SIG Sauer Academy

Peter G Kokalis – A Memorial

During SHOT Show, it came to our attention that Army Veteran and Gun Writer, Peter G Kokalis has passed away on January 14th. 

I first learned of Mr Kokalis as a kid, reading his reviews of weapons of war, in Soldier of Fortune magazine.  

Later, he worked for Small Arms Review.  Most recently, he was senior editor of Firearms News (formerly Shotgun News).

He definitely had an impact on my professional career as well as those of many others.  

May he Rest In Peace. 


25 Responses to “Peter G Kokalis – A Memorial”

  1. Strike-Hold says:

    Aw man – 2016 strikes back….

    Rest In Peace Sir.

  2. Gerard says:

    He will be missed. I considered him to be one of the best small arms writters and reviewers. He supported democracy in El Salvador, literally putting himself in harms way. He was a patriot.

    • Wolfgar says:

      I agree, he was the first to understand the AKM anti bolt bounce was not a rate reducer. I loved his reviews and will miss his no BS opinion. God speed Mr. Kokalis.

  3. Ross says:

    Terrible news. He was a good man. RIP
    He was always available to take call and help with advice.
    Will be missed!!

  4. Very Sorry to Hear that. Was lucky enough to have met him a few times and grew up reading his articles in SOF etc. RIP Sir.

  5. Victor DiCosola says:

    Great man to talk with. Losing too many good men as of late. He will be missed by many.

  6. paolo says:

    Rest in peace…. I grow up with is articles… Was a good man

  7. mark says:

    Kokalis was a fantastic firearms writer, used to read his stuff all the time in Shotgun News. He did excellent, long (4,000 word+) reviews that were interspersed with firearms history.

    I was actually just reading great article he did in 1985 for Soldier of Fortune on the AUG a few weeks ago:

    He will be missed.

  8. SN says:

    2017 is picking up where 2016 left off.
    RIP Sir.

  9. Stu says:

    RIP. I enjoyed many of his works as well.

  10. Thanks for all the great advice over the years Peter and with extremely technical questions and reviews you gave us. Your crankiness and humor will be missed. The mold was broken with you… See you in the belt-fed section in the sky! RIP

  11. AbnMedOps says:

    Peter Kokalis absolutely set the standard for firearms writing. Orderly presentation of information, incredible detail, with the facts and history to back it all up and place it into context. After reading Kokalis, one clearly realizes that 90% of the other “gunwriters” are hacks regurgitating press releases and rumors for the Bubbas.

    • Strike-Hold says:


      For one thing, he finally set the record straight on the story of how the MP43 / MP44 came to be called a “Sturmgewehr” – and no, it wasn’t Hitler who named it…

  12. Ranger Rick says:

    I remember Peter’s SOF article about the Glock 17 around 1984/85, his description of the pistol and its attributes really intrigued me. I purchased one based upon his article and found it to be everthing he had described, in comparison to the hacks at Guns & Ammo or Shooting Times who regularly hyped junk.

  13. Mark says:

    Rest in peace, Peter.

    When I was in Iraq, and came across an odd French built machine gun our Iraqi troops were using, he was the first guy I knew to contact with regard to the operation, maintenance, employment, and ups and downs of that particular gun.

    He was a unique guy and he will sorely be missed.

  14. Whit says:

    Horrible news. RIP Peter. He was the authority when it came to machine guns and small arms. We’ve suffered a huge loss.

    I remember one of his columns in Firearms News last year where he stated that most of his peers had passed away and he wanted to share his knowledge with everyone since he knew he was getting older.

  15. Thulsa Doom says:

    Rest in Peace, Mr. Kokalis.

    You were probably the most thorough writer in the gun press.

  16. Michael L Sampson says:

    I only knew Pete for a year, we met at the dialysis center even then he was a fighter to the end. we all miss him dearly rest in peace my brother.I will never forget you, and how you touched my soul amen

  17. Rusty Proder says:

    RIP Pantera Rosa.

  18. lysander6 says:

    So we need for someone to find all of his writing and put it in one place for the world to benefit from.

    RIP, Peter.

  19. Sad news. One of my favorite trade shows was when he and SAR had a booth next to mine. We spent the whole event talking history of firearms. I’d grown up on his articles. He definitely left his mark, and that is all any of us can ask for in the end.

  20. James Ham says:

    Godspeed. We are diminished.

  21. PaulM says:

    Mr. Kokalis was a very gifted writer with an encyclopedic knowledge of firearms design and their history. He really did redefine— and raised the standard— of what constitutes a thorough firearm review. I subscribed to SOF, and later Shotgun News, mainly to read his articles. I agree with lysander6 that his numerous articles should be compiled in an archive for future generations to enjoy. I hope the folks at Firearms News (formerly Shotgun News) are reading this.

    I will miss Peter Kokalis. We are diminished. RIP.

  22. BravoMike says:

    RIP, Sir. You will be missed. Like many have already said, you were a significant part of my upbringing and learning in the world of small arms. Your writing style, attention to detail, and vast knowledge were second to none. I had the fortunate experience of meeting Mr. Kokalis when I was a kid at one of the Soldier of Fortune shoots out near Vegas. The man was truly a legend in his own time. God Bless.

  23. Joe LeDux says:

    I’m yet another of the legion of persons heavily influenced by Mr. Kokalis at an early age. In the decades since, having occupied more than one job where armoring up and strapping on weapons were part of the job description, nobody has had more influence on what arms I trusted with my life (even more importantly, those I did NOT) than him. Even to this day, no longer the sinewy teen who sat, metaphorically, at Mr Kokalis’s knee with mouth shut but ears wide open, amongst my fellow wheezing and fat old timer pals, when it comes to anything concerning arms and especially military sidearms, “Peter G.” as we’ve always referred to him is still the final word. Though he’s gone on the ride we’ll all have to take, sooner or later, it’s still regrettable in the extreme that he’ll no longer be with us to give us those words.

    One thing I havent seen anyone else mention is Peter G’s droll sense of humor. Given how deadly serious his writings usually were–arms and those who are required to carry them are indisputably serious business–when he wrote about the advanced new combat sling from HK for use with its G-series rifles, he dismissed it as “…a multi-strapped affair far too complex for my pea-brain to understand.” I nearly fell off my chair laughing.

    He was right, of course. And you had to give him this: he always told it straight, no matter what the product was or how much ad space they bought in SOF. I owned one of the slings myself, it having come with my first HK91, and fifteen minutes of fooling with it left me wanting to hang myself with the thing. If Peter Gs brain was a pea, mine surely is no larger than a grain of sand. The guy was damn smart and had–if I’m recalling correctly–a Master’s or PhD in geology or something.

    More than anything I wish I could have thanked him, face to face, for his help. He gave so much of it to guys like me whose jobs required both the carrying and facing of arms. He taught us things that, had we been required to learn them on our own, might have cost us some of our hide. Or worse.

    Goodbye, Peter G. I miss you already.