Bob Brownell’s first catalog, called "The Gunsmith’s Mart," came out in 1947 – only eight years after he had started his fledgling mail order firm. Since then our annual Master Catalog has grown to be universally known to gunsmiths and shooters simply as "The Big Book" of gunsmithing supplies, gun parts, firearm accessories, and more recently, ammunition. Walk into any gunsmithing shop anywhere in the country, and you’ll most likely see a well-thumbed copy of our Big Book right next to the bench.
For many years, the Big Book was our only catalog. Then, the rapidly growing interest in the AR-15 rifle and the 1911 pistol in the 1990s and early 2000s led us to launch two specialty catalogs specifically devoted to those two firearms. These books now come out annually and are devoted to "all things" AR-15 and 1911. If it replaces a factory part, accessorizes, helps you install or adjust a component on the gun or helps you shoot your AR or "Forty Five" better, it’s in those books. We also introduced our Dream Guns™ with these books, an increasingly popular feature of our catalogs and, now, our booth at trade shows and conventions.
When Brownells acquired Sinclair International in 2007, Sinclair’s big, glossy catalog of high-quality reloading supplies and gear for precision target shooters joined the fold. This book has everything the long-range rifleman needs to make those groups tighter and improve scores. It comes out twice a year – Spring and Fall – along with two smaller "sales and specials" books in Mid-Summer and one in time for Christmas.
In addition to traditional print format – who doesn’t like finding a crisp, new, full-color catalog in the mail box? – the Big Book, Sinclair catalog, Optics Mini-Catalog and Gunsmithing Mini-Catalog is also available as virtual "e-catalogs" on our website. They let you combine the convenience, ease and universal, anywhere/anytime access of shopping on line with the look and feel of flipping the pages of a real book. Best of both worlds!
The future promises to bring more specialty catalogs. The first Brownells Christmas Catalog debuted in 2012 (at least the first one in many years!). Our first Personal Protection catalog, devoted to products specifically selected for self-defense and personal safety, will debut in April. In addition, the first of our new monthly Mini Catalogs will debut this Spring. These handy tabloids will offer a "best of" selection of popular old favorites and new products. In addition, they will be "themed," with each issue focusing on a particular type of gun or shooting activity. The first will be devoted to products for handguns.