Preview – Mega Arms
Photography by Stickman
Illustration by Ced Nocon
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Company’s Facility and its New ARs
It was a no-brainer. Like getting free tickets to Disneyland or a VIP keycard to NASA headquarters. Stickman and I were recently invited to not only get hands-on with Mega Arms’ new AR-15 MKM, but also see the factory where it’s crafted. They didn’t have to ask us twice. We jumped at the chance to see up close and personal how one of the best AR-15 manufacturers in the business operates.
Mega Arms is located in Tumwater, Washington, a small community of about 17,000 residents. The town was founded next to the falls of the Deschutes River. When pulling into Mega Arms, you wouldn’t know what was going on inside by the low-key appearance of the building. A small sign let me know I was at the right place.
Once inside, we got the full factory tour and history of Mega Arms from firearms manager Jason Curns. For those who remember, up until three years ago Mega Arms still had “Mega Machine Shop” stamped onto its receivers. Mega Machine Shop was purchased in 1984 from the previous owners. Prior to that, the factory was known as Parrot Machine Shop, which was founded before the turn of the 20th century and made its name fabricating high-quality tropical birds for the burgeoning West Coast market. OK, I lied about that last part. The Mega Machine Shop portion still exists as a full-service machining and fabrication facility, serving the aerospace, heavy equipment, and firearm industries. The shop features three-, four-, and five-axis milling machines, as well as a five-axis CMM inspector and a 200-watt CNC laser cutter.
Mega first made firearms parts in the early ’90s. It produced OEM A2 front sights, flash hiders, barrel extensions, and other small parts. Starting in 2002, uppers and lowers were produced under the Mega Machine Shop name. Once Mega started producing uppers and lowers on a consistent, fulltime basis, a decision was made to spin off into another entity due to legal and liability reasons, and a standalone company was formed in 2010. Thus, Mega Arms was born.
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