Two Reasons Why Recoil Magazine Actually Sucks

Okay, seemingly everyone on the interwebs is talking about how the editor of Recoil Magazine said that civilians shouldn’t own stuff like the HK MP7; his “retraction” was even worse, a rambling attempt to weasel out of the statement and a weak connection between supporting the troops and not wanting civilians to get their hands on MP7s.

Here is a photograph of me holding two of them. In my hands.

That’s great and all, but it misses the real point. Recoil (sorry, RECOIL) sucked as a magazine long before this MP7 fiasco. I commented on this a while back, but here’s why in (brief) detail.

– The people involved in the creation of this magazine were not “gun people” and were not smart enough to hire gun people from the start to not only create content for them, but educate them on how gun people think. A fundamental lack of understanding of gun culture was very obvious from the first issue on. The editor described himself as a firearm “enthusiast.” That’s nice. I’m a boob enthusiast, but I’m not about to become editor of Playboy.

– The articles were written for morons. One issue of Recoil had an article about personal defense in urban areas several months back. The concepts discussed should have been known to anyone capable of tying their own shoes. And they asked Travis Haley for his input – other than being a celebrity to some in the gun world, what expertise does he have on this topic? Why was he consulted, along with other gun world celebs, instead of people like Gavin de Becker? Anthony Bourdain is likely to be a more authoritative source on urban safety for the average person.

Yeah, that’s all I’ve got. Have a nice day.

36 thoughts on “Two Reasons Why Recoil Magazine Actually Sucks”

  1. You forgot the H&K rep’s comment about keeping this dangerous weapon out of “civvie” hands.

    Then again, I think he was just living up to H&K’s mission statement, “Because we hate you. And you suck.”

  2. The magazine was an attempt to be the gun worlds “Maxim” and fails at it. The people writers obviously had no idea of what the gun world likes/wants. The constant fawning over Costa and Haley as if they were some kind of rock stars was proof enough of its absurdity. There was no tech insight or data and nothing of any real value when it came to personal defense.

    1. As a writer for the first two magazines, I can attest that the ORIGINAL CONCEPT for the magazine was “Maxim meets Guns & Ammo” The lead photographer (Les) is a very close friend of mine, and we were very motivated by the concept. Jerry Tsai, besides adding his name to everyone else’s work (mine included, and why I told them to pound sand) was solely responsible for turning them magazine into “Mens Health meets Gun Celebrities”. To be fair, the “Offroad 4X4 Magazine” flair is forced on them, as they own so many automotive magazines that make “buys” that span all their properties. Enough of them to turn 25% of the magazine into an auto rag. (Shock absorber ads in a gun magazine???) Get Real. Jerry is the prime reason that instead of solid reviews on interesting firearms, you get worthless listings of 25 different muzzle breaks and 12 tactical flashlights. Trust me, I was forced to write them.

  3. The term “sky mall for queers” hits the nail on the head! It has some really nice gear in it and really nice photos and interviews with gun celebs…but the articles suck. Its weird to start reading it…its almost like they copy and paste things in there that doesnt even mesh with the topic at hand, and there website is even worse!!!!! Oh and keep up the good work Andrew!! :)

  4. HK? Who are they again? Oh yeah. They are the “too good for the American market”, now holding what? about .5% of market share in handgun sales…

    What the military didn’t want your POS XM-8?

    HK stopped being relevant about 12 years ago.

  5. I just liked the targets they had in them :) now with that being said, the whole magazine are targets to a lot of people on Facebook. Andrew its time to start a magazine with some actual true insight

  6. I suppose there’s nothing like a stewed lamb liver pie to defend yourself with.
    Honestly though, it’s not all that hard to develop low penetration 4.6mm rounds (I suppose something can be said against the all steel ball variant), but other than that it’s comparable to a case of classic HK too-good-for-your-assitis.

  7. Like far too many magazines these days all you seem to get for your $10 is a sales pitch for products. You may as well just purchase a catalog.

  8. i saw some positive comments about the magazine so i picked up a copy to read while waiting on my wife to get through a dentist appointment. found it to be mostly gun porn with little new or useful info. like most gun magazines they seem surprised when new guns work ok. i’m not a fan of hk (i think they make great stuff) and will likely never buy one due to the way the feel about the usa consumer market in general. likely won’t buy another recoil magazine either.

  9. I work in the firearms industry and we advertise occasionally in firearms magazines. I worked with some of the recoil magazines people including writers and editors. Honestly I think they know guns as well as most other firearms magazines. To me there are two types of people at recoil. My opinion some of the people there are primarily Car and gear heads. Their other publications are automobile enthusiast publications. Their advertising sales people and top brass seem to be car people. From working in the firearms industry mechanics and gear heads typically have interest in firearms product so it’s not really a tough transition if your looking for somebody to reach new market segment. Recoil reads like a car magazine to me and that is why it has a fresh new format.

    Recoil did hire some gun people as editors and writers. They may not be big names that people recognize, but dependable people with both publishing and firearms knowledge. I will be honest I am very suspicions about magazine writers expertise and knowledge. I being both a competition shooter and enthusiast did test these people. Their editor in particular I did kind of call out and he stood up for himself. He too shoots competition and is hanging out with Taran. The way he explained it I can tell deep down he is a gun guy. The passion in which he spoke is what I expect to hear from our customers.

    I think recoil will turn this thing around, I don’t think this is fair. I’ve read plenty of articles I may not agree with in Handgunner and other publications. Your not going to agree with everything you read and the magazine may not agree with everything they print. I don’t see how they are taking so much heat for quoting what somebody else said. Maybe we expect somebody to have the stones to tell H&K how it is and alienate a major player in the firearms industry.

    1. I don’t care about recognizable names, I care about content. None of the articles I read were written by people who, by my standards, were knowledgeable about firearms.

      Beyond that, he didn’t quote what someone else said, he made his own statement – “Like we mentioned before, the MP7A1 is unavailable to civilians and for good reason. We all know that’s technology no civvies should ever get to lay their hands on.”

      No one would be talking about this if he had just quoted the HK dude. It is disingenuous of you to suggest that that’s all this was.

  10. “recoil” pretty much sucks. I bought a single issue to see how it was and couldn’t even read most of it. Mostly pointless drivel with little real insight other than decent pictures.

    As for HK, they make some really amazing things, but it’s not just the US market they don’t care for… German export laws and culture make it difficult for them to support the civilian market. Having worked weapons purchases for both the Iraqi and Afghan armies, we always ran into problems with both Glock and HK not wanting to sell them for those final end users. Specifically, German (and Austrian) law prohibits a company from supplying weapons to “areas of conflict.” The handful of shipments that we did get approved were for either very specific users or (in at least two cases) because the US didn’t highlight who the end user was going to be…

    In tying to the US civilian market, even with a US manufacturing presence since ’09, they still remain a German-controlled company that is skeptical of supplying “military” arms to civilians. You can blame a lot of it on the post-WWI and -WWII disarming of the German populace.

    I’m not a particular fan of H&K products, as most of their really nice stuff is out of reach of the normal purchaser. But the fun stuff (MP5, MP7 and 416) is really nice when you do finally get to play with it…

  11. The writing needs to improve, but the overall esthetic is solid. It’s about time we get a magazine that doesn’t look like it was designed for retired gun owners.

  12. I don’t know what’s more disturbing: Tsai’s comments, or the sheer volume of buffoon’s that have no problem with it and can’t fathom why comments like that are unacceptable or the trajectory they lead to.

  13. Have you read anything from Gavin de Becker? While he has great things to say about fear-response; startle/flinch response; get 10 pages into “The Gift of Fear” and you realize that his beliefs about guns match the beliefs of JT. Despite his expertise, I’d avoid him if writing for a gun magazine…

    1. Yes, and that’s why I recommend his book quite often. I don’t have to march in lockstep with everyone I learn from.

      As an aside, if I recall, when he was a child, he witnessed his mother kill his stepfather with a handgun – so I give him a little more latitude on guns than I do clueless magazine editors.

  14. It’s bad enough that the editor lies in a supposed apology, but a (guns & underwear) Girls section? A Gun section with at least two “zombie hunter” guns?! I recoil at the thought!

  15. Lot’s of hate towards HK on here (and the rest of the net) due to them not selling everything they manufacture on the US civilian market.

    You guys ever try to get a hold of US made weapons and misc. in Europe?
    You have ITAR, we have our stupid laws.

  16. I too am a boob enthusiast and civilians shouldn’t be able to get their hands on Playboy Playmates, and for good reason, those boobs should be reserved for military and law enforcement.

  17. i see your point, this recoil b.s. trying to be like maxim or fhm???? that other magazine,
    goes to prove ignorance and bliss go together, and ignorance is alive and well in this country,
    h&k elite professional bs is certainly laughable, psg-1 is a good example
    im pretty deft using my rem. 700 to make 800-1000 yd. shots, all for a whopping $450 that i paid for it.
    anyway, kudos for mentioning Anthony Bourdain, that’s at least +2 points lol

  18. It’s hard to not have the Hk hate when the likes of their competitors, FN Herstal are giving us, ‘evil military style weapons,’ like the Five-seven, PS90, FS2000, and SCAR. Meanwhile Hk gives us the neutered SL8. Many an Hk goat must have been sacrificed to get the MR556 here, which is why it was probably late for so many years…

  19. Umm, wasn’t Haley in Marine Recon going through cities? Also after that wasn’t he in backwater taking people out from a roof top in a CITY?

    1. His experience isn’t nearly as impressive as you would like to think.

      And other than basic situational awareness, urban combat as part of a team or unit against another organized force is not in any way relevant to urban safety for a single individual or a couple which might face muggers or rapists.

      1. Good points. I don’t think he is greatest thing out there. You just asked besides being a celebrity what expertise does he have. I think that counts as some, maybe not the best but it is some.

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