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  1. #1
    Donato's Avatar
    Donato is offline Junior Member
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    Is gun-tests.com a reliable review source?

    I just took out an online subscription to gun-tests.com. I enjoy reading their reviews of all types of handguns, rifles and shotguns. Sometimes I think they are a little harsh, though. For example, the highly regarded FN FNP9 only received a grade of C+ in their review, while owners report it is a stellar weapon. I realize that their review depends on how well the particular gun they use performs on their tests, but sometimes their review of a gun differs greatly from what owners and other online reviewers report. Any thoughts about this?Thanks.

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  3. #2
    kev74's Avatar
    kev74 is offline Member
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    Until the reviewers disclose what perks ($$$) they receive in return for reviewing a gun and until manufacturers disclose what perks they give in return for getting a review of their gun done, I don't pay a lot of attention to the conclusions or opinions of the reviewers. I do read reviews, but its more for the features on the gun, not the reviewer's opinion of those features.

    I'd be more likely to believe a review from individuals or organizations if they bought the gun off the shelf for retail price (like Consumer Reports does for appliances) instead of the manufacturers shipping them to a magazine for free - and then selling the gun to the reviewer afterward for a "discount".

    When was the last time you saw a gun get a bad review in a magazine that had a full page ad for the same gun in the same issue?

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev74 View Post
    Until the reviewers disclose what perks ($$$) they receive in return for reviewing a gun and until manufacturers disclose what perks they give in return for getting a review of their gun done, I don't pay a lot of attention to the conclusions or opinions of the reviewers. I do read reviews, but its more for the features on the gun, not the reviewer's opinion of those features.

    I'd be more likely to believe a review from individuals or organizations if they bought the gun off the shelf for retail price (like Consumer Reports does for appliances) instead of the manufacturers shipping them to a magazine for free - and then selling the gun to the reviewer afterward for a "discount".

    When was the last time you saw a gun get a bad review in a magazine that had a full page ad for the same gun in the same issue?
    Lots of truth here.

    I'm skeptical of most reviews which may come as a surprise as I read quite a few of them. When you take into consideration what kev74 is suggesting, it begins to make a lot more sense. I look for features of the weapon itself, and don't pay a whole lot of mind to the accuracy results or other nuances the reviewer may have encountered. Going to your LGS/range and handling the weapon, even if you don't shoot it, will tell you loads more than most reviews ever will.

    If there is one exception to this generality, it would be the feedback I've picked up from gundirectory.com. Most popular models are listed with end-user reviews of the weapons. These are people who are not paid to review the weapons in question, just Joe Schmoes like you and I who have lots of positive and negative things to say about what they've encountered. Not surprisingly, the overall reviews of the more reputable firearms match up with what most people regard as highly reliable and accurate weapons: Sig P226/P229, G19/23, HK USP, FNP, XD/XDm, and Berettas usually come in with ratings of 4.5-5.0/5.0, and each has literally hundreds of comments about the weapon. I feel this rating system does hold some water.

  5. #4
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    I tend to believe that Gun Tests plays it straight down the middle, unlike any of the other magazines that I read. They have given bad reviews on S&W's, H&K's, and most of the other icons of the industry, and have re-tested many, at the manufacturer's request.

    They have reviewed some of the guns I own and know very well, and I cannot fault their conclusions.

  6. #5
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Gun Tests Magazine does not accept advertising. The company buys its test guns on the open market. Therefore, I believe that its reviews are unbiased.
    However, the staff buys only one sample of each gun they are to test. Statistically speaking, this is not a fair test, since the sample they buy might be the one faulty gun produced during an entire month of manufacturing.
    Gun Tests says that its reviews properly reflect what a typical gun buyer would find in the marketplace. That is, somebody is going to end up with that defective gun, if it exists.
    This is true, but it isn't the whole story. If there were funds enough, which I'm sure there aren't, the better method would be to buy three samples of the gun to be tested, and than to report (if this is indeed the case) that one of the three samples was defectively made, but that the other two were accurate and reliable (or inaccurate and unreliable, etc., etc., etc.).
    Once you understand the defects in their methodology, Gun Tests becomes a useful, reliable source of information upon which to base a purchase decision.
    I've read it since its inception. I recommend it.

  7. #6
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    I usually read most reviews done by anyone with a grain of salt but if you look at them as a guideline they can help with making a new purchase. If it was mt I'd look to more than one source just to make sure you are getting all the info. AS stated reviews can be slanted for one reason or another so it's always good to look at them as one of many possibilities. It's no different than picking out any one person of this forum for an opinion about any one weapon. They might not like it for whatever reason and that can slant the feedback you get so you look for more than one person to help you get the best info.

  8. #7
    Bisley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Gun Tests Magazine does not accept advertising. The company buys its test guns on the open market. Therefore, I believe that its reviews are unbiased.
    However, the staff buys only one sample of each gun they are to test. Statistically speaking, this is not a fair test, since the sample they buy might be the one faulty gun produced during an entire month of manufacturing.
    Gun Tests says that its reviews properly reflect what a typical gun buyer would find in the marketplace. That is, somebody is going to end up with that defective gun, if it exists.
    This is true, but it isn't the whole story. If there were funds enough, which I'm sure there aren't, the better method would be to buy three samples of the gun to be tested, and than to report (if this is indeed the case) that one of the three samples was defectively made, but that the other two were accurate and reliable (or inaccurate and unreliable, etc., etc., etc.).
    Once you understand the defects in their methodology, Gun Tests becomes a useful, reliable source of information upon which to base a purchase decision.
    I've read it since its inception. I recommend it.
    That is a very good evaluation. I agree completely.

  9. #8
    dovehunter is offline Member
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    I read it on occasion when I'm in my brother's house. He had subscribed for years and he and I find in informative. The one thing I like is that the gun is shot by several shooters and the magazine gives you the profile of the shooter (large/small hands etc.) and each one will give their analysis and a recommendation is given afterwards.

    As for the FNP9, I'm surprised in the C+ eval. I had read in one of their issues (several months ago) that they gave a A- on the FNP45. If you are a subscriber, you can go online and read their past issues.

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