I have already been reading gun magazines off and on regarding 20 years and have come to the conclusion that will gun articles are just thinly veiled advertisements for the industry. At one particular point, I subscribed to 7 monthly gun magazines at the same time with regard to 6 years. It was during this six year period, I began to notice several interesting problems in the gun posts I read and I would like to get on my soap box and get them off my chest.
I activated to and read gun magazines because I am very interested in handguns and rifles and have owned and traded many over a twenty 12 months period. I subscribed to and read the gun magazines to gain understanding, and look to experts with more encounter then me for advice or even recommendations. Now the writers’ within the gun magazines and the gun magazines themselves try to give the impression which they do product evaluations of weapons and other related accessories. Some even state they are writing the article specifically to check the gun or ammunition for your readers benefit.
Now back in university, when you said you were going to perform a test and evaluation, that required particular protocols to ensure that the results were not unwarranted, but were valid and repeatable. Now, the only way to give results along with any validity is proper “research design”. Unless the testing process offers barriers against any unknown factors, tester bias and maintains constant methods, the entire procedure and results are useless. Good research design is not that hard and can be done with somewhat planning. Unfortunately the gun authors often stumble on the first action.
For example , gun writers often start a test and evaluation article by saying that a particular gun was mailed to them for testing by the manufacturer so that they grabbed what ever ammunition was offered or called an ammunition manufacturer for some more free ammunition. If you feel about this for a minute you will realize immediately that there is already inconsistency in the ammunition tested, and a potential turmoil of interest in the results. Ammunition is really a key factor in how in how a gun performs.
A 230 materials. 45 caliber cartridge from Winchester is not the same as a 230 wheat. 45 caliber cartridge from Fantastic Saber. A given cartridge consists of a number of parts such as the bullet, powder, metal case and primer. A change in any one component can drastically impact the accuracy and performance of the topic. Additionally , if the gun writer phone calls up an ammunition company plus requests free ammunition, there is an issue of interest here. Can I trust the gun writer to give me a good evaluation of the cartridges performance? In the event that he gives a bad review, will the company stop sending him totally free ammunition? Would you give free things to some one who gave you a poor review a year ago?
Moreover, if you check Gun A with a 5 various brands of bullets of various weights and types and then compare it to a test of Gun B based on a brands of ammunition of different weights and types, is the comparison valid? I often find it amusing that they give an impression of trying to be serious and precise when the basis study design testing procedure is so problematic, the results are not valid.
The weapon articles also tend to just be traditionally puff pieces instead of concise and reviews of the product. I frequently try and guess in what paragraph the writer will actually begin to directly talk about the product or what the thesis of the article is. In a small group of writers, I may find the actual beginning of the article in the second or third paragraph, but for the majority of weapon writers I find the actual write-up starts in the 10th or more paragraph. The first ten paragraphs were private opinion on life, the shooting publics’ perceptions of hand weapons or some Walter Mitty imagine being in a dangerous spot where you can count on the product that is the subject of the post.
Next time you read a gun post read it from the point of view of a good editor. Does the writer tell me what the object of the write-up is in the first paragraph, and make a position or opinion? How much real relevant information directly related to the item is in the article versus fluff plus filler about other topics. In case you hi-light in yellow the facts plus key points of the article you will be amazed how much filler there is and how a lot text you could delete and make the article shorter and better.
I use even read some articles where the author even states that they simply received the gun and had been excited to test the gun immediately. So they grabbed what ever ammunition was available and went to the range. Some even say they didn’t have a particular brand or the type they preferred at home so they could not test the particular gun with that ammunition.
At this point you have to laugh. When I read statements such as this I find myself saying to the article ” Then go buy some! ” or “Delay quality until the desired ammunition can be obtained”. Duh!
Then when the writers reaches the range they all test fire the particular guns differently. Even writers for the similar magazine do not have similar testing protocols.
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They test at different temperature ranges, benches, and gun rests. Several will test with Ransom Sits and some do not. The best laughs We get are from the writers that refer to themselves as old geezers with bad eye sight. After acknowledging their bad eyesight, they then go to shoot the gun for precision and give an opinion on how well the gun shot!
Now, I do not know about you, but if I was that gun manufacturer, I would not want my brand new gun to be evaluated by some self described person with poor eye sight. Moreover the magazines them selves should try to establish some testing protocols and younger shooters to do the testing.
Now after the shooting at the variety, the writer says the weapon shoots well and then describes their six shots into a 4 ” circle at 24 yards or even some similar grouping. Ok, We are thinking, what does this 4 inch group represent, given the inconsistency in testing procedures? Is this four inch group a result of the good or bad ammunition, the guns inherent accuracy/inaccuracy or the shooters bad eyesight or all three? If most three factors are involved, what does the four inch group really represent?
Finally, after reading hundreds of articles, I can’t ever recall reading an article where the writer said the gun was obviously a bad design, the finish was bad, and that they would not recommend it. Actually on guns that are on the low end of a product line or are from manufactures that make junk guns, no negative reviews, if earned, are ever given. Especially if the accuracy resembles more of a shot gun pattern, the writer often states “the gun displayed good battle accuracy”. Since most shootings occur at about 3 to 8 ft, this means the gun will strike your 30 inch wide attacker at 5 feet away. (I hope so! ) They will not state the gun is a piece of rubbish that could not hit an 6 inch target at 15 yards if your life depended on it.
The reason why? Because gun writers and the periodicals do not buy the guns they check, they get free test models. Just “Gun Tests” magazine buys their own guns. So the writers have to say just good things about the gun and lower play negatives, or the manufacturer “Black Balls” them from future weapons. The disservice is you, the consumer. You receive faulty reviews.
How do you trust whichever the writer is saying? For me, I actually do not. In fact , I pretty much let all my subscriptions run out years ago, aside from American Rifleman.
Now, I study mostly read articles on historical guns. Not articles trying to SELL myself on a gun, sight, laser, or even certain bullet.
Repetition to Passing away is also another gripe of my own. Over the years, not that many truly new gun models have come out. Mostly manufacturs’ will issue an existing weapon with a new color, night sights, finish or some other minor feature. The problem is the gun magazines and writers treat the new gun color as though it’s the best thing since sliced bread and write a four web page article. These articles are usually the particular articles that contain information that is 95% rehash of information already said for years about the particular gun. Usually in these four page articles only two paragraphs is actually new information or even interesting.
The gun magazines also tend to repeat articles about the same gun in the same year and every single year. The 1911 is a great example. Start keeping track of the number of times the 1911 model is the subject of posts in gun magazines each and every 30 days. Now the 1911 came out in 1911, and has been written about ever since. Is there really anything out there not known about the 1911? If a new function on the 1911 is created, does it WARRANT a four page article on the “feature” that could easily be adequately described in a few paragraphs?