Established February 28th, 2002
February 28th, 2020


SWAG & MERCH: Bren Ten Accessories & Collectables


"Official" Bren Ten Merchandise

While the days of Dornaus & Dixon were limited, there were a few official and licensed accessory products available.  These come in two basic categories.  There were the pistol accessories that were listed by Dornaus & Dixon directly, and then there were non-firearm products advertised by System Ten Associates.

As for actual D&D items the 1984 dealer price list includes not only the basic pistols, but a number of other items that never made it into production.  These include such interesting items as the .22LR conversion kit and magazine, and competition ambi thumb safety.  Considering the premium price and single manufacturer of 10mm ammo at the time, a .22LR conversion kit would have been a hot item (assuming D&D could get it to work reliably).

One item that did see limited release was the .45 caliber conversion kits.  While the Marksman Special Match pistols were not marked "BREN TEN" on the slide, the conversion kits were marked as such making them easily identifiable.  Finding a Bren with an included conversion kit can run double the price of a Standard Model or Military/Police model these days!

While looking over the Dornaus & Dixon order form you cannot help but feel a bit pained when you notice the price of a full-size Bren magazine listed as $13.50!  If only...

Dornaus & Dixon 'Non-Sale' Items

There are quite a few Dornaus & Dixon items that while not technically 'merchandise' are still quite collectible.  These include various promotional items such as catalogs and price lists, owner's manuals, original boxes, wood grips, presentation cases, grip medallions, etc.  While some of these have been put up for sale by original owners, there were also numerous items scooped up in bulk by savvy individuals when the company was in the process of closing its doors, or at auction afterwards.

For many years following the fall of Dornaus & Dixon Enterprises Tim La France of La France Specialties was THE source for Bren parts.  Apparently Dornaus & Dixon owed back rent on the property in Huntington Beach, and being a friend of the building owner La France was able to purchase a good quantitiy of parts left in the building.  While La France had sufficient parts to complete numerous guns, he understood that the amount of work required to assemble them was prohibitive, so his inventory was sold as replacement parts.  A few years ago Tim La France's entire stock of Bren parts were sold of to a single buyer and unfortunately are no longer available.

One seemingly trivial item on the collectors' list is the plain cardboard box that Dornaus & Dixon shipped their pistols in.  It's interesting to note that while the company actually won an award for the quality of their Bren Ten owner's manual, the shipping box the company used couldn't have been more basic and non-descript!  As far as markings, the most the box would have had was simple stamp or sticker with the company's return address on it, and then the model and serial number written in pen on the end of the box.  The pistol itself was usually packed in a padded mailing envelope.  There were no partitions, no foam padding, or any other packaging that we normally associate with a firearm case.  As there was nothing to indicate that it was a Bren box (and the fact that the cardboard container wasn't very robust and was easily crushed) it's not surprising that many of these original boxes were simply thrown out.  Now, with the collector status of the guns, finding one with the original box with matching serial number commands a premium on the used gun market.  Years ago the Florida gun shop ESF Sales (no longer in business) was selling these boxes for $50 each!  It is unknown though, if these were yet another item picked up at a Dornaus & Dixon 'going out of business' auction, or reproductions.  Either way, the source has now dried up.


Another interesting item that was available for a time were the Jeff Cooper Commemorative wood cases.  While the original plan was to build 2,000 of these guns it is believed that only twelve or so were actually built.  Apparently the company was preparing for many more though and so numerous presentation cases had been procured.  These were some of the items sold at auction when the company went bankrupt, and while they included the small plaque, they did not come with the gold plated 10mm Auto dummy rounds that were to be included.  The Dual Master also came with a nice presentation case that had a spot for the second slide in place of the ten gold plated dummy rounds, but I have never seen one of these listed for sale separate from the gun.

System Ten Associates

System Ten Associates was the official distributor of Bren Ten accessories.  Created in June of 1983, System Ten Associates was run by Bruce Cameron.  Cameron also owned Gun Finders Gun Shop, and was the exclusive distributor of the Jeff Cooper Commemorative guns.  In addition to various non-gun items (hats, patches, belt buckles, etc.) System Ten Associates also produced a newsletter for individuals who purchased Bren pistols, but Dornaus & Dixon retained editing rights to all material printed in the newsletters.  Cameron's business agreement with Dornaus & Dixon would have made him the primary distributor of Bren pistols, and he had hopes of convincing Dornaus & Dixon to move into other firearm projects, but of course the business did not last long enough for any of these plans to transpire.


The Bren Ten News, No. 1 (undated)
The Bren Ten News, No. 2 (undated)
The Bren Ten News, No. 3 (undated)


System Ten Associates Order Form

Collector/Group Generated Items

Considering the cult-like following that the Bren enjoys it's not surprising that individuals or groups of Bren collectors are going to generate their own items.  While there are probably more of these than anything produced by Dornaus & Dixon or System Ten Associates, but it is also impossible to know or catalog everything out there.  As these items were made in very small lots, it is equally difficult to assign a value as they come up for sale so infrequently.


BREN TEN: The Heir Apparent
by Ronald A Carrillo

Probably the most well known (and arguably the most important) collectible for the Bren Ten enthusiast is the incredibly detailed and ehaustive book by Ron Carrillo titled, BREN TEN: The Heir Apparent.  Published in 2005 the book is a comprehensive history of the development of the pistol, and the people behind its creation.  Much of the information collected for the original Bren Ten website was collected from knowledgeable individuals I have corresponded with and various documents I have picked up over the years.  While this certainly helped to paint a general picture of the Bren Ten story, Ron's work takes it to the next level.  He explores absolutely every avenue of the gun's development, as well as the historical impetus behind it.  Included in the text is a very interesting interview he had with Col. Cooper looking back at the Bren Ten journey.


Unfortunately Ron passed away unexpectedly in 2013.  I do not know how many copies of his book were produced, but it is now out of print and extremely difficult to find.

Ron Carrillo at Gunsite with Col. Jeff Cooper in 2000
Picture from Ronald A. Carrillo's BREN TEN: The Heir Apparent

Shoulder Holster

Years ago there was a group of Bren Ten collectors that got together and created the Bren Ten Association (BTA).  I don't know much of the history of the BTA, but in addition to an online newsletter to share info, they also occasionally got together to organize group buys for some Bren Ten related item.


One particular item the BTA organized was a remake of Sonny Crockett's shoulder holster from the popular television series "Miami Vice".  The original holster used in the show was made by Ted Blocker Holsters of Tigard, Oregon, and the association was able to get them to make a limited number of reproductions.  These had a special 'limited edition' BTA stamp that included the Gunsite raven.  There were only 20 of these made (mine is stamped 5/20) and while I remember hearing about some interest in a second run, I don't know if it ever actually happened.


These are very nice shoulder holsters and do a good job of distributing the weight of the heavy Bren Ten and two loaded 10-round magazines.  Even so, I don't know how Detective Crockett managed running around after the bad guys with the big Bren Ten repeatedly banging into his ribs with every step!

Bushing Wrench

Another unique Bren Ten Association group buy was a special run of bushing wrenches specially designed to work with the Bren Ten's unique castle nut bushing.  I have never felt the need to actually break down a Bren to the point where I would need to remove the castle nut bushing, but I can easily see how this tool would be essential to the job!  Had Dornaus & Dixon actually survived I bet they would have eventually added just such an item to their catalog.

(As an interesting side note, the Peregrine Industries Falcon did not use the same bushing system as the Bren, but they incorporated the crenulated look of the castle nut into the slide casting to maintain the iconic Bren look.)


A number of years ago an individual purchased a set of original Bren Ten blue prints (I'm afraid I don't remember the name or the date).  He had copies made which he sold these on the old Bren forum.  Measuring 24"x36" the blueprints are extremely detailed (as you would expect) and are a great resource.

Bren Ten Pistol Blueprints; 1 of 3
Bren Ten Pistol Blueprints; 2 of 3
Bren Ten Pistol Blueprints; 3 of 3

Display Stand

This particular Bren accessory may not appear especially significant, but it has a secret.  The sticker on the bottom of this simple oak pistol stand indicates that it was 'designed and manufactured by' Cyrstal Cane Creations.  What many may not realize is that Crystal Cane Creations was a small business owned and operated by Tom Dornaus during the years just prior to his passing.


Ever the designer and craftsman he made a number of wood canes as well as the pistol stands.  Some of Tom's canes were especially interesting as the handle would actually be a full-sized wood replica of a 1911 or Bren Ten with the shaft of the cane extending from the muzzle.  These were quite detailed and real pieces of art and priced accordingly.


How many of these pistol stands were made by Tom is unknown, but I don't believe there were too many actually made with the 'circle x' logo as the rights to it were actually still owned by Richard Voit at the time.

Various Collectibles

In addition to all the items listed above, there are certain things that while not created specifically for the Bren market, have still made it onto the wishlist of many Bren Ten collectors.  These may be things that are more related to the 10mm Auto cartridge, "Miami Vice" paraphernalia (which put the Bren in the pop culture spotlight!), and various media coverage of Bren Ten.  Again, this list is not all-inclusive, but hopefully it will give you an idea of some of the things out there related to the Bren Ten.

The Bren Ten In Print

One of the more entertaining collectibles are the various periodicals from the 80s and early 90s that contained articles on the Bren Ten.  While not exactly common, they are one of the more easily collected items and if you're patient they don't break the bank.  While the reviews are mainly positive, it must be remembered that Mike Dixon was big into PR and he would go to great lengths to push the pistol.  The one main deviation from the mostly optimistic press was Chuck Taylor's article on Survival Weapons & Tactics.  This was written at a time when Mr. Taylor and Col. Cooper were somewhat at odds, and considering Cooper's involvement in the project there was no way Taylor was going to fawn over the pistol.

I have included PDFs of some of the articles in my personal collection.  This is by no means an exhaustive list of Bren related articles.  If you know of others please drop me an email.

Combat Handguns Feb 81
Combat Handguns
February 1981
by Jeff Cooper

Shooters Survival Jun 81
Shooter's Survival
June 1981
by J. B. Wood

Guns Ammo Aug 84
Guns & Ammo
August 1984
by Howard E. French

Gun World Sep 84
Gun World
September 1984
by Dean A. Grennell

SWAT Dec 84
Survival Weapons & Tactics
December 1984
by Chuck Taylor

Guns & Ammo Annual 85
Guns & Ammo Annual
by John Lachuk

Guns Illustrated 85
Guns Illustrated
by Ralph C. Glaze

New Breed Jan 86
New Breed
January 1986
by Norm Bailey

Ammo & Reloading

The Bren Ten pistol and the 10mm Auto cartridge are so intertwined that it's difficult to talk of one without mentioning the other.  I am still impressed that Mike Dixon was able to find a major ammunition manufacturer to produce and brand new cartridge for a gun that didn't even exist at the time.  The original Norma loadings have not been produced for many years now, but it is still much sought after by both Bren collectors and 10mm enthusiasts.  Part of the reason for this is due to the downloading of 10mm ammunition when the cartridge was chosen as the new F.B.I. carry ammo (check out the 10mm Auto page for more information).  Once this happened most ammunition manufacturers ignored the 10mm's 'magnum' potential and focused on the mild F.B.I. version.  This left the Norma loads and Winchester's 175gn Silvertip as the only hot stuff commonly available (remember, this was before internet 'boutique' ammo was a thing).  Though the Norma ammunition suffered from rather inflated velocity claims, and the jacket of the 170gn JHP loading proved to be too tough for decent expansion for use as a self-defense round, the ammo still maintains its near mythical status as THE 10mm ammo!  Sad to say, however, if you have a Bren Ten I would strongly advise against firing any of the original Norma ammo in it.  Considering some of the metallurgical issues with the Bren slides and the pressure of the Norma loading, you may experience some rather 'explosive' performance!


Of course as soon as a new cartridge is introduced to the shooting world numerous manufacturers are going to rush to start producing various tools and related components for the reloader.  One of the first such companies to offer reloading dies for the 10mm was RCBS.  While 10mm reloading dies may not sound all that exciting and merit the attention of the serious Bren Ten collector, what makes this particular offering so interesting is just how RCBS cataloged their newest offering.  Rather than being labeled simply as "10mm Automatic," which according to SAAMI is the cartridge's official name, the RCBS set was instead titled "40 CALIBER BREN TEN."  Does this make this particular set of reloading dies special or better (or worth more money)?  Not really, but it does pay homage to the Bren Ten's role in the creation and continued popularity of the 10mm Auto cartridge, and for many that is reason enough to add it to the list of Bren Ten collectibles.