Crosstac and The Rifle Specialist
February 16, 2018
Hosted by Kelly McMillan
Our first guest, Bret Heidkamp, started shooting .22 rifles at 5. He then put on long range rifle matches in the great state of Montana which he called home for over 20 years. He started Crosstac in 2007 and now has factories in Colorado and Florida producing a full line of shooting accessories both sewn, and CNC machined, while remaining a small company true to its design roots.
Our next guest, Steve Schwartz, started The Rifle Specialist in East Tennessee. Unlike many of the "black rifle" companies out there, The Rifle Specialist sets itself apart by the hand-fitting process and extreme attention to detail, resulting in a more accurate and reliable weapon. Steve has recently pushed further into the commercial market by offering purpose-built rifles for hunting, target and 3-gun competitions.
Taking Stock with Kelly McMillan
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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.