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Would You Prefer I Lie? – A Rant About Gun Reviews

I feel compelled to write this article after a recent gun review I did that received some comments to the contrary of my recommendation. I mean, how could I recommend a gun that wasn't manufactured by one of the big 5 gun manufacturers? The big 5, if you're curious, are as follows in no particular order:

  • Glock
  • S&W
  • Ruger
  • SIG
  • Springfield

One of the comments said this, and I'm paraphrasing: First you recommend SCCY, and now Kel Tec? I lost all respect for you.

That comment was eventually removed by its owner, so I'm going off memory here. But, I remember reading it and getting my response ready. Imagine a world in which someone does a review on a product. That product gets an outstanding review from the product tester, but then says the following:

This product worked flawlessly the entire time I had it. It had no malfunctions and did exactly what it was supposed to do each time I used it. However, even though it worked great, I cannot recommend the product because it was not manufactured by my favorite company in the industry. You should go buy from them, instead.

How ludicrous is that? How crazy is it that some gun owners write off a gun based on the name of the gun itself without having any experience with it at all, contrary to the recommendation of the person who actually put rounds through said gun?

Before I go on, let me tell you who I am and what I'm trying to accomplish with this publication. First, I'm the managing editor of this fine publication. Every piece of content runs through my fingertips before it's published.

It is one of my primary goals to remain unbiased in our product reviews. One thing I don't want us to get into the habit of is recommending guns based only on who makes them. I want the guns to speak for themselves. If a gun manufacturer sends us a lemon, we send it back to give them the opportunity to fix it, while documenting everything.

If the gun comes back fine, all is well. We still mention the original issues, adding that they were fixed. If the gun comes back and is still effed up, it gets a no-go status from us.

We let each gun speak for itself.

If it works I have to report it as a fully functioning firearm.

To do otherwise is dishonest. And, there are plenty of other publications out there who have no problem bad mouthing a company based on who they are. I welcome you to go read those blogs if you have an issue with us letting the guns speak for themselves.

I have to recommend a gun that functions properly for me. I cannot say something like this: This gun worked flawlessly for me the whole time I had it, but I cannot recommend this gun for any type of use because, after all, it's a SCCY. And, we all know how those budget guns work!

That sounds asinine but is exactly what some gun owning “experts” want us to do.

As someone who actually knows guns, how they work, and has worked for the industry for quite a few years, let me tell you a little known secret: All guns fail.

Do some break more than others? Sure. But, every company produces lemons from time to time, and us judging one gun company based on the experience of a handful of gun owners is akin to the gun grabbers likening all gun owners to the ones who're criminals.

It's ridiculous.

Good or bad regarding the function of the gun itself, it goes into the review. If I'm having certain issues with the gun, I mention it. If the gun is a no-go based on malfunctions, I mention it. And, guess what? If it works fine, I have no problem recommending it.

Is it possible that another person who owns the same model gun has problems with his or hers? Yeah, remember all guns have the potential to fail at some point. But if we are to remain a non-biased firearm publication we have to recommend guns based on each individual gun's performance while keeping the idea in the back of our mind that any gun can fail.

Would you prefer I lie? Because I won't.

I'll end my rant here. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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19 Responses to Would You Prefer I Lie? – A Rant About Gun Reviews

  1. Stephen Charles Dodge September 18, 2019 at 4:09 pm #

    I agree with you 100%. Let the gun speak for itself because as we all know people can be bias, hell look at any Gun Group on Facebook and my point will be made almost instantly. I like them all, each one has some feature or look that catches my eye whether it’s price or just a different trigger then some of the others. I shoot a Charter Arms 38 Special, I also shoot a S&W 357 but my favorite is my wife’s Rossi 38/5 Shot, it’s a sweet weapon and she used it to get her CHL down here in Texas, I’m going for mine this weekend, guess which weapon I’m taking. Now mention a Rossi on some sites and they want to lynch you over it lol. There was an old song sung by an Australian Singer named Steve Lee “I Like Guns” and it so well fits this top you put down.

  2. Gerald Evans September 18, 2019 at 4:12 pm #

    Excellent reply Josh.

  3. Scott September 18, 2019 at 4:18 pm #

    Completely agree. Many people think Taurus are crap too. I own a few and none have failed, ever. So I for one, can recommend them. Pretty simple.

  4. samcolt September 18, 2019 at 4:48 pm #

    Three cheers & a huge hurrah for having principles (not much of that in the good ole’ USA these days) & standing your ground, besides, I believe you said you’re the boss!

  5. Nick September 18, 2019 at 6:03 pm #

    I can respect that sir. It’s a novel idea judging this on the merit. I like it keep up the good work. Ps. Thank you for your service

  6. Bryan September 18, 2019 at 6:36 pm #

    I am always suspect of reviews as they always rate the gun as awesome. Never seen a rating below 8/10.

  7. Dennis September 22, 2019 at 6:01 pm #

    Every group has their elitists, we’re no different. We all know the guys who won’t own or shoot anything not made by Cooper, Kimber, S and, W and so on. Personally own a bunch of Tauruses, Savages, Charter Arms and such. I shoot whatever works best and I can afford. Great article!

  8. MacII September 22, 2019 at 6:12 pm #

    Josh,

    Thank you for having the integrity to call things as you see them and not as some sponsor demands. I have come to disregard a great many reviews as not having any information that I can trust.
    You have put your finger on the problem. It has to be incredibly tempting for a shooter who is sponsored, in whole or in part, to slant reviews to promote the product his sponsor makes as the best thing since sliced bread.
    It is my impression that in times long ago, people had a higher sense of integrity and society had better values. Not so much these days. So, thank you for being different from my perception of so many others.
    Stick to your guns and do not give in to the rantings of idiots who should never be so willing to display their ignorance as to the person who criticized you.

  9. Stan Pefley September 22, 2019 at 6:15 pm #

    Thanks for your direct honesty and thoughtful comments. The fastest handgun I’ve ever fired is a Kel- Tec.

  10. Sharon Jeanguenat September 22, 2019 at 6:18 pm #

    Not telling the truth is bad. If you recommend something, a person buys it, & there’s a serious malfunction, they would probably sue you. Just keep telling the truth, & people that want to stay customers, will. And, those that don’t will leave. Honesty is the best policy! God bless you!

  11. Ron September 22, 2019 at 6:26 pm #

    Excellent reply. Home made experts are the worse. My EDC is a Glock G43 or Ruger LC9s but sometimes I carry a Bond Snake Slayer and all 3 are perfect. I also have a hi point that has never had a failure of any kind. Love your reviews and totally appreciate your honesty. Please keep up the great work.

  12. Edward Chaplauske September 22, 2019 at 8:07 pm #

    I totally agree. I’ve seen countless people hate a gun because it isn’t made by someone that is their favorite.

  13. Jim Cummens September 22, 2019 at 8:12 pm #

    There is a reason average people and reviewers tend to give higher recommendations for guns made by Sig,
    CZ and Glock for example. Many times they have invested in more advanced research, higher quality parts and experience. Sure there are many who own cheaper guns that have worked flawlessly. The things I find with reviews is the company sends them a gun and it works and they recommend them as a quality firearm you can count on. Reviewers who want to fairly evaluate a gun should check the evaluations of other testers, instructors who see the different guns used in their classes. Also reviews by the average guy on utube who does his own review is a good source of comparison. This is where the negative comments and experiences come from. The people who really see them function on a daily basis. They don’t say lower priced guns are bad but that they do have an increased failure rate. For you to be impartial it’s your job to accept that as a fact in the gun industry. The reason people pay for more expensive guns with names that are synonymous with quality is because they do have better quality and function not just a higher price tag because of the name. I own a CZ and a Taurus, there is a noticeable difference in fit and finish. I like them both but one is obviously a better made and reliable weapon.

    • Joshua Gillem September 23, 2019 at 7:55 am #

      Hey Jim,

      Thanks for the comment. As someone who has been reviewing guns for more than a few years, I can say that I agree with you to a point. I’ve actually gotten my fair share of shoddy guns sent from various companies for me to test. On one hand, I find myself wondering, what the heck were they thinking by sending me this thing? I mean, don’t they know I’m going to write about it? On the other hand, I believe that some companies don’t do anything extra from the factory to make sure a gun being tested is going to function.

      Then again, most do.

      I also don’t have every gun sent to me direct from the factory. I do buy some of them with my own hard earned cash, many of us do because it’s the only way we can get a gun.

      Finally, I agree with your point about YouTube, but have to say that there can be some differences. At least some of the time, you can tell that some of these guys have never reviewed a gun before and may or may not be that knowledgeable about firearms. Their opinion is still valid, but I’ve watched a guy having issues with a SIG going back into battery but he looked to be having some limp wristing issues with his gun which could have been causing his problems. It’s hard to call a gun unreliable when it could be operator error.

      On the same topic of YouTube, we sometimes get guns that aren’t even released to the market yet. I’ve got one in my possession right now that won’t hit the market until next month. The SCCY CPX-3 only had a handful of reviews. I watched them all to gain their opinions on that gun, but ultimately will always fall back on the gun I have, my own skill, and my knowledge of how to shoot firearms.

      Thanks again for the insightful comment.

      Josh

  14. Michael Gaskins September 23, 2019 at 5:18 am #

    Well said. You just gained respect from me! Hang in there.

  15. paul d williams September 23, 2019 at 7:25 am #

    I agree 100% with you, when I shoot a gun i’m not looking at the makers name I am seeing if I like the way it shoots for me, if it shoot’s good for me I say I like it, then I say who is the maker if it doesn’t shoot good for me I simply say it not my cup of tea.

  16. tsalagichatah September 25, 2019 at 3:59 pm #

    Thank you. Integrity is important to me.

  17. George Photos September 25, 2019 at 4:54 pm #

    I have a SCCY CPX-1and a CPX-2.Enjoy shooting both.I have never had a problem. Wishing I could say the same about my other high priced pistol’s. I’ll take a SCCY any time.

  18. Dave September 28, 2019 at 6:49 pm #

    Honesty is always best. Some people can’t handle it. That’s their problem.

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