Jan 1, 2010

Writing for Gun Magazines

I found this on the web some time ago. It has served as my guide for publishing articles in various firearms periodicals (is that high-falutin' enough for ya?)

And to my friends and colleagues in the industry: "Ha ha, only serious!" :-)

Gunrag Writing for Dummies: Nine Easy Steps

Paragraph 1: Quick synopsis of the history of the gunmaker. Misspellings and artistic license are allowed, and even encouraged here.

Paragraph 2: Glowing report, in general terms, of other guns of same brand you have owned, and strong hints that this particular gun will be better than all the others.

Paragraph 3: Brief description of new gun. Be sure to stress "new" features and "new" materials. The adjectives "space-age" and "mil-spec" are tried and true, and can't ever be used enough.

Paragraph 4: Pick one feature of the gun, whether it is a decocker, accessory rail, bobbed hammer, or whatever, and write one sentence articulating your dislike about it. Poorly concealed digs at current trends are always useful here. Then, prefacing the next sentence with the words, "Having said that," proceed to refute everything you just said.

Paragraph 5: Description of your range session. Be sure to give precise details about how cold or hot it was that day, and it is absolutely necessary to do some name-dropping when mentioning your range buddies. If Roscoe Benson or John Lysak are unavailable, it is permissible to use the name of a famous holster maker.

Paragraph 6: When reporting accuracy results, it is paramount to choose only the most obscure and expensive premium ammo you can find. Black Hills MUST be represented, as well. Under no circumstances should you include Winchester white box ammo in the results, even if it is the only ammo that will cycle. Results must be listed in a table. Feel free to use the standard boilerplate table, with results pre-entered. It's not as if anyone actually reads these tables anyway. If smallest groups are in the 5" range, drop some strong hints that you were doing speed drills at 50 yards, not benchresting from 7 yards.

Paragraph 7: To describe the functioning of the pistol, you must use either "flawless" or "100%" somewhere in the sentence. If you and your buddies couldn't get it to work at all, be sure to describe the gun as a "pre-production prototype" and mention that the factory fixed the problem by sending you another gun.

Paragraph 8: Pick another feature or quirk of the gun, and express your dislike of it in ambiguous terms. If accuracy was completely abysmal, play up the "perfect for plinking and informal shooting" angle.

Paragraph 9: Conclude the article by saying that "even if the factory doesn't fix XYZ, I was still impressed enough with the gun that I bought the sample for my personal collection."

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