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Have you noticed how thin the magazine has become. They seem to have forgot about hunting calibers. They can't get off the 17 and 204's. They even started doing stories on "rim fires." I'm beginning to get more useful information from Hunting Magazines. I've stopped taking most of the Rifle/Gun magazines. Most of the letters to the editor are fake. The even use this to promote products. I can't keep the magazines in the bathroom anymore, the humidy make them too limp. Is any one else getting fed up with the magines letting the factories write the stories.
 

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See my earlier post on Venturino Poisoning. I observed basically the same thing. It's been a dark time for Rifle and Handloader these past six months or so. When my subscriptions expired I didn't renew them.
 

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When my subscriptions expired I didn't renew them
Same here. To say that even the specialized gun magazines have gone downhill is a pretty safe statement. Personally, I think things started going bad when Rifle/Handloader went to the slick, colored issues and away from the plain black and white. Unfortunately, this coincided with a move away from interesting, technical (and practical) articles and toward the mainstream rehashed trash. When Ross Seyfried left, I knew it was over. I still like John Barsness' writing and may buy an occasional issue if there is something that really interests me, but if John ever leaves, I'll have no reason to even look at Rifle/Handloader.
It's too bad, but gun mags have succumbed to the same dumbing down that has infected ever other aspect of American life.
 

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I wrote for both Rifle and Handloader in the '80s and '90s. When Al Miller was editor things were good for freelancers like myself; Al was crusty but knew guns and what us gun nuts wanted to read. I went through the Tom Gresham years, they were pretty bad, but Al brought the magazine back on track after it almost folded. Dave Scovill started out great as editor, but as Dave Wolfe's health ebbed his impact as publisher waned and both magazines were then positioned for mass marketing on newstands.

They are now out of the former niche markets into direct competition with the other big slicks, so of course they look more and more like the competition. When I was writing for them I could expect one of my articles to be published within 3 to 5 months after I sent in the manuscript. Then by the mid-90s when they started paying the "big-name" writers those of us who had filled their pages for years were left in the dust. When it started taking two years for one of my manuscripts to be published, I gave up. I do a lot better writing for a different magazine in a different hobby now. It is a niche mag like Handloader used to be, but it is the largest of it's kind and they know what the readers want. It's kinds like writing for Handloader in the '80s again.
 

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In my case I got a recent issue and realized that something was wrong. I then saw all the stuff by Venturino and had the idea that we'd be getting way too much cowboy and black powder cartridge stuff. Then I realized that Seyfried was gone and I was quite sad about that. For old time's sake I bought this month's Handloader and hardly read much. It's over. It's kind of like today's Shooting Times where you read it once in a while just to see what new products are out there.

Guns and Ammo has really been improved by Lee Hoots. I have subscribed to the magazine and it's been worthwhile this year. I may renew it if I can get a good deal on it. Bob Forker's column on handloading is more interesting than most of the handloading articles in Handloading.
 

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The hack goes to the range (maybe) and spends a half day (maybe) and then, by using a whole lot of computer generated charts and graphs and a whole lot of computer generated ballistics tables, he tries to milk four or more articles out of it.
Or the gun company has their hand in his back and as he moves his lips, they talk and tell us what a fantasic item some junked-up POS is.
There's not much there in the gun mags anymore.
 

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I keep reading that the changes were in the interest of making the magazine saleable at magazine stands. I thought it was the goal of most magazines to increase subscriptions because that's how they make their money.

I'd like to see Scovill write an editorial about the "churners"-- as he calls them-- that think his magazines' quality have deteriorated.
 

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I gave up on the gun magazines a long time ago. I really don't give a damn about guns of last centurys British Empire, or sure fire crocodile cartridges, or what the 19th century Buffalo hunters used on the plains, or the maharajah's favorite black powder guns. None of the articles seem to pertain to us as modern shooters and hunters. I know shooting is not a limitless topic that can't be exhausted, but I feel the writers are out to lunch, are second rate or both. Just one mans opinion. Best wishes.

Cal - Montreal
 

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I too am getting really sick of the garbage that is in print and sold to us. The articles are always lacking and you always feel empty at the end of the article. It is as if they left the good stuff and printed it anyway. Or they will continue the article in the next month magazine. :roll:

I guess we have to remember that the publishers have to please the sponsors and keep the advert money coming in. But what bothers me most are the people that keep buying these rags. I guess some of the folks don't know the difference between $&*( and shineola. :x
 

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I've still got a letter from Dave Scovill around here somewhere. He refuses to take free lance work from anybody but buddies of his, so don't expect a lot in the way of changes or variety unless his current staff has a major personnel turn over. As he said in his letter, his staff gives him articles, he gives them pay checks, and he's not interested in giving any magazine space to outside ideas. He is the only magazine editor that I've ever contacted that took that attitude.

Now, except for my NRA magazines, I buy magazines like I buy CDs. There have to be at least two or three interesting articles to get me to buy it and give the whole thing a try. I've found that this cuts my magazine purchases to about zero.
 

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Aside from questioning the creditability of some of the writers, I pretty much stopped buying the magazines because of the ridiculous content. I just can't get excited about the guns of the India Raj of the 1800s, great European military rifles of the pre-magazine days, swords of the Spanish-American War, and a host of other nonsense that simply doesn't interest me. I reached a point where I would thoroughly scan the magazine index to see what was within before buying. Then I stopped even that, realizing there was nothing within that even mildly interested me. Not hard to see why so many magazines are going under. They don't seem to give a damn what we might find interesting or like to read. Sorry it's reached that stage. Best wishes.

Cal - Montreal
 

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What has caused me to let my subcriptions run out is the fact that all the gun rags have turned into 1911-45acp monthly. the other day my local gunshop had last years issues of Guns and Ammo mag stacked up on the counter. I counted like 8 or 9 of them that had a 1911 on the cover!!!!
 

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Politically Correct Rehash for Ad $$$$$$

I use to believe what I read when I was a kid. I think 40 years ago they made a conscientious effort to be impartial. Today it is "Shilling for Ad $$$" They refuse to take a stand on anything and if they do it is about something that is old and not sold any more. They will give you a reason to buy everything. I have turned to some of the Forums, Chuck Hawks on the internet and some articles from small publications that make it on the net. Problem is I don't have a Internet connect in the bathroom. Come to think of it I might have to go wireless! Buckfever
 

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I haven't quite given up Rifle/Handloader. Most of the time there is enough decent content.

I find that Scovill is pretty much unreadable and Venturino isn't far behind.

ZM
 

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You guys carping about the gun rags going down the tubes get me . How many guys out there have NEVER heard of the Indian Raj's guns.? Some people enjoy articles about the "old stuff".Me, I wrote several letters to the mags and dropped my subscription to several because of the off handed way they treated me.Lets get together and tell them, as a group, how we feel. A politician once told me he pays more attention to ONE letter than a dozen phone calls! It Shows how committed the letter writer is compared to the impulsive caller. Rant mode off!
 

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I got the whole problem knocked. I'm just working my way back through my Handloader copies from the 70s and 80s.
 

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Yeah, maybe the gunrags are going down the tube; but if so, it's been happening for quite a while.

So what? With Graybeard & the other forums, informative websites like Mr. Hawks' & the russian's, and gun-friendly blogers, who needs anything in the mailbox other than SGN and Gun Tests?

****. Even SGN has been getting too much like a main-stream rag with feature columns and articles by guys I really don't read. Guess it's Gun Test, AGA, and the internet from here on out.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Not a lot of difference

Have you noticed that most of the Gun Magazines are beginning to look just like a "Cheaper Than Dirt" catalog. Really hard to tell the difference.
 

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Is it my imagination, or did the leaving of ross seyfried, from both guns and ammo, then from rifle and handloader. mark the change in teck and political content. i think he saw the changes coming and bailed out before the mags went to crap. he was a very good writer! and even though i wasn't always into the topic, i understood his meaning! i like gun history! but some dont! i tend to embrace a subject as a whole and try to learn all there is. the gun mags have made it hard to do. they treat us like we know nothing about guns. it seems like the guy that picks up a gun mag for the first time is their target audience. thats why they put 1911's and race pistols on the covers.what about those of us who have been around for a while? i used to see handloader and rifle as advanced! more for the enthusiest, but also suitable for the teck minded beginner.
i also buy my mag's like cd's
 
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