Reader Mail Insights


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Sure, we get the occasional gripe letter, but the overwhelming majority of incoming reader emails to the address reside on the positive side of the scales of journalism.

Some are straight-up compliments. Gregg thoroughly enjoyed my recent “Fizzics ’R Us” column and has shared a kinship with Mike Venturino and John Taffin, having bought their books and read their Handgunner articles for decades. In his words, “I have also discovered a fondness for the eclectic scrawlings of newcomers (to me) like Jeff ‘Tank’ Hoover, Dave Anderson, Lindsey Bertomen, Greg Derr and others. And, let’s not forget Massad Ayoob … whom I’ve grown to appreciate as my interest in defensive handgun training and skill development has grown.”

Gregg was also complimentary to “Editor Extraordinaire” Roy Huntington. I just don’t have the heart to tell him I’ve been performing that role for years now …

Others questions come in for our writers and editors. Dr. Martello wants to know, “If your daily carry gun is a different gun than your bedside gun, do you leave the chamber loaded and mag in when you put the carry away at night, such as in a GunVault?”

GUNS Magazine Editor Brent Wheat and I both weighed in on this one. It’s a great candidate for publication, as I’m sure many readers wrestle with similar questions.

Some of the incoming questions can be quite thought-provoking. From Steve in Spokane, Wash.: “What is the life expectancy of a polymer frame when kept at normal temperatures? I’m thinking of legacy as I inherited my grandfather’s 1911 from WWI and still shoot it. Will it be possible to safely fire 60-year-old tactical Tupperware, or will time erase most of the wonder-9 pistols?” A good question, indeed. At what point, if any, do today’s polymer products start to deteriorate?

My favorite ones are the humorous observations or wisecracks, if you will, relating to some recent article or “Gun Cranks” podcast episode. For example, after our discussion on how to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon (Episode 193), Cary from Deer Park, Wash., “chastised” us for missing the obvious: “You should attack spy balloons from above so they can’t see you coming.” That one made me laugh out loud.

Most of our readers seem to enjoy the “quirky” stories. I think it’s a direct result of the nature of handgunners. Why? Because we can. In this theme, I’ve been getting many emails recently about Lindsey Bertomen’s Handloading column. He does unusual things like bake powder-coated bullets in the kitchen when his better half is not home, bumps bullets with hammers and punches and who knows what else. The common thread is readers seem to enjoy a taste of the non-traditional. You know, stuff you’d never see in the pages of Guns & Ammo or American Rifleman.

Whatever the “theme” of our incoming reader comments, one thing is certain: There’s no better market research than investing a few hours per week perusing and responding to their emails.

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