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March 12, 2008

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Interested in Gunsmithing? Brownells Can Help

When I was a kid, the most eagerly awaited catalog in my house was the Sears Christmas toy catalog. I would drool over the toy soldier and train sets…as well as The Great Garloo. These days, the drooling begins with the arrival of the Brownell’s catalog. The one on my desk right now weighs in at 500 pages, and it’s chock full tools, accessories and “must-have” doo-dads for die-hard shooters.

Over the years, I’ve gotten to know the Brownell family. Like so many other folks in the shooting sports industry, they constantly look for a ways to give back to the industry and their community. 

Given that so much of the catalog space is devoted to gunsmithing tools and accessories, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Brownells wonder where the next generation of gunsmiths will come from. We know this: they won’t just materialize out of thin air, and most public schools don’t exactly encourage this line of work.

That’s why Brownells is, for the second straight year, holding its Gunsmithing Job Fair on April 11–12, 2008. To accommodate a significant increase in participation, the 2008 job fair will be held at the Iowa Speedway in Newton. Schools attending the job fair include Montgomery Community College, Troy, North Carolina; Murray State College, Tishomingo, Oklahoma; Trinidad State Junior College, Trinidad, Colorado; and Yavapai College, Prescott, Arizona. The event also will be open to the general gunsmithing community.

“The feedback we received following the first Gunsmithing Job Fair was just tremendous,” says company chairman and CEO Frank Brownell. “Many young gunsmiths have only experienced the industry through the classroom and their instructors. The job fair provides them with an opportunity to learn from an array of gunsmiths with centuries of total experiences and interact with their peers.”

Attendees will be able to meet and interview with numerous employers and vendors on-site the first day of the event. Employers scheduled to attend include Ahlman’s, Les Baer Custom, Nowlin Manufacturing, Turnbull Restoration, Volquart-sen Custom, STI International, Army Marksmanship Unit, Caspian Arms, Gander Mountain, Cylinder and Slide Shop, Ed Brown Products, Power Custom, Springfield Armory Custom Shop, Taurus, Brownells, Sinclair, Wichita Arms, Wilson Combat, Forster Products, DPMS and Carlson’s.

Representatives of the NRA and the ATF also are scheduled to speak to students and gunsmiths.
More information on the job fair can be found at gunsmithjobfair.com. Interested parties may
also contact Marcia Brown. (641-623-5401;[email protected])

—Slaton White


Rush m. Jones

nice catalog but it is stupid that you have to pay $5 per catalog, and they have four.


It's a phenominal catalog, and I was even able to fix many things with this catalog, and the people on the other end of the phone were extremely helpful and accommodating. I feel the $5 was some of the best money ever spent.

As for the gunsmithing 'career', I just wish I had that opportunity about 20 years ago, but at 59 I'm just a bit old to start another career - but damn I'd like to!

Maybe this job fair could happen more than just once a year - and maybe some of the companies involved and the NRA and GOA and others could offer some scholarships to get more young people started on this career.