Home› Main Category› General Firearms
I wish gun magazines...
breamfisher 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.
"Has a pulse."
Recoil is how you know primer ignition is complete.
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!
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.
― Douglas Adams
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.
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.
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.
Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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.
Exactly. Read what they write, and figure out if the guy (or gal) knows what they are talking about
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."
Much like politics. You trust those guys, right?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
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.
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:
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.