Smith and Wesson

A Family Affair • The Story of the Potterfield Ladies

Armed & Fabulous

With her dad’s instruction, Brenda Potterfield knew how to shoot and hunt at an early age. When she met husband Larry in college, they quickly identified a sport they could participate in together. Shortly after they met, Larry was drafted in the Vietnam War, and the two married.

After Larry's last Air Force tour, he and Brenda moved with their two children to Missouri and started a small gun shop in 1977. This business soon evolved into the company today known as MidwayUSA, selling ammunition and firearm accessories by mail in what has become a massive family business success story. Brenda made the books from home during the company's early days; she moved into the office once their kids were in school, but she says that company business still tends to get talked out at the dinner table.

Their daughter Sara went from helping to package ammunition as a child to working as Vice President of Public Relations. She and her mother bond over hunting, both supporting and challenging each other, and try to plan at least one major outing each year. Sara was only 12 when she started to hunt and has passed that love of the sport onto her young daughter, Eliza.

As NRA Golden Ring of Freedom members, the Potterfields are devoted to protecting the Second Amendment. MidwayUSA has generously been the official sponsor of the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits over the years. The Potterfield family demonstrates the vital role of family—and a good entrepreneurial spirit—in the cultivation of hunting and the shooting sports.

The Potterfield family behind retailer MidwayUSA features three generations of women, all passionate about hunting and the Second Amendment.