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I have a soft spot for the old time gun writers. There is as much useful non-current information in the work of those guys as there is worthless current information from the ' new breed'.
This does not imply that there are no outstanding modern gun writers, just that the field is pretty deep, and the best ones are harder to find.
I will still peruse the used paperback Digests for particular writers, whose exceptional attention to the facts & details is rivaled only by their authentic, original style.
I should say that it can be more than a little discouraging when the writer knows significantly less about his subject than I, the reader, does. The newest word ain't necessarily gospel.
With any luck, there will always be some capable dedicated guys to pick up the slack.
 

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The difference between writers then and now is expertise. Elmer Keith to Mike Venturino were experts at guns. Other gun writers had long history with law enforcement, hunting, cartridge development, or manufacturing. Or all of these! They wrote from their experience. Today, expertise is something you gain from reading the internet for an afternoon, or joining a topical forum and asking questions for a couple weeks. Then - presto! You're now a gun journalist telling everyone in the world what they should know! Except, you don't really know it.

I've done some writing in hobby magazines the past few years. I've also been a technical writer for my career for over 25.... Most magazines I've approached with ideas for an article in the past 13 years reply right away, "SURE! We'd love for you to write that for us....we can't pay you of course....but will send you 4 copies of the issue it's published in!"

That's the way it was done in the past, you offered article ideas to mags....they accepted it and commissioned you. I actually did that for Backpacker Magazine about 10 years ago, about a VERY unknown hiking area and hot springs. They turned me down. About 1 year later I picked up a Backpacker mag, there was an article about the hike I had proposed! They probably got some teenager hack to walk up there and write it, after hearing the idea from me.

Content today is supposed to be free. You see it here all the time with posts such as "Can someone that has the SAA book look up if mine is in the blah?" Could someone scan that and post it? Anyone know the best way to blah?" All of this used to cost you. Either a book or a magazine. Today "It's All FREE on the Internet!"
 

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The gun writers of the past were an unusual bunch to say the least...they often had hardscrabble lives in their formative years and had unique ways of writing...getting to the point quickly and in "flowery" words. They were to writing about guns as Tom McCahill was to writing about cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Hey Y’all,

Colt Collector 67, EXCELLENT review of the Guns and Ammo review. I was equally underwhelmed with the review. Love the way you listed the deficiencies in Mr. Wood’s prose. I purchased a new Python (6” barrel - as it was the only pistol available when my wife suggested it as a belated Christmas present from her) and am seriously impressed with this new Colt. I have fired Pythons since the early 1980’s and think the 2020 version is superior In many ways to the Pythons of days gone. The double action is amazing in my opinion. I also own a 6” S&W 686 that has had a lot of custom trigger work done on it . . . the new Python is better out of the box.

Take Care!
Tom
A Colt Python as a Christmas present. There need to be more wives like yours in this world. Thank you for the kind words. This "reviewing thing" is only going to get worse. The old-schoolers are gone. Those taught by the old-schoolers are going. We will mostly be left with reviewers possessing "I like plastic guns and hey, revolvers are kind of pretty good!" mentalities. I would like to see a reviewer/magazine that is highly analytical. Every gun tested is compared to the best available and the final assessment is calculated accordingly in every key area. THAT is what I'd like to see. If I thought at all that I could get it off of the ground I might consider relegating my arthritic hands and failing eyesight to such a rag.
 

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I miss magazines that were written by known, internal journalists. But those days are gone, no one wants to go buy a hardcopy mag anymore. People "might" buy a web magazine, but I doubt it. Whenever a newspaper or journal asks you to subscribe after 10 free viewings, for a cost, most people decline and just go looking for more free content. Read my post above if you haven't. I've been a content provider, writer, for about 25 years as the main part of my roles. It's changed quickly. "Everything is free" means you don't make money by being an expert anymore.
 
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