Corn Guns, Dentures, and Parrots: A Chat with Brownells Tech Team Leader Dave Bennetts

Today’s featured “interesting gun person” is Dave Bennetts, who leads the world-famous Brownells Gun Tech Team. In between helping us regular folks reassemble guns that we’ve, umm, fixed, helping customers find the right accessories and parts, and providing generally helpful advice, they produce an extensive library of videos. No, not that kind! We’re talking about videos that feature new products, demonstrations, and how-to videos for do-it-yourself projects. In between calls, we caught up with Dave to answer a few of our more pressing questions.

My Gun Culture: Tell us about the primary mission of Brownells Gun Tech team. I mean besides the obvious one of being the top-secret Q Branch supporting our special forces community. Ummm, should I not have mentioned that?

Dave: Wow! The primary mission of the Gun Tech Team, good question! Sometimes we’re not to sure what it actually is. On Monday, it’s to keep people from shooting themselves in the foot. They think of ways all weekend to do that! By Wednesday it’s changed to “how do I fit night vision onto my 2 1/2 inch barrel Taurus, without drilling and tapping?” Got to keep it original you know. But by Friday we are in development mode for stuff that your imagination can’t comprehend, so we won’t discuss it.

My Gun Culture: I don’t know Dave, I can comprehend a lot… For instance, and just hypothetically speaking, if I wanted to build a 2,000 foot per second potato gun, would the Brownells Gun Tech team be able to help me? Have you developed any supersonic spud lab data to share with your customers? I always thought that a sturdier vegetable like a radish might do better at super sonic speeds. Thoughts?

Dave: Come on Tom! Spud guns are so “like old”!! As you know, we are an Iowa company, so all of our R&D revolves around corn. We are developing a new cartridge made entirely of corn. Everything! The projectile, the propellant, the primer, and the case. One of the problems we have run into, is finding the proper thickness corn husk required for rolling the case. We always have the reloader in mind, and I’m sure you all remember rolling your own with a corn husk, right?

My Gun Culture: Wow! The ultimate in renewable green ballistics. I see a mini-Green Giant gun on the horizon – maybe 2,500 kernels per minute? I’m guessing the trick is avoiding a creamed-corn result. I bet there are some home gunsmiths out there who might be, let’s just say a little light when it comes to caution and safety. Have you ever heard any explosions on the other end of the phone line?

Dave: No explosions, just toilets flushing, showers running, dogs barking, and this damn parrot that screeched into the phone every 5 seconds. My favorite is the guy who has his wife call, and he’s in the background telling her what to say!

My Gun Culture: Hey I only did that once, and it was because, well, umm, I had laryngitis. Yep, laryngitis. Moving on… I see that Brownells carries some Zombie specific AR rifle custom parts including uppers, receivers, stocks, etc. What if you’re wrong and the world is overrun by some other type of undead – like vampires for instance. Will Brownells still stand behind the effectiveness of these products?

Dave: No guarantees on anything except zombies. We feel that if the customer is worried about vampires, werewolves, or any other un-dead, they better do a Google search, and do their own research. We can’t do everything.

My Gun Culture: Tell us more about the basic training program for prospective Brownells Gun Tech team members. After they complete the rigorous warehouse obstacle course, 200 hours of ‘Gears of War’ simulation, and blindfolded M249 SAW assembly and disassembly, what else must they do to become certified and join Brownells Team Six?

Dave: This is a pretty simple answer actually. If you don’t know everything, about everything. you just won’t cut it.

My Gun Culture: Recently we had an editorial examining whether the MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher was appropriate for home defense. Would the experts of the Brownells Gun Tech team like to weigh in on this?

Dave: I don’t know about you, Tom, but my home is my castle. If all I had was a MK 19 Automatic Grenade Launcher, sitting in the corner, to defend myself with? You bet! Look out, it’s coming at ya! Kinda feel sorry for the neighbors, though.

My Gun Culture: Can you tell us about a couple of your more ‘interesting’ tech support calls? I can’t even begin to imagine some of the questions you get…

Dave: There was one phone call in mind, that really stands out. I was pretty new at Brownells, and took a call from a gentleman somewhere in the southern US, who proceeded to explain to me, that he had attempted to re-line his dentures with one of our premier rifle bedding products. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, as I think the pictures are starting to form in your head!

We would like to thank Dave and the great team over at Brownells for humoring us and telling us a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes. If you haven’t worked with Brownells before, check them out. When it comes to accessories, parts, gunsmithing supplies, and ammunition, if they don’t have it you probably don’t need it!

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  1. [...] 10/22 Carbine in the process. And all for a great cause.At SHOT Show 2012, we got to talking to GunTech Team Leader Dave Bennetts. That alone can be a dangerous thing to do, but we persevered. Somehow we got on the topic of the [...]

  2. [...] do mean putzing, is the variety of interesting people I get to meet. One of … [Read More...] Corn Guns, Dentures, and Parrots: A Chat with Brownells Tech Team Leader Dave BennettsToday’s featured “interesting gun person” is Dave Bennetts, who leads the world-famous [...]

  3. [...] at the 2012 SHOT Show, we got to talking about all the things one could do with a Ruger 10/22. Dave Bennetts, GunTech Team leader at Brownells even bragged that eventually you could replace every single part on a Ruger 10/22. So we took him [...]

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