Which shooting publications do you know and trust?


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Captaingyro
December 24, 2011, 08:25 AM
The recent thread on Guns & Ammo and their (sometimes) weird ads suggests an interesting question: Which gun magazines do you think are the best. Which ones are the most objective, which ones have the best writers and editors, and which ones offer the best value?

I'll start the ball rolling. I subscribe to Gun Tests, and I like it. They're not perfect, but they do seem to do tests the way (I think) real shooters would do them. They come across as a bunch of guys who got together and said, "Why don't we figure out a way to shoot all kinds of guns and get paid for it?"

They test quite a few guns I'm interested in, and I learn a lot about other guns just reading the detailed reviews. Whenever I've bought a gun they tested, I've found their impressions to be fairly accurate.

I also like Handloader. There's a lot in there that I'll never use, but I learn a heckuva lot just reading about different cartridges, powders, bullets, reloading equipment, and techniques. And I'll put in a plug for Charlie Petty as one of my favorite gun writers.

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Rembrandt
December 24, 2011, 09:39 AM
NRA's American Rifleman........new trends & technology, historical, and gun rights.

mac60
December 24, 2011, 09:46 AM
I'm an NRA life member and get American rifleman. Don't really get much out of it. Same goes for Guns and ammo. I do like Guns magazine and Handloader and Rifle magazines also. I'm kind of lukewarm on Shooting times. I don't like Shotgun news much, these articles they run about the handgun cartridges of such and such country don't do anything for me.

T.R.
December 24, 2011, 09:50 AM
FUR-FISH-GAME is still my favorite outdoor magazine.

TR

kimbernut
December 24, 2011, 09:58 AM
If you are or are interested in becoming:

Handgunner- American Handgunner is the best

Handloader- Handloader

General all around- American Rifleman(NRA Life Member)

" " " - Guns and Ammo

" " " - Shooting Times

I get American Gunsmithing but consider dropping it each year then they do a great article that impresses me and I renew anyway.

I find Gun Test a waste but to each his own. I find great guns trashed and poor selections glorified but again to each his own.

I have taken both Gun Digest the magazine and Shotgun News at different times but keep coming back to Shotgun News. It's not for everyone but is a wealth of information.

guyfromohio
December 24, 2011, 10:07 AM
I don't trust any publication. The agenda is always to run a profitable business while pandering an agenda. That being said, I find Gun Tests to be the most useful. I have saved every copy since January 1996.

Tim the student
December 24, 2011, 10:43 AM
American Rifleman more than any others that come to mind.

Handloader is right up there too.

pmeisel
December 24, 2011, 10:43 AM
I have read them all at one time or another. They all get repetitive after awhile, there are only so many things to write about. I liked reading Shooting Times, back when Skeeter Skelton was there -- I liked reading Ross Seyfried years ago, I forget who he was writing for back then. I enjoyed Rick Jamison, and many years ago I liked to read Ted Trueblood.

Now, mostly, I just get Gun Digest once a year.

Onmilo
December 24, 2011, 10:52 AM
I still receive American Rifleman.

My opinion is that gun magazines are backed by the manufacturers and are more fluff and advertising than useable substance.

Gun Digest has always struck me as more direct formulative opinion rather than manufacturer backed hyped in most cases of the articles I have read from this excellent annual.

mmitch
December 24, 2011, 10:55 AM
None that accept advertising from any product they review/test.

Mike

oldgold
December 24, 2011, 12:41 PM
Varmint Hunter
American Rifleman
Handloader
Rifleshooter.
American Handgunner

A.H. is going bye-bye this year, too many "NEW" 1911 articules.

All the rest are shills for advertizing. JMHO

Liberty1776
December 24, 2011, 12:51 PM
American Rifleman, Rifle, and Double Gun Journal. DGJ is not for everyone's taste, and also covers rifles but is the greatest compendium of gun knowledge between two covers, ever. Just my opinion...

HankB
December 24, 2011, 12:53 PM
"Trust" is a relative term, since NONE of the gun rags I read mentioned problems with the Kahr P9 when they tested it right after introduction . . . it was only after I got one with numerous insoluble problems that I noticed that troubles were common by reading various internet forums. So I trust forums more than gun rags.

Still, I do read a number of gun rags for entertainment (though with a critical eye and a healthy dose of skepticism), and in rough order here's how I rank them:

American Rifleman (w/my NRA membership)
Handloader (subscribe)
Rifle (subscribe)
Safari (w/my SCI membership)
American Handgunner (subscribe)
Guns (on again/off again subscriber, depending on how cheap it's offered. Currently "off")
Guns & Ammo (currently getting it for ~62 cents an issue, about what it's worth)

I liked reading Shooting Times, back when Skeeter Skelton was there . . . Even though he recycled his "The Great .44 Special" and "My Favorite .357 Load" articles on about a 10-11 month cycle? ;)

GEM
December 24, 2011, 12:59 PM
Conceal Carry and SWAT - more useful articles than just gun reviews.

chas3stix
December 24, 2011, 01:01 PM
I subscribe to Handloader and Rifle by Wolf Publishing. IMO they (Wolf) do it right. I also get American Rifleman (NRA Life Benefactor Member). I used to subscribe to American Handgunner. I dropped them like a bad check when they got so involved in the Y2K hoax....I just don't trust them.

SlamFire1
December 24, 2011, 02:04 PM
Since Gun Tests accepts no advertizing they will not recommend guns they test. They also state if in their opinion it is a good value or not.

They do go overboard, when something goes wrong, they will cascade criticisms on the product.

The were the only publication that ever showed that the natural location of an AMT pistol is in a garbage can. All other publications just praised AMTís to the high heavens.

All other publications have to please the advertisers. I have never read a negative review of a current product, though they will criticize old models, old production, to steer readers away from the used market. One article, praising the Remington 798, a communist block rifle, never published the accuracy test, because the rifle shot so poorly, and praised the interference fit between the bolt and action as old world craftsmanship. You have to read the articles with a skeptical eye to see how they down play, misdirect, or ignore defects.

Hypnogator
December 25, 2011, 11:36 AM
The American Rifleman seems pretty good. I tried Gun Tests for awhile, but quit in disgust after seeing them pan firearms based on one example. The last straw was when they chose a Winchester 94 over a Marlin 1894, even though the Winchester wouldn't feed reliably!

Savage99
December 25, 2011, 11:41 AM
Since I got online forums have filled much of my reading needs.

I used to get Rifle, Handloader, etc.

We still get the Rifleman and American Hunter.

Deanimator
December 25, 2011, 11:42 AM
"Small Arms Review".

Nobody ELSE runs a monthly feature on machine gun related arts and crafts...

InkEd
December 25, 2011, 12:01 PM
I like Shooting Illustrated which is an NRA publication the best overall.

I think I prefer certain WRITERS more than certain MAGAZINES. Also, it depends on type of article I want to read. Masaad Ayoob and Clint Smith write good legal/tactical stuff. (Jim Wilson is usually pretty good too.) Mike Venturino writes good "old timer/folksy" stories. Paul Scarlata's historic firearm articles are nice because they stay pretty focused on the actual guns themselves. Reviews are tough one because you have to "read between the lines" alot or often just totally ignore them. Greg Rodriguez is usually pretty good though. (However, I will usually trust an online Youtube review over a magazine.)

trex1310
December 25, 2011, 12:03 PM
I don't trust any of them. Most, if not all, never met a gun they
didn't like.

Nushif
December 25, 2011, 08:31 PM
The only one I ever bought for anything other than gun porn is Handloader.
Kinda esoteric, but man, they know their stuff.

gunnutery
December 25, 2011, 09:31 PM
S.W.A.T.

Small Arms Review

American Cop

Trunk Monkey
December 25, 2011, 09:37 PM
America's First Freedom, more for the RKBA content than the specific gun articles

Strange Bob
December 25, 2011, 11:31 PM
American Rifleman (by default with my NRA membership)

Gun Test

GT is probably the most unbiased rag I've read and I also don't always agree with them all the time either ... but I have several other relationships with whom I have disagreements but that doesn't always mean they get kicked to the curb either.

Like someone said earlier, I get most of my reading material on the web now.

DMH
December 26, 2011, 10:34 PM
I like Handloader the best.

DMH

bannockburn
December 27, 2011, 10:39 PM
1) Small Arms Review
2) Shotgun News
3) SWAT Magazine-when it first came out in the early '80's.

oneounceload
December 27, 2011, 11:19 PM
For those who enjoy fine shotguns and wing shooting, "Shooting Sportsman" is an excellent magazine, published in high-gloss on fine paper with articles and photos from some of the best gun writers alive today

blue_ridge
December 28, 2011, 12:05 AM
Trust how? None of them will do an honest review of a gun. Guess it's hard to sell advertisement spaces if you offer any criticism. I don't trust any magazine to give me the same honest opinion of a gun as if that gun writer were standing in front of me.

I cancelled al my subscriptions but of course still get Am Rifleman. They're good for seeing what's new but that's about all.

stevelyn
December 28, 2011, 02:39 AM
Handloader
Rifle
Guns
American Handgunner
Shotgun News Treasury Issues

American Rifleman (NRA membership)

As a previous poster stated, I too prefer the writer over the publication. It just so happens that my favorite writers are pretty much all together in the above publications....AR excepted.

12131
December 28, 2011, 02:51 AM
None that accept advertising from any product they review/test.

Mike
Exactly!
More specifically, I trust none of the gun reviews on these magazines. Nice pics and all, but in the end, it's always "ultimate" this or "perfection" that.:rolleyes:
I'd rather get info from different folks on various gun boards.

whalerman
December 28, 2011, 03:06 AM
I don't have the problem most have with Guns and Ammo. Not all the articles appeal to me, but I enjoy it. And what magazine doesn't accept advertising on some level? Who are you kidding? Even the NRA publications have to have financial support from somewhere. I get American Rifleman because of my membership and enjoy that too.

Sometimes we get a leeeetle too high on our horse for our own good. Seems like everybody is above everything. I can read most anything and make a decision for myself if the writer is pandering to a company or not.

My big gripe on Guns and Ammo is how much I miss Colonel Cooper. But people hated him too. Everybody hates someone. I thought the guy was great.

Willfully Armed
December 28, 2011, 03:06 AM
American handgunner
Guns
FFG

trust... they're journalists. They have a passion for guns. They write about guns. I read. I like guns. I read about guns.


Too many complaints about advertising and opinions.

whalerman
December 28, 2011, 03:26 AM
Exactly

The original question is "which magazines do you know and trust". In other words, enjoy.

Nobody asked which ones were beneath you.

blue_ridge
December 28, 2011, 05:20 AM
Trust does not equal enjoy in any language. And no, I could care less who they sell ad space to or how they turn a profit. But none of the gun rags have EVER reviewed a gun that had poor workmanship, reliability issues or an inferior design. Every gun they review is fantastic, innovative, supremely accurate and 100% reliable. Needless to say, if you are looking for insight or honest criticism, you will be disappointed.

If the OP intended to ask which gun rags we ENJOY, then I could list a few. But that was not the question.

whalerman
December 29, 2011, 12:20 AM
How can we trust that which we do not enjoy?

We big enough boys to see though the frosting that gets written during gun reviews. And I don't see all articles telling us everything is wonderful.

The OP might not have mentioned enjoy. But it didn't ask how high our noses were in the air either. I kind of enjoy reading everything. Then I take into account who the writer is and what magazine its in. Just like I do with a newspaper. Applying a critical eye to what you read is an easy thing to do. I can do that for myself.

12131
December 29, 2011, 01:40 AM
whalerman, it seems you just have problem with folks whose opinion differ from yours regarding the OP's question. You trust and enjoy them? Hey, more power to you. Some folks don't, and we state our opinion. What's that got to do with "high horse" or "nose in the air"??

Deserthunter
December 29, 2011, 03:14 AM
Add me to the list of NRA's American Rifleman. IMO, it's better than most, but still has fluff. I primarily read Shotgun News for the ads because the editorial content is bankrupt for the most part.

whalerman
December 29, 2011, 09:16 AM
Sorry to give you that impression, 1231. And I certainly understand your point. I just think when it gets down to things like people dismissing magazines that accept advertising we are getting our "nose in the air" a bit. And when you cancel all subscriptions because they don't live up to ones standards you are getting a bit on a "high horse". That was my line of thinking. I hope I don't ever become that much of an expert. If things get where you can't even read what others have to say, who is the guy with the "opinion"? Might not be me.

blue_ridge
December 29, 2011, 09:57 AM
Whalerman, not sure who it is you are arguing with. I already said I don't care about ads. I care about content. I'm not going to pay for a subscription just to see eye candy. I can look for free at the newstand and gun shows too.

In this country, we have a free market. That means you vote with your wallet. This is why Fox News dominates the news ratings. When someone creates a magazine with relatively objective reviews, I will buy. Until then, I'll keep my $20 and use it on ammo.

ShawnC
December 29, 2011, 10:17 AM
Sorry to give you that impression, 1231. And I certainly understand your point. I just think when it gets down to things like people dismissing magazines that accept advertising we are getting our "nose in the air" a bit. And when you cancel all subscriptions because they don't live up to ones standards you are getting a bit on a "high horse". That was my line of thinking. I hope I don't ever become that much of an expert. If things get where you can't even read what others have to say, who is the guy with the "opinion"? Might not be me.

No one said YOU should cancel YOUR subscription, but if I don't like a magazine, than certainly I can cancel MINE. That's what competition is about, if you don't like something you have every right to purchase something else. This is also freedom of speech. When a better magazine comes along, and I want to read that one instead, it isn't censorship of the previous one. We all have preferences and everyone here still wants to read guns and hunting magazines. My interest lean more toward hunting, so those are my favorite magazines, and I still buy AH and Guns and whatever cover catches my attention. That means we all have an "opinion". But who's opinion do you trust more: a guy who is getting some money from the product he reviews, or someone with an unsolicited opinion?

threoh8
December 29, 2011, 10:51 AM
I always have my filter on when reading any magazine, and I do a lot of reading between the lines.

Precision Shooting is pretty good, if you're into rifles.

InkEd
December 29, 2011, 11:20 AM
It would be nice to see Consumer Reports jump in and do some gun tests.

Hummer70
December 29, 2011, 12:30 PM
Post No 6 guy from ohio said it all.

If you find individual articles by C.E. (Ed) Harris you will get excellent data.

whalerman
December 30, 2011, 12:10 AM
Blue Ridge, I'm arguing with 1232, who says I have a problem with other's opinions. I don't. I'm sorry some have gotten to a point where they trust no publications. I'm not there yet. You have to read everything with a critical eye. And things change as well. I've given a new look to magazines I've gotten tired of years ago and found they were nothing like I remember. I'll listen, and read, anything about guns I can get my hands on. I can figure out for myself if certain articles or writers have merit. And one of our posters spoke of listening and learning from people on blogs. I submit you have to do the same thing when you read blogs. Everybody has their own biases and agendas. That doesn't mean I refuse to read what they say.

coop923
December 30, 2011, 12:43 AM
I think I prefer certain WRITERS more than certain MAGAZINES. Also, it depends on type of article I want to read...

x2!

I look at magazines as a source of information that sort of keeps me on the pulse of what's going on in the industry and in the country. I will go over magazine information and if I feel it's pertinent to my interests, I'll continue to research on forums where you can talk to people with first hand experience (not that a gun writer doesn't), I like to get my information from multiple sources if possible.

American Rifleman with my NRA membership

I like:
Wolfe Publication's Handloader, (and Rifle, although I don't subscribe to it currently)

I still subscribe to Shooting Times too.

I keep threatening to subscribe to ChuckHawks online, but I haven't yet...

Patriotme
December 30, 2011, 06:30 AM
I don't really trust any of them. I like the gun magazines for info on new products coming out but I really don't trust their reviews. I noticed several years ago that the biggest advertisers never get trashed in a review. If they mention a gun malfunctioning then the writer immediately explains away the issue.
Now if it's a small brand that most have never heard of then the reviews get a bit harsher.
Sorry but that's the way that it is. I stopped trusting the magazine reviews a long time ago. There's some internet sources that I like but I take everything with a grain of salt.

MuleRyder
December 30, 2011, 06:46 AM
/\ +1 I like how when a gun malfunctions in a test, the writer explains it away by saying this is a pre-production model or an early production model and I'm sure production models will have this problem fixed or corrected.

bikerdoc
December 30, 2011, 07:00 AM
I stopped reading gun mags a few yrs ago. I get better reviews and opinions here.

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