Mike "Duke" Venturino
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Veteran and well-known gun writer Mike “Duke” Venturino died Sunday, June 9, at his home in Livingston, Montana, following a brief illness related due to complications from heart disease. Venturino was a long-time contributor to GUNS and American Handgunner magazines as well as many other publications. He got his start more than 50 years ago writing for Guns & Ammo and Shooting Times. He wrote about his love for his work and his good fortune finding his calling in life in an article called “50 Years of Gun ‘Ritin'” published on GUNS website in 2021.

Editor in Chief Dave Workman, who knew Venturino, wrote on the writer’s passing on The GunMag:

The passing of veteran gun writer and shooting authority Mike “Duke” Venturino on Sunday, June 9, has stunned and saddened the firearms community.

Mr. Venturino, known to legions of readers and his colleagues as “Duke,” both educated and entertained a couple of generations of shooters, from his early days writing for Guns and Ammo and Shooting Times to his work over the past several years as a regular at American Handgunner and GUNS magazines, where his depth and breadth of knowledge about all kinds of firearms made him not only an authority, but a grand storyteller.

He passed away at his home in Livingston, Montana following a brief illness, according to GUNS Editor Brent Wheat.

As a testament to Venturino’s dedication to his readers, Wheat noted in a statement Monday, “One of the last communications I had with Mike was regarding his monthly column deadline. He was fighting the battle for his life, but he was worried about missing his deadline.

“What an amazing professional; there is no way to fill the void he leaves our magazines or the shooting world in general. Mike’s FMG family is keeping his wife Yvonne, Mike’s family, friends and countless fans in our thoughts,” Wheat said.

A native of West Virginia, Venturino was a journalism graduate of Marshall University, which was evident in his skilled writing. His writing career began back in the 1970s, which translates to virtually a half-century of work in a field where there is no substitute for expertise.

Read the complete story on Venturino’s passing on The GunMag and on American Handgunner’s websites.

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  1. I always enjoyed his columns in *Handloader*, and his articles in the Lyman manuals. He definitely had tons of expertise in old guns and obscure cartridges!

      • Doug, I did a search and found nothing relative to DOB or age, but I did see one piece reporting the # 72 but not clear if it meant his age. Regardless a sad loss.

  2. His contributions to the Nosler reloading manuals were always entertaining and informative.

  3. Dang it.
    Well I suppose even mountains crumble to the sea eventually.
    Live today like there may be no other.

  4. Sad to see this.

    He was a wealth of knowledge on most things gun and more things on reloading.

  5. He’s going to be missed. I’ve read his articles for decades, and always learned something helpful.

  6. He may not have been born in Montana, but he was truly one of our own. We are lessened by his passing.

    • He was born and went to school in West Virginia. Attended college at Marshall. Moved to Montana later in life.

  7. O, Death
    I’ll close your eyes so you can’t see
    This very hour, come and go with me
    I’m death I come to take the soul
    Leave the body and leave it cold

  8. I read Venturino for decades. He wrote about steel. And wood. Any idiot and his brother can write about plastic. Even I could do it.

  9. I met him at a BPCR silhouette match at Blackfoot Idaho many years ago and have read most of his articles in the various mags. He leaves a hole in the gun writing community that will not be filled.

  10. A few months ago we lost Nick Harvey who was also well known among many American writers including Elmer Keith.

    Nick left enough unpublished material his articles will still appear for the next several years.

  11. Oh no! Damn it. Duke Venturino and John Taffin are my modern Skeeter Skelton and Elmer Keith, I devoured all of their columns in every rag they showed up in. Well, Godspeed into the hereafter Mr. Venturino, sleep well, and may God bring peace to those you’ve left behind. Thanks for all the knowledge and wonderful hours of reading. You’ll be missed.

  12. I have been lucky enough/old enough to meet many of the great gun writers over the years. Duke and his kind are a rapidly disappearing breed. Too many of the current crop of “Black Rifle” and “Sray and Pray” folks have never learned as much about firearms as Duke and his kind have forgotten. (Go to any public gun range and watch how many folks are seeing how many rounds that they can quickly put down range.) He will be missed.

  13. Sad news indeed. Mike was one of the few remaining columnists from what I call the golden era of gun writers, when we also had the likes of Bill Jordan, Skeeter Skelton, Elmer Keith, John Wooters, Bob Milek, and so on, gracing the pages of our favorite gun mags. I grew up reading stuff from all of them.

    On the Handloader TV YouTube channel, Mike did a series with host Jeremiah on WWII Small Arms, if you haven’t seen them it is worth watching, and a tribute to Mike.

    He will be missed… my condolences to his family.

  14. I think Mike was born in 1949. I read some of his shooting articles in guns and ammo from 1972.

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