Have you ever

Ok, before I kick this off, this is just my point of view and something I have noticed and base on my personal experiences…
I am a RSO, and an instructor, I have worked in 4 states. That said-
Have you ever read or come across a negative review in a gun magazine?
I personally gave up purchasing them after working/teaching at ranges, interacting with lots of people at ranges. I started to notice a trend with about a hand full of pistol manufacturers where I was consistently seeing issues people were having with their pistols. (Different issues different pistols)
I would think to myself, huh I just read an article in XYZ praising this gun, huh what is going on?
I worked with a gentlemen who worked for one of these publications and asked him what’s up with XYZ last month you all praises this pistol or it was awarded pistol of the year/month or what ever😳
I got a shoulder shrug.
Well, one good thing about you tube for people shopping for firearms seems like there are some good channels out there that are straight forward. ( Until they are kicked off).

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I’ve never trusted any gun magazines. These are not to tell what is bad, what to avoid. They mostly glorify everything.
As you mentioned, YouTube is a great source of fair reviews. You have to watch enough videos to make your own opinion - and this works the best.
Range and RSOs are also great sources to find good firearm.

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In all honesty, reviews matter very little to me in my selection process. It’s more of what I feel hands on with a gun. I was a huge 1911 guy until I started handling some Glocks with up to nearly double the capacity of a 1911 that I switched over.

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I noticed that in other publications (not related to firearms) decades ago. Apparently, you can’t get the same companies to send you out free samples AND pay for advertising in your publication each year if you tell people all the problems with their product. I remember many years ago, one computer magazine I read which actually went over problems had a negative review on one page, and the advertisement for the product on the other… They don’t exist anymore.

IMO, some larger YT firearms channels also don’t always report on issues or downplay the problems with subtle verbage. I don’t mind if they make it known they are sponsored or receive some sort of reimbursement for their review.

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Yeah I agree, we’re not getting unbiased reviews anymore. Seems like all we can trust is real life experiences people we can trust give us. It’s tough cause it seems like every pistol reviewed is flawless and“ has an excellent trigger.” I’ve even noticed a couple YT folks have gotten so lazy or confused maybe, they keep the same speech at the end and just change the name of the gun…

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I take gun reviews for their entertainment value, whether in print or YouTube videos.

My first gun rental was a Glock 19. It was meh.

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Movie industry is notorious for such. No one will pay for honesty and when someone comps you a gun, you might be more inclined to be positive about it. I don’t agree with the practice and as a semi-professional critic myself, I make sure I’m 100% forthright with all my reviews. It’s an uphill battle, but worth searching for professional people as opposed to fame hounds and people doing “reviews” for free stuff.

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Hey now! I hope that doesn’t include the Concealed Carry Magazine!!

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We get 3 magazines, the 2 NRA, and the USCCA. Enjoy reading. There are many choices and many opinions that can be argued for years to come. Thank goodness we have choices!!!

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I dont read magazines for the most part. Of course I read CCM, American Rifleman, and American Hunter (95% of the articles are the same) and I will occasionally read a pubication such as Shooting Sportsman or Sporting Classics, but those are more like a readers digest of stories vs reviews. I dont trust them, and the way they word the articles, I cant really get a true feel for what is being said. For example, they use the exact same words when reviewing a $1,500 riflescope as a $150 scope, so how are you supposed to learn anything. But you cant bite the hand that feeds and need to keep the advertisers happy.

I have enough experience to be able to weed out the good from the bad. I know what works for me and what features I want and what are just gimmicks, and it sometimes makes me mad when the industry chases a fad away from what I am looking for, wanting, and willing to throw money down on. So, I read books for the most part, not magazines. I have an extensive library on all forms of hunting, shooting and such, so if you ever want recommendations, let me know.

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The thing I’ve found with reviews - gun or otherwise - is that we all have different preferences. I could read all of the glowing reviews of a Sig and still not like to shoot it. I could read thousands of 5 star reviews of Ford trucks and still not like to drive them. It’s personal preference in a lot of cases.

The thing I always look at is the record of performance. Do they hold up? Do they break down? And then I try them out to see if I like them.

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If you want a good solid review, read GUN TESTS magazine. Its a little expensive, but it’ll save you a LOT. They review guns, holsters, ammo, mags pretty much everything. you won’t be sorry. I’ve been a subscriber for about 15-20 years

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If I am really serious I just do an internet search that includes the Manufacturer, Model, and the keywords “Problem” and “Issue”. From there I look to see if the problem or issue I am reading about matters to me and if the manufacturer has resolved it.

I also try to read between the lines to figure out if the problem presented was a user issue vs. a genuine concern.

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Nope it doesn’t… I don’t read it… :man_shrugging:
But I like Kevin’s reviews. :upside_down_face:

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I second Gun Tests. I look at the reviews in the magazines as information of the technical sort. Sample of one.

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A good car salesman will not let you leave the lot without a car. So, a good salesman is not going point out negative aspects to anything. This is good but this is better. Even T.V. commercials uses people who apply to be on commercials to sell you stuff. As for gun review, What do they get for reviewing that gun? and why would you say anything negative if you are suppose to get something? Just like the pictures of the big burgers on the windows of fast food restaurants, looks so big and so good. Then when you get it, it is so small and nothing like the picture advertised.

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You are correct, I rarely see an article that takes a reliable advertiser’s unreliable product to task. There are a few YouTube gun reviewers that I watch to get more info on a gun I may be interested in. Tim at Military Arms Channel seems to be able to break about anything, so I watch his reviews closely :slight_smile:

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I think magazine reviews are a good “starting point” when weeding through “features”. This gun has ambidextrous magazine releases, that gun holds X number of rounds, this one has a grip safety, etc. They may help you narrow down your choices. From there I would be hitting up YouTube to see them in action. Many video reviews include side by side live fire, and feedback from the shooter. Of course ultimately, once you have a short list of firearms with the features you like, it’s time to hit the range to see what feels right to you.

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Choosing a firearm is like asking a girl out on a date (I tend to intimidate certain types of men, lol). If the chemistry is right, then the gun is right; if not, there are other beautiful and fitting guns to choose from. Reviews are essentially propaganda for selling purposes. We pick what is right for us, yes?

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Dawn,
it’s not about how the gun shoots for the individual–that’s the one place the magazines at least publish their results.
What you don’t read about is how a pistol has a horrible trigger. Or how a holster is a flimsy piece of junk that needs to be avoided.
Or how a piece of equipment broke right away after use.
I wish gun mags would stop reviewing products. The inherent conflict of interest when a product is gifted is hard for me as a reader to ingore.
I find a lot more value in articles that tell me how to use a product or train with it.
One thing I really miss is Jeff Cooper’s back page on G&A. I think he was a blogger even before there was an internet.

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