Brownells 75th Anniversary - A Shooting Heritage

American Custom Gunmakers Guild Honors Longtime Member

The American Custom Gunmakers Guild (ACGG) has extended its highest honor to longtime gunsmith John Westrom and inducted three new Regular members, each of whom received a plaque and gift certificate from Brownells in recognition of their accomplishment.

Westrom was awarded an Honorary ACGG membership to commemorate his longtime contribution to custom gunmaking. In giving the award, ACGG representatives formally recognized Westrom’s significant pioneering work in the area of action polishing and grinding, as well as his activity as a Regular Guild member in the Metalsmith category. Westrom was inducted as a Regular ACGG member in 1985.

The ceremony, held in Polk City, Iowa, where Westrom now resides in a care facility, was attended by a delegation including his family and ACGG representatives Steve and Jan Billeb, and Frank Brownell. In the history of the ACGG only ten other gunsmiths have been awarded Honorary status, a move which requires nomination by a Regular member and a unanimous vote by the organization’s board of directors.

The ACGG has also voted three gunsmiths into Regular membership in 2003. The inductees, and the categories for which they qualified, were:

  • Dennis Earl Smith, Dufur, Ore.— Stockmaker
  • Craig Click, Betsy Lane, Ky.— Metal Finisher
  • Joseph Smithson, Orem, Utah—Stockmaker and Metalsmith

Each inductee received a custom plaque from Brownells, as well as a $500 Brownells gift certificate. Commenting on the new Regular members, Brownells President Frank Brownell said, “Our commitment to provide the highest level of selection, service and satisfaction for our customers extends to the ACGG and its members. Bob Brownell, my father, was one of the first Honorary ACGG members, and we are proud to support the Guild in recognizing the skill and dedication needed to craft custom firearms of the highest quality.”

Applicants who complete the rigorous requirements for Regular membership during 2003 will be inducted at the organization’s annual meeting January 23-25, 2004, at the Silver Legacy Hotel in Reno, Nev. For more information, contact Jan Billeb, ACGG Executive Director, 22 Vista View Drive, Cody, WY 82414-9606. Phone 307-587-4297 or e-mail

Now celebrating its 20th year, the American Custom Gunmakers Guild (ACGG) is an association that is dedicated to advancing the art of custom gunmaking. ACGG members include individual craftsmen who are in the trade of custom gunmaking, including stockmakers, metalsmiths, engravers and other specialists. For more information about the ACGG or its members, visit

Brownells is the world’s largest supplier of factory gun parts, gunsmithing tools, equipment and firearms accessories. Since 1939, Brownells has been serving gunsmiths and firearms enthusiasts with the products they need to preserve, protect and accessorize their firearms. Today, Brownells stocks more than 29,000 items, and the company’s catalog, now available in print and online versions, is widely regarded as being the most comprehensive available. For more information, call 800-741-0015, Dept. PAH.

Media Contacts: Larry Weeks, (641) 623-8071 or