Chuck Karwan

We regret to share the news that we’ve lost a…

chuckkarwan.gifWe regret to share the news that we’ve lost a great man this past Monday morning. Chuck Karwan, a Vietnam vet, West Point Graduate, one of the most published contemporary gun writers of today and literally “the store-house of gun knowledge,” died of a massive heart attack less than 2 weeks after what appeared to be a successful open-heart surgery operation. His eldest daughter Kate said that he did not suffer and he was with his wife of 35 years, Fran, when he passed away.

Chuck has three grown daughters and one son. To quote Kate, “During my last conversation with my father he humbly told me that he was ‘overwhelmed’ by the outpouring of emails, phone calls, cards, and well wishes that he received after the surgery. It has comforted us all to know that he had a sense of how much he meant to people before he passed.”

He was a big part of our family at Harris Publications, and to say he was a “just a contributor” wouldn’t be fair. He was part of our team, our family. Chuck always made himself available to us, he helped us develop a couple of the titles we currently have in our stable of magazines and we asked his opinion about our newest product,, before it launched. He was a straight shooter. He told us when he thought we did good or bad, and he was the guy we went to when new projects were on the table because we knew he’d give us an honest answer.

Chuck did not want a funeral service. He asked to be cremated and that is just like Chuck; humble as always. Folks have asked how to help at this tragic time. Due to his health condition, we’re told he did not have life insurance. Should you wish to send cards, gift certificates, donations, or stories about times with him or reading his material, feel free to send it through:

Harris Publications,
c/o Tactical Group/Chuck Karwan
1115 Broadway
NYC, NY 10010.

We’ll be sure it gets to his wife, Fran Karwan immediately.

Click here to read some recent Chuck Karwan articles

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  • Greg Walker

    Have just learned of Chuck’s recent passing in the current issue of “The Drop”. I will remember him as a remarkable writer and author whose work in Fighting Knives magazine was some of the best we were privileged to publish.

    De Oppresso Liber,

    Greg Walker, USASF (Retired)

  • Mark Ward

    I just read of the passing of Chuck Karwan and I wanted to say a few words about meeting him. It was at a Portland gun show back in April of 1999. He was at a table next to ours and we began talking. It took me a few hours to recognize his name from some of the articles I read. He was a great guy. It was a memorable weekend for me and my buddy and neither of us will forget him. We are fortunate to have spent a few days in his company.

    My best wishes go out to his family.

  • Fran, Kate, Kerrie, Jake, Jen——— What does one say to someone over such a tragic event??? All the great fun, laughs, downright goofy conversations, West Point graduations, weddings, visit out west in 1987 to the Karwans farm!!! More and more and more, John was one of Chucks best friends, they called each other for info and advise all the time. What they had in common tho was something we dont like to hear. STUBBORN DARN MEN!!!! Never wanted to listen to anyone about their health. I know what the Karwans are going thru and its terrible. You see my husband and Chuck have just landed up in the great heavens and are a team once again. It hurts so bad to lose the one you love the most. How heaven is holding up with those two up there and some of their other pals remains to be seen. We shall only know when we too take our rightful spots with them all. But on a seriuos note, my heartfelt love goes out to them all and I shall call Fran when I feel I can speak to her as a young wife whos lost their beloved. As for the kids left behind, like Johns kids ,they are strong, rugged kids and no matter what, the MEMORIES will always be there. Treasure them, they are yours. With all my love to you all, Pamala Hewitt

  • Jennifer Karwan

    Chuck Karwan was my father. I will certainly miss miss him..
    I love you pops.

  • Santiago Rodriguez

    Un abrazo muy grande desde Chile a la familia Karwan, especialmente a la hija del sr Karwan, Kerry

  • Suzanne Scott

    Chuck was my Uncle with a huge heart and loads of love for everyone. Living in the UK, my relationship with him and my aunt Frankie has been long distance. But in the last decade we have visited several times. My husband & I and 4 boys fondly remember the summer of 2007 when all the family were together, 13 of us, on the sofa, in tents, 3 to a room. We talk of the best holiday ever. Chucks wonderful cooking and hospitality, if he moaned during the 10 days, we didn’t hear it. Chuck let the boys shoot and told stories of hunting and his days in the army. It won’t be the same next year without him.


    To The Karwan clan-my heart goes out to you all. Chuck was one of my dads best friends who shared there passions of weapons and there families with one another for over 20 years. My dad passed away just a few years ago and its scarey to imagine the two of them raising cane up above. A man of courage and respect and loved by all that met him, he will be greatly missed by all that knew him.

  • Dr. Ron Brown

    Chuck Karwan was that rare kind of man that when anyone first met him they knew he was a Good Guy. Upon sharing the news of Chuck death with my friend in South Africa, a friend Chuck & I had in common and who rarely met each other – He wept openly. I must say I reacted similarly.

    He really loved his family and always spoke so proudly of his kids and Fran, his wife. She might have been the source of a lot of his wit, for they both made me laugh.

    I recall our many conversations in my home or at the gun shows of his West Point days, his Olympic wrestling ventures and his action in the Special Forces during the Vietnam conflict. I have never met anyone more well versed in firearms, and it didn’t matter where they might be from.
    He was My Friend and I shall miss Him very much.

    My heart goes out to Fran and the family – My God grant you peace in the midst of this storm.

    Sore High Chuck – until we meet again in PEACE!

  • Mark Doneburgh

    Chuck was a great guy, friend and accomplished writer. The time he spent with us at GLOCK, Inc will always be treasured. He will be missed bt many. God bless you and keep you my friend.

    Mark Doneburgh

  • Chuck was a good guy in a world where there are not many good guys. One conversation with him and you knew you had a friend. I can’t say that about many people.
    I’ll never forget his speech at the Blade Show when he spoke of Col. Rex Applegate on Col. Rex’s induction into the Cutlery Hall of Fame.
    I never finished a conversation with Chuck without asking him, “When are you going to write some stuff for me?” I thought that much of his writing.
    Home is the hunter.

  • Barbara Melman

    Chuck was an officer and a gentleman in the best West Point tradition. He had a great sense of humor and was always upbeat. Our friendship developed from a meeting at an industry convention years ago. His knowledge of firearms and ballistics was limitless. I am proud to call Chuck a friend and miss him greatly. He enriched our lives and will live in the memories of his friends.

    Barbara Melman

  • All of us at Spyderco say goodbye to Chuck with tears. Everything about Chuck was BIG. He had a huge heart, big deep voice, enormous love of things that shoot and cut and a larger-than-life love for his country, family and friends. He served his country with distinction, served our industry with integrity and served his friends with endless humor and grace. God Bless you Chuck. We’ll miss you.

  • John Taffin

    Chuck was a fellow writer and friend. He was definitely one of the good guys. He will be missed. May God Bless his family.

  • Pat Cascio

    My friend, Chuck Karwan, will be missed by millions. And, while Chuck was best-known as a gun and knife writer. What most folks don’t know about Chuck and his lovely wife, Fran, is they were foster parents. They took in a lot of foster children over the years, and this was done out of pure love for children.

    Family man, husband, father and friend – you will be missed!

    Pat Cascio

  • Eric R. Poole

    You will be missed Chuck,


  • LiveFreeOrDie

    Chuck Karwan was one of my favorite authors. I liked everything I read of his, from his information on selling collectible Firearms to modern big bores. I learned many tips about buying collectible guns, and knives. I have his Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery and many, many others.

    Thanks for sharing your love of guns with us Chuck Karwan, and for serving our country. The U.S. of America wouldn’t be what it is without men like you. Rest in peace buddy.