Dean Batchelder – Graduated from Colorado School of Trades in 1992 and had his own shop prior to coming to Brownells in the Gunsmith Tech Support department in 2001. Since 2005 he has been instructing “AR-15 Armorer and Customization” and “Alternate Finishes” classes at various Gunsmithing Schools as well as the NRA Summer Gunsmithing Program, on behalf of Brownells, Inc.


Sam Hatfield, certified NRA and Sig Academy Master Instructor, graduated from the Colorado School of Trades.  He worked as head gunsmith at Green Mountain Guns in Lakewood, Colorado and served as a member of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit as a gunsmith. Sam now owns Hatfields Gunsmithing Inc. in Manassas, VA., where he offers finely crafted one-of-a-kind firearms to the civilian market.


Lee Helgeland is one of the premier stockmakers in the nation.   He has spent 30 years perfecting his craft and is a member of the American Custom Gunmakers Guild.  In addition to achieving a rare level of mastery in the stockmaking and metalsmithing industries, Lee and his works have been showcased in national magazines.


Brandon Miller specializes in long range precision rifles and 1911 pistols and has spent more than 20 years with AR-style weapon platforms, both as end user and armor.  He was a gunsmithing instructor and the National Rifle Association Coordinator for Murray State College where he specialized in gunsmithing for his AA degree.  Brandon spent several years in special operations both in the military and in police units serving as a tactical medic on a Dallas-area SWAT team.


Dan Pedersen was the in-house barrel maker for the late Fred Wells of Wells Sports Store for several years.  He is a quiet, serious worker who is proud of his work and lets his customers and their targets speak for him.  While working with Fred Wells, Dan made accurate barrels across the spectrum of caliber and use.  Many of the barrels Dan made for Fred Wells went on guns for Royalty; all went on fine guns designed for supreme accuracy.  Dan operates his own barrelmaking and gunmaking business in Prescott, AZ.


Harry Smith is a faculty member of Flathead Valley Community College. He teaches Manual Machine Technology, Mill and Lathe, Print Read for Machinists and Welders, and Welding Theory at FVCC.


Mike Watkins has been a Brownell’s Technical Support for 16 years. He has been instructing NRA 1911 classes for seven years and building 1911’s since 1975. Mike is a member of the American Pistolsmiths Guild 1991 and  served as Past President and Secretary. Mike is on the Board of Directors for APG and was voted  1997 Pistolsmith of the Year, and received APG Presidents Award 2010 and 2013. He is an NRA Life Member.


Fred Zeglin graduated from Lassen College Gunsmithing program in 1984. He has been building custom rifles for nearly 30 years and specializes in wildcat designs for his clients.  Fred’s knowledge of headspace and ballistics is extensive. Fred builds high-end custom rifles for a well known custom gun maker.  He has taught NRA Gunsmithing courses for several schools.  Fred has published two books and an instructional DVD in the Gunsmithing genre.  He is experienced at sharing and teaching gunsmithing skills.

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Last modified: February 26, 2014