We’re excited to kick off our first-ever gunsmith feature with someone who truly lives and breathes firearms. This month, we sat down with Wyatt Mahan of Kilo Guns, LLC to learn about his business, passion for gunsmithing, and some of his current projects.
Wyatt is a former machine gunner with Kilo Company 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines. He was with Kilo Company from 2001-2005, deployed to Iraq in 2003, and again in 2004. In addition to his military past, Wyatt has a CAD/Drafting degree from Anthem College and a Gunsmith degree from Yavapai College in Arizona. Kilo Guns (his company’s callsign in the Marines) was started out of Wyatt’s garage in 2011 and offers traditional gunsmithing (repairs/refinishing), custom military-type rifle builds, and Cerakote refinishing.
Want to learn more about this veteran-owned and operated gunsmithing business? Keep reading for our Q&A with Wyatt.
What inspired you to become a gunsmith? How long have you been working as a gunsmith?
I’ve always been interested in mechanics — since a young age I can remember taking apart my toys to see how they worked. My fascination grew with time as I joined the Marine Corps Infantry. Deployments to Iraq introduced me to new designs and guns, which I still benefit from. Being proficient in the use of firearms helps me diagnose a specific issue or user error, while my machinist and welding skills help in the repair and fabrication of parts.
What is the firearm project you are most proud of?
My skills have helped Kilo Guns build the industry’s very first 9mm AK. — a post sample machine gun. It took quite a bit of work and we had many kinks associated with the weapons system. But by the end, we had created the Vityaz 9mm AK.
Currently, we’re working on various AK and MP5 builds, along with a Semi Auto M2 .50 build.
What is the most challenging part of being a gunsmith?
Working on unusual or rare firearms - but that's also the most fun. Even with eight years of experience, I still come across unusual firearms.
I want to see Kilo Guns grow in the future and offer additional custom guns and Cerakote patterns.
Want to see more? Follow Kilo on Instagram and be sure to keep an eye out for our next gunsmith feature.