SWR, SilencerCo, Others Pull Ads from Recoil Magazine Over Comments

The latest “sporting purpose” comments over tactical weapons have sparked renewed new backlash against one firearms publication.

SWR/SilencerCo, in a recent blog posting, announced that they are pulling their ads from Recoil Magazine, stating that the have written to the editor to request that they “discontinue all scheduled advertising for both Silencerco and SWR products.”

The backlash comes after editorial comments by Recoil magazine that SWR/SilencerCo describes as “concerning the illegitimacy of a certain firearm ( and by extension, an entire class of firearms).”  The text in question is as follows:

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. This is a purpose-built weapon with no sporting applications to speak of. It is made to put down scumbags, and that’s it. Mike Cabrera of Heckler & Koch Law Enforcement Sales and veteran law enforcement officer with SWAT unit experience points out that this is a gun that you do not want in the wrong, slimy hands. It comes with semi-automatic and full-auto firing modes only. Its overall size places it between a handgun and submachine gun. Its assault rifle capabilities and small size make this a serious weapon that should not be taken lightly.

The MP7 is, in fact, not available to civilians but it is arguable whether or not it is for good reason.  The fully automatic Heckler & Koch sub-machine gun is disallowed for civilian ownership because, having entered production in 2001, it is manufactured after the arbitrary May 19, 1986 cutoff date for civilian ownership of full-auto firearms specified by the Hughes Act.

This isn’t the first time that similar comments have been made by the firearms or outdoor media.  Jim Zumbo landed in  hot water  with Outdoor Life in 2007 when he had the following to say about AR15 rifles, despite the existence of numerous AR15-style rifles with undeniable hunting-specific characteristics (see Remington’s R-15 or Mossberg’s MMR):

I call them “assault” rifles, which may upset some people. Excuse me, maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I’ll go so far as to call them “terrorist” rifles. They tell me that some companies are producing assault rifles that are “tackdrivers.”


Other attacks on such firearms come from high profile names like Bill Engvall, who late last year used the “hunting and protecting my family” argument for the second amendment during a conversation in which HuffPo’s Alex Wagner suggested getting rid of the right to keep and bear arms.  Engvall said “I don’t believe there’s any reason for a person like myself to own an AK-47”  and continued, “I think you can ban guns if you can just pull the trigger and 60 bullets fly out.”  As far as we can tell, there was no negative outcome over Engvall’s comments.

This sort of division among the shooting community is precisely how we end up with incremental degradation of gun rights and, eventually, no gun rights at all.  SWR/SilencerCo’s decision to pull their advertising dollars from Recoil sends a clear message that gun rights are gun rights; you either support the second amendment or you don’t and there are consequences throughout the shooting community.  In addition to the lost advertising revenue, SWR/SilencerCo’s facebook regarding the issue already has several comments from readers who say they will no longer purchase the publication because of the comments.


After news of SWR/SilencerCo’s parting of ways from Recoil Magazine broke, it spread like wildfire through the firearms community causing quite an uproar.  People with a sound understanding of the Second Amendment apparently also understood the problem with Jerry Tsai’s comments and made their voices heard – LOUDLY.  Amidst the firestorm that spread across social media, internet forums and gun shops, numerous other advertisers (including Panteao Productions, Haley Strategic Partners, ITS Tactical, Bravo Company, Magpul, DSG Arms and TNVC)  began jumping ship one after another.

The “blowback” against Recoil prompted several statements from Jerry and other editors from under the publisher’s roof.  The first came, again, from Mr. Tsai:

I’d like to address the comments regarding what I wrote in the MP7A1 article in RECOIL issue 4. […] I am an unwavering supporter of 2nd Amendment Rights. […] With that said, I retract what I wrote in the offending paragraph within this article. It should have had been presented with more clarity.

In the article, I stated some information that was passed on to me about why the gun is not available for civilian purchase. By no means did I intend to imply that civilians are not responsible, nor do we lack the judgment to own such weapons, if I believed anything approaching this, clearly I would lead a much different life. I also mentioned in the article that the gun had no sporting purpose. This again, was information passed on to me and reported in the article without the necessary additional context. […] Although I can understand the manufacturer’s stance on the subject, it doesn’t mean that I agree with it.

Which he followed up shortly afterward with the following, once again, passing the buck:

Hey guys, this is Jerry Tsai, Editor of RECOIL. I think I need to jump in here and clarify what I wrote in the MP7A1 article. It looks like I may not have stated my point clearly enough in that line that is quoted up above. Let’s be clear, neither RECOIL nor I are taking the stance on what should or should not be made available on the commercial market although I can see how what was written can be confused as such.
Its manufacturer has not made the gun available to the general public and when we asked if it would ever come to the commercial market, they replied that it is strictly a military and law enforcement weapon, adding that there are no sporting applications for it. Is it wrong that HK decided against selling a full-auto pocket sized machine gun that can penetrate armor from hundreds of yards away? It’s their decision to make and their decision they have to live with not mine nor anybody else’s.

I accepted their answer for what it was out of respect for those serving in uniform. I believe that we as gun enthusiasts should respect our brothers in law enforcement, agency work and the military and also keep them out of harms way. Like HK, I wouldn’t want to see one of these slip into the wrong hands either. […]

Then, Joe Galloway, Associate Publisher of some other Source Interlink magazines, chimed in with the following:

In light of some of the comments and complaints made about a paragraph in a recent article about the Heckler & Koch MP7A1, Recoil wishes to make the following points clear:

  • It is simply not credible for anyone to question Recoil’s support for, and commitment to, the Second Amendment. Recoil is first and foremost a gun lifestyle magazine, aimed at the modern shooting enthusiast.
  • The opinions in the paragraph in question accurately reflected those of the manufacturer, and should have been reported as direct quotes. Recoil acknowledges the way the paragraph was written has caused unnecessary confusion.
  • Jerry Tsai, a passionate gun enthusiast and the visionary behind Recoil magazine, will remain as editor of Recoil.

Despite all of Recoil’s backpedaling, passing the buck and trying to put the “civilians shouldn’t own this” ideas on the shoulders of Heckler and Koch, H&K posted the following on their Facebook page:

Some readers have misinterpreted a recent feature story in RECOIL magazine as a reflection of HK policy. Heckler & Koch has a long presence in the US civilian market and throughout that time has been an ardent and passionate supporter of the Second Amendment and the American civilian shooter. This will always be the case. The contents, opinions, and statements expressed in that feature story are those of the writer, not Heckler and Koch’s. Additionally, the writer and RECOIL magazine have issued a clarification and apology for the ill-chosen words used in the story.

Stay tuned to the GunLink Blog and the forum thread for updates on this fiasco.

4 Responses to SWR, SilencerCo, Others Pull Ads from Recoil Magazine Over Comments

  • Chris Knox says:

    The Second Amendment has nothing to do with sports. We’ve labored under the sporting purposes language since 1934 and it’s past time for a reform. I’d like to see the NRA get out front on reforming both the NFA and GCA ’68 to remove the phrase from federal law.

  • Jim Mitchell says:

    “Assault rifle” with no “sporting purpose”??? Is that you Sarah Brady?

    The recoil guy does have a point though. With all their training, safety precautions, skills and what not, only the cops should have MP7s that way it’s much more efficient for guys like the NYPD to shoot innocent bystanders. What are they up to now… 11 innocent civilian bystanders and at least two dogs in the last two weeks?

    Recoil is just about a worthless rag anyway and the guy who said that quote is a second-amendment hating nozzle.

  • GunLinkBlog says:

    Tsai is now backpedaling and passing the buck. See his latest statement, the advertisers that are pulling out of the magazine and join the discussion in the GunLink Forum Thread on this topic.

  • GunLinkBlog says:

    Advertisers who have pulled out of Recoil Magazine:

    Panteao Productions
    Haley Strategic Partners
    ITS Tactical
    Bravo Company USA
    Magpul Industries

    Potential advertisers who have changed their minds:
    Midwest Armor & Strategic Solutions


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