Interesting doings at Primedia


September 20, 2004, 05:03 PM
Shooting Times and Guns and Ammo picked up a few thousand in circulation for the first half of 04. It looks like the NRA has sold them a mailing list. I don't know how else they would pick me as an advertising recipient. I have recently gotten advertisements for 12 month subscriptions for about $12 and claiming the ordinary rate would be $48.

Looks like they are trying to get a significant boost in circulation.

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Old Dog
September 20, 2004, 06:24 PM
All the same, unless these publications quit recycling the same old articles and go in some new directions, perhaps even -- gasp -- attempt to cover some new ground and a wider variety of firearms, print some more relevant and interesting articles that all gun-owners, shooters and hunters could relate to --- they will never get me to subscribe again.

Any increase in circulation is probably new shooters who will, after a year or so, realize that all the gun mags keep writing the same articles, only the names are changed to protect the guily.

I for one am tired of these shills talking up guns that shouldn't even make it into production, gun reviews that forget to mention barrel length of a new pistol or what it might cost retail, glowing reviews of the free holsters the article writers get to keep, articles by well-known gunwriters talking about their 2 inch off hand groups at 25 yards (sure, we believe you) the first time they shoot a new production pistol, articles about the newest smith's $3500 1911, 9mm vs .45 vs .357 SIG vs .45 GAP ... or like a recent article, how a new first-run version sub-compact 1911 fed 600 rounds of various .45 ammo without one failure to feed (I've got a bridge for sale) for the savvy gunwriter ...

September 20, 2004, 06:29 PM
Thanks for the info on the mags, I dont want a bunch of regurgitated info.

September 20, 2004, 07:01 PM
I've learned to take these mags for what they are.

Glorified advertising and industry back patting.

It is good to have a gun mag during the morning visit to
throne even if the input is similar to the output.

roy berkeley
September 20, 2004, 07:53 PM
I took them up on their subscription offer late last year. I had not bothered with the magazine for several years, but decided to give it another try, mostly because of the low price and the camo-decorated cooler they offered as a premium for subscribing. I was very disappointed in the content. Furthermore, it took them most of this year to finally send me the cooler, and then only after I wrote them several angry letters about it. And then, when the cooler arrived, it did not have the Guns And Ammo logo as advertised. The only worthwhile thing in the magazine (IMO) is Jeff Cooper's monthly column. G&A once was a really good and interesting magazine. I think it went downhill when Petersen sold the magazine to a conglomerate, several years ago.

Jim K
September 20, 2004, 09:12 PM
It is all about making money.

Quite a few years ago one writer (let's call him "Pat") put out a lot of articles in the gunzines praising the revolver and noting the defects of auto pistols. Responses came in the form of articles by "Mike", who described revolvers as obsolete junk and touted the auto pistol as the wave of the future.

The argument went on and on for years, and is still around on this site. But when "Pat" passed away, the articles by "Mike" ceased also. Not out of respect, but because "Pat" and "Mike" were the same person. It is all about making money.


September 20, 2004, 09:17 PM
There used to be a rule against selling things at the NRA shows. This seemed to affect everybody except Gallant Charger. You couldn't go near the GunWorld Booth without getting swarmed to buy subscriptions.

I would suspect that p/media is taking aggressive steps to show their advertisers that they are still a good bet.

Highland Ranger
September 20, 2004, 09:18 PM
Not a lot of money and I always read them cover to cover.

They're not that bad.

Lone Star
September 20, 2004, 09:24 PM
Jim Keenen-

I can't guess who Pat and Mike were, but Skeeter Skelton, Bill Jordan, and Charles Askins all wrote such stories under their own names.

Askins tended to favor autos; Jordan liked revolvers. Skeeter liked some of both, and was more apt to pit single-actions against double-action wheelguns, if an editor told him to come up with such a story.

The funny thing about Skelton being such a revolver man is that he often carried a Walther PP .380 and a Colt M1911A-1 in his work as a US Customs agent. But I have no doubt that he truly loved the S&W Models 19 and 27. The latter in five-inch barrel form was his particular favorite, and what he'd own if forced to choose one gun.

Maj. George Nonte favored double-action 9mm's, but I don't recall that he ever got into debates about revolvers.

It is true that modern gun mags are mainly advertising hype. I think they're losing readers because of it.

Lone Star

September 20, 2004, 09:30 PM
I got hooked on gun mags because of Skeeter, Jordan, Keith, Askins, Cooper etc... Now I go to flea markets and Ebay to buy their old mags and
soak up everything they ever wrote.

A bad Skeeter Skelton article is infinately better than the best Ayoob pigeon cage lining.

September 20, 2004, 09:55 PM
" I can't guess who Pat and Mike were, but Skeeter Skelton, Bill Jordan.." I've never been aware of the same dude doing both sides like that but noms de plume or nom de plumes are not uncommon. Back in the real early days of GUNS magazine, the editor wrote some of the issues all by himself but not always under the same name. Then there was one who dreamed up an alter-ego based on a play on his name Ken S. Latrans =Canus Latrans- Wiley Coyote. Then there was one who was so hated by some of the gun manufacturers that he swiped the name of a clifton webb character and used that instead.

Even some fake names have been used by government employees who didnt want to become famous at work.

September 20, 2004, 10:29 PM
I, too, got a subscription offer from Shooting Times recently - and I assume it came from the NRA.

I have no problem with this. I can only give so much to the NRA, and if they make a bit of money from offerings that actually interest me, that's great.

For less than $10 a year, I subscribed to Shooting Times. If it sucks rocks, I'm only out a 10-spot, and the NRA is richer for it.

September 20, 2004, 10:46 PM
It would make sense to tap into the NRA membership- almost three million potential readers there. I believe the NRA is up front about sharing addresses and selective about who they share them with. I don't know of any other way somebody would get my address except through Texas State Rifle Association maybe.

September 21, 2004, 10:05 AM
"For years, many U.S. publishers have maintained circulation by practically giving away magazines for free with subscriptions offered at substantial discounts to the cover price.

Publishers often lose money winning those subscribers, but they've been able to more than make up the difference with advertising, which typically is sold based on guaranteed circulation rates."


September 21, 2004, 10:53 AM
A bad Skeeter Skelton article is infinately better than the best Ayoob pigeon cage lining.

Skeeter was the all-time greatest as far as I'm concerned. I make his chili and tortillas recipes fairly regularly and people can't get enough of it. (Okay, I do modify it a little, but it's still the best thing to ever come out of a gun rag.)

September 21, 2004, 11:06 AM
If it supports the NRA then I'm fine with it. However, many of these sport specific magazines seem to only include articles to give the reader a moment's break from all the ads. I used to subscribe to Outside, Outdoor Life and Bicycling, no more though, I could read them cover to cover in less than 10 minutes. It's all fluff.

Zeke Menuar
September 22, 2004, 03:59 AM
Aren't these the same mags I use to house train the dog?


September 22, 2004, 05:35 AM
ST isn't too bad (thank God for Sheriff Wilson & Mike Venturino), but I wouldn't give a plug nickle for G&A.....and I don't (parents gave me a free subscription).

Give me ST, GUNS, OR AH...far better writers on staff.

September 22, 2004, 07:50 AM
I seriously doubt the NRA is selling or giving away its membership list.
During the conventions I have worked at the membership tables with strict rules on the computers to access members names. Those computers are on secure telephone lines to the data storage facility in NE Florida and the computers were guarded on off hours.
They are very serious with protecting our identities.

It is more likley to have come from a gun maker or gun parts place that recieved a warrantee card that was filled out or from a mail order sale someone made.

Advertising sells mags and produces tv and radio. You wouldn't be getting a good subscription price without it. It also directs the direction articles or stories take most of the time. There is also just so much to write about over the years.
Besides, people like a good conflict, wheel vs auto, Ford vs Chevy. Sensationalism sells.

I've read a few of the gun rags over the years and put them back in the slot at the book store. Wasn't worth the few pennies an issue.
Its not like you need 8 years of education to understand shooting and guns. There is no mystery to it. No advanced math formula to figure out.

A few basic steps and anyone can become a good shooter.

Only magazine I've ever subscribed to is Field and Stream.
Even the mags that come with organization memberships usually go right into the hopper.
Same old, same old....................................................

September 22, 2004, 08:28 AM
"It is more likely to have come from a gun maker or gun parts place that recieved a warrantee card that was filled out or from a mail order sale someone made."

Click! You could be right. I have been ordering stuff on line from several places. None of them, thankfully, have given out my e-mail to spammers and I really don't object to getting low key advertising from primedia, guntests etc. It's not like they're filling up my mail box or anything.

Here recently, Venturino has left Shooting Times for Rifle/Handloader and Guns/American Handgunner. Seyfried has left Rifle/ Handloader. In the last year, Guns/American Handgunner has picked up a number of big-name writers including Clint Smith and Venturino and has been running stuff from other familiar writers like Gary Paul Johnson.

Standing Wolf
September 22, 2004, 06:38 PM
I still buy the gun magazines, but this site has more useful information.

September 22, 2004, 08:18 PM
Guns and Ammo, Shooting Times, and several (I do mean several) gun magazines were a normal thing for me. I had subscriptions to all sorts of Gun mags but most of them had turned into poorly written trash over the past few years. That along with the fact it seemed I got a letter for renewal as much as I got the magazines. As a result of this I downgraded to just two magazines, they are Guns magazine and American Handgunner and even these two lack the quality they used to have. That and these two mags constantly have a majority of 1911 articles. Dont get me wrong, I have several 1911's but I want to read about all guns rather than just certain ones. I have a couple of friends that donate their other gun mags to me after they have read them so that fills the void. I also occaisionally find old gun mags I havent read at low (5-10 cents a copy) at the flea market. Lets hope quality improves with the available magazines out there!

September 23, 2004, 10:52 AM
I got G&A through some NRA deal too, although I won't be renewing. I usually just read Cooper's comments on the back and then look at the pretty pictures. I read the articles when I have nothing else to do. I tried reading Boddington's latest article about how cool the new 25 super duper short mag is, and how you get about the same performance as a 25-06, but your action and rifle can be shorter. (In my best Austin Powers voice)Whoop de doo Bazzle! I know that is where they get their money, but sometimes :banghead:

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