Owens Armory and Kelbly's
August 11, 2017
Hosted by Kelly McMillan
Nick Owens, or ‘Beard’ as he’s known, was 5 years old when his Dad gave him an AR15 to shoot, and put a band aid on one eye to keep it shut. Once he started building rifles, word of mouth led to Owens Armory being established, which brought his buddy Tomas Meraz to AZ, to help get the business off the ground.
Ian Kelbly knew he’d end up in the firearms industry when he was 7 years old and wanted to be like his Grandfather, who started Kelbly’s in 1981 in North Lawrence, OH. With over 50 world records on their products in the last ten years, Kelbly’s is one of the most well-known rifle builders in the world.
Taking Stock with Kelly McMillan
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Sports Channel
McMillan Fiberglass Stocks (MFS) began on the dining room table of Gale and Gloria McMillan in 1973. Making benchrest stocks for competitors soon forced the business into what started out as a carport and storage shed but was soon turn into a garage shop. By 1975 MFS was ready to hire its first employee, Kelly McMillan. From day one, every time Gale showed Kelly how to do something, it became his job, with the intent of freeing up Gale to build rifles.
By 1979 Kelly was made a partner, and by 1984 Kelly was in charge of running the stock shop. Since that time MFS has continued to grow with innovation and design. Today McMillan Fiberglass Stocks has a 15,000 sq. ft. facility and 65 employees. Over half of the employees have worked for MFS for over 15 years while a dozen have reached or are near 30 years with the company. MFS manufactures around 12,000 stocks per year, most of which are individual customers ordering one custom built stock at a time.
Kelly McMillan started working for his father Gale McMillan shortly after the company began in 1975. He immediately started learning all aspects of manufacturing fiberglass stock from design to marketing as well as personnel management. Under his guidance, the company has grown continuously setting new company records for sales and number of stocks produced nearly every year. In 2016 MFS surpassed the 12,000 stock total for the year and set a new annual sales record.
In his spare time, Kelly is an avid saltwater fisherman having fished the waters off Baja, Panama and Nicaragua. In addition, he has hunted all over North America as well as South Africa and Mozambique. He is a lifetime member of the NRA, Wild Sheep Foundation, Arizona Bighorn Sheep Society, Dallas Safari Club, Safari Club International, National Sporting Clays Association and the National Predator Hunters Association. He routinely sponsors shooting competitions as well as Shooters in many different disciplines.
He has competed in Sporting Clays at the National as well as Sportsman Team Challenge where he and his team won the B Class National Championship. Today he enjoys hunting with his children and his grandchildren.