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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been reading a lot of gun mags lately, and one thing I've noticed they all have in common is a tendency to heap praise on just about any new gun, accessory, ammo, etc. that comes out. I can't honestly recall seeing a single negative review. Just like with any other type of product with multiple manufacturers with various types and models, they can't all be pie in the sky.

There was one Taurus revolver in particular I was mildly interested in that I read positive reviews about in a gun mag, and when I finally got to examine one personally in a LGS, I was appalled by the obvious lack of quality.

Besides being over priced, it was crudely finished, with rough edges and a trigger that pinched my finger a bit when I pulled it. When I spun the cylinder the ejector rod was noticeably bent. I also noticed that the rubber grip had gaps in it towards the bottom. The gun both looked and felt like a cheap, piece of crap.

I'm no firearms expert, but I have an eye for quality in general, and I can't believe that experienced gun enthusiasts could possibly say anything good about this gun with a straight face. It seems it is not possible to give a truly non-biased opinion about a product as long as you are bought and paid for by advertising.

As much as I like to drool at advertisements, I also want some meaningful, unbiased reviews once in a while.
Are there any publications or online sites you can recommend that are a bit more honest in their assessments?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If firearms companies regularly sent you free guns to review, how critical would you be?
In all seriousness, I couldn't in good conscience recommend what I felt was a lousy firearm for SD/HD to anyone regardless of the perks.

Peoples very lives may be on the line here.
 

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Ausmerican.
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In all seriousness, I couldn't in good conscience recommend what I felt was a lousy firearm for SD/HD to anyone regardless of the perks.

Peoples very lives may be on the line here.
They are not all like us here mate.
 

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As my oft quoted Grandpa used to say "Believe only half of what you read, and none of what you hear. Make sure all of what you speak is true"!
 

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First thing I do is look who is advertising in a magazine or on a website. You can reliably predict the objectivity of reviews from that. I agree, magazines are the worst. Typically, they're just a vehicle for advertising, often with more pages of advertising than content and, oh gee, you get to pay $5 for the privilege of recycling them after digging out a couple of articles buried in pages of advertising.

Online reviews are a mixed bag. Some such as the Truth about Guns and Real Guns are pretty decent in that reviewers take gun companies to task when needed. Yahoo reviews, with notable exceptions like Hickock45 are typically bleak in terms of substance or competence. Only qualification needed is owning a video camera.
 

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Yeah, I've got to go with YouTube and the Internet for some more truthful or realistic information about guns. One thing's for sure, on the Internet you'll certainly find out the flaws or perceived flaws in a gun.

Hickok45 is one of my favorites, but he has a different style than most gun reviewers. He likes most anything that shoots, but he will go over his likes and dislikes. I pretty much agree with him on most things... except when it comes to Glocks. Honestly, I don't know what people see in them.
 

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The only gun mag I read is Wolfe Publishing's Handloader. It is the best here is.
I read Guns & Ammo and especially like Patrick Sweeney's articles. I read a few others, but mainly I look at the pictures unless it's something I'm really interested in buying.
 

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Gun mags are one giant advertisement where whatever product they review is the best thing since sliced bread, so you better go buy one.
 

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Usually the introduction of a new gun by a magazine goes along with a gift of those new guns that are hand picked and finished (no bad guns in the writer's hands in the first place). and notice a full page ad or two by the very same company.

There are a couple of sites/publishers that obtain their guns the way you or I would and that's by having their local gun dealer get them one and that's the one they test and write up in their article. Gun Tests is one place I seem to recall and there are more. Just see that they buy their own guns and do not derive their subsistence from advertising. Smithy.
 

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Most gun mags are just print versions of the infomercials you see on TV. The only two I subscribe to now are American Handgunner and Guns. They seem to be pretty straightforward. For the real skinny, though, just Google the firearm you're interested in and read actual user reports. Warts and all.
 

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I've read both good & bad reviews in gun magazines. That's were I first heard Rugers aren't accurate. Sure am glad I don't believe everything I read.
 

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If I'm inteterested in buying a new firearm, I head to youtube first. I would agree that the most honest gun reviews I rely on are from the owners themselves. I based a big part of my decision to buy my SR9 by just watching videos. From there its off to the gun shop for some hands on.
 

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Some of my other passions include Cigars and Photography. Those magazines are accused of the same thing. Any magazine that takes in advertising dollars is going to be subject to scrutiny of their impartiality.

Bottom line is that any review is a source of information. I have never bought a gun that I didn't handle first. Of course you can't tell how well it shoots, but you can tell a lot by how it feels, how the slide/cylinder work, the trigger, etc. I also google the gun, putting higher weight on certain sites such as this forum, S&W forum, The Truth About Guns, Gunblast, Hickock45, etc.

My LGS has offered several times to order something for me. Sorry, but if you want my money up front, I want to hold it and compare it to other options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
First thing I do is look who is advertising in a magazine or on a website. You can reliably predict the objectivity of reviews from that. I agree, magazines are the worst. Typically, they're just a vehicle for advertising, often with more pages of advertising than content and, oh gee, you get to pay $5 for the privilege of recycling them after digging out a couple of articles buried in pages of advertising.

Online reviews are a mixed bag. Some such as the Truth about Guns and Real Guns are pretty decent in that reviewers take gun companies to task when needed. Yahoo reviews, with notable exceptions like Hickock45 are typically bleak in terms of substance or competence. Only qualification needed is owning a video camera.
Hickock45 is great! I've watched him a lot and learned much, but he seems to enjoy anything that shoots. I've never heard him say anything really negative about a certain gun. I suppose he has to watch what he says due the possibility of litigation or something.

Youtube can be very useful if you weed out all the idiots, but they don't always have much info on all the latest guns coming out.
 
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