American Rifleman - September 2017 - 67

Grow the Base

Such a recitation is good fodder for
any business school. But the success of
Brownells lies not only in the business
acumen of the men who have led it but
in their recognition of a need to "return
the favor" to the community that has
shepherded the rise of their company.
In 2005, as part of Brownells' longstanding commitment to the shooting
sports it opened Big Springs Range,
with shotgun, rifle and pistol ranges
a few miles west of Montezuma. The
facility hosts scholastic, recreational and
law enforcement shoots. It also features
700-plus acres of upland habitat available for guided hunts.
The Frank Brownell Museum of
the Southwest, located at the NRA
Whittington Center, is the largest firearm museum in the region, with more
than 200 firearms exhibited in a spectacular 2,750-square-foot facility. Frank
funded the building, sits on the board
of the Whittington Center and provides
additional museum funding as needed.
Brownells was a founding sponsor
of NRA Life of Duty, a program that
offered exclusive membership to and
benefited men and women in uniform-the first responders and military

members who protect our country and
our Second Amendment every day.
Perhaps foremost, Pete has served
for 11 years on key NRA committees associated with membership and
finance; he was elected to the NRA
Board in 2010; to 2nd Vice President in
2013, 1st Vice President in 2015; and he
was elected NRA President at the 146th
NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits.
His plans include focusing on training and, particularly, education. "It's all
about growing the base," he says. "We
need to broaden our wings and make
the NRA appealing for everyone who
is a staunch supporter of the Second
Amendment. We spent the last decade
defending the Second Amendment,
now it is time to start living the 2A
lifestyle. The NRA is a freedom brand,
an adventure brand, a brand of selfreliance, responsibility. I've been doing
that since I was a kid-hunting, fishing,
climbing, traveling, exploring ... "
Then, in a moment of reflection, his
already deep voice drops an octave,
and his eyes flash with earnestness and
wisdom: "I want everybody to have
these options, to explore the world,
to be able to defend themselves and
their families, and to feel comfortable
wherever they go.
"That's why when we talk about the
NRA and its defense of civil liberties we
must reach out to our natural allies-
anyone who appreciates the sense of
adventure, anyone who enjoys our great
outdoors, anyone who wants to keep
themselves and their families safe. We

must engage them with a new message
delivered through new channels to help
them understand who we are and what
we're all about. Our legislative efforts
will never waver from protecting our
precious Second Amendment. However,
our many great programs must serve
as the voice for safe and responsible
firearm ownership in America.
"The long-term success of this
146-year-old organization depends on
what we do today. For the NRA to be
viable and healthy 30 years from now,
we must embrace diversity. Now, more
than ever, it's critical to get our youth
out hunting, shooting, fishing and just
enjoying the outdoors. It's equally critical to attract minorities, women, and
farm-to-table advocates who represent
the next generation of outdoorsmen
and outdoorswomen."
An NRA Life member since birth,
Pete's passion for the NRA is palpable.
In his characteristically humble and
insightful manner, he discusses his commitment to growing NRA's membership
using some of the lessons he's learned
running his 78-year-old family company.
He describes Brownells not just as a
place that sells guns and gun parts,
but as a place where his employees are
placed in positions to reach their fullest
potential and everyone has a say.
He wants the same for current and
future NRA members-the millions of
Americans who identify with our mission and message-when he reiterates
the theme of his presidency: "Everyone
has a voice in freedom."
Photo by Tony Bynum

magazines. They are noted for durability and reliability-two government
contracts confirm it, and millions have
been sold to the U.S. military alongside the hundreds of thousands sold
to civilians. In 2012 it launched more
than 1,000 products in the survival
gear market (Brownells ESG). In 2007
it purchased Sinclair International, a
reloading, precision-rifle brand aimed
at high-power shooters; in 2011 it
purchased Crow Shooting Supply,
North America's largest shotgun-shell
wholesaler; and in 2015 it purchased
Gamaliel Shooting Supply, a premier
shotgun sports company. Advice continues to flow, too: Brownells' YouTube
channel ably carries the mantle of "The
Dope Sheet."
To house all this, Brownells opened
in 2014 a new facility in Grinnell, Iowa.
The 245,000-square-foot plant doubled
warehousing capacity and features a
first: a 7,000-square-foot retail showroom. Today, Brownells is a full-fledged
direct-marketing company that supplies
more than 100,000 firearms, optics,
firearm parts, accessories, gunsmithing
tools and ammo to gun owners and
gunsmiths worldwide.
"In 1996 when I returned to work at
Brownells," says Pete, "the company
had 17,000 products listed; today it's
110,000 sellable SKUs."

A hunt for a Dall ram to replace the Brownells logo in 2012 spawned Pete Brownell's quest
for a sheep grand slam, including an Alberta stone sheep taken in 2013, above. "I love any
multi-day hunt," he says, "anything that involves tracking, spotting-and-stalking. You test
yourself, and your gear, your campmates."
americanrifleman.org

September 2017

67


http://www.americanrifleman.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - September 2017

Contents
American Rifleman - September 2017 - CW1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - CW2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Contents
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 3
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 4
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 5
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 6
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 7
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 8
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 9
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 10
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 11
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 12
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 13
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 14
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 15
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 16
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 17
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 18
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 19
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 20
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 21
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 22
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 23
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 24
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 25
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 26
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 27
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 28
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 29
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 30
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 31
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - 33
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 34
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 35
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 36
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 37
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 38
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 39
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 40
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 41
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 42
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 43
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 44
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 45
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 46
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 47
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 48
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 49
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 50
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 51
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - 53
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 54
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 55
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 56
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 57
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 58
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 59
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 60
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 61
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 62
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 63
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 64
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 65
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 66
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 67
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 68
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 69
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 70
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 71
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 72
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 73
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - C1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - C2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - E1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - E2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - MW1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - MW2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - S1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - S2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - SW1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - SW2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - W1
American Rifleman - September 2017 - W2
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 100
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 101
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 102
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 103
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American Rifleman - September 2017 - 110
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 111
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 112
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 113
American Rifleman - September 2017 - 114
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover3
American Rifleman - September 2017 - Cover4
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