Final Newsstand Issue of Shooting Illustrated Is Out

With all the coverage here on TFB as well as on other sites concerning the recent NRA Annual Meeting (NRAAM) this particular announcement  seems timely. You may have heard that Shooting Illustrated was recently named as the third in what will become a trifecta of Official Journal of the National Rifle Association magazines. American Hunter and American Rifleman have long since taken up the roles of publications available only to NRA members, in fact you could chart the progression of my life as a hunter by when I switched from American Rifleman to American Hunter. Those two magazines basically handle two aspects of the gun world: politics and hunting. (Yes it is true they each consider various issues, but those are accurate descriptions of their overall content.) Now, with Shooting Illustrated added in, members will be able to sign up for a magazine specifically dedicated to the shooting sports, training, and related gear. So why am I telling you this now?

Right now the June issue of Shooting Illustrated is on the newsstands, and it’s the last one of its kind. After this issue, all future issues of the magazine will be accessible only to NRA members. Members can choose the magazine as their sole subscription choice or add it to their existing selection for an additional $9.95 per year. I admit I snagged a few copies off the newsstands for various reasons, one of those reasons being it is marking a turning point for what has become a major gun magazine.

Considering Harris recently had to close their doors entirely, it’s interesting to see another publication leaving the shelves even if it will still be in circulation by other means. I live in a small (small) town, and Shooting Illustrated is one of the few industry magazines found in all kinds of stores all over the place. Yes, I still read magazines. It is true that the future of media is online – not that everyone wants to admit it – but there is something to be said for holding the pages in your hand.

So if you’re like me and enjoy the feel of a freshly printed book or magazine, and you also have a penchant for collecting commemorative-type issues, keep an eye out for the June issue of Shooting Illustrated. (I cannot be the only one who collects this type of thing, can I?)

TFB Staffer

TFB Staff, bringing you the latest gun news from around the world for a decade.


  • Jack Morris

    As an NRA member, I like the transition. Looking forward to switching over to this mag.

    • Jay

      I already saw it as an option when I went to NRA member services online a couple weeks ago. As we have 4 members in the house, we can now get all 4 NRA mags.

    • I think it has been an option for years. I prefer it to American Rifleman.

      • Jack Morris

        Well damn, if anything I’m glad this news made me aware of my options! I just made the switch online.

        • Katie A

          The members only status is brand new and begins with the next issue. It was previously an official NRA pub that was available to everyone. Not anymore.

    • Katie A

      It’s brand new, Shooting Illustrated has been on newsstands or by a stand-alone subscription up until now. Yes it has been an official NRA journal for awhile, as others are. But now it’s members only, which is brand new.

  • LG

    The transition is fine. What I would prefer is honest reports and not glorified advertisements for vendors under the guise of review articles. The American Rifleman, as a journal, is not even a shade of what it was prior to the mid 1960’s.

    • Katie A

      Although I’m a little biased as a contributor, I do think Shooting Illustrated is a good publication. Sometimes knowing more about the behind-the-scenes goings-on is a good thing – sometimes it’s depressing – but in this case it’s given me a positive impression of the magazine and site.

  • Edeco

    Meh, I let my subscriptions to American Pistolero, Banana Mag Fancy, and Modern Security Guy run out in the 2000’s.

  • John

    I want to see test-to-destruction of some guns.

    Ok, a Glock is great. Sure. It wasn’t until some guy dunked his in a bucket of salt, threw it in some mud and tossed it out of a flying airplane that I was convinced of its quality.

    TFB should continue to do the same. Real reviews, real money on the line.

  • Jim_Macklin

    I get the RIFLEMAN since 1966. My wife gets The FIRST FREEDOM. I’ve been buying SHOOTING ILLUSTRATED and suppose I’ll have to spring for the $9.95.
    I find I’m not so interested in hunting as I was years ago, but my daughter in law gets the HUNTER. My sons get the RIFLEMAN.
    Doesn’t everyone have Life memberships? Why not?

    • SnJohnson


    • Katie A

      Oorah on life memberships, they are great. Just expensive!

      • Jay

        My whole family took advantage of one of the “Obama sales”, I think it was like $350 per, instead of the usual 1000.

  • gunsandrockets

    When I was a teenager, gun magazines displayed on the rack down at my local 7-11 were my primary connection to the larger gun culture. It’s kind of weird to think of all of those magazines going out of business today, while at the same time the gun culture is rapidly expanding.

    I guess I’m feeling nostalgia, even though I understand the relentless economic and technological forces at work here.

  • Steven

    My local grocery store gave me a heads up a few weeks ago they were radically changing their newsstand. Last Tuesday I happened to meet a guy from the magazine distributer headquarters doing just that. Shrinking the rack from 12 feet to 6 and completely eliminating the paper back section. He told me all the grocery stores in the area were doing that because they wanted the space for other things. Ours is now filled with greeting cards! If you can’t buy a magazine off the rack, then subs are going to be the only hope.

    • Katie A

      Personally, it makes me sad. Yes I understand the convenience of Kindles and smart phones, but I actually like holding a book or magazine in my hands. Darned internet.

  • Captain Obvious

    The only gun magazine (or any magazine for that matter) that I still get is American Rifleman. Tried the online version but can’t stand online magazines. Went back to the hard copy. After 40 years of getting American Rifleman as a life member I am going to change to Shooting Illustrated to see what that is like.

  • Kirk Newsted

    There are more than 3 mags you can get from the NRA. Rifleman, Hunter, Shooter Illus, Americas 1st Freedom, Shooting Sports USA, and NRA Family.

  • CavScout

    ‘military journalist’ ?