May 312019

I have talked a little bit about this on a couple of forums, but I figured that I should not neglect my own website and tell the story of what I am doing with G&A and why.

If you have followed my various ramblings for a while, you may remember that a bit over a decade ago, I had a brief interaction one of the gun magazine publications (admittedly not Guns and Ammo) and in order to write for them, I would have to severely change how I talk about things. They were so afraid of upsetting their advertisers, that I chose to not have anything to do with that. I am not out to slander anyone, but sometimes you have to cal a spade a spade, so to speak. If the product is crap, I have to be able to say it is crap.

Earlier this year, the folks behind the Guns and Ammo specialty editions reached out and asked if I am interested in writing a few pieces for them. The specialty edition magazines are the issues that are published once or twice per year focusing on a particular topic. The specific one that they had coming up was the inaugural Red Dot issue and they asked if I am interesting in writing something that goes over the most common misconceptions people have about reflex and holographic sights.

Red Dot magazine cover (at the newsstands now)

Naturally, the very first question I asked was on the restrictions I would have if I agree. That turned out to be a much shorter discussion than I anticipated. They do not want me to use bad language. That’s basically it. In other words: say what you want to say, but don’t be rude about it. I figured I can do that without sacrificing my journalistic integrity.

I wrote a piece for that Red Dot magazine and they liked it well enough that they asked me to do a couple more articles for the other publications they have coming up. The next one out will be the G&A Rimfire issue that will hit the newsstands toward the end of June.

Upcoming Rimfire magazine cover. This one will be at the newsstands on June 25th.

Probably the weirdest thing about print media for me is having a word budget. Vast majority of my writing has been on the internet where I can be as wordy as I damn well please. Brevity is not one of my virtues, so everything I have written for G&A so far started out as a much longer piece. So far, it takes me more time to pair down to 2000 words than it takes me to put together the original piece. I hope to get better with practice. I always knew I was wordy, but until now, I never realized how really wordy I am.

Beyond the Rimfrie issue, I have written a couple more and as they wrap up with editing and layout, I’ll post updates. For the first two pieces I wrote for G&A, their editing is very light handed, which I am pretty happy with. They move pictures around, obviously, to fit on the pages, but aside from that they just fix my occasionally random capitalization and punctuation.

If you happen to see one of these on the newsstand somewhere, read the article and let me know what you think. I will do a few reviews for them going forward, but most of the topics they want me to address or either educational or overview in nature, which fits me just fine.

 Posted by at 4:28 pm

  3 Responses to “Guns and Ammo”

  1. G & A in my mind is a starting point for a host of readers. Some basic info for the average Joe. But the vibe I get when I walk by the magazine rack is two fold. My eyes are drawn to the current issue. Then out comes the skeptic in me. Just another main stream magazine getting paid to push another companies product. Funny how getting older changes ones point of view. Field & Stream and Boys life were a basic staple growing up feeding my interest in the great outdoors.

    On a parting note. I bought my first and only red dot site it was an Aim Point H-1. I sold it within six months. Why, probably because I found it awkward. Or I just did not want to put in the time to develop the mental muscle memory of learning how to properly use a red dot. The dot moving around as I attempted to establish a proper cheek weld was very frustrating. Give me standard reticle any day.

    • Red dot sights take some getting used to and whether it is worth it or not kinda varies. For people coming from the precision side of things, using a prism scope or a LPVO is often more natural.

      As far as gun magazines go, I think they lost enough ground to the internet that they have to adapt and become a bit less driven by purely advertising concerns. Besides, a lot of stuff you see on the internet is really influenced by internet people getting freebies and it is hard to figure out who is who. Some people are honest about being sponsored and others keep that little tidbit to themselves.

      Internet is awesome for honest user reviews, but you kinda have to sift through a lot of that carefully, too.

      The truth is, as always, somewhere in the middle, and the manner in which it is communicated matters. Most people writing about guns and optics are technical by education or by inclination. I am both, so it is really nice to thave the opportunity to provide a somewhat different angle on this.

  2. The magazine rack is now on my watch list.
    Thank you Sir

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