Brownells Logo
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21 User Reviews

1.8

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: May 14th, 2022

Brownells is a large retailer for ammo and gun accessories. This company has been family owned for nearly a century and has been integrated in more recent days as one of the more prominent online retailers. Their impressive selection of parts and ammunition is difficult to find elsewhere, even in-store at other major competing retailers.

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The Good

  • Broad Selection of Products
  • Time in Business
  • Great Return Policy

Broad Selection of Products

The selection afforded via Brownell's online store is extremely broad. Though they don't sell firearms, they have nearly every type of ammo available for purchase and plenty of handy accessories, reloading equipment, and other sought-after tools. They also carry these items from plenty of competing brands and range between all manner of price levels. Their online search tool makes it easy to sift through all the many options and narrow their vast selection down to exactly what you're looking for.

Time in Business

The fact that the company has been around for so long adds to its credibility and trustworthiness as an accessory and ammo dealer. They have longstanding connections with major brands and have had time to evolve with changing laws, cultural norms, and standards.

Great Return Policy

Brownell's also offers a very attractive return policy. They provide a limited lifetime warranty on all parts and accessories with no restocking fees charged. All items are also subject to a lifetime return policy- a deal you'd be hard-pressed to find offered by other gun and ammo retailers.

 

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The Bad

  • No Price Matching
  • Lack of Customer Support
  • Many Out-of-Stock Items

No Price Matching

Though many of their ammo boxes and accessories are decently priced, Brownell's does not offer any sort of price matching or flexibility when it comes to product pricing. This kind of stubbornness is typical from such longstanding companies, and certainly can detract from the overall purchasing experience. It can also be difficult to get leeway on guaranteed returns - even acting on one's Brownell's warranty has been known to be overly troublesome through customer support channels.

Lack of Customer Support

Overall, the company does not offer much in the way of support. They list a toll-free number for complaints and concerns at all hours, but reaching staff has been known to be difficult. The customer service agents themselves do not excel in the way of overreaching helpfulness. Acting on the warranty aside, even small tasks as checking on the availability of a product can be difficult. There is no form of email or chat support to serve as an alternate avenue, either.

Many Out-of-Stock Items

There are consistently many out-of-stock items in their online store. This is in part because they have so many products to list and maintain, but it mainly comes down to poor management of data. This makes it complicated to find what you're looking for at times, and equally tricky to discern what's available and what isn't. Pair this with occasionally faulty filters and you have a potentially frustrating shopping experience through Brownell's.

 

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The Bottom Line

Not many other retailers can compete with Brownell's experience and selection. If you're having trouble locating a specific type of ammo, accessory, or tool, you can most likely trust that Brownell's has it and will deliver it with the best returns policy available. However, as far as customer support goes, they certainly aren't the most hassle-free option out there. Prepare to struggle your way through any technical problems you may face with your purchases.

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Star Rating

1.5

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21 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

10%

4 grade

0%

3 grade

0%

2 grade

14%

1 grade

76%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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Service

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Trustworthiness

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BROWNELLs sucks San Rafael, CA

Where to start - out of product - still charged for it then they back ordered it which I did not authorize and they charged me again. Numerous telephone calls to “customer support” they could care less. Nine weeks later, still no refund of $1165. Filing court case for the money they owe me first thing Monday morning. Buyer beware, very aware.

1 month ago

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Sheldon Wells Vancouver, BC

If I could do less than one star, I would. WORST. CUSTOMER. SERVICE. EVER. Ruined Christmas because the billing address was different than the shipping address. They could have simply told us at time of purchase so we could do whatever BS they need, but NO, lets wait weeks instead and make sure our Christmas presents don't get here. Then they call us about it and hang up, so we call back. They take forever to "verify" us and then transfer us to another hold queue and....wait for it.....hang up on us again. They made it the most torturous process imaginable - will never do business with them again if I can avoid it.

5 months ago

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Andrew Camel Miami, FL

I've been trying to get my hands on a BLACKHAWK - T-Series L2C Light-Bearing Holster (Left Hand Carry) to fit a Sig M18 for a little over a year now, but every time I check their website, the holster is out of stock. So I went to Brownells and to my surprise they had it! So I ordered one from them on October 20th and received it on November 8th. As soon as the holster arrived in the mail, I tore that box open and noticed it was the wrong product. I immediately called customer service to explain to them the issue I had. I was transferred to three different people because they weren't understanding the problem I was having. I kept telling the person I spoke to over the phone, "I got the wrong product in the mail. The holster I was supposed to receive is a light-baring holster, a holster that allows me to holster my firearms (Sig M18) with a weapon light on it", and she didn't know what I was talking about, I sent her pictures of the holster I got with my firearm in it, and she was even more lost, she confused a weapon light with a red dot and then asked me if my problem was that the holster came in the wrong color, at this point I was already frustrated, but I kept my cool. After a while, they thought it would be a good idea to transfer me to what they called a "product technician." The older gentleman I spoke to had no clue on what I was talking about either. They finally came to a conclusion to have me send them the holster back to inspect it. When I heard that, I became upset because the issue wasn't that the holster was defective, it was, that you sent the wrong product. It was getting late, and they were about to close, so they told me someone from their team was going to reach out the following day, which they never did; I had to call them back. When I called back they finally gave me an answer, and it was that their website had the wrong information on it, which is odd because they have both the name of the product and the picture on there. (I will attach the screenshot I took on December 11th, 2021, which means they still haven't fixed it.) The point of all this is that their customer service team and the technician I spoke to lack the necessary knowledge of what their company is selling, which is sad. I don't think I'll be buying any major piece of equipment from Brownells anymore. I have the documents to prove it.

6 months ago

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Cryptid Nashua, NH

Took 2 weeks to get a shipment OUT OF THEIR DOOR for a very simple order. Then they required an adult signature without ever informing me during the ordering process. Incredibly slow company and the website is really really bad.

3 months ago

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JIMJC Hot Springs Village, AR

Don Don't sign up for discount coupons from brownells. I signed up of a $10 discount on my next order. I never got the $10 discount coupon from brownells so I didn't order but they still had all the info I had to report to get the coupon from them . I tried to contact them, nothing but I'm now bombarded with constant daily emails about their products and I can't get the unsubscribe to work.

4 months ago

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Biker Sir Houston, TX

Don't believe the edited reviews on Bizrate or other sites where Brownells has edited reviews or paid for good ones. Both of my Brownells experiences were far from satisfying. In the latest case I needed an item shipped by 2-day air so as to avoid delivery while out of town the following week. The web site kept flipping the order back to 7-day default, no matter how many times I reset the choice to 2-day air. It finally displayed my choice correctly, along with the extra charge. I clicked on "Submit" and next thing that came up was a confirmation showing 7-day delivery again! I called and tried to get it changed, but the company was "unable" to upgrade the shipping. The item was shipped anyway, was delivered while I was out of town, and apparently stolen during that time. Now I am trying to process a chargeback on my credit card. Beware. The web site is unreliable and will CHANGE your order after you hit the "Submit" button.

11 months ago

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Greg Pyle Terre Haute, IN

Very Slow delivery with terrible customer service...been waiting over 14 days on my order that was in stock an qas on Hold over 20 min with customer support...In my opinion this company is only out for your money an does not care about Service or Support....They have gotten my last order an dime...

4 months ago

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Rich Estrada Murrieta, CA

I have been a dedicated customer of Brownells for the past 23 years and spent a lot money with this company. In the past, I was extremely happy with the quality of their parts and outstanding customer service. But, within the last 2 years, I noticed that Brownells prices were much higher than their competitors. As an EDGE Member, I do not see the same discounts as the previous years, which has caused me to shop elsewhere for firearm parts, ammo, and tool needs. I hear the same story from numerous other friends, firearms enthusiast, and gunsmiths. Hopefully, Brownells will change their market strategy soon or lose customers.

1 year ago

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L K Canonsburg, PA

Brownells ships used products, or those that have been returned and have parts missing. When you receive what you have ordered check the packaging to see if it has been previously opened. Won't buy here again.

5 months ago

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Mikael Lewis Colorado Springs, CO

You guys use to be very good place to buy anything gun related last year I purchased a rifle from you you guys I paid full price you guys then placed the rifle on sale I contacted your office you guys did not even bother to call back, I just called this morning for and order that I paced over the weekend left a call back number one of you representatives called back playing stupid that could not hear me, I never have issues with this phone I have been on the phone all morning, your customer services is horrible I will not spend another penny with you guys I remind you there are a lot of other retailers out there selling the same for better price and excellent customer service

1 year ago

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San Jacksonville, FL

Don’t believe any of the good about this business and pretty much all of the bad. Brownells has a wide CATALOGUE selection, but virtually nothing in stock. Their advertised “sales” are virtually out of stock with the exception of a few out of date or least popular items. Their product descriptions are rarely accurate (.355 bullet product declined as .356 or vice versa) and you can’t be sure of what you will get. Supposed free shipping, then getting charged anyway for shipping. Length of time between ordering a product an “in stock” item and it actually being shipped anywhere from four days to weeks (and I don’t include the actual shipping time in that figure). In short, buyer be ware.

3 years ago

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Bucke56 Iuka, IL

I ordered a Forester Bump Die Kit, which in the past has contained 3 bushings. It clearly states on Brownells site that the order number is a KIT and the picture clearly shows that it has 3 bushings. It arrived with the die and NO bushings. So I called Brownells CS, after a 30 plus minute wait, I got a live person that stated they could not help me and passed me along to another CS person. She clearly did not want to deal with the problem and offered to let me speak with a supposed supervisor. Again on hold for quite some time and person finally came on the line. It was clear from the beginning she did not care and was trained to "stonewall" and put the blame on the customer and the vendor. She literally throw Forester Die company under the bus. She stated that they had changed and was no longer including the 3 bushings. I quickly pointed out that Brownells still sells the kits with 3 bushings. She ask for a part number to prove it...oh my...I gave it to her and she was totally surprised and did not know how to respond. She finally said I should have read the entire product description and the last sentence states that bushings are sold separate. REALLY who reads entire product descriptions. Her pert unprofessional attitude is just another example of how Brownells has slipped away from quality customer service to a "WE JUST DON'T CARE" company. In the end, she stated the whole fiasco was my fault, Forester was at fault and she would send a return label if that would help out. WOW In the end, I turned around and called Forester, let them know that Brownells had "thrown them under the bus" and explained the entire situation. Their CS rep was very understanding and took care of the situation in a very polite and professional manner. Thank You Forester Products and Brownells has lost a life long customer forever.

3 years ago

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Ken Burdick Hillsdale, NY

Ordered 2 items at $48 total and the items were damaged in shipment by FEDEX. I sent in the photos as requested. Customer service explained that company policy is to wait for the claims process (30 days) unless shipping protection was purchased. FEDEX automatically covers $100, so why would a customer pay for protection if the package is less than $100? They chose the shipper, not me. This policy is unethical at best and displays horrendously poor customer service. A good company would issue an RMA and ship out new product. I’ll never purchase from Brownell’s again.

1 year ago

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Joseph Stewart Missoula, MT

My repeated and consistent experience with Brownells is NOT particularly good. I ordered a single item from them recently, and after 3-days, I still hadn't received a notice of shipment. So I phoned to ask. I was told that it had not yet shipped, that they couldn't tell me specifically when it might or would ship, and that they couldn't cancel the order because "it was too far along in processing". Say what? When and if it ever does ship, it will be returned at THEIR expense, not mine. My suggestion? Be smart and shop elsewhere.

2 years ago

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chuck Houston, TX

They don't even deserve 1 star They don't even deserve 1 star. Ordered on a Thursday. Although they were perfectly able to send me (1) an email confirmation (2) a pdf invoice AND (3) take my money in less than 24 hours, the STILL DID NOT SHIP until the following Monday. Then their rude customer service tells me I could have picked a faster (and more expensive) shipping option.

2 years ago

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Al G Montgomery, TX

Five star in every aspect of the transaction. Will buy from them again. Many thanks

11 months ago

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Fred Frontino Mesa, AZ

I've been buying parts from Brownells for 25 years. I love their service and the great parts selection they have.

1 year ago

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Chris V ,

I ordered $38 in items. They never arrived. Tracking history shows that they are stuck at the FedEx hub for day. No delivery date given I called Brownells customer service absolutely REFUSES to give a refund No matter what I had to write a formal dispute with my credit card company. I will never oder from them again

1 year ago

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Tomasz Korasadowicz The Bronx, NY

STAY AWAY! they have horrible shipping methods and service if anything goes wrong its all your fault, doesn't matter what may have happened. Use a credit card so you can dispute charges if you want to roll the dice. You have been warned they use to be good not anymore.

1 year ago

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David Macon ,

Horrible service and absolute worse customer service. These people have no clue how to do business in the modern era and wait well over a week before letting you know they have yo cancel an order

2 years ago

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Roland

I am from canada i ordered the sight pro tool from them it took them two days to ship it out witch is fine payed the exchange rate witch was fine payed over $30.00 shiping fees for delivery by this time i'm at $477.00 i finally recived the package at the post office two weeks after ordering it and it cost me an other $65.00 for customs none of this was told to to me or displayed on there site, so it cost me $542.00 for a tool that they sell for $269.99 make a lot of sense they should let people know about all these other charges but instead they just tell you oh its got nothing to do with us .

3 years ago