Gun Writer J. Guthrie Dies at 37

I got the phone call on Friday and spent the weekend not really believing it. But Monday's usual slap hit like a club, and there's no getting around the brutally sad truth that Guthrie, as everyone called him, is gone--died in his sleep Friday morning, leaving his wife and two young children.

Known best for his work with Petersen's Hunting, Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, and a variety of other titles, as well as Guns & Ammo TV, Guthrie had just begun doing stuff for F&S, including the March feature story "The 1,000-Yard Shot," which he and I worked on together. I was hoping he'd do much more for us down the road, because he was very, very good, and because I liked him, and I think you--F&S's readers--would have liked him, too.

When I first called Guthrie a couple years back to see if he wanted to write for F&S, we had a long, rambling, conversation that began a little awkwardly--a Yankee and Southern Boy trying to find a comfort zone. But Guthrie just plowed right through it. He seemed to have a plan: He just kept yapping and yapping like he was my best friend until I started to believe it myself. It worked. I was impressed and hung up thinking, He's smart, he's funny, he really knows his s**t...and he might be a little bit nuts. All excellent qualities in a gun writer.

Guthrie was already a major player and a pro's pro, but he wanted to be more. He wanted to be a Gun Writer in the old style. He wanted to be remembered with the greats. I believe he had a shot, despite how changed the field is today. It's a terrible loss for all of us that his run was cut so short.

But most of all, today, our hearts go out to Guthrie's family.

_For more from some of his closest fiends and colleagues, be sure to check out these tributes from Petersen's Hunting and Guns & Ammo.

__Photo courtesy of Michael Sugrue_