Rant: When did gun rags become 10 bucks?


George Hill
May 12, 2003, 07:09 PM
So I was walking through Wally World picking up a few needed household items such as dish soap, training pants for the Terrible Two I have... things like that.
I noticed they had moved the magazine rack and it looked to be expanded. Thought I would take a look at the gun rags and maybe pick one up for the daily library read.

All the rags looked like they have always looked... maybe a bit glossier but otherwise the are all the same "issues" in all the issues. I decided to pick one up when I noticed the price. IT WAS 10 BUCKS! What the Heck?!
Forget that! That's a box of ammo!
So I grabbed a different one... and it was 10 bucks.
so I grabbed a different one... and it was 10 bucks.
There was a couple other one that were cheaper... and they were the price of a movie ticket.
Forget that! That's a ticked to Bullet Proof Monk!
The cheapest rag on the market that appeared on the shelf was Guns and Ammo... for the price of a 500 pack of .22LR.

When did these guys start making these gun magazines expensive? At what point was the value of the same old people writting the same old articles suddenly increased more than double? I never saw this coming. On the few occasions that I buy a gun magazine, I have never noticed because I would just throw an issue into the cart as I walked past and put everything on the card all at once.
With the Algore's advent of the Internet, and people like Rich and Oleg and others who have created websites like this one... where you can get all the information you want... where we even have industry leaders (such as owen here from FN) who are willing to talk about the products... you would think that these gunrags would cost LESS because they are becoming obsolete and the information, if not rehashed a hundred thousand times, is outdated by more than a month at least. You never get BREAKING NEWS from a gun magazine like you could 5 years ago. Are production costs of these magazines that high? I mean seriously... don't the advertisers give enough to offset the rack price? I mean hell man, I picked up 2 year subscriptions for MAXIM and STUFF for FREE because they make enough from Advertising they just wanted to pump up the subscription numbers to charge even more for advertising. SURELY GLOCK and SPRINGFIELD and SMITH & WESSON spend enough money on advertising... I am sure that those guys together don't even spend as much as the EXTREME SHOK AMMO and the BLACK HAWK INDUSTIRES guys spend. Good advertising too - if I ever have to shoot a Talibanny, it's going to be with THAT AMMO!

So instead of dropping 10 bucks on a freaking gun rag... I picked up another 100 rounds of 9mm and went shooting instead.

If I want to read on the latrine, I have SWAT downloaded into my iPAQ and can read that... it's really the only one that you can actually READ. Other that John Taffin's articles in American Handgunner... it's all about the pictures anyways.
Is that worth 10 bucks? I don't know... maybe it is. American Handgunner has those sexy centerfolds that you can hang up in your walk in gun safe / reloading room.

I remember when these things were only like 3 bucks and change.
No... these gun rag publishers can't be getting greedy and just pumping the price for profits... I BLAME THE TREE HUGGERS FOR MAKING PAPER MORE EXPENSIVE!!!!

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J Miller
May 12, 2003, 07:14 PM
I remember when these things were only like 3 bucks and change. :rolleyes:
I remember when they were 75 Cents..........................:uhoh:

Gun magazines worth $10.00, NO WAY IN THE WORLD!!!!!

May 12, 2003, 07:19 PM
Maybe they are saving up for future lawyer assertions of "vicarious liability" ;) :rolleyes:

El Tejon
May 12, 2003, 07:21 PM
Wait, how many guys in flowered shirts pointing guns at themselves, articles about bears, or articles with "tactical" in them did it have?

If none, I might pay $10 for it?:)

Dave R
May 12, 2003, 07:30 PM
What's really bad is when you realize that the G&A annual ($10) is composed entirely of articles from previous issues. $10 for recycled articles?

May 12, 2003, 07:33 PM
You know, since the forums came about, I find that I get most of my information via the web anyway. Usually, I've already read the most up to date info available on the forums before the rags hit the racks. AND, one thing is for sure, you'll get some good unbiased information and reviews of items on the forums.

May 12, 2003, 08:20 PM
$10 for a magazine :confused:
Note to self: go to local Walmart and check it out
The feburuary issue of Combat Handguns I'm holding is $4.50

May 12, 2003, 08:30 PM
George, The path to wisdom is never cheap..:barf:


May 12, 2003, 08:33 PM
$10, I had no idea.


Yep, $10 for value pk of 9mm makes more sense, and at least one can recycle the brass...

With THR and other net sources, one can get feedbacks, info, reviews, suggestions...fresh, honest, no holds barred. Pictures, heck look at some the works on this site alone...

May 12, 2003, 09:09 PM
I picked up an AH a few weeks ago and I know it wasn't $10. I would know since I am a cheap SOB when it comes to stuff like that.


Standing Wolf
May 12, 2003, 09:20 PM
I still buy American Handgunner and Shooting Times, but this site is far more useful and timely.

May 12, 2003, 09:33 PM
S.W.A.T., Double Gun Journal, and some of the specialty magazines are the only gun rags worth anything.

May 12, 2003, 10:30 PM
OK, So all this talk of price made me go dig thru my "files" to see what I paid years ago. The price for the December 1962 issue of "Gun World" magazine was 50 cents. For those who may be interested, the cover gun was the Ruger .256 Hawkeye with the obligatory article on the new varmint hunters handgun. Also a nice piece titled "Burp guns of the modern Armies. Cool!

One further note. I bought that mag when I was in 5th grade. I always had a small stack of gun mags on the right front corner of my desk, nobody ever said a word about them. God help some kid these days if they caught him with an evil gun magazine!

Don in Ohio

Art Eatman
May 12, 2003, 10:38 PM
The current issue of G&A sez "$3.99". By subscription, it's half that much.

But I'm another who limits out at around $4, retail.

I guess there are some advantages to having been a long-time Lifer in NRA, IPSC and TSRA. :) "Free" magazines.


May 12, 2003, 10:39 PM
Funny... I subscribe to Grassroot Motorsports and European Car and a couple lesser known BMW and Porsche magazines. And I somehow got a subscription to Sundra's soapbox, Rifle Shooter, which I do read through but, honest, I didn't sign up for it! :p Rarely do I buy gun magazines anymore... with the infinite time-sucking vehicle that is TheHighRoad (and TheFiringLine before it and 1911forum and pistolsmith.com) I don't need to buy magazines.

Anway... we were staying in a hotel for a few days back and stopped in a Walmart and I was looking for something to read. I pointed out to my wife that I could either get a 90 page mostly black and white magazine (Combat Handgunner ???) for $6 or $7 or a 300 page all color log and timber homes magazine featuring more than 27 glossy photographs (with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one... :p ) for like $5! It was crazy! Granted, the homes magazine was basically a catalog of homes whereas the gun magazine was a no compromise review-packed book of honesty! :rolleyes: But the initial eye candy value was heavily in the home magazine's favor and that is the one that I bought.

Anyway, sorry to rant, but yes... I've noticed the same thing. :p

May 12, 2003, 10:50 PM
I subscribe to them ALL and own a computer. So kill me!:cool:

May 13, 2003, 12:09 AM
$10 (!)

................never saw the need to buy one anyways

May 13, 2003, 12:15 AM
Two words" Ichiro Nagata". I believe the spelling is correct. This guy has transformed pictures of guns into an art form that rivals air-brushed models in Playboy. He can make you pant over a pistol that was designed 90+ years ago, to the point that you're ready to sell your car to buy whatever graces the latest gun mag centerfold. Something tells me that this guys photographic/hypnotic power has not gone unnoticed by the people who publish these mags, and he's not working for minimum wage.

But that's just me, and I'm weak. Real weak. :uhoh: geegee

Mike Irwin
May 13, 2003, 12:27 AM
I remember when G&A was $1.50, and I seriously wondered if it was worth it then...

One thing and one thing alone kept me buying those magazines -- the articles on shooting the old guns by Robert Shimek.

Funny to think that in only a few years I'd be working for Red Bell, the guy who was publisher or some such of G&A then, and realizing that what he did to turn G&A in to pablum he was doing to American Rifleman. Sigh.

"Ichiro Nagata"

WOW! That is REALLY weird, geegee!

This evening I was reading a back issue of G&A from 1986 and Ichiro Nagata placed something like 8th in the California Action Pistol Championships...

May 13, 2003, 12:44 AM
Yeah, he's a bonafide shooter for sure. But think about it. What he does with a camera and some pistols and tactical black cordura holsters and some tactical folders. :what: Those pictures, that lighting, the thought of being eqipped with that gear! Oh yeah, they know the value of a good photo shoot, alright.

I'll bet that at Handgunner and Guns Magazine, he can have whatever he wants. Never mind the publisher, the editor, whoever. Ichiro keeps us all coming back for more. He knows the depraved allure of "gun porno" like no one else. Really sick. geegee

May 13, 2003, 12:49 AM
I freely admit that I'd rather look at Nagata's work than anything Playboy has to offer.

And yes... I am married. :cuss:

May 13, 2003, 12:52 AM
Thanks for the honesty, Cratz. I've seen pictures of what you own, and frankly...your answer doesn't surprise me. geegee

Mike Irwin
May 13, 2003, 01:30 AM
"I freely admit that I'd rather look at Nagata's work than anything Playboy has to offer."


That's just plain disturbing...

May 13, 2003, 01:45 AM

May 13, 2003, 01:56 AM
I prefer to just buy books now. There are a lot of good books out there on firearms training.
The stuff in magazines pales in comparison to what you can get onthese forums. At least the forums have honest reviews.

FWIW I will NEVER buy an issue of American Handgunner again since they did that fluff piece for S&W, basically calling anyone that was boycotting them an idiot.
I think it is about time for my annual letter to them telling them as much.

May 13, 2003, 07:18 AM
It's all about marketing. Supply and demand. The publishers and promotion people know exactly how much "the sheeple" will pay to see a movie. That is why it costs what it does to go see a movie. Same with the car you buy.

Congrats George Hill, you have separated yourself from "The Sheeple"!

May 13, 2003, 08:13 AM
It amazes me too.
Makes you wonder how good the market for gun magazines really is.
I will subscribe occasionally. Then you pay $2-3 per issue.
Or, I will spend the $20 on a good book instead of two magazines.

Like others, if I want good information I come here.
Or the Glock forum, 1911 forum, Smith & Wesson forum, Ruger forum, Ak forum.............................

That is one of the great things about the Internet. (thanks Al Gore!)
If I want to know the real scoop about a computer printer, gun, camera, etc., I just post a question, and the next thing you know, a dozen people who have actually used the product will let me know what they think about it.
Cool! :cool:

May 13, 2003, 09:12 AM
The stuff in magazines pales in comparison to what you can get onthese forums.
Amen to that. geegee

May 13, 2003, 09:33 AM
heh, i'm way to cheap for $10 gun rags,,,

i read em at the range for free,

so what if its 6 months old,

if you havent seen it yet...


Steve Smith
May 13, 2003, 09:58 AM
I freely admit that I'd rather look at Nagata's work than anything Playboy has to offer.

No offense, Cratz2, but if you had ever read a Playboy cover to cover, you'd know that besides some great photo layouts, the magazine itself is a quality production. Makes for an enjoyable read. Good articles and plenty of text, rather than the rediculous amounts of ads in the gun rags. Gun rags just make me mad (like George?) that I spent the money for ads.

Playboy ranks with Popular Science and Popuar Mechanics, but the gun rags rank with the National Enquirer. Sad.

Dan Johnson
May 13, 2003, 10:40 AM
Was this some sort of Internet experiment? I have often noted how someone can make a post blasting most anything and a flood of yes men will rally to the cause without any pause to consider if the original poster has the facts straight. Fact is, most gun magazines sell from 3.99 to 4.99 and Wal-mart discounts that price. G&A is 3.99. Tell us where we can get a brick of .22s for 3.99. I want some. I'm not saying the price of magazines is cheap or even reasonable, but can anyone name one monthly gun magazine that costs 10 bucks?

Dan Johnson

Brad Johnson
May 13, 2003, 11:57 AM
It's marketing hype to help them sell subscriptions. You've all seen the blow cards that read something like "Save 75% off the newsstand price." Subscriptions mean ad dollars, so they will sacrifice a few newsstand sales in order to make it happen.


George Hill
May 13, 2003, 12:08 PM
No. No experiment.
Looking at the newsstand, I would pick up the gunrags and look at the price printed right on the cover.
9.9something was the price on several gun rags.
6.something was the price on others.
Guns & Ammo was the cheapest, I don't remember what it was... but it was more than it used to be.

And If I wanted to just say anything I wanted to - I probably wouldnt be posting under my real name.

May 13, 2003, 01:01 PM
I'm tempted to buy whatever magazine that is that has the Beretta Billenium (steel frame, cock and lock and carbon fiber grips baby!!!) on the cover...

4v50 Gary
May 13, 2003, 02:10 PM
The path to wisdom is never cheap? Well, you don't necessarily have to spend $ for wisdom. Wisdom & knowledge are two different critters. Anyone can get knowledge but wisdom is something that is acquired with time. Enuff philosophical stuph.

$10 for a gunrag is nuts. If I'm lucky, I pay $10 or less for good, used book - preferably about weapons. Pretty pictures and rehash of the same old controversy (9mm v. 45, rev. v. pistols, AK v. AR) isn't worth the ducats. Now, if those mags actually taught you something like servicing your gun or some history behind it (new stuph and not rehash).

May 13, 2003, 02:18 PM
I pay $12.99 for the Double Gun Journal at Barnes & Noble. A subscription would be 4 issues a year for $39. Great color pics of guns I'll likely never own.


I should probably subscribe to Precision Shooting too instead of paying $5.99 an issue at the gun shop. I don't feel too badly about it though, by the time my dad and uncle read them and get them back to me I'm ready to look at them again.


May 13, 2003, 02:51 PM
Now I appreciate SWAT, I'm learning some stuff, I'm not being "inundated" by a flood of this is what our ads money says you gotta have. I respect that.

Books, I do not know how many times over the years I have re -read Brister's Book. I use it still as a reference. I paid too much at the time because I couldn't wait, ordered it and paid too much in shipping (priority).

Being a broke older return to college student, I raid my gunsmiths' collection. I make notes to myself to check my friends used Bookstore and tell him to be on the lookout for some things.

I traded an old psych book for a Ruark book I wanted...I'd rather read Ruark, truth is there is probably more real life application learned from it than psych. Or maybe Freud was right. :D

May 13, 2003, 03:59 PM
Ten bucks, thats outrageous. When they went to $4.50 I decided to start buying books at the gunshow. In the mags everything is recycled. Every gun is a "must have." Every technique is "Tactical." Wonder bullets; goofy ways of measuring group sizes; nothing is objective; never a bad or imperfect gun. There is more info contained in a single thread there on THR than most of the mags.

May 14, 2003, 10:15 PM
You guys gotta get in tight with the honcos at the gun rags so you get comped subscriptions. I haven't paid for an issue of AH since the mid 80s. Stopped buying G&A and Shooting TImes at about the same time. My gun rag budget consists of an occaisional GWLE or some such. The internet's so much more fun and it's more up-to-date anyway.

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