Gun magazine bias?

This is a discussion on Gun magazine bias? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Every time I read a review of a pistol in a gun mag, its a good one. The pistol performs well and in general, the ...

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Thread: Gun magazine bias?

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array HOLYROLLER's Avatar
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    Gun magazine bias?

    Every time I read a review of a pistol in a gun mag, its a good one. The pistol performs well and in general, the writer recommends the gun.

    Are these guys just incredibly fortunate or are they bound in some way spin it in a positive way? I can see how a bad review could be bad for the industry overall but I would rather have an honest opinion. I even saw a review of a Hi-point and the guy said it was a good deal for the $$$!!! Am I just being synical?

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    No IMO not cynical ....... I and some others too I think are of the opinion that most reviews are ''loaded'' ---------- gun is supplied for free and maybe even given away - but anyways, one way and another I reckon it's ''woe betide you if you slam this gun"

    That of course could well be the cynic in me - old age ya know!

    The guy I trust most who adds stuff in Concealed Carry Magazine - is George Hill - and I do not think he would say what he did not feel about any platform.

    Handguns, Guns'n'Ammo - not so sure.
    Chris - P95
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOLYROLLER View Post
    Are these guys just incredibly fortunate or are they bound in some way spin it in a positive way?
    The latter. Bound? Sure. If your product gets lauded in one periodical but panned in another, particularly if you note the trend of falling sales via people who subscribe to the "panned" periodical, at some point you're going to adjust your advertising to support where it's doing the most good, and yank it from where it's not. That does indeed put pressure on the editors and managing staff to "get it right," even if that means spinning the content or outright glossing over failings of products.

    After a long history of doing that sort of thing, that's the beauty of the internet. It can help fill in those gaps. If you read trade rag A, B and C, plus a dozen other contributing comments/reviews from unaffiliated people from around the world, you can often get a much clearer representation of the true nature of the product. Brual reviews and accolades can be seen in various product-related forums, and the posters most always have only their personal axe to grind and almost always don't have their paychecks punched by the companies whose products they're discussing.

    In short: get multiple inputs from multiple sources, then note the trends.

    Data point: My reviews on the DoubleTap JHP 9mm rounds versus the Federal Hydrashok Tactical JHP rounds. While I'm no great shakes as a writer, if you get a dozen or more detailed comparos written by all sorts of folks with the same sort of comments about those two rounds, and you read supporting articles in a few trade rags with much the same message, you can be more assured that the message you've been hearing is a good one.
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    The only magazine that ever had truly honest gun reviews was called Handgun tests & it has not been in print for a long time.


    So as not to appear too obviously prostituted the gun writers usually are willing to find one very minor thing wrong with any given firearm per magazine article.
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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Mot to mention if I am Manufacturer A and I see that last month you totally slammed Manufacturer B, I am not going to take that chance so no freebie for you. This happens with car mags, bike mags, etc etc.

    Advertising also increases bias.

    That is why I don't subscribe to anything. the internet and real life experiences of owners is much more valuable info.

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    There is also No Way that any gun maker is sending any gun writer any firearm right off the line without test firing first no matter what they tell you or the gun writer.
    They may even go so far as to test fire it and then completely refinish it but, they will never send an unchecked untested firearm to a writer.
    Just my personal opinion on that. I have no way to prove it except for the fact that my brain tells me that any gun manufacturer would never take that chance of sending out a dog firearm for an evaluation in any national gun magazine.
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    The guy that writes the gun reviews for Concealed Carry Magazine (don't know if I should mention his name) is pretty fair and objective. If he doesn't like a gun, he'll say so, and why.

    He tends to overload his articles at times with clever witticisms, but overall, he calls a spade a spade.


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    Chris, I agree with you about George Hill. I have read all the reviews he has on his website and in Concealed Carry Magazine and he tells it like it is. No firearm is perfect and George tells what is good and bad about each. If it doesn't work for him he lets you know.
    George

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    I dont waste my time with gun magazines... it all a bunch of garbage aimed to sell you more garbage you dont need. IMO, there is more and better info here than in any gun magazine.
    Think of it this way; a radio host isnt going to talk bad about the products advertised on the commercial breaks is he? The authors/editors of the gun mags know who pays the bills and keeps them working
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    I like the good gun photos but I take all the evaluations with a grain of doubt.
    That being said I'd rather flip through any gun magazine than NEEDLEPOINT Today.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    Member Array gunfighter48's Avatar
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    The Internet is the great equalizer. If you want to know how good or bad a gun is, just do a search on the Internet. I do read the bad accounts with some caution. I have read bad reviews from posters that fired 50 rds or less, had mag problems and didn't know enough about the firearm to diagnosis the problem. Sometimes you have to "read between the lines" to get the correct story. I particularly look for the ratio of good to bad reviews (realize that one poster may hit dozens of gun forums with the same bad review). By taking that into account you can usually get a fair idea of the gun in question. Is this more accurate than the gun mags, I think it is. I'll put more stock into a user review than a gun mag review any day of the week.

    I also subscribe to Concealed Carry Magazine, and the editor does an exceptional job of being fair in his reviews. If he doesn't like the product he is testing, he says so in no uncertain terms. Great magazine.
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    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOLYROLLER View Post
    Every time I read a review of a pistol in a gun mag, its a good one. The pistol performs well and in general, the writer recommends the gun.

    Are these guys just incredibly fortunate or are they bound in some way spin it in a positive way? I can see how a bad review could be bad for the industry overall but I would rather have an honest opinion. I even saw a review of a Hi-point and the guy said it was a good deal for the $$$!!! Am I just being synical?

    Some months ago, I had a gun magazine (was it "American Handgunner"?) in which one of the columnists/testers/reviewers wrote about that very subject. He said that the reader will subjectively sense the very thing you mention, because they decline to review crap. The result is, that all the guns whose reviews end up in the magazine are pretty decent to above average or excellent.

    There are arguments that could be made in favor of reviewing even crappy guns -- to let people know what junk is out there and to stay away from it. But if most people are like me, they'd rather not see an entire article about a sucky gun. Why bother? I'd rather learn about guns I might end up wanting to get. Perhaps the magazines should just run a small info box on recent guns that are junky and should be avoided.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    The only magazine that ever had truly honest gun reviews was called Handgun tests & it has not been in print for a long time.


    So as not to appear too obviously prostituted the gun writers usually are willing to find one very minor thing wrong with any given firearm per magazine article.
    Am I correct in believing that you don't mean "Gun tests"? (I think that one's still around, unfortunately.)

    When "Gun tests" reviewed the GLOCK 27 back around 1996, I was a subscriber who already had my GLOCK 27. They claimed that the capacity was 8+1, when it actually is 9+1. When a letter to the editor called them on it, not only did they publish the letter (a surprise), they defended what they'd said by claiming that it was so difficult to get the 9th round into the mags that for all intents and purposes the gun was 8+1!

    That was disgraceful. They should have admitted the mistake. And clearly, if their explanation was true, why did they not report, "Our test gun's magazines are supposed to hold 9 rounds, but we couldn't get the 9th one in so we're going to say that this gun is 8+1 rounds of .40 S&W"? Their cover story stunk. I dropped the subscription.

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    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    There is also No Way that any gun maker is sending any gun writer any firearm right off the line without test firing first no matter what they tell you or the gun writer.
    They may even go so far as to test fire it and then completely refinish it but, they will never send an unchecked untested firearm to a writer.
    American Handgunner's 2007 Annual covered a "torture test" done by these t.v. guys. They received the first 5 guns off the line made by Sig for the SOCOM competition. These are Sig P220 combat models, with a "dark earth" frame. They also got 5 LaserMax units in them.

    The story made a point of saying that the LaserMax units were selected by the testers at random so that they could not have been tweaked or enhanced prior to the tests. Then after the rigorous tests, all of them worked fine, and so did all five of the guns. The testers were frankly amazed.

    Now, I know that's not the same as the manufacturer mailing out a gun or other product for testing. But LaserMax and Sig were apparently willing to send out stock merchandise for abusive testing.


    Just my personal opinion on that. I have no way to prove it except for the fact that my brain tells me that any gun manufacturer would never take that chance of sending out a dog firearm for an evaluation in any national gun magazine.
    That makes sense to me, but we don't know just how they handle it. Maybe they're more honest than we're giving them credit for being?

  16. #15
    Member Array normal's Avatar
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    I personally love Gun tests for their honesty. They are not given guns, thay go out and buy them like us. They get them from gun shops or the internet, so that they are not provided with "special" guns from the manufacturer. If a gun does not perform, they tell you what is wrong.
    "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace" George Washington

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