The Double Gun Journal, published in the USA by Daniel and Joanna Cote, since 1989, has distributed its last issue.
For many people, for many years, the DGJ was the sole literary destination for enthusiasts. If you loved vintage guns in the early 1990s, there was nothing else available catering to your passion. With no internet and no easy means by which to share information and learn about guns and gunmaking, many felt quite isolated.
Available books were limited, old and hard to find. The usual shooting magazines had little interest in the in-depth exploration of the issues, history and mechanics of Victorian and Edwardian guns and rifles. The Double Gun Journal changed all that.
It became a staple for enthusiastic owners, collectors and shooters of vintage guns, be they British, American or European guns or rifles. Articles were written by authorities, like David Baker, experimenters like Sheman Bell and by readers recounting the stories of their own journeys, research and experiences with their own guns.
A generation of sportsmen was rediscovering the joys of ownership,
The Journal's heyday was perhaps during the 1990s and early 2000s, before the internet made so much available at the touch of a key. Back then, every issue was hotly anticipated, then devoured for the valuable information it contained: information not available anywhere else.
Daniel Cote tuned-in to a renewed enthusiasm for vintage guns. A generation of sportsmen was rediscovering the joys of ownership, the thrill of seeking and restoring old, unappreciated pieces of history and bringing them to life. It was contageous and the DGJ was the rallying point.
However, times change and the DGJ, like so many print media titles, has suffered falling sales and competition from elsewhere.
In early August 2022, the following message was released by the publisher:
Since 1989 we have striven to produce a journal of the highest quality. However it is with much regret that due to inflated material and labor costs, and diminishing interest in classic guns, we are forced to discontinue The Double Gun Journal. We had sincerely hoped that we could keep going and at least finish this year out; however we can’t go on. We feel so badly that we are letting you all down, but we are not able to financially continue…For the past several years we have been operating at a loss. We now realize that at our age, the demands of a quarterly publication have come to be too much for us.
The young people of today are not nearly so interested in classic guns and subsequently many of our older collectors, with no one to leave their guns to, are forced to sell their collections to get their estates in order. Although it is indeed time for us to step aside, we truly hope that someone will see this adversity as an opportunity to take over the publishing of The Double Gun Journal.
Many of you have extended your subscriptions in advance for future issues, and we trust that you will allow us to repay our debt to you with our products; however if you renewed on or after July 5th, you have not been charged.
We can offer back issues to those who would like to complete their collections or perhaps gift them to someone very special. Also we have many other products available, all of which are listed on the order form sent by post to print subscriber already. They are also detailed in your Spring 2022 issue on the pages designated.
Going forward, we will be devoting our full time to completing our Index & Reader Volume III, which we hope to have available by Christmas 2023. After this, we plan to publish more unique books of firearms.
If you are a print subscriber, you should already have had detailed information on the credit due to you and your expiration date in your mail.
This website will continue to allow for back issues and products sales. More books, shooting products as well as indexes and readers will be made available in the near future.
Thank you for understanding and for your support over the years.
Daniel & Joanna.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Daniel and Joanna Cote for their three decades of dedication to the subject we all love. Their drive and enthusiasm and their unfailing ability to produce, every quarter, a beautiful magazine, packed with stunning images, technical data and historical research, all of which enriched this entire sector.
If you look at what we have enjoyed in the vintage guns arena over the last thirty years: The Vintagers, The Southern Side-by-Side, the British Side-by-Side Championship, orders for new versions of old guns and rifles, restoration projects funded: providing income for stockers, barrel makers, finishers, auctioneers and dealers, the DGJ was quietly marketing for you all.
The next generation has yet to show the same thirst for the old guns
I know that my business was boosted significantly by the exposure the DGJ gave me to readers when I wrote for the magazine about British Gun Auctions for several years, in the days before auction catalogues and results were available on-line.
Nothing lasts foreever and the flare of interest in vintage guns, sparked by a generation in its fifties in 1989, has waned, now those men are in thier eighties. The next generation has yet to show the same thirst for the old guns. Perhaps they will find other passions.
Of course, money also talks. Everybody now knows the value of everything. No longer is it easy to find best guns in restorable condition for a hundred pounds. The prices asked for collections built over the last thirty years is 'full market value', which is unattractive to hobbyist enthusiasts.
Perhaps a correction will take place. Perhaps, once again, nobody will want the 'old stuff' and it will fall into obscurity once more. Who knows, fifty years from now, a new generation of curious enthusiasts will be dusting off Purdey hammer guns from long-forgotten vaults and buying them for a few dollars.
Then, maybe, there will be the need for another Double Gun Journal. Until then, treasure your old copies.
Published by Vintage Guns Ltd on