View Full Version : S.W.A.T. Magazine- Update
July 31, 2001, 02:46 PM
The secure order form for S.W.A.T. Magazine is now in place. For those of you who do not know about our purchase of this publication, see the Announcements at the top of any Forum.
We had really hoped to boost the magazine's subscription base by offering a special price to TFL'rs thru August 15. This far, we've received 70 internet orders and 11 mail-ins taking advantage of the offer. This is hardly a record breaker, given 10,000 plus Members here and the frequency we're asked what can be done to support our efforts. Subscriptions thru normal channels at the higher price, far outstrip these numbers.
My curiosity is now piqued. I'd like to hear from those who have not subscribed. Is it the title? The content? The Publisher? ;)
Seriously, your honest input and would be most helpful.
July 31, 2001, 02:56 PM
Just subscribed Rich. I was just procrastinating. Though I did purchase the last issue from the store. Thanks for the reminder. And keep up the great work.
July 31, 2001, 03:53 PM
Saw an issue in a local bookstore. You ought to put a link to The Firing Line in the magazine, I didn't see one. It could boost our membership.
Looking forward to getting the magazine, Rich. If you ever need someone to write an article, you know where to look. I'll do it for free! :D (Actually, I *would* do it for free, just to be able to show my friends a published magazine article which I wrote!)
July 31, 2001, 04:19 PM
My curiosity is now piqued. I'd like to hear from those who have not subscribed. Is it the title? The content? The Publisher?
I don't know anything about SWAT magazine. I _do_ know that I am mortally offended by the existence of another gun mag called (I think) Weapons & Tactics For Law Enforcement, which has articles and features about all the wonderful weapons and tools that we mere peons need not ever think _we_ should own. And it will be a cold day in hell before that magazine ever gets a cent from me.
SWAT is not that magazine. Or at least I assume it isn't. But the name is close enough that it rubs me the wrong way anyhow. Is that rational? I suppose not. But it's how I feel.
Besides...I don't subscribe to any magazines. I buy individual issues at the newsstand when they catch my eye.
July 31, 2001, 05:09 PM
Check top center of EVERY TFL page, where the little site list is.
Good thing it wasn't a snake! ;)
July 31, 2001, 05:23 PM
Not being a smart arse or anything, but if you re-read nightcrawler's post you'll see that he is suggesting that a link to TFL be put in the magazine, not a link to the magazine being put on TFL. :)
July 31, 2001, 05:30 PM
Well, Rich, so far about 65 people have viewed this thread and didn't even bother to respond to your query. I'd be willing to lay money on a large percentage of the TFL subscriptions being from TFL moderators. So far subscriptions are below 0.7% of TFL's members.
I posted this thread on 7/12/01 http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=73011
40 members viewed it. No one responded. Sad.
July 31, 2001, 05:51 PM
I'm still thinking about it. Earlier this year I had to come up with $2,000 for taxes in April. As a result, I let all of my subscriptions lapse, SWAT included, and curtailed my purchases of "toys."
I sympathize with Mark Jones in that I do not like buying magazines filled with stories on guns and accessories we peons in the PDRK cannot own.
July 31, 2001, 07:15 PM
I do understand frustration when one reads about tools our government has not granted us the priviledge to own. Two years ago, I had a conversation with a gentleman in law enforcement- a kind, gracious, and knowledgeable man, who is now a moderator here- in which he expressed his sadness that the government has mandated a schism between what he and I may lawfully own.
I see Rich's purchase of SWAT as a move that will help to remove the artifical divide between all of the solid, gun-owning, contributing members of our society with US peace officers. We want and need the law enforcement community to be on our side, if our struggle to keep and bear arms lawfully is to succeed. Rich has put his money where his mouth is with this purchase.
I hope the rest of us can do the same.
July 31, 2001, 07:22 PM
The only reason I hesitated was that I thought S.W.A.T. was primarily for LEO's. It looks like it's going to be quite a bit broader than this, though. As a new subscriber, these are the features I'd like to see in the ideal gun mag:
-*REAL* reviews that put the firearm through the paces, smack it around a little and give it a thumbs down if it comes up wanting.
-Tricks of the trade from the grizzled veterans.
-A useful legal column by a lawyer addressing such topics as insurance, civil liability, criminal liability, federal and state firearms law, etc. There's a great deal of dangerous misinformation and myth in the shooting world about the law. Not that I'm volunteering to do this or anything ;-)
-Also, I wouldn't mind seeing some of the classic TFL posts or other items from the net printed up. The TFL/SWAT project seems like a great way to bring the worlds of print and net together.
-"Lost art of shooting" features, addressing some of the old ways that we youngsters may have forgotten. The "torch" isn't always getting passed like it used to, after all.
July 31, 2001, 07:51 PM
...don't just focus it on law enforcement. That would get old REAL fast. Give real world tests to handguns, shotguns, long guns, and give honest reviews.
Also, how about articles discussing the "tactical" utility of a gun that wasn't designed for that? Many here on TFL have discussed the defensive uses of the lever rifle, the single-action revolver, etc. You get the idea.
The Lawdog Files. :D
Make the magazine informative, but also fun and entertaining to read.
Just a few ideas.
July 31, 2001, 08:37 PM
Please don't despair... Just keep on doing what you are doing...
I do a LOT of Net marketing. That IS what I do. I have only been doing it professionally for six months. Before that I studied and apprenticed in Web marketing for two years. I have been do professional bulk marketing via phone, fliers, bulk mail, magazines, billboards, newspapers, radio, TV and now the Net for just over 30 years and I don't have it all figured out. I’ve taught the subject and spent many thousands of dollars to have others teach me.
Marketing here on the Net has several things similar to other bulk marketing including bulk mail; that is that it takes unbelievable numbers of people seeing the ad to get a single response; and that it takes numerous and continuous mailings to get responses from folks who thought about it 37 times before they did anything.
Phew, can you imagine billboards? Twenty thousand people a day go by some of my billboards and I get three or four calls a year from them. None of them that called, in ten years, ever bought anything. Now I just rent the billboards out to others.
Magazine ads, for instance, will seldom do much per dollar spent as far as a direct result. I've run full page info ads in fairly large specialty magazines and gotten less than one response per 10,000 circulation.
The Net is far better than any other marketing I've ever done as far as response per dollar spent. But it takes a LOT of time and the response per numbers of people reached is small. My first suggestion is to get the membership of TFL up to several times what it is now. Work a circular promotion of TFL promoting SWAT as you are doing and also promote TFL in the SWAT magazine as suggested above.
It is good that you are doing a real life marketing quest – here with your request for our responses. Just keep up the good work. You are doing less than you expected. I understand that. But, you are doing great compared to most of the rest of us.
The percentages for Net marketing, as you probably know, are very low, far lower than bulk mail, for instance. A great % in bulk mail is a .5% response (1 person in two hundred). In Net marketing a GREAT response is .1% or (1 person responding in one thousand readers).
Actually your response to your magazine subscription promotion on TFL -- is GREAT in my opinion, for the short time you've offered the subscription.
There is another great hurdle for now, in Net marketing. The Net has been FREE, free for everyone for almost anything. People who get things for free have a hard time buying anything similar.
Don't dare try it, but IF you were to charge $20 a year or some such for TFL, you'd likely get a CRASH in membership. Just keep up the good work! Keep on reminding us to subscribe to SWAT and give us some teasers. For instance run the articles a few weeks later here on TFL or on a related Web site. Those who subscribe will get the articles earlier and start to discus them while telling those who have not subscribed to "eat your hearts out".
The tried and true method of Net marketing is to give teasers and partial content, or the same content released later, of your magazine here on-line. Forbes is probably doing it the best. And they have a constant enticement to get a free copy of the MAG and they get your e-mail address when you ask for that free copy.
It's been a while; but the last time I spoke with Steve Forbes, he said that his on-line magazine presence was a HUGE success marketing wise... I hope that is still true. It probably is as it's still up there. http://www.Forbes.com and the on-line content grows by the week! The nice thing about Web marketing is that what you print is not wrapped around fish the next day.
I no longer do print ads. I do bulk mail BUT only to get people onto my web sites. Yes, the Net is very time consuming and expensive. There is no free ride for those of us who provide the "free" content. However, look how much a newspaper ad costs and then it's covered in coffee grounds, lying in the trash a few hours later -- while the Web page is still up and working.
By the way!
I AM one of the cheapskates myself. I don't subscribe to anything. However I do help with the marketing of a local book store and coffee shop. Once I've gotten a chance to see the new mag, I'll likely ask that they carry the magazine in the store. Currently they carry Guns and Ammo alone.
You've done a fabulous job of marketing this on-line TFL Forum. It's obviously valuable to all of us. Look at how much TIME we invest here. However, based on the fact that folks have an option to pay a couple of dollars a month for some of my sites and most don't -- most people don't want to pay for information on the Web.
I know I’ve rambled on even more than usual. I just don’t want to read any despair in your writing. I don’t want to take the time to edit this LONG post right now. BUT, I Hope this helps. AND… Keep on Keepin ON.
July 31, 2001, 09:31 PM
Thanks all. And thanks for the subscriptions that just came into the server. I wasn't whining....honest. We purchased S.W.A.T. because we think it can make a difference, not because we hope to foist it on TFL'rs. So far we've no complaints.
I'm just curious as to individual images of the mag and some of the comments here help....keep 'em coming. One thing I can see is there are some real misconceptions that come with the title. Yes, S.W.A.T. has it's share of Mil and LE articles, but that's hardly the meat of it.....look at July's columns on the website:
- Two Man Team Tactics
- Take comntrol of the night
- Kimber Ultra Carry (an honest review)
- Training, winning and motivation
- Taurus PT 100
- IDPA's new backup Gun Division
- Dehydration: the silent killer
- Mad Dog Gun Grips
- Louis Awerbuck's Training and Tactics
- Uberti's 1873 Colt Style SAA Revolver
Hardly a cop only publication. Lever action rifles? These are commonly found in Denny's SWAT-LIte Column.
Next issue, Clint Smith joins the Staff with his own column....Clint's one of the premier trainers in the nation and hardly focuses on LE.
You want a column from an attorney? We contracted for it two weeks ago. Focus will be on the threats to firearms freedoms for all gun owners and the conflict between supporting LEO's with appropriate legal tools and protecting the Bill of Rights.
I'm not purely defending the mag here, but I need to figure how we overcome the perception problem that it's an LEO mag.
July 31, 2001, 10:34 PM
TFL members who are also regulars on other boards could talk it up as well as posting links to the SWAT website. Word of mouth about the magazine's new ownership and direction on the other forums might help.
July 31, 2001, 11:11 PM
As the editor for S.W.A.T. for almost 15 years I really appreciate the feedback coming in. I truly do. One thing I will guarantee, S.W.A.T. will never become a member of the "new-gun-of-the-month club." I have "slam-dunked" numerous firearms over the years, and have lost advertisers and potential advertisers as a result. The most recent was the Standard Arms of Nevada SA-9: it simply was not reliable enough to recommend as a defensive arm and I said so in print. In a coming issue we test the Para-Ordnance LDA with 5,000 rounds of ammo, over twenty shooters and 30 plus magazines, keeping it running until it was too hot to hold. The solution? Dunking it in water and continue testing. Plans for a Mossberg 500 in 20 gauge includes plans to shoot through dry-wall mockups and light cover/concealment to either confirm or disalloy the common notion that shooting bird shot is a good idea for home-defense because of perceived "over-penetration."
I'm not pimping for the magazine, but I assure you it is not or will not be the run of the mill gunzine.
July 31, 2001, 11:23 PM
As long as SWAT magazine is owned by Rich, it will have me as a member. TFL has been an irreplacable resource for me, I've learned a lot, made friends (including one of the best friends I've ever had), and have had a place to both shoot my mouth off and learn from people with decades more experience than I.
I owe it to TFL to subscribe to SWAT.
July 31, 2001, 11:57 PM
I used to get S.W.A.T. magazine from the 'stands but they quit carrying it locally. I've missed the hell out of it! When I read that it had been bought by Rich I went to the site to subscribe immediately! The only drawback to S.W.A.T. as I remember it is having to wait a whole month between issues!:D
The price break for TFL'ers is an excellent deal if the mag is as good as it used to be. I'm still impatiently awaiting my first issue as a subscriber.
Is there a way to get my hands on some back issues?
August 1, 2001, 12:13 AM
Just subscribed. Is it possible for me to begin with the July issue? Thank you.
August 1, 2001, 12:21 AM
Thanks for the kind comments. As for S.W.A.T. being as good as it used to be, with Rich at the helm there have already been improvements with many more on the way. And, because we have no "experts", only serious students of the modern martial arts, we have the luxury of being able to continue to learn and improve.
Back issues can be had by calling (800) 673-4595 toll free.
August 1, 2001, 01:17 AM
Thanks for the swift response! I look forward to enjoying S.W.A.T. again. :)
August 1, 2001, 01:18 AM
My reason for not subscribing can be attributed to my extreme preference for privacy. It's not a paranoia thing, just a part of my character makeup. I believe the last gun-related magazine I subscribed to was American Rifleman about thirty years ago. I'm a private person, and this trait permeates all facets of my life.
I have purchased many gun rags off the shelf. I quit buying them for all the obvious reasons. I plan on buying SWAT off the shelf. I appreciate your price break, but I'd rather pay the higher news-stand price. UNLESS: does buying off the shelf affect your profits? I know the retailer takes a bite, but do you make at least the same when someone buys off the shelf? If you get more money through a subscription than from news-stand sales, I will subscribe.
August 1, 2001, 05:06 AM
To those complaining about magazines publishing stories about guns you'll never be able to own: so, it's the fault of the magazine, the editors, the authors, that YOU can't legally own a particular type of gun? "Those cretins in Washington/the state capital outlawed something else, so I think I'll cancel my subscription to [insert name of gunzine here] to show my displeasure."
Just one question: how many self-inflicted bullet holes do you guys have in your feet?
I subscribed when notice was first put up here.
August 1, 2001, 05:53 AM
I subscribed mainly because it is now TFL owned. I would suggest the name of the mag be changed. SWAT is not a very well respected term in pro-firearms pro-constitution circles these days.
August 1, 2001, 08:17 AM
Does anyone have a number i can call to check the status of my subcription??I ordered over the phone the day Rich announced that he bought it (last month??),but looking at my credit card statement they pulled $19.95 very recently then credited my account $19.95 two days later.While i have the mike i will say it is very sad more members have not subcribed to the magazine.A lousy $20 bill for a full year is a small thanks we could show Rich for providing us with 24/7 instant access for questions we have,problems we encounter,to sell/buy items,to gain knowledge,etc. It IS very sad to hear how low membership to the magazine is with over 10,000 members and countless guest frequent this forum.We are not in a depression era people,drive past that Burger King,flea market,or gun store this weekend so you can subcribe.If i was Rich,i would leave a personal message in every persons box that havent subcribed,not to pressure or intimidate,but to ask..why??? Maybe feedback is needed from those who choose not to subcribe??How bout a poll on what the magazine could add/offer to make it more appealing to the non-subcribers.Maybe some are concerned getting this magazine in their mailbox,in their cozy affluent neighborhood,where folks talk....Does anyone know how it comes in the mail,in brown paper to hide its identity,or wide open.Again, need to find what would make the magazine more appealing to those you have chose not to subcribe.(Need a "pressure" man,Rich??) Hey,if you dont order i breaka your kneecaps!!! Only kidding everyone!!!!!!!!!:p
August 1, 2001, 08:33 AM
My curiosity is now piqued. I'd like to hear from those who have not subscribed. Is it the title? The content? The Publisher? ;) Seriously, your honest input and would be most helpful.
I had a real verbose answer for you, but I decided to boil it down into a basic comment. Wait and see how many more subscribers you get after a few issues hit the stands. I think that there are many like myself that want to see a few issues before they spend their money on them. That, combined with the fact that I think many, many people prefer to purchase one magazine one month and a different one the next are your biggest reasons that fewer than expected TFLers have subscribed. IMHO
Point Blank, The single reason I almost subscribed before even seeing the magazine was because of how much I appreciate all Rich (and the other admin types) have done for us. I never purchase anything sight unseen and that fact that I almost did should speak highly of Rich and his organization. The reason I ended up holding out was because it looked like Rich was getting an overwhelming number of positive responses. Perhaps I was mistaken in the actual amount of responses, but it did appear that way.
August 1, 2001, 08:48 AM
Rich, I've been hanging around here for awhile now, and have accumulated a few posts. For myself personally, the title SWAT implies such a specialized publication (and one that I'm not very interested in) that I've never even considered subscribing. Why not change the name of the magazine to "The Firing Line"? Now that you've enlightened me, maybe I'll take a look at it and consider a subscription.
August 1, 2001, 08:54 AM
I subscribed based on the quality of TFL and your information/hard work to make it happen.
I am not quite sure what I will get or if the magazine is worth while for me; however, I am willing to gamble the $ 20.
I am not a Leo but do practice and train for defensive/tactical shotgun and handgun. I assume the information will be useful. I will certainly know more in a few months.
My biggest complaint so far is that I don't have my first issue yet. I am eager to see what I got myself into.
August 1, 2001, 09:05 AM
I used to buy S.W.A.T. religiously when I was a kid (about 12 years ago). But, I stopped when the graphics started getting cheesy and the content went down hill (IMHO). It seemed the publisher wanted to fill in for lack of real content with big photo spreads. A lot of the reviews were also out of date (such as reviewing a pistol that had been on the market for years as a "new weapon").
I'm hoping that with Rich at the helm, things will change. So, in order to help make that happen, I'm going to be subscribing.
August 1, 2001, 10:51 AM
To those complaining about magazines publishing stories about guns you'll never be able to own: so, it's the fault of the magazine, the editors, the authors, that YOU can't legally own a particular type of gun? "Those cretins in Washington/the state capital outlawed something else, so I think I'll cancel my subscription to [insert name of gunzine here] to show my displeasure."
No, it's not the fault of the magazine, editors or writers that I'm not allowed to own various types of weapons or equipment.
But guess what--it's not _my_ fault, either. I'm one voice in a hundred million.
Nor is it a case of cutting off my nose to spite my face (or shooting myself in the foot). I've _never_ subscribed to a gun magazine, though I've bought quite a few at news stands. Why _should_ I read (or subscribe to) a magazine devoted to glorifying the weapons I'm not allowed to own, and the people who can? [SWAT isn't that magazine; Guns & Tools For Law Enforcement or whatever it's called, very explicitly IS that magazine, and it offends me. A magazine which certainly _sounds_ like its aimed at LEOs--and the mask-wearing, door-kicking, SMG-totin' JBT crowd in particular--isn't going to win any awards from me either.]
Sorry if it bothers you, but Rich asked why people weren't subscribing--and I told him.
August 1, 2001, 11:18 AM
Thanks for the primer and pep talk. I've learned from both.
The profit from newsstand revs is a bit higher than from the subs. However, be aware that the Sub List is controlled by me personally and the Subcriptions Contractor is under legal obligation to disclose to noone but me. I will neither sell nor rent that list under any circumstances as I detest junk mail myself.
Email me your name and/or address. I have the files and can check them for you PDQ.
July is still available on the newsstands. Try Borders or Barnes and Noble. We have a Distribution Consultant under contract who is working daily to get the distribution up.
Rich.......thinking a new title may well be in order.
August 1, 2001, 11:45 AM
Barnes and Noble doesn't have it in Springfield, IL. I checked. They seem to be cutting back radically on gun magazines in general--they're down to Special Weapons for Law Enforcement and Soldier of Fortune. But you can still get two brands of gay -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- and six different model car magazines. :rolleyes:
August 1, 2001, 12:28 PM
I'm sure my wife would prefer that I get a magazine entitled "Modern Defensive Appliances," but it doesn't matter to me. The benefit to keeping the name is of course keeping the established readers.
Hang in there Rich. The rest of you get your subscription now to a great source of pertinent info and also help a great friend and benefactor to those of us who call this our online home.
August 1, 2001, 12:43 PM
Two things keep me from subscribing. 1) Having a firearms mag show up on my doorstep broadcasts to the world (well, at least to the postman) that there are guns in the house. While this will most likely serve as a deterrent to break-in, it may also serve as an incentive to someone looking to steal firearms. 2) The name "SWAT" also has negative connotations for me on several levels. Although SWAT teams often serve a viable purpose, the often present JBT attitude and actions of the teams and SWAT leadership are contrary to our goals of ongoing Liberty. Additionally, compare the name "SWAT" to the name "American Rifleman". For me, one conveys a gungho attitude while the other conveys a reverent respect for our hobby and beliefs. I picture myself reading SWAT during lunch time at Junior High, but could see myself reading American Rifleman at an Ivy League College library. This is perhaps a harsh example, but it is nevertheless representative of my opinion.
August 1, 2001, 02:11 PM
Rich is offering a Magazine subscription to S.W.A.T. for a fair price. I subscribed to a Magazine I never seen? I`m sure I will enjoy it.
Sometime back I and others offered to send Rich donations to help out on some legal expense. Not asking for anything in return, it was just the right thing to do. He would not take any.
I have no idea what it costs Rich to keep this Web Site going in $$$s let alone the time he has spent to give us one of the best on the net. You don`t see a bunch of advertising banners when you log on, it`s all coming out of his pocket. Now he want`s to give us something in return for a $20 bill.
It`s time to step up to the plate and drop a $20 bill in.
August 1, 2001, 03:29 PM
Rich, my check is going in the mail today. I'll give it a year to check it out. But if there are a bunch of glossy reviews that never touch on the drawbacks of the item in question, I'll probably check out . . . like I've done with almost every other gun rag I've subscribed to.
August 1, 2001, 03:44 PM
I'll do better than that. Take the first issue and cancel the rest if it doesn't meet expectations. There's a "Money Back on all Unmailed Issues" policy in the signup form.
I really appreciate the support. And we can use it. However, we'd rather you not purchase a subscription if you're only doing it to help us out. The success of this magazine is dependent on our ability to provide great value for the buck...not our ability to strong arm our friends. (We do that at election time :D)
So, understanding why individuals might be reluctant to subscribe is every bit as important, in the long run, as getting "subscriptions of conscience". It helps us to make the publication stronger. I hope that makes sense.
ps: As concerns "glossy reviews", Denny recently referenced a Beretta Shotgun as "designed by chimpanzees for use by apes" in a review. Seen anything like that in a gun mag (other than SOF) of late? ;)
August 1, 2001, 04:34 PM
Years ago I read SWAT every now and again. However, it went downhill with flash pictures and no meat to the articles.
When I stumbled across TFL I stopped purchasing all but a very few magazines and then only rarely. Think I've purchased 3 so far this year.
I've been seriously thinking about subscribing to SWAT now that Rich has purchased it. The last few issues I looked at were not all that good (It's been 6-8 months since I've looked at a issue) but if TFL is any indacation SWAT will become a excellent magazine.
August 1, 2001, 04:57 PM
In reference to the name of the magazine, I must admit to not being enamored of it myself. However, when I thought of changing the name, I was concerned what the reaction of the current subscriber and purchaser base would be. I think someone suggested changing it to The Firing Line.
What do you think about changing it to S.W.A.T.-The Firing Line. With SWAT bigger type. Then as time goes by start changing the relative size of the type between SWAT and The Firing Line until eventually SWAT is dropped altogether?
August 1, 2001, 07:45 PM
The title, "SWAT" would not have me opening the magazine at Borders. I don't think that my politically correct Borders would stock a magazine of that title. I prefer to stay away from lawyers and SWAT teams. I subscribed in support of your efforts and in the hopes that I would find topics of interest. My interest involve defensive use of weapons and unarmed defense. I'm also interested in the sporting use of guns, reloading and the protection of our rights. I would like to see folks like Jim March garner support and perhaps encourage imitators.
August 1, 2001, 08:50 PM
I am in bookstores 2 - 3 nights a week. I'll thumb through a 'zine, and if i like what i see, i'll buy that issue. I don't subscribe to any 'zines or newspapers.
August 1, 2001, 09:17 PM
I sent my subscription off by pony express the first week. Why? Only one reason. I've told Rich and others many times that if there is anything I can do to help....... Well I'm a man of my word.... Quite frankly I don't care if the magazine is any good (but knowing Rich it will be).
For what Rich and the crew here at TFL has done for us over the past three or four years.... I don't think we can thank them enough. $20 bucks? Peanuts compared to the many hours I've spent here learning and sharing ideas. I have not learned everything I've learned regarding the 2nd on TFL, but I'll bet I've been pointed in the right direction for the orginal documents more times than I can count. And I don't know of any other forum where you had better have the documentation to back up your assertion or you will get corrected post hast by people who have their heads screwed on right.
For those of you who have not put in your subscription yet and who have ever asked a question here and gotten good advice...... how much was that advice worth to you? Remember without Rich and crew there would not have been TFL around for you to turn to for the answers.
Thanks Rich and all of you at TFL,
August 1, 2001, 09:21 PM
Hi again Rich,
Here is another Web marketing based magazine that may give you some marketing and online ideas for your new magazine.
It is Media ByPass Magazine
And many more on line magazine ideas for those of somewhat similar content... firearms, freedom and the preservation of the second amendment and the constitution.
August 1, 2001, 10:23 PM
I did subscribe several days ago by snail mail since the secure order form was not yet in place. Part of the reason I did subscribe is that I am letting my other gun rag subscriptions lapse and the other, more important reason, is that I am happy to support the endevour of someone who has had the nerve and dedication to bring us TFL.
That said, if I were not a member of TFL and saw SWAT on a newstand, I probably would not buy it. Don't get me wrong - after picking up a copy at the grocery store, I thought the magazine is very well made, very professionally written, very nicely illustrated. BUT, it still seems to be a periodical for the LEO, of which I am not one. Plus, the title does bother me a little. I felt very comfortable leaving my gun rags around the house because I don't care if visitors think I am a gun nut. BUT SWAT in BIG letters seems to say, "hey, look at me, I'm a cop-wannabe." Not comfortable with that. Also, the articles are very heavy on tactics (yes, I know that is the magazine's title). I know little about, and care even less, about LE tactics. I guess from a curiosity standpoint they have some value for me, but I try to limit my time to things that pique my interest. Second amendment issues are not given much play, probably because that is not too much of a concern for LEOs since they get to carry and keep guns galore (I, on the other hand, find my RKBA a daily fight, but that's another story). Finally, I would like to see more emphasis on the weapons part of the magazine. I enjoy firearms, and they are the reason I spend so much time at TFL.
In closing, I hope you are not offended by my comments. Again, I have subscribed and look forward to receiving my first issue, and who knows, maybe I will learn to enjoy the magazine as much as I do whiling away the hours here.
August 2, 2001, 08:28 AM
I didn't subscribe because we'll already have one copy coming to this address.
I did, however, include a link and a plug on my livejournal (which gets way more hits than my actual webpage).
August 2, 2001, 08:39 AM
I've been enjoying this thread, especially hearing others' thinking about S.W.A.T. Magazine and gun rags in general. I concur with many of the comments about the name seeming to be directed to LEOs or cop-wannabes, but as has been said, "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." To me, it's the content that matters. You said:
As concerns "glossy reviews", Denny recently referenced a Beretta Shotgun as "designed by chimpanzees for use by apes" in a review. Seen anything like that in a gun mag (other than SOF) of late?
No, I've not seen anything like that recently. Sounds promising, as long as detail is provided regarding why this conclusion was drawn. I'm not looking for "inflammatory" comment - just accurate evaluation and overall assessment. Tell me the good, the bad, and the ugly, and then let me decide. I'm looking forward to receiving my first issue.
An idea: How about a new forum within The Conference Center dedicated to rants and raves about S.W.A.T. Magazine? We could let you know what we think of articles and reviews, you could consider the input in the same line as letters to the editor, maybe even publish some comments from the forum in the magazine as a way to more tightly draw the link between the two. Just a thought.
August 2, 2001, 09:44 AM
The only reason I have not subscribed is because of finances. It wouldn't matter if it was only a $1 a year right now. That is changing, however, and as soon as we can afford to get my wife what she has been asking for, I'll be putting in an order. :)
August 2, 2001, 09:56 AM
I subscribed right after the on-line form was available. Looking forward to receiving my first copy.
August 2, 2001, 12:27 PM
I'm going to examine a copy of the magazine today. As for me, I have very little interest in such things as I perceive SWAT covers. I didn't care for Guns and Weapons for LEO, (I think that is a close title). I subscribed to it and some others for awhile, but found little of interest to me. I don't really care about things such as "How to clear a house." I'm not saying that someone shouldn't care. If I were a LEO such topics would be very important to me.
I have no interest in SWAT type gear.
I am in fact reducing greatly the number of magazines to which I subscribe, due to a lack of interest in reading the same things over and over.I would be interested in tests of products that would apply to the civilian market. However, too many writers never saw a product that wasn't top notch. Even if it doesn't work "I know so and so and I am sure he will correct these things in the first full production run. Highly recommend it."
Hope you don't take this to be a put-down on the magazine. My interests are just limited in this field. I am going to look at the mag this afternoon.
August 2, 2001, 02:14 PM
No offense taken. I posted here to find out why people might not wish to subscribe, not to shame anyone into doing so. We want to direct the magazine to the segment of shotters that is serious about personal tactics, training and gear, but we recognize that many prefer not to get that info from a print magazine.
So, to the extent we receive honest comments, we're greatly appreciative.
August 2, 2001, 06:03 PM
I'd subscribe today if it weren't for the fact I can't afford the extra $20 right now.
August 3, 2001, 01:53 AM
I sent my snail mail subscription in on faith as soon as I heard about it. I subscribed on faith due to the quailty of TFL, my trust in your enterprise and the high hopes I have that the magazine will exceed my expectations and truly be unique. I'll tell you, with the quality of gun rags out there now, this ought to be a walk in the park for a high-roading truth-telling hype-busting TFL'er.
I'm certain you'll get a slew of subscriptions from TFL'ers out of a sense of duty to TFL, in spite of your insistance that people not as a way to pay you back. What you probably won't see, however, is a slew of re-up's at the end of year if the mag does not prove to be all we expect it to be. I just let my American Handgunner lapse after only a year...a disappointment to say the least. The one thing you can be assured of, if you get a high TFL'er-count in your subscriber base, is that you will be given absolutely no slack, basically a zero-tolerance policy for BS or soft-ball reviews or interviews. BS is a snowball in hell on TFL and your new mag is going to get the treatment, I'm sure. :D
Frodo the Hobbit
August 3, 2001, 11:39 AM
I agree about the title. I would normally never buy a mag named SWAT. I think it needs a very well written and displayed slogan that conveys the main ideals and purpose of the magazine. Just a couple words that clears up the misconceptions the title brings.
If that is not possible, I would suggest changing the title as soon as you find a perfect one to replace it with.
PS Still waiting for my first issue, after which I think we can work on offering new titles or ideas. Commenting more without seeing the mag just doesn't feel right.
August 3, 2001, 12:48 PM
Well, I would have already subscribed but the city of Oklahoma City seized the allotted funds (first traffic ticket in over ten years <sigh>) so it will have to wait until I receive my rebate check from GWB.
(As a side note I was carrying... only thing the officer did different was to ask me where the gun was and say "Well, don't pull it out and we'll be OK")
One thing that does bother me about the publication is the name, to me SWAT conjures up images of "mall ninja" if you aren't an LEO.
August 5, 2001, 11:04 AM
It's the unexpected bills that hit me last month. My subscription will have to wait until later this month when I've paid those old tickets that came out of nowhere. :( :confused:
August 5, 2001, 02:54 PM
As a relatively new TFL member, here are my reasons (excuses :)) for not subscribing:
1) SWAT Magazine: Sounds like it's targeted to the LE community. Unitll Denny Hansen's post listing the future articles and general direction of the magazine content, I had no reason to change my mind.
2) I have not noticed it on the magazine stands that I normally use. It may be there, but I never recall seeing an issue at Eckerd's or Kroger's. Maybe I need to get out more! Anyway, I have no clue as to SWAT's previous life.
3) In light of the above and with tight money rules in force, I haven't done the deed.
After reading Denny's post, I just might dedicate the next availablge $20 to the mag. Sounds like a good deal.
Good luck all and God bless you all........
August 10, 2001, 07:06 AM
I liked the title. It was one of the first reasons I subscribed.
August 10, 2001, 07:48 AM
Ok, Ok, Ok...I finally did it. I got my subscription sent in just now over the net. Chalk another one up for you Rich!!!
Is it really going to take 6-8 weeks for my first issue?:(
August 22, 2001, 05:56 PM
I just can not subscribe to a magazine called SWAT. Nothing personal and I do like cops, but I have a hard enough time within the circles I travel convincing of the fact that I won guns for they are the ultimate in responsibility and not because my pee pee is too small.
If I am small because I care about appearance, then that is my limitation, but we can't all be toothless and ponytailed. ;)
August 22, 2001, 08:56 PM
I haven't subscribed mainly because of the memories I have of the magazine from my high-school years (I'm 30 now). I remember it being about the quality of Guns and Ammo, but much more wanna-be. That could be my recollection though -- if I remember correctly the only SWAT magazine I purchased featured a new 9mm suppressed AR-15-ish Colt (about 12-15 years ago, right)?
The name has something to do with it too. I buy the occasional Soldier of Fortune (a name almost as bad) because the quality of coverage they offer is worth the weirdness some of my wife's (MD) friends might feel if they saw me buying it. Reminds me that I've been meaning to subscribe...
What the hell -- I'll give SWAT a shot. I like what you've done around here Rich -- I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on the magazine.
A name change might not hurt, though. TFL wouldn't be a bad start.
August 23, 2001, 04:32 AM
Why I haven't subscribed?
- Well, name is one thing. Maybe I'm to PC, or anti government or whatever, but SWAT isn't really me. I could tolerate it if the magazine is good though. But I'd really like TFL better. :)
- I don't think I have seen it in stores here (Sweden), or if I have I have probably not looked into it because of the name. And I'd like to have a look at what type of mag it is before I subscribe (but homepage can be enough).
As it is I have a subscription of Guns & Ammo that is running out soon. G&A isn't the best mag, but it buy it to get a look at new stuff thats coming, I have been thinking about letting the subscription drop and get something else, better instead.
The price would be higher then G&A ($37 instead of $27) for less numbers, but if the content is better it would be worth it I think.
I will see if I can find a issue here, and if I like it I will probably get a subscription.
October 23, 2001, 12:50 PM
The only reason it took me so long to subscribe is because I am an inefficient lazy @$# I have bought SWAT at the newstand virtually every month since 92" but I never subscribed. Finally did the other day. I have always liked the content and the writers (I am glad Larry Flynt doesnt own it anymore). I just came across TFL the other day and like it too. I have always felt that you not only show weapons for Law Enforcement but plenty of stuff for us civilians also and I like reading about stuff even if I cant own it.
October 24, 2001, 09:34 PM
I work with a dozen different newstand books and several LEO books, as well as annuals.
The only books I subscribe to are SWAT American Gunsmith
and GunWeek. SWAT, well, it's obvious, and at GunWeek we are supporting the second amendment foundation. AG tells me how to fix and repair guns.
SWAT is the only one I paid for out of my own pocket.
shoot fast drive slow.
October 25, 2001, 02:15 AM
FWIW- If it were Civilian Weapons And Tactics (CWAT) I probably would have subscribed already. Seriously.
Maybe you can't tell a book by it's cover, but if you don't read it until cajoled to do so, would you??? and when?????
October 27, 2001, 06:52 PM
Time for my thoughts,
SWAT magazine is, with out a doubt, a very distinctive magazine that caters to a very specific audience. While many bookstores and newsstands do not carry it, one only needs to speak with the manager to have the magazine put on the shelves, there is very little risk or financial involvement for them.
I must be 100% honest to see how many folks resist buying SWAT or subscribing to SWAT because it isn't geared more towards "civilian" tactics. There truly exists a very limited information source for professionals who carry weapons or are involved in martial endeavors. Organizations like the NTOA, ASLET, and IALEFI all produce commendable products, but are only available 4 times a year, are usually filled with the theories of a very few, or the profiles of someones tactical team. SWAT, by comparison, is more or less monthly and relies on the submissions by some very senior and knowledgable members of our industry who represent a whole lot more than a SWAT team on the other side of the country or some administrators concept of training.
The concept of SWAT has come along way under Mr. Hansen (from some very humble beginings) and certainly under Mr. Lucibella the publication will move foward with great gains. The efforts of both Rich and Denny, combined with the contributing authors who work to provide current, realistic, and occasionally controversial information to a wide audience.
If you haven't read SWAT, try it. Appraoch it with an open mind and see what makes it tick.
"Alles Oder Nichts"
October 28, 2001, 08:02 AM
Wow! Thanks much.
Only your second post in three months of Membership, too! You need to post more often! :)
October 28, 2001, 07:23 PM
No thanks needed, I owe you alot.
Please just keep up the same high level of information, diversity, and integrity that SWAT is known for.
I do plan on contributing to this site more often, life has just been a little rough here in the low lands lately.
By the way are you or Denny planning on being at SHOT show in 2/2002 (Las Vegas)?
October 28, 2001, 07:56 PM
At the risk of sounding iggerunt, Rich, why shouldn't we think it is a law enforcement mag with a name like SWAT? Nobody ever stopped by the house and asked me if I wanted to join the local SWAT team. :confused:
October 29, 2001, 10:29 AM
Would you like to join a SWAT team? Are you ready to take the challenge and face the underbelly of what society has to offer?
Are you willing to place yourself in harms way for the sake of someone you don't know or for a paycheck thats not enough for the risks involved?
Are ready to seriously undertake the level of training and dedication required for the mastery of tactical skills?
Most certainly SWAT is a law enforcement oriented magazine, if the material within its pages were solely the domain of armed civilians it would be called "Amatuer". The title represents the ultimate tactical occupation found outside of the military, and bears a considerable level of honor and integrity. The material, although geared towards cops and soldiers, is relevant to anyone who has a true interest in weapons, tactics, and skill development. I really don't see the problem with the name of the magazine, it's been SWAT for years. The name has a level of recognition across the country and changing it now would provide no real value.
Would it be better to call it "Better guns and Tactics"? , "Gun Fancy", or some other touchy-feely title?
Lets be real folks, take a look at it and accept it for its value, see what it has to offer.
October 29, 2001, 12:04 PM
Actually, you're both right...almost. The name is a hindrance in terms of mass marketing....but we're not after a mass market. Over the past decade the term "SWAT" has come to conjure up negative feelings about no-knocks and botched midnight entries. However, this has more to do with the Federalization of local jusridictions and some of the abusive laws passed than anything else.
Given recent events, I expect QRT's will have their hands full with assignments that the public will be behind. I also expect the image of SWAT teams will be returned to it's former heights.
As for the perception that S.W.A.T. is a "cop" magazine, I can't change the perceptions of those with eyes closed. A brief glance of the current issue http://swatmagazine.com/current.htm shows exactly 3 of 12 features that are cop oriented. 0 of 11 columns. If that makes it a "cop" magazine, color me Julie of The Mod Squad! ;)
Our December issue's cover feature is team tactics for families. Clint Smith outlines in that article what he normally teaches in a one week course. You don't even need Department Letterhead to read it! ;)
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