Glad to hear you have your copy of September, though that was extremely late. You should have October soon.
SWAT ships from the printer on the last week of each month. Newsstand and subscriber copies ship out on the same day, but via completely different shipping methods. The newsstand copies go by truck to various distribution points. It takes about three weeks from when they leave the printer until they are actually put on the shelves of individual retail outlets.
Subscriber copies go in the mail and ship by a special class, Periodicals Rate. Our printer is in southern Florida, so subscribers who live in the southeast can (note: *can*) receive their copy in a matter of days, and subscribers in Washington state and Oregon get theirs weeks later (though not the six weeks you waited for your copy of September). I would say two to three weeks delivery time is average for the West Coast, so sometimes you will receive it before it goes on sale at local outlets, and sometimes not.
Of course we really want subscribers to receive their copy before it goes on sale at newsstands. To me this is one of the benefits of subscribing, that you get your copy first. But realistically, it doesn't always happen. Rich Lucibella came down hard on all our suppliers earlier this year to implement changes that have improved delivery time, and as a result, reports of late and/or missing copies have dropped considerably. But we still want to know of any problems, so we appreciate your informing us.