About Us

This page is Updated – as of 12th July 2024 – Stuart & Annie Elliott

We might have wished to have better news to pass on about the continuity of this business, yet unfortunately that is not to be. Time is running out for us and being over 70 already, we have many important things in our lives which still need our attention, therefore we have made the decision to close all businesses. We expect this will be some time in August.

By way of some background, technically Annie & Stuart sort of retired back in March when our daughter Jane took over the running of BRT Shooters Supply. Many of you probably have had some engagement with Jane since that time so may be aware. But after one month the reality set in and there are just so many technical aspects and complexities involved in how this business works that we had to return and help. Besides, Jane has her own business to run anyway. She also has been doing all our marketing things for the last couple of years anyway (in her spare time!). She decided to step up and take over managing after the most recent business sale process fell through, yet again. The frustration and the disappointment were at extreme levels for everyone.

Most customers will not be aware that for the last 3 years we have been going through the process of selling this business to pass it on so it could continue. We received many requests and eventually even engaged a business broker. Whilst there were a lot of very good people who should have owned and carried on this business, many who tried several times over, it is not to be unfortunately. A business this size, does need a fair lump of funds to operate. A lot of inventory is necessary as supply chain delays stretch out a very long way and the need for available cash flow to fund supply constantly is also required. This does mean that any potential buyer will usually need some, or a lot, of finance and to borrow. This is a perfectly normal situation for any business purchase, the same as purchasing a home really. 99% of people need to borrow to fund it. The problem though is this industry is black listed.

After 88 formal engagements who signed NDA’s and quite a lot of those which progressed through with due diligence and to sale contracts, even with finances being pre-approved in principle…all have ended up being rejected at the last hurdle. It is because the Banks and other finance institutions just will not lend to the Shooting Sports industry. The problem these days is they decide that our industry in not an ethical industry to invest in. Some Banks are upfront and refuse immediately. But others only make a late decision when their head office becomes involved to give that final tick off.

Therefore, presented with enough blockages, enough failures, enough time, and money spent, our final choices were simple really. Either keep going ourselves until we collapse, or sell down inventory and simply close up.

We sincerely apologise to our many loyal customers who have relied upon us to supply products from our many specialist brand names over the last 17 years.
But at the end of the day, there becomes a limit to how long one can carry on. We realise now, being over 70 years of age, those days are truly numbered. We have a lot of things where we want to spend our time, like our family and close friends. We have two granddaughters growing up in Canberra which we would like to spend more time with.  

 

We also wish to support Jane here with her businesses.
For those interested in Jane’s story and business you can read more here – Brighter Day, meet Jane
She has also just taken over a cross stitch business too – Modstitch

Our son and daughter-in-law in Canberra also have their own business – Minting Memories

As you can see, business runs in the blood!

Even our lifetime hobby of rifle shooting has almost dried up over the last 4 years. The constant extreme demands, stress, and pressure that an Importing business like this one which heavily relies on logistics is a mess. Government and Bureaucracy does not help at all either. They used to call it “government red tape”. Should be called Black tape these days – Block everything. We are both done with putting in the 70 plus hours each week. It’s really a Weird Woke World now – We need to move on

So, both Annie and Stuart really want to thank you all, our many loyal customers. We have a large customer base and we appreciate your custom with us. We hope that we have met your expectations. We also want to thank our staff who are like family to us, especially Danielle who has worked with us since 2015 and shows us such loyalty that is hard to come by these days.

We have engaged with the owners of our major suppliers/brands with whom we have built special relationships with over the many years. In fact, more than 20 of them say we are their largest international agents worldwide (outside of USA). They will be impacted as well so we want to help them continue to supply the Australian market and customers can still have access to their products. 

Soon we will announce who will be the new Australian distributors for most of the brands.

Berger Bullets

One of those important brands of course is the Berger Bullets which many will be concerned about. Annie and Stuart have a very long personal relationship with Walt Berger dating back to 1981. You might have noticed some pages in the Berger Reloading manual feature photos of us. Walt has passed on now and the brand is owned by the Nammo Group from Europe, and operated by Capstone in the USA. Whilst the most recent shipment to us, (just received) will be our last, we do have a lot of backorders which technically remain current. These back orders are extensive and stretch all the way back to 2021 (yet unfulfilled) and represent several million dollars’ worth. We guess most people may not realise this!  It has been a very difficult and challenging situation for all to cope with, especially with such demand and little supply. It probably does not make smart business sense really, but for us it has been a passion and personal connection thing.

For ourselves and in fact the same for the other Australian dealer, we have copped a lot of aggression and criticism over last few years because of the poor supply situation. It is not our fault and despite trying many different methods of selling, we always receive a lot of adverse blame. Extreme demand brings many problems and not much profit at all. We have put a case to the Nammo group, that the BRT back orders are not lost for the Australian consumers after we have stopped business. We have requested they flow over to the other Australian dealer, the QRA, which will add to their backorder and hopefully improve supply.

March Scopes

DEON Optical in Japan have decided they wish to appoint several dealers for Australia for March Scopes. That is their decision, and they will announce in due course. We wish them well! When it comes to March scopes (which has been one of our major brands) we thank all our customers who chose to own March scopes. We will continue to personally use and proudly own our March Scopes too, because we believe in them. It has been an honour and a privilege to be part of the March inner family created by DEON as one of their original dealers.

 

So to wrap up, we will not be ordering from any more suppliers. All products that show available on the website currently are all that will be left to sell now. If you need anything or a spare part, it’s best to grab it now. Many thanks for your business with us and engagement, we wish you all well. We have enjoyed many personal interactions over a lot of years and made a lot of friends.  You might see us at a rifle range sometime, or even pass us on the road. We’ll be in one of the many out there with an off the grid caravan on the end of a Landcruiser disappearing into the sunset.

The History of BRT

BRT Shooters Supply grew out of our Business called Bench Rest Training (BRT), the training business we started in Canberra in 2004. We managed to train competition shooters all over Australia and around the world, including several locations in the USA, Europe, and Africa.

Our first business was in the Automotive industry. I (Stuart) grew up on a farm in central NSW (Forbes) and left to take up a trade in Canberra in 1972. My father’s rule was none of us boys could return to the farm until we either obtained a trade or a Uni degree first. So, therefore I went to Canberra and did a trade apprenticeship. I achieved the apprentice of the year and then started a Mechanical Engineering degree, but didn’t quite finish that one as Annie and I started to have children by then. Annie started her own business when she left school as a private driving instructor. We later started our own Automotive business together in Canberra in 1988 called Stuart Elliott Automotive. We sold this to our staff in 2006 and it continues to this day.

 

Shooting was our hobby, our passion, the training business become a challenge and a pleasure. Upon moving to Brisbane in 2006, we continued training, but the demand for specialist equipment associated with that surprised us more and more. So, we decided to start a small online business and called it  BRT Shooters Supply. We built a website and stored product in the garage of our house, and it continued there for about another 10 years. It was modelled on a much larger business which we knew very well from the USA – Sinclair International (which is now part of Brownells). We knew Fred Sinclair and Bill Gravatt and it all started from there. In fact, when we first met Fred Sinclair in 1981 he was…selling from his garage at his home. Bill was very helpful and generous to us also.

During this growth time both Annie and Stuart continued to travel and extend their shooting sports in all forms of Benchrest Rifle Competition, stacking up more than 100 National championships in many disciplines and with 3 major organisational bodies in Australia, as well as several more World Championships and other International representations. We have been instrumental in development of several popular shooting competitions including the 500 ‘Fly’ shoots, 1,000 yard Benchrest and several Rimfire events including IRB. We have been proud to represent our Country many times are proud of our achievements. Yet these are about our personal goals and we do not see ourselves as any better than anyone else.

Whether they be a new shooter just starting out or experienced veteran, the shooting sports offers a huge variety of avenues to pursue:  Competition, hunting, plinking, Reloading or collecting. All are valid, all are interesting.

 

We have put our hearts and souls into this. It grew a bit out of control after small beginnings. We don’t claim to be experts at business, have no formal qualification as such although luckily all have been successful since 1988. No regrets – it is what it is. But we hope the world finds its mojo again pretty soon and that shooters everywhere continue to enjoy a valuable, valid pastime for a long time to come.

 

Please enjoy your shooting and reloading with pride, compassion and safety. We would both like to encourage everyone to take an active role in volunteering in some way and contributing to furtherment of our valuable sport.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Stuart & Annie Elliott.