The CLASSIC ARMS JOURNAL is a digital-only subscribed quarterly publication dedicated to fine firearms, classic handguns, gunmaking, shooting and reloading for vintage arms. It is accessible through the SUBSCRIPTION section of the site. The annual subscription ($19.95) will entitle you to access to the CLASSIC ARMS JOURNAL itself, the current and all previous issues for one year. For a review of the table of contents of each issue to date, please visit the MAGAZINE section which will give a fair idea of typical topics covered. The Inaugural Iissue is now open to the public.


The posting schedule:

WINTER issue (January—March) by January 15th

SPRING issue (April—June) by April 15th

SUMMER issue (July—September) by July 15th

FALL issue (October—December) by October 15th


The public spaces— CLASSIC ARMS REPORT—will be available to all comers, all the time and will provide running commentary on the passing scene with regular entries on everything from guns, books, reviews of useful products, current events or any other topics of interest that occur to the editors. For quick access the home page, visit the NEWS section. The BOOK REVIEWS are also open to the public and is accessible through the MAGAZINE section.

From the editor

Dear Friends & Fellow Travelers:

We are pleased to bring you the Classic Arms Journal. For those of you who are contemplating a subscription, we have opened the Inaugural Fall 2015 issue to the public and would invite you to peruse its contents. It is typical of issues to follow.

While true Luddites walk among us, most of us would not give up the internet, better medical care, cars that get 30 mpg and good music on CDs. Still, there are those of us who yearn for the familiar artifacts and technologies of our youth and our forebearers. One need not be a grizzled veteran of life to remember when guns were mostly metal and walnut, machined from steel, finely fitted, beautifully polished and blued. Fewer and fewer of these guns are made each passing year, victims of cost, lack of skilled craftsmen to build them and an ever-shrinking market. While gun ownership is thriving in the United States with millions of new shooters coming on board, much of this ownership is driven by social and political forces which means that more and more guns are sold to urbanites who are interested mostly in service and self-defense arms. Which is fine since every new gun owner is a foot soldier in the interminable war in defense of Second Amendment rights. But, many of these shooters are not so much interested in the guns themselves as merely having a gun and having it near at hand. Understandable and unfortunate. Not all guns are mere tools. There is a whole other world of guns out there.

We all have our own ideas about where beauty and genius reside. They are found everywhere, really, in cars, electronic gadgets, reed baskets, music, fine arts, a good legal brief, machinery of all kinds or most anything to the discerning. For some of us, few other devices embody the grace, elegance, genius, power and menace found in fine arms. Most shooting enthusiasts are also curious as cats and take delight in the discovery of a ‘new’ gun. It may be a gun they have never seen or heard of before at all or one that didn’t initially make an impression until revisited later. I’ve been around the firearms trade for over three decades and still ‘discover’ new (to me) and wondrous (to me) firearms. Maturity and experience may have something to do with it but, still, it happens and I am glad of it. Our goal with the CLASSIC ARMS JOURNAL is to share our fascination with great firearms from both the past and present, guns that you may not see every day or have never encountered in person. Some are store-bought, others the handiwork of gunmakers, made in the last century or in just the last month.

You might ask yourself, OK, fair enough, but why should I subscribe to this magazine as opposed to any of the others out there. That is a fair question. The answer lies in the nature of this publication. Unlike many, the CLASSIC ARMS JOURNAL is not written largely by journalists or observers from the sidelines. Every contributing editor here has decades of hands-on experience in the firearms trade or some closely allied field. At least three of us are full-time gunmakers, members of the American Custom Gunmakers Guild. Another is the country’s foremost authority on Victorian-era sporting arms and ammunition, both British and Continental. One of our columnists and freelance contributors is an historian, retired from the Smithsonian Institute. Our token journalist is a recognized authority on American firearms of the Old West. Many of us are published writers whose work has appeared in the popular shooting press over the last three decades. At least four of us have authored books on various gun or history-related topics.

Perhaps more important than mere credentials is the careers of all concerned here reflect great passion. While I do not profess to know the inner workings of the minds of my colleagues, I am betting guns are on their inner radar screens a significant portion of every day. Most of us have never really had real jobs, either, from what I can tell. If we were to admit it, most of us have led lives informed more by a preoccupation with firearms than any particular goal in life. A more knowledgeable group would be hard to imagine.



Each issue will consist of five topic sections devoted to:

1.) Fine firearms
2.) Gun making
3.) Ammunition and related topics
4.) Handguns, vintage and custom
5.) Great .22 Rimfires
6.) In addition, most staff contributing authors will pen a column on related (mostly) matters. Expect product commentary, book reviews and the occasional tall tale. As we can find them, we will also have several features in each issue on similar subjects by freelance authors and guest contributors who have valuable knowledge to share.

For information on the subscription process, please see the Subcribe page. Many thanks for visiting; we hope you will join the Classic Arms Journal community of readers.

In any case, welcome to the
Classic Arms Journal.