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September 13, 2007

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Why Another Gun Blog?

Why not, is the easy—and certainly for gun guys—adequate answer. For most of us, I suspect, the appeal is obvious. But if you need more explanation, here goes. Guns are fascinating. Guns are fun. Guns are controversial. They are frequently inserted into the skirmishes, scraps, kerfluffles and battles that define our culture wars. They are revered. They are reviled. And too often they are misunderstood. Above all, guns matter.

They are an important part of our history and an equally important part of our present. The right we have as citizens to keep and use them—set out in both state and Federal law—is sinew that provides strength and support to the body of other rights that defines us and defines our freedoms as Americans. Remove or diminish our right to firearms and you’ve created the condition that threatens our other rights as well.

This blog is our chance to contribute to the ongoing conversation in our culture about guns. But this isn’t going to be a neutral forum in which we’ll speak in soft, measured tones. It’s not a secret: we love our guns. We love to shoot them, study them, critique them, brag about them, hunt with them and improve our skills in using them. We love the camaraderie they create. Whether it’s at the gun range, in deer camp or online, conversing with fellow gun fans is time well spent.

Sit down and start talking with people who are passionate shooters and firearms enthusiasts and you’ll have a good idea of the turf this blog is going to cover. We’re going to talk about how our old guns are shooting and about the newest guns on the market. We’re going to talk about shooting techniques, shooting technology, our most recent hunting experiences and gun politics. We’re going to cast a critical eye on both the latest bolt-action rifle and the latest pronouncements from our elected leaders. Our aim is to have a good time and to discuss the types of things that come up naturally whenever gun guys meet.

Who are we? Well, the about link will flesh out some of the biographical details, but in short, we are editors and contributors at Outdoor Life magazine and, to a person, are committed gun nuts. Our crew includes Todd Smith, editor in chief of Outdoor Life (who also happens to by my boss); Andrew McKean, our hunting columnist; Slaton White, editor of SHOT Business magazine; contributing writer Michael Bane; and me—John Snow—executive editor at Outdoor Life.

Of course, those with no shooting experience or who don’t consider themselves gun enthusiasts are welcome to the blog, too, and my suspicion, or at least my hope, is that they’ll be glad they stopped by. My optimism on this point is not without justification. Even though there are many people who define themselves to some degree by their distaste for firearms and those who shoot them, experience has shown me that everyone is on some level a gun nut—or at least has the potential to become one. How so? Over the years I’ve taken lots and lots of folks to the range to shoot for the first time—men, women, city dwellers, suburbanites, liberals, conservatives, soccer moms, kids, teenagers, you name it. No matter how they went into the experience mentally—excited, skeptical, nervous as hell or some combination of the three—without exception they all ended up having a great time. Talk to anyone else who has taught others how to shoot and you’ll hear the same. No big surprise here—shooting’s fun. (Though the contrarian in me would love to meet the one diehard sourpuss for whom the crack of the shot and the resulting hole in the target didn’t elicit a smile.)

One thing this blog will not be is a bullhorn to broadcast simplistic us-versus-them diatribes that characterize so much of modern discourse, especially where politics are concerned. We want to do better than that.

Thoughtfulness is certainly encouraged, even expected. Welcome.

—John Snow



Great concept for a blog! Look forward to great things from you guys!

Will Becker

Sounds good to me.Bring it on.


What have you guys heard about the proposed lead-bullet ban in California?


Always glad to have another one on board.

Marina @ Sufficient Thrust

It's hard to complain about more of a good thing. Welcome to my RSS reader :)

Sharp as a Marble

Glad to have more voices out there. Seems like all the anti-rights blogs (such as the Brady Bunch) turn tail as soon as the first comments come flowing in. This is because we have better arguments and aren't afraid to actually have Reasoned Discourse™.

I'll add a link to my blogroll right now. Enjoy the extra 3 hits!


My liberal brother-in-law just bought a 1911 & went off the deep end. He's having a birthday party for the gun when he gets back from the range

Dr. T

I'm regular follower of, and NRA life member. I look forward to checking in here from time to time.



Another (sure to be) excellent Outdoor Life blog to add to my daily reading list (my boss can't be too happy)!


You have banner adds for a lever action Marlin with a tubular magazine and pointy nosed ammo. Pardon my ignorance but I thought that tube magazines did not work well with pointed nose center fire ammo, and that was why you dont see as many lever actions these days.


E -

Hornady's leverevolution ammo changed all that. They have a lever action safe spitzer tip on them (some sort of polymer).

As for this myth that you don't see as many lever actions these days, well . . . thats news to me (I swear by my Marlin here in the thickets of Northern Virginia)

Jeff Soyer

Your voices will be a welcome addition to the blogosphere.


Countertop- Thanks for the info. I had never heard of this new ammo and I'll have to google it.


E--This ammo is awesome! We first used it during our annual 2006 Gun Test when we tested Marlin's new 336XLR (which won our Editor's Choice award that year).

Groups at 100 yards averaged 1.245 inches (5-shot groups) and John Snow shot a group at 200 that measured a scant 1.892 inches--incredible performance from a .30-30.


Mr. Completely

Welcome to the "Gun-Blogosphere!" One of you, (or ALL of you) ought to show up at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous coming up in Reno on October 11th., 12th., and 13th. and meet a bunch of the other gun bloggers. The Rendezvous website is

..... Mr. C.


I am here to broadcast my simplistic political discourse. You will never separate guns and politics. All gun owners will be targets of a gun-grabbing crowd that won't go away, at least in my lifetime.

Dr. Ralph

So where's your link to Field & Stream's The Gun Nut? Petzal directed half your bloggers here you should return the favor. Remember though that most of us are on Zumbo's side not OL's...

Dr. Ralph

I see the link now at the top left. Please accept my most humble apology but just because a man states an honest opinion about his feelings towards military style weaponry in the realm of hunting instead of combat is no reason to disown him. I myself think the Winchester Model 70 is an overrated overpriced overexposed piece of crap and was happy to witness it's demise. I guess that alone would exclude me from the good ol' boy gun writers club inc...