Gun Test Magazine


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Wolfy
July 13, 2003, 01:41 AM
I started receiving mail from these guys and wanted to know what you guys think of this publication.

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RON in PA
July 13, 2003, 02:08 AM
Save your money. A bunch of guys using subscribers' money to buy guns that they shoot and report on. Not always objective, tests don't always make sense and they don't fire more than 200 rounds, not very many to make a judgement .

coldshot03/04
July 13, 2003, 02:15 AM
Save your money. You can get all of the info needed on just about any gun right here from real owners and real shooters. When they knocked the Makarov that did it for me I quit their sorry arses.:evil:

300lbGorilla
July 13, 2003, 02:30 AM
I got two free issues. The second one kept referring to the Wilson KZ-45 Compact's 10-round magazine. I'm not sure if it was for the purpose of the test or if the writer can neither read nor count, but I sent them back their bill with the word "CANCEL" written on it.

WhoKnowsWho
July 13, 2003, 04:56 AM
I remember a small blurb about a review of "cheap" guns. They had a Makarov that had a safety that fell out, so automatically, all were bad and should be stayed away from...

I get much more information from here, so no thanks for that.

Rob96
July 13, 2003, 06:48 AM
Bunch of yahoo's. Save your money and buy a new gun.:D

Fly320s
July 13, 2003, 09:27 AM
(voice of dissent)

I like the magazine and I think they try to do a fair, unbiased report on the guns they review.

Instead of asking a gun company to send a sample gun to a well known gun magazine, these guys buy one off the rack. So, in theory, there shouldn't be a way for a gun company to get them to test a show piece. The idea is that the magazine is getting the same gun you or I would get from a local shop.

And sometimes the writers get a lemon. When that happens to a gun with a long history, such as the Makarov, the quality should be suspect. By now all the bugs should be out of the gun.

You will not find a truly unbiased report from anyone, anywhere. We are human and we let our emotions get in the way. But I think Gun Tests does a good a job as anyone else out there, this forum included,

Dial911inVegas
July 13, 2003, 11:27 AM
I agree with Fly. I've taken their publication for almost 3 years now, and found it to be very helpful. But, "every rat to his own hug of cheese." You'll have to decide for yourself.

4v50 Gary
July 13, 2003, 11:54 AM
I think better info may be had from our members here. I subscribed once but allowed it to lapse. They're not a "consumer reports" with standardized testing and writers are all freelancers who submit articles. Nothing against freelancers but I do not believe you can get anything from them that you won't get from our members or our files.

Keith
July 13, 2003, 12:06 PM
I agree with most of the complaints above, but... it's still about ten times better than any other magazine out there.

Look at a magazine like Guns & Ammo - they've never shot a gun that wasn't absolutely perfect, 100% reliable, accurate, etc, etc...

If you want to subscribe to a gun magazine, this is the one to get.

Keith

hillbilly
July 13, 2003, 01:31 PM
I have been a Gun Tests subscriber for a while....on and off, sometimes lapsing for a year or two.

I would say that many of the criticisms made in this thread are valid.

However, I keep subscribing, and here's why.

They will tell you the ugly truth about any gun while the glossy gun mags, which make all their money off advertising dollars, not subscriptions or news stand sales, won't.

C'mon....if Ruger's or Glock's or FN's newest product failed during testing by one of those glossy magazines, you'd never, ever hear about it in any truthful detail. If you read about it at all in one of the glossy gun mags, it would be heavily spun to minimize the ugly truth. Telling the ugly truth about a major manufacturer's product would jeopardize future advertising accounts with that company.

To Gun Test's credit, when they do a review which slams one gun, like the slam on Bulgarian Makarovs, they do print reader responses containing the opposing view.

All gun magazines are flawed. But I like my chances better with Gun Tests than most of the others.


hillbilly

Zip06
July 13, 2003, 01:41 PM
I have been a subscriber for about six years. Its a good magazine; surely much better that the supermarket rags. That said, I am letting my subscription lapse. The reason is two-fold. First, the price of a subscription is getting way out of hand and second, the internet evaluations of guns on this and similar boards are much better.

Topgun
July 13, 2003, 02:12 PM
as predicted. But.....that's another story for telling to our grandchildren who, clad in rags, sit at our knees and wonder how stupid we were.


BUT..............

Is this the same "Gun Tests" that was out in the late 70's and early 80's?

They didn't have subscriptions, but the format sounds familiar. They served a valid purpose testing ...off the shelf....guns and I pretty much found myself agreeing with their conclusions.

I still have those yellowed copies in my gun library. Interesting and fun. They had recipes for cooking looters in riots. Think that got em in some trouble.

I thought they finally died out.

Solinvictus70
July 13, 2003, 02:13 PM
I agree about the major gun mags. I used to have a subscription, can't rememeber which, Guns and Ammo I think, and it was like the song "Home on the Range":never was heard a discouraging word.

Rangerover
July 13, 2003, 02:19 PM
I subscribed to Gun Tests at one time as well, and, like others, allowed my subscription to expire because there really wasn't any information in it that I couldn't acquire online. That said, I must agree that they don't pull any punches when reviewing a particular firearm, and I found that refreshing.

They usually don't print typical gunrag nonsense like, "The Smith and Wesson Jamomatic was a little quirky out of the box, but after the standard 5,000 round break-in period, it worked flawlessly with two of the eighteen brands of ammunition used. Accuracy was more than adequate for a combat handgun, with our expert placing five of eight shots in a six inch circle at four yards. Ornate and expensive, the Jamomatic is solidly recommended."

No, they'll slam anything, regardless of manufacturer, so I got the impression they were at least attempting to report honestly, which is more than I can say for the slicker and more well-known publications. Of course one can't take what any publication prints as gospel, but I never got the impression they played favorites.

Guntalk
July 13, 2003, 02:35 PM
Wouldn't it be cool if there were a live, national radio talk show about guns, where you could call in and voice your opinion -- good or bad -- about a particular gun or load?

Oh wait! <grin>

Kind of an "interactive gun magazine" where you can "write" your own "article."

Calls, kudos and complaints are welcome.

www.guntalk.com

El Tejon
July 13, 2003, 03:13 PM
Shhhh, it's a big secret!:rolleyes:

mec
July 13, 2003, 03:55 PM
BUT..............

Is this the same "Gun Tests" that was out in the late 70's and early 80's?'

Topgun: That was Phil Engledrum's GunTests. Different outfit altogether. Phat Phill from Philladelphia was publishing some car mags when he saved up his bucks for a Smith 59. It jammed, It jammed on S&W (fiocci) ammunition. This made him very mad because it had been praised to high heaven in all the regular gun magazines. Phill decided to get even and started publishing his own magazine based on reviews of over the counter guns.

He may very well be the single biggest factor in the turn around in quality control that took place shortly there-after.

I don't remember frying looters but he did come in for a little bit of criticism when he massacreed a bunch of hogs trying to find a handgun/load with stopping power. It was graphic.

444
July 13, 2003, 04:12 PM
I subscribe. I think it is a decent magazine. I don't always agree with everything they say, but then I disagree with a lot of the stuff I read on here. That doesn't make it bad. But, I too am going to let my subscription lapse. I don't base any of my buying decisions on what they print. I have been around guns long enough to know what I want and it usually isn't the kind of stuff they cover. I don't really want to buy any new revolvers, I like the old ones. I have no interest at all in the latest autoloading pistols. The milsurps are already a very well known, tried and tested commoditity. I have all the hunting rifles I could ever use in eight lifetimes. So....... I don't get anything out of it that is useful to me.

Okiecruffler
July 13, 2003, 04:27 PM
I stopped subscribing to Gun Test after they reviewed the Talon 9mm. The first pistol locked up on them, the second one lost it's load indicator. They declared it to be a fine weapon. You trying to tell me that someone wasn't getting some kind of kick back for that?

armabill
July 13, 2003, 08:57 PM
I'm letting my subscription lapse due mainly to the cost. Also, they test guns lately that don't interest me at all. I'd rather that they test the latest/newest ones that come out.

Wolfy
July 14, 2003, 03:46 AM
Hey thanks for the help still undecided but the main factor is that most people are saying this forum is just as useful.

Cosmoline
July 14, 2003, 04:54 PM
I'd actually buy "Gun Tests" long before I bought ANY slick mainstream "combat handgun" or "weapons for law enforcement" or even "guns & ammo." The slick mags are complete garbage, and any reviews are bought and paid for by the industry. I do like "rifle" and "handloader," but more for their technical information than any reviews.

You simply cannot trust mainstream gun rags. Their goal in life is to SELL SELL SELL. Treat them as you would treat a car salesmen.

Could "Gun Tests" be better? Yes, of course. But the idea behind it is excellent.

hillbilly
July 14, 2003, 05:35 PM
There are a lot of smart experienced folks on this board.....

Why don't some of us JUST START OUR OWN gun testing magazine, and address the problems many of us see with Gun Tests?

That way, we'd get paid to shoot guns and then write about shooting those guns.

Anyone else interested?

hillbilly

seeker_two
July 14, 2003, 06:35 PM
...and here's the first issue...:D

http://www.olegvolk.net/runt_pics/misc%20linked%20pics/skunkySWATs.jpg

Razor
July 14, 2003, 06:59 PM
:D :D :D

SlamFire1
June 22, 2007, 04:43 PM
I have been a subscriber to Gun Test Magazine since 1993. And it is always interesting to read the forum opinions and comments by folks about this magazine.

What I find extremely fascinating is the large number of negative comments about the magazine. I was totally baffled as I like Gun Tests. I like the fact they don’t accept advertising and will totally trash a firearm they don’t like. When you read commercial gun magazines that accept advertising, they never make a strong negative about any firearm. Commercial magazines are shills for the industry. Articles are written to promote the item and to create a buying impulse in the reader. Negative points are glossed over, if mentioned at all. One ex commercial gunwriter told me that if you were assigned a firearm to review, and it was a stinker, the trick was to just write about the features that you liked. And I have seen that many times without realizing what was going on.

I seldom read negative forum comments about commercial magazines. But I have read lots of criticisms about Gun Tests. And I have a theory.

Gun Tests will pick a winner. They will also tell you why the others are losers. They will say negative things about firearms. If the firearm is unreliable they will go overboard in trashing the item. If it costs too much they will recommend something cheaper.

I know when Gun Tests downrated a firearm I own, picked another over mine, or even worse, trashed a model that I own, that makes me grumpy. When one of their reviews promotes a favorite pistol of mine, I consider them objective, perhaps brilliant, at least wise.

And that’s my theory. Gun owners don’t want to read any trash about any firearm they own, or might own. They would rather hear “wonderful”, “wonderful”, “wonderful”. And don’t mind buying a turkey based on a shill gunwriters advice.

Okiecruffler
June 22, 2007, 06:06 PM
Resurrected after almost 4 years in the grave, probably not a record, but close. What caliber would you guys use to kill a spider/bear zombie thread? I stand behind my claim, anyone who recommends a gun that had to be sent back to the factory twice is getting some money from somewhere. FWIW, I don't subscribe to any of the fancy shiny mags either.

SlamFire1
June 22, 2007, 07:24 PM
I stopped subscribing to Gun Test after they reviewed the Talon 9mm. The first pistol locked up on them, the second one lost it's load indicator. They declared it to be a fine weapon. You trying to tell me that someone wasn't getting some kind of kick back for that


OK Dude, I wanted to review the article. Examining all the indexes I have, back to 1990, I can't find a Talon 9mm listed. What year was this article?

MinnMooney
June 23, 2007, 01:13 AM
I've read Gun Test mag for about 3 years and think it's pretty good. If they had a larger clientel and more money to buy guns with, I think it would be best served by buying 5-6 guns of each one that they test so they'd get a representative sampling. That would take care of the one lemon-ruined-the-whole-brand type of reporting that they do.

RPCVYemen
June 24, 2007, 08:31 PM
... I think it would be best served by buying 5-6 guns of each one that they test so they'd get a representative sampling. That would take care of the one lemon-ruined-the-whole-brand type of reporting that they do.

If manufacturers increased quality control so that fewer lemons were produced, that would help, too. :) As an example, I don't ever recall seeing a Glock failure in Gun Tests. [Maybe I am wrong about that.] I am not a Glock fan - they are over a century out of my sphere of interest. But Glock seems to have figured out how to make highly reliable models in a highly reliable process. I also don't recall seeing a Ruger revolver fail a test. Note that I have seen other weapons preferred over Glocks and Rugers, but I don't recall seeing one fail.

I don't have a lot of sympathy for manufacturers who whine when a piece falls off during a Gun Test inspection. "Any serious writer knows that the safgety is supposed to fall off of a FN Hi-Power."

Mike

dmftoy1
June 24, 2007, 09:23 PM
I've been a big fan of Gun Tests until the last issue or the one before it . . .in it they reviewed 3 rifles of .375 H&H caliber. Two were brand new (Ruger and Remington (I think) the third was a 10 year old CZ. So they go through the whole review and say how they're Ruger and other are good rifles but aren't 'smooth' so they get like a B+ but the CZ (that's not longer made) is buttery smooth . .then they go on to tell about how the CZ's had an action job and a trigger job . . . .

That tore it for me . . . I like it when they bought new guns and were honest in evaluating them . .but comparing two new guns (which haven't had a chance to smooth out) against one that's been shot for 10 years and been worked over by a gunsmith and then critizing them in light of that gun is ridiculous . . .

Just my .02 . .I won't be renewing in September when my sub is done.

The other thing that I've found mildly annoying is their tendancy to purchase reloading equipment and other "accessories" to facilitate the test . . .I don't know for sure but I suspect that equipment is just a way of their using my subscriber $ for their own jollies.

Razor
June 24, 2007, 09:40 PM
Resurrected after almost 4 years in the grave, probably not a record, but close.

No kidding. I was about to post a ":D" for the SWAT mag pic, but then I noticed I already had...It does explain the sense of deja vu, though.

:)

Tom Servo
June 24, 2007, 10:24 PM
They had a Makarov that had a safety that fell out, so automatically, all were bad and should be stayed away from...

They were right. The Makarov is an unreliable and dangerous design. I'll be glad to take them off everyone's hands, especially the baby-killer East German ones ;)

Great pic, Seeker. Do you have a larger-res version? It'd make a great wallpaper for the work PC's.

Look at a magazine like Guns & Ammo - they've never shot a gun that wasn't absolutely perfect, 100% reliable, accurate, etc, etc...

...and shot 0.2" groups at 75 yards, offhand. It's not reviews, it's subsidized advertising.

kentucky bucky
June 25, 2007, 12:04 AM
Nothing is perfect, but I found it helpful when I was buying guns more regularly (before kids & wife). The price of the subscription eventually convinced me to drop it. There was a magazine with the same name (maybe the same mag?) back in the 70's and 80's that I really liked. They, for instance, would go to Mexico in and shoot hogs and pigs for penetration and knock down tests. After the test they donated the meat to the locals. Those guys were wild men.

wally
June 25, 2007, 10:15 AM
They buy one gun and extrapolate wildly after shooting it. But at least they report the negatives unlike the major gun rags.

Web reports suffer selection bias as many report problem guns, few report ones that work. What really counts are web reports of how the maker's warranty service handled the problem or not. Every maker lets bad guns get out, efficiently taking care of the problems is the key to buying a brand with confidence or not.

--wally.

SlamFire1
June 25, 2007, 04:19 PM
I've been a big fan of Gun Tests until the last issue or the one before it . . .in it they reviewed 3 rifles of .375 H&H caliber. Two were brand new (Ruger and Remington (I think) the third was a 10 year old CZ. So they go through the whole review and say how they're Ruger and other are good rifles but aren't 'smooth' so they get like a B+ but the CZ (that's not longer made) is buttery smooth . .then they go on to tell about how the CZ's had an action job and a trigger job . . . .

I agree, it was an unfair comparison. Instead of comparing new production apples to new production apples, they toss in a customized orange. Still that is part of the quirkiness of the magazine.

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