Mag-Na-Port Montage


Larry Kelly built Mag-Na-Port International brick by brick into a successful family business.

Just as the budding of new growth strikes a boy’s fancy to the opposite sex every spring, the brilliant colors of fall gnaw at the primal urge in outdoorsman to hunt. For me, hunting and Mag-Na-Port go hand in hand, as company founder Larry Kelly was one of the greatest handgun hunters of all time.

I never met Larry Kelly, but I’ve done the next best thing by meeting his son, Ken, and two of his daughters, Donna and Doreen, on several visits over the years. Together, they keep Mag-Na-Port running as a warm, successful family business — one that Larry would be proud of today.

Larry Kelly on one of his last big hunts in Alaska for Dall sheep.


Mag-Na-Port International was built from the ground-up by the most unlikely of businessmen. Obsessed with guns, hunting and trapping in his home state of Michigan, Larry Kelly dropped out of school after the 8th grade to pursue his passion. A few years later, a recently transferred businessman was looking for a local hunting guide and referred to Larry. Living in a cinderblock A-frame garage built by himself, Larry impressed the businessman with his work ethic and skill so much, the man offered Larry a job.

Trained as a machinist and in Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM), Larry later works on rocket-fuel control-valve technology for the Redstone missile and Apollo space program projects. Having never let go of his passion for the outdoors, Larry realized the same technology might work for reducing recoil and muzzle flip on gun barrels and started experimenting.

Space-Age Technology

You can’t say Mag-Na-Port isn’t rocket science — because it is. EDM is defined as electrical spark erosion. Interrupted super-charged electrical pulses directed from a piece of carbon graphite, which has been machined to the desired shape, makes a hole or indentation through basic machining skills. The process does not disturb the finish, nor leave burrs. It’s a slick process that is more precise than regular machining.

Larry went full-time porting barrels in 1971, launching Mag-Na-Port International, which quickly became known as an innovator in recoil reduction and very successful in the process.

A smart businessman, Larry advertised his company by hunting worldwide, taking big game animals with his custom Mag-Na-Ported handguns. Everyone wanted to be like Larry Kelly!

Tank’s “Larry Kelly” tribute gun made from a .45 Colt Ruger Hunter, by son Ken.

This Combat Mini from a Smith & Wesson Model 29-2 makes a beautiful concealed carry piece.

It Simply Works

Mag-Na-port has been tested many times since its inception. H.P. White laboratories findings confirmed a reduction of 20.8% in measured free recoil. Shooters say it feels more like 40%. Basically, the more gases there are to vent-out, the more those same gases work with the ports to reduce recoil and muzzle flip.

All this with a +/- 0.5% in velocity, less recoil and muzzle blast. Ken Kelly states “Mag-Na-Porting” a gun does not affect accuracy, noise level or velocity. These are myths spouted by people who never shot a Mag-Na-Ported gun and other “armchair experts” who do their testing from the living room.

I have several Mag-Na-Ported guns and all I can say is — it works. I don’t notice any increase in noise level and appreciate the reduction in recoil and muzzle-flip.

Ken Kelly sitting behind Larry’s desk in his office/personal trophy room.

The “Shop”

Awarded Pistolsmith of the Year by the Guild in 2007, Ken Kelly has gifted, talented hands and works with the finesse of a true professional. Ken has worked his magic on several custom guns for me know, and they are some of my favorite works of functional art!

Mag-Na-Port also houses the Handgunner Hall of Fame and Larry Kelly’s world-class trophy room. It’s one of those things you have to believe For Pistoleros, it’s downright mesmerizing, as you absorbe all the history and accomplishments of our pistol packing heroes from years past. It’s well worth the price of admission, which is free!

Mag-Na-Port offers same-day porting by appointment only, so give them a call and while waiting, browse around the trophy room, watch hunting videos of Larry and enjoy The Handgunner’s Hall of Fame. It’s well worth the visit!

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