He was one of those rare men everyone liked. Whether it was his somewhat twisted sense of humor or his country-boy-turned-biker-turned-gun-reviewer charm, you liked him. He was readily identifiable by the twin braids in his beard; if you ever saw him attempting to cross the floor at NRAAM you know he was constantly swarmed by fans of his work in the gun world.
And when I say we are diminished by his passing, I am not spouting platitudes. We are diminished. The gun industry is lessened by his death. The day of this writing – July 27, 2020 at approximately noon central – we lost Jeff Quinn of GunBlast.com.
Jeff’s passing does not come as a surprise. He’d been fighting kidney failure for years, searched for a donor, gone through dialysis, and suffered complications to his heart and other organs. But somehow, every time we heard he was in the hospital and we expected the worst, he prevailed.
Jeff was too stubborn to give in without a fierce battle which is why we were blessed with his presence for several years beyond our expectations. But even the toughest men eventually fall and now we have lost one many in the industry, myself included, think of as being inarguably their favorite gun industry guy.
Quite a few years ago I found myself at my first big industry event. It was a large event with dozens of writers in attendance – heaven knows how I got there – and among them was Jeff. Of all those people present Jeff was one of only perhaps three who welcomed me immediately and without question. In fact, Jeff was like my own private gun cheerleader at that and future events, encouraging me to stick with my career change despite being pretty damn intimidated by the setting.
He has always held a special place in my heart and always will. Jeff is irreplaceable. There is no one – and I do mean no one – in the gun media capable of filling his shoes.
Countless people’s lives were touched and influenced by Jeff. The following are just a drop in the bucket of the memories and love so many had for Jeff:
“My heart breaks finding out the news. Jeff Quinn was one of the most honest, down to earth, funny, heartwarming men I’ve ever met. He would have literally given the shirt off his back to someone who needed it. He was an asset to the industry and everyone in it. No words, just love,” Amy Graves of The Girl Behind the Gun.
“Jeff came to Gunsite for media events. I think he felt at home, despite being away from the hills. His sense of humor, the glint in his eye, his ability with words, will be missed here at Gunsite as well as on GunBlast. ‘There is no joy in Mudville, for Might Casey has struck out,’” Ken Campbell, CEO of Gunsite Academy.
“My friend, my brother, Jeff Quinn has passed on. His suffering is over, yet he will be sorely missed. He was one of a kind, unique, and one of the truly funny people whose company I have ever enjoyed. Vaya con Dios, compadre,” Ed Head, retired border patrol agent and Gunsite Academy instructor.
Miles Hall, Senior Consultant at Hall-N-Hall Consulting, referred to Jeff as “very kind” and mentioned the gift he had for explaining gun-related things in ways anyone could understand.
Hunter Lee Elliott of Range Hot mentioned the love he has for Jeff, saying he will “miss him a great deal.”
Denny Hansen, former editor of S.W.A.T. Magazine, reminded me of Jeff’s off-brand humor – one of my favorite things about Jeff – and also stated firmly we should all remember to “cherish [our] friends while [we] can.” There is no guarantee in tomorrow and we should take whatever opportunities possible to spend time with the important people in our lives.
“We’ve lost a revolutionary and innovative voice in the gun industry. One of the first, if not *the first, online gun writer/ independent reviewer. He called it straight and exactly like he honestly saw it.
Respected and often imitated, Jeff was a gentleman and was very polite to me. He advised me a couple times with opinions on my TAG and CCW Guardian websites. Good guy. Excellent guy. So Lift a glass or maybe better, let’s fire a GunBlast in his honor,” said David Reed, lead instructor at TAG, LLC and partner at CCW Guardian.
Ace Luciano of BGA Enterprises accurately remarked “He made a hell of an impression.”
There are so many Jeff-Quinn-isms I wouldn’t know where to start. Jeff made his own hot sauce – and it was good – and even had a holster for it. If you were lucky he’d give you a bottle in person or ship one after running into you on a trip. He’s the guy who introduced me to Rob Leahy, owner of Simply Rugged Holsters – a custom holster manufacturer he firmly believed in – and the guy who got me hooked on the fun side of derringers.
When his health began failing a few years ago and he could no longer travel his absence was noted by all of us. A couple times I invited him on hunts out here in Texas but he was unable to travel. One of those hunts in particular I deeply wish he could have made for various reasons.
He was known as a Shootist – and my inability to attend and become a Shootist, at his invitation, summer before last is going to bother me for a long time to come – and an all-around awesome man. When you had Jeff Quinn in your corner, you were set. He was always happy to see you and constantly trying to help.
Jeff would probably laugh if he read this next sentence, but here goes: Jeff Quinn was a role model. His grandson Ethan would do well to become half the man his grandpa was; his granddaughter would do well to one day meet a guy like her grandpa.
Jeff was a gentleman, but had a fantastically twisted sense of humor; Jeff was the guy encouraging you to be equal parts devil and angel (okay, maybe the scales tipped to devil a wee bit). Jeff was chaotic good. He was unlike anyone any of us have ever known or will ever know again and we are less for having lost him.
GunBlast.com was launched back in 2000 by Jeff and Boge Quinn when the idea of internet-based gun reviews was new and unexplored. They turned online gun reviews into A Thing, literally pioneering video reviews and commentary. It is my sincere hope GunBlast.com somehow goes on and I know I am not alone when I say I would happily work to help keep it going although none of us can do exactly what Jeff did.
Our thoughts, prayers, and most deeply-felt condolences are with his wife, Souette, his brothers Boge and Greg, and all his family members at this time.
If you have any photos or memories of Jeff please leave them below in the comments.