It hasn’t been a full year since the debacle that almost killed Recoil Magazine. In response to their former editor’s misunderstandings and mis-steps in regard to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the USA, the magazine almost died. If you missed it, or my vocal role in the situation, you can learn what you need to know by reading this statement.

Since Jerry Tsai’s resignation, Recoil has dramatically improved its staff…specifically, they have added contributors with significant credentials and history within our training community and the firearms industry. Some examples:

  • Iain Harrison, a name well known to anyone who pays attention to “gun world”,  has Taken Over as Editor.
  • My friend Mike Seeklander, one of the most professional and respected instructors in the industry, has become a contributor.
  • Another pal, David Reeder, one of the most professional journalists in the community, is contributing heavily at RecoilWeb, their online presence.
  • When I looked at their list of contributors today, I saw another longtime friend and industry peer, John Chapman , is on the team of authors as well.
  • I also found out that respected tactical medicine expert Kerry Davis, whom I worked with during the S.W.A.T. Magazine TV project, is going to be contributing to Recoil later this year.

Recoil caught my attention earlier when they posted an article by one of my newest contributors at Personal Defense Network, Jacob Romo, on Wheelchair Based CCW. When I looked at Recoil Magazine in the immediate aftermath of their near-death experience, I was hopeful for good things to come. I’ve watched pretty quietly as they’ve moved forward.

When I look at Recoil Magazine today, I am now expecting good things. In fact, I was recently asked to give my opinion on a topic by one of their writers for an upcoming article. Apparently I was on a list of “experts” that he was contacting, so I gladly participated. Recoil Magazine has made significant changes and they deserve credit and, certainly, another chance.

Congratulations to them for taking good steps forward… and to our community for helping them evolve.

63 Responses to Recoil, You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

    • I guess if you are still going to boycott the magazine, you have to be prepared to boycott Seekander, Reeder, Davis, Chapman, Romo…. and maybe even me and all the advertisers as well??

      I think it is FOOLish to overlook the changes.

    • Dude, everyone deserves a chance to fix their mistakes. Recoil has done a good job of that. I have purchased their last two issues and Iain Harrison is doing a good job and the magazine appears to be back on track. Going off the rails a second time is reason enough to probably ditch ’em, but I don’t think they’ll make that mistake again (assuming they want to stay in business, natch).

  1. Recoil is my favorite magazine, even my anti-gun mom likes the magazine. Crazy, right? Still, I have the two year subscription and the magazine blows away the other outdated gun magazines out there.

    • ^^ Blows away any other outdated magazine ^^

      Been saying it since day 1. Full color pages, nice design, better brand voice, and pure gun porn.

      You’re more likely to read some fat-old-white-guy’s article in any of the other magazines, in black and white newspaper, with some old fuddy duddy nonsense about how the .45ACP was the game changer… sure…. 30+ years ago. Woooop deee dooo…

      Newspaper? Black and white? 3-4 column layout? I’ll pass. Gimme some of that sweet sweet CYMK baby.

  2. Once they booted the editor, I gave them a second chance. Holding a grudge against a publication for the mistake, an albeit BIG mistake, that appeals to the younger 2A generation doesn’t help pro-2A efforts in the long run. Jerry Tsai was the problem and he was shown the door. They have remedied the situation as best they can. Subsequent issues have been very good.

    • No he was given a horizontal promotion to a car mag owned by the VERY anti-armed citizen owner of the publishing company that owns Recoil

      • Not the greatest consolation prize, considering his passion and interest in firearms and that he saw Recoil as his “baby”.

        I guess if you are still going to boycott the magazine, you have to be prepared to boycott Seekander, Reeder, Davis, Chapman, Romo…. and maybe even me and all the advertisers as well??

        The problem with the logic is that you have to discount ALL the positive motion they’ve made in order to be concerned with the fact that the publisher still employs Tsai.

        -RJP

        • I like Harrison, so I’ll take a look at an issue next time I’m at the store.

          I have no idea who any of those other guys are, though.

      • Who cares. They aren’t spewing anti-2A nonsense anymore. If I boycotted every single product/service owned by someone that didn’t agree with my belief system, then I’d have to live off the land.

        • Except then you’d have to boycott the land too. I’m pretty sure the deer you’d shoot, or the apple you’d pick would not agree with your eating them to sustain yourself. 😉

          Suffice to say I agree. Boycotting things is not an effective way to live. (And deer and apples are delicious!)

        • I have a very limited list of boycotts. I won’t vote for any democrat (unless they go out of their way to prove they’re 2A-friendly), I won’t buy stuff related to Jim Carrey or anything with the name Bloomberg or Emanuel attached to it. And most recently, Snoop Dogg.

          Recoil minus the offending editor is fine, IMO.

        • As a former US soldier whom believes in the second amendment, I think everyone should have a good idea of what it means to know and understand your equipment (weapon)…….. Without that understanding what are we fighting for? Recoil is really making excellent strides towards change and equipment education….. Good job guys!!!!!!

  3. Recoil has great gun porn, but their $8.99 cover price is kind of a turn off. I mean it’s only around 10 bucks, but for a magazine?

    • You can get an online subscription from Zinio for very little money if you want to subscribe. Some public libraries (including the one in my little Chicago suburb) carry it, if you prefer reading it free.

  4. yeah, not buying it, literally. They defended Tsai’s comments and tried to pull the BS over our eyes. They are dead to me, along with Cheaper than Crap

  5. I have followed it since it came out.

    At first, I read it for the pictures. The photography was excellent. There wasn’t much in the writings but sometimes I just want to sit down and look at something cool.

    The last couple of issues have been outstanding. Now I find myself actually reading the articles and learning something. The addition of Iain Harrison and Mike Seeklander are fantastic. Also, going bi-monthly has helped out as well.

    It’s still too expensive but if I based by purchasing decisions on cost, my gun safe would be half empty.

  6. I can’t give Recoil a retry since I never tried it in the first place. But I do want to know who owns it and who gets my money if I buy the magazine.

  7. I actually liked Recoil until the incident. Even my ex wife who didnt like guns as much as I did enjoyed some of the articles. Granted most of what they advertise and review is too rich for my blood but I liked the writing and the look. Most other gun magazines are boring outside of the gun porn, this wasnt. I read it cover to covers as opposed to select articles in others. I was dissapointed and havent picked them up since THAT issue but maybe I will give them another chance. Thanks Rob

  8. Just to remind everyone:

    “[T]he MP7A1 is unavailable to civilians and for good reason. We all know that’s technology no civvies should ever get to lay their hands on. This is a purpose-built weapon with no sporting applications to speak of. It is made to put down scumbags, and that’s it.”

    Because clearly, we don’t deserve to be able to ”put down scumbags”.

    And H&K still won’t see a dime of my money either.

    • Agreed. What part of “…shall not be infringed…” is everyone so confused by? And I would add, any shooter is free to determine a sporting purpose. ATF is clearly not capable of observing established sporting events and conceding the existence of a sporting purpose. Extended mag tubes on a Benelli M2? They need to be told by shooters what a sporting purpose is, and have the authority to make such determination stripped from them. Frankly, coppers don’t deserve any equipment not available to us “civvies”. Besides, unless they are military, coppers are civvies too. Get over it.

  9. One man-made a really bad move and the “powers-that-be” corrected that mistake. No matter how you feel about what Recoil has done in the past you have to recognize the changes they are making are both innovative and refreshing. I subscribe to dozens of magazines and its clear Recoil is redefining the segment, just watch how many gun mags will start to look and read like Recoil.

    • the “powers-that-be” defended him first, until of course they started losing advertisers. The whole ordeal was BS. A gun mag giving ammunition to anti-gunners and then trying to justify their comments with more BS. You know how the saying goes, “with friends like these…” Well, as far as I am concerned they stabbed the pro 2A community in the back. If I flip through that rag again, it will only be to identify the vendors i will not be spending my money at.

      Cheaper than dirt did the same, i had very good experiences with them before they went all whack-tard after Sandy Hook. Now they will never see another dime from me.

      They both should have been run out of business and probably would have if more people had any conviction. But I guess principles are cheap these days, that is why we will lose 2A.

      Sorry Mr. Pincus, i respect your opinion and i hope you’re right, but they will not see any support from me.

  10. Okay… Okay… I’ll check it out just don’t send Rob Pincus after me… That guy can shoot and have you seen him jump…We’re cool right Rob?…. 🙂

  11. I’m only going to subscribe to 1 magazine, and Recoil missed out. With the information available on the Internet and my Gun Test subscription, I’m filled up with gun info.
    As far as your statement: “I guess if you are still going to boycott the magazine, you have to be prepared to boycott Seekander, Reeder, Davis, Chapman, Romo…. and maybe even me and all the advertisers as well??”
    The answer is that it is not a boycott to ignore what doesn’t interest me. I don’t even know who those people are and don’t need them. Even you. If you think that’s a boycott, enjoy yourself.

  12. If true, still being ultimately owned by an anti-2a company does not sit well with me. It would be like donating to NRA while fumds are funneled to MAIG… Don’t know how else to explain it.

    As for boybotting all the other guys who are of proven credentials, maybe they should rethink their positions also.

    I see much in mags of Tactical weapons making references so that they are addressing LEO and military, rather than citizens. It resonates the basic premise that they are rhw only ones that should have those weapons, in smuxh similar fashion to the statement by Jerry Tsai. It is only said in not so many words dirextly to the point, but it may still be present since they knowinfly avoid making the “Big-Guys Upstairs” unhappy.

    To that kind of mentality I thumb my nose and spend my money elsewhere.

    Sorry, just the reality of rhe matter as I see it.

    If they wish to change my view ler me see an article where they state they think ALL citizens have the right, as they do, to possess all types of fully-auro weapons with a personal side note that they feel the NFA is unconstitutional.

    That would make me lean towards buying the mag. But I highly doubt they care about me and my .02, so then they don’t really care about my $$$, nor anyone else like minded, thus showing their servitude to their corporate rulership.

  13. They cleaned up their act, removed not only the offending ideas, but the person who propagated them. Replaced them with A+ people who are solid members of the community. Thats a WIN in my book. I’m going to sub, based on the people alone and the bad ass graphics is a plus. These people aint no joke and I don’t honestly care ‘who’ they are writing for, its their knowledge and inspiration that I want and am willing to pay for.

  14. Recoil magazine has made the necessary changes and has brought on great people. As a result, they should be given the benefit of the doubt. They have proven to me they can evolve.

    I’ve been a firearms instructor since 1992. If I hadn’t evolved as a trainer, reconsidered my positions on things and gotten feedback from my students and other instructors, then I wouldn’t be worth my weight in salt. If you don’t fail, or evolve, how in the world do you ever get better?

  15. I guess it’s good I missed whatever the big deal was because the magazine looks pretty interesting. Thanks for passing it along, Rob.

  16. People still purchase these paper magazines of which you speak? How quaint.

    I’ve never picked up “Recoil,” but I have high hopes for “Gun Up.” Starting a new magazine seems strange these days, but I like the folks working on it.

    • I much prefer paper to digital magazines, and do not consider myself a Luddite. I also prefer physical books to e-books.

      • +1 Kyle

        I dont know I guess Im just too old school for my young 28 years. Heck, I cant even stand using computers to do my patient care reports on. My clipboard/book/magazine has never crashed, frozen, lost signal or power

  17. The profits go to a publishing company that is anti-2A. As was the case with Ruger and S&W, Recoil will need a change of OWNERSHIP, not just a change in editors, before I will purchase again.

    As for those working for Recoil, it is their choice to work for an owner opposed to gun rights. If those jobs don’t work out, I can’t say I would be sorry.

    • ^^^^^^^^^^^ HERE HERE!!!

      Recoil’s upper management who defended Tsai are still there. And if you buy this magazine, you will be funneling your money into the pockets of the same Anti-2A media tycoons who will turn around to fund Anti-2A messages, media, politicians and laws.

      No, I will not buy this magazine.

  18. Rob, as usual, you present things in a way that just makes sense. If we do not work towards effecting positive change, then what is the sense of boycotting something? If Recoil can fix their mistakes and move forward in support of 2A and the whole firearms community, and if RJP spports those efforts, it is worth giving them a second look. Yes, we need to stick by those who fully support our 2nd Amendment rights, but I am not perfect, so why can’t we give them a second chance? Keep up the great work Rob!
    -P. Hogan “HzmtH1”

  19. mag-a-zine?

    you mean like, in the gun, right?

    can’t think of the last time I ever bought a magazine or even thought of subscribing to one. only thumb through them at the airport.

  20. Glad they have the cajones to clean up their act. I was a reader before they almost flatlined themselves and am happy to be a subscriber in their redemption. Recoil offers a more polished hip view of guns, especially leaning toward the tactical crowd. Welcome back from the dead!

  21. Rob, thanks for the article! As usual, I think you’ve got it exactly right. RECOIL was on the verge of an all-but-inevitable death after those foolish comments about H&K, but those responsible have been replaced and the entire editorial tone has changed.

    I’ve read a few recent issues of RECOIL, and the magazine has a slick user-friendly interface that shows you the facts without just spewing text like I tend to do. This is what successful print media looks like today: a really well-designed web page, just on paper.

    New editor Iain Harrison is the genuine article: an abidingly decent and generous guy who works his fingers to the bone. And just as importantly for the future of RECOIL, Iain *gets* gun culture and gun guys. Whatever mistakes are in RECOIL’s past, he is one of us.

    Good on him for righting the ship over there! I will always wish him well.

  22. RECOIL has changed, and it’s a great magazine – way ahead of other mags in terms of design and layout, and with the “re-vamp” they’ve really improved the quality of the contributions they get from writers.

    But I guess all of you folks who can’t forgive and move on, won’t be buying. Too bad. I’m sure there’s no Smith & Wesson or Ruger guns in your vault either, eh?

  23. I was really taken aback when it all went down. I saw a few issues and liked that they seemed to be targeting a younger demographic. It seems younger folks are getting more and more into firearms but are far less informed. Magazines like Recoil COULD play a big role IF they avoid these mistakes. Hopefully that’s exactly what it was. A dumb mistake that they really didn’t mean….we’ll see.

    Hope this doesn’t bother folks but every post i leave I’m going to tell you to join NRA!!! Whether or not you like them they’re the biggest dog on the block! Save 10 bucks here: http://www.nra.org/joinhere

  24. Oh gee, another 6 dollar glossy magazine full of splashy ads and a few paltry reviews that always love every gun and never have a single malfunction with them. Who actually buys this crap?

  25. “The issue is “Why is it okay that we own firearms?” ”

    I do not have to provide you with a reason or justification to exercise a right. Does anyone ask “Why is it okay that we publish a newspaper?” “Why is it okay that we vote?

  26. I will download a pirated RECOIL PDF from a torrent site! Is that a fair compromise? I get to read it without supporting it financially. But the advertisers still gets my attention and my business. It’s a win-win.

  27. The most recent issue of this was fantastic.
    Iain’s writing is great, the quality of the printed magazine is unparalleled both in photographic content and the actual quality of materials. it lands squarely in my “set out on display” pile next to Cigar Aficionado.

    Their review of the what was essentially a stamp-free SBR (the Sig P516) making no bones about the fact that it’s designed to be fired from the shoulder even though it’s “techincally” a pistol was great. I feel it also really sets the tone for what this magazine is going to be all about. Followed up by an article that was actually about the importance of physical fitness in your shooting/self defense plans was fantastic. A huge change of pace from articles about 300 pound dudes who can’t be bothered to aim talking about how awesome the Taurus judge is as an every day carry.

    This magazine just needs an injection of Colion Nior and Hickock45 and it would land squarely in my internet savvy 30 somethings demographic.

    I’m definitely willing to give them a shot.

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