non biased firearm reviews


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jonc
September 18, 2008, 03:56 PM
I know this has been covered before but I can't find it for the life of me. What is a name of the magazine that has non-biased reviews of firearms? Thanks

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Bubbles
September 18, 2008, 03:57 PM
Gun Tests

NavajoNPaleFace
September 18, 2008, 04:10 PM
I discontinued Gun Tests when it was reported they test weapons donated to them by the companies.

Hardly impartial, IMO.

I enjoy the reviews from The Rifleman.

ZeSpectre
September 18, 2008, 04:19 PM
I'm pretty impartial, what should I test? <just kidding>.

SCKimberFan
September 18, 2008, 04:40 PM
I am more than willing to accept donated guns and test them for anyone. I will be impartial. Promise.

Loosedhorse
September 18, 2008, 05:09 PM
I liked the mag at first. They're kinda flooky and idiosyncratic (will say both guns performed and cost the same, and rate one WAY lower than the other), but hey, that's opinions, right?

Then, in April '06 they did a review of the Ruger Alaskan revolver (snubby Super Redhawk), caliber .454 Casull. They rated it "our pick." What's the catch? The NEVER TESTED IT WITH .454 AMMO, only .45 Colt: "We were confident we wouldn’t be able to damage the Alaskan with .45 Colt ammunition."

I sent them the following note:

In reviewing Ruger's Alaskan revolver, you use the phrase, "If we are to be chastised for not testing with full power .454 Casull rounds...." Let me remove the "If."

As a fan of big-recoil revolvers, with time spent behind the .500 S&W, the .475 Linebaugh, and even the .44 Magnum out of a 26-ounce, alloy revolver, I can provide some muzzle-blast. Under the interesting recoil of such guns, I have personally experienced, or talked to other shooters who personally experienced, the following: cylinder unlocking from a weak cylinder-stop spring; cylinder tie-up from bullet-creep in unfired rounds; a broken hammer pin; unexplained double-action misfires; and a rear sight that dematerialized.

Would any of these problems happen with the new Ruger Alaskan? Given your so-called review, WHO THE HECK KNOWS? It is ridiculous that you would declare a .454 Casull revolver reliable without ever testing it with that ammunition! (And no, it doesn't matter that it was cold, you were tired, and there was a deadline.) Why not simply dispense with range-testing entirely, and say, "Gosh, it sure looks sturdy--we bet it'll work fine!"

Three suggestions: next time, hire some pinhead like me, who actually enjoys this stuff, to do your high-recoil testing. Or, get your own sorry collective rear out of that chair, buy some shooting gloves, and ask someone--anyone--where the nearest range is. But, if you ever decide to do such half-anatomied testing again, please keep that report for personal use in the smallest room in your house, and don't waste your readers' time by running it.

Once you've printed this letter, you can consider yourself properly chastised.


Never printed it. Never emailed me. Cowards can't take the whoopin' they earned.

Then, one of their writers, Ray Ordorica, APROPOS of NOTHING, printed a gratuitous swipe at Peter Capstick, the noted African hunter and author:

I am sorry to disillusion you, but Capstick was the worst kind of charlatan. Capstick did indeed want you to think he knew a lot about rifles and hunting. He was an excellent story teller. But he didn’t know much about either rifles or hunting, because, you see, he was never a professional African hunter. He was a bartender. He was a standing joke to those who indeed were African professional hunters.

Capstick had been dead 12 years by the time they published this in 2008, which makes it impolite at least (don't speak ill of the dead), and cowardly and cruel at worst (because Capstick can't defend himself, and his family may bear the brunt of those words).

I wrote again, pointing out the poor etiquette, and the fact that Ordorica had provided no substantiation for his opinion other than suggesting that readers contact "my friends at Holland & Holland."

Again, no word.

Hey, everyone makes mistakes. But when they seem to stem from laziness (don't test a .454 Casull revolver with .454 Casull ammo?) or cowardess (attack a guy dead 12 years?) AND THEN CAN'T ADMIT THEIR MISTAKES...well, my conclusion is that these are not classy folks, and I'll keep my money, thanks.

:cuss::cuss::cuss::cuss::cuss::cuss::cuss::cuss::cuss:
END OF FLAME

Furncliff
September 18, 2008, 05:24 PM
Whoa Loose don't hold back...


I don't know the people you named, nor do I shoot the big iron. But I sure as hell enjoyed your tirade:)





and I'll not buy Gun Test either.

jonc
September 18, 2008, 05:29 PM
hmm that is a shame, I'm getting sick of all the mags they sell at the grocery store that says everything is great all the time.

Caliban
September 18, 2008, 05:46 PM
half-anatomied

this is a great euphemism, and i plan to steal it.

Tribal
September 18, 2008, 06:33 PM
I'd avoid GunBlast, too. As far as I can tell, every single gun out there is apparently clever, innovative, fun to shoot, worth getting, and often something the writer ended up buying for himself (although the article writer rarely does this more than once per review).

I trust THR and TFL (plus some individual forms like KTOG) to have small-scale reviews by people who've actually used the products, often in innovative (as in "dangerous" and "uncalled-for") ways. When they bought the new MasterBlaster, what did it come with? How did it feel in their hands and the hands of their range buddies? Were there any major malfunctions? Do you still have the gun, or did you sell/trade it to someone for another gun instead?

RPCVYemen
September 18, 2008, 06:39 PM
I discontinued Gun Tests when it was reported they test weapons donated to them by the companies.

Did you ever determine if this was true? Does the truth make any difference to you?

Mike

Loosedhorse
September 19, 2008, 12:24 PM
may not give you IMpartial opinions, but multiple PARTIAL opinions from all directions are almost as good.

I do like American Rifleman, and American Handgunner--they like to show pretty pictures, but if the pistol had an 8 lb trigger and it s-cked, they'll say so. In a nice way: "The only draw-back was the 8lb trigger, which really ought to addressed in a pistol of this price range."

Duke Junior
September 19, 2008, 01:46 PM
NavajoNPaleFace - I discontinued Gun Tests when it was reported they test weapons donated to them by the companies.

RPCVYemen -
Did you ever determine if this was true? Does the truth make any difference to you

I've been subscribing to Gun Tests for 14 years because I've always believed in their veracity when they claim(ala Consumer Reports)that they buy all the firearms they test.I've never heard anything about guns being donated to the magazine by manufacturers.
Where did this report come from?

Aguila Blanca
September 19, 2008, 03:04 PM
I discontinued Gun Tests when it was reported they test weapons donated to them by the companies.
Of itself, that's no worse than any other gun rag that gets the test guns provided for free. The problem with Gun Tests is that they have never acknowledged that they get (or got -- past tense?) some of their guns for free. They continue to advertise that they buy everything they test and that they are, therefore, completely impartial.

If they're going to start off with a lie, how can I believe anything in the article?

Hunter0924
September 19, 2008, 03:28 PM
I believe the m1911.org ezine to be unbias.

WheelgunZealot
September 19, 2008, 04:09 PM
There is no such thing as an unbiased review.

Larry E
September 19, 2008, 04:10 PM
I used to subscribe to Gun Tests a long time ago, but got sort of tired of their testing of guns, pronouncing a model bad or excellent based on one copy of each examined. I've seen enough factory rifles to know that they vary within models from gun to gun. What really sealed the deal for me was when they tested hunting bullets and proclaimed the Nosler Partition as unsatisfactory because of low retained weight. I'm sure that the animals that have ended up in someone's freezer after interaction with a Nosler Partition might agree that retained weight ain't the whole story.

Asking people who have owned and used an item of interest is probably the best way to learn about it. Everyone who tests anything bases their evaluation on what they think is important, which may not be what YOU think is important. Doesn't matter if it's cars, guns, or tvs.

JMHO :evil:

ronwill
September 19, 2008, 04:15 PM
I discontinued Gun Tests when it was reported they test weapons donated to them by the companies.

NavajoNPaleFace, this is a standard practice for magazines of this type. How do you think Consumer Reports gets all their items to test? The same goes for the car test magazines. None of these groups go out and purchase everything they're going to test, it would be far to expensive.

Chuck Spears
September 19, 2008, 04:18 PM
I know this has been covered before but I can't find it for the life of me. What is a name of the magazine that has non-biased reviews of firearms? Thanks

Such a thing will never exist. When I want written opinions or reviews I seek out individuals on a forum or someone with an independent firearm blog. Magazines are a business. And building a business on the principle of providing solid honest gun reviews is a sure way to bankrupt that business. I still buy some gun rags here and there but only to get base information (specs, etc) and pics of new guns. I don't buy a single word of their opinions on how it shoots or whatever.

Caliban
September 19, 2008, 04:21 PM
i think it's important to understand what gun reviews are good for and what they aren't.

the fact is, any gun review, whether the gun in question was donated or bought or found in the street, is a review of ONE COPY of that gun. it could be a good copy of a bad gun or a bad copy of a good gun, meaning the reviewer could see more or fewer malfunctions than you ever will if you buy it. you cannot really expect to get a good idea of whether a firearm is reliable from one copy (unless it's REALLY bad, i guess). the only way to get that is a large sample size. even a crappy gun will really only fail in a small percentage of instances, and even lousy quality control will only result in a small fraction of guns that malfunction.

however, what you CAN get a good idea of from a review is a user interface. whether the gun's controls are laid out logically, whether the grip is big or small, whether it's balanced or not... things that will be the same on every single copy of a gun.

Asking people who have owned and used an item of interest is probably the best way to learn about it.

this is the truth. you need a large sample size to come to any conclusion. read reviews with a grain of salt.

as a disclaimer, i don't mean this to apply to extreme circumstances of poorly made guns. but in an age where a $100 hi-point can be realistically considered reliable, most guns that you see sitting on a shelf will not be true pieces of junk.

RPCVYemen
September 19, 2008, 04:33 PM
I've been subscribing to Gun Tests for 14 years because I've always believed in their veracity when they claim(ala Consumer Reports)that they buy all the firearms they test.

Yeah, that why it seemed to me that the question about whether or not NavajoNPaleFace's post was true or not seems pretty important.

I used to subscribe to Gun Tests a long time ago, but got sort of tired of their testing of guns, pronouncing a model bad or excellent based on one copy of each examined.

I agree that's an issue - but I don't see how to solve it. If they bought 250 of each weapon and tested it, then we'd get better stats, but I couldn't afford to subscribe. :)

Asking people who have owned and used an item of interest is probably the best way to learn about it.

That makes sense - I pay attention to that.

But the problem here is most gun owners seem to me to be very committed to their purchases. Most of the brand v. brand threads on THR sound like adolescent boys - "My Vega will kick your Pinto's butt!"

I suspect that such sentiments are caused by a combination of the price of a weapon and Freudian identification that we do not want to explore.

At any rate, it seems like gun owners in general may be some of the least reliable sources for reviews. Check out the letters in the back of Gun Test when they mention a weapon malfunction! People get irate when Gun Tests dares to print something like "... pieces fell off of the Markarov , so we stopped testing ..." ! :)

Mike

RPCVYemen
September 19, 2008, 04:36 PM
How do you think Consumer Reports gets all their items to test?

It's odd that Consumer Reports has a 100% success rate when these claims are actually subject to legal review. With actual facts and stuff like that ...

Mike

Duke Junior
September 19, 2008, 06:24 PM
It's odd that Consumer Reports has a 100% success rate when these claims are actually subject to legal review. With actual facts and stuff like that ...

Mike

CR has become somewhat PC over the years,(they use to test guns,for pete's sake!)but Mr. Yemen is completely correct.Since 1936 ,CR has never tested a single product that they bought with the sellers knowledge that it was to be subsequently tested.All blind purchases.I'll take that to the bank.
That's why they've won every single court case,contesting this fact,TMK.

Zundfolge
September 19, 2008, 06:30 PM
I'd avoid GunBlast, too. As far as I can tell, every single gun out there is apparently clever, innovative, fun to shoot, worth getting...

Well that's because in reality most guns ARE well made and fun to shoot. :neener:

The GunBlast reviews tend to be overall positive which some people discount since all critics and reviewers are supposed to be uber negative and bag on everything.

I still find I get the information I need from them.

Eric F
September 19, 2008, 06:32 PM
When it first came out they sent me a "complimentry" copy and a letter saying here ya go read this in the fine print it said I had to call a 1800 number to cancell the subscription. Well 3 months later I see a note on my credit report stating I owe x amount for a magazine subscription. I reported them to the credit folks and then called the magazine. Long story short they removed the credit violation and I told them I would never try their rag again.

Caliban
September 19, 2008, 06:42 PM
gunblast causes my browser to freeze for ~15 seconds

too many banner ads

:cuss:

gunseller2
September 19, 2008, 06:43 PM
I've been subscribing to Gun Tests for years, enjoy the reviews, sometimes disagree when they tank a gun that I own and like. I get a bit baffled when the sometimes compare apples to oranges during their tests, but they are a refreshing change from most gun magazines that never met a gun that they didn't like. You know the ones that run a full page ad for a gun that was reviewed on the preceding pages.

Loosedhorse
September 19, 2008, 06:50 PM
But the problem here is most gun owners seem to me to be very committed to their purchases...I suspect that such sentiments are caused by a combination of the price of a weapon and Freudian identification that we do not want to explore.

The tendency to avoid data that tries our previous decisions, and to easily accept even suspect data that may confirm them, is a prime way that we reduce "cognitive dissonance," a term coined by Leon Festinger, not Freud. We should all be on guard for this natural tendency.

...Freud associates retarded sexual and emotional development not with gun ownership, but with fear and loathing of weapons. The probative importance that ought to be attached to the views of Freud is, of course, a matter of opinion. The point here is only that those views provide no support for the penis theory of gun ownership.
from the 1976 edition of The Fifty Minute Hour: A Collection of True Psychoanalytic Tales (1955) by Robert Mitchell Lindner

Zundfolge
September 19, 2008, 06:53 PM
gunblast causes my browser to freeze for ~15 seconds

too many banner ads

:cuss:

http://www.getfirefox.com + https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865 = Problem Solved! :D

Duke Junior
September 19, 2008, 06:53 PM
but they are a refreshing change from most gun magazines that never met a gun that they didn't like. You know the ones that run a full page ad for a gun that was reviewed on the preceding pages.

The very reason I've been a 14 year subscriber to Gun Tests.
Guns and Ammo,Handguns Mag,,Rifle Shooter,etc. never do meet a gun they don't like.

gidaeon
September 19, 2008, 06:54 PM
I am fond of reputable forums including this one for such reviews. Typically with enough research one finds fairly consistent likes and dislikes (I.E., trigger, QC ect.,) I typically disregard\filter out the highest and lowest rating ("its worthless" ... "its the best EVER") Avoid extremes, and pay attention to the people in the middle about what they like and don't like. Anyone that is supported by advertisers gets a cautious raised eyebrow :scrutiny:

Also its possible to express dislikes & disappointments without gross generalization and slander. Folk\groups who grossly do that are filtered out.

Caliban
September 19, 2008, 06:59 PM
http://www.getfirefox.com + https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865 = Problem Solved!

i already run firefox with "noscript" and "flashblock" installed, which blocks like half of the entire internet...

RPCVYemen
September 19, 2008, 07:04 PM
is a prime way that we reduce "cognitive dissonance," a term coined by Leon Festinger, not Freud.

When I spoke of a Freudian identification, I was referring to an unconscious identification of our weapons with an organ not generally presumed to be involved in cognition - though according to my wife, it may be the seat of all male cognitive processes. :)

Mike

Loosedhorse
September 19, 2008, 07:19 PM
Understood, Mike, but as my second quote points out, this is not a "Freudian" association.

Sometimes a gun is just a gun. ;)

Justin
September 19, 2008, 07:19 PM
I don't think it's possible to get an unbiased firearm review from a commercial publication.

But not for the reason most people believe- that a given magazine will tend to publish glowing reviews of products made by the companies buying ad space in the publication.

That may be true to some extent, but isn't something I have a problem with.

I fundamentally don't think it's possible to test a given firearm properly simply because it would be a very resource intensive proposition.

Even firing 1,000 rounds through just about any decently-made modern firearm is hardly more than breaking it in. In order to really do a proper review of a firearm, you would have to fire literally tens of thousands of rounds through it. The monetary cost of doing this would very quickly come to outweigh the money being paid to the reviewer to write up his article.

On top of that, how many people shoot their guns that much? The average gun owner is going to shoot maybe a couple of times a year. Heck, even someone who likes guns and shoots regularly probably isn't going to burn through more than a case or two a year.

So there's no financial incentive to really put a given firearm through serious testing for people who aren't going to really shoot their guns that much.

The bottom line is that nearly any modern, properly-made gun is built so well that they're likely to outlive their owner. Most of them are built to tolerances that make the potential accuracy of the gun better than that of the person wielding it.

Basically, no matter what gun you buy, it'll probably work just fine, so the main reason to go with this-or-that model is going to have much more to do with personal preference than anything else.


As for how I evaluate a gun? I just look for the guys whose guns have the finish just about worn off, who shoot on a continual basis, and then I ask them what they think. That's the best review you could hope for.

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