By Dan Shea

We’re finishing up our 13th year at SAR, and we’re all pretty pleased to have weathered the storms, and every 30 days without fail, we’ve delivered a copy of this magazine to the readers. (Not counting the Ice Storm of ’98, when trucks couldn’t get in or out of our old facility in the Maine mountains and we were only about a week and a half late that time. That issue was done and printed on time; we just couldn’t get it shipped). It feels pretty good, to have brought this magazine to you so many times: that’s 156 issues in a row! It wouldn’t have been possible without Debbie’s business and personal perseverance, Jeff’s monthly “being on the mag” (as his long-suffering wife Angel says) where he’s cloistered incommunicado with the fickle gods of layout and design, and all of the great contributors, staff and editors we’ve had over the years. I’d like to thank our Senior Editor Robert Segel as well, for his monthly efforts and mental/emotional sacrifice to keep it all in line, as well as for his unique perspective on the world of collecting.

It’s been a real roller-coaster at times, but these great people have pulled SAR through every time.

We still have to maintain a balance in this magazine, because each of our readership groups is too small to support a magazine of this quality on their own. The overlapping interests are what counts, and if an issue doesn’t have a lot in it that catches your interest, please look at the next one because we rotate our focus. An issue handed out at Knob Creek or SAR West will have more collector focus and an issue handed out at Modern Day Marine will touch more on military.

We still have a policy of sending as many copies of SAR as possible to the troops overseas, and the men and women of our armed forces who are out there sacrificing their safety, efforts and time appreciate it. Just so the readers understand; the postage for this comes from private donations. Many of our advertisers and readers have ponied up the twelve bucks per box to send boxes of 31 assorted copies of SAR to the deployed troops. You might be surprised to find out how often someone says “Here’s $1,250, send a hundred boxes.”

Remember, we’re not only giving them something to read, we’re not only showing them we care and remember them, we’re actively recruiting new members of the Second Amendment Battalion of that Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. (Before our liberal and libertarian readers chew me out for not being inclusive, in the words of Foghorn J. Leghorn, “That’s a JOKE son; I say that’s a JOKE.”)

Sending copies of SAR to the troops is our version of “Take a kid to the range day” where we can not only give them some good reading, but reassure them that back home, the collectors and shooters of military style firearms are healthy, active, frequently very inventive, and ready to invite them “In” to the activities when they rotate home. We can also show the first timers, those whose introduction to military firearms may have been through actually joining the military or perhaps computer games, that there is in fact, a large and active population of firearms enthusiasts who have a rich history and intriguing knowledge base. If they read SAR they can gain a deeper understanding of the weapons they use, where they came from, and frequently, both sides of the bias or underlying causes of the debates raging around their service weapons.

In summary, we’re all pleased here at SAR to be bringing this magazine to you. We view this as a place to learn, share knowledge, tell interesting stories, introduce new products and ideas, and infect others with our passion. In closing, to further elaborate on our collective collecting character flaw, I would like to share a few things heard around the shop at LMO.

  • “If you know how many firearms you have, you don’t have enough.”
  • “I can’t sell that (Fill in the blank) because we’ll spend the money and then I won’t have the firearm OR the money.”
  • “He counted his wife’s shoes, THAT’s why he’s not buying any guns right now.” (Audible “Oh No!” and “Bad move...” lots of head shaking from the older married guys).
  • And remember, collecting firearms is a progressive disease.


This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V13N12 (September 2010)
and was posted online on March 9, 2012


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