I got an e-mail message from an unsatisfied SGN reader today. He will remain unidentified for his own privacy. He said the following:
"I don't understand why you don't change the name of your magazine to Black Gun News. I noticed there are no usual guns in the first 99 pages and the rest of the mag is 99% Black Guns. I know you make money selling ads but I think you make some by selling magazines. To me and my friends this has come to be a worthless fish wrapper. You have no real guns. Only Black Guns. I know me and my friends not subscribing any more won't hurt you any. Its like putting my hand in a bucket of water and pulling it out to see how big a hole I leave. But, I wonder if there isn't several thousand that feel the same way and just don't say it. I think you should have at least a few things not in the Black Gun Category. The younger generation is interested in being blasting blow it up heroes and see themselves as saving the nation with their rat-a-tat Black Guns blut, for the average person they are not practical for hunting or regular shooting. Just for puting in the closet for an imagination of being a hero. I am pro gun all the way but just can't renew my sub to a total Black Gun Mag.
I remember when this was a pretty good mag.
Thanks for reading my opinion."
I responded to him as follows:
"I think you will agree we are not in charge of what advertisers choose to advertise. Black guns, like 'em or not, are what is selling these days, and even makers like Ruger are busy cranking them out.
That said, Sarco runs 300+ pages a year in SGN, and very little of that is black guns. Advertisers like Hunter's Lodge, IMA, Kamabee Keep, Samco and various others primarily deal in wood-and-steel guns.
So far as the editorial aspect is concerned, Paul Scarlata has an article on historical guns every month. The gunsmithing pieces by Steve Matthews and Reid Coffield are almost entirely about guns from the pre-plastic era. Dave Fortier is primarily a black gun man, but even he had a piece on the French Mle. 1892 revolver recently. I think the stories in SGN are very well balanced between historical and modern arms.
If you are looking for pieces on fine English doubles, we're not going to have them in SGN. If you're looking for pieces on flintlocks or Old West lever guns, ditto. We don't try to be all things to all people. I spent 20 years on the American Rifleman, and trying to be all things to all people there was very tiring."
Robert W. Hunnicutt
What do you think?
1. I love black guns, let's have more of them!
2. The mix in SGN is just right for me.
3. Bring back the lever guns!