Recommend a good gun magazine?


March 1, 2007, 12:34 AM
Let me start by saying that over the past 10 years my gun information needs have been met by the internet. Last time I picked up a gun magazine it was "Guns And Ammo" a lifetime ago when I was a kid. From what I remember it was very Rambo-esque, although I could be mistaken. I'm interested in subscribing to a good gun mag that is information heavy and will actually improve my knowledge of firearms.

I'm a lifetime member of the NRA and I do get America's First Freedom. Good read, but mostly industry info, politics and not enough gun specific information for me.

Anyone recommend a good gun magazine?

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March 1, 2007, 12:44 AM
Unfortunately, there aren't any!:mad: :mad:

March 1, 2007, 12:48 AM
Hate to disagree, griz, but I do think there are a couple. Guns n Ammo, is not a Rambo esque rag. It's filled with lots of great reviews and articles. Also, Idaho, switch your NRA magazine to American Rifleman. It's not only about rifles. Lot's of NRA political stuff...sure...but tons of useful reviews, articles and historical stuff too.

March 1, 2007, 12:48 AM
I don't read any gun mags other than American Rifleman which the NRA sends me every month. Gun mags are all biased as they don't want to PO their advertisers. I find that good Internet forums such as THR, TFL, The Gun Zone, and provide far more current and reliable info than gun rags. I just can't read them while I'm sitting on the can.

March 1, 2007, 12:49 AM
Fur Fish Game..

not really a gun magazine as it is more of an Outdoors magazine. its been around since the 1920s i beleve they normally have some good non manufacture influnced ($$$$) gun articles in them. and every month they "test" a rifle or pistol and give it there own review. Normally around 4-5 paragraphs. and its usually a rifle the common folk like my self can afford none of those 2000.00 Weatherbys! more like the 400$ Weatherbys and Savages

March 1, 2007, 12:58 AM
small arms review.
soldier of fortune

March 1, 2007, 01:02 AM
I just can't read them while I'm sitting on the can.

Laptop and wifi! :)

Prince Yamato
March 1, 2007, 01:04 AM
small arms review
soldier of fortune
shotgun news (mostly adds)

March 1, 2007, 01:05 AM
Free manufacturer catalogs are great can material.

March 1, 2007, 01:12 AM
I just can't read them while I'm sitting on the can.

Laptop and wifi! :)

I'm never reading any of your posts again (

March 1, 2007, 01:15 AM
I hate the fact that they all seem geared towards swat teams ans special ops when most of the readers are civilians...its annoying and makes me feel very out of place reading any of the popular mags.

March 1, 2007, 01:17 AM
Guns & Ammo.

I have only read it for the past few years, but "Rambo-esque" does not sping to mind.

Not nearly as good now that Jeff Cooper is gone.

It IS hard for them not to like a gun they review, but I also have that problem.:)

March 1, 2007, 01:17 AM
Unfortunately, there aren't any!

I let all of my subscriptions lapse years ago. The so-called "gun writers" rewarm articles from one publication to another and from year to year. Nothing new, nothing critical of those who supply the free guns and trips, nothing worth reading. The internet is 100 times more informative, and free.

SGNn for example, is less that 1/2 the size it was in the mid-90's.

March 1, 2007, 01:18 AM
I hate the fact that they all seem geared towards swat teams ans special ops when most of the readers are civilians...its annoying and makes me feel very out of place reading any of the popular mags.

i agree, tactical/special ops/swat generation is getting prety annoying. anyone seen the M14 style stocks cabelas sells for shotguns! the best is the Tactical H&R single shot shotgun they have in there :barf:

March 1, 2007, 01:21 AM
"The Varmint Hunter"
"The American Rifleman"

All the rest just seem to be adverts for the '1911'. Good guns Just sick of reading about the "new" this or that..It's been done... many times before.
"Guns and Ammo'" Is better than is used to be. Last issue only had one 1911 article in it [5 pages long]. Still shallow reporting.

If you are into ballistics and tech articles " The Varmint Hunter" is super.

'The American Handgunner' used to be one of the best and they have been catching a lot of flack for all their 1911 articles and knives. Maybe they will change.

Sad indeed......Goldy

March 1, 2007, 01:24 AM
My big problem with every gun rag out there is I have never seen a bad review on one single gun tested :scrutiny: . Now I know full and damn well that I have had bad guns before, and so have most of you. So are we to believe that if you write for a gun mag you some how become blessed and never recieve a POS gun to review? End story is money talks, payola runs the media.

March 1, 2007, 01:26 AM
JLStorm ~

Try Concealed Carry Magazine ( It's all about regular people who carry guns. No SWAT stuff, no military, and more people- and training- focused than stuff focused.


March 1, 2007, 05:53 AM
Gun Tests, it takes no advertising and speaks plainly. People get ticked off because their favorite guns sometimes get panned, but they always tell you why they make the decisions they do. I respect them even when I disagree with them. BTW, they test guns bought over the counter not what a manufacturer sends them.

March 1, 2007, 06:26 AM
THR has a heritage which is very heavily into the "tactical."

I personally like

Precision Shooting

These are not "rambo" publications. Nor are they written for the "it's painted black, so we charge $50 more for it" crew.

If you want to get the most out of a rifle, and yourself, Precision Shooting is probably the best starting point.

March 1, 2007, 07:24 AM
The only one I read is Shotgun News. :D

March 1, 2007, 10:19 AM
I like Guns and Ammo.

Occasionally I pick up American Handgunner.

I subscribe to American Rifleman.

March 1, 2007, 10:24 AM
Gun Tests is like consumer reports for guns. They seem to be very unbiased, and have no ads. it's a bit pricey, but worth every penny. That is if you are looking for reviews if you are looking to expand your gun knowledge I suggest some of the Gun encyclopedias or large gun picture books.

beaucoup ammo
March 1, 2007, 10:35 AM
Good mag for the reasons already mentioned. I let my subscription run out however. I figured since I was a subscriber, I'd have free access to the archieved articles from past issues on their web sight. Not so.

Perhaps that's expecting too much..but if a company wants my business in this competitive world..make it happen for me. If they were to raise the subscription rate a bit, explaining the price gives you such privilage..I'd understand and go along.

It's dog eat dog, and print had best make it as attractive as possible to the consumer especially when they have a companion web sight, IMO.

March 1, 2007, 11:14 AM
"Smallarms Review". So good, I used to drive all the way to the other side of Cleveland to buy it.

March 1, 2007, 11:20 AM
I usually enjoy "Special Weapon for Military and Police" but the problem is that they often review things us serf can't buy, like the super kewl new AA-12, which is a DD for peasants like me.

Also, it pisses me off when they reviewed the Le Mas 10mm ammo, super hot stuff that blistered through 1/8" steel that stopped Ranger and other good brands of ammo. Then, towards the end of the article, they go on to state that due to the extraordinary lethality of this round, it should only be made available to military and police. The last sentence is actually "Police and Military only need apply."

Gawd forbid average citizens possess some of the more effective ammunition on the market.

March 1, 2007, 11:29 AM
My favorite is "American Rifleman", sometimes I get Shotgun News mostly for their advertisements.

March 1, 2007, 11:47 AM
Gun magazines from the UK,which are good.Here is a list of the following,that I buy each month from W.H.Smiths stationers.:)


Target Sports(Formerly known as Target Gun.)

Shooting Sports


AirGun World.


I look at the last three,because of the Field Target rifles,ordinary air-rifles and Co2 pistols.Co2 pistols are good,for our modified version of practical pistol,shooting.:D :)

I also like airsoft games too,but hate the soon to be VCR bill.So get stuffed Blairsky the numpty.:cuss: :mad: :neener:

March 1, 2007, 12:48 PM
I have only ever subscribed to one gun magazine. Gun Tests. Its a great source of no-BS info on guns. Some times they do go a bit overboard and they'll rate a gun as "don't buy" because they don't like the sights or something, but they do not take any money from advertisers or gun companies. Because of this is is easier to read through their opinions and extract the facts than it is to try to do that with some other magazine like Guns & Ammo or American Handgunner.

I also like American Rifleman that my dad gets every month.

Gun Tests is good for cut and dry info, American Rifleman is good for nice pictures and eloquently written articles. I also like the fact that American Rifleman covers stuff like what optics our troops are using. Other gun mags just review the same guns every year and reprint the same articles every year.

March 1, 2007, 01:36 PM
My current subscriptons include:
Gun Digest
Shotgun News
Guns Magazine
Shooting Times
Combat Handguns
American Handgunner
Guns & Ammo, as well as both NRA publications.
If you can't find some good reading in this list, well, all is lost.

March 1, 2007, 01:37 PM
I'll second(third, fourth?) the comments on the lack of good gun magazines out there. The one I really liked was The Accurate Rifle. For me it seemed more focused on rifle(gun) culture and shooting more than on the products themselves. It was put out by the same people who put out Precision Shooter, but was cancelled last year.

If anyone knows of a magazine that's picked up TAR's torch, please let me know.


March 1, 2007, 02:04 PM

I used to have a subscription to concealed carry, but I let it lapse, because I thought that they were really reaching for things to print and inflating simple stories to create hero type articles. I also noticed that they seem to run so lean on material that often the stories are out dated. Its a shame I like Tim, he is a good guy, but I just didnt like the direction I saw the magazine going...that was over 2 years ago, maybe it has gotten better since then?

March 1, 2007, 02:08 PM
Forgot, JL bumped my mind. Concealed Carry is another I'm subscribed to and I have in fact seen an improvement to its content over the past few years.

March 1, 2007, 02:37 PM
For me it is Shooting Illustrated, Gun Tests, and American Gunsmith. Every Jan. I pick up G&A's yearly Book of the 1911 and The one for military surplus rifles. I believe Shooting Illustrated is an NRA magazine. I just got a 5 years for 39.99.

March 1, 2007, 04:53 PM
Small Arms Review.

March 1, 2007, 06:39 PM
I subscribe to Guns Magazine and they also send me a complementary copy of shooting times so I end up getting 2 for 1 price.

Plus if you check around (do a google) you can find a better price than the regular subscription - around $1 an issue.

I also have guns and ammo but will let the subscription lapse because the new owners cut the # of pages by at least 1/2 - its all ads now and not worth it, almost seems like they copy the American Rifleman articles?

Gun Tests is OK - not very scientific with their tests or the models they compare to each other but no advertising. I just wish they could afford to buy 3 or more of the same gun to see if they just happened to get a bad one or a good one.

March 1, 2007, 06:50 PM
I personally like

Precision Shooting

Bogie nailed this one. I'm also into accurate rifles and reloading.

Looking thru the posts, you can see that the "best" depends on the interests of the reader. I'm shrinking my collection, not adding, so Shotgun News is of no interest to me. I don't get my jollies by reading about the newest pipsqueak handgun, so Concealed Carry isn't on my list.

IMO, every dedicated gun owner should belong to the NRA, so I'd go for American Rifleman or American Hunter.

I like to hunt, so FF&G, etc. would be of interest.

As far as mainstream stuff, my wife got G&A for me. I'd lose interest after 5 minutes and toss it in the trash.

March 1, 2007, 07:20 PM
I read "The Blue Press" for the pictures.

Dave Workman
March 1, 2007, 07:41 PM
I would have to say
Gun Week
Gun World
Gun Digest (the magazine, formerly Gun List)
American Handgunner
Combat Handguns

March 1, 2007, 08:45 PM
Fantastic, thank you for the many recommendations. I'll start by switching my First Freedom to American Rifleman. I'll also give these three a try to start with and my primary goal is learning more.

Precision Shooting
Gun Tests
Smallarms Review


March 1, 2007, 09:27 PM
American Handgunner is the best I've seen even though they can't seem to stop reviewing 1911's.

I tremendously enjoy Rifle Handloading magazine, although it's weird that they refer to anything Winchester loaded as "WCF"!

I absolutely hate Guns & Ammo magazine as a result of a cover story a few years back. They had a Tikka T3 Tactical rifle on the cover. When you go to the article, they admit they never got one to shoot but since they'd shot other Tikka's and they had a Tikka brochure handy, they could reasonably expect...

The friggin Tikka brochure is availible free! Why would I pay for a magazine to get a review that was based entirely on the brochure and anecdotal stuff about other tikka products!

March 2, 2007, 06:42 AM
American Hangunner and Guns are both pretty good magazines. Their writing is much better than Gun Tests and their reviews much more consistent. Gun Tests is a marginal magazine that is to inconsistent in "rating" for anything but the most superficial details IMHO. Plus, the aforementioned mags have some articles on tactics, current events, etc...

My big problem with every gun rag out there is I have never seen a bad review on one single gun tested

Many times that is because they don't print the article. Why waste space on a piece of junk? The magazine uses its pages to review products they thought the readers would like. It is sort of like saying, "I read the list of winners at this years XYZ competition... How come they never tell me about the losers?" Limited pages means you choose the best products for your readers.

March 3, 2007, 09:43 PM
I get a number of gun magazines but if I had to cut that number down to 2 they would be Combat Handguns and American Handgunner.

March 3, 2007, 09:54 PM
american handgunner is ok. but im more of a hunter at heart so i find myself gravitating mor toward: rifle, petersens rifle shooter, and my local hunting ass. rag oregon hunter. also i find shotgun news sophmoric at best and utter trash at worst. i prefer gun digest.

March 3, 2007, 09:54 PM
I don't subscribe to any but the official NRA magazines.

I do often pick up various rags at the store though.

I just pick up whatever looks like it has good stuff that month.

March 3, 2007, 10:27 PM
Somthing that hold a least 30 rounds, the more the better:neener:

March 3, 2007, 10:36 PM
I don't subscribe to any but the official NRA magazines.

\Same here!

March 3, 2007, 10:38 PM
I don't subscribe to any but the official NRA magazines.

Same here!

March 3, 2007, 10:48 PM
I get First Freedom from the NRA and it is a great mag for the political side of things. I get Front Sight from the USPSA and it is a great magazine about competition. For just reading about guns I like American Handgunner & Gun Test. There are pluses and minuses to all of them but these are just my favorites.

Ray P
March 3, 2007, 10:57 PM
So far, the last two gun magazines that aren't filled to the gills with regurgitated advertising foisted off as articles, are Gun Test & the AGI monthly. Pretty much any gun rag that exists on paid advertising from the big-name gun manufacturers faces a conflict in (financial) interests in publishing any article critical of an advertiser's product.

I do like the fact that the Gun Test reports are based on production model guns purchased directly from retailers. None of the guns tested are "pre-production" or factory-enhanced loaners.

Some people may not like Gun Test's "call it as I see it" attitude, or they may disagree when a favorite gun gets a low rating. But I find Gun Test articles to be well-researched, and the problems identified fairly reported.

Update: Lately, Natchez sent me a couple of courtesy copies of G&A or American Handgunner (Can't remember which). The articles are just as bad now as they were 10 years ago when I finally canceled my American Handgunner subscription. It was very nice of Natchez, but the magazine is a POS.

Ohio Rifleman
March 3, 2007, 11:19 PM
I get American Rifleman and America's First Freedom from the NRA every month. Both provide interesting reads consistently every month. From time to time, I'll pick up a Guns and Ammo or whatever, but only if there's an article in it that catches my eye. Though the subscription price for Guns and Ammo is pretty low...

Ala Dan
March 4, 2007, 02:18 AM
Every now and then, I read The American Handguner

Nasty Jack
March 4, 2007, 04:06 AM
Chip McCormick Shooting Star
Smith & Wesson

-- *LMAO*

March 4, 2007, 04:52 AM
American Handgunner is the only one I subscribe to.

March 4, 2007, 05:30 AM
"Shotgun News" is great, thought it has nothing to do with shotguns or news.
"Handloader" is useful, esp. once you get a big box of them and can consult the data as needed
"Rifle" is interesting but not as good as it used to be

March 4, 2007, 06:39 AM
COMBAT HANDGUNS is an interesting publication especially if you are into self-defense, etc. Masad Ayoob's "Self-Defense and the Law" column is always pleasure to read.

March 4, 2007, 09:27 AM
Besides the NRA magazines, Shooting Times and Guns are my two favorites. I check out some of the tactical firearm magazines at the newstand, and occasionally buy. Just don't subscribe. Gun List and Shotgun News are running articles now which are often interesting. Used to subscribe.

I don't particularily agree that most of the gun magazines are not any good. They offer a mix of articles of potential interest to their readers. The subject matter of articles vary from month to month and some months I read just about everything and others I don't read much of anything. That is just the way it is with magazines who try to run articles of wide interest to their readers.

beaucoup ammo
March 4, 2007, 10:08 AM
Well put, Rimfire. I subscribe to American Handgunner. Started when I got a CHL. The photography is great. My only complaint is the time devoted to 1911's (semi-auto). I'm a Wheelman and would appreciate equal time for revolvers.

I understand magazines must reflect the interests of their readers. No doubt the handgun community is far more involved with 1911 semi-autos than revolvers.

If anyone is aware of a print mag that centers around revolvers, I'd sure appreciate a heads up!


March 4, 2007, 03:44 PM
COMBAT HANDGUNS is an interesting publication especially if you are into self-defense, etc. Masad Ayoob's "Self-Defense and the Law" column is always pleasure to read.

My two favorites are American Rifleman and Combat Handguns. I do suscribe to Guns and Guns and Ammo also.

Eskimo Jim
March 4, 2007, 05:56 PM
I've enjoyed the following:
American Handgunner

American Rifleman is also a pretty good magazine that you can get from the NRA. I think you can add on a subscription for $10 or so.


April 4, 2007, 12:37 AM
Someone please give me some info on "Gun Tests". Have not seen it on any of the Mag racks I frequent. Is there a web site?

XD Fan
April 4, 2007, 12:47 AM
I subscribe to bothAmerican Handgunner and Guns. I enjoy both, but I think it is safe to say that they are the best I have seen as far as creating photographs to make a gunny drool!

April 4, 2007, 03:50 AM
Stay away from Sanchez - they had some out of spec tooling, and they jam.

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