I am one of those NRA members that, every month, puts his American Rifleman and America’s First Freedom out on the coffee table, and almost never get around to cracking it open and reading it. It’s not that the publication quality is awful, just that it’s mostly stuff I’ve already seen covered in the blogosphere, or seen in NRA’s e-mail alerts. I might read an occasional article on Rifleman about a gun I’m interested in, but I follow all the political stuff online. Ed over at NRA Publications was kind of enough to comp me a copy of Shooting Illustrated, figuring it’d be another NRA magazine with stuff in it I don’t really want to read. It’s actually got some pretty good stuff in it. The cover story is a pretty good article comparing subcompact .380 pistols, which I found to be interesting, comparing the Walther P380, the NAA Guardian .380, the Mini Desert Eagle, Rohrbaugh R380, Kahr P380, Ruger LCP, Kel-Tec P-3AT, and SIG P238. Next up is a review of Hornady’s new Critical Defense ammunition, which shows that it does pretty well in short barreled pistols. Heading up the rear of the magazine is an article on the RPG-7, and its effectiveness in combat. Lots of articles with shooting tips that are going to be familiar to competitive shooters, but are good advice for people who are more casual shooters.
In short, it’s got a lot more to offer gun enthusiasts and casual shooters than the standard membership magazine, and I think would make a good supplement. And no, I’m not saying that because they sent a free copy. For the 10 dollar a year subscription cost, if I thought it sucked, I’d tell you.