This might be slightly OT here but, I miss the OLD Handloader magazine.
By that I mean that I miss the old format with a toned down front cover and interesting submissions by many "no name" experimenters and intelligent staff writers.
There is definately a void there now and the subject matter has narrowed considerably. I do and have always enjoyed Seyfried though ever since I started reading his articles back in the mid-eighties on big game hunting with cast bullets and sixguns in Africa. The first I believe, was at the beginning of the LBT bullet craze. When Veral was a little known guy turning out interesting bullet designs. The rest is history now.
A surprising number of writers do an extremely superficial examination of a product despite the fact that they claim to go to the range and test umpty-five powders with a a king's ransom of various bullets. One of the "good guy" names mebtioned above recently reviewed a Winchester repro offering. In it he claimed the stock finish to be oil. Well based on his and other reviews I ordered me up one. Took about 8 months for the dealer to get it. Nothing wrong with the product other than an assembly glitch. Called Winchester to tell them my problem and asked for a replacement screw. The response? "We don't ship to Canada." I pointed out that they certainly got the rifle to Canada so why not the parts? No satisfaction, told to call a certain Canadian supplier. Did so with full details. Got the wrong screws at Ŭ.00 each. Phoned Winchester again and got the specific part # and reordered 4 screws. Again Ŭ.00 apiece . Two of them are incorrect but they were spares anyway. I diverge.
The finish on the rifle is not oil and only an idiot can't tell the difference with a bit of looking. It is some kind of synthetic finish which scratches white and is not easy to repair. The finish will soon be oil though. I would've liked to know how the repro differs from the original. In fact there are quite a few changes that none of the writers who have covered this piece have spotted or reported or thought significant. Boys , even the best of them are catering to the factories and why not. Look at all the fun they're having. I appreciate the load data they present but I approach it very carefully because I doubt they are all doing that much shooting. I somehow think they've got their ballistic programmes working for them. Ever come across some max loads that you can't approach no matter that you duplicate the components? But, what are our options if we want to keep up with changes in the market place? Not many. Absorb what seems useful and cast a jaundiced eye on the rest. BCstocker
Agree with many of the positive reviews, here's another. I like Rick Jamison at Shooting Times. He's opened a lot of people's eyes with his pieces on borescopes, Oehler strain gages, and actual downrange measurements of ballistic coefficients. You might not agree with all his conclusions but you'll have to get your facts together to make a good argument the other way.
Sometimes his articles cater to the inexperienced reader but that's OK, everybody's gotta start somewhere.
In addition to Rick, one who's not been mentioned above is Sheriff Jim Wilson. His tales of the cowboys and lawmen of the frontier are interesting, and it's nice to read an article that has absolutely nothing to do with new products!
Pourboy, an interesting idea.
Like CharlieZ, I think Ken Waters and Ross Seyfried are two of the best of the current crop of gun writers. Dave Scovill is by far the best current gun magazine editor. Scovill is a shooter, reloader and a hunter. I agree with Contender, I miss the old Handloader format. I sympathize with Wolfe Publishing though. There are few very serious Handloaders, they had to "dumb down" the format and include more glossy pictures, or go broke. If you look at the circulation numbers on their web site you will see that the only way they could survive was to gloss the format up a little and appeal to the casual shooter.
I am not sure about Brian Pearce, I like a lot of the guns/calibers he has written about, the .32-20 and .444 come to mind, but his writing lacks something.
We should not sell Wiley Clapp short. Wiley learned hit trade from two of the BEST, Robert Hutton and Homer Powley. Wiley's problem is his magazine. Guns and Ammo certainly leaves a lot to desired, a sister publication, Rifle Shooter is not bad.
I have not read a lot of Chuck Taylor but I tend to like what I have read. I can say the same about his friend Frank Kelly.
I can say the same for M. L. McPherson (sp?) this guy is very knowledgeable about firearms and ballistics. I wish I could afford a subscrition to Precision Shooting magazine.
Rick Jamison certainly ranks as one of today's most knowledgeable writers. Jamison is limted by his magazine.
Mike Venturino is another knowledgeable writer whose product has really been "dumbed down" by Shooting Times.
Layne Simpson is first rate in every respect. Like Seyfried, he can write from actual experiance over the full range of firearms.
I like Clay Harvey. Harvey uses common sense backed by actual range experiance in his writing. I would like to meet him someday.
I think we shooters need a few Jeff Cooper's. He is very knowledgeable on defensive firearms and rifles. Cooper has championed several forms of rifle shooting amoung people who would not normally have been shooters. His knowledge of history, politics, and his ability to "cut to the chase" make him unique. We don't have to agree with everything he writes.
Personally, I don't like Edward A. Matunas. He is technically qualified, which means he knows a LOT more about ballistics than I do. My problem with him is; If Matunas doesn't personally like something, he sees no use for it. Not my kind of writer.
Thanks for reminding me about another one of my favorite writers... Mike Venturino. His writining about the guns of the Old West bring them back to life for me. In fact, I credit him with engendering my passion for the lever action. He also demonstrated his range by doing an extensive article on the AR-15 a few years back. He did look a little odd shooting a modern military rifle wearing buckskins though.
One question I have for him, however. I still don't understand the difference between a short rifle and carbine with absolute clarity beyond the barrel band and crescent butt plate.
Only does reviews of products from companies that sponsor him, runs 2 factory loads from Winchester thru a new TC encore rifle with a Simmons scope while wearing a Readhead vest, 3/4 MOA of course and proceeds to shoot a trophy whitetail with it in a fenced preserve. I hear he is an accomplished wildlife biologist but have never seen him talk about it. KevinNY
My least favorite is (no secret) Wiley Clapp. He is another writer who cannot be objective. Everything he doesn't like, he ridicules. Second place is Dick Metcalf. I used to think quite highly of ol' Dick. Now I feel all he does is write poor quality advertising copy. And in the most boring style too. What I really miss is writers with LIFE EXPERIENCE! Too many seems to base their writing on things OTHER people have done. The worst form of "armchair quarterbacks". Has anyone else noticed that the most interesting writers seem to be old lawmen? I know the entire genre didn't end with Bill Jordan, Skeeter Skelton and the host of others like them. I do like Sheriff Jim Wilson. I don't particularly care for Massad Ayoob.
You hit the nail on the head. I agree with you 100%. I would like to see if Boddington could make a hunt on National Forest land without a guide and get anything. I don't know what he does to me, but he gives me the impression of being a journalism major who writes about guns. No heart in his writings. Kind of like let's jump on a plan for Asia and knock off a Marco Polo ram and get back and write about the 8.12345...mm mag ultra-mag that most people won't shoot and could care less about, but the gun company wants some exposure for since they paid for the trip. Am I rambling?
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