Who would have thought that a business started by a guy working on gun parts from his bed, while suffering from Meniere’s Disease back in 1939, would have grown into one of the country’s largest retailers of gun parts, accessories, ammunition, and just about everything else related to shooting?
Yet that’s exactly what happened. Back in 1939, when times were tough, Bob Brownell got resourceful and figured out a way to solve a market need that would support his family. Over the years, Brownells has grown under the leadership of Bob’s son Frank, and Frank’s son Pete. Nowadays, Frank tends to strategic industry relationships while Pete guides the day-to-day business of the company.
How large have they gotten? How about somewhere north of 84,000 unique shooting and accessory products? If you put one product in each chair of Madison Square Garden, you’d fill it up – over 4 and a half times. The day we toured the warehouse, we walked by three large rolls of aluminum sheeting. Brownell’s uses those to make their own AR-15 magazines. Each of those three rolls turns into 20,000 magazines, so the three together would make enough magazines to line up seven miles. Or, if you stacked all those mags on their sides, it would make a pile taller than the Empire State Building. Three and a half times taller, actually. You get the idea—Brownells handles massive volumes of shooting gear.