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Guns & Ammo: History of America's Most Popular Firearms Magazine

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By    |   Sunday, 28 Sep 2014 11:17 AM

Guns & Ammo magazine has informed readers about gun rights and news relating to the gun industry for more than a half century. Here’s a brief history of America’s most popular firearms magazine.

Guns & Ammo was founded by Robert E. Petersen in 1958 and offers reviews on guns, ammunition, and shooting gear as well as related content on current gun rights issues, gun history, and collections.

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Petersen’s first foray into publishing was with Hot Rod Magazine, which he launched in the 1940s. With Hot Rod’s success under the hood, Peterson went on to build a publishing empire based primarily on cars and motorcycles. Titles included Motor Trend, Rod & Custom, Motor Life, and Motorcyclist.

Over time, Peterson added other topics of interest to his publishing portfolio, including Mountain Biker, Teen, Tiger Beat and Guns & Ammo.

In 1996, Petersen divested of his publishing business and sold Petersen Publishing Company to a private equity fund for $450 million. After changing hands three more times, in 2007 the company sold to its current owner, Source Interlink.

With a 2013 circulation of 416,000 and a social media following well over 800,000 fans, Guns & Ammo casts a wide net. Factoring in online readership, the magazine says it reaches 5.8 million readers per month.

Guns & Ammo’s wide reach makes it a magnet for controversy. After the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, two editorial employees were fired for publishing articles that readers interpreted as wavering on second amendment rights.

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Guns & Ammo magazine has informed readers about gun rights and news relating to the gun industry for more than a half century. Here's a brief history of America's most popular firearms magazine.
guns and ammo, magazine, history
267
2014-17-28
Sunday, 28 Sep 2014 11:17 AM
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