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Old April 27, 2019, 10:54 AM   #1
stinkeypete
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Gun reviewers I take seriously... and not.

Being a gun reviewer must be a tough job.

On one hand, your reputation is crucial. On the other hand, you have to make money and keep your sponsors happy.

Hickock 45. I like his reviews. He shows the gun in his hands, shows how they shoot at assorted plinking ranges, and shoots once or twice at an 80 yard gong. Basically the gun can hit the gong on the first shot or it doesn’t. Often disassembled and compared to other stuff, and I get Hickock’s opinion if he likes it or not. Malfunctions are shown. I like the presentations all being about the same, on the same range.

About the only negative is he’s a big tall man so his impressions about size might not match mine.

Jeff Quinn. Another great homespun reviewer. I suspect Jeff knows a lot about the firearms industry. His videos clearly have a much higher production value, great music. He’s another big guy, but I still get a lot of information seeing guns in his hands and being fired.

I like that he does ransom rest tests, too. Jeff Quinn always has something good to say about anything he reviews, yet I can still tell those he really likes a lot.

Negatives? I think if Jeff doesn’t like it, he simply doesn’t review it. That’s not really negative. I trust his opinions.

Jerry Miculek... I just watched his review of the Glock 42. The review starts out very funny, then I threw up my hands and started shouting at the video.

The gun is shooting left, and Jerry Miculek says he is probably holding the gun wrong or his trigger control is poor, or because he has a bandaid on. No. I don’t buy that for an instant, he’s a Jerry Fning Miculek and that gun needs it’s rear sight drifted. This is being too nice to the manufacturer. He’s able to compensate for the error and is being too “nice” about it.

Jerry shows he can shoot it real fast. I shout at the screen again. Jerry can probably shoot a Contender real fast. I bet he can run out to the parking lot, steal wheel weights, cast round balls and win a competition with a Ruger Old Army. Even discussing competition speed guns, “Jerry can shoot this thing really fast” is meaningless.

Jerry has a failure to feed. “I probably caused that or broke the gun somehow by being clumsy.” Once, maybe. Second time? No. Still he claims that it’s probably his fault. If anyone else said Jerry Miculek was causing failure to feeds, we would all shout at them. By the end, it’s become “there must be some engineering principle of design I don’t understand.” Jerry struggles to say “it’s got a failure to feed issue” in a way that’s so “nice” I can’t stand it.

Jerry chronographs various ammunition. Meh. Big deal. What comes up is some ammo really doesn’t like to feed at all. Lots of chrono testing.

I forget who does the “what’s for dinner” test where they make a pistol eat every type of factory ammo they can find. That’s useful! I wish I could recall who those guys are.

Jerry shoots at a 100 yard gong in high wind with a berm that lets him see where he is missing. After a couple shots, Jerry can hit the gong. I am not impressed. Jerry could do that with a rusted old copy of a pietta copy of a navy cap and ball revolver with the sights filed off.

Jerry shoots a .357 magnum snub nose. “HooEeee!” Twice. “That’s about all the fun like that I care to do..” Jerry Miculek thinks two shots is “enough fun”? Just say it. “Ow!” Of course .357 is more power, and what Jerry Miculek can handle has nothing to do with most people.

The guy is an amazing talent. Clearly a nice guy and super knowledgeable. What he can do with a pistol tells me very little and he’s not going to say anything bad no matter how many jams he’s got. I don’t trust him to ever say “Sorry, really sorry, but this thing is rubbish. At least this one is.”

Let’s face it, I would not go one-on-one at an idpa match against Jerry unless he had to use a Contender, and even then the results are not guaranteed.

Positives- the guy is amazing.
Negatives- I don’t trust him to tell the negatives straight out and what he can do or compensate for has little to do with my skill level and the type of shooting I do. If I Shot idpa I might feel differently.

I admit I sometimes like Demolition Ranch, about all I learn is “stuff got blowed up” but it’s fun to watch.

Thanks for letting me vent.

As another thought, it’s amazing to me how the Glock 42 and Shield 380 EZ seem to have gun reviewers in confusion. It’s too big to carry in your wallet and doesn’t pack a wallop for shooting at people, so what’s it good for?

I am a weirdo that likes to walk in the woods and sometimes shoot tin cans and pinecones. I like to shoot paper targets at the range. I’ve already satisfied my curiosity about “what’s the biggest handgun and rifle I can withstand the recoil from?” I still like shooting. I think .380 is a fine round as sort of being “the .22LR equivalent but centerfire.”
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Old April 27, 2019, 11:50 AM   #2
briandg
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There was a magazine that was published for a short time during the eighties, a simple printed thing with plain paper, no color, no ads, few pages. The guy who put it together was on a vendetta against everyone else. His reviews were terrible, his testing was terrible, and nothing that he had to say would have been useful to a serious shooter.

There are two specific examples that stand out in my memory. He printed a half page diatribe sent in by a subscriber against the ruger red label, he bought this 'bargain' shotgun and expected perfection. He ranted about the quality of the wood and finish, and about metal fit. He went spastic that the thing was poorly regulated. I think that he said that point of impact was a few inches off. How can you even know that POI is off by less than a foot with a shotgun? Should he have tried different loads? Was it even relevant to a person with his (probably low) skills? His complaint was that he had to adjust his 'aim' every time he pulled the trigger and that it interfered with his shooting. None of his other shotguns had ever been off in the sights.

He slammed ruger every way possible because they could not fix the thing to shoot with absolute accuracy regarding POI.

Well, I don't think that a rant like that belongs in a magazine, especially when it's stupid. Only calm and reasonable reviews can give honest information. The editor should not have accepted a random drive by rant about a product that is reputable and of good general quality. These reviews are sometimes deleted here.

Another review criticized a rifle because the barrel got hot quicker than he thought that it should.

Another review was of a scope, they didn't test it before the 'torture test' that they put it through. If it didn't work or was inaccurate, you can't give a fair assessment of the durability of the product.

They mounted it to a 2x4 and threw it down a rocky hill several times, they drove over the objective bell with a minivan. Hammered on the board to simulate huge recoil rounds. (hammered on the back, mind you, so it didn't really simulate recoil)

The last one may have been from something else.


A review can be biased and praise a thing while ignoring some other aspects and still be fair. Stupid, ridiculous, even useless maybe, but it can still be fair. As long as it gives facts. A person has to use his own brain before setting the money down.

If a reviewer lies, shame on him. If he neglects the fact that a gun is butt ugly, it's the buyer's job to find that. If he fudges things to make a product look better, well, it's up to the buyer to decide whether his needs will be met at the cost provided.

Tom turpin once wrote a review about a heym drilling, and panned that mechanical masterpiece because he didn't like the finish on the wood. It was too dark, finished in the old german style.

The reviewers are paid to collect readers. one of the ways to collect readers is to tell the readers positive things.
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Old April 27, 2019, 12:01 PM   #3
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I take every gun/ammo review with a grain of salt because they get paid by the manufacturer for their review. some terrible guns like that weird Remington 9mm remake of a once quality .380 gun.... it was a POS yet you can't find any paid reviews stating so. instead you find its a classic design that needs some tweaking I hope they get it right.... b.s. gun companies sometimes seem to put out guns that simply haven't had enough trials and they let the public be the beta testers.
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Old April 27, 2019, 12:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JERRYS.
I take every gun/ammo review with a grain of salt because they get paid by the manufacturer for their review.
Can you provide the source of this information?

I can't think of any gun writer who is paid by the gun manufacturers to write the reviews. In the print magazines, the writers are paid by the publisher. Absolutely, there is pressure to not say anything too horrible about a firearm you're reviewing but that's something we've known for decades. But being paid by the manufacturers would be a classic conflict of interest and I don't think any professional gun writer would accept payment from a manufacturer.

I don't know how (or if) Hickcock45 gets paid. The entire area of "Youtube monetization" is something I know less than nothing about. Both Hicock45 and Jeff Quinn have achieved sufficient popularity that the industry regards them as "professionals." Companies send guns to Hickock45 at no cost to him -- but he has to send them back after the tests (I think). I've seen Jeff Quinn doing interviews with manufacturers at the SHOT Show. He doesn't have a full 60 Minutes camera crew, but he's also not recording the interviews on cell phone. Just the fact that someone from a major gun maker would devote 5 or 10 minutes to Jeff out of a busy SHOT Show schedule tells us that he's been accepted as a "professional." Like Hickock45, though, I don't know how Jeff Quinn makes money off his Youtube reviews. I'm fairly confident, though, that he is not being paid by the manufacturers.
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Old April 27, 2019, 12:45 PM   #5
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The most honest ammo reviews I have seen are from Paul Harrell. He uses the guns he owns or can borrow from friends. And he buys his own ammo, usually from local stores. If he is getting sponsor money, it doesn't show. Most of his topics come from viewer questions. He is, as far as I can tell completely honest. Watch a few videos and let us know how you feel about him.
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Old April 27, 2019, 12:48 PM   #6
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About the G42, shooting off to the side at first usage is a common report as folks need to adjust their grips from that of a double stack. That's not a big deal. Don't play with the sights until you master the grip.

Just say: Ow - what is that about? It sounds pretty clear that shooting the gun isn't fun.
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Old April 27, 2019, 01:19 PM   #7
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The guy at Lucky Gunner records some fairly objective reviews. I know he works for an ammo sales company, but that doesn't seem to stop him from being objective.

That said, when I look to make any major purchase - gun, car, computer, whatever - I look at as many reviews as I can. I know many of the reviews will be hogwash, but I gather as much information as I can. I find user reviews, as opposed to those done by professionals, to be very helpful. If a laptop computer gets 4.5 stars out of 327 reviews, it's probably a pretty good machine. Whether it will suit my needs is something only I can determine.

Hey moderators - maybe a new area here for user reviews of guns and ammo would be a good idea. There wouldn't be places for arguments or shouting matches, just posts of pros and cons based on actual use.

I enjoy creating new work for other people.
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Old April 27, 2019, 01:27 PM   #8
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big al hunter I agree about Paul Harrell. He's boring and repetitious, but he's objective, and I like his 'meat target' comparisons. He has mentioned getting donations through something called Patreon, which as far as I can tell is a way for individuals to give money so that he doesn't have to accept sponsorship from the gun industry.
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Old April 27, 2019, 01:49 PM   #9
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+1 for Paul Harrell

He seems very sensible. He's got practical stuff. I like a lot of his videos like "How to spot a fake expert" and "Best 5 pistols for beginners".

He seems oriented towards combat and self defense, so usually it's not my cup of tea. He's not afraid to examine a lot of questions, doesn't make blanket statements about what is best- he explores both sides of a discussion but then says "me, personally- this is what I do or what I like"

I just watched his "Chambered vs Unchambered" video and his conclusion really resonated with me. I'm one of those guys....

As for shooting left... I am trying to understand what Glenn said. Jerry Miculek could probably crush walnuts all day with his hand strength. Nothing I do with my grip shifts my point of aim even 4 inches at 50 feet, even shooting left handed but I think that’s because I shoot slow and use the sights. I agree grip will shift point of aim, but not 6 inches at 7 yards.

Then I thought “wait. That guy is so good and so fast, I bet he shoots instinctively. Then grip accounts for it.

However, when I watch him shoot 100 yards, he’s 6 feet to the left on the first shot. Wind matters, but the wind is blowing to the right!

As a guy sponsored by S&W, I can see he’s trying to be fair but eventually the gun just won’t run for him.

I am looking forward to a rainy day and renting a g42, shield ez, and comparing them to my Bersa.

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Old April 27, 2019, 03:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reteach
He has mentioned getting donations through something called Patreon, which as far as I can tell is a way for individuals to give money so that he doesn't have to accept sponsorship from the gun industry.
Either Patreon is relatively new, or I wasn't paying attention when it started. Your understanding is correct. Basically, Patreon allows individual viewers to become paid subscribers to someone's Youtube channel. For example, there's an aviation channel called Mentour Pilot, by a Swedish pilot who flies for Ryan Air. His videos now include a request for sponsoring him through Patreon.

Hickock45, on the other hand, does not seem to have discovered Patreon. I don't know how (or if) he monetizes his videos.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patreon
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Old April 27, 2019, 03:26 PM   #11
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I like Paul Harrell, Sootch, IraqVeteran8888, Hickock45, to name a few. I see them more as entertainment than anything. They are not the be all, end all to my decision making. I tend to watch and read many reviews and use those to make better informed decisions.
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Old April 27, 2019, 03:56 PM   #12
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Aquila, maybe the term shouldn't be 'paid.'

Of course drug companies didn't 'pay' doctors to flood the entire nation with opiods. What they did was throw so many non-monetary goodies at the doctors, such as all expense cruises that the doctors did what they wanted anyway.

When I took my kid to her doctor, a pediatrician, the table top paper was printed with the Viagra logo.

"Huh?" I asked her.
"oh, that," she said. "they give it to me for free so I use it."

There was a review for the .416 remington magnum that I read once, the guy was just as clear as he could have possibly made himself. Remington provided him with guns, ammo, and a fully paid hunt to alaska so that he could tell American gun buyers that the .416 was real good for killing moose.

He wasn't paid, he was just provided with the tools and opportunity to test the equipment. If he had complained that the rifle and ammunition sucked, remington would pick another, more positive writer next time.
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Old April 27, 2019, 05:37 PM   #13
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Here is an estimate of how much Greg Kinman (Hickock45) is now worth. As a retired shcool teacher I am pretty sure he aquired his wealth through his youtube videos. Youtube is now reportedly playing games with the posters and cutting out what there were supposed to be paid. At least according to Mike belivue (duelist1956)and several others and also shutting down some videos like those from Brush Hippie.

https://naibuzz.com/much-money-hicko...ube-net-worth/

And patreon is now a common way for viewers to support posters they like watching.

And I like Paul Harrel OK. Not like Hickock45 but still not bad. It cracks me up when he used to end his videos by saying, "don't try this at home. I am a professional youtuber". What the hell is a professional youtuber??? Do you go to college or something?

There is a guy named mixup98 I like to watch. he is in Nevada IIRC and I love the scenery there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQxCTTq_Gwg
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Old April 27, 2019, 05:44 PM   #14
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Of course drug companies didn't 'pay' doctors to flood the entire nation with opiods. What they did was throw so many non-monetary goodies at the doctors, such as all expense cruises that the doctors did what they wanted anyway.
My son's ex girlfriend is a full blown doctor that works for the drug companies as a drug rep. She is well paid with over one million in her personal bank account and she is around 35 years old. But don't call her drug rep. She will straighten you out damn quick and make it known she is a licensed doctor. And I can tell you that the drug companies grease the rails everywhere they go. If you think insurance companies are flush the drug companies make them look like pikers by comparison.
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Old April 27, 2019, 06:42 PM   #15
JERRYS.
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Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca View Post
Can you provide the source of this information?

I can't think of any gun writer who is paid by the gun manufacturers to write the reviews. In the print magazines, the writers are paid by the publisher. Absolutely, there is pressure to not say anything too horrible about a firearm you're reviewing but that's something we've known for decades. But being paid by the manufacturers would be a classic conflict of interest and I don't think any professional gun writer would accept payment from a manufacturer.

I don't know how (or if) Hickcock45 gets paid. The entire area of "Youtube monetization" is something I know less than nothing about. Both Hicock45 and Jeff Quinn have achieved sufficient popularity that the industry regards them as "professionals." Companies send guns to Hickock45 at no cost to him -- but he has to send them back after the tests (I think). I've seen Jeff Quinn doing interviews with manufacturers at the SHOT Show. He doesn't have a full 60 Minutes camera crew, but he's also not recording the interviews on cell phone. Just the fact that someone from a major gun maker would devote 5 or 10 minutes to Jeff out of a busy SHOT Show schedule tells us that he's been accepted as a "professional." Like Hickock45, though, I don't know how Jeff Quinn makes money off his Youtube reviews. I'm fairly confident, though, that he is not being paid by the manufacturers.
I misspoke then. I think that reviewers are often compensated in some way for their reviews. I often hear about ammunition being donated during a review for certain guns. I just find it suspect that published gun reviews seem to almost never have lemons, while the average Joe seems to find them easy enough.

and yeah, I too think Paul Harrell makes great videos.
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Old April 27, 2019, 06:48 PM   #16
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I have reviewed a couple of guns that came with ammunition. I certainly don't regard that as "payment." It just means I don't have to spend as much of my own money to do the test.

If it was a car test, would you say the writer was being paid by the manufacturer if they delivered a test vehicle with a full tank of gas rather than an empty tank?
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Old April 27, 2019, 06:58 PM   #17
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The only "reviews" I take seriously are some on Lucky Gunner and the pistol reliability test series that was done by Military Arms Channel (on youtube, Handgun Reliability Tests playlist).
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Old April 27, 2019, 09:37 PM   #18
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Aguila,
I like it when the car reviewers on Jalopnik disclose that as car writers they get plane fare, hotel rooms, free food and drink and track time to do a review. Sometimes they get keys to a beat up journalist test vehicle and a note to fill the tank before they turn it over to the next journalist.

Those perques add up, even if the effects are subconscious.

That’s one reason I wrote up my review of my new Bersa Thunder and has given me ideas regarding an idea I had somewhat similar to some rimfire central posts.

“Show me your NRA Slow Fire Pistol Target” was one idea. Simply put 10 shots in to the Slow Fire pistol target at whatever distance your range has... 10m, 50’, 20, 25 or 50 yard. Tell what you paid for the gun and what ammo you are using.
Then we can talk about how accurate it is, how it feels, and does it run.

Another idea was “pizza box shootout”. Take a pizza box, pace off 25 yards and post your group of 10 with a ruler. If you think that’s too far, pace off 7 yards. Give your thoughts.

My thought is that none of us care much about guys at gun stores showing bits of metal and quoting company marketing copy. We want to know if it can shoot, if it’s reliable, if it’s likeable.

My 25 yard targets got backordered. Grrr.
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Old April 27, 2019, 10:16 PM   #19
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Hickock 45 is a plinker and can be entertaining to watch but I get little information that would make me more or less likely to buy a specific firearm based on his testing. I pay the most attention to tests that shoot various ammo from a machine rest or even sandbag rests from 25 yards or greater distance. This testing is more about the firearm and has a lower shooter error factor so you can get a more objective picture of how the equipment performs. Some of the YouTube gel tests are interesting and can have some value but most YouTube videos have the most merit as entertainment.
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Old April 28, 2019, 01:09 AM   #20
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Gentleman Jerry

Miculek's pedigree and success, and I'd suggest range time and experience, likely far surpasses any of the "youtuber" gang, and possibly several of them combined. Been there, done that, and have the trophy (and the check).
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Old April 28, 2019, 01:44 AM   #21
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Paul Harrell is the best, no nonsense youtube channel out there for comparing calibers, testing ammo, testing and evaluating obscure cartridges (.22 TCM, 7.62x25), and giving honest opinions on unpopular stuff. His Hi Point video he couldn't bash the gun because it worked. The .410 video he did he had a Mossberg pump action and he basically said it was not a well made firearm, but I can't judge the entire line based on the model he received. It does make me wonder tho if as much attention is given to the .410 shotguns as the 12 gauges likely are given how many more of those Mossberg makes compared to .410.

I like InRangetv a lot, both those guys are knowledgeable, Ian especially on the historical and design engineering side, Karl more for the practical, hand on shooting part of it. They can probably come off as snobbish, but they've both around guns everyday, speaking to people in the industry, in competitions, in combat so they've heard a lot of different angles and have, IMO, been able to triangulate what's really the truth vs what's just opinions constrained by other's experiences.

Hickok doesn't review guns and is a total shill for whoever pays him to put stuff on his shooting table. The Yankee Marshall is a whiny baby who is as elitist as they come. He can be right about the NRA, right about police, but beyond that the guy has very limited or practical shooting experience.

Nutnfancy was really good 4+ years ago, but he's not as good as he use to be. I'd like to see him reduce the number of gun reviews he does and focus more on optics and accessories.

Military Arms Channel is on Paul Harrell levels and does great reviews of guns.
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Old April 28, 2019, 07:39 AM   #22
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I watch Paul Harrell, Hickock45 and LuckyGunner quite often. Mostly when they review or discuss something I have or want..and sometimes when they review some weird stuff, like that rotating, 4 barrel shotgun(?).

BUT, mostly confirms or reconfirms things I already knew from first hand experience. For instance, Paul's review of small .380s and how the LCP wasn't great but the G42 was(accurate)..

I watch MAC(MilitaryArmsChannel) sometimes too but as has been said, these are mostly entertainment, IMHO.
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Old April 28, 2019, 08:14 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkeypete
Aguila,
I like it when the car reviewers on Jalopnik disclose that as car writers they get plane fare, hotel rooms, free food and drink and track time to do a review. Sometimes they get keys to a beat up journalist test vehicle and a note to fill the tank before they turn it over to the next journalist.

Those perques add up, even if the effects are subconscious.

That’s one reason I wrote up my review of my new Bersa Thunder and has given me ideas regarding an idea I had somewhat similar to some rimfire central posts.

“Show me your NRA Slow Fire Pistol Target” was one idea. Simply put 10 shots in to the Slow Fire pistol target at whatever distance your range has... 10m, 50’, 20, 25 or 50 yard. Tell what you paid for the gun and what ammo you are using.
Then we can talk about how accurate it is, how it feels, and does it run.

Another idea was “pizza box shootout”. Take a pizza box, pace off 25 yards and post your group of 10 with a ruler. If you think that’s too far, pace off 7 yards. Give your thoughts.

My thought is that none of us care much about guys at gun stores showing bits of metal and quoting company marketing copy. We want to know if it can shoot, if it’s reliable, if it’s likeable.

My 25 yard targets got backordered. Grrr.
But that kind of accuracy demonstration won't really prove anything. I can think of 3 people that I know personally who couldn't outshoot me at 25 yards with a handgun if I gave them my Colt Competition Model in .45 ACP and I was limited to shooting my used 4" S&W Model 15 revolver in double-action. Or if we switched and they used the S&W in single-action. And the Colt cost double what the S&W did.

Similar to how I don't really pay much attention to a user review where they include something like "100% reliable after more than 200 rounds." That's not much of a reliability test. I've been shooting handguns for about 22 years now and I can't generally decide how much I like a particular pistol until I've put 500+ rounds through it. (Excluding dedicated lightweight carry guns.)

To the original post, I don't mind Hickok45, but mostly I'm just jealous of his plinking range. If I see Jeff Quinn has written about something I'm interested in purchasing, I'll stop and read it.

As for the "take no advertising" approach, Gun Tests is good for an occasional chuckle when I find their content. It makes a lot of sense to mark down the most expensive gun in a group on the basis of the cost. Or to take points off for being blue when everything else in the test is stainless. Or whatever other silly criteria they come up with, and then ignore.

I also have some key words and phrases that make me immediately shut down, close or stop reading a review. They typically involve phrases like "grip angle", "bore axis" and similar things. Yes, sure, bore axis is somewhat important, but don't tell me you can't shoot the SIG accurately because the "bore axis" is so high...
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Old April 28, 2019, 08:21 AM   #24
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Gun magazines are entertainment. They are not professional journals.

Professional competition shooters are entertainers.
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Old April 28, 2019, 08:38 AM   #25
FITASC
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Join Date: December 6, 2014
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Depends on the magazine. Both Clay Shooting USA and Shooting Sportsman are two very good magazines that cover more than guns. The gun reviewer for both is Bruce Buck whom I know personally. As a retired attorney, he can couch his criticism very well, but if you know how to read his reviews, you can tell when he doesn't like something. This only applies to shotguns.
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