The Benefits

If you can handle all the challenges, there are many benefits of being a gun writer. First is the paycheck. You actually get paid for messing around with guns and then spilling ink about the adventure! Sometimes you can even afford the ammo and gasoline used during the trip to the range — after receiving the paycheck 12 months later and provided you were shooting within 10 miles of home and only shot a single magazine of ammunition. Some gun writers have even been known to become wealthy, defined as “not having bill collectors calling after 11 p.m.” This, however, is the exception rather than the rule.

You also get free guns occasionally, though not nearly as often as most readers suppose. You will get to use lots of guns for a short “T&E” (Testing and Evaluation) period but even here the fun is tempered by countless hours spent fighting with package delivery services, scrounging for return boxes and constantly cleaning up foam packing peanuts that somehow mysteriously end up in the cat box and washing machine.

Regardless of the downsides, you will receive the accolades and respect of fellow gun enthusiasts. They look up to the gun writer with awe and respect, though it is often concealed beneath a veneer of indifference or outright hostility. It is sometimes comical to see a reader trying to avoid a maudlin public display of respect and veneration when meeting a well-known gun scribe at the range. Sometimes they even threaten you with a cleaning rod in an effort to conceal their profound admiration.