Gunsmith BOBBY TYLER Featured in Brownell’s 2018-2019 Gun Parts Catalog

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Brownells Catalog #71 Now Shipping - Photo by Yamil R. Sued
Brownells Catalog #71 Now Shipping – Photo by Yamil R. Sued

USA – -( It started with a press release on the Ammoland Shooting Sports News web page that Brownells of Montezuma, Iowa was looking for a qualified gunsmith to place that person’s photo on their #71, 2018-2019 Master Catalog.

To quote right from the Brownells web site., the leading supplier of Firearm Accessories, Gun Parts and Gunsmithing Tools.
If you like to shoot, work on guns as a business or hobby, or just own a gun, this is the place for you! For over 75 years, shooters, professional gunsmiths, hobbyists, military/law enforcement armorers and gun tinkerers have turned to Brownells for high-quality gun parts and supplies they need. You’ll find over 90,000 products including unique gun parts, accessories, gunsmithing tools, ammunition and other products to maintain, repair, and upgrade your guns.

Brownells is in the firearms support business. Since 1939, if you needed a replacement part to keep your firearm working, Brownells was the source. For the past 71 years they have published a yearly, updated catalog that has become the industry standard for supporting the private citizen gun owner, and also the professional gunsmithing community. 100,000 units were published for the #71, 2018-2019 catalog.

There is no foreign equivalent of the Brownells catalog, so Brownells ships catalogs and parts to the world.

Brownells is the parts supplier to the “Stars”, the gunsmithing “Stars” that is. Those “Stars,” are the men and women who fix and repair or enhance firearms for a profession. The quality of American made firearms is the best in the world and we produce more civilian marketed firearms than any other country on the planet. However, sometimes even the best quality tools need to be repaired and refreshed.

Bobby Tyler, the owner of Tyler Gun Works, ( is one of those firearms professionals who has spent his entire adult life honing his skills as a gunsmith. In that process he has become the leading gunsmith in the industry who provides color case finishing for the private gun owner and for both US and foreign firearms manufacturers.

I have known Bobby Tyler for a couple of years. Out of full disclosure I have written a number of columns about Bobby Tyler and his firearms industry supporting business–master gunsmith.

So, when I saw the announcement that Brownells was looking for a gunsmith to grace the cover of their #71 2018-2019, Master Catalog I picked up the phone and called Bobby out in west Texas. Bobby did not know about the search for a new gunsmith to be on the catalog cover. He advised me of this as he was working on a firearm while wearing his old, rather worn Brownells shop apron.

Bobby authorized me to submit his name to Brownells to be included in the consideration for the #71 catalog. Brownells wanted some photos and I instructed Bobby to have some taken and make sure he wore the Brownells shop apron. I did suggest he have the apron washed first. Get rid of some of the dirt and oil stains, but not lose that patina of a well seasoned gunsmith’s apron.

I sent in the nomination, a couple of the columns I had written about Tyler Gun Works and the photos. Then Brownells contacted me, wanting more photos of the gun shop operation. I guess anyone can have a photo taken of them holding a firearm and claiming to be a gunsmith. Tools of the gunsmithing trade displayed inside of a real working gunsmith’s operation are hard to fake.

When I called to tell him they needed more photos, Bobby was literally sitting at his desk filling out a re-supply order he was sending out to Brownells that day. Bobby has become the leader in the gun industry for the color case finishing process and he buys a lot of supplies from Brownells to facilitate that finishing process.

And then the long wait started. The wait to find out the results of Brownells search for a gunsmith.

Now Bobby did not just sit around waiting for the phone to ring, or maybe never ring. He is currently providing color case finishing for seventeen firearms manufacturers in the US and worldwide.

Henry Iron-Framed .44-40 WCF Rifle
Henry Iron-Framed .44-40 WCF Rifle

In the picture of Bobby on the front cover of the #71 Brownells catalog, Bobby Tyler is holding a New Original Henry Iron Frame rifle (1860 model) ( The majority of the New Original Henry rifles that are produced have a brass receiver, but a limited number are produced with an iron frame and Bobby does his color case finishing magic on those rifles.

I guess I got ahead of myself in this story. Bobby got that call from Brownells. They sent out a camera crew to take pictures and a photo was selected to be on the cover of the #71 2018-2019 catalog.

If you go to their website ( it will instruct you how to order your #71 Brownells catalog. There is also a picture of Bobby Tyler holding that color case finished New Original Henry Rifle and he has a brand new (and still clean) Brownells shop apron on.

I talked to Bobby Tyler after he found out he had been selected to be on the cover of the #71 Brownells ( catalog and was still in a little bit of shock. A pleasant shock but still he was surprised.

My point to Bobby in our conversations is that not everything can be generated or fixed by a computer. There still has to be craftsmen who actually produce quality, finished consumer products with their own hands. There will always be a need for humans, not machines that can generate items society wants and in some cases must have.

Brownells is recognizing the needed skills of the American gunsmith by continuing to honor that career field on the cover of their annual catalog.

Bobby informed me he got his start providing color case finishing of new factory firearms when Henry Repeating Arms acquired the services of Tyler Guns Works.

Mr. Anthony Imperato the owner, and President of Henry Rifles told me “Bobby is a valued Henry Repeating Arms vendor. He delivers quality and reliability. A great guy on a personal level and extremely knowledgeable when it comes to firearms history.”

In the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment which guarantees the right to own firearms, there will always be a need for someone with Bobby Tyler’s gunsmithing skills to keep those tools of freedom in working order. There will also be a need for a supplier of quality replacement parts to keep those gun shops functioning. This is the continuing 75 year mission of Brownells.

Congratulations to Bobby Tyler of Tyler Gun Works and a thank you to Brownells for honoring one of our nation’s premier gunsmiths.

“Evil is ever present–it takes a gunsmith to keep the village’s firearms ready.” ~ Van Harl

Major Van Harl USAF Ret.
[email protected]

Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Major Van Harl USAF Ret

About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:

Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School.  A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI.  His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training.  He believes “evil hates organization.”  [email protected]

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3 years ago

Great looking firearm How can I get colored casing for my receiver on my 357/38 Henry carbine?