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I wish gun magazines...

breamfisherbreamfisher Posts: 14,104 Senior Member
...would give a brief summation of the author's credentials to let you know what their experience is in firearms. Are they military, ex-LE, gunsmith, what? It would be nice to know what their point of view is when reading their articles so you know what sort of bias they might be bringing to the table.



  • ZeeZee Posts: 28,409 Senior Member
    Most of them would say,

    "Has a pulse."
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • TeachTeach Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    "Just like an elephant- - - - -works for peanuts!"
  • KENFU1911KENFU1911 Posts: 1,052 Senior Member
    Well,,,, the accuracy...reliability....power.......and optical clarity of this author.....is a remarkable value in today's economy.....and the fact that he seems very water resistant is a great bonus.....throw in the fact he is made in the good old USA,,,, and we consider him a best buy..... Ken
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Posts: 6,637 Senior Member
    I just checked mine and they all say "8 rounds". I guess that's all I need to know....:roll2:
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • DurwoodDurwood Posts: 972 Senior Member
    Most of the best gun writers weren't qualified...
    You have the right to your own opinion, but you don't have the right to your own facts:guns:
  • Fat BillyFat Billy Posts: 1,813 Senior Member
    I wish they were all available as digital subscriptions. I don't want gun magazines coming to my mail box. I don't want anyone that looks in my mail box to know about my reading habits and know where to come for some guns to steal. I they come when I'm home I can do ammo tests but if I'm away they could become heavily armed. :yikes: Later,
    Fat Billy

    Recoil is how you know primer ignition is complete.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    You mean forward or reverse bias? :jester:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Posts: 2,614 Senior Member
    I would agree, but it's not a deal breaker for me. Some writers give away their background with their writing style, others just seem to have been doing it so long that they seem knowledgeable. I'll bet there are plenty of writers who's experience comes from years of civilian-only use.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • tennmiketennmike Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Back about 1959-1960 when I learned to read I started reading the words that went along with the pictures in the huntin' 'n' fishin' magazines my Dad bought. I learned early on the light 'n' fast vs. big 'n' slow debate through the gun writers of the time. Their biases were well documented, and reinforced in every article; they went out and shot the :cuss: out of animals and stuff, and reported the results, and let the chips fall where they may. If a bullet lacked solid construction, it was reported. If a rifle lacked in accuracy or aesthetics, it was reported. Gun and ammo manufacturers were wettin' their britches waiting for the hammer to fall, or not.

    Fast forward to now. Gun and ammunition, and scope and equipment manufacturers put on big shows with their shiny geegaws all laid out and the writers, a.k.a. gun 'scribes', get to test them all and shoot till they can't shoot any more. It pays to downplay the negatives and accentuate the positives, assuming a writer wants to get an invite to the next one.

    Now throw in all the brand new 'best thing since sliced bread and pockets on shirts' chamberings, rifles, pistols, shotguns, bullets, new powders, and it would take a writer a full year to wring out just a few in the field. We got way more choices than we know what to do with, and the writers can't test them all thoroughly either due to time constraints. So we get an article long on fluff and short on substance. Neither good or bad; just a symptom of the disease of too much stuff and not enough time to deal with testing.

    I miss Jack O'Connor, Ted Trueblood, Elmer Keith, and a whole bunch of those guys that had strong opinions backed by in-the-field testing. You might not agree with them all the time, but, by golly, you KNEW they'd tested the whatever geegaw and it either passed or failed their test. And they weren't shy about shining a light on it and praising or damning it on its merits.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • TeachTeach Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Remember what Dan J. used to say about the two things an article needed to get printed? It had to have lots more pictures than words, and it needed to be short enough to read during the average trip to the crapper. Pretty sad commentary on today's hunting/fishing media, but spoken with absolute sincerity, like everything else Dan said!
  • centermass556centermass556 Posts: 3,618 Senior Member
    It is not just the gun world, backpacking magazines are just as bad and a few of the car mags I have read are the same way...
    But I remember reading an article on the Ruger American that made me interested, but that article did not address any of the issues we discussed here on the forum.
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Posts: 8,814 Senior Member
    Would actually give an honest review of a new product!! But since that's how they pay the bills, I doubt if that will ever happen!! That's why I don't subscribe to any gun magazines!!
    Mike made some good points. I've been recommending Pet Loads by Ken Waters for years. He's already done all the work, saves me a lot of time on load development.
  • snake284snake284 Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    I no longer look at gun mags as a technical source. They are only entertainment and now and then I see a new product I'm interested in. But if I research a new product, It won't be in the magazine. Gun mags these days are what they are. I feel they are mainly only advertising for the manufacturers. I get suspicious when everything they say is at least neutral, and it is never negative.

    I do get a couple of them, one being the American Rifleman, and another one I get because for one, the subscription price is cheap, and secondly, part of that subscription price goes to MD Anderson for children's cancer patients research.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • agewonagewon Posts: 655 Senior Member
    The reason I joined this forum was because of the transparent bill paying mentality of most gun mags.
    When I decided I wanted to get into shooting as a sport as well as HD, I started looking at the online magazines and it seemed they were just catering to the manufactures who sent them that months rifle. Hardly were there any negatives on mechanics or functionality which made me question the reviews right from the start. Also, they didn't seem to have enough info for beginners.
    My first thread here was weather or not I should get into shooting, and the overwhelming responses showed me how many people visit this forum daily, and then how much knowledge there is here if you ask the right question.
    Ill look at the magazines for new products, but ill stick to learning from the people with experience.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Posts: 12,429 Senior Member
    Durwood wrote: »
    Most of the best gun writers weren't qualified...

    Exactly. Read what they write, and figure out if the guy (or gal) knows what they are talking about
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Posts: 14,104 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    Exactly. Read what they write, and figure out if the guy (or gal) knows what they are talking about
    True, but it's annoying to read a special self-defense edition of a magazine and figure out that some of the writers aren't trainers, police, but rather are competitive shooters when they're trying to discuss self-defense tactics.

    Or to find that the military experience of the person who so authoritatively evaluated the latest and greatest military weapon got that experience from watching "Band of Brothers" and "Saving Private Ryan."
  • ZeeZee Posts: 28,409 Senior Member
    It's not what you know. It's how you present it.

    Much like politics. You trust those guys, right?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • NNNN Posts: 25,236 Senior Member

    Or to find that the military experience of the person who so authoritatively evaluated the latest and greatest military weapon got that experience from watching "Band of Brothers" and "Saving Private Ryan."

    So just for discussion, Big Chief could only write about tanks and I, 500 lb bombs and 20mm gun pods. Sorta against the American bootstrap theory, if ya
    haven't done it you can't learn to do it.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Posts: 14,104 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    So just for discussion, Big Chief could only write about tanks and I, 500 lb bombs and 20mm gun pods. Sorta against the American bootstrap theory, if ya
    haven't done it you can't learn to do it.
    No, there are experiences to be acquired that one might not have had direct involvement in. However, if you're trying to convince me that a piston-driven system is more reliable under combat conditions than direct impingement and you're not an armorer, LE officer, or been in actual combat, why should I bother to listen? What gives you the special insight into what works and what doesn't?

    I can say what it takes to shoot well at 1,000 yds., even put up some numbers to show why a certain chambering is "better." But if I haven't actually done it, how valuable is my opinion?
  • samzheresamzhere Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Many magazines have author bios on the masthead page or at the end of the mag. These days, almost any writer will have a website and many mags list those references, too.

    I don't know why gun mags are reticent on this. Makes sense to me that they have an author bio page.

    Regarding however the issue of articles nowdays being screeds about the latest new thing from a manufacturer, it's a fact and is the same mistake made in car mags and other mags that review products. Very annoying to have articles that are thinly disguised ads for a product but you've simply got to read with a skeptical slant in your mind and never believe what you're told as gospel.
  • PegasusPegasus Posts: 2,874 Senior Member
    I think you guys are a bit harsh. Many of the gun magazines are generalist publications trying to cover the whole gamut the shooting world and perforce there will be articles written my people who are not well versed in a specific subject. Their faint grasp of said subject will be readily transparent to anyone who has an interest in that specific area and that will cause consternation among the more educated readership.

    I know little to nothing about “gun-writing,” but I do a lot of “gun-reading.” I also know a lot about very specific areas of shooting and can spot a phony “expert” in a millisecond when they happen to write about my narrow subjects. I have had a few articles published in gun magazines in the past and I have been informed I have a longish one in the 2014 edition of Gun Digest. Let me assure you that I am well-versed in the subject of that article and my biggest problem was keeping the article down to around 5,000 words. (This could be a long bio-break, right Teach?) Yes, there are pictures for those of you who can’t read, but since I have not yet seen the published article, I do now know how many or even which ones are used.

    I do know some things about magazine publishing as I was associated with organizations that published professional magazines in the IT field during my career of almost 40 years. I suspect the gun rags have the same issues as the IT rags when it comes to content; reliability and consistency. When you have staff writers, they must deliver on time, all the time, and are often given assignments that are really not in the comfort zones but they have to deal with it. If the writer is not adept in the subject matter, he will fall back on formulas that will create easy text. One example of this is to describe the procedure to take apart a rifle or handgun and then to put it back together again. You can create over a quarter of the text for a 2,000 word article using that technique.

    Some magazines are better than others and unlike Fat Billy, I get some of them on my Kindle.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    I can see Earl's point as I've read quite a bit of stuff that was presented in an authoritative manner because of the writers position that was way off base and actually opinion that was presented as fact. Some guy named Zumbo comes to mind. I've also seen no shortage of postings on this forum that were based on opinion rather than fact. Some of those postings were offered by folks that felt that they gained credibility by a large post count rather than experience.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Posts: 14,104 Senior Member
    What got me thinking were some articles in some combat arms/SD/rifle magazines where I wondered where the author got their opinions. One author was talking about "what a tactical rifle needs" but then said that his time in the USMC was spent with a Nikon F3 and not a M40. I wondered if he'd gotten an LE gig afterwards, if not then what made him qualified to talk about the features a police/military bolt action required. Another author spoke authoritatively as to the humped beavertail safety of the 1911 being a mistake, and implying that if you had a problem with it, you need to pin it. He was talking about the gear he needed for a tactical carbine class, but I wonder: does he really need the plate carrier, blow-out kit, and IR strobe? I've got no problems with people buying that sort of stuff, but to talk about the essentials for a class like that and the stuff that's not being used in said class, I wonder: why have it? THAT author I've researched and haven't been able to find any experience beyond being a writer and editor.
  • HondoHondo Posts: 320 Member
    Wish they told the honest truth. Instead they guffaw over a $3000 1911 that shoots 4" groups at 25 yards off of a sandbag. The older writers were loyal to the reader/subscriber, but now they are an arm of the sales dept of the firearm they are "reviewing." Most of them have lost credibility with the people who are paying for the subscription. JMHO
  • Savage99Savage99 Posts: 43 Member
    Forums like this one on the internet have replaced magazine subscriptions and books for many of us.

    Now we can read of topics we even start ourselves!

    In a nearby city the newspaper is closed and it's building has been torn down. There is no paperboy anymore!

    The only magazines I get are the NRA's Rifleman and American Hunter.

    Now we can post here and ask questions. It's far more interesting.
    Get the 'power' or optic that your eye likes!
    When we go to the eye doctor they ask us what lens we like! They have us look through lens's and find what we see best with! Do that with your shooting optics.
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Posts: 4,484 Senior Member
    Even 3 1/2 years later
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Posts: 8,609 Senior Member
    I write a little for a couple of places.
    I am not impressed by most magazines articles I read, since they do not really give me much, but the basic information or history of the product.
    Sometimes, it is obvious they really have not used it very much, if at all.
    I get more info out of certain FB pages and forums than I do in most magazines.
    It was from a comment on FB (Not a magazine), when a guy challenged my thoughts on the G7-BR2 LRF, and made mention about the upcoming Sig LRF that caused me to do the research that I could (without actually having one) about this new wonder LRF...If it really is. I hope it is as good as it say. We will see.
    I wonder if some writers are hamstrung either by the limits, only so many words for this article and or if they are not allowed to be negative when needed?
    I know I have been limited to a specific number of words in the past. I have not been told to lie about a sorry product though.

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • bisleybisley Posts: 10,815 Senior Member
    Good writers have good sources, and may be perfectly competent to explain something that they don't really know how to do very well, themselves. If that were not so, we would have no history books. The best ones will attribute the experts they consult, but some pretend that they are just smart and experienced. I don't care that much because I don't assume that the writer is an expert, unless he publishes his bona fides, and I may still disagree. So, unless a gun writer is telling me that his way is the only way, I take it as his opinion and still reserve the right to continue my own research.

    Besides, when I'm sitting on the crapper, I'm not as particular about the subject matter as I might be when actually doing serious research. :tooth:
  • jaywaptijaywapti Posts: 5,115 Senior Member
    The only gun magazine i get is American Rifleman, the only other mags i consider wroth while today are Handloader and Rifle.

  • earlyearly Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Some articles are better than others. Some list credentials others don't.

    I like printed paper media. I also like a little salt in what I consume. Dry factual data without character or personal narrative is bland and boring.

    Im not terribly interested in reviews so much as experience.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
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