Best Subscription Magazine on Guns/Shooting?


December 18, 2006, 10:46 PM
I'm relatively new to guns/shooting but am very eager to continue to learn. I have found this site to be a great resource. I would like to subscribe to one or two magazines covering the gamut of guns from hanguns, rifles, shotguns, etc. I am aware that many of these magazines and their product reviews can be biased because of advertising dollars etc. I wouldn't mind one of these magazines for entertainment purposes, new product pics, etc but I would also like a source with solid info, reviews, techniques etc and maybe less fluff. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

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December 18, 2006, 10:58 PM
S.W.A.T. (

December 18, 2006, 10:58 PM
"American Rifleman" of the benefits of joining the NRA.

December 19, 2006, 12:09 AM
Shotgun News is the best bang for the buck, and you'll get a few free issues of Shooting along with it, usually.

Avoid Guns and Ammo. It's just a printed infomercial.

December 19, 2006, 12:21 AM
Most gun magazines pander to their advertisers. You'll never read a negative review in "Guns and Ammo."

Although I've never picked up an issue, I've been told that "Gun Tests" Magazine is very close to being impartial.

Prince Yamato
December 19, 2006, 01:22 AM
Shotgun News. also has good reviews.

pete f
December 19, 2006, 01:46 AM
Rifle and handloader used to be really good, they are just ok now.

ANYTHING from peterson publications is just pressreleases reworked.

Varmint hunter is far more attuned to popping prairie dogs at long distances but you tend to get better intel and grade A amateur working stories than most anywhere else. Lots of let me tell you about what I did, sorts of things, but usually with honest reports on equipment tried and rejected or attempts at something new that never panned out.

American Handgunner has some good people on the masthead but the management has a pretty serious agenda issue and that can get annoying.
same as goes for its sister pub. Guns.

Precision shooter mag is good too, lots of how to articles for the more advanced amoung us.

December 19, 2006, 01:48 AM
I've read On Target but I get them free from Dick's. They aren't bad but I'm sure there is much better out there.

I'm also interested on which magizine to buy. I'm not sure SWAT would be right but who knows.

Blue .45
December 19, 2006, 02:07 AM
I get Guns Magazine and American Handgunner for entertainment. However, I would never buy anything on their recommendation alone. I would post on various forums to get product reviews from people who have personal experience with a specific product before I go out and buy it. Also, I bought a couple of instructional videos which I found helpful from this place. Although, you might find some of these titles cheaper someplace else.

MSgt B
December 19, 2006, 02:53 AM
Join the NRA, order the Rifleman.

Put your mouth where your money is. Add your voice to the NRA and say "I own guns; God bless America"

December 19, 2006, 03:05 AM
Gun Tests is like a Consumer Reports of guns, they buy or order guns anonymously , then give them a fairly objective going over. They don't accept any advertising from gun or ammo companies and often offer the guns for sale to subscribers after they're done with testing them.
Gun Tests (

December 19, 2006, 04:03 AM
American Rifleman free with NRA memebership.

December 19, 2006, 07:14 AM
"Gun Tests" magazine doesn't use really objective testing, and the tests are not very well structured. I also think suggesting that you not buy a model of handgun based on one data point (the one gun they "tested") is not very scientific.


Sleeping Dog
December 19, 2006, 07:36 AM
"Precision Shooting" is pretty interesting.

December 19, 2006, 08:09 AM
I second the motion for Guns and American Handgunner. You just have to take any of these rags with a grain of salt and understand that they all, without exception, have some type of agenda to promote. As long as you don't take any of them as gospel, they can be quite informative and good entertainment.
As for the NRA, I have changed my membership to GOA instead. I think the NRA is a lot more talk than action. They seem like they are selling out. Could be just my opinion.:D

December 19, 2006, 10:43 AM
American Rifleman or Small Arms Review

December 19, 2006, 10:48 AM
swat, guns and ammo, petersons, soldier of fortune, small arms review, american rifleman.

December 19, 2006, 10:49 AM
oh yeah, varmint hunter.

December 19, 2006, 11:08 AM
S.W.A.T. is good stuff.

USA Shooting Magazine (which you get with membership) is kinda rough on the layout and design, but usually has worthwhile articles. Now if I could just find the time to read them.

December 19, 2006, 11:28 AM
A second vote for Precision Shooting.

December 19, 2006, 11:53 AM
Combat Handguns and American Handgunner both have good columns.

December 19, 2006, 12:17 PM
American Rifleman and Guntests.

I've got a beef with Guntests, though. They grade guns either Don't Buy, Conditional Buy, Buy, or Our Pick. I've noticed lately they're giving Don't Buy ratings to guns that don't have anything wrong with them - there's just another gun they prefer.

Example: reviewing Marlin and Winchester lever actions, they gave the Winchester a Don't Buy rating because they thought the Marlin was a better deal. Some people may prefer the Winchester for whatever reason, but the Don't Buy rating makes it sound like a bad gun.

Joe Gunns
December 19, 2006, 04:29 PM
I would say buy a bunch of different ones from the mag racks for several months. You will get a feel for what you like. The caveats given per Guns & Ammo, etc., are valid concerns, however you may find features about it you enjoy, despite the pro-advertiser editorial bias.

i definitely endorse joining the NRA and taking the American Rifleman.

I enjoy Gun Tests. As noted above, their testing is not truely objective, uses only one example of each firearm, and may result in conclusions based on what I think are insignificant issues. Naturally some folk take it as a personal affront when their favorite "friend" is low-rated by a goofy looking guy in a backwards hat which leads to occasional indignant sturm und drang on these boards. However, Gun Tests' evaluators always explain why they give each gun a particular rating. It is up to you to determine if their observation is relevant to your own experience/situation.

December 19, 2006, 04:30 PM
Guns and American Handgunner. I can't wait for the next issue.
Guntest. I like the idea, I think it could be better executed.
Guns And Ammo. Best part was Cooper's column. I got a free 6 month sub when I bought a box of Hornady Ammo. I wouldn't pay for it.
The magazine I enjoy most is Fur-Fish-Game. General outdoor mag. Usually a couple good gun articles in each issue. Written for average sportsmen with good tips and ideas.

December 19, 2006, 04:54 PM
The problem that some people have with Gun Tests is that they down rates some people's pet guns. If you are honest in the media, you'll always have people mad at you. No matter where they rate a gun, they always tell you exactly why and give a full description of what they found. I have read through teir data and drawn different conclusions, but I always find the information useful.
The other thing to remember is that they but their guns over the counter like the general public. This means that they might get a lemon even though the general run of a particular gun is fine. They will rate what they get.
I've bought a number of guns based on their reviews and haven't been steered to a bad gun yet. I certainly cannot say that about most gun magazines.

December 19, 2006, 04:58 PM
American Hunter, keeps you updated with everything, when elections were going on it actually posted all pro-gun candidates, + each article they have stories about people who saved their lives by using a firearm

December 19, 2006, 05:03 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. I have already joined the NRA, still waiting for my first issue of American Rifleman. I've had trouble finding gun/shooting magazines in the racks of my local stores. Haven't had the energy to drive all the way to Barnes and Noble in this south florida traffic so I was looking for something to come to me in my mailbox! I'm leaning towards maybe S.W.A.T. and Shotgun News but I think I'll wait for my first issue of American Rifleman to decide.

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