McCann’s Gun Shop opened in 1962 under the ownership of Joseph McCann; an avid shooter, outdoor sportsman, and skilled gunsmith. The shop was located at the current location of McCann Industries, in Spanaway, Washington. At that time Spanaway was a rural area south of the city of Tacoma.
The small town bordered on McChord Air Force Base and Fort Lewis. The base is now the Joint Base Lewis McChord and the home of I Corp, the 1st Special Forces Group, Rangers, and a full complement of support units of every type. Spanaway is now a major commercial district.
Joseph’s son, Richard, officially joined the firm in 1980 after receiving his education as a machinist and gunsmith. Rich had grown up in the shop, learning gunsmithing skills from his Dad, and talking guns and hunting with the regular customers.
As time went by Joseph gave up management of the company to Richard. Before he passed on in 1999, Joseph saw the company change from being a retail gun shop to being a light manufacturing firm with the installation of computer controlled machines (CNC) in 1996 and 1997. These bolstered a growing capability of the company to produce very high tolerance work for the military. A close association grew between the company and personnel at Fort Lewis who came to depend on McCann’s for custom repair and fabrication work.
During the nineties, the small firm gained a reputation for their knowledge of and their work in building precision long-range rifles for competitive shooting and for hunting. Their Garand conversions in .458 WinMag became collector’s items, and in skilled hands some of their competition rifles took national championships.
In building precision rifles, the crew at McCann’s became acutely aware of the disparity in quality regarding a key ingredient in the precision shooting mix…the mounts that hold the scope to the rifle. During this time, there was also a growing interest in night vision and thermal imaging devices for tactical rifles for the military and for police SWAT teams.
Bridging this quality gap, being a literal gap between a high quality rifle and a high quality optic, became the passion that drove the invention of a number of new mounts. These have evolved into the current line of MIRS, SIRS, MOMS, and other McCann mounts that are now world-renowned for quality and durability. The firm no longer makes rifles…but dedicates itself to making the highest quality rifle and weapons mounts in the world.
Unlike other manufacturers in the business, Richard held to the belief that every product built by the company would contain only 100% American made parts and American made materials. This was more than a political statement; Rich was driven by the need for perfection, and only through hands-on control and the ability to verify every material could he rest assured that his standards be met.
Rich often lamented how industry and consumers had abandoned their loyalty to “Made in America” and often sacrificed quality for savings. Rich was stubborn in his firm belief that there could be, and would be, absolutely no compromises made for the sake of cost savings when it came to his products. He did not intend to make products to serve the “economy class” buyer…his products were produced for serious shooters and professionals who demand only the finest.
Richard passed away unexpectedly on Friday the 13th, August of 2010 at the age of 52. He had dedicated his life to the shooting sports virtually from the time he was born. If you ever had the opportunity to talk shop with Rich, you know there wasn’t much room for BS in his presence. It served one well to be accurate and make a point without beating around the bush. This was the one means of communication Rich respected.
Rich was devoted to his family and friends, and would drop everything to help out with a problem. His loyalty and generosity to his friends was one of his most marked traits.
We know that Rich is probably even now arguing some fine point of firearms manufacturing with the likes of Samuel Colt and John Browning, or bragging to Jim Bowie about the Puffin Wave. He should fit right in around their campfire.