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Brownells 5 and 10-round AR15 magazines (courtesy

Brownells is celebrating their 75th anniversary. In addition to some bad-ass giveaways, the firearms parts giant is lifting the veil of secrecy around their operations. Pete Brownell has agreed to some face time with your humble scribe at the forthcoming SHOT Show. If you have questions you’d like me to ask Mr. B on your behalf, post them below. I’m interested in the changes Pete’s seen in the family biz over the years, regulation-wise. As represented by their decision to showcase these waffle-bottomed branded mags for “limited-capacity states.” Mentally? Constitutionally? I know, but I couldn’t resist. I reckon they’re a lot more contentious than the faux 30-rounders recently revealed by our man Leghorn. I’ll certainly ask for some samples to remember the insanity/inanity facing gun rights advocates.

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  1. I’m stuck in a reduced capacity state. I prefer to stick with 15 round magazines (although hard to find) and 10 round magazines (easy to find). Only because I would hate the “wasted” space staring at me every time I used a pinned mag.

    However, 10 and 15 rounders are hard to fish out of the deep pockets on rifle cases designed for 30 round magazines, so I can see the utility of these dummy extensions.

  2. I have never ordered from Brownells for my own reasons (one of which, I am relatively young).

    However, a perfectly legitimate question would be: “In a non-sales pitch response, What makes you guys different from your competitors?”

    • Karlan – I buy from Brownells frequently, perhaps even every month. I work on a lot of guns, many of them old, and even if a gun is new(er), I can’t help but tinker with it. Here’s why I buy from Brownells: range of products (great), customer service (fast, accurate shipping), support (can call them and talk with some old guy that’s actually been a gunsmith for about 50 years and they actually spend time just to help me identify what I need and even to identify other others I might not have considered), price (decent to good, particularly because some of their products, say bluing solution, comes in a wide range of sizes which makes some good stuff available to the absolutely amateur).

    • I have no problems with Brownells. Any web site new or old can take some time to wade thru.

      I’ve gotten exactly what I’ve ordered from them often the next day. Heck I could drive there in about 2.25 hrs.

      Like Brownells I too am from Iowa, and a Ret. Army Veteran. But alas I get stuck with IA sales Tax.

      • I’ve had trouble finding things from time to time. Some of their item classifications are a bit unusual, and so when you go where you think something ought to be, it’s not there. They had a roll pin punch set on sale a while back, but I lost my original link to it. When I went looking for it, I had a devil of a time finding it. I finally located under “Gunsmith Tools & Supplies > General Gunsmith Tools > Tool Storage” because the punch set came in a Delrin block, so “storage.” A 30 piece set that happens to come with a block doesn’t say “storage” to me.

        It was pretty frustrating, because I spent probably 10 minutes going through all the other gunsmithing categories one-by-one before I found them. I’d have never thought to look under a heading that to me, said “Toolboxes” more or less. That’s just one example, but that sort of thing has happened to me several times.

        • I’ve had similar frustrations if I try to wade down through the category tree. But humans make data entry errors and just plain goofs – what can you do?

          On the other hand, I’ve found their search works pretty well. Search for “roll pin punch” and a decent looking set is literally at the top of the results.

    • I don’t mind their site, but it’s not the best. IMHO the gold standard of commerce websites is McMaster-Carr. When you don’t know exactly what you need they have the best product drill down I’ve ever seen.

  3. I can think of one good reason for these types of mags, besides “looks”. If you are going to use military style magazine pouches the short magazines will be a lot harder to dig out of the pouches. Even guys in evil states probably like to use web gear, right?

    • “If you are going to use military style magazine pouches the short magazines will be a lot harder to dig out of the pouches. Even guys in evil states probably like to use web gear, right?”

      Thank you that’s a valid and functional point.

      Digging into a standard ammo pouch for some half pint mag no taller than a standard shot glass just don’t cut it.

      Or Kinda like the itty bitty some thing committee.

      • The Germans have a saying:
        Linsin auf einem bret genaggeled

        Lentils nailed to a board.

        Now that’s some small ones I mean mags

  4. Did you know that the revenue from the manufacture, distribution and sales of firearms and ammunition to civilians is invisible to the nations economic system? The entire outdoor industry is invisible inside the system that our gov uses to document industry revenues. NAICS (North American Industry Classification System).

    • Yes, they had an article here on it from an FFL I think. They all fall under racketeering rules or something like that.

  5. I also see that they too are having spot shortages from time to time , wanted to try their new 1911 mags and when I check are out or only have 3 packs same for AR mags out or back order , you would think someone would get the message and ramp up supply to meet demand ,,,that’s money not in the bank ??/

      • That would be cool…but some state would challenge it as being “one” magazine assembly, and therefore illegal.

        • I’m surprised there’s not a manufacturer making mag pouches for the 10 round mag, but the two 10s end to end could possibly fill a standard pouch. All I own are standard capacity so I can’t test.

        • I don’t own any 10 round magazines either, so I can’t say, but I think they’re going to be hard to fish out of any standard capacity magazine pouch. I think something like a grenade pouch might fit one.

    • I did that with some 20-round .22lr mags. I removed the baseplates, stuck them together with a clip I made from tin I snipped from a can, and inserted both followers and springs. Bam! Functional 40-round .22lr magazine. It worked fine, but was a little unwieldy.

      Anyway, the point is it works. If we’re ever restricted to X-round magazines, we’ll always be able to have 2X-round magazines by joining them together. Shhhh! Just don’t tell the hoplophobes..

    • One of my favorite magazine items, granted only for a 10/22, is an adaptor that lets me lock together three 10 round ruger magazines into sort of a tri-foil arrangement. Damn handy on a range and can still be used prone, which I can’t shoot with a 25 rounder. There are a lot of ways to get around stupid limitations. I remember the things that manufacturers started doing after the AW ban. The gun community is full of inventive folks.

  6. I’m not sure why people are busting Brownells about those magazines. Hell, people with ARs in the non-free states still need magazines. The physical format of a 30 round magazine – width and height – is a hell of a lot easier to handle, pull out of a mag pouch, insert and extract from a rifle, than a little 10 round magazine.

    I looked at the image and thought, “well thankfully someone is putting into the market stuff those poor people in NY, CT, etc. are going to need, and they’ll be easier to use than 10 rounders.”

    I don’t use Brownells for magazines and stuff, but I’ve used them for years for gun parts, replacement sights, the odd spring or screw, and for tools that basically no one else provides. it’s a great one-stop shop for people who work on guns regularly. I’ve never bought any of their AR stuff, but then other people are probably better than Brownells on that.

    I’ve called them at least a dozen times with (actually) stupid questions, even on parts that they can’t make more than a buck on, and they have been great to work with. I think they are one of the premier suppliers to the shooting community.

  7. Ask him why the screwed up my Dec 2012 P-mag order so frequently I cancelled in disgust. I’ll NEVER do business with these guys.

    Also, their website does suck.

    • I gotta be honest with you here. If you’d said anything other than PMAG and December 2012, I’d have had some sympathy, but basically the entire gun supply world was so thoroughly and completely assed up right then that it’s easier to talk about the few who actually got it right. There weren’t very many. Streicher’s did right by me, but it took almost 7 months.

    • My order of 30 rounders were handled very well in December 2012. They came on time and the count was correct. Now when it came to 38 special bullets, that’s another story. I cancelled my back order because I picked up my needs at a Scheels before the order was filled at Brownells. They still do a bang up job. Far, Far better than lets say Cheaper than Dirt.

    • I’ve been ordering stuff from Brownells for more than 15 years. They are great people and will do everything they can to fill the need. I don’t know of any other company that will let you return stuff without a bill or any other documents for returns. I’ve retuned stuff that I’ve had for a couple of years; they refund the original shipping and what it cost to return the goods. The only other company anything like these guys is Dillon.

  8. I see a lot of people bashing brownells, but I can’t say I have ever had any problems go unresolved with them. The only two minor issues I have had were my December 2012 PMAG order took like 7 months to get, but that wasn’t really their fault. The market just got so overwhelmed at that time that it was going to happen no matter who I went with. The other issue I have had was one time their checkout cracked out on me and didn’t take off the shipping charge like it indicated. I sent them an email and within 24 hours they had credited back that amount to my card. All in all, I am happy with them.

  9. I love Brownells, don’t know why everyone is bashing them.

    How about asking them what they are doing to support our rights? They benefit from 2A related products, so how are they protecting our rights to buy and own their products?

  10. That picture is BLASPHEMY!!!!

    Shaun is not amused.

    AND you made me speak in 3rd person…. see what you’ve done????

  11. Dunno, I could have used something like that during deer season. Fishing 5 rounders out my pockets was a pain. But only if they make them for M1a mags.

  12. Please ask them to fix the mobile site interface. I can get a link to a sale or interesting item on my phone, and click it, but it goes to the mobile home page. Really frustrating for this IT guy.

  13. I would prefer the faux 30rd mags reviewed by foghorn.

    A reduced capacity mag that looks like a 30rd mag serves as a frustration for cops that support that legislature. If they constantly are seeing mags that look like 30 rounders that aren’t – they will get tired of checking them with all the false positives.

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