Why don't gun rags use standard statistics?


PDA






Bacchus
January 2, 2003, 11:13 AM
The subject line says it all. Here's an example.

In the Jan '03 issue of American Rifleman, the authors of one article are comparing Hevi-Shot with lead and steel shot. The text of the article is accompanied by several tables, most of which make no sense and don't allow for any real comparisons.

For example, one table lists average striking velocity at 40 yards. Instead of calculating one specific number for Hevis, one for lead, and one for steel and then comparing them, the authors list both a highest and lowest velocity. That makes statistical comparisons impossible.

Whatever happened to good old fashioned averages and standard deviations? Then it would be easy to compute t-tests and/or ANOVAs on the numbers.

If you enjoyed reading about "Why don't gun rags use standard statistics?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Captain Bligh
January 2, 2003, 01:22 PM
I imagine most gun rag writers were either out shootin' or sittin' in jounalism or composition class while some of us were trying to wade through statistics.

Your point makes lots of sense to me but I'd guess your talking about a skill set most gun mag writers don't possess?

RJ

PATH
January 2, 2003, 01:26 PM
Write them and let them know. Maybe your observations politely stated would bring about change. You never know unless you try!

Chuck Dye
January 2, 2003, 03:13 PM
While the Rifleman should be called to task by the membership for such sloppiness and might well be improved thereby, I hold little hope for the fully commercial rags. Years ago, Skin Diver, a Petersen publication at the time, published a glowing review of a SCUBA regulator in the same month that the US Navy Experimental Diving Unit ranked it second worst on the market, one of only two regulators of about fifty to flunk NEDU's testing and be disallowed for purchase by even recreational services. Not long after, I met a Petersen's representative and asked about the contrast. The rep gave me a withering "Get Real!" glare and bluntly stated that, given their Skin Diver advertising budget, ALL of that manufacturer's products were simply wonderful. The realities of the business, the expense in time and money of a statistially worthwhile sampling process, and the scarcity of real statistical knowledge among the readership all argue against change.

Mike Irwin
January 2, 2003, 03:45 PM
The rep gave me a withering "Get Real!" glare and bluntly stated that, given their Skin Diver advertising budget, ALL of that manufacturer's products were simply wonderful."

First, I'm surprised that anyone admitted that to you.

Secondly, from my time at American Rifleman, I can tell you that for the most part fiscal considerations do NOT drive reviews. The majority of Rifleman's operating funds come from a line item in the general budget.

As for the statistics, some of it has always been giving members the most understandable statistics, ones that would hopefully make the most practical sense to them.

Bacchus
January 2, 2003, 04:11 PM
My first thought about it was in line with what you mentioned, Captain, that most people might not understand the specifics.

However, it seems like a disservice to present information in tables with the implication that legitimate comparisons can made on that data.

Arkady
January 2, 2003, 09:16 PM
If they used standard statistics, it might show you that some favored products are, in fact, total crap.

By using nonstandard stats, the author can make anything look good... "This rifle may not be able to hit the broad side of a barn, BUT IT HAS SUCH-AND-SUCH A COOL THING! "

Then again, i'm in an especially cynically mood today, so take that into consideration :)

seeker_two
January 2, 2003, 10:10 PM
"There are three types of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Mark Twain.

You can make a statistic say anything you want w/ a little "creative calculation." The truth's a little harder to fudge.

Usually AR's pretty good, but those tables were gobbledy-gook to me too. (But then, I would have preferred something like "Hevi-Shot=GOOD, Steel=BAD." :p )

Chuck Dye
January 4, 2003, 05:08 PM
Mike,

My apologies for not holding American Rifleman more clearly apart from the rest. I recognize and appreciate the difference. Note, though, that AR generally tests only one sample of a given gun and rarely makes note of whether the sample was provided by the manufacturer or acquired at random on the market. I have no recollection of an ammo test stating that it included mutiple lot numbers, multiple random samples of multiple models of guns, multiple shooters, etc. Even given the data AR provides, the tests are not statistically valid, and only slightly better than anecdotal. Are they superior to G&A, Shooting Times and the rest? I am sure they are.

For what it's worth, the conversation about reviews bought and paid for took place many years ago. The rep was in an environment where I could well have been mistaken for an insider and the rep had taken full advantage of an open bar for many hours. I do not recall the man's name and so cannot say how long he may have lasted at Petersen's or in the industry. Subsequent conversations with diving gear designers and manufacturers, however, only reenforced the man's assessment of his (then) employer and, to an extent, the entire publishing racket, but I certainly wouldn't tar the NRA with the same brush.

blades67
January 4, 2003, 06:33 PM
They don't know what they are.:rolleyes:

Sean Smith
January 4, 2003, 06:55 PM
Why don't gun rags use standard statistics?

Because (mostly) they aren't attempting to report on the performance of the products they review. They are just whoring themselves out for whoever gives them the most ad dollars. Your mistake is thinking they are actually trying to provide useful, objective information, and just don't know how. In fact, by and large they don't care in the slightest. This is probably because gun magazines are generally such piss-poor products that they can't make money on their own merits like, say, Car and Driver does... which of course takes ads, but is more than happy to make fun of the same Chevy Silverado advertised on page 2.

El Tejon
January 4, 2003, 07:34 PM
Because they are lying! They are gun rags--9mm vs .45, flowered-shirts, imaginary goats, works of fiction "down on the border." The rags would be pretty boring if a liberal application of pepper is not used.

Blackhawk
January 5, 2003, 01:21 AM
They don't sell any more magazines or products for their advertisers. Only obsessed wanks pay any attention to them, and the author probably just grabs them from some other source and "bends to shape and beats to fit" as needed. (The quote is a paraphrase from product instructions in a Bugs Bunny cartoon....)

Traveler
January 5, 2003, 01:46 AM
Lies, Damn Lies, & Statistics.

Captain Bligh
January 5, 2003, 11:17 AM
Okay, how many people on this board know what ANOVA is much less how to figure it?

I've had undergraduate and graduate statistics classes. Still, I'd have to blow some dust off of my statistics books to do it myself. Points are well taken that gun rags seldom bite the hand that feeds them, but I still contend that the reason higher level statistics aren't used is because gun rag writers and publishers don't understand them. If they did they could still use statistics to lie (lies, damned lies, and statistics) by choosing what to present, what not to present, and how to present it.

I use statistics in my job and I'm often surprised about the level of misunderstanding of statistical things by people that I find to be otherwise educated and sophisticated. Gun rags don't use good statistics because they simply don't get it. And, if they did most readers wouldn't get it either.

RJ

Keith
January 5, 2003, 03:28 PM
There's an even clearer example of misleading use of figures and standards. Look at the ranges that guns are test-fired at. With handguns, they shoot at ranges of 10, 15 or 25 yards. Why? If you're going to measure the gun against a standard, use 25 yards and be done with it. When they shoot anything larger than a pocket pistol at 15 yards they are merely doing so because it doesn't deliver credible accuracy at the longer range and they don't want to embarrass an advertiser.

Look at rifles and the 100 yard "standard". As far as I'm concerned 100 yards tells you nothing about a rifle. Any modern scoped bolt action rifle in a credible hunting caliber should be tested at its MPB range - 250 yards, say - and done so from a FIELD POSITION, not a bench rest. That's where the bad trigger, the poor ergonomics or the burr in the crown are going to tell you that you have a problem. Shooting a group off sandbags at 100 yards tells you nothing - the worst reject off the factory floor will deliver credible results from a sandbag at those ranges.

Keith

Dean Speir
January 5, 2003, 04:38 PM
O, boy, someone's really showing off by introducing analysis of variance between groups to an on-line firearms forum! :) I imagine most gun rag writers were either out shootin' or sittin' in jounalism or composition class while some of us were trying to wade through statistics.

Your point makes lots of sense to me but I'd guess your talking about a skill set most gun mag writers don't possess? To repeat a recent observation elsewhere on THR, I wonder about the need of those who buy/subscribe to/read the gunzines to diminish them by referring to them with the pejorative "rags." Is it that the "gun rags" are a guilty pleasure, and so many who like to pose as critical thinkers, simply aren't?

Because if they were, they would've long ago noticed that the quintessential gunzine article follows the core formula of: "We got this gun; it looks good, shoots great and this is where you can get more product information: Excellent Gunmaker, Box 3006 - Dept. , Gun Valley, USA."

Has anyone here who has written for one of the non-NRA Publications gunzines ever seen an "Editorial Guidelines" contributors sheet speaking to the issue of statistical presentation? The only one I ever saw… and I've had bylines in all of'em except the ones in Peoria since purchased by the same outfit as the former Petersen's group… was the mercifully short-lived [i]Modern Gun whose maniac editor was more interested in photos of watermellons bursting, and five pieces of brass in the air at once. He had a six page (and ever-expanding) Contributors' Guidelines which was virtually silent on presentation of statistical data. What it did focus on, aside from the editor's pathetic ego requirements, was "the target readership," one for which the disdain was implicit.…from my time at American Rifleman, I can tell you that for the most part fiscal considerations do NOT drive reviews. Don't know when you were in and out of there, Mike, but the very first thing that "Red" Bell did when he was brought in from his 33 years with Petersen's, was re-make The American Rifleman in G&A's image, from the "look" of the book to the "ultra-advertser-friendly" content, the latter being a long-time Petersen's hallmark! …AR generally tests only one sample of a given gun and rarely makes note of whether the sample was provided by the manufacturer or acquired at random on the market. I have no recollection of an ammo test stating that it included mutiple lot numbers… You can take it as an article of faith, Huck, that aside from the editorially inconsistent Gun Tests, virtually all of the firearms tested are manufacturer or importer-provided T&E ordnance.

As for the ammo testing, I used to do that all the time for the Combat Handguns books… it was my specialty, I guess, and one I enjoyed to the utmost. I don't think anyone else ever wrang out a handgun (and the occasional rifle) with as many different loads as I did, sometimes as many as 30 distinct loadings from nine or ten manufacturers. (It really didn't mean all that much, but my editor felt that "men like to read charts," and I got paid to shoot great quantities of ammo.)

And both Frank James and to an extent, Charlie Petty in his non-TAR reports, will do the same thing with ammo, albeit to a lesser degree… except when Farmer Frank would do one of his "10,000 round melt-down" tests (that once actually melted a pistol down!) I think even TAR generally uses a maximum of three separate loadings with any firearms report.

But blades67 probably comes closest to the real reason why gunzines don't use standard statistics:They don't know what they are. Such a standardization would require, for starters, a symposium of Editors, and that simply isn't going to happen! While I almost never agreed with anything the late "CastleBravo" used to aver, I'll second Sean Smith's rather dour observation:Your mistake is thinking they are actually trying to provide useful, objective information, and just don't know how. In fact, by and large they don't care in the slightest. This is probably because gun magazines are generally such piss-poor products that they can't make money on their own merits… And they aren't gonna get any better as long as the readership pool are so woefully lacking in critical thinking skills. When enough gunzine readers write to Editors and Publishers on something other than lined notebook sheets and with a crayon, complaining at the quality of the content, even someone like Stanley Harris, who once said "Articles? Aren't they what we try to squeeze in between the advertisements?," may have to take notice.

Dan Johnson
January 5, 2003, 05:33 PM
Ah, Dean Speir. It has been awhile since I have seen one of your no-holds-barred commentaries on a thread. In spite of your tendency to see the worst in eyeryone, your last paragraph is dead on. Advertisers are not bashful about voicing their complaints and readers should not be either. Editors for the most part are just people trying to do a job as best they can. It would be nice if their bosses would insulate them from the marketing side and let them concentrate solely on editorial content, but sadly this is not the case. Editors bear the full brunt of advertiser's ire and only when more pressure is applied by the readership will a fairer balance be acheived. Writers, of course, also bear a large measure of responsibility.

So the next time one of the members here sees some pure hogwash in a magazine, fire up the keyboard and let them know exactly why it is hogwash.

Dan Johnson

Keith
January 5, 2003, 05:35 PM
Dean,

Couldn't you condense much of what you said to "Thats capitalism for you'"?
I mean, the economics of magazine sales depend more heavily on the advertisers than on the accuracy of reporting. And of course the more sales, the more you can charge your advertisers which explains the lowest common denominator aspect of many gun magazines - exploding pumpkins sell to a wider audience than accurate tables and consistent standards.

There are notable exceptions out there among both writers and magazines, so I don't want to paint with too broad a brush, but I think people should take most of what they read with a grain of salt. Look at a magazine like Gun Tests (which doesn't rely on advertisers), and you find even they fail to use any sort of consistent standard from test to test - if you could rely on the test of a single example to give you a valid assessment, which I don't think you can.

And the quality of the writing...

Can you imagine a writer for an auto magazine falling back on some of the hackneyed phrases and excuses that gun writers use? "Our Dodge Gazelle broke down in traffic six times on our first test drive, which is perfectly normal for the new-car 500 mile 'breaking in period'.... and since it's a Compact, we only drove it at a top speed of 35 mph, where we got 'acceptable handling'... The drivers wheel had quite a bit of slack and required all of our strength to turn, but that is easily remedied by any competent Carsmith... Occasionally the car would veer sharply to the left upon acceleration, exhibiting the well known one-in-five 'flyer' phenomena..."

Give me a break!

Come on, there are some very legitimate gripes associated with the industry! That doesn't mean there aren't some excellent people as well, surely you and Charley have no reason to hang you heads, and doubtless we could winnow out another dozen or two names in short order. In many ways, it seems like the more obscure the magazine, the higher the standards - which brings us full circle, back to my first paragraph.

'Nuff said.

Keith

Dean Speir
January 5, 2003, 11:33 PM
Hi, Dan… glad to see you survived your "reverse migration" Eastward. Happy Noo Year from Noo Yawk! It has been awhile since I have seen one of your no-holds-barred commentaries on a thread. In spite of your tendency to see the worst in eyeryone… Please, if you have issue with a specific of my commentary, elaborate… while I am no longer active in any of the gunzines, if there's a new attitude behind the scenes of any of them, I'd be delighted to learn if there were any enlightened Editorial attitudes at work, or a clearly enunciated Publisher's directive to an advertising division that there is to be no interference with any Editorial perogatives.

Yes, I have the jaundiced view of a one-time "insider," but I like to think I'd educable, so please illuminate me. (I'm not being smug… I'd genuinely like to know.)

And one thing I've been processing since my inital post in this thread, it occurs to me that if there is anything that's going to, as Frank James terms it, "improve the breed" (i.e., gunzine content), I suspect that it will be the proliferation of 'Net-based fora such as the late TFL, its successor THR, AR-15.com (http://www.ar15.com) and Cruffler.com (http://www.cruffler.com/), etc., where unredacted information is more freely available. Sooner or later, no Editor would dare allow one of his contributors to use the term "acceptable combat accuracy," and charts turned in for anything other than a Seecamp 380 or a Keltec-32 with target distances of "21 feet, the average distance for a gunfight," would result in the author being frog-marched out the door! What a wonderful thing that would be!

Of course, there are those firearms forums where no critical thinking exists at all… no names or URLs required… and others which are nothing more than the extension of the Administrator's ego or marketing requirements, but few of them even begin to approach the membership of TFL or, shortly, THR.

My ol' pal Kodiak Keith Rogan will attest to some of the ground rules established nine years ago on our comparitively little Shooting Sports BB on the old Prodigy service… starting with no discussion of "handgun stopping power" and the requirement that if one was going to discuss a certain popular brand of defensive handgun ammo, the poster had to at least know how to spell "Hydra-Shok." Charlie and I like to think we turned out a decent group of critically thinking shooters from that group. (Hiya, Keith! When are ya gonna tell everyone how best to stop a rampaging bear sow? :))

Dan Johnson
January 6, 2003, 12:36 AM
No, Dean, I have no specific issue with your post here. I was referring to your outlook in general having read many of your posts in the past. This is not to say I don't enjoy reading them. I do, and confess I miss your presense over at that other place.

Dan Johnson

Schmit
January 9, 2003, 10:34 AM
(Hiya, Keith! When are ya gonna tell everyone how best to stop a rampaging bear sow? )

:what: Ouch!

Literally!!! ;)

Welcome Dean & Dan... now boys... play nice. Hehehe

starting with no discussion of "handgun stopping power"

What? No Stoppingb Power debates? OH, I know why, its cause y'all figured out that the Black Talon was the best, with Rino ammo comming in a close second. Either one of those, even loaded in... say the old .45 Long Colt, would knock someone off their feet. And if you had a clip full of either you'd be good to go for anything! :evil:

Mike Irwin
January 9, 2003, 01:11 PM
"Note, though, that AR generally tests only one sample of a given gun and rarely makes note of whether
the sample was provided by the manufacturer or acquired at random on the market."

Which is NO different than virtually any other magazine.

Guns ain't cheap. Consumer Reports generally only tests one of each item. Gun Tests tests only one of each item.

It's also understood that ALL of the samples are provided by the manufacturers or distributors -- NONE of AR's firearms tests are ones that were purchased on the open market. There's simply no budget for that.

As for statistical validity, American Rifleman is a MAGAZINE. It's NOT H.P. White laboratories. If you feel that you need to have a regressive analysis of how Federal XMT40SX from lots XXX, YYY, and ZZZ works in your gun, get out and get some of it and shoot it yourself.

That way you get information that NO gun magazine will ever be able to provide to you -- how a certain ammunition works in YOUR gun under YOUR shooting conditions.

I can't even imagine why anyone would mistake American Rifleman, G&A, or some of the other magazines out their for scientific journals. They're review and overview, and ATTEMPT to give anecdotal sp? (that's what it really is, folks, anecdotal) data that will be of so use to the most people.

It's not meant to be scientific. It's not meant to be indepth. When your sample is 1 gun, it can't be either.

Also, there's no staff of statisticians to do this at AR or any of the other magazines. There's no huge staff of testers (when I was there 4 people conducted all of the testing, and 1 only did a very small amount).

What I think everyone needs is to be realistic about just how much this type of data will help them. For the average shooter, I don't think it will be very much at all.

Probably the most statistically developed information that comes out of the firearms industry is from the loading manual people.

It takes years to develop a loading manual -- hundreds of thousands of man hours. And yet, even that information is kind of thin, because the loads given are normally developed in a single firemarm -- a universal receiver, a certain make of handgun or rifle, or, just perhaps, sometimes a combination of the UR and a firearm.

Come on, folks. Let's be realistic in both our expectations -- both of what we're getting from the gun rags and from what we can actually make use of in our firearms hobby.

Mike Irwin
January 9, 2003, 01:45 PM
Dean,

"Don't know when you were in and out of there, Mike, but the very first thing that "Red" Bell did when he was brought in from his 33 years with Petersen's, was re-make The American Rifleman in G&A's image, from the "look" of the book to the "ultra-advertser-friendly" content, the latter being a long-time Petersen's hallmark!"

Gee, that sounds vaguely familiar... :)

I was there from October 9, 1990, to April 20, 1994.

I was on Bell's staff for approximately 6 months before about 1/3rd of the Publications Staff was laid off.

Red Bell and the board cabal that hired him did more damage to American Rifleman magazine than any other single idividual ever could have hoped to do.

The faction on the board at that time (including the most useless EVP NRA has ever had) that forced his hiring wanted a G&A clone for any number of reasons long before Bell and Petersen's parted company under a cloud.

George Martin, Bill Parkerson and Tom Fulgham dragged their feet for as long as they could.

When Martin was forced out, er... excuse me, moved laterally, the writing on the wall became clear, and Parkerson bailed to go to ILA. He apparently didn't want to be around for the bloodbath that was to come. Can't blame him. At that point he had had 25 years on Rifleman and was considered to be the next director of NRA Publications and Publisher of the magazines.

Sorry, Bill. Thanks for the years of service, you :cuss: ing dinosaur, get the hell out.

Ron Keysor, Bob Hunnicutt, and Pete Dickey were all in line for the job of editor of the magazine and yet it becamse quickly apparent that it was going to be someone from the outside who would hold BOTH positions (good way to save money, I guess).

I still remember the warnings I got from a number of respected freelancers and members of the G&A staff who had worked with "good old Red." Not exactly complimentary assessments of the new boss.

Around the same time LaPierre had the "initiative" going to make the magazines self-sustaining based on their own advertising revenue, and a possible move to put Rifleman and the other NRA magazines on the newsstand.

Only problem was, with ad rates running approximate HALF of what they were for other magazines in the industry, the math isn't hard to figure out.

You can't support a 4-C 120-page book when you're charging $25,000 per page and everyone else in the industry is charging $50,000 a page and barely breaking even. The magazines had been a line item in the general budget for a long time, and apparently that rankled some people for some reason. (Interestingly enough, many of the same people were responsible for the final break between the Olympic Shooting Team and NRA.)

Bell came in, alienated the entire staff, cut 1/3rd, and lost Pete Dickey to retirement (he had no intention of doing so, until), had Ron Keysor leave for ILA because he hated working for Bell so much, had Bob Hunnicutt bail to go to work for Crosby for awhile just to get away from the BS that was going on at NRA, etc.

That done, more money needed to be saved, so usher in the age of a return to black and white photography dominating in the magazine for about a year, 10 issues a year instead of 12, a reduction of the book by almost 1/3rd, and, my favorite change of all? A virtual deemphasis on firearms content to allow Marion Hammer and other board members space for political self-agrandizement articles.

Even after all that, "good old Red, silt of the earth," still needed to save money, so when the publications groups started hiring people back to replace the people who had either been laid off or quit in disgust, guess what happened then? Starting salaries were cut for most positions, sometimes by as much as 1/3rd.

I started in October 1990 as Associate Editor for $27,000 a year. When an Associate Editor was finally rehired around 1997 or 1998, I heard through the grapevine that the starting salary was barely over $20,000.

Yep, a staff of youngsters, without experience.

Certainly a wonderful legacy for NRA and the magazines.

Now, though, those who were able to hold on through those years are in charge, and interestingly enough, they're helping bring Rifleman and Hunter back to something of the look that the magazines had before the G&Aization. Not the whole way, and to be perfectly honest, there are somethings that are very good about the old G&A style (but the last thing that's needed is a bunch of cookie cutter magazines that look exactly the same).

Mark Keefe and John Zent are people I worked with in the pre-Bell times at Rifleman. Scott Mayer, too, as well as the deputy director of Publications, Loureds Fleckenstine (sp?). Never could spell her name.

Probably most importantly, though, to a balancing of the image is the fact that Harry Jaecks is still art director. How he managed to tough it out through the Bell disaster is completely beyond me.

Dean Speir
January 9, 2003, 02:39 PM
…and I've been accused of biting the hand that fed me! ;)

Mike Irwin
January 9, 2003, 03:19 PM
The hand that I just bit is ENTIRELY different than the hand that fed me for the first 3 years I was with the National Rifle Association.

I didn't like Bill Parkerson very much (he was very Biercian), but I had, and still have, TONS of respect for the man.

George Martin and Ron Keysor I both liked and respected.

Lone Star
January 9, 2003, 04:03 PM
Dean Speir and Mike Irwin are letting the cat out of the bag, and I love it! I write for one gun magazine that had better remain nameless, but where I have RELATIVE freedom to tell the truth. I've freelanced at other titles, including one knife mag where I was dropped (I think) because I wasn't willing to coddle an advertiser whose product designs and personality grated at me. I didn't want to keep pushing this guy's imported knives and pretending that he wasn't abrasive, and it cost me money, but I can still look at myself in the bathroom mirror when I shave and not feel disgusted.

The real clencher is that I've not only heard the stories about certain major publishers, I've watched the top names from a now retired major publisher (and the Man, himself) work the SHOT show, and seen the self loathing and embarrassment in the employees' faces. Not all, but the ones who appeared to still possess a sense of shame that peeked out from behind the ego and bluster that typified that publisher's employees. Quite a few of these men remind me of the southern end of a northbound horse.

When I was studying journalism in college, I aspired to write for the major gun mags. Exposure to those who do left me feeling that there are editors for whom I can't write and retain my self respect. Reading Jack O'Connor's, "The Last Book" was the clencher. So, I publish at relatively minor titles, where for the most part, I can tell it like it is... especially if products reviewed are made by non-advertisers.

That said, there are some gun writers who try their best to inform the readers to the degree that they dare. If one becomes sophisticated enough to know and follow their bylines, he can still learn a lot.

And, finally... does anyone here really know if all those gunfights that Chuck Taylor describes at, "Handguns" are real events, or are they his "creative writing"? Personally, I think his style and the fact that the editor doesn't state whether the events are from real life greatly detracts from the magazine.

Lone Star

BigG
January 9, 2003, 04:08 PM
I do get the NRAzine as a byproduct of my membership but note the content is far weaker than the old issues and more comparable to the pap foisted on readers by the likes of "Handguns," which has set new standards for typos, mislabelled photos, and other mistakes.

Maybe that's why I haven't subscribed to or regularly bought a gunzine in years. Utter disgust.

Bacchus
January 9, 2003, 04:23 PM
I love this...an individual (that would be me) asks an intelligent question about firearms and other(s) suggest that it is "showing off" statistical knowledge.

By the way, shooting off large amounts of ammo ("30" different types) under the guise of providing quality data is not necessarily "better" than a thorough analysis of several different brands of ammo.

Mike Irwin
January 9, 2003, 04:29 PM
Lone,

I've been asked numerous times why I didn't start freelancing, or simply move and try to hook on with another magazine after I left NRA.

You touch on a lot of the reasons why.

Lone Star
January 9, 2003, 04:36 PM
Bacchus-

If I understand you, you sort of have a point, but I like to wade through the 30 different ammo types tested in a story, in hopes of finding out how those I want to try performed.

Lone Star

BigG
January 9, 2003, 04:37 PM
Wow. Are we surprised hypocrisy exists even in our hallowed halls of gundom? :eek:

Dean Speir
January 9, 2003, 05:24 PM
I love this...an individual (that would be me) asks an intelligent question about firearms and other(s) suggest that it is "showing off" statistical knowledge. I can see what the problem is here, Bacchus… either you're browsing with "Smilies" disabled, or you are simply "reading-challenged." …shooting off large amounts of ammo ("30" different types) under the guise of providing quality data is not necessarily "better" than a thorough analysis of several different brands of ammo. No guise or guile intended. It was what it was… a substantial amount of comparative data using one handgun and one shooter. My commission, as I said, was to give the readers of that particular group of gunzines some charts to study.

I think, for whatever reason, you were "showing off" a bit… nothing wrong with that, why hide one's light beneath a bushel… and you got some serious responses based on first hand experience from some who've been in the trenches.

Now, you have an path to follow, if you choose, and one that's been more fully illuminated for you. Go out and collect your own data, get it published, and set a new standard. I'll be glad to send you a (slightly dated) list of gunzines and their editors if you'd like more of a leg up, and I suspect that both Mike and Lone Star would be willing to share from their own lists as well.

Warning: A happenstance meeting at World Shoot VI back in '83 with Ken Hackathorn led to him encouraging me in the same matter. "Gawd knows, the gun press could sure use some fresh blood," he said. What he didn't tell me was just how closed a shop it was! ;)

Bacchus
January 9, 2003, 11:14 PM
Mr. Speir,

Funny...I'm the one who is "showing off" statistical knowledge (even though all I asked was why they don't use them--I never spelled out the acronym like you did or attempt to explain the use of one specific statistic over another).

It appears that you are more interested in dropping names and dates about your past.

I'm not interested in playing games or dropping names. All I wanted was to generate some reasons about why gun rags don't use standard statistics.

I believe that others have listed some interesting food for thought in that regard.

I will not respond to any further personal comments.

Have a nice day.

Dean Speir
January 10, 2003, 12:02 AM
O my my…

Just for the record, Bacchus. 'twas you who started this thread and posed the question: Whatever happened to good old fashioned averages and standard deviations? Then it would be easy to compute t-tests and/or ANOVAs on the numbers. Now, I invite you to do a word search for ANOVA either here (THR) or back on TFL.

You were showing off… but I already acknowledged that "showing off" is fine… but in calling you on it, also provided some information that was directly on point. So did others, and it would seem that most here who participated in your thread gained something from it.

So what's your problem?

Could it be that you were more interested in introducing ANOVA onto the board in the guise of "an intelligent question," and having a whole slew of other Members wonder "***?!?" than in getting an "intelligent answer?"

So your averring that "I'm not interested in playing games or dropping names" seems a bit disingenuous. You started the "game" when you dropped ANOVA, and then seem miffed when others wanted to play as well.

Mike Irwin
January 10, 2003, 12:36 PM
You know, it's funny...

I saw the acronym that Baccus used, and thought nothing of it.

I certainly didn't know what it meant, or even what it means, other than it's something to do with statistics.

Interestingly enough, I also didn't immediately jump to the conclusion that Baccus was showing off, or feel the necessity to blow a trivial personal beef into a multi-message issue.

What's your point, Dean?

Why's it SO important that you come out looking like some macho swinging Richard by claiming that Baccus is showing off? Is it really THAT much of an ice pick in your brain that you have to grind on about the most inconsequential aspect of his message?

What's your point? Why's it so important to you? Are you that bored?

Dean Speir
January 10, 2003, 12:48 PM
... it was meant to be funny. I rarely use emoticons, but I've discovered that too often others "miss" an important nuance, so I invoked a "smilie" so no one would miss it.

That's the point, Mike… regret that you didn't "get it" the first couple of times and felt the need to play omsbudsbully. ;) (There, I used another one.)

STW
January 10, 2003, 02:25 PM
Just one quick point addressing the original question.
I don't believe the sample sizes are large enough to make any comparison meaningful. Giving the mean, std. dev., and the like would imply differences where none really exist. I've also done enough formal product testing to have found lots of statistical differences that had no practical impact and said so in the report.
I've also seen lots of qualitative results foisted as quantitative. :banghead:

As an aside. Mark Twain attributed the quote about statistics to Disraeli in a biography Twain authored. Whether Disraeli actually said it or Twain just said he said it seems to be an open question that people answer by attributing it to the one they favor. (or have head of) :confused:

BigG
January 10, 2003, 02:47 PM
I think STW answered it. Sample size too small to be significant.

Marko Kloos
January 10, 2003, 02:55 PM
Any time a discussion leaves the subject matter at hand and moves on to discuss grammar, reading skills, spelling, ethnicity, religion, suspected body odor, questionable origin, or breeding habits of another member, it's time to call it a day.

Closed for declining civility.

If you enjoyed reading about "Why don't gun rags use standard statistics?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!