Behind The Byline: Massad Ayoob

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Before most kids are capable of tying their shoes, four-year-old Massad Ayoob was fiddling with the sights of a .22 rifle his father gave him — thus beginning a lifelong career with firearms. He graduated to a handgun at nine and later carried a Colt .45 auto during part-time shifts at the family’s New Hampshire jewelry store. Mas’ dad and grandfather were both armed citizen gunfight survivors and as such, guns were commonplace at home and work.

He became a cop at 23 — the same year he wrote his first gun magazine article — and as Mas put it, “things kind of snowballed from there.” Over the past 40 years, he’s become something of an institution in the firearms world and FMG Publications. The Ayoob Files are a consistent reader-favorite in American Handgunner. He has funneled his vast knowledge to audiences through more than a dozen books, thousands of articles and several TV appearances. In addition to educating attorneys on the use of deadly force, Ayoob has been an expert witness for the courts since 1979.

Though widely respected by professionals and readers alike, his pragmatism hasn’t always pleased everyone: “My negative reviews have ticked off a lot of manufacturers, some of whom demanded I be fired and one of whom withdrew over a million dollars in advertising from FMG. [They] stood fast, and told the complainers giving our readers the truth was more important than advertising dollars. I have always appreciated that.”

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