passed away.

Apparently he passed sometime in 2015.

I've been out of the gunshow circuit in my area for a while. I went to Pasadena, TX show today to visit old friends. Learned my friend Benny at Military Gun Supply retired last June - so no more Military Gun Supply display in Houston area shows. I had some really good times working their table when they needed the help.

Then I was informed about Ron Yates. I was told Ron actually had a heart attack or similar in the parking lot of a Pasadena, TX gun show. They were able to revive him but he passed a few days later.
 

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That is sad to hear. Ron was never the picture of health in the 10+ years I knew him. The guy was a legend in the heyday of late 1990''s early 2000 AK scene. Wealth of knowledge of the AK import and manufacture business has been lost.
 

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Dug around trying to find Ron;s obit and found this nugget on the files :

Just found out.... [Archive] - The AK Files Forums

In addition to confirming Ron Yates passing, it also mentions Andre Varrin's passing. That is a double wammy in the AK world. Andre was Ron's right hand man and Bulgarian connection back in the day to Arsenal of Bulgaria before the K-VAR goons got Ron shut out of the Arsenal Bulgaria parts.

I can say with pride I have a Bulgy AK-74 kit built by Andre that runs like a raped ape.
 

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I can't believe Ron Yates is gone. I learned a lot from him at the shows. He was a class act. I had one of his RPG side folders. The AK scene has changed a lot since his early days.
 

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Dug around trying to find Ron;s obit and found this nugget on the files :

Just found out.... [Archive] - The AK Files Forums

In addition to confirming Ron Yates passing, it also mentions Andre Varrin's passing. That is a double wammy in the AK world. Andre was Ron's right hand man and Bulgarian connection back in the day to Arsenal of Bulgaria before the K-VAR goons got Ron shut out of the Arsenal Bulgaria parts.

I can say with pride I have a Bulgy AK-74 kit built by Andre that runs like a raped ape.
I didn't realize Andre passed as well. He was at the first build party I went to in 2007. I'd see him at the local shows on occassion.
 
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