Our Special Collector’s Issue & some fresh ideas
By Ralph P. Stuart
Welcome to our 25th Anniversary Special Collector’s Issue! As you probably know, all year we have been celebrating Shooting Sportsman’s quarter-century of publishing history, but now we are kicking off fall by throwing our “official” anniversary party.
This issue is significant for a number of reasons. First, it is our largest ever—quite an accomplishment in these times of “doom & gloom” for print publications. Reaching this milestone is both gratifying and humbling, and we owe it to the support of advertisers and readers alike.
You’ll also note that we’ve given the magazine a bit of a makeover. From a reworked table of contents, to new Game & Gun Gazette and department formats, to fresh typefaces and design elements throughout, we have spruced up our appearance and tried to make the pages more readable. We will continue to tweak things going forward, and we hope you agree that we are moving in the right direction.
An especially enjoyable part of putting together this issue was assembling the “25-themed” elements. Artist Cole Johnson blew us away with the cover illustration—a rendering that depicts the excitement of this momentous occasion. The article “25 Favorite Guns” gave us an excuse to invite all of our masthead editors to take part in the celebration—and almost every one did. And “25 Favorite Covers” allowed us a trip down memory lane, as we pored over our entire history and reflected on the magazine’s ups and downs.
Without a doubt, the issue you’re holding will go down as one of SSM’s “ups.” It also is of personal significance for me, marking my 20th year with the magazine. I came aboard in July of ’93, and one of my first assignments was to proofread that year’s September/October issue. Down East Enterprise had just acquired SSM, so the publication was on the small side. I remember thinking, Isn’t it nice to have so few ads; it allows for so much more editorial. I’m glad we’ve achieved healthier proportions since . . . .
And with luck we will continue to prosper. Certainly our anniversary celebration will progress throughout the fall and into early January, when we will draw the winners of our 25th Anniversary Sweepstakes. After that we have visions for even more excitement next year, with a calendar full of great articles, Readers & Writers Adventures, and additional changes to the magazine, our Website and more.
We’re not ones to rest on our laurels.
Speaking of new and different, we’re announcing the launch of a venture sure to please those looking for their own slice of hunting heaven. Shooting Sportsman Properties (see pp. 110 & 111) is a new real-estate company specializing in listings for wingshooters. It’s an idea that has been in the works for years, and we’re confident that the team heading up the business has the experience and know-how to produce excellent results. Next issue I’ll provide more details, but in the meantime you can visit www.shootingsportsmanproperties.com and start down the path to being “landed.”