Hell, I'm Still Here!

Fifty Years a Gunwriter

Book Description

Nobody has seen or done it all, but Jon Sundra has come as close as anyone. He wrote his first article in 1966, and by the early 1970s had risen to prominence at a time when the Golden Era of American outdoor writers was in full swing. The next thirty-plus years was a time he and his colleagues were routinely invited by Remington, Winchester, Weatherby, and Ruger—and by many foreign gun manufacturers as well—to all-expense-paid jaunts to hunt and visit factories all over the world. It was a time long before the Internet, cable TV, and blogging drastically diluted what had been a very exclusive world, a time when a select handful of men—characters, actually—gathered in venues where little business was accomplished but a helluva lot of good food was consumed and adult beverages quaffed. Sometimes even a few gun-related things were discussed! During this period Jon met all the greats of the shooting and hunting world, and this book gives us an unvarnished look at some of the characters of that regrettably gone era.


Jon is still active today, after having undertaken over a hundred hunting trips on five continents, not counting those in the States. This book is primarily not a description of those hunts, but rather a funny, very descriptive picture of an era in which gunwriters were kings of their domain and had egos to match. Jon cavorted with Elmer Keith, Jack O'Connor, Warren Page, Slim Pickens, Charlie Askins, Bill Jordan, Skeeter Skelton, Bob Milek, John Wooters, George Nonte, Jack Lewis, and others, and he has amusing stories to tell of these giants of the gunwriting world. Many of these men got to see Europe, South America, or Africa for the first time because Jon invited them on behalf of his consulting clients.


Some of Jon's exploits found him in South America where he discovered some long-forgotten bottles of priceless French wine in an out-of-the-way cantina. He even reveals his criminal past, and how, along with Bob Milek, was almost thrown off a train in Finland. Jon is surely the only gunwriter who owns and drives Lamborghinis, and there's even a chapter on his sporting cars and his sports car races. He travels to Europe two or three times a year on his own nickel on trips having nothing to do with guns or hunting. Today he still writes as field editor for Safari magazine, and is a regular contributor to Rifle Shooter, Gun Digest, and Ballistic magazines. If anyone has ever had a colorful life, surely it's Jon Sundra.

About the Author

Jon sold his first article in 1966 and has been a full-time professional firearms/hunting writer since 1970. He has served on the editorial staff of many national publications including Shooting Times, Petersen's Hunting, Guns & Ammo, Guns, Guns & Hunting, Rifle Firepower, Gun Digest, Shooting Industry, Shooting Illustrated, American Firearms Industry, Traveling Sportsman, Varmint Hunter, Rifle, and Handloader magazines. Currently, Jon serves as field editor for Safari Club International's Safari magazine; senior writer for GunHunter Magazine; contributing editor to Rifle Shooter; and a regular contributor to Ballistic and Gun Digest magazines. He was also the sole author and editor of The Complete Rifleman, a Harris annual that was published from 1989 to 2011. Jon's primary interest has always been in modern sporting rifles and cartridges, big-game hunting, and varminting, but he also knows his way around shotguns.

A graduate of the Ohio State University, Jon majored in English literature, with some graduate work in the same field. He has authored over 2,600 articles and columns, all for national publications, and has had over 30,000 photographs published. For the past forty-five years Jon has been continuously active as a press relations/advertising/marketing consultant to gun and optic manufacturers both here and abroad through his own company, Jon R. Sundra & Assoc. His knowledge of the firearms industry, therefore, is as deep as it is multifaceted.

Not counting the untold number of hunting trips he's made on U.S. soil, he has made more than one hundred foreign hunting trips on five continents, including twenty African safaris. His love of travel has taken him to Europe more than thirty times on nonhunting-related vacations.
Jon lives in the Charlotte area of North Carolina. He has two sons, Ian and Sean, with his late wife, Judith.

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