Last week I spoke about my trip a few years back to Knights Armament and the secret squirrel guns they were building for the GWOT. But by far the highlight of the tour was a first-hand look Reed Knight's personal gun museum.
Our guide punched in a pin number into a keypad on the wall and a heavy retractable door began to wind up into the ceiling like something out of Dr. Evil's lair. Inside was a single large room that was literally wall to wall guns. Small islands on the floor displayed various light and heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft guns as well. I was amazed as I scanned over the various weapons on display. Not only does Reed Knight seem to have an example of nearly every gun you care to name, but also every variant you can possibly think of, in many cases this includes prototypes of the gun in question.
G3's, FN-FAL's, AK's, Tavor's, grease guns, Uzis, MG-33's, the Beretta 93-R, it's all there. The far wall of the museum was completely covered with M16 rifles of every and any kind. Included was a M16 with under barrel RPG launcher...yeah, figure that one out. My favorite was a CAR-15 with a NVA bullet still lodged in it that a SOG operator had carried in Vietnam.
As our tour guide explained, there was some interesting back story to how Reed Knight acquired all of these rifles from Colt. As he told it, decades ago Colt was fixing to go into bankruptcy. Reed Knight offered Colt bail out money but wanted collateral in exchange. At that point he had Colt open their vaults and started pulling out M16's he liked until there was a value equal to the amount of money Colt needed to get out of their jam.
I was still walking around slack jawed at much of what I heard and saw that day when we were ushered out the door. While I'm not a fan of the M110 (more on that later), I have to say that the company certainly made an impression on me that day and I felt lucky to be able to tag along on the tour.