Brownells is a full-service gun company created by Bob Brownell from Montezuma, Iowa, in 1939. Bob Brownell was a gas station and sandwich shop owner until he realized he had a rare talent for gunsmithing. As he began to get more business fixing and altering friends’ guns, Bob Brownell went from a small-time gas station owner to a full-service gun shop.  As the Brownell family began to establish their business, Bob released the first catalog to market his store as the only gunsmith supply store in the world.

As he began to distribute these catalogs across the country, his business began to pick up significantly. The demand for well-made and proper gunsmithing tools was incredibly high due to the lack of supply across the country.

As Bob expanded his company, he included gun parts, guns, gear, and most importantly, Brownell’s started offering a service called “Gun Guru.” This service is unique to Brownells, and we believe it separates them from their competitors by providing gun services to their customers.

Catalog #1 Cover


Gun Guru

Gun Guru’s at Brownells are the men and women you can call for any questions or concerns about your guns or gear. Think of Gun Guru as a call center for firearms, except this call center is filled with some of the most experienced experts in the gun industry.

This service is available 7 days a week and provides assistance in how to build guns from individual parts, how to decide which gun is best for you, how to fix any problems with your gun or answer any gun-related questions you may have.

As great as a service as this is, it can be confusing to people who don’t know the lingo associated with Brownells and guns, in general.  There are 6 total people who you could talk to if you call into the Gun Guru office, however, 3 are Gun Guru’s, and 3 are Gun Techs.  Cameron is the first Gun Guru, who is a former government employee, specializing in arms repair.

Cameron is an IPSC-3 (International Practical Shooters COnfederation) competitive shooter with a Master-Class ranking. Cameron can answer any questions you have on modern firearms and loading and reloading. Call Camron if you want advice on how to become a better competitive shooter or just to talk guns.

John is the AR-15 platform Guru who will walk you through any AR questions you might have. He knows how to build, configure, and help with minor repairs to your AR-15 model rifle, semi-auto pistols, and vintage WWII guns.

John is the guy to talk to if you have a WWII gun and you are not sure how to repair it or how it works. John is a longtime WWII gun collector who can answer any question you might have on WWII guns and ammo.

Tessa is the 3rd and final Gun Guru that specializes in skeet shooting along with pistol and rifle target shooting on the range. Tessa is from the 2nd Amendment capital of the country (Texas) and enjoys quality time shooting with her family or hunting with her dad.

If you’re interested in Skeet shooting or hunting, talk to Tessa and she’ll get you all the info you need to be better tomorrow than you were today.

Gun Tech

A Gun Tech is someone who has the certification and knowledge to help customers repair, build, and increase the longevity of a firearm. Gun Techs can help you identify problems with a gun and how to troubleshoot it to get it up and running again. Brownells has hundreds of accessories and gun parts to replace any issue that can’t be fixed with simple troubleshooting.

Caleb is the first Gun Tech with almost a decade of gunsmithing experience and specializes in historical and modern military firearms. Caleb was an Army Combat Engineer that served honorably in multiple war zones across the globe. His experience gained in the military fueled his love of historical weapons and led him to join Brownells after he completed his gunsmithing schooling.

Oftentimes, people make mistakes on the type of gear they bring into the field, whether hunting or in war, but Caleb can help guide you toward the right equipment and accessories to use. He is well versed in all tactical gear and will prevent you from making similar mistakes by helping you work through your purpose and comfort with the gun.

Perry is a Gun Tech with invaluable experience as a law enforcement officer and mixed-martial arts instructor. Perry’s law enforcement knowledge gives him a perspective that very few people could have, which helps customers make the best decisions on their firearms possible.

Perry specializes in building and shooting pistol-caliber AR model guns. He also fabricates and has the skill to customize individual firearms to meet the needs of each customer.

Finally, if you are interested in making your gun aesthetically unique, Perry does custom paint jobs on your firearm to gives you that one-of-a-kind gun. Anyone interested in building their own AR model rifle or carbine should contact Perry, and he’ll guide you all the way through the process and make sure you’re doing it safely and legally.

The final Gun Tech is Dean, an 18-year Brownells employee that has all the answers you’d ever need in one location about guns. Dean specializes in a process called “bluing,” which is a chemical process that protects, restores, or decorates metal. All guns go through some sort of Bluing to add color, prevent corrosion, oxidation, and give the gun a significantly longer life span.

Dean also teaches many classes for gunsmithing in the AR-15 model rifles and the different finishes that can be added to the AR to enhance the gun. Dean is an invaluable employee that will gladly teach you the basics of bluing and gunsmithing your own weapons at home.

Gun Bluing

Gun Bluing is a very unique and hard-to-find skill that Brownells will teach you at one of their highly sought-after classes in Iowa. Gun bluing can be done in either a cold-blue or hot-blue method that depends on the type of metal and the purpose of the metal used.

Hot bluing is a 5-step process that is used to clean and remove rust or impurities in the metal to make the desired final product.  The first step in hot bluing is to place the metal in a degreaser to remove the oils from both the outside and inside. The 2nd step is placing the clean metal into a rinsing container to make sure the oil is removed and ready for the 2nd trip to the degreaser.

After the metal is put through the degreaser a second time, it’s rinsed again and finally placed in a bath of molten salts. Since the salt bath is above 290 degrees, it breaks down the metal and makes it very soft and easier to manipulate.

Once the bath is done, the metal is placed in a secure location to rest for 24 hours, then it’s ready to be polished and returned to the owner. Gun Bluing is a great skill to learn if you’re interested in preserving and restoring metal objects to their previous glory.



The International Practical Shooting Confederation is one of the most prestigious shooting competitions in the world.  IPSC is an organization that puts on matches all over the world from Serbia and Russia to Ecuador and Great Britain. This shooting competition focuses on 3 main things, which are speed, power, and accuracy in all of their competitions.

Practical shooting is the focus of these competitions and it’s based around the movement of the shooter and how the shooter interacts with multiple target types. For example, this competition forces shooters to run from spot to spot shooting at moving targets, targets that move when hit, and shooting over/under or around obstacles in your way.

These are all movements and drills that you’d find yourself in during a real-life situation, so the IPSC wants to train and test shooters in their ability to shoot accurately while on the move.

To prepare for this level of competition, we suggest you read up on some drills to do by yourself at the range. One of the most essential skills to get down besides safety is your trigger pull. Trigger pull is incredibly vital for every handgun shooter because your trigger pull can mean hitting your target or pulling your shot.

After you understand how to manipulate your trigger, you need to worry about shot placement. Shot placement drills will help guide you in the right direction with your accuracy, which is the most critical aspect of shooting.

The IPSC is a great way to network and meet like-minded people who want to compete and learn from each other. Once you go to one event, you’ll be hooked on the level of excitement and comradery that is the staple of every competition.



Best Optics for the IPSC

Optics are only used in some of the competitions, but if you go into one of these races, make sure you have the best possible optic you can comfortably afford. We are going to focus on the optics that you can buy directly from Brownells since this article is highlighting their store. However, if you want to know what we think are some other phenomenal optics and scopes, read this article.

Holosun HE508T

The Holosun is a pistol optic designed to give the shooter a big open window to focus on with a high-power red dot sight for quick and easy target identification. The best thing about the Holosun is the Solar Fail-Safe system, which gives a single battery a 10-year life!

The battery is engineered with a technology called “shake-awake,” which turns off your optic if it’s not being used, and all you have to do to turn it back on is to move your gun enough for it to register movement.

Holosun Optic

Trijicon SRO Adjustable Optic

The Trijicon SRO optic is a slide-mounted optic that is specifically designed to give the shooter the most accurate sight picture available. The extremely wide lens makes it incredibly easy to identify your target during your draw and has a very bright and clean red dot.

The battery in the Trijicon is built to last up to 3 years at medium light but can last even longer if you use a lower setting. This optic comes with 8 different settings for your red dot and is capable of night vision in low light environments.Trijicon optic


Guaranteed For Life

Brownells offers an incredible warranty that covers products for a lifetime, and it doesn’t matter what the cause of return is. The only things that have a limited warranty are guns, ammo, liquids, and any other material that has a shelf life. As expensive as the gear and optics are today, this lifetime warranty will help put you at ease that no matter what happens, Brownells has your back.