Question of the Day: Whom Do You Trust for Gun Reviews?

Hickok45

If you can’t trust The Truth About Guns to get the straight dope about a gun, who can you trust? In the video below, former The Firearm Blog blogger Patrick Roberts cautions gun buyers not to trust . . .

websites and YouTubers in the pocket of their advertisers and/or those who don’t want to get off the T&E gunmaker gravy train.

Does Mr. Roberts name names? Does he ID the website that spiked a story about a drop safe fail, or told him to write a positive review about an advertiser’s product? He does not. But the dots are there to be connected.

Meanwhile, which sites/channels/forums do you trust for your gun reviews?

comments

  1. avatar barnbwt says:

    I trust the lowest bidder

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      I trust you’re going to tell me what that means.

      1. avatar Kroglikepie says:

        The person that is not getting compensation for a review, and actually reviews something to provide their perspective and experiences with a product.

      2. avatar Specialist38 says:

        He will tell you when you tell us what you were going for in the “whats wrong in the this picture” post.

    2. avatar Madcapp says:

      NutnFancy is #1. He’s clearly not on anybody’s payroll, He’s not fake…does plenty of long-term testing, runnin’ and gunnin’. And he’s really the only “Youtuber” that encourages people to think (INDEPENDANTLY!) about how something fits into an individuals system and (personal) philosophy of use, I can’t stress the genius of that approach enough. Otherwise…MAC, Rob Ski, and Gun Jesus seem knowledgeable, and appear to have integrity. If you don’t like NutnFancys long videos, watch them at 1.25X or 1.5X speed by clicking the gear icon. There’s rarely (any) youtube video that I’m not watching at (at least) 1.25X.

      1. avatar MilitantCentrist says:

        Nutn talks too much about unimportant things during his videos in my opinion. His videos are way too long for the amount of info you get.

      2. avatar Desert Ranger says:

        TNP ALL THE WAY! Anyone else here a double owl?

      3. avatar IdahoBoy says:

        Nutnfancy is a boring bloviating blowhard. I can’t stand his reviews, even though he’s a local.

        Jeff Quinn is entertaining, but he never met a gun he didn’t like.

        Hickock45 is great, because he actually demonstrates practical aspects of handling firearms as he puts them through a full range session. You also get the impression that he would be good company at a barbecue.

        Sooch00, MAC, and others like them offer good generic reviews that seem unbiased.

        1. avatar IdahoBoy says:

          Almost forgot. Of course, TTAG, especially the regulars like Nick, Jeremy, and JWT.

        2. avatar Hannibal says:

          Hickock45 doesn’t review guns, he shoots them. His takes aren’t nearly critical enough to actually be called a review.

        3. avatar Prudiikal says:

          IV8888. they are funny and do cool videos. the only pocket they are in is their own (they own a gunstore)

          hickok45 is ok and does decent reviews. sometimes i find him a tad annoying, but i find him to be a wealth of information.

          22plinkster is pretty funny and makes entertaining vids

      4. avatar Mike Dexter's A GOD says:

        +10000
        With Nutnfancy there’s really nothing to “trust” at all. He’s got all the info right there in front of you: Video footage of shooting in real world conditions, video of any malfunctions (with a reminder that each gun is just a sample of one, unless its not), targets showing real world accuracy, etc…its all right there.

        If you whine about his videos being too long for you to pay attention, you need to be on medication. I actually dig the longer discussions. Even so, recently his review vids have gotten a lot shorter while others’ have gotten longer.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love Hickock45, but he literally pulls a gun out the box, fires a few mags, and says “Its pretty cool.” That’s not a review.

        As for MAC, I don’t doubt his heart one bit. But he sounds like he ought to be on QVC.

  2. avatar Mark says:

    NutNFancy, Honest Outlaw, Real Guy Training, Mr. Guns and Gear, Chris Bartocci, MAC, Vickers (I ask him via Facebook!). Not sure about Sootch and Hickock. I know they sponsored. I could be wrong. Nice guys and love their videos.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      Mmm… not Hickock45. Don’t get me wrong – I love the old guy just fine… as an entertainer. But his format usually consists of Shoot gun, Name the gun, Shoot gun again, Show how to take gun apart, Hit the gong. Little or nothing about the fit, finish, balance, ergonomic issues, reliability with different ammo types, none of the nitty-gritty details we get from TTAG.
      So no, I’ll watch him for amusement or to see him enjoy a gun I already have firm opinions on – but not as a true source of objective data.
      🤠

      1. avatar Art out West says:

        I also love Hickok45, but understand that he is not a reviewer. He educates, entertains, and demonstrates various firearms. He rarely criticizes them. That’s fine. I enjoy his videos for what they are.

        Nutnfancy gives pretty decent reviews (though his videos are about three times longer than they need to be). He points out the drawbacks and failures of various firearms. He is pretty thorough.

        In terms of actual reviews, I frequently look to various firearms forums, where people who own the gun share their experiences. This works better for guns that have been out for a while.

        I also like the TTAG gun reviews, though the quality of the review varies by author. A couple writers might be a bit “gun snobby”, while some of the reviews submitted by readers are more favorable than they ought to be. Consistency is lacking. Still, I like them, and always take them into consideration.

    2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      I usually go to Hickock45 first. I do this because he almost always tells me what I want to know first about a gun—does it shoot good, does he like the trigger, does it come apart without difficulty, is it something he really likes or is just lukewarm about? If he can hit the gong without trouble, that usually means it’ll do good by me at 50 feet. Basically, what he does is a entry-level litmus test. If a gun passes the Hickock45 filter and I’m still interested in buying it, I’ll move on to sampling other reviews. There was a time when I almost exclusively went to gun magazines for my information. I’ll still consult print media but, by far, my search for gun-information is the internet. When I do this I’ll usually read everything I can about the gun from as many different sources as possible. My theory is that the more information, both good and bad, that you can study, the better informed you’re going to be at purchase time. This strategy has saved me a lot of money. I may start off enthusiastic about a given gun but, starting with Hickock45, the more I read the less enamored I am about the gun. In this I suppose I’m a marketeer’s nightmare. Generally speaking, I enjoy reading TTAG’s reviews. There’s something similar about them that reminds me about reading Car and Driver and Road and Track in the old days that I like.

      1. avatar Don Nelson says:

        Agree. His comments on fit and finish, how it feels, just how he likes something coincide with my own observations. For handguns, he’s great. For long guns I like metrics. 100 and 300 yard groups with various ammo, velocities vs. advertised, bolt handle clearance around optics, etc. For that I like Chuck Hawk’s website and Shooting Times online and other places where data can be shown, read and digested slowly.

        1. avatar Chris says:

          It’s his personality, he’s like the Mr Rogers of firearms. Just a really nice guy, great voice and charming candor. I don’t take him too seriously, he’s there to entertain and educate and show people that guns aren’t that big of a deal.

        2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

          This comes from a long career as an English teacher at a private school. I’d probably have paid better attention when I was 14 if I’d been in his class.

  3. avatar sound awake says:

    cant trust anybody that:

    thought the nra did the right thing about bump stocks in the immediate aftermath of the las vegas massacre

    or are proponents of the pistol caliber carbine

    1. avatar Pat H says:

      So if someone agreed with the NRA on that particular issue then they don’t know how to evaluate trigger, ergonomics, value, fit and finish, etc etc?

      1. avatar Scoutino says:

        And if they like what is basically semi auto submachine guns (oxymoron, I know), all their other views and opinions are worthless?

  4. avatar RandaII says:

    I don’t trust any single source. I try to generally stick to average joes on youtube and find a consensus. For example, I was really excited about the new P365 but average joe consensus seems to be they have Taurus-like QC.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      I read everything I can, from everyone I can, on a prospective purchase. When you read enough reviews and comments on the same thing, trends will emerge, both positive and negative. The positives are often known to me; after all, I’m already considering buying whatever I’m reading about. The negatives are where it’s at. Once you see the negative trends, you can determine which points are important to you, which are not, and which are straight bullshit or bias.

  5. avatar Cucamonga Jeff says:

    Nutnfancy, MAC…… That’s about it.

    1. avatar tmm says:

      No offense, but I’m surprised you had time for MAC after Nutnfancy…

  6. avatar Bersa Bob says:

    I’m a hickock 45 fan myself. However if you hear consistency all the reviews i pretty zure it can be trusted.

  7. avatar Char says:

    I read multiple reviews and generally go with them. I do not trust the reviews that sound like something from the advertising brochure (attention NRA). They simply parrot what the sales people say. I want actual real opinions based on actually handling the weapon

  8. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

    Well I start here then move on to MAC, Hickok45, or I just find a few fellers (or gals) that own said gun and ask them. Sometimes I’ll check Colion Noir but not often. Sorry but I can’t stand NutnFancy. Occasionally I’ll also check Honest Outlaw and maybe (HUGE MAYBE) Yankee Marshal but that’s only if I can’t find anybody else reviewing the gun in question.

    1. avatar Mark says:

      Yankee Marshall is a total cunt.

      1. avatar TruthTellers says:

        He’s a giant asshole, but he’s as strongly pro 2A as it gets.

        1. avatar Mark says:

          Well I would hope so. Would be odd to review guns and be anti 2A.

      2. avatar TruthTellers says:

        I like YankeeMarshall for his commentary on 2nd amendment politics, internet gun retailers, how firearm companies operate, etc. but I will say his reviews or overviews on what’s the best/worst are terrible. He did a review, which is rare for him the past few years, on a .327 Ruger. He went over the talking points that everyone talks about and basically said he didn’t feel that it was as good as .38 or .357 was and wasn’t worth the extra round, but he could not see any benefits to the .327 for certain people. Basically treated it like it had no reason to exist.

        The .327 is a good choice for women and people with weak hands for low recoil and low power .32 S&W, which can be shot in a .327. Also, the .327 in a rifle is an excellent small game and varmint round that you can reload, which is something you can’t do with .22 LR or .22 Mag.

        I don’t like when people only review something based on what use they see and not what others do. Yankee doesn’t reload, so he doesn’t factor that into his reviews and thus, his reviews are half assed, but when a gun doesn’t work, he’ll say it.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “Also, the .327 in a rifle is an excellent small game and varmint round that you can reload, which is something you can’t do with .22 LR or .22 Mag.”

          Oh, yes you can reload rimfire :

          http://22lrreloader.com/design-details/

      3. avatar Specialist38 says:

        Indeed. But he is funny-as-shit.

        I watch him for comic relief….not to research guns.

        1. avatar TXGUNGAL says:

          Agree. My comments were addressed to Mark using the word calling Yankee Marshal a cun!

          Thought The Truth About Guns had a policy about not using vulgar words. Guess not

        2. avatar Specialist38 says:

          Only if it offends them, GunGal.

          I personnaly dont use that word but Im pretty sure Yankee Marshall has used it himself in self-deprecating humor.

        3. avatar Chris says:

          I’d call him the same thing, but he lacks the warmth and depth of one.

      4. avatar Texas Gun Gal says:

        Says you.
        Didn’t your parents raise you to not use crude, vulgar and immature language?

        You don’t like him, fine. But violating rules of this forum is beyond the pale. Don’t think the word “[email protected]“ is appropriate. There’s better words to use, if nothing else, Talk to your mom, apparently she didn’t explain that men can’t be a “[email protected]“ because don’t have the genitalia. Bless your heart

        1. avatar SwampDaddy says:

          You’re offended by that little “c” word? Muh feelings LMFAO

          If you’re offended by any word, in any language, it’s probably because your parents were unfit to raise a child. “Doug Stanhope”

        2. avatar Hannibal says:

          If you can’t see the word “cunt” -4 letters, 1 syllable, who cares- without getting distressed you don’t belong on the internet.

          In fact, I don’t know how you could function in regular life.

  9. avatar Paranoid prepper says:

    I trust any review that highlights negative aspects. As long as you show me the bad with the good, I assume it’s honest. If it’s nothing but positive, I assume it was paid for

  10. avatar AndrewinVA says:

    Among those with relatively wide exposure, NutNFancy stands out as having honesty in reviews being at the center of what he’s doing.

  11. avatar Jamie in North Dakota says:

    Other than myself and my friends, nobody.

  12. avatar JasonM says:

    TTAG and the rental counter of my local range.

  13. avatar Kerry says:

    I read as many as I can, but I do think ttag is one of the best. I cant say the same for ttag when the comments get political

  14. avatar TruthTellers says:

    I trust a few people on Youtube who have actually had negative things to say in their videos about certain guns. Nutnfancy will bash a gun if he has problems with it, MAC will, YankeeMarshall loves to bash everything even if it works perfectly but isn’t in his preferred caliber or barrel length or finish.

    But who I trust is the people on the internet who have bought guns with their money and owned them. Then there’s also just plain reputation for guns that have been out for a few years and have a reputation for being good.

    Then there are some reviews where say they’re testing out a Charter Arms or a Hi Point and keep complaining that the impact is inches below the point of aim at 7 yards no matter how far he lowers the rear sight to fix it. It’s tough to take them seriously when they seem so fly by night in their review. I’ve written more extensive and through reviews of guns and I don’t get paid to do it… or get 10 second clips on CBS news to look like a tool in front of the nation.

    To those reviewers, I think they should consider buying a rest to test accuracy, buy a small flathead to adjust the rear sight properly, and a needle file set to adjust the front sight if needed.

    Above all I trust my instinct.

  15. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I trust some of TTAG.

    I trust NUTNFANCY mostly…but hate to watch his videos.

    Folks mention Hickock45. I like his videos. Dont know what folks would have issues with….you watch him him shoot the damned guns.

    I like Gunblast for new product releases bit dont expect any information on problems you might have. Plus Jeff is not really putting out as many articles as he used to. Guess he has made his bones.

    I like Mr Guns and Gear and Sootch. I really like pocket guns and gear. Consistent

    But as when there were only paper magazines, everyone has a particular perspective when evaluating guns.

    I like the guy over at Lucky Gunner but i know he is going to have a different perspective than I do since I have shoes older than he is. His reviews are thorough so it is no big deal.

    Any who writes with too much authority ( you’re a dumbass if you don’t do it like I do), gets written off immediately.

    Most of the TTAG reviews are good but you can tell what kind of weaponry they prefer by the tone of the article. Just gotta consider the source, same as ever.

    You pay your money and make your choices….

  16. avatar Harrumph says:

    While I enjoy a review that includes some flair with the language, when the writer “….use(es) (their) tongue prettier than a $20 whore”; I get a little concerned that I’m not getting the true scoop on the product.

    I’d like to hear the good/bad/happy/sad, not “dancing around like a Kansas City sissy”.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      “Like a buncha Kansas City Faggots” – Slim Pickens in Blazing Saddles

      1. avatar -Peter says:

        Thanks. If a guy’s going to quote Blazing Saddles, there’s no point in trying to sugarcoat it.

  17. avatar former water walker says:

    Just watched nut n fancy review the Taurus 709 onYouTube(now on my smart TV😄). I have one and he gave a very fair positive review. I watch a few others but somewhat depend on TTAG. I “like” Hickok and Gunblast but since they’re in bed with manufacturers/others I take what they say with a salt grain.Some other occasionally. NEVER the firearm blog…

  18. avatar John Davies says:

    Im really partial to RealGuns.com. I don’t subscribe any more but the articles appear for free eventually. He’s an Old Fart like me, so I can relate better than to the young jocks.

    John Davies
    Spokane WA

  19. avatar Darkman says:

    When I look to purchase a new firearm. I get as many reviews as I can find. Both written,in person and video. If possible I go to a dealer with a range and rent what I’m looking to buy. Then make my purchased based on what I find. No one person holds sway over my decisions. Far too many people out there are in it for the buck to trust just one person.

    1. avatar Wayne Clark says:

      Best answer yet.

  20. avatar Sam I Am says:

    TTAG, Shooting The Bull410 (which is about ammo, not guns), Forgotten Guns, Hickock (sometimes), The Shooter’s Log, Gun Critic, Guns and Gunsmiths, pre98.

  21. avatar TX19Skeeter47 says:

    Gun Tests – A publication without any advertising does a pretty good job of comparing like products; provides specs as well as pros and cons. Any review can be biased but the publication does provide the “why” a given reviewer does or doesn’t prefer a given firearm.

    1. avatar Mike says:

      Gun-Tests, no advertising, subscriber income only, no manufacturer sent guns only ones they buy. Truely no influence reviews.

    2. avatar Marko says:

      Not me. I found ‘gun test’ to be a total waste of good paper and couldn’t wait for my subscription to end.

  22. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Realistically? I do not trust a reviewer who doesn’t look for the things I do in a gun, and that means I pretty much trust no one.

    Some examples why:

    I open a Mossberg 500 and what I find is rough machining and burrs. I sometimes get cuts on my fingers because Mossberg cannot be troubled to remove the burrs on the action bars. Bleeding into a customer gun is never a suave move, so this creates more work for me to clean out the blood as well as the first aid issue for me. Do internet ‘gun experts’ see this stuff? No. They’re all about how great the gun is at such a wonderfully low price. Part of how they get that low price is not paying attention to removing things like burrs from components stuffed into the shotgun.

    Some more, just off the top of my head: I’ve seen brand-new, higher-end Rem700’s with the exterior of their barrel non-concentric with the bore – by large-ish amounts of runout. They can’t be bothered to turn the barrel to final dimension on a lathe, nor do even their rudimentary polishing job on a lathe. Nooo. It’s obviously been done with a barrel spinner on a belt grinder. That’s how it became so non-concentric. There are Turkish shotguns with triggers so rough, from the feel of the trigger I think they must be using tire chains for the bearing surfaces. Another favorite issue: AR-15’s glued together with red Loctite – why? Who knows why. The military never seemed to need such stuff on Colt-contract guns. Red Loctite means I need to take a propane torch to the gun in order to get things like the barrel nut off. Want to know why I never allow a customer to watch me work? Because they’d crap kittens if they saw me taking a torch to their gun. Of course, I wouldn’t need to do that if some of these companies slapping AR’s together were held to getting proper results without shortcuts. If various interwebs reviewers saw some of the things I see in guns – and wrote about these things, gun manufactures might clean up their act. But nooooooo… these issues never seem to rise in importance to the level of gaining the notice of gun ‘experts.’

    We could go on at length about this sort of thing, but my central point is this: I’m looking for far more in a gun examination/review than most self-appointed-gun-experts-because-they-shoot-thousands-of-rounds-per-year.

    1. avatar jlarson41 says:

      I agree with a lot of what you say but I caution you to make a honest evaluation about fit and finish; does it have an effect on operation of the gun or is it cosmetic. I’m a gunsmith and former Automotive Engineer and one of the things I learned in school was that after WWII Rolls Royce wanted an automatic transmission, but didn’t want to take the time to design one in-house. So after evaluations of existing transmissions they decided to buy GM Hydromatics. When they received them they were appalled at the rough machining on interior parts and immediately began a program of polishing them and bringing them up to Rolls standards. The problems was that the transmissions would no longer shift.

      As an Engineer I have learned that fit and finish (especially on parts that are not visible during normal operation) only needs to be good enough to function reliably, anything more is a waste of money and gun makers are in business to make money.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Then gun owners should not complain when they come to me with a cheap POS gun and I tell them to toss it into the back of their closet and go buy a new one. Or they should stop being “appalled” when I give them an estimate on what it takes to fix their POS gun. They bought a disposable gun – so they should learn to dispose of it and quit wasting the time of any gunsmith worth his tools.

        When you buy a POS gun, you have a POS gun – and that’s all you’ll ever have. A manufacture that won’t even de-burr their parts is setting the bar as low as possible, and by so doing, they are telling every gunsmith out there “this gun doesn’t matter any more than a Bryco or Jennings. It was made as cheaply as possible. It isn’t worth your time to even look at it.”

        If gun companies want to make money, then they should admit what car companies have admitted (since you use them as an example): The Federal Reserve has a deliberate and inflexible policy of devaluing the US dollar, and so the buying power of the USD for most any tangible item is declining – if we believe the Fed, at a rate of 2% per annum. That means that gun makers should be raising their prices over time in order to continue making a profit. When I was a kid, my parents were complaining about the price of a new Falcon station wagon being about $3300. Today, you’d give 10X that for a reasonable cross-over (or whatever has taken the place of a station wagon in today’s auto market). Gun companies seem to be in a race for the bottom, in both quality and price.

        In a race for the bottom, there’s a mathematical limit: zero. Let us NB that Remington is rumored to now be on the brink of filing BK. Cost cutting to maintain profitability has achieved everything it could for Remington, and it obviously didn’t work.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          A “POS” gun is often merely opinion delivered by someone who believes he is the second-coming of Sam Colt. The LGS had a “gunsmith” who was also advertised as a gun maker. Essentially, he declared that any gun costing less than $1000 was POS. The guy apparently insulted so many people the revenue dried up. LGS brought in a different gunsmith. Not being a regular in the business, I haven’t heard negatives sense (but that proves nothing). My little plinker cost less than $300. I don’t think there are any advantages to trying to customize the pistol. But I rather suspect that if I wanted to improve the trigger, you would tell me the gun is a POS, and I should throw it away.

          Over the last two years, I have visited dozens of used gun websites (including pawn shops). Because 1911s are such a rich category for review, I notice them on the used gun websites. The most remarkable thing I have seen (actually, not seen) is the lack of Rock Island units for sale. You name the high-dollar brand, and I have seen a cornucopia of them advertised. Yet almost no Rock Island (or even Metro). These are kown as “cheap” guns. Why are the high-dollar guns so prominent on the secondary market, yet not the cheap-o 1911s? The “cheap-o” manufacturers do not seem on the verge of bankruptcy (like some of the “big names”). Why not? Apparently the cheap-o 1911s are adequate, and it seems to stretch the imagination to believe none of the owners of the 1911s ever do anything to customize/improve their guns. Just not sure perfect guns, for the sake of perfect guns, is worth the money for the “average Joe”. But neither is the idea that fixing a “cheap” gun should equate to finding the proper trash can, and buying a new one.

  23. avatar Swarf says:

    I’ll tell you who I don’t trust, and that’s Jeff at Gunblast.

    He’s never seen a firearm he didn’t claim was a “dandy lil tack driver” and I personally got burned by that before I knew better.

    1. avatar TruthTellers says:

      I don’t watch Jeff at Gunblast for a review, I watch for the presentation entertainment and to get an idea of how a gun works before I consider looking further into it. He pretty much does a video every time Ruger comes out with something new and because Ruger comes out with something new quite often, having a video by Gunblast a day or two after Ruger announces something is cool.

      Just have to know what you’re watching before you take it to heart.

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        I agree. Jeff is often the introduction “review” of a gun.

        He has good pictures and sometimes does velocity test with various manufacturer’s ammo. Usually led by Buffalo Bore and Corbon.

        He does sometimes mention issues nut usually not and never anything serious.

        Ecen with all the information we have with the interweb, “let the buyer beware” has never been more true.

    2. avatar Matt in FL says:

      That’s one of the first rules about guns on the internet that I learned.

  24. avatar Silphy says:

    I trust Ian of Forgotten Weapons.

    1. avatar Em says:

      I’ll second this and add inrange tv which has Ian and adds Karl Kasarda.

  25. avatar Big Daddy says:

    I trust time. Time will tell. In other words people will buy it and you will find out soon enough what the truth is. read buyer’s reviews. You have to shift through them for the ones that are from experienced shooters.

    bad is bad, if it doesn’t work you’ll find out quickly. On Youtube there are some who give great reviews. But they are opinions and some will not fit what you need.

    The best review is your own.

  26. avatar dlj95118 says:

    YouTubers:
    The Shootin’ Guy
    ShootingTheBull410
    hickok45

    and, of course, TTAG.

  27. avatar Jon in CO says:

    I believe most of what TNP does, however, I can’t stand to hear how wonderful Keltec is. MAC is full on good stuff, but if I’m really interested in the misses of a particular product, I’ll browse forums. There will always be someone who’s unhappy with a product, and I’d like to hear why they hate it more than why someone loves it.

  28. avatar Felixd says:

    Who do I trust? Why, no one anymore. Many years ago, long before YouTube – Hell, before the damn Internet, it was obvious that no one found anything wrong with anything that came from a company that advertised in their magazine. Today its still a matter of not compromising someone’s support. But, that is compounded by the Walter Mitty’s crawling out of the ether every time a new gun is announced.
    When it comes to guns I’ll keep my own council. This is especially true if one is not interested in the more mundane items one see so frequently reviewed.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      I recall Pistolero and Gun Test (same guys) called a spade a spade.

      The were irreverant but a lot of fun to read.

      Spot-on in most their crticial reviews of the darling guns of the day.

  29. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Why is no one listing Hollywood as a trustable source for gun information? The can’t put stuff on film that isn’t true. Same with cars. Whatever TV and film people show about guns and cars has already been tested to prove that the things are not modified in a way the general public cannot match. Well, except for the weapons in “Stormship Twofers”, which are probably fake.

  30. avatar MiserableBastard says:

    Jeremy S.
    NutnFancy
    MAC
    A Regular Guy
    TwangnBang
    Honest Outlaw Reviews
    RobSki
    J.W Taylor

    1. avatar Mark says:

      How could I forget Rob Ski!!! He is the man. And A Regular Guy is super underrated.

  31. avatar Logan says:

    Just keep sending JWT high end 1911/2011s, he seems to enjoy shooting them, and I enjoy reading about it.

  32. avatar strych9 says:

    Other than TTAG I don’t really have any “go-to” review places for guns and gear. I’ll sit through part of a YouTube video and if the guy seems like they know what they’re on about then I’ll watch the whole thing. If not, I’m off faster than a prom dress after a teenage girl has her first full 40oz of Mickey’s.

    Some people are better than others. For example SkinnyMedic does a decent job on reviewing medical stuff.

    Generally however I find that most reviewers are full of shit on at least some level. They’re either lazy, don’t understand some aspect of what they’re talking about or just don’t understand period.

    When I wrote the review for that Exo DayPack I wanted it to be fairly comprehensive since I used the bag quite a bit and actually understood it’s features. As such I did some research on how other people set up their reviews. I didn’t steal their ideas but I wanted to get a feel for format. In doing this I also looked at knife reviews for some knives I have (TOPS BoB and some others).

    What I found, overall, was that the “reviews” were not really reviews so much as a bunch of pictures with a few paragraphs about the item. It became blindingly clear that whether you were talking about a pack, tent or knives the vast majority of the “review” websites never actually used the items. They unpacked them, set them up (kinda) for measurements, took some pictures and then wrote a blurb they called a “review”. Tents had never been slept in, packs had never been rucked and knives had never cut a damn thing.

    I found this to be exceedingly common. Even basic features of something like a knife were excluded from supposedly “serious” reviews. Some of this was due to a lack of knowledge, such as the parts of a folding or fixed blade knife but mostly the author was just lazy. They didn’t bother to research the difference between say, a G10 handle and a Linen Micarta handle. They didn’t know what that meant and they didn’t, apparently, give a shit.

    I have a ton of reviews for gear (packs, stoves, gun cases, pouches, clothing, tents etc) and knives sitting on one of my drives. (All unsubmitted btw). They’re comprehensive and I’ve used ALL of that stuff pretty hard before writing a review of it. When I didn’t know what I was on about I learned about it before typing a sentence on the topic. For example, I did a ton of boil tests with each stove to calculate times and fuel usages. You know, shit you might want to know before you go off into the back country trusting your life to this stuff. Most people just don’t do that.

    IME a lot of websites just post bullshit “reviews” for clicks. Most of their site is ads and they really don’t give a fuck about giving you quality information. TTAG doesn’t do that. If JWT reviews a rifle or Jeremy reviews an accessory I know they put it through it’s paces and are not going to give me a bullshit review where they did minimal work, said “Good enough” and sent it off. I apply that same way of thinking to my game reviews and to anything else I might happen to write up.

    Now… who wants to read a 14 page (with pictures mind you) review of the Hill People Gear Ute rucksack!?

    /end rant

  33. avatar TommyJay says:

    No one mentioned IraqVet8888. He and his pals are decent, and I do like most of the TTAG reviews.

    I do not think the Q/C of most of the mass market pistols I’ve seen is good at all. Two of my four came out of the box and I sent them straight back for service.

    Plus I was at my local indoor range and rental shop and I inquired about renting one of the most popular compact 9mm’s and the employee told me they can’t keep them on the shelf, but he loaned me his personal unit which he just received. It had great ergos and no failures, but the accuracy was just awful. Worse, the impacts drifted greatly as it warmed up. It could have been me, but I was shooting my guns just fine.

    So a big question for me is, “How do you acquire your test units?” Are they hand tuned at the factory before the testers get them, or do you make a serious effort to get random units off the shelf?

  34. avatar AZgunner says:

    Patrick R from TFB was a complete tool bag. I couldn’t stand that guy’s articles and videos. Glad he’s gone. So I guess the answer to the question “Who do I trust for gun reviews?” Is “Not that clown”.

  35. avatar Scott Krause says:

    Nutnfancy, MAC, Chris Bartocci

  36. avatar Bil says:

    Nick Shabazz. So what, not gunz, brilliant on knives…a really great thing. Best ever, once you get over his schtick.

    1. avatar dph says:

      He also has some great watch reviews, however you do have to get used to his style and his very distinctive voice.

  37. avatar Hank says:

    TTAG is the best as far I am concerned. Robert could use some work in the looks department however.

  38. avatar Blurb says:

    How do I get ON “the T&E gunmaker gravy train”?

  39. avatar Badwolf says:

    I don’t trust any review where the reviewer didn’t exclusively buy all products anonymously.

    The little secret isn’t. Conflict of interest is real. Anytime you get free stuff (or increase potential to get) you’re gona feel gratitude…AS YOU SHOULD if you’re a decent person and not a complete a-hole. And whether you realize it or not, that emotional attachment is gona make it hard for you to give the whole truth and nothing but.

    And product owners will not be happy obviously if you burn their product (literally or figuratively), that’s also perfectly normal. So it’s understandable if they feel bad about you theyre not gona want to give you more free stuff.

    I know this is a very high standard and so I guess what I’m saying is I don’t trust anyone completely… all reviews are half truths, 3/4 truths, or 1/4 truths.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      This is basically an impossible thing for you to ask. Not a high bar, impossible.

      For someone to buy everything themselves would require that they be very, very wealthy and still willing to review all the gear.

      Consider tents. If we head on over to REI just camping tents. Not including backpacking or shelters or bivvy’s or anything else, just camping tents we find they have 56 tents that they’re currently selling. That’s just a fraction of the market and it totals out to $28,683.57 before tax and shipping. Now consider that the average price of what they’re selling is well below the average price of the reviewed firearms on TTAG or other gun websites because the most expensive item REI has in camping tents is like $3K and the next most expensive is like $2K with an average around $375.

      So to do a serious set of reviews of just that selection of tents would take at least two people working all year to test them out and cost those people nearly $27K just in the tents. They might recoup 1/3rd of that by selling that stuff or they might not.

      The solution to this problem is Patreon and other similar services. Asking people to pay out of pocket to do this kind of work for you is ridiculous.

      1. avatar Badwolf says:

        Not asking. See last paragraph

      2. avatar Badwolf says:

        Don’t recall asking for anything. I know it’s near impossible and that’s why as I said I take all reviews with a grain of salt. Anyway it doesn’t matter, these reviewers need my trust about as much as I need their opinion.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Just because you don’t put in a question mark or make an explicit plea doesn’t mean you’re not asking for something.

          You go to some length to explain the problem only to say “Well, it can’t be fixed really” which is just another way of asking for something “without really asking for it”. You might not see it that way but that’s what it is.

      3. avatar Badwolf says:

        “Just because you don’t put in a question mark or make an explicit plea doesn’t mean you’re not asking for something…”

        Dude, youre reading too much between the lines. Im not asking for anything. Like few others here, my answer to the post question is i dont trust any reviewer completely. I went some length to explain how i reached my decision.

        And i think it can be fixed. Its near impossible but not impossible impossible. I dont have a solution but others here (like theunspoken) have posted suggestions. And if it cannot be “fixed” then so be it, i will forever remain skeptical, so what?

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      This is a very sound perspective.

  40. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    I think the only way to get more objective reviews would be a consumer reports model. Go buy a sample set (5-10 guns from different locations?) with your own money, discreetly, off the shelf. Then test them as scientifically as possible.

    It would take a lot of time and money. We would all have to pay membership. But that would be one way out of the t&e system, or the “I shot this one gun and it had an issue” which, while true, may or may not speak to an issue with the whole lot.

    That said I don’t usually buy based solely on one given review, and I like reading about various things on ttag.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      I think its called Gun Reports.

      Subscription fee, protected comtent, etc.

      Don’t know how well they do.

      Most people would rather have lots of free imformation than pay someone to test guns.

      Plus, they cant test allllll the guns.

      Most people are cheap.

  41. avatar Mike G says:

    Aaron Cowan w/Sage Dyamics, Mr.Guns and Gear, Last line of Defense, T Rex Arms (Even though I can’t stqnd Lucas) he keeps it honest. A couple of more but that’s about it.

  42. avatar Gary says:

    Paul Harrell is my go to guy on YouTube. He is awesome.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      He is indeed.

      Most of the stuff i have seen him do is not gun testing per se, but looking at different concepts.

      Like comparing a 30-30 to 308 and 44 magnum. Or a J frame to pocket auto.

      Great presenter and a sharp guy.

    2. avatar Gutshot says:

      Yeah, it doesn’t get much better than Paul.

  43. avatar Pliablemoose says:

    I take all reviews with a grain of salt, not a big fan of Nuttin Fancy, but he does good, seemingly never ending reviews. I’d take his reviews over almost anyone else’s.

    Hickock45 is great to watch, but he really doesn’t criticize anything unless it’s downright horrible.

    Yankee Marshal is fine, but he’s all over the place, his reviews are really opinions, but he’s knowledgeable about handguns, particularly revolvers.

    GunBlast never met a gun he didn’t like…

    Sooch00 is pretty good, thought he was a shill for the longest, but he just doesn’t review anything he can’t honestly give a good review. If he reviews anything, it’s passed his criteria, he just doesn’t publish reviews of things he doesn’t like.

    I look at quite a few reviews before making a purchase typically.

  44. avatar Dave says:

    NUTNFANCY definitely #1, due to his thorough talking points tied with MRGUNSNGEAR, right behind them AREGULARGUY !

  45. No one. Almost everyone has a financial angle. I ask “gun people” I know locally if they happen to own that gun. I can often find a person I know and depending on his advice in the past, I can make a decision.

  46. avatar Hannibal says:

    I’ll happily listen to people talk about the gun and it’s functionality. But when it comes to subjective qualities and reliability, it’s tough to trust one or even several people. They have different opinions and priorities than me. And while they can tell me how reliable their gun is, they can’t tell me the same for the one on the shelf I’m thinking about buying.

  47. avatar Chuck basher says:

    Hickok45: shill
    Scootch (however it’s spelled): shill
    Iraqveteran8888: proven shills
    Yankee Marshall: neurotic moron
    NutnFancy: autistic moron
    MAC: has integrity
    Firearm rack: seems to have integrity
    Forgotten weapons: makes you smart
    Taofledermaus: makes you smart in a dumb way
    Demolition ranch: wholesome stupidity

  48. avatar Imayeti says:

    I look for 3 tings in every review. The good, the bad, and the ugly. If those aren’t there, the review is not trust worthy.

  49. avatar Wally1 says:

    I really like watching Hickok45 because he actually talks as he demonstrates instead just talk, talk, talk. He is positive without being berating a firearm or product. A class act and actually get a feeling for quality vs junk. Yes, he is entertainment, but hey If you buy a firearm just based on a youtube evaluation, you probably should not be buying it.

    Example: I build a lot of performance engines as a hobby, about one to two a month, I learned forty years ago, put down the Hotrod magazine and pick up a math book. Has served me well. Same thing applies to firearms. Quit watching youtube and pick up a book, you might actually learn something.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      “But math is haaaaard…”

      You would not believe how many people I meet who want to become long distance, precision shooters, but they don’t want to do any math.

      I recommend they investigate trap, skeet or clays as their preferred sport.

    2. avatar BlackieLawless says:

      You must be a fun guy to hang around with. (sarc)

  50. avatar Wheel Gun Guy says:

    Youtube favorites are Hickok 45, Paul Harrell and The Kentucky Patriot….TTAG is good too and so is Massad Ayoob.

  51. avatar ThatGlennGuy says:

    Paul Harrell is my go-to for thoughtful gunstuff analysis … though he’s typically reviewing ammo and application, rather than specific firearms.

  52. avatar Lightfoot says:

    Hickock 45 mostly for entertainment value, plus he seems to have something to say about anything i want to check out.

    Paul Harrell for no holds barred technical value. Paul doesn’t waste time with nonsence content, and I actually heard about him on this TTAG site.

    I find the user reviews are probably the most helpful.
    Online vendors like Palmetto post USER reviews on specials they’ve run. Reference the Taurus PT-111 Gen-2. Both TTAG and Palmetto probably have more user reviews (and comments) on that gun than any other I’ve ever seen. Sure, I watched Hickock (as well as others) for their reviews, but ultimately made my purchase decision from actual USER reviews. (about 4.999 out of a possible 5 star rating on this particular gun)

  53. avatar Horrendo Revolver says:

    John Barsness
    Wayne van Zwoll
    Randy Wakeman

  54. avatar little horn says:

    Nutnfancy is very good. Hickok45 is as well. but when it comes to breakdowns and explanations of the mechanisms inside, i haven’t found anyone that can beat Ian on Forgotten Weapons. I just love hearing him explain how these older guns work. Newer guns, there are so many its hard to pick a best. They all pick different areas to cover but i guess Nutnfancy does the best in covering them all.

  55. avatar Jeff in MS says:

    Never trust a guy who gets mad at a rifle and blows it up with Tannerite. Only trust mentally stable people.

  56. avatar Shwiggie says:

    I don’t trust anyone. When I get interested in a gun I’ll read and watch reviews, taking in the various good and bad points. Then I’ll check with people I personally know to see if they have one, what they think, and ask if I can check it out. Barring that I’ll eventually see one, handle it, disassemble it if I can, and, if at all possible, shoot it. I try not to buy anything I haven’t shot already. Nearly every time I’ve bought a gun without going through this process, I’ve regretted it.

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