TTAG Reader Defends RECOIL Over NSP Flap


A TTAG reader sent us this email re: RECOIL magazine‘s on-line evisceration. Our reader thinks the ballistic buff book should get a Mulligan for its “no sporting purpose” (NSP) remarks about the Heckler & Kock MP7A1.

Dear TTAG,

I am contacting you in hopes that I can add some insight to what I think some of the writers for TTAG already believe but do not want to publish about recent affairs with RECOIL affairs.

It is unfortunate that RECOIL is being treated the way they are. Actually, it’s plain stupid. It makes me so angry to see our community treat them the way they are, including to a degree, TTAG. I have no affiliations with RECOIL, however I do read their publications and I have, or like to think I have, an open mind. Every firearm blog and YouTube channel is blowing up with these ridiculous assertions that RECOIL should be shunned from the firearm publication business . . .

I’m not saying RECOIL didn’t make a mistake. Seriously though,  is it worth jumping on the wagon to get the ONLY readable firearm magazine out of business? Most of their top-tier advertisers, who by the way are some of the industries most modern innovators (magpul, panteo etc) have already pulled their adds. Also, I think their “damage control” post facto publication were laughable at best, but you know what,  they tried.  Which is better than most firearm magazines.

I read TTAG, literally everyday, sometimes more than once. However, I like to pick up a physical magazine every once in a while. RECOIL was no exception, I was very pleased when I learned that they would be stopping bi-monthly productions and making a monthly issue.

For our community, to blast them the way they have, is inconsiderate. They are a new company. They are still young. Hell, it is only their 4th publication! Like TTAG had said when this first came about, it’s not as if TTAG didn’t have a hiccup or two when they first started out.

Why are we, as gun lovers doing the EXACT opposite of what we say the answer to firearm endorsement? That being eduction. We hear the same whining story time after time: “We need to educate the non-gun community so they understand the importance”…..

Now, with that being said, why are literally singlehandedly destroying the chances of success for RECOIL? I guess I will just have to pick up another boring NRA publication with a bunch of ads for cheap shit that is going to break or work in the exact opposite way as it’s advertised….

Why are we fighting each other? This may seem unethical, but being a Marine Corps infantry veteran I really don’t care (just like all the other alleged “pro 2a” that are killing RECOIL), we are starting to act like a bunch of Islamic extremists. We would rather kill each other over a problem so INSIGNIFICANT (that’s right, it is) that we’ve warped RECOIL into being some sort of anti-gun conspiracy propaganda publication…. WHICH THEY AREN’T.

If TTAG really wants to do what many of their columns are about, which is education of firearm related topics, you should and all of TTAG’s writers should consider fixing the problem instead of being a contributor.

Hopefully you have read this E-Mail in its entirety and recognize that the solution to this problem isn’t destroying it, but contributing to its future success and enlighten our community on something I like to call…. discipline.. In every definition of the word.

Thank you.


  1. avatar Rob Pincus says:

    A very well written Counter-Point.

    I think this blog is insightful as well: .

    As I said on the GOA Radio Show that both RF and I participated in last night, the issue of change/evolution in the leadership of RECOIL isn’t the same as wanting the magazine to fail.

    The voice that speaks to the next generation of shooters needs to be one that understands the importance of the fight for our rights.


    1. avatar Guardian says:

      Very well put Rob. I hope they can acomplish that mission.

  2. avatar Silver says:

    “…we are starting to act like a bunch of Islamic extremists.”

    Aaaand credibility lost. Once someone suicide bombs Recoil’s office, get back to me. Funny how you whine about the gun community turning on each other, then proceed to equate the gun community with terrorists.

    I disagree that this problem is insignificant. To have a firearms magazine discredit the tenets of the 2A is not insignificant. “Education” is exactly what we’re trying to do, and when a widely published magazine is undoing that education by teaching readers that the 2A is for “sporting purposes,” that is an obstacle that must be dealt with. Once you call yourself a member of the “gun community,” you should be the one doing the educating, not the one who needs it.

    1. avatar JoshinGA says:

      I would just like to add in addition to all the fine points that you made, that by publishing and furthering the “common sense restrictions” idea that the antis are so fond of, he gave them ammo to use against us. “See, even they support common sense restrictions. Its right here in Recoil issue 4, in the MP7A1 article.”

    2. avatar Neez says:

      He didn’t mean it the way that you’re thinking. He meant the online gun community is going to war over a one line statement instead of seeing everything in it’s entirety. It’s a fair analogy i think.

      We are condenming an otherwise decent magazine that further promotes our way of life. The magazine moved us one step further by being displayed on newstands, local grocery store, minute marts etc…

      1. avatar Silver says:

        I can understand that, it’s just the way words land and the effect those outside our community can twist them. I think a more appropriate analogy, if any, would have been to liken the perceived overreaction to, say, gun-grabbers insisting on bans due to isolated incidents and overreactions. It would have been less inflammatory and more relevant to the gun discussion.

      2. avatar theaton says:

        Neez, I could maybe agree with you if it was just a writer. Jerry Tsai is the editor. His views will permeate the entire magazine. The Second Amendment is one line. Using your logic, we are fighting the antis over one line. Why bother?

      3. avatar Totenglocke says:

        We are condenming an otherwise decent magazine that further promotes our way of life.

        Except the entire reason people are mad is because they openly stated that they DON’T support or promote our way of life. The promote a neutered and “reasonably controlled” version of our way of life.

    3. avatar jwm says:

      +1. Let it serve as an example for the next magazine that want’s to play fast and loose with our rights.

    4. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

      Agreed on all points. His hyperbole completely shoots him in the foot. Really, comparing hostility towards a magazine with Islamic extremism – Please! Also, I can think of no better way to educate that to speak out against the behavior/views – And education shouldn’t even be an issue, since they ARE members of the community. This double the need for the exact reaction they got.
      I don’t think for a minute this will kill the magazine, which is good, but I don think this will crystalize their position and understanding of their audience in the future, and thats a good thing.

    5. avatar g says:

      Nobody’s suicide bombed RECOIL’s office, but their Facebook threads are full of veiled threats by upset people. Sound familiar? Like it or not, that’s same behavior we assign to religious fanatics whenever somebody insults their prophet / scriptures.

      Tsai may have been wrong, but his words are not justification for threatening the guy’s life… which is what some folks have done thanks to this whole RECOIL fiasco. I guess some folks just really want to fulfill people’s stereotypes of gun owners as unhinged, crazy, irrational people.

      1. avatar frankgon4 says:

        I have to say that the reference of ” same behavior we assign to religious fanatics” – They do not offer “veiled threats”.
        My threat: Just don’t buy the Recoil Magazine.

        1. avatar khadga says:

          True. They veil their women but openly pursue the systematic demolition and oppression of all human society and polity that doesn’t submit to Sharia brutalitarianism. At least that describes the hard core Al Qaeda varriety salafists. The Brotherhood variety Islamist deceitfully condemns the open terror based warfare of the salafists while pursuing the exact same goals.

          Anyway you cut it, to compare outraged Americans exercising their God given rights of free speech to express their disgust with such an ignorant, idiotic editorial stance through direct, specific, rational criticism and a community driven, grassroots, entirely voluntary boycott to the murderous barbarian savages who wage war against the most basic concepts of freedom which define us as a nation is a truly pathetic insult and every bit as ignorant as the offending editorial commentary. Particularly and sadly so coming from a USMC infantryman.

          This bit “We would rather kill each other over a problem so INSIGNIFICANT (that’s right, it is) that we’ve warped RECOIL into being some sort of anti-gun conspiracy propaganda publication…. WHICH THEY AREN’T.” clarifies the warped irrationality of his opinion. The “kill each other” reference is every bit as idiotic and deranged as the Islamist analogy as is the absurd revisionist apologist description of Recoil. This wasn’t just an offhand one line that created controversy. It was a specific and unmistakable position taken by the publication’s editor and therefore the official position of the publication.

          What we saw was a free society and a free market working exactly as they should. If Recoil can retool and survive, so be it, but no principled critic should be anything but proud for refusing to tolerate an anti-2A Trojan Horse in our community.

      2. avatar FourString says:

        True this.

    6. avatar homobangbangamus says:

      ‘Funny how you whine about the gun community turning on each other, then proceed to equate the gun community with terrorists.”


  3. avatar Greg Camp says:

    RECOIL doesn’t look like the kind of magazine that I’d have read, anyway, but this incident makes me even less likely to buy it. Under no circumstances am I saying that the writer doesn’t have the right to his opinion, but at the same time, I have the right to ignore it.

  4. avatar Chris says:

    I think most people would like to see RECOIL have their “come to Jesus” moment and attempt to redeem themselves. But they seem to be doing everything they can to make their problem worse.

    The most recent “explanation” by Jerry Tsai blamed the language on HK instead of taking accountability for his own error. I liked RECOIL magazine, but the way they are handling this mess and alienating readers is their own fault.

    Official response from HK USA from their Facebook page:

    “Some readers have misinterpreted a recent feature story in RECOIL magazine as a reflection of HK policy. Heckler & Koch has a long presence in the US civilian market and throughout that time has been an ardent and passionate supporter of the Second Amendment and the American civilian shooter. This will always be the case. The contents, opinions, and statements expressed in that feature story are those of the writer, not Heckler and Koch’s. Additionally, the writer and RECOIL magazine have issued a clarification and apology for the ill-chosen words used in the story.

    The HK MP7A1 4.6 mm Personal Defense Weapon mentioned in the story is a selective-fire product (capable of “full automatic” fire) and is currently restricted to military and law enforcement agencies by BATF. HK-USA has previously researched introducing similar commercial products, chambered in 4.6 mm, but it was determined that the final product would not have enough appeal or be legally feasible.

    — Heckler & Koch USA”

  5. avatar Matt in FL says:

    The reader who emailed is correct in most points.

    I believe that part of the problem was that Recoil didn’t simply say, “Oops, we messed up. Mea culpa and mucho apologies.” They (He) tried to lay it off on HK. Their initial apology didn’t seem to directly acknowledge their part in the error. It wasn’t “we wrote stupid things,” it was “we accidentally, through no fault of our own, let stupid things slip through,” which is not quite the same thing.

    I think things would have gone much better if their first apology had said, “We messed up, and there’s no real excuse for it. We formally retract those statements. End of comment.”

    1. avatar Lemming says:


      1. avatar DonS says:

        For some reason, now I want guacamole.

        1. avatar Gyufygy says:

          DonS and Lemming: Nice. 😀

        2. avatar Jason says:

          Avocado’s number?

        3. avatar Lemming says:

          Should have gone for a nice mole’ sauce instead. 😉

      2. avatar racer88 says:

        Nerd humor rules! 😉

  6. avatar Mr. Lion says:

    Seriously though, is it worth jumping on the wagon to get the ONLY readable firearm magazine out of business?

    Nobody is forcing them out of business. A number of people are taking issue with something they published, the intent of which is significant given the intended audience. If they end up tango unifom as a result, well, that’s life, and the cost of cheesing off said audience.

    Any publication that lets what amounts to an outright insult to its audience out the door, at the very least, needs a new editing staff. Maybe they’ll do exactly that and learn from the experience, and thrive. If so, more power to them. If not, it’ll be a good lesson in the simple truth that the market will vote with their dollars.

    1. avatar Kelly in GA says:

      But, really, people are forcing them out. They screwed up and handled it poorly, but so many people overreacted and went nuts online that many advertisers have already pulled. The overreaction made others want to distance themselves which could force them out.

      1. avatar Mr. Lion says:

        “Forcing” implies, you know, force. It’s still a mostly free market, which allows people to succeed or fail to whatever degree possible. People can voice their opinions and companies can decide who they advertise with.

        Drawing attention to a very idiotic series of statements is hardly “forcing” anyone to do anything, short of learn from a screwup. May well be a very expensive, hard lesson, but them’s the breaks.

  7. avatar RIGHT! says:


    “I have, or like to think I have, an open mind.

    Actually, it’s plain stupid. It makes me so angry to see our community treat them the way they are, including to a degree, TTAG.

    ridiculous assertions that RECOIL should be shunned from the firearm publication business . . .

    the ONLY readable firearm magazine out of business?

    For our community, to blast them the way they have, is inconsiderate.

    I guess I will just have to pick up another boring NRA publication with a bunch of ads for cheap shit

    we are starting to act like a bunch of Islamic extremists.”

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    Excellent counter-point. The magazine made a mistake, but it’s not the end of the world – how many gun right activists read Recoil?
    Everybody is acting in an incredibly intolerant manner and making a point of drive these guys out of business, which will most likely happen – advertisement is what makes the profit (not retail sales, these cover costs), and they apparently lost it all. The result? Going forward, how many publishers will consider entering this market? Few, given the example we are giving them that any mistake will cost you your business…

    1. avatar Makattak says:

      The article didn’t “make a mistake”. Nor is “any mistake” going to cost a magazine their business.

      A mistake is “The MP7A1 uses the 5.7mm round.” That’s a mistake. It is when you get your facts wrong.

      The article had an insulting opinion, which is the issue. This is, supposedly, a magazine which highlights the latest firearms, all of which will be a “purpose-built weapon with no sporting applications to speak of. It is made to put down scumbags, and that’s it.” If “civies” are not to have one such firearm because it is too dangerous to law enforcement or the military, what, exactly, is the argument against preventing ALL such firearms from getting into dangerous “civie” hands? From a magazine that makes its money highlighting such weapons for the “civies”, that is a MONUMENTALLY stupid insult.

      Secondly, this also wasn’t just some random writer, but the editor of the magazine . The response is, therefore, justifiable severe. Replacing an editor is a significant mea culpa, but is likely the only one that will suffice, especially given his weaselly “apology.”

      They want to save the magazine? Replacing the editor is the only solution. (If even that is enough at this point given the other stupid statements that have come out from other Recoil employees.)

      1. avatar JoshinGA says:

        Exactly. . In the first “apology”, the way I took what the editor said was, “we’re sorry that you were offended”. It would have been better received if the editor had simply said “sorry, that postition was taken wrong, what we meant to say was x, y, z”. The editor chose to stand by his opinion, which is fine, but it was an opinion much of the gun community did not support.

      2. avatar Jason says:

        Just to play devil’s advocate, what if the MP7A1 was a grenade launcher or SAM? Granted that it’s not but is there some piece of equipment for which you could make the same comment that RECOIL made and not evoke a backlash? Is there a line?

        1. avatar Alec says:

          If there is a line its not there.

        2. avatar theaton says:

          Jason, are you saying that law abiding citizens can handle small arms in a good way but if they get their hands on a grenade launcher or SAM they will suddenly go bat-shit crazy?

        3. avatar Paco says:

          No Jason, there is no line. And that is the whole point here.

        4. avatar JoshinGA says:

          The whole problem is that there is a line. When there shouldnt be.

        5. avatar Jason says:

          I feel the gun evens the odds among most people. It’s the only reasonable way that someone can fend themselves off from someone physically more powerful.
          It just seems that somewhere before we get to the hydrogen bomb that there is a line where we decide to restrict trade. Most responsible people probably could handle a H-bomb but the cost for one crazy or terrorist getting one is just too high. And it’s fairly easy to restrict trade at that level. I don’t know where the line should be but in my mind it has to be somewhere. I’m way off the point of the RECOIL article at this point but it just got me to consider this point.

  9. avatar Elliotte says:

    Actually this IS a significant issue and it is about educating the public and the firearms community. The issue is that these weapons would never be made available to the general public b/c there is “no sporting purpose”. Contrary to what many believe and subsequent laws passed all over the US, the 2A has no requirement that firearms be related to any “sporting purpose” for them to be constitutionally protected. The firearms used by the colonists to fight a tyrannical government were not simply sporting or hunting weapons, they were on par with, and in some cases better than, the standard military-issue firearm.

    The issue with RECOIL is the idea that only guns that have a target-shooting or hunting purpose should be legal for sale to the public. As Bruce Krafft has pointed out many times, this is simply is not true, nor was it ever the goal of the founders.

  10. avatar Darth Mikey says:

    I agree it’s a little extreme to burn down a whole magazine over one bonehead’s really poor judgement, but the mag did print the piece without apparently considering the backlash, and Tsai’s CYA attempts were pretty lame.

    The easy way out would have been to turn the bad bits into sarcasm, a parody of anti-2A sentiment: “Oh no, you irresponsible citizens should never have anything this naughty, and you can’t possibly have any understandable acceptable use for it or any other scary thingy…” (This, of course, only makes me want one more.) Tsai’s fatal error was making the statements sound like his own honest opinion, and that tells me he shouldn’t be working there. Tsai needs to convince us he doesn’t really believe what he spewed. Not sure he can. But maybe RECOIL can be saved if they prove themselves–it’ll be rough. I wish them luck.

    1. avatar theaton says:

      It’s not one bonehead. It was the editor.

  11. avatar C. Walther says:

    Here’s my counter-proposal:

    Since what appears to be unfurling has been a massive failure of leadership and responsibility (which ultimately is the heart and soul of this whole issue), have the TTAG writers take over the magazine. Then they can actually (maybe) get paid!

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Magazines are a dead format walking. The only way to do it: make it like Cigar Snob. THEN I’d be interested.

      1. avatar Bob H says:

        As a bookstore manager who’s areas of responsibility include the newsstand area (magazines) I have to say that I hope Recoil recovers from this. Recoil has sold out all 4 issues in my store so far. It started with issue #1 at a stock level of 6 copies. We received 36 of issue #4 and it is sold out. I want to see them continue to grow, but only if they will admit this was an error and not do anything like it in the future.

    2. avatar RIGHT! says:

      It’s not a failure of leadership, the anti 2a statements were an attempt to engender favor with the leadership of the Publishing Co.

  12. avatar Michael B. says:

    What is with all the Marines making boneheaded statements lately? Tsai believed what he wrote to be true and didn’t change his tune until well after a few “clarifications” and the advertisers began to leave. That tells me all I need to know. And we’re not throwing the baby out with the bathwater because he is the EDITOR of the magazine. If they got rid of him, apologized and said his opinions didn’t jibe with their support of the 2nd it all would’ve blown over.

    Look, Marine, let me put this in terms you’ll no doubt understand: Tsai is a Blue Falcon. Zumbo was a Blue Falcon. Bill Ruger was the ultimate BF. They will screw you over in a heartbeat without thinking about it and only apologize when people confront them and call them on their ****.

    What’s worse is that they give the enemies of liberty ammunition which they then blast us with. “Look, this gun writer believes in common sense gun control! These other extremists don’t!”

  13. avatar matt says:

    Seriously though, is it worth jumping on the wagon to get the ONLY readable firearm magazine out of business?

    The only readable magazine? Last time I checked there were several firearm magazines on the news stand, even in Chicago. The only thing that really seperates this one from the others is pictures of girls with guns, sorta like a auto magazine.

    but being a Marine Corps infantry veteran

    Oh, I understand now why it is the only readable magazine for him, grade school level reading skills.

  14. avatar Michael B. says:

    By the way, I ****ing resent being compared to an Islamic extremist. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  15. avatar Michael B. says:

    Also, you’re a massive coward for writing such a thing and not providing your own handle so I know whose comments to completely skip over in the future.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      I removed the author’s name.

      1. avatar Michael B. says:

        I retract my statement, then. Apologies to the author.

        1. avatar NWGlocker says:

          This is the way the Recoil magazine editors should have said it.

    2. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Y’know, Michael B., you’re just kind of proving his point. “All the marines making boneheaded statements,” “massive coward,” etc… You’re abusing the living shit out of this guy because he happens to hold an opinion you disagree with.

      You can resent his Islamic extremist point all you want, but take the word Islamic out of it, and you’re left with extremist. You and he are probably in about 95% agreement on things gun related, but because of that remaining 5%, you’re going all scorched earth on him. People are allowed to have other opinions.

      1. avatar Michael B. says:

        Beating up strawmen, Matt? C’mon now, you can do better than that. No one said he wasn’t allowed his own different opinion. I welcome different opinions and try to evaluate them based on the known facts. But I don’t hide behind the flag or military service (in fact I don’t know why he mentioned he was a Marine veteran at all since it doesn’t have anything to do with anything) and accuse allies of acting like enemies I was trained by the government to kill. Read what he wrote again.

      2. avatar Gyufygy says:

        +1 to Matt in FL

        Two issues at hand here. First, RECOIL shot itself in the foot (with a 4.6 round, so they didn’t notice at first. Badum pish), then screwed up, then it turned into an inferno of CF. The second issue is, as Matt said above, the scorched earth reaction.

        Everyone take a breath. Maybe the editor should get the boot, but from his job, not to the side of his head.

      3. avatar Totenglocke says:

        People are allowed to have other opinions.

        Yes, and if your opinions attack other people, they have the right to shun you and to refuse to buy your product and recommend others don’t buy your products either. Tsai and this backstabbing marine made their choice to go against the 2nd amendment – they have no one to blame but themselves for any negative consequences.

  16. avatar Lemming says:

    I had a sudden epiphany. It’s been said elsewhere that RECOIL=MAXIM FOR GUNS. MAXIM and it’s ilk focus on pictures of girls you can never have, so. . .

    1. avatar RIGHT! says:

      Actualy I said it was the GQ of guns, I’ve never seen a Maxium so perhaps it’s more apropiate

  17. avatar Paul McCain says:

    Kudos to Michael B. for this remark:

    “And we’re not throwing the baby out with the bathwater because he is the EDITOR of the magazine. If they got rid of him, apologized and said his opinions didn’t jibe with their support of the 2nd it all would’ve blown over.”

    Amen. Yes. End of story.

  18. avatar Will says:

    RECOIL has made some very SERIOUS mistakes. Harsh punishment is in order, yes. The lynching of the magazine? maybe not so much.

    Yes. Yell and scream at Tsai & co. and how they’ve handled it. Force them back on the right track… and then if they still refuse… cut them loose to sink or swim on their own merits.

  19. avatar GS650G says:

    Jerry Tsai needs to find another job. Then the advertisers will most likely return.
    “Once something is said not 4 fast horses can catch it”
    -ancient proverb

    1. avatar Mike S says:

      Agreed. All the statements I remember reading had language about Recoil “making changes”- I think the “personnel” missing from between those two words is implied.

  20. avatar Mark says:

    Recoil magazine has blown their credibility. The “sporting purposes test” is a complete crock. A firearm is just a hole punch. To say this one’s OK and that one’s not is as ridiculous as saying you can own a 1/4″ drill, but not a 3/8″ or you can own a Black & Decker, but not a DeWalt. We all understand it’s against the law to use any sort of power tool on a human being without an extremely good reason such as performing surgery or an autopsy. Axes and hammers are just as deadly now as when they were common weapons of war but no one has their panties in a twist over them. Firearms are percieved differently because they have been commonly used by military and law enforcement personnel for centuries and while there are many ways to kill, firearms are obviously the best tool for self-defense against a stronger attacker, which makes civilian ownership particularly critical for women and the elderly. I get more elderly every day.

  21. avatar Levi B says:

    What were they adding to the firearm magazine format besides nicer photography? An article about how to take better pictures of your guns with a cell phone? How to poorly make Kydex holsters? Not quite a “serious” magazine at all.

  22. avatar Sanchanim says:

    Biased response maybe..
    The gun community as a whole was reacting to what it felt was a very anti 2a stance.
    The fact that advertisers decided to pull out was their own. My guess is they felt that the editors comments were strong enough to warrant pulling out.
    Let’s say RECOIL dumps their editor, writes a retraction and apology and the advertisers return? No harm no foul.
    There is enough anti 2a rhetoric floating around out there that we don’t need gun publications to try and back up any position.
    I had stated before if they had simply stated that there are no plans to make a version for the civilian market at this time, and left it at that no one would have said anything. If some one wanted to know why and it was a question posed to H&K, they could have made a statement as to such, which they have since all the fall out.

  23. avatar Leo Atrox says:

    “They are a new company. They are still young. Hell, it is only their 4th publication!”

    But that’s not true at all. They aren’t a new company. They’re not young. And while it’s the fourth publication of RECOIL magazine, the staff and company are veteran magazine producers. They know what they are doing. Why else would RECOIL be as amazingly polished as it is?

    RECOIL is a great magazine. It is. But the editor published opinions which are incongruent with the beliefs of the magazine’s readers and, consequently, its advertisers. And, when doing so, he published them as truths. Truths that could be used as ammunition against our rights later. It was a mistake, and I don’t think it is proof that he believes what was printed is right; but that’s what he printed. That’s what is “in the wild” now. A veteran magazine editor–which, again, he is–should know better. And he can apologize, and he can rightly or wrongly claim that it was a paraphrasing of HK’s stated beliefs, but the damage is done. He failed. And when a person fails and creates a PR nightmare for his company, he is fired. That’s business. That’s the right thing for the employer to do.

    Forgive him if you want to. I do. (He is skating responsiblity, but he has apologized; and I believe him. His statements about HK are supported by HK’s own actions and previous comments, despite their current denials.) But now it’s on the publisher to act. They are the recipient of my ire now. Until they remove him, I will not subscribe to RECOIL–which I had planned to do since buying issue #3 and finding out shortly thereafter that they were doing print subscriptions. The publisher doesn’t get forgiveness until they accept responsibility and apologize.

  24. avatar Ing says:

    Two words to describe the backlash against Recoil Magazine: political correctness.

    All of you who think PC is something that only applies to liberals ought to be taking a good hard look at what’s happening here. Was Recoil’s “this has no possible sporting purpose” a dumb thing to say? Yes. Guaranteed to anger a lot of potential readers? Yes. Does it mean the whole magazine is evil and now must be destroyed? No.

    Wake up, people. I’m a gun enthusiast too, but right now I’m a little bit ashamed to be seen with you. You’re acting like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on the scent of a “nappy-headed ho” comment.

    1. avatar Lemming says:

      I think you overstate the case. I see few people saying that RECOIL must be “destroyed.” Nor do I see calls for letter writing campaigns, boycotts of advertisers and the like.

      People expressed their anger, RECOIL tossed an advertiser under the Humvee, and then advertisers pulled out. I suspect that if RECOIL hadn’t turned on H&K I suspect that this would still have petered out.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        Maybe I’m overstating the case, but not by much.

        Even if few people are outright saying the magazine should be destroyed, nearly everyone I’ve heard from is trying to make it happen. The only reason there’s no call for advertiser boycotts is because the advertisers are already doing it.

        I do think you’re right about Recoil making it worse for themselves. Advertisers probably wouldn’t have started jumping ship if they’d issued a straight apology instead of blame-shifting.

        I’m not saying there shouldn’t be any backlash or anger or boycotts — I know the “sporting purposes” thing is a Trojan horse that’s used to undermine our constitutional rights — but this whole thing is starting to take on a sort of mob mentality.

    2. avatar theaton says:

      Political correctness would be avoiding saying Glocks suck because you’re trying to appease Glock users. Calling somone out who wishes to destroy rights is not. We don’t want Tsai to hide his opinion, we just don’t want his opinion around our rights. We’re free to have different opinions on the caliber or brand of firearm. Having an opnion that is in direct oposition to the Constitution of the United States should never be tolerated. A person who has that opinion will try and push that opinion into reality.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        But that’s exactly my point: he’s NOT TRYING to destroy anyone’s rights.

        As a matter of fact, this being the USA, we’re even free to have opinions that are in direct opposition to the constitution. Everyone is free to be wrong. We can’t force anyone to be right, but we can point out where they’ve gone wrong and counter bad ideas with better ones.

  25. avatar Frank says:

    Either head(s) roll or RECOIL really considers their civvy reader’s hands to be slimy.

  26. avatar Bill says:

    What really bothers me is to see supposed 2A supporters ready and willing to forgive and forget. With friends like Recoil and Tsai, who needs enemies? What was published is unforgivable, period. I hadn’t realized TTAG was chock full of Fuds.

  27. avatar Paul McCain says:

    Ing: Feel better? Morally superior? Oh, so cool?

    If you actually believe what you just wrote, you are clueless.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      I’m only observing similarities that are there to see if you use your head and look.

      And you’ve just nominated yourself as the Al Sharpton of the gun world. The truth hurts, don’t it.

      1. avatar Makattak says:

        Completely false analogy.

        We react this way because we don’t want erstwhile “friends” of the right to keep and bear arms used to attack our position.

        Political correctness attacks someone for holding an “incorrect” opinion, regardless of that person’s relationship to you.

        For example, I don’t care what the editor of Vanity Fair says about gun ownership. I will not call for her ouster.

        However, if Mr. Tsai had said something politically incorrect, the Al Sharptons of the world would have STILL called for his head.

        Therein lies the difference: we are policing our ranks because we need a unified front. Our opponents will jump on any weakness. We’ve lost too much already to allow some fool to give ammunition to the anti’s to say “SEE! SEE! REASONABLE gun owners think we need to keep these DANGEROUS weapons out of the hands of mere citizens!”

  28. avatar Ralph says:

    Like we said before, Recoil Magazine should be unavailable to civilians and for good reason. We all know that’s propanda that no civvies should ever get to lay their eyes on. This is a purpose-built magazine with no sporting applications to speak of.

    1. avatar bontai Joe says:

      Ralph, I like how your brain works!

  29. avatar JoshinGA says:

    A couple things Id like to add to the couple comments I posted above:

    1. What the editor said was completely unforgivable. I think the reactions of many in the community were justified. To have the editor of a “gun magazine” recite pretty much verse for verse the sort of filth the Brady bunch has been pushing for years is incredibly insulting, well at least to me it is.

    2. The editor made it clearer that he truly believed in what he said in the article with his first apology. In his second apology he both pushed the blame off of himself and onto HK, and again shot himself in the foot for refusing to clearly outline what he did wrong. This would have show at least a little bit of growth and education had occurred. Instead, he chose to take the position that he had done nothing wrong, and he was sorry he upset so many people

    3. I saw several anti-gun groups already quoting the editor, less than 3 days after the whole mess had started online. You know you done screwed up when the antis are quoting a “gun mag”.

    In closing, as several of the advertisers stated in their public retraction of advertising, making the comment was one thing, the way the entire situation was handled, and the “apologies” made it clear that the editors stance on the issue was not parallel or consistent with what most of the gun community would find desirable. Endorsing the continued publication of Recoil would only lead to the thought that the majority of the gun community supported the comments made.

    1. avatar Totenglocke says:

      Just curious, can you like to some of those antis quoting Tsai?

      1. avatar Makattak says:

        Politics moves a little more slowly than the internet.

        I can, however, link you to some anti’s quoting the last “friend” of the second amendment to step in it and lose his job:

        Jim Zumbo has worked for years to improve the image of outdoorsman. As he put it, As hunters, we dont need the image of walking around the woods carrying one of these weapons. To most of the public, an assault rifle is a terrifying thing. Lets divorce ourselves from them. I say game departments should ban them from the prairies and woods.

        We all owe Jim Zumbo a debt of gratitude for his forthrightness, his honesty and his courage. We must put the safety of our communities first by taking up and passing sensible gun legislation that includes renewing the assault weapons ban.

  30. avatar bill says:

    F Recoil Mag you’re with us or against us. Let me fill you in on how reasonable has worked out for us so far.
    1932 reasonable to make machine gun owners be licensed and pay a tax.
    1968 reasonable to enact further gun controls ie they had to ship to dealers and our friend “sporting purpose” was introduced.
    1986 reasonable to stop issuing tax stamps for new full-auto weapons
    1994 reasonable to ban “assault weapons” We got lucky here in there was a time limit on this one.

    So you see how reasonable is only really working for people who don’t like guns. That is my problem with Recoil that and the fact that rather than man up he tried to push the blame. This guy must be not very bright because in trying to duck his comments he violated rule one of business “valued customer is always right as long as the account is current” and number 2 ” don’t throw the people paying the bills under the bus.

  31. avatar Derek Dauma (formerly Other Derek) says:

    There is no room for anyone in the pro-2A movement that believes in “sporting use.”


  32. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    The fool at Recoil opened his big mouth, inserted both feet and still had enough room for the kitchen sink. Now he’s paying the price.

  33. avatar bontai Joe says:

    “Seriously though, is it worth jumping on the wagon to get the ONLY readable firearm magazine out of business?”

    Really? The Only READABLE one????? I can think of 8 magazines off the top of my head, and I’m sure there are 20 more out there. I haven’t read any issues of Recoil, don’t think I have even seen it on the shelf, but if it’s great photography you want, you should chek out “Guns” magazine and its sister publication, “American Handgunner”. If it’s writers you want, then most of the ones I am familiar with offer decent writers fully capable of doing reviews, telling hunting stories, analizing defensive shooting and competition shooting. I’ve been reading paper gun magazines since the middle 1970s, and never got as angry at any, as some folks here have about what Recoil published. In the 35 plus years I’ve been reading, I have seen a few magazines dissappear, because of poor content, or bad writing. Stuff like that happens. These guys have only put out 4 issues, and already managed to tick off a nice portion of their target audience, plus many of their advertisers? Sounds to me like they don’t know what they are doing as far as being a successful magazine.

    1. avatar theaton says:

      Tsai is stepping down as editor. He digs the hole deeper as he does so.

  34. avatar Zcktomcat says:

    Only good gun magazine is a bit of a stretch. I would more describe it as the playboy of gun magazines but with crappier writing. All they have are pretty pictures with low quality reviews. I canceled my subscription not because the editor majorly shoved his foot in his mouth, but because when I looked through the issue there was nothing worth reading.

  35. avatar Zcktomcat says:

    Only good gun magazine is a bit of a stretch. I would more describe it as the playboy of gun magazines but with lower quality articles. All they have are pretty pictures with low quality reviews. I canceled my subscription not because the editor majorly shoved his foot in his mouth, but because when I looked through the issue there was nothing worth reading.

  36. avatar Michael Virgin says:

    It’s so funny that a lot of you on here are saying things like “we aren’t killing RECOIL”. You really have no logical sense of how far your voice carries in this day and age. With all our social medial, and TTAG, the WORLDS HEAVIEST TRAFFICKED FIREARM BLOG, you should know that everything you say on here is read by somebody else. And guess what, if there was never a big crying fuss over the issue, top dog manufactures like Magpul and Panteo Productions wouldn’t have pulled their adds. You should support RECOIL in rehabilitating their logic and add insight to our community. Reality check, THE PEOPLE MAKING A FIREARM MAGAZINE ABOUT GUN LIFESTYLE DON’T HATE GUNS OR THE SECOND AMENDMENT. Get real, you blog badasses act like you have never screwed up, or thought one way only be the shown a better way of thinking or doing. You would rather crush one of the best up and coming prospects, than to help RECOIL do something you with every ANTI would do…. learn.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Sometimes the more painful the mistake the more important the lesson.

    2. avatar Ing says:

      YES to this. I don’t know if Recoil is (was) one of the best new prospects in gun publications, but you’ve hit the problem dead on. And you said it better than I did.

    3. avatar Derek Dauma (formerly Other Derek) says:

      If you use the “sporting purpose” argument, you hate the 2A.


      Not only did the editor say that, he further reinforced his position with each statement he made.

      He was regrettably consistent.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        If you use the “sporting purpose” argument you hate the 2A?

        Dude, I hope you’re not serious. By that logic, I could say you hate the English language and want to destroy it merely because you consistently misuse if-then statements.

        There’s a BIG difference between hating the Second Amendment and not fully understanding what it means.

        1. avatar Derek Dauma says:

          The Second is very easy to understand.

          There is no room for “sporting purpose” and we need to cut it out like the statist cancer it is.

    4. avatar khadga says:

      More ignorant nonsense. Magpul and Panteo are run by smart businessmen, but it’s insulting to suggest that they weren’t acting on principle. Recoil offered nothing substantive to the industry or community remotely balancing the damaging and offensive nature of the editorial position they took.

      Recoil took an indisputably anti-2nd Amendment stance. The only confusion here is that you don’t seem to comprehend the significance of that very specific position.

  37. avatar Dr. Dave says:

    Screw who ever sent that email. Oh, dear, we angered an old fat white guy by attacking his favorite dead tree drool rag! Lets see if we can destroy RECOIL the way they would obviously like to destroy the 2nd ammendment.

    1. avatar Michael Virgin says:

      Dude… I wrote the E-Mail. Ask Fargo.. I’m 24 years old….. FLAME DELETED

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        True. He did.

      2. avatar Ing says:

        Oh, come on! Flame deleted? Oh, well. I saw it for the few seconds it was up, and if it was a flame, it was a great one (and deserved).

        In support of Michael Virgin, I’m going to un-retract a comment I asked to have deleted earlier (sorry for putting you to unnecessary work, R.F.).


        1. avatar Ing says:

          Dang it!

          Oh, well. Deserved.

  38. avatar Ross says:

    Jerry has stepped down as editor of RECOIL, personally I hope the magazine survives, Jerry needed to go and now that he has I hope the powers that be get it right going forward.

  39. avatar Totenglocke says:

    but being a Marine Corps infantry veteran

    And that explains his defense of Recoils anti-2nd Amendment comment. Thanks for trying, but your made the mistake of showing all of your cards and letting us see your bias.

    1. avatar Michael Virgin says:

      … I don’t even know what this means….. What could my service to our country have anything to do with my bias? If anything, wouldn’t you think my service would make me want to support our constitution? Also, I don’t know what cards your talking about. Or the table for that matter…. I’m not really sure where you were going with this, maybe you didn’t articulate it the way you meant?

      1. avatar Totenglocke says:

        If anything, wouldn’t you think my service would make me want to support our constitution?

        Only a horribly naive person thinks service to the government (including blindly murdering at their command) means you support the Constitution. Given that our military is what gives our corrupt politicians power, serving the government says the exact opposite – that you’re against the Constitution and want to further their agenda of pissing all over the Constitution.

        Remember, governments have murdered more innocent people than every criminal in the history of the world combined – yet you willingly chose to be their henchman. What does that say about your character, going to work for the biggest terrorist organization on the planet that continues to cause unending death and destruction around the world over the whims of a handful of octogenarian sociopaths?

        1. avatar khadga says:

          Wow, way to top the most ignorant offensive rubbish above with something truly and despicably deranged.

          I am disgusted by the Recoil commentary at the core of this topic, and disgusted by the analogy used in Mr. Virgin’s response to the general response, but thank you, Mr. Virgin, for serving and you’re certainly entitled to your opinion even if I disagree completely.

  40. avatar John Boch says:

    A well-composed and unemotional response, yes.

    Well-written? I don’t know.

    “is it worth jumping on the wagon to get the ONLY readable firearm magazine out of business?”

    Uh, sir, there are more and a few “readable” firearm magazines out there, including Shotgun News, which the last time I checked has some decent articles. Sure, many mags have trash content, but in some cases that’s from a lack of ideas on things to write about.

    “Which is better than most firearm magazines.”

    Most firearm magazines don’t tell me I don’t need a certain black gun and then tag that asinine statement with “and for good reason”.

    “I was very pleased when I learned that they would be stopping bi-monthly productions and making a monthly issue.”

    We’ll see if that plan survives this contact with the enemy of angry gun owners righteously upset by Tsai’s thoughtless, and repeated remarks.

    “Hell, it is only their 4th publication! Like TTAG had said when this first came about, it’s not as if TTAG didn’t have a hiccup or two when they first started out.”

    See my comment two paragraphs ago about telling me I. as a civilian, don’t need a particular black gun “for good reason”…

    “Why are we, as gun lovers doing the EXACT opposite of what we say the answer to firearm endorsement? That being eduction. We hear the same whining story time after time: “We need to educate the non-gun community so they understand the importance”…..

    This isn’t a crackup or cannibalism of the gun community, this is a crackdown on people like Jerry Tsai who espouse the attitude that our right to self-defense tools should be hobbled to a level of “technology” they deem appropriate.

    No, I don’t want an HK MP7. I’ve experienced way too much “Because you suck, and we hate you” attitude from that bunch of arrogant bastards at HK when it comes to black guns. Despite buying many thousands of dollars worth of their “old” products, I’ve bought nothing for nearly 15 years because of their elitist attitudes on black guns.

    “Now, with that being said, why are literally singlehandedly destroying the chances of success for RECOIL? I guess I will just have to pick up another boring NRA publication with a bunch of ads for cheap shit that is going to break or work in the exact opposite way as it’s advertised….”

    Granted there’s a lot of poor reviews out there, tainted by advertising dollars. Google “How gun magazines write articles” for a hilarious example.

    There’s also a LOT of quality stuff out there in print as well. It’s not all crap.

    “being a Marine Corps infantry veteran…”

    THANK YOU for your service, young man.

    And I missed the section about bombing. An earlier commenter here covered it nicely. Let’s not compare gun owners to suicide bombers, okay?

    Thank you and good day, sir.


    1. avatar mdv says:


      Good points! Yeah by no way am I a professional writer hahaha. Anyways, I see your point of view and believe me, I understand why everybody is so upset. I really do. It’s just that people don’t take a step back, breath, and think outside of their initial thoughts. I also think it was the right thing for him to do as well to step down as editor. HOWEVER, I think that only because of his (as I said previously) laughable apology, not for his original comments that were published. The original offense, before his remarks about HK, in my opinion, should have been handle better. How can we as firearm enthusiests and gun lovers ever expect to be taken seriously when we shun one of our own instead of educating them? Even further, how can we win any intellectual argument and try to show the antis why our passion isn’t so bad after all, if all we do is criticize and bash them, swear at them and insult their intelligence. That sort of behavior is counter productive and derogatory to OUR mission, which, is to educate the not so gun educated population. Hell, every time I am on TTAG, which like I said before is everyday, I learn something new. With that being said, I will continue to do so, adapt from my knowledge gain and try to put things into perspective that I hadn’t before.

      For example (and I already can feel the flames from everybody), I live in Pennsylvania. Here in PA, I was never required to take a handgun safety course, or any firearm related course when I got my Pennsylvania CCW (which in PA is actually called a LTCF, or, License to Carry Firearms). I was fresh outta the Marine Corps, I went down to the Allegheny County Sheriffs Office located in downtown Pittsburgh and applied for one. Three days later I wen’t back down, picked it up and that was that. All good right? Well, not so much. I used to believe that that was the way every state should be. Then, after being a avid reader of TTAG for two years now I think differently. Personally, I believe to have a CCW you should have to take course or at least a course. I mean, when I think about it, how can we be responsible law abiding firearm owning citizens… If we don’t know anything about handgun safety? Not that I didn’t, but I know people that have their CCW and aren’t so….. let’s say… up to speed with firearm safety practices and general lifestyle considerations of firearm ownership. I am also a NRA certified Range Safety Officer, took the whole 40 hour class (which sucked). I see a lot of people on the range, which I occasionally volenteer at, that have CCWs, and clearly know nothing about firearm safety….

      I realize that that was a long explanation. And for that I’m sorry, but I hope my point got accross

      1. avatar Derek Dauma (formerly Other Derek) says:

        Well then you are another rights-hating bigot that can feel free to catch a ride with Mr. Tsai the next time you see him.


  41. avatar Wiebelhaus says:

    I’m with this guy, I’ve not commented on this RECOIL thing because it seemed stupid to me, the dude said something stupid, big deal, I’m glad every stupid thing I’ve said wasn’t in print or recorded.

    I said stupid allot.

  42. avatar Geek says:

    Recoil’s article was politically analogous to a negligent discharge at a gun-show by an instructor. In what regard would you hold such an instructor?

    The apology even tried to pass the buck to H&K as if they wrote the article for him. This wasn’t just a writer, it was the editor. Say it with me for good measure… “It was the editor of the magazine.”

    Actions have consequences. The responsibility of a writer is greater with every additional reader. The responsibility of an editor/writer is even greater. It takes so much less effort to keep rights than it does to get them back. Every member of the gun industry and public needs to understand the weight of their words.

    Don’t confuse a lack of accountability with forgiveness. As an individual, I can forgive his mistake. As an editor of a gun magazine and an industry professional, he can expect to be held accountable for his actions.

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