TTAG doesn’t pull any punches. That’s why readers trust our articles and reviews. As you might expect, our no-holds-barred firearms and firearms gear reviews don’t sit well with everyone. Especially manufacturers whose products aren’t all they should be. Three years ago, Bushmaster told RF to take a hike from their SHOT Show booth when TTAG’s jefe asked a Freedom Group suit about their rifle’s worrying tendency to go full-auto. This year, it was Remington’s turn to eject a TTAG writer from their booth . . .
I stopped at was Remington’s booth on the first day. I’d heard that Big Green was reintroducing the R51 semi-automatic pistol; I wanted to get the 411 on the “new” gun. I got the deets, posted a quick article and headed to another area of the booth to see what else was new.
I walked up, extended my hand to the person behind the counter and started to introduce myself. I didn’t get past “Hey there, I’m…” before they cut me off.
“I know who you are,” the dour-faced product rep announced. “Hit the bricks.”
I wasn’t sure if he was kidding, but I had a pretty good idea he wasn’t. I figured my review of the dangerously awful R51 made me persona non grata. Our maybe it was TTAG’s continuing coverage of Remington’s declining quality control. Or our analysis of AAC’s fall from grace. Or our repeated hand-wringing over the The Freedom Group’s annihilation of the Marlin brand.
When I didn’t turn tail and run, the boothmeister made it clear I wasn’t welcome. “No matter if I talk to you or not, you’re going to write a hit piece. Hit the bricks.”
Not true. I wrote disparaging things about MasterPiece Arms’ products – and then wrote a glowing review of their newest rifle and handed them our first Editor’s Choice Award for Best New Firearm of the Year. We’ve been highly critical of Chiappa’s quality control and panned the Rhino. Tyler’s loving their latest survival rifle (review to follow). While I shot for FN’s team, that didn’t stop me from pointing out that their AR-15 was a day late and a dollar short.
I was – am – looking forward to giving Remington an opportunity to prove me wrong about the R51. I wanted them to show me an exciting new product that I could preview for our readers. Unfortunately, Big Green holds grudges and plays favorites. Which clearly isn’t me.
Bottom line: if Remington wants to stop getting bad press, they should turn out better products. Until they do so the world’s most popular firearms blog will continue to tell The Truth About Guns to its 2.2 million monthly unique readers, whether they, Remington, like it or not.