Handgun Magazines...Will They Ever Get It?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Confederate, Jul 25, 2016.

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  1. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    I used to love handgun magazines. I also used to love the writers...crotchety old law enforcement types. Salty. With lots of stories and insights. We can't do much about the writers. Guys like Elmer Keith, Bill Jordan and Skeeter Skelton just aren't around anymore and no one wants to read their tired old columns. I mean, why would we when we have reviews of guns written by templates? Just post some glossy color photos, add the template, drop in the information and presto! You've got a review of the newest plastic frame, striker fired (PFSF) pistol!

    The gun magazines have always been in the pockets of the advertisers, which means you'll never read a disparaging word -- and the articles are stale and listless. Me, I'm suffering from PFSF fatigue. Here are the last nine covers of Gun & Ammo's Handguns magazine.

    Screenshot_2016-06-03-20-35-17.png

    See how many are PFSFs? See how many are revolvers? Yep.

    So what I'm wondering is this: How many of you would subscribe to a magazine that had articles about handguns that no longer were in production? Or articles about barrel length and velocity, barrel/cylinder gaps? Or first hand accounts by those who used a handgun to protect themselves? You know, a gun about...handguns.

    I remember back in the early 80s a magazine cover story about an attractive blond woman who used her stainless 6-inch Ruger Security-Six to save herself from an intruder. It was an incredible story. The guy was tough and menacing...right up to the time she showed him her gun, then he was humble and apologetic, which worked out fine because she made him call the police and tell them where he was. It would have been a great story for a gun magazine (In fact, when I first saw the cover story, the woman looked at first like a beautiful woman standing in a doorway. Then I saw the gun! The photographer did a great job in distracting the viewer and obfuscating the Ruger.)

    The only magazine I get now is G&A Handguns, and I get it only because I get it cheap on Amazon. But it bores me to tears. Would you go for a magazine like I described? Would you like to see anything else I gun magazines?

    Ruger%20Security-Six%2001_1.gif

    This Ruger Security-Six may no longer be I production, but its role in police firearm
    history is significant. So why no photos? Why no articles? How does it compare to the
    GP-100? Was a reinforced Security-Six necessary? Which makes a better trail gun?
     
  2. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    Yeah, I don't read the grocery store "gun rags" these days. When I was a tike, they excited me some and I loved to crack them open, same with "Shotgun News".

    But nowadays, I know what I like. I skulk the forums and private sights for good articles now. There are folks here posting stuff that's better and more personal than anything you'll find in those gun rags.

    My $0.02 and I'm sticking to it.
     
  3. SHOOT1SAM

    SHOOT1SAM Member

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    I gave up on ALL magazines published by Petersen's for EXACTLY the fact that EVERY single gun they "review" is the GREATEST gun EVER made!

    I pretty much stick to Guns & American Handgunner these days, although I will admit that they are not quite as objective as they used to be.

    Sam
     
  4. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    And if you can get by the latest handgun magazines with the latest plastic gun on the cover, try finding a general gun magazine that doesn't have an article about how "me and my daddy went hunting". I guess so few folks actually go hunting these days that a story about it is understandable.

    So we still have the Second Amendment, and most of us can still own guns, but it's all plastic guns and self defense. What happened to a nice stroll in the woods with maybe something like an S&W Kit Gun (no plastic) shooting .22 (not .50 BMG)?

    Jim
     
  5. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    I didn't even realize magazines were still a thing.
     
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  6. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    They aren't anymore. If you saw a gun rag at the store with articles on the S&W 63, the Colt Python, a comparison between the Colt Mark III and the Mark V and one on the Dan Wesson .357 Pistol Pak, one on the S&W 39/59 and the Beretta 92, would you buy it?
     
  7. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    No. What can the article possibly contain that you can't find online, for free? Is there anything to say about the Colt Python or any other oop revolver that hasn't already been said a dozen (or more) times before? Possibly, but more than likely, no.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
  8. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    I am not the best person to ask, I haven't bought a magazine in probably a decade or more. There isn't much you could throw on the cover to change that. I am honestly surprised print magazines are still in existence.
     
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  9. Monac

    Monac Member

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    They have to run articles about new products, because the old-timers like us already know about the old products and don't want to read about them again (do you really want to see another article about the Walther PPK? What could it tell you that you don't already know?) and most of the new products are plastic framed, striker fired pistols, because that is the way technology and demand has moved.

    Sure, I love steel, but plastic is easier to fabricate, more durable in some ways, requires less maintenance, and is lighter to carry. What do you expect people to buy? So that's what the mags write about. And there's a market for that, but we aren't in it. They're mainly for people who are new in the field and still gaining an education in firearms.

    So I mostly look at American Handgunner and Gun Collector (? formerly Man At Arms) and leave it at that, because they still seem to have articles that interest me.
     
  10. AZAndy
    • Contributing Member

    AZAndy Contributing Member

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    Sounds like you need a subscription to Gun Tests. There won't be any self-defense stories, but there is lots of actual useful information-- and it's not all about the latest and greatest. Most articles are direct comparisons between similar products by different manufacturers.
     
  11. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    The only gun magazine I look through nowadays is Small Arms Review. Just about every other gun magazine out there is so redundant that it's downright boring.
     
  12. wgp

    wgp Member

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    When I was new to shooting I bought every gun magazine I could find, and I learned a lot. After a year or two I began to realize I was reading ".30-06, America's Favorite" or "The Venerable .270" or whatever over and over, so I quit. I scan American Rifleman and I read American Handgunner these days, that's about it.
     
  13. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I gave up on all print magazines a long time ago.

    Heck, in the last quarter century the only firearms magazine that I have "purchased" is American Rifleman ... and that only gets a cursory perusal prior to getting tossed.
     
  14. dwjwin50

    dwjwin50 Member

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    The Internet has replaced printed media. However, in most cases it still co$t$ money to get objectivity and truth. Thank God for folks like Iraqveteran8888!
     
  15. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    They are all redundant and repetitive, and the NRA magazines foster too much fear of 2A limitations to even be enjoyed. I only look through American Rifleman because it comes with my membership.

    I don't read any other gun magazines anymore, and see no reason to spend money on any of them. Forums are more interactive and useful.
     
  16. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

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    I don't know of any magazine that does real reviews anymore. It's like Cigar Aficionado giving 99 points to a Te Amo. It should have destroyed them, but somehow they still sell their rag and they made a proverbial buttload of money off the Te Amo brand. In my mind, the Kimber Solo was the Te Amo of the gun world, and just go back and look how many gun rags gave them their approval.

    Basically what you're paying for is a big advertisement. The companies whose products are featured essentially pay for good reviews. After all, they're not going to give bad reviews to their biggest ad buyers. Buying a gun magazine is pretty much like paying someone to watch commercials. It would be like going to the movies and only being shown previews.

    I stopped buying gun mags after one not too long ago. It was a buyer's guide, which can be somewhat useful because it's just a bunch of raw data, but they screwed it up royally. 10 bucks for a black and white magazine on newsprint, and they mixed up all the specs to the point where it was useless. The amount of errors and typos was utterly amazing, as if the editors were all on drugs when they approved it. I absolutely couldn't believe they had the nerve to let that one get to the stands. They also did a "test" of handgun ammo. Well, that "test" turned out to be a handful of obscure ammo no one wants, and they "tested" it by shooting it into buckets of water. Those cheap you know whats couldn't even spring for a few blocks of ballistic gel and some denim. They even had a table of how many buckets of water each one went through. It would have been hilarious if I hadn't spent ten bucks on it.
     
  17. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Nice, a fellow brother of the leaf.
    I enjoyed a Padron 1926 maduro last night. :)


    As far as the gun mags not getting it, I'm afraid they do in fact get it (at least as far as what they're putting on the cover anyway). The tacticool stuff sells nowadays.
    I'd much rather see wood and blue revolvers on there too, but sadly we will probably only see them every great now and then.
     
  18. Hoppes Love Potion

    Hoppes Love Potion Member

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    In the magazine business model, you are the product being marketed. They are selling your eyeballs to advertisers.
     
  19. Wil Terry

    Wil Terry Member

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    YOU KNOW.... way back when i used to write the Handloading column for PETERSONS HANDGUNS MAGAZINE. Whenever I got a letter [LOTS !!] i could tell immediately if the writer was a reader of the gunmags as their ignorence was PROFOUND if they were not. Nothing has changed it appears. I cannot imagine a handloader not getting HANDLOADER MAGAZINE nor a sixgunner not getting the AMERICAN HANGUNNER.
    Nowhere is the total ignorence more profound or the BS piled higher and deeper than on the ' vaunted ' internet.....GUSAAFB !!!
    And so it goes...
     
  20. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I was down to subscribing to one revolver-centric magazine, Guns Of The Old West.

    Word must have got around that I liked it, so it promptly went bust! :eek:

    My liking anything is a kiss-of-death. I guess that's because when you get so old you become outdated, while the world moves on.

    But it doesn't matter, I thoroughly enjoy it. :cool:

    And I've saved considerable money by not dumping 10 to 18 rounds as fast as I can pull the trigger while pointing a pistol at a target 10 feet downrange. :evil:
     
  21. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    I like gun tests, and shotg...firearm news, and that's about it. I peruse them sometimes in the racks at the market, but it all seems like cookie cutter stuff.
     
  22. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    I used to subscribe to several magazines, but gradually gave them up. Too many of the articles are essentially the same. Oh, another Glock or Glock clone. Oh, another custom 1911, just like the one featured in the last 30 issues.

    How about some coverage of the Olympic shooting events? Or of the World Muzzle-Loading Championships? Anything but the same tired old articles rewritten.
     
  23. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

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    That was one of my favorites when I still smoked. Unfortunately, I was in a bike accident about ten years ago, and I ended up with some dental work that is sensitive to smoke.
     
  24. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    Guns Of The Old West is back, along with some of the other Harris titles.
    Now published by Athlon Sports.

    Those of you who already know it all, and/or think you can get it all off the Internet, don't need to bother reading them. :)
    Denis
     
  25. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I find this kind of amusing, around 20 years ago I was trying to help out a student engineering team on SAE sponsored Mini Baja competition. I had brought in a number of articles that contained cars that had competed in and or won their division in the Baja 1000, 500 and other competitions. As they looked over and gathered ideas one student noticed a date in one of them. He then got up and said "this stuff is 15 years old!" And chucked it back on the table.

    Wound up splitting into two separate design teams and the ones that worked off the proven designs placed third out of 50+ colleges and the "clean sheet" team was somewhere in the 40's....I am all for innovation but it helps a lot to work from proven designs, just the R part of R&D.

    No wonder my Farmall and Ford 8n tractors are still working and I see new tractors broke down all the time.

    Then again the 221/300, 300 fireball, 300 whisper never had much of a following until the "new" 300 blackout came out, another "old" idea that finally made it with the help of marketing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
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