How we rate firearms and gear


I’ve noticed a few posts on what to carry and the inevitable Ar vs Ak question and it got me thinking.

A person can become very overhwlemed getting into this sport and lifestyle and everyone has an opinion on what is best. However that usually comes some level of brand loyalty.

So to try something different let’s NOT use brand names this isnt a question of sig vs… or glock vs…

You have firearm (A) and its a great range gun. It never jams or fails and is accurate but for whatever reason you wouldn’t trust your life with it.

Then there is firearm (B) with all the same characteristics as firearm (A) but you trust firearm (B) to be there if you ever need it.

What gets a firearm over that fence to a reliable and trustworthy firearm. Is it reputation, brand loyalty, testing you’ve seen done or have done yourself? Again this isn’t a matter of what brand or model or caliber of firearm. We all carry what we trust. The question is why do we trust it…


I try to get on forums and find people that work for the prospective company, I’ve talked to machinists that work at a lot of companies and heard what their comments are. I especially like companies that have had military contracts, because any company that mass produces machine guns and assault rifles and has for a long time, and has a cult following, then their semi autos have to be on point. I also don’t like buying from companies that have had a lot of recalls recently, or are not coming up with new products.

What do you do?


I often get questions from people about what type or brand of pistol they should get. I try to stay neutral as much as possible, especially regarding a specific model. I always recommend that they go to a range that rents firearms and try a few different brands and models. I will give them some ideas to give a little guidance to narrow the field for them, but I emphasize that the “Right” weapon will feel natural in their hand.

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I also do my research, youtube is an ok place for a review i have a couple people who seem to give unbiased reviews. I usually dont go for newer products as a defensive firearm. I like something thats been around and is proven.

A range gun I’ll take a chance on a smaller named manufacturer.


YouTube can be a very misleading place. There are a lot of guys that love every gun they have ever shot on their channel, so you can’t get a good review. Then there are guys that have gotten so picky that they basically hate guns now. Lol. But yeah like you said, there are a few unbiased people. I would definitely not recommend YouTube to anyone that is new to the lifestyle.


You are absolutely corrrect. It’s a minefield. I avoid any “fanboy” reviews. I can’t stand the whole if your dont use brand (x) you’re risking your life. We all know there are alot of good manufacturers out there and not one of them has made a weapon that serves everyone.

I agree 100% with your thoughts on a military or government contract. I also look at what guns didn’t get chosen but competed for the contract.


Yeah, I definitely look for a company that was too expensive to get picked up by them. My point on that was that if a company manufactures full autos they probably can make a pistol. That’s how I look at it.


Getting into the carry world, youtube and google were my best friends. Even now, they are my go to resources. I watch a lot of videos from many different channels. If one tolerates the subjective nature of such media, they are great resources. Second step was going to a shop and handling what piqued my interest. After that, renting whatever I could. Talking to gun shop employees, gun shop commandos, and friends is like watching youtube videos… its all subjective. Personal experience is key, and I will not buy a firearm otherwise (unless the Mossberg MC1 becomes MA compliant).


Firearm A:

Former Police Issue Colt .38spl 6" barrel
Heritage Rough Rider .22wmr

Great shooting Firearm A. Awkward to carry on a regular basis.

Firearm B

All the benefits of A but is also easily carried.


I watch Youtube videos where it’s submerged in water, mud, then tossed in dry sand. If it can’t fire 100% after that, I want nothing to do with it.

Of course I’m also kidding. I’m at work, it’s raining like hell and I’m bored.


The internet is great for reviews. Sites like this one, are great because they are driven by the community itself. I also like non sponsored YouTube channels. I mean it says “Sponsored by Firearm manufacturer A” they have a little bias towards those guns. I also talk to gun shop owners. They see what sells, and what gets brought back, or traded. I also keep up with some of my law enforcement buddies. They really do trust their lives to their firearms and ammo every day. If I shoot gun A and B equally well, those are the criteria that put one into the winner category for me.