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On Gun Reviews

Sebastian offers thoughts on gun reviews from folks not dependent on advertisers vs. those from magazines that get guns to review from advertisers. Have a look and come back. Here’s the deal, a lot of gun reviews aren’t reviews. Unless someone takes a gun and puts thousands of rounds through it, carries it (in the case of handguns) for a while, and generally treats it like a gun with the inherent abuse that comes with that, it’s more like an initial impression and not so much a review. Quite a few sites do this and one of those is here.

So, barring a long term review, I tend to think of these articles as ideas on what fun toys to buy. For instance, long time readers of this blog recall when I was like “Hey, this AK is sweet” and then one day, I was like “I’ve decided I don’t like AKs”. Or they recall when I said that the EOTech was awesome and then, later, said it’s still awesome but it’s probably less practical and dependable than an Aimpoint.

When it comes to gun things, look at guns in which there is a lot of long term info on them, if you want to buy something that your life will depend on. If you want a fun toy whose long term reliability is still up in the air, then check out the reviews of guns that are only a few weeks or months old.

Don’t get me wrong. I love a fun toy but I treat it like that’s what it is. I still have a Glock and a M&P9. And a Colt 6920. Because I know they work pretty damn well.

4 Responses to “On Gun Reviews”

  1. Rivrdog Says:

    You can diss the limited “amateur” gun reviews, but you can’t ignore the buddy-buddy relationships between the manufacturers and pro writers. Paid trips, free ammo, staff there to support the guns, all very cozy. The gun blogger who buys a new model and puts it through it’s paces on his/her own dime may not shoot “thousands of rounds”, but they can keep track of gun faults and not “forget” malfunctions or hand underperforming guns to the company gunplumber waiting right behind those pros when they shoot.

    The Remington R51 is a current example. The pros gave it a 5-star review in early January. Since then, the guns have hit the street with less than stellar reviews from the non-pro reviewers such as myself. How could the pros overlook the crappy magazines which came with the pistols? How about the fact that my example was factory-lubed with gobs of white lithium grease, not advised in the manual? How about a gun with metal shavings inside the firing pin channel which stopped it within 75 rounds? How about the manual having no instructions on stripping the bolt assembly for detailed cleaning of those metal shavings? Yes, this is the same pistol that the assembled reviewer-royalty at Gunsite Academy said was so reliable.

    It’s hard for me to believe a professional gun reviewer ever again.

  2. CHRIS Says:

    if in the market to purchase or doing research for a potential purchase,to rely on just one review is silly,when reading multiple reviews if there is a common problem ie:gun doesnt function well after 50 shots ……if that sentiment is common thread well ,you may want to consider that that guns has a common problem. do research and use common sense,and read as many reviews from ppl whom actually own or have time with a certain product.

  3. Robb Allen Says:

    This is why I don’t do reviews any more for guns. I actually own 3 firearms through reviews, so the best review I can give is “Hell, I bought the damned thing”, but I don’t feel right reviewing a firearm that I simply don’t have 6 months of constant shooting with to really give a valid impression.

    Granted, many of the reviews are nothing more than SEO for these companies. It’s worth giving a blogger with a bit of street-cred the writer’s price on a fancy gun. Plus, as CHRIS says above, it’s not a single review that really helps, but a series of people saying “I like this” or “I don’t like this” that can sway a person’s decision.

    And if they base it off 1 blogger’s review, they get what they deserve.

  4. Lyle Says:

    Reviews on commercial sites usually consist of some variation of; “It arrived quickly and it looks GREAT! I can’t wait to try it.”

    My favorite though was; “I only gave it three stars because I have yet to fire it.”

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