In December 2018, our friend Jim Shepherd of the online Industry newsletter The Outdoor Wire wrote something which made a lot of sense.
As Jim made his year-end wrap-up, he mentioned how many stories and items had passed through their archives. It wasn’t his intended point but he perfectly summarized why online writing is frequently considered an almost-disposable commodity. I’ll quote:

“Digital Archives are a lot like freeze-dried food. Neither takes up much space. Both represent life squeezed down to the very basics. Neither capture the essence; just the essentials.”

I work in both print and online media worlds and gain tremendous satisfaction from all forms of journalism. I know sometimes the printed word can’t convey the depth of meaning like photography, video or audio yet some topics are great stories but visually lacking. A monthly print magazine isn’t as timely as a blog but online writing frequently cannot devote the time or resources needed to cover a story in-depth. Ultimately, each form has its place in the grand scheme of things.

However, I made this point to illustrate another: print still isn’t dead, not by a long shot.

Thank you for reading. We’re not going anywhere and I hope you aren’t either!

Insider censorship

An FMG Publications staffer (the parent company of GUNS and American Handgunner) was recently waiting for a routine medical test at a Southern California hospital and attempted to log onto the Kaiser-Permanente Healthcare free Wi-Fi service. To his irritation, but not necessarily surprise, he found our GUNS website ( was blocked because he didn’t “have permission to visit this site.”

GUNS is listed in their “Weapons/Bombs” category and the Kaiser content filters won’t allow anyone to read our horrible, terrible, rotten, nasty (feel free to continue inserting your own adjectives here) stories.

This incident just reiterates what I’ve been saying for decades: it’s unlikely a flat-out ban on guns will happen anytime soon but there is a good chance our firearms tradition could fade away on its own — until the day it finally becomes politically-safe to outlaw private ownership. The opposing forces are smart: they’re in for the long haul and by slowly removing our ability to purchase guns and ammo at a reasonable cost, find a place to shoot or even read about firearms, they’ll eventually win. Don’t let them!

Insider Ammo

The Next Big Thing

Gun writers and other such vermin engaged in “the business” are always looking for the next hottest item, the newest trend or noteworthy personality. As a front-row observer to the firearms industry, I’ll share my bet for the next big thing on the horizon: long-distance shooting and hunting.

The “black gun” (AR15) rifle took our business by storm a decade ago. There were several reasons but basically, it was a case of “right gun at the right time.” Now you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone who owns dozens of AR-pattern rifles, engages in their manufacture or both. That isn’t any sort of crack against the black gun, it’s just the whole love affair has reached a saturation point leading to ennui (that’s a fancy French word meaning boredom).

Meanwhile, on the precision shooting side, user-friendly calibers such as the 6.5 Creedmoor are bringing hordes of new fans into the formerly-arcane pastime of launching bits of lead towards targets a half-mile (or more) distant.

With better ammunition, optical technology reaching new levels, more precision guns coming along at a lower cost, phone-based ballistic calculators and NASA-quality laser rangefinders widely available, all coupled to the natural human trait of seeking new challenges, the long-distance firing line at the local range is getting more crowded.

Will 2019 be the year you “Reach out and touch something?”

Insider barrel

Green With envy

I’ve got a lot of ammo on hand and I’m guessing you do too. However, if you need more, we found the “Mother of all Bulk Packs” hiding quietly in plain sight on the Brownells’ web page (

Our friends from Iowa are offering a barrel full of Lake City 5.56mm NATO XM855 rounds, fresh from LC by way of the Federal Cartridge Company, for the low, low price of $3,799.99 after mail-in rebate.

For that price, you get 12,500 boxer-primed rounds loaded into your own reusable steel barrel, featuring the U.S. Military standard-issue 62-grain SS109 bullet.

I like to buy my ammunition in bulk but if you wheel this bad boy onto the firing line next time I’m at the range, I’ll simply die of jealousy.
By the way, the Brownells’ website doesn’t calculate shipping cost for the barrel. I would guess Second Day Priority Air shipment will probably run you upwards of one trillion dollars.

Insider Brasil

Couldn't Happen Here?

If you’re a bad guy running free and easy in Brazil, time maybe up.

First off, Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro has proposed allowing all Brazilians without criminal records to own firearms so “good people can take justice into their own hands.” Brazil has strict firearms laws and it is difficult to legally obtain or own a gun.

It isn’t the case if you’re a drug runner or street criminal. Gun crime in South America’s largest country is utterly out of control and observers across the political spectrum agree dissatisfaction with weak crime-control measures from prior left-leaning governments as one of the main reasons Bolsonaro won. In 2017, there were over 63,000 murders in a country with about 210 million residents.

The Brazilian murder rate is even worse than “no-guns-allowed” Chicago!

Taking it further, Bolsonaro’s new Defense Minister is proposing rooftop police snipers with standing orders to shoot criminals on sight. We don’t necessarily endorse this move but it gives some indication of the depth of the problem.

From a business standpoint, it’s also worth noting stock in Brazilian gun manufacturer Taurus Armas SA rose almost 90 percent last year.

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