Making TTAG’s Gun Review Database Great Again!

TTAG’s no-holds-barred gun reviews are our most popular content, generating tens of millions of pageviews. But searching our firearms review database — 538 posts and counting — has been a decidedly sub-optimal experience. No more. Check it out by clicking here or go to the Gun Reviews tab at the top.

I’ve improved the searching experience, making it easier to find a particular review by manufacturer, type, rating and/or price. No more iFrames or disappearing content when using SSL. For speed and safety, the TTAG firearms review database is now stored locally on our server.

I’m still working on getting all of the logos for the different manufacturers coded into the system. If you see any functionality issues, please let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.


  1. avatar Chad says:

    Islay > Speyside… 😉

    1. avatar Frank says:

      Man, you beat me to it.

      In winter, give me the taste of peat and seaweed burned in a campfire and then doused with seawater.

      That’s Laphroaig in a nutshell.

      1. avatar Chad says:

        Give me peat anytime of the year! Laphroaig is my favorite in the still relatively affordable range.

        1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          Enjoy it while it lasts. The 10 year is the last aged stated, sub $500 expression and I imagine it’s going to be replaced by young, watered down garbage too. Switch to Lagavulin; 16 year for quality, 12 year cask strength if you want to grow an extra set of nuts.

          Mmmm… think I’ll have one now.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      Bunnahabhain. Nothing else needs to be said.

      1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

        Islay’s redheaded stepchild. I almost always have a 12 year and 18 year open and hidden from my wife. Or I have them open for a very brief period of time.

      2. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

        You beat me to it. I remain convinced that it’s less popular because nobody can spell it. Though I’m going to have to disagree with all of you and say that I generally prefer Speysides to Islay. Though it’s legally a Highland, The Macallan is my favorite. Glenmorangie is pretty great too.

        1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          You’ve got that backwards. Macallan is pure Speyside. They might try to capitalize on “Highlands” somewhere in marketing, but Speyside is one of the 5 recognized regions, and Macallan distills right in the busiest part of it. Glenmorangie, on the other hand, is indeed a Highlander, albiet one reasonably close to Speyside.

    3. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      All other whiskeys > scotch 😉

      1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

        Spend days re-coding an app used thousands of times every day. Readers bash choice of Speyside scotch (FYI: it’s the best).

        Yep, sounds about right. My people. 😀

        1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          Speyside is the densest whisky producing region in the world, but there isn’t much variation there. Explore some of the Highlands for the same drinkability with a ton more character. Clynelish if you favor sweeter, Oban if you prefer a bit of salt and pepper. Go with the 14 year in either case. Tasty stuff.

        2. avatar Frank says:

          For what it’s worth, Nick, it is a big improvement. I used to just Google something like “TTAG (insert gun name) ” to see if you guys had reviewed something, because the old site list was tedious.

      2. avatar BlinkyPete says:

        Says someone who apparently hasn’t had much Canadian or Irish “whisk(e)y”

        1. avatar Frank says:

          I don’t buy Canadian whiskey, but I recently received a bottle of Canadian rye for Christmas that I am actually enjoying. The funny thing is that it is kind of pretending to be from Vermont.

          Anyone wanna guess?

        2. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          Mmmm… yodelhog.

          Dude the Canadians make DELICIOUS rye whisky. My favorite rye is a 21 year Alberta bottled by our second president. The problem is the Canadians bottle their rye watered down with piss. Strike that. Piss doesn’t taste that bad.

        3. avatar Frank says:

          It’s actually Whistlepig Straight Rye 10 YO. They do have a distillery in Vermont, but it was founded in 2010 so they obviously can’t have a 10/12/15 year old rye already. They market it as “Hand Bottled at Whistlepig Farm, Shoreham, Vermont”. In much smaller print at the bottom of the back label, you will find “Imported from Canada”.

          No doubt they will market their own stuff down the line, but right now it’s a pretty decent 100% rye Canadian.

        4. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Nah, Blinky, I even prefer a quality Canadian or Irish to Scotch. Was recently enjoying a bottle of Redbreast. Although I’m fine with some of the less-peaty-vomit-flavored scotches (I have a bottle of Yamazaki, which is Japanese scotch, here right now and it isn’t objectionable haha). But I’d pretty much always take a nice rye or bourbon before those other whisk(e)y options.

          Last night I made Trinidad Sours (again). Great cocktail. Albeit finding Orgeat can be a PITA (you can go with almond syrup as a substitute, like the kind gross people would ruin coffee with)

          Okay if you MUST know, other than rye/bourbon, I drink a lot of Fernet Branca. Either over a few cubes after dinner like an old Italian person, or in a Black Lily, which is another fantastic cocktail… I do 1 part Fernet, 1 part Cointreau, as much as maybe 1/2 part fresh lime juice, shake the heck out of it (bruise it), strain into a glass.

        5. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          Yodle = whistle, hog = pig 🙂

          They didn’t even really start distilling until 2014 at the earliest. They actually used to be even more misleading with their labeling and enough people freaked out that TTB made them change it. One of their reps at a show once told me straight faced that “we send out grain up to Canada, they distill it for us, then we age and bottle it.” Wild, wacky stuff.

          It really is delicious though. If you ever see a ‘store pick’ cask strength release get it… even better.

        6. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          Japanese *single malt – soctch only comes from Scotland, homie. I like Yamazaki, but I’m a bigger fan of Nikka, the other Japanese producer. Their Coffey grain and malt whiskies are amazing, particularly if you like good Irish whisky (Coffey is the type of still – it’s not flavored or anything). The Nikka blended malt is nice too… anything else is really hard to find. My favorite is Yoichi 15 year single malt, which is owned by Nikka, and a staggering pain in the ass to track down if you don’t want to spend $150-200.

          Try the Coffey malt or grain… if you don’t like them I’ll take the bottle and send you a refund!

        7. avatar Frank says:

          Haha…ok. Yodelhog went right over my head.

        8. avatar Jeremy S. says:

          Well to be fair, “yodel” does not equal “whistle” at all 😛

          …as for Yamizaki being Japanese “single malt whisky” because only Scotland can make “scotch,” you’re right, of course, but I also call every sparkling wine “champagne” even if it isn’t from the Champagne region of France, and every “AR-15-style rifle” an “AR-15” even if it isn’t made by Armalite, etc etc. Can’t say I’m a huge follower of those types of copyrighted naming conventions haha

        9. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          No, not at all I guess… First sound I could think of. Definitely tasty stuff though.

          Doesn’t Colt own the rights to AR-15? 😛

          Interestingly enough, the father of Japanese whisky actually spend years in Scotland in the 1920’s learning the craft, so if you’re going to call something outside Scotland “scotch”, Japanese single malt would be it.

          Definitely try the Nikka Coffey whiskies!

        10. avatar Frank in VA says:

          I’m going to have to try one of the Japanese single-malts soon. I’ve read good things, and I like to picture a bunch of aged Japanese distillers laboring over the process with the same somber dedication that they would craft a katana with.

          In reality, they could use robots for all I know, but I prefer my version, so don’t ruin it.

    4. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      Oban. Great in winter before the fire or at dinner but, really, great any time you want to slow down and savor a really good single-malt.

      1. avatar mark s. says:

        Love all the good advise from what sounds like well seasoned experts on great ryes and ales but just because there was no smoky ashtray in the pic isn’t cause to ignore the pleasures of a fine LaGloria Maduro , sending scents of hand rolled ecstasy wafting through the room .

  2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

    Oh yeah, also, I dig the listing by manufacturer with the logos! Good stuff.

  3. avatar Mark Scherer says:

    Wow. Assuming I’m actually looking at the finished site, and there are not outstanding issues…

    1. You need to have SOMETHING on the main page, besides the filter options on the left. It looks like the page didn’t load completely. Even if it’s something as basic as “Welcome to the TTAG Gun Review Database. Get started by selecting a category on the left…”

    2. In this day and age, there’s no reason you can’t have the filter/categories on the left, then load the content dynamically into the right. IOW, ajax. You don’t need iFrames, but a simple jQuery ajax request would suffice.

    3. If someone selects “Pump action shotguns”, they should list on the right, and the navigation option on the left should be highlighted. So the navigation reflects where the user is. Also, you can remove some whitespace in those options. I see you are using double break tags to separate the content. Please please use CSS…

    That’s just to start. Feel free to contact me via email if you want a more detailed opinion. I do this for a living, but am willing to give you my free opinion and tips if it means I don’t have to use the current interface. 🙂

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      Thanks for the feedback! I’ll start working on some of these suggestions.

      As I told Robert and Dan: I do functional, not pretty. Although this version is less terrible.

  4. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    For speed and safety, the TTAG firearms review database is now stored locally on our server.

    Taking the Hillary Clinton route I see?

  5. avatar BlinkyPete says:

    Gross dude. Get yourself a legit distillery bottling or at least something from a competent private bottler. Or just a $15-20 bourbon from Heaven Hill.

  6. avatar DK says:

    Sort by date function, please. Thanks.

  7. avatar glenux says:

    How good is the Ismore Whiskey?
    How does it compare with Knob Creek?

    1. avatar Frank says:

      If you are a bourbon fan, I’d recommend trying Elijah Craig 12 YO. I think it is one of the best findable bourbons in terms of bang for your buck. If price is no object, Blanton’s tops my list right now of the bourbons I have tried.

      A few years ago I used to buy Pappy Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 YO once or twice a month at about $60 per bottle. I thought it was the best bourbon I’d had at the time. Then some magazine writer named it the ‘best bourbon in the world’ and I couldn’t find it anymore. It wasn’t long before hipsters were reportedly paying $50 or more per shot to try the stuff at Georgetown bars, and people were reselling it for $400+ a bottle online. I laughed when I read about it. It’s good, but no bourbon is that good.

      1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

        No longer that findable, sadly… replaced with “small batch”, which is a blend of 8-12 year old. Fine, but not nearly as good. If you poke around you can find some of the transitional labeled bottles that still carry the age statement on the back – that’s still good old 12 year. Anything without the number is the new stuff. I’ve got 20 bottles stashed away.

        1. avatar Frank says:

          I had not heard about the change. I just checked online and the local store still has “limited quantities” of the 12YO, on sale for $26.99. I may go snag a bottle tonight.

        2. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          Just double check and make sure it’s actually 12 year old (again, check the back if 12 isn’t on the front). Most retailers haven’t bothered to switch labels.

  8. avatar Higgs says:

    Nick I have a minor sugestion. Include who did the review above the rating on the search results page. IE

    17 (Glock)

    Nick Leghorn
    Rating:(4.0) –

    Also any plans to include user reviews from past series / contests.

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      This should actually include most of the user reviews.

      Each review is tagged with a ton of data in the database, including author and major firearm features. Contest reviews are tagged as “Guest” and regular contributors all have their own code. I’ll look into adding the author to the existing display, so long as it doesn’t get too cluttered.

  9. avatar 2Asux says:

    Lismore Speyside? Really? Have you no sense of taste. Be man about it. Jameson Gold, or Bushmills in a pinch.

    Of note, “whiskey” is an English corruption of a Gaelic phrase meaning “water of life”. Trade that bit of knowledge at your favorite pub, for a free draught.

    Of an important note, having a lighthearted moment in no way diminishes the personal tragedies created today in Florida. Such reckless behavior should not be excused by anyone, over any reason atall.

    1. avatar That's right (you're not from Texas)... says:

      I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy! ?
      Old Crow for the win you scotch snobs. /sarc.
      Seriously though, Aberlour 18 Year Old!

      1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

        I think you meant Ezra Brooks… old crow is three year old runoff. I’m glad they’re honest enough to bottle it as straight, but for $3 more you get superior stock distilled and aged by Heaven Hill bottled at a higher proof. Best $10 you can spend.

  10. avatar Justsomeguy says:

    Glenn Livit 12Yo suits me fine thanks, but the work on the database is a great improvement.

  11. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    25yr old laphroaig cask strength. my old lady dropped it unopened on the kitchen floor. i had kept that gift for 8yrs and she suddenly got thirsty.
    i like a little famous grouse.
    every few years i take a snort off the old waterfill and frazier. not much left. i have an old ass bottle of w.l.weller too.

    the review section was always pretty navigable except for the accessories reviews. that was a hodgepodge.
    so i look forward to the improvements.

    1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      Is the W.L Weller open? if not you might check around bottle-spot or some of the groups on FB. If it’s really old-ass you’d be stunned by how much it’s worth. Particularly if it says Stitzel-Weller anywhere on the bottle.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        it’s not, but i don’t see stitzel anywhere. it came from chalmer’s tavern on jarvis (there’s that street again) when my friends gramma who ran the bar died. i’ll crack it with him on merritt island this spring. the tax stamp seal is from the ’30’s.

  12. avatar Mike Betts says:

    I’m going to make all of you scotch lovers jealous. The greatest vacation I’ve ever taken was a two-week whisky-tasting tour of Scotland with a group of fellow malt lovers. We went all over the Highlands, up to Orkney, and out to Islay. On Islay I turned malt on the malting floor and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that I had a hand in making the bottle of 18 year-old Laphroaig my wife gave me 18 years later. Where didn’t we go? Any distillery which was Speyside. At any of our whisky tastings the usual comment after sampling was, “Meh. A typical Speyside whisky.” My favorites? For a Highland, Glenmorangie – marvelously complex. Islay: Lagavulin, specifically the 16 year-old. Lowland? Auchentoshen is a perfectly acceptable breakfast whisky.

    1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      I am thoroughly jealous; dreaming of a similar trip; planning a breakfast whisky.

  13. avatar Rabble says:

    apparently I logged into The Truth About Whiskey… *smirks* *sips a well gin martini*

    1. avatar Mike Betts says:

      As a very wise man in the Bahamas once told me, “Rum make you dumb, gin make you sin, but whisky make you frisky – and vodka doesn’t rhyme with ANYTHING!” Words to live by.

  14. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    One day I was touring the Isle of Skye via Google Street View. I was virtual-driving down a seaside road when the camera car passed the middle aged guy driving a pristine bug-eye Sprite who had stopped in a turnout and was looking out to sea. I envied that guy. Driving a vintage sports car on the Isle of Sky makes for a memorable day.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      He’s a brave lad indeed who parks an antique aluminum-bodied vehicle that close to saltwater-laden air…

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        true. but all sprites and postwar midgets are steel bodied.
        the warwick produced birmabright streamliners are an exception, as are later glass bodied versions.

    2. avatar Mike Betts says:

      I have been to Skye twice, both times via the ferry at the Kyle of Lochailsh. I’m not saying I’m the most well-traveled man ever but the Isle of Skye remains the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to believe that there is but one distillery on the entire island. One of the treasures I brought back from the trip was a 38 year-old Talisker. Yes, it was sublime.

    3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      if you street view the tavern at 7301 n western ave. my guzzi is parked on the sidewalk in front.

  15. avatar Adub says:

    Nick, you still don’t have an entry linking to the Taurus 738 TCP review.

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      An egregious oversight which has now been resolved. Thanks!

  16. avatar Cole says:

    Glad you are doing this but doing something similar for gear reviews would be awesome also. Maybe filters for trigger reviews, holster reviews, scope reviews, red dot reviews, etc. to at least make it slightly easier when looking for different gear.

  17. avatar crzapy says:

    Could you also have a filter for most recent reviews, or reviews by date?

    1. avatar Invisible Hand says:


  18. avatar Crowbar says:

    I like the review section. I have found it useful especially since there are about 10 new gun companies popping up each day that I have never heard of before. I am happy to hear it is getting an upgrade. Thanks TTAG. And as far as truly, truly good whiskey, Wild Turkey out of a Sheetz plastic 44 Oz cup at a Slayer concert in 1990. It doesn’t get better than that.

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