Skip to main content

The Star System: Joe Kurtenbach Joins G&A

The Star System: Joe Kurtenbach Joins G&A
Joe Kurtenbach joins Guns & Ammo’s editorial staff from NRA Publication’s American Rifleman.

Back in the day, Founding Publisher Robert “Pete” Petersen was known for going after popular editors and writers with other magazines. “He believed in the Star System,” Senior Field Editor Craig Boddington recalled. “He also believed that he could make his own stars, elevating Elmer Keith for example. The headline on the November 1961 cover announced, “Elmer Keith Joins G&A Staff!” Keith wrote for many different publications, but as Guns & Ammo became successful, Petersen wanted Keith’s association exclusive to the brand.

When starting G&A in 1958, Petersen secured well-­known authors such as P.O. Ackley and Jeff Cooper, among others. Arguably the biggest name in firearms at the time was Col. Townsend Whelen, who contributed until his death in 1961.

In the early ’70s, it was rumored that Jack O’Connor was planning to retire from Outdoor Life, so Petersen and G&A’s next publisher, Tom Siatos, flew out to Idaho in time for the first issue of Petersen’s Hunting in November 1973. They made O’Connor an offer he couldn’t refuse, and named him as the magazine’s executive editor. What’s interesting about that issue is that G&A’s Elmer Keith was also assigned a story, and no one told him that O’Connor was going to be contributing as well. Keith hated O’Connor, though O’Connor didn’t seem to care. That was the only instance where Keith’s and O’Connor’s bylines appeared in the same magazine. Keith never wrote for Hunting again.

During the late ’70s, Bill Jordan wrote for G&A but was lured away to Shooting Times in the ’80s. Conversely, Bob Milek, a known writer for Shooting Times was hired by G&A. Petersen grew to love Milek so much that he sent a private jet to Wyoming to take Milek back and forth to California for cancer treatments before Milek lost his fight in 1993. Petersen sold his magazine empire in 1996.


I was only 34 when this organization took another chance and made me G&A’s 14th editor. Seven years later, I’ve matured personally and professionally, but I’m proud of what’s been accomplished as we grow G&A in new directions. I participate in the decision making of every asset — print, digital and TV — but none of the growth would be possible were it not for the stars surrounding me. Art Director Michael Ulrich designs each issue, while Digital Editor Shelby Laramore Scepanski maintains gunsandammo.com and has refreshed Guns & Ammo’s YouTube efforts. Behind the scenes, Connie Mendoza continues to serve as production director; she’s been with G&A since 1997. Coordinating Producer Jeff Murray and Director David Foster are improving Guns & Ammo TV, and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app continues to broaden our audience with additional streaming services. I doubt Mr. Petersen could have imagined how far the brand would come in 62 years.


We still believe in Petersen’s Star System, which is evidenced by the recent addition of Joe Kurtenbach to Guns & Ammo’s editorial staff from NRA Publication’s American Rifleman. It’s a big win for us as this former U.S. Army Cavalry Scout and Psy Ops Specialist joins the ranks of our former veterans, and brings with him an English and Management degree from Virginia Tech. You’ll see him contributing to all areas of the Guns & Ammo brand and enhancing our digital content. His is a name worth following, and I have a good feeling about his future.

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Umarex Air Ruger 10/22 Rifle Review

Umarex Air Ruger 10/22 Rifle Review

In this segment of "Guns & Ammo TV," Gun Tech Editor Richard Nance and Pro-Shooter Jim Tarr head to the range to wring out the Umarex Air Ruger 10/22.

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight – Perfect for Optics-Ready Concealed-Carry Pistols

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight – Perfect for Optics-Ready Concealed-Carry Pistols

The people asked and Trijicon answered. Introducing the RMRcc miniature red-dot sight for compact, concealed-carry pistols. Trijicon's new RMRcc features the durability and reliable controls that have made the RMR so successful, but its reduced dimensions make the “Concealed Carry” model better suited for the popular small-frame pistols designed for discreet carry and personal defense.

Shooting 600 Yards with .300 Blackout

Shooting 600 Yards with .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout cartridge was developed to provide greater effectiveness than a 9mm at short and medium ranges when fired from a short-barreled suppressed firearm. Just because the cartridge wasn't designed to go long doesn't mean Rifles & Optics Editor Tom Beckstrand won't take it there, using a large-format pistol, no less. Armed with SIG Sauer's 9-inch-barreled MCX Virtus Pistol loaded with Black Hills' 125-grain TMK ammunition, Beckstrand attempts to ring steel at 600 yards with help from Hornady's 4DOF ballistic calculator in this segment of “Long Range Tech.”

Savage Arms Impulse Rifle with Straight-Pull Action

Savage Arms Impulse Rifle with Straight-Pull Action

Savage introduces a must-shoot straight-pull rifle, the Impulse, with three hunting configurations.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The first in this new family of Springfield Armory rifles is the Model 2020 Waypoint, the result of years of engineering, testing and evaluation, combined with premium grade components found on rifles costing thousands of dollars more.First Look: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Bolt-Action Rifle Rifles

First Look: Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint Bolt-Action Rifle

Guns & Ammo Staff - September 29, 2020

The first in this new family of Springfield Armory rifles is the Model 2020 Waypoint, the...

Don't mortgage the homestead to get into PRS, this is what's available from the likes of Mossberg, Tikka, Savage, Howa, Bergara, Weatherby and Remington.Starter Rifles for Under $1000 Rifles

Starter Rifles for Under $1000

Aaron Carter - May 09, 2019

Don't mortgage the homestead to get into PRS, this is what's available from the likes of...

The one glaring weakness in the .30-­caliber magnum cartridge lineup is best highlighted by examining the requirement around which Hornady designed the .300 PRC; the requirement came from the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). .300 PRC Review Rifle

.300 PRC Review

Tom Beckstrand - March 12, 2019

The one glaring weakness in the .30-­caliber magnum cartridge lineup is best highlighted by...

Leupold launches its new DeltaPoint Micro Red Dot sight, a low-profile red dot sight designed specifically for concealed carry and personal defense firearms.Leupold DeltaPoint Micro Red Dot Sight for Pistols: New for 2021 SHOT Show

Leupold DeltaPoint Micro Red Dot Sight for Pistols: New for 2021

Guns & Ammo Staff - January 27, 2021

Leupold launches its new DeltaPoint Micro Red Dot sight, a low-profile red dot sight designed...

See More Trending Articles

More Industry

Guns & Ammo goes on location at Independent Studio Services (ISS) to examine the guns used by actor Chris Hemsworth as “Captain Mitch Nelson” ODA 595's commander, in the movie “12 Strong” (2018). The film was based on Doug Stanton's non-fiction book “Horse Soldiers,” which told the story of U.S. Army Special Forces sent to Afghanistan following the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.Guns & Ammo TV: Guns of '12 Strong' Industry

Guns & Ammo TV: Guns of '12 Strong'

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 07, 2020

Guns & Ammo goes on location at Independent Studio Services (ISS) to examine the guns used by...

On October 30, 2020, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) announced that the 2021 SHOT Show, intended to be held January 19-21, 2021, was cancelled. CANCELLED: 2021 SHOT Show in Las Vegas Industry

CANCELLED: 2021 SHOT Show in Las Vegas

Guns & Ammo Staff - November 02, 2020

On October 30, 2020, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) announced that the 2021...

Former Guns & Ammo Editor Richard Erik Venola passed away on February 6, 2021, in Nye County, Nevada. He was 62. The shooting world — his world — is much the poorer for it.Richard Venola: September 18, 1958 - February 6, 2021 Industry

Richard Venola: September 18, 1958 - February 6, 2021

Payton Miller and Eric R. Poole - February 16, 2021

Former Guns & Ammo Editor Richard Erik Venola passed away on February 6, 2021, in Nye County,...

We all have mentors in life, but for many of us the most influential among them are our dads. As Father's Day approached, I found myself reflecting on my own.Father's Day Thoughts Industry

Father's Day Thoughts

Keith Wood - August 20, 2020

We all have mentors in life, but for many of us the most influential among them are our dads....

See More Industry

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now