It seems to me that the guns that the magazines test are a lot more reliable than the ones we buy in the gun store.
Do you think that the tester guns are specially tuned before shipping? I do. It makes the forums a better place for information than the publications.
Honest gun'riters admit that some sales outfits and manufacturers do specially select guns and other items, to be sent out for review.
Usually, however, these same writers will tell you that the "special selection" is not for beauty or reliability, but rather to make sure that the same specific sample item goes out for testing every time. That way, the sales outfit or manufacturer ends up with only one "slightly used" gun, not a whole bunch of them.
Sometimes this process backfires badly. To read about one notorious incident, click on: The Gun Zone -- The Gunwriting Game
I recently read an article called Glock 17 Torture Test in which a fella allowed that he'd put 277,000 rounds through his gun with ZERO malfunctions! Started test in 1980's, yep, and didn't even clean it for 10,000 rounds and then adds "subsequent examination showed that the fouling had finally reached a point where it interfered with reliable functioning". Ummm....sounds like something unreliable happened. Then he talks about wearing out springs in the magazines and reports, "Within a short period of time (what, not immediately?), it became obvious that the "remedy" (15 rounds instead of 17 in mags) WORKED. Ok, so, something must not have worked, like maybe a FTF??? Now he allows that he continued shooting for years, shooting and presenting from holster at least 1 million times! (he thinks, might have lost count). As an added bonus, the Glock was periodically buried in sand, mud, and snow, subjected to extreme heat and cold, fed with virtually EVERY kind of ammo available, left at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean for 6 months from whence it emerged corrosion free. There's plenty more nonsense in here including soaking it in mushy cow manure!!!! Anyway, his quest continues in 2010, and I'm sure he plans to write another article when he hits 300,000 without a hitch. Ok, Glock makes a good pistol, no argument there. But, I eventually wrote this whole thing off as a practical joke, but no doubt there are some who will buy the story, and a Glock to boot. Yeah, I'd say this guy got a very "special" pistol fer sure!