For my field study I chose Mesa Kinetic Research LLC. My decision was based on several reasons; first Vince Buckles has an outstanding reputation and the firearms industry. The next reason they work on a little bit of everything with a main focus on AK’s and precision bolt action rifle. And the final reason is the convenience of the shop being two hours from where I live.
The application process was smooth and easy. Once I decided on a company and submitted all the required paperwork I had a reply within two days. Anna Moody (SDI) notified me that do to my location Mesa Kinetic requested a face to face interview; we set up the date and time. I arrived at Mesa Kinetic and met Vince, Mark, and Will and immediately could tell my personality fit in with the shop. Vince explained to me everything the shop does and his plan for the three weeks I would be there and we decided that I would start my field study on the following Monday.
My first few days were working the front of the shop learning the retail side of the business. We went over filling out the 4473’s, calling in background checks to the ATF and proper record keeping for firearm sales and gunsmithing. They also taught me the proper paperwork that is required when dealing with NFA (National Firearms Act) weapons. We discussed straw purchases and they set up some scenarios for me. My next two weeks were spent learning and assisting on several different projects, from building AK’s, blue printing Remington 700’s, repairing and polishing a 1911, and barrel and trigger replacements on AR’s and bolt action rifles. I got the opportunity to help fix a couple pump action shotguns and a Winchester 30/30. I learned how to properly strip and degrease a firearm in preparation for cerakote. My final day was spent building an AK74 and conducting a photo shoot for SDI.
I would recommend every student eligible for the field study program to take full advantage of it. Going to school and reading books will never replace physically working in the environment. I am very glad I decided to participate in the field study and wouldn’t change any part of it. The guys of Mesa Kinetic Research LLC are true professionals.
By Buddy Lerch