Imagine a young lad of 12 apprenticed to renowned riflesmith P.O. Ackley for a number of years, learning the tricks of his trade. Would it be any surprise for you that he would eventually also become a riflesmith of some repute? That is the story of how Kerry O’Day began his life in firearms. Toss in an understandable love of things that go bang, an equally understandable addiction to competition after college (with a degree in mechanical engineering) and, ultimately, a need to support that habit by doing part-time gunsmithing. Eventually, Kerry worked with another talented gunsmith, Ron Freshour, to hone his skills even further. When his tenure with Freshour ended, Kerry took the opportunity to strike out on his own. This blossomed into MG Arms of Spring, Texas, builders of some of the finest light rifles you’ll ever lay your hands on. Fortuitously, Kerry’s wife, Carol, was fully supportive of their new company. Of course, that would be expected for a woman whose talents in stock work run from checkering to finishing and custom camouflage patterns and is as enthusiastic about hunting as her husband. Their two children are hunters, too.
The couple proved a successful business combination, things clicked, and MG Arms prospered. Today, MG Arms employs seven gunsmiths in a 4,000-square-foot shop to produce their products and customize customers’ firearms.
I asked Kerry O’Day what led him to focus on building rifles that weighed as little as possible while delivering as much accuracy and quality as possible. He explained that when you climb to the top of a mountain in Wyoming or Alaska lugging a rifle weighing in excess of 10 pounds, it quickly becomes obvious that less weight would be better.