By Dan Shea
We’re pleased to bring you this issue of SAR. The quarterly format has allowed us to stretch our legs a bit, expanding the article base, and as we looked this issue over we had a lot of happy editors and writers. We know we’re fulfilling our mission.
The balance that we’re now able to achieve by bringing two new articles every week online and one complete back issue from our archives online, combined with the thousands of manuals, test documents, historical documents, photos, and factory flyers we’re building online, is the perfect complement to the issues of SAR. In a world where the vast majority of people are getting their information online, we’re able to provide a verified, peer-reviewed, edited resource for small arms users and collectors.
Each new issue of SAR is instantly online when it leaves the printer, so those who can use computers can access it immediately. That is the majority of our readers. We are well aware that some readers have dial-up modems, have no Internet access, or choose to not read anything online. That’s why we kept publishing the physical magazine- for you.
We’ve had some questions lately about, “Why do I have to buy two subscriptions; for the magazine and for online?”
That’s a bit backwards. The subscription to Small Arms Review includes access to SmallArmsOfTheWorld.com as well. You pay $49.95 per year for four large issues of SAR and access to the massive archives online, as well as all the new articles every week. Those archives are very, very deep; just try searching for something like SPIW, or Thompson, or Maxim. You’ll get piles of articles, photos, manuals, test reports, and factory brochures. Go and try it. Most of the archives are behind the paywall, for our subscribers’ use, but you can see what is there.
The reason that there are subscription choices is for the people who either can’t or won’t use one of those two services. We’re being proactive and giving them a choice. They asked us to not make them buy the online if they can’t use it, so we gave a discount for just buying the magazine. Likewise, many overseas readers want access online; they don’t want to pay the extra postage. A lot of readers are modern in their reading habits and online is perfect for them - they don’t need a magazine. So, if you are “opting out” of one or the other, you pay $39.95 for just the physical magazine, or $19.95 for just online access. In effect, you get a discount for buying the regular subscription, $49.95 per year.
A subscription to our magazine is $49.95 per year, and it includes unlimited access to our archives online, as well as the new articles and archives every week. As a service to some of our readers, we offered different subscription programs, and that has been a source of confusion.
We’ve actually started relying on the archives online as opposed to my filing system, and as we progress into our second year, and thousands more of our manuals, photos, catalog sheets, test reports, etc., are digitized and searchable, I hope to be set even more free to do my research through digital means - it saves a huge amount of time and I can do it from anywhere on the planet that has Internet.
The vision of digitizing millions of small arms related manuals, photos, test reports, catalogs, etc., moves closer every day. We’re getting requests from people around the world to see how they can help archive the data they have access to, and we’ve been traveling to museum libraries to scan rare documents as well.
In short, if you have a way to access this resource, you should try to participate. We’re building this for future generations, so that the knowledge pool is accurate, and getting deeper every day.
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