View Full Version : New Rifle Forum Format (merged threads)

April 29, 2012, 12:29 AM
To me it makes more sense to split the rifle section by rimfire/centerfire than action. Maybe no one else agrees though. Not sure I like the new split. Seems like most of the posts are more general but end up in the forum related to the specific rifle the person happens to be using. Things like "what is the best 308 round to hunt deer" in semi-auto because the guy is using an AR-10(just a hypothetical example).

Shane Tuttle
April 29, 2012, 02:00 AM
Although a valid point, fellow Staff members have brainstormed, theorized, and outright beat our own brains in on what would be the best compromise when splitting up the Rifle forum. Your idea was brought up in the process and was voted down.

Counterpoint: "Is "X" cartridge your go-to for medium sized varmint or "Y" cartridge?" Now, you have mixed discussion regarding two different specific cartridges. Do we make a "Y" subforum as well? If so, do we make scores of subforums for specific cartridges or sizes? We came to the conclusion that keeping the subforums general in manner reduces clutter.

Suggestion is appreciated, mind you.

April 29, 2012, 03:44 PM
Wondered if anyone else misses the mixed forum on Bolts, semi auto etc?

I liked being abel to see the mix without having to go to multiple forums.

I think it was a mistake.

Wondered how others feel

April 29, 2012, 04:04 PM
I liked the mix too. I think it was a certain set complaining about AR post really. You lose a huge bit of knowledge base when you segregate rifles... And there's less chance of an AR vs LeverAction argument. But its 15 viewers in semi, 15 viewers in lever/bolt/etc and 300 in general. Lol.

April 29, 2012, 04:04 PM
I'd have rather seen a AR / Military only style forum, and left the rest to one forum.

April 29, 2012, 04:58 PM
Wouldn't best caliber for deer go under hunting anyway?

It seems no matter which way you split it, there's going to be an x variable that can fit between. Some forums have an AR only section, which makes the most sense to me, simply because the AR is the one most people seem to love or hate, promote or complain about. But with ARs you get AKs, ACRs, the whole shebang...and well its just complicated. Semi's and everything else seems the best, but people don't post in the right forums anyway. Optic reviews in the rifle section, bullet comparisons in the rifle section, etc.

April 29, 2012, 07:26 PM
I do too, I liked it better the ol way.

April 29, 2012, 11:12 PM
Me three!

April 29, 2012, 11:29 PM
I vote put it back to just one forum! Now I have to look at two forums to make sure I don't miss anything on bolt rifles, the reason I come to the forum. And I would also prefer that the semi's were put back in because I like reading about those too.

B. Lahey
April 30, 2012, 12:12 AM
I liked it the old way better as well.

April 30, 2012, 12:23 AM
the mods should start a poll, where everyone gets a vote.....I vote the old way.

April 30, 2012, 12:25 AM
I hear you guys. I'm a lever action man to the bone, an AR guy by profession and a bolt action guy as the need arises. I understand there were a number of requests for separate rifle forums. The decision to separate them was apparently made just about simultaneous to my joining the staff. The two events are unrelated.

Let it roll for awhile & see how it works out. I'm hoping this stays open for a few days, so all can be heard.

Mal H
April 30, 2012, 12:25 AM
We're listening, keep the comments coming. Maybe I will indeed start a poll on it tomorrow, and trust me, I hate polls.

As you can tell from the post timestamps, Sarge and I were simulposting. ;)

April 30, 2012, 12:26 AM
LOL Mal, I think we double-tapped ;)

April 30, 2012, 07:50 AM
Well, honestly I don't think the split is positive. It isn't a big thing, but I just don't see the difference between the rifle types coming into play like revolvers and semi-autos. I am sure it will work. If the problem was one forum becoming unwieldy then I understand completely.

I think the tactics training being in pistol only is stranger.

April 30, 2012, 07:55 AM
I actually agree it makes more sense to split tactical/hunting/target, but those all mix a lot also.

As I posted elsewhere, unless managing it all was a problem I am not sure why the change was made.

Revolvers and semis are a lot different. How you shoot them is different in many cases. Reloading is important and much different. It just doesn't seme to vary that much for rifles to me. I can pick up pretty much all of them and shoot them as well as any other, reloading doesn't seem as important, all the types use the same triggers, etc.

Mike Irwin
April 30, 2012, 08:28 AM
"I actually agree it makes more sense to split tactical/hunting/target, but those all mix a lot also."

Exactly, which is why we didn't try use that sort of nebulous, ill-defined, and constantly changing benchmark to set the sections.

Quite literally, one person's tactical is another person's horrendous-embarassment-before-man-and-God-with-97-pieces-of-bolt-on-crap rifle. :p

And if I DO have a "tactical" rifle, but I want to use it for hunting or target shooting, where should that be posted?

Mechanism type is a LOT clearer, simply because you're not going to have a lever-actuated semi-automatic single shot bolt action.

Yes, you can have some hybrids in there, like a Ballard single-shot lever action, or a bolt-action AR-15 type, but those are dramatic exceptions that, in this case, do not prove the rule.

Similarly, at its very heart, TFL is a generalist's forum, and because we've chosen to be a forum about the entirety of the firearms universe, we're not going to start sprouting firearm-specific forums.

Yes, we know that people really would like an AR-15 only forum, or a Glock only forum, or a 1911 only forum, but that's simply not going to happen.

Mike Irwin
April 30, 2012, 08:32 AM
"Wouldn't best caliber for deer go under hunting anyway?"

No, not necessarily.

That kind of topic is one that we consider to be equally at home in either the Art of the Rifle OR the Hunt sections.

And, since we have two threads going on this topic right now, I'm going to merge them.

April 30, 2012, 12:43 PM
It seems to me that there is now consistency between the pistol & rifle forums. In some ways a good thing in others maybe not so good.

I don't know how long the pistol section has been divided into "general", "revolver", & "semi auto" but it seems however long it has been folks still post pretty darn much everything into "general"!


Who knows, too lazy to read maybe?

It just seems to me that the consistency is good, but the use of the 3 sub forums in rifle is just asking for a similar mess as the pistol section seems to have as an ongoing problem. Maybe the opposite is needed, combining the differing sub sections into a simpler "Rifles" & "Pistols" would cure the posting issue while retaining consistency?

Mike Irwin
April 30, 2012, 01:26 PM
"I don't know how long the pistol section has been divided into "general", "revolver", & "semi auto" but it seems however long it has been folks still post pretty darn much everything into "general"!"

It's been about 12, maybe 13 years.

And yes, some people simply dump anything they want into General despite the fact that we also have revolver and pistol forums.

That's why I came up with this:


Every member was supposed to have read that. It was made a general announcement when it was rolled out last year. New members are supposed to read it when they join. It's a pop up. Seems like a significant number of them simply click the red X and close it.

They're the ones who then scream bloody murder when they come back to find that I've closed their thread because it's posted in the wrong forum.

Is it foolproof?


Short of active moderation of every post before it shows up on the forum, would anything be foolproof (as in remerging the handgun forums and remerging the rifle forums?)

Don't make me laugh.

A small but frustrating number of posters will go out of their way to IGNORE the handgun, rifle, shotgun, etc. forums and post their topic specific question in the General Discussion forum.

Whether or not the rifle forum mods choose to employ a similar strategy is up to them.

And then there's the ones who make us scream and pull our hair out. They go all the way down to the forum titled Site Questions and Tech Support (NON-FIREARMS) to ask a firearms question.


The primary reason why the handguns forum was broken out was because it was too active. A new post could drop off the front page literally in a matter of minutes, and in a matter of hours be several pages deep.

It was very frustrating trying to keep up.

By splitting the forums out, it makes it a lot easier to keep track of threads.

We're not going backwards any time soon.

April 30, 2012, 01:57 PM
Easy fix.
Just merge and remove the "General"

Mike Irwin
April 30, 2012, 04:48 PM
Well, I guess that long post was largely for nothing...

Probably the truest fix?

Immediately ban anyone who posts in the wrong forum.

Of course, in about two weeks we'd probably cleave about a third of our membership away.

April 30, 2012, 10:16 PM
Interesting discussion. Its true you'll never keep everyone happy.

Either way it works out, I'll stick around. ;) Still the best gun forum on the net.

April 30, 2012, 10:52 PM
Agreed fully on the above.

For some reason I find the pistol split works.

Rifles, I liked the mix. Yea I can still get it, but its lost the flavor.

Understand its a tough one to manage, but would vote for the combined still.

Not a big hissy fit and walk off or anything like that, just a preference to be noted and maybe re-considered.

Let er roll and have a poll in 3 months?

May 1, 2012, 09:50 AM
I like the old mixed forum, I feel this way I am missing out on some threads.

Or maybe you could sticky thread some of the very common issues such as; Mosin Nagant sticking bolt, deer rifle cartridge .....or...... the best way to hit something with a mini14 is to throw it at the Target.:D

ADDED; with the general and semi auto forums, it seem almost as two semi auto forums.

Mike Irwin
May 1, 2012, 11:33 AM
"with the general and semi auto forums, it seem almost as two semi auto forums."

It's only been a couple of days. Let's let things settle down a little and I'm sure that will change.

May 1, 2012, 01:44 PM
You're right we will probly get used to it

Evan Thomas
May 1, 2012, 03:31 PM
As I write this, according to the statistics on the main forums page, the following numbers of people are viewing the rifle and handgun forums:

General Handgun: 88
Revolver: 116
Semi-automatic: 349

General Rifle: 299
Bolt, etc.: 6
Semi-automatic: 8

This suggests to me that the split makes sense for handguns, where large numbers of people seem to be specifically interested in one or the other action type. But in the rifle forums, where almost all the interest seems to be in general topics -- I don't see the point of the division.

And anyway, I liked the old, inclusive forum better. I'm less interested in semi-automatic rifles, so I'm tending to skip over that forum -- but under the old format, I'd sometimes open such a thread and learn something I hadn't known. Now I have to open that forum page and scan a whole separate list, just on the off-chance something might catch my eye...

Put back, say I.

Mike Irwin
May 1, 2012, 04:33 PM
Those huge disparities in viewers for a forum?

Most of those "viewing" the forum are automated processes from Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the like.

They're pulling information for search engines.

They're not humans.

May 1, 2012, 06:50 PM
Personally I liked it better the old way also. Doesn't mean the old way was better, it's just that I liked being able to find any rifle related material in one place. I'm sure in time we'll all get used to the new layout as I'm sure the handgunners had to do when they split that section.


May 1, 2012, 11:37 PM
Please merge the rifle forums back together.

It's nice to just be able to read though the rifle posts without having to jump through 2 different forums. Especially when you aren't looking for something in particular, but are just browsing to expand your knowledge.

May 2, 2012, 10:56 AM
We're not going backwards any time soon.
Based on that It seems pretty much a done deal to me.
No point in commenting further as it is their forum & we're just guests so its their site their rules.

Mike Irwin
May 2, 2012, 11:19 AM
"Based on that It seems pretty much a done deal to me." -- WRONG!


My post, from which you picked a single sentence upon which to turn your entire focus, is not saying that the rifle forums are a done deal.

The post discusses the rational behind the handgun forums being split and the reason for taking the stance that we do in closing threads that are posted in the wrong forum as a means of addressing a previous poster's comment.

That post is NOT, in any way, shape, or form, telling people that the partitioned rifle forum is here to stay.

Please disabuse yourself of that notion, because it is absolutely 100% incorrect.

Just about any change to TFL comes with a "trial period" in which staff keeps track of user acceptance and feedback.

Right now, all we are asking for is that people DON'T reflexively scream "OH GODS WE HATES IT, OUR PRECIOUS HAS CHANGED WE HATES IT WE HATES IT!"

Give it a chance, work with it for awhile. If member consensus is negative enough, it could very well be changed back to a single forum.

But staff is NOT, based on the short-term impressions of what, about 20 members who have posted here, going to do a 180 reversal on something that has been rolled out for less than a damned week.

Mal H
May 2, 2012, 11:21 AM
Do not equate that statement with "done deal". The key words in Mike's statement are "any time soon". We do want to give it a try for a while, but to go back to the old way immediately when we've only heard from a handful of members would be just as irresponsible as going forward with a change when asked to do so from only a handful. We got a lot of requests to breakout the rifles forums from many members over the years.

Nothing here at TFL is set in stone.

Mike and I were obviously simulposting, and so the message is now doubly clear.

Evan Thomas
May 2, 2012, 12:10 PM
Those huge disparities in viewers for a forum?

Most of those "viewing" the forum are automated processes from Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the like.

They're pulling information for search engines.

They're not humans.

The discrepancies in those numbers are quite consistent, over time. For example, there always seem to be about 10 times the "viewers" in the semi-automatic handgun forum as in Tactics and Training; how curious that bots find semi-automatic pistols so very interesting.

One wonders why that would be so, if it's not somehow correlated with the interests of the "do we not bleed?" crowd... :confused:

Mike Irwin
May 2, 2012, 12:24 PM
"The discrepancies in those numbers are quite consistent, over time."

So, how much time are you observing?

The simple fact that they are consistent is a pretty solid indication that these are, in fact, regularly scheduled crawlers and not humans. Human patterns would tend to vary considerably.

They will target the forums that are most active.

At least that's how I understand them to work.

Evan Thomas
May 2, 2012, 01:15 PM
So, how much time are you observing?
At least a couple of years...

I started noticing those numbers, on the perhaps naive assumption that they reflected visits by actual humans, because I'm interested in the way that many people find hardware an end in itself: guns, woodworking equipment, whatever, are more interesting to them than the uses to which those things are put.

Even if you look at a different measure -- numbers of threads over time -- there's way more activity in the various hardware forums than in forums like Tactics and Training or Lock and Load, which tend to be more, um, process-oriented than stuff-oriented. Far more people have "what gun?" questions than have "how do I shoot better?" questions. Granted that the latter also show up in what I'm calling "hardware" forums -- there are still way more threads focused on which gun, ammo, or accessory is best for a particular purpose. (It's encouraging, though, that much of the time some Wise One jumps in and says "Duh! The one you shoot best," or "Don't accessorize it, just go shoot the heck out of it.")

They will target the forums that are most active.
So perhaps they are a valid measure of the relative popularity of those forums... ;)

Capt. Charlie
May 2, 2012, 02:39 PM
As I write this, according to the statistics on the main forums page, the following numbers of people are viewing the rifle and handgun forums:

General Handgun: 88
Revolver: 116
Semi-automatic: 349

General Rifle: 299
Bolt, etc.: 6
Semi-automatic: 8

I think the lack of viewers in Bolt, etc. and Semi-autos is due to the lack of posts. Note that General has over 56,000 posts, while Bolts, etc. has only 85 and semi's 112 (as of this post).

Given a little time, I believe you'll see that, as the number of posts increases, so will the number of viewers. I think it's worthwhile to give it a chance to build up steam.

May 2, 2012, 05:34 PM
I liked the mix. I own a mix and sometimes, it's nice when a post catches your eye that you wouldn't normally read. I kind of liked the 'one stop shopping' for rifles.

May 2, 2012, 07:43 PM
I still like the old way better.

But, what Mike days has some credence. I think back a few years, even before I became a member, I Googled different things and basically led to this forum and others. Since most of the older posts still reside in the general forum, then most of the Google searches and others are gonna lead to the general forum. That's the same way the 10 year old threads get resurrected.

Mal H
May 2, 2012, 08:19 PM
Rickyrick hit it on the nose concerning the numbers viewing the individual forums. At this time the numbers viewing are: Currently Active Users: 1887 (221 members and 1666 guests)

Of that 1666 guests a high percentage got here by following links from Google, Yahoo!, etc. Of the ones who followed a link to a rifle topic, almost all of them are going to be in the general rifle forum.

It doesn't matter what the numbers are anyway. We will not be basing a decision based in any way on viewer counts in the various forums.

Mike Irwin
May 3, 2012, 06:29 AM
"At least a couple of years..."

I've got you by almost a decade. :p

May 3, 2012, 06:53 AM
I've recently seen a new problem. People ask about a scope for xxx rifle in general, and it gets moved to whatever action type that rifle is. Should scope questions either be left in general or moved to the gear section? I'm sure most the problems will get ironed out once everyone gets adjusted to the new way and a SOP gets set up.

And I take back my vote for the old way, at least if someone ask about an AR they wont get 4 "not another AR post!"

Mike Irwin
May 3, 2012, 08:33 AM
That's one of the things that we're trying to iron out, Semi. By the way, its not just a question in the rifle forums, either, we struggle with the same issue in the handgun forums.

We'll get there!

OK, that said....

We've had a lot of good feedback and discussion in this thread so far, and I want to thank everyone for it on behalf of all of the mods.

Right now it looks like there's overwhelming desire to return to the old forums.

But, I truly believe that at THIS time that's something of a mirage. People simply don't have enough time with the new format. As I noted above, we truly want feedback based on use, not a reflexive reaction to change (I'm VERY much a change is BAD BAD BAD! kind of person, so I can relate).

So, here's what's going to happen right now....

1. I'm going to close this thread. It's allowed everyone to get their initial thoughts about the new rifle forums layout (and more than a few of mine about the handgun forums layout!) off their chests.

2. Any new threads that pop up will be closed and the posters directed to read this thread.

3. There's going to be a trial period for the new format. We've not decided how long that's going to be yet, but it will be more than a few days. During that time staff is going to work on getting things ironed out with where posts will go when they're talking about gear and not just a rifle, etc.

4. At some point we'll post a poll open to all TFL members to get their feedback on whether the new forum arrangement works, or whether it should be reverted back to one big rifles forum.

So, bear with us, folks.