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gdr_11
03-12-2009, 8:47 PM
Anyone subscribe to Gun Test? Got an offer in the mail for a 1 year subscription for $24.

They claim no advertising and factual, no holds barred comparisons of pists and long guns in side-by-side testing.

Don't want to waste my $, but the concept sounds good.

gunboat
03-12-2009, 9:54 PM
I had a subscription about 15 years ago -- Not a single ad in it --- Of course, I suppose the write ups could be considered an ad ----when comparing items they usually give a recomended buy - Then (1992) it was about 24 pages, the magazine has punched holes to store in a three ring binder -- I think it is worth while if modern weapons and accessories are your interest. Cost then was rather high $49. Why not ask for a sample copy ? My ha-penny

ImOverHere
03-12-2009, 10:02 PM
Anyone subscribe to Gun Test? Got an offer in the mail for a 1 year subscription for $24.

They claim no advertising and factual, no holds barred comparisons of pists and long guns in side-by-side testing.

Don't want to waste my $, but the concept sounds good.

Yes, I do. In fact, it's the only gun magazine I subscribe to (unless you count American Rifleman that comes with NRA membership). IMO, most other gun magazines simply recycle articles every few months and, of course, have never reviewed a firearm they didn't like.

Gun Tests, at least, will tell you not only the conditions under which they test their firearms, but will tell you why they did or didn't like one. You may, of course, not agree with their evaluation, or the weight they put upon certain factors, but at least you'll have a more comprehensive understanding of the pros and cons of something you may be thinking about buying.

I have years worth of old ones to help me evaluate used guns I may be interested in buying but am not already familiar with. A subscription will also provide you with access to their website, allowing you to run searches on both firearms and a whole host of accessories and ammunition.

Again, it's not the final say, but just another useful source of info., IMO.

SanMiguel3
03-12-2009, 10:07 PM
I had one-year subscriptions on two different occasions. The concept is sound, sort of like Consumer Reports on guns. In reality, though, I found their criteria and reporting amateurish.

On the plus side, they did call garbage, garbage, and described the issues. Which is more than you get from your standard slicked up gun rags. You do have to read carefully at what they are griping about. Could be something you can live with.

Another problem was that the articles were not topical. You didn't get a timely report on newly introduced models at the SHOT show, for example. This may have to do with the fact that the magazine is not "in" with the industry and don't get a chance to get some "samples."

All in all, I thought the magazine was worth the money at the time. Certainly more objective than the other magazines.

bruss01
03-12-2009, 10:18 PM
Anyone subscribe to Gun Test? Got an offer in the mail for a 1 year subscription for $24.

They claim no advertising and factual, no holds barred comparisons of pists and long guns in side-by-side testing.

Don't want to waste my $, but the concept sounds good.

I have taken it before, and enjoyed it. The scope is limited, but they offer a perspective that you don't find in the paid-advertising magazines.

If you subscribe, do it under an alias and pay using a postal money order. I've heard they "re-up" you for life if they have your credit card number. Just what I've heard. I used the MO and never had any problems. FYI

The thing I enjoyed most about it was the refreshing frankness regarding problems they had with a gun. If it didn't work, they told you in what way it didn't work and what was done to try to resolve the problem. If it was unresolved, they said so. That is something notably absent from the magazines which accept paid advertising. Like I said, refreshing.

caldude
03-12-2009, 10:32 PM
I have a current subscription, and I like the magazine okay, but it's not quite as professional as other publications. They do report their findings truthfully, but they are also reporting on a sample of one. So if they have an issue with a particular gun, that doesn't necessarily mean all guns of that type are just as bad.

As others have said, one of the benefits to subscribing is being able to search their past reviews on their web site. I use it as another data point when researching something I am looking to buy.

Can'thavenuthingood
03-13-2009, 6:47 AM
I think its a good deal.
Its there opinion of a gun they tested in there manner.
They bring up points and comparisons, things to look at, what may or may not be a concern to some.

Really its no different than asking for an opinion here on Calguns.

They get a gun and shoot the crap out of it and tell you their opinion. Just another source only they tend to be more objective than their shiny brethren since no advertising.

Like ImOverHere says, its a great index to have on the shelf for shopping.

Get it, I don't think you will be disappointed.

Vick

NIB
03-13-2009, 9:41 AM
They can suck a fat one!

About 12 years ago they sent me a "sample" issue after sending in a card out of a gun rag for a sample issue. Didn't really like it so I trashed it. A month later I received another one and then another one followed by a letter saying that I have not paid for my subscription and it would be canceled and sent to collections and ruin my credit history if I didn't pay immediately. I ignored it and hope they pray to whichever gods they believe in that they don't send me to collections. I would have dismissed it all together but it turned out they were doing the same to many others.

gun toting monkeyboy
03-13-2009, 9:45 AM
I used to get it. They were pretty honest about how the guns actually did. I just got sick of reviews on high-priced 1911 clones every month. They had a very limited scope of weapons they looked at, and spent way too much time looking at the high-end stuff for my taste. But they were brutally honest if a gun didn't work. And heaven help the company that supplied a gun with "issues". Even if they fixed it, they still usually got a failing grade for letting it out of the factory that way in the first place.

ojisan
03-13-2009, 9:57 AM
I like it, I have subscribed since they started.
Not perfect but more realistic / truthful than Guns and Ammo, etc.
I have never had a billing problem.
Great for reference, take down info, items to be fixed / improved.

maxicon
03-13-2009, 10:28 AM
I've subscribed several times, and am just letting my most recent subscription lapse.

It's probably the best gun mag out there (not saying much, as most of the rest suck pretty badly).

Their reviews are very subjective, they only have a single sample, and they often change standards a lot between different reviews, even in the same issue, but you can figure out how much you care about what they report on. Some guns they'll give an F for a minor failure, others they'll tinker with and bump it up to a B.

Still, they call it as they see it, and that's rare in the gun mag world. I like them enough to re-subscribe every few years when I get over the burnout from any mag subscription.

Turbinator
03-13-2009, 12:25 PM
They can suck a fat one!

About 12 years ago they sent me a "sample" issue after sending in a card out of a gun rag for a sample issue. Didn't really like it so I trashed it. A month later I received another one and then another one followed by a letter saying that I have not paid for my subscription and it would be canceled and sent to collections and ruin my credit history if I didn't pay immediately. I ignored it and hope they pray to whichever gods they believe in that they don't send me to collections. I would have dismissed it all together but it turned out they were doing the same to many others.

Sorry, but if you don't like it, you need to tell them that you're not interested. Otherwise, no response is as good as acceptance.

I subscribed awhile back, the only problem I see with their tests is that they get a sample size of 1 and test that gun. Based on that limited sample size, they draw conclusions and give recommendations. You never know if they just got a lemon, or if the product truly is faulty.

Turby

anothergunnut
03-13-2009, 12:46 PM
I have subscribed for many years and plan on keeping it. I am on the automatic charge to my credit card plan. They send an invoice every year so if you want to cancel you can.

It is the only place you can get unbiased results from professional testers who thoroughly test guns. The gun comic books have lots of pretty pictures but they are shills for the manufacturers. You get a lot of insight from people on the internet but you never know if it is true. Nobody on the interneet ever shoots 1 1/2 inch groups on average; it's always a three shot .001 group.

Gun Tests for the truth, G&A for pretty pictures.

chickenfried
03-13-2009, 12:57 PM
I had a subscription for a year. Not really that useful. I liked the concept but my interests at the time didn't sync with the firearms reviewed.

Don't the other gun mags also review based on one sample? Plus, it's an off the shelf sample rather than a sample supplied by the manufacturer for review.


I subscribed awhile back, the only problem I see with their tests is that they get a sample size of 1 and test that gun. Based on that limited sample size, they draw conclusions and give recommendations. You never know if they just got a lemon, or if the product truly is faulty.

Turby

JeffM
03-13-2009, 1:04 PM
Their reviews are very subjective, they only have a single sample, and they often change standards a lot between different reviews, even in the same issue, but you can figure out how much you care about what they report on. Some guns they'll give an F for a minor failure, others they'll tinker with and bump it up to a B.

They tend to change the standards based on realistic expectations. They might give a "plinker" a B when it has a few stoppages that don't detract from the fun of shooting the gun. But they will certainly give a gun designed or marketed as a defensive arm an F if it has a FTF/FTE.

ImOverHere
03-13-2009, 8:05 PM
Don't the other gun mags also review based on one sample? Plus, it's an off the shelf sample rather than a sample supplied by the manufacturer for review.

Exactly right on both counts.

Like most things, it's a function of one's needs. For me, always looking to buy something new/used/interesting, it's just another source of info. - and certainly more helpful than the glossy gun mag. writers who apparently love every gun they ever review - just like the experiences of one's friends, Internet forums, etc.

goober
03-13-2009, 8:14 PM
i like it but agree that their methods are a bit whacked at times.
in concept its great- no ads, no bias, no BS, just fair evaluation of firearms & straight talk.
in practice its isn't quite so-
their comparisons are not always fair; at times they compare a bone-stock model from one manufacturer to a totally tricked out top-o-the line model from another. and every now and then they seem to have a bias and be more forgiving for issues on some models than for others.
but overall, i like it, and if you can keep your BS-ometer at least on standby, there is good information to be had. just don't mindlessly swallow everything they (or anybody else) say(s).

tankerman
03-13-2009, 9:27 PM
I got the mag for a couple of years, didn't care for it.

gdr_11
03-14-2009, 5:58 PM
Well, the jury is in. Looks like the rag has pros and cons, but I have decided not to order and instead run my questions through this site if I am pondering a new purchase.

Who needs a subscription when you are connected in cyberspace to a grand bunch of crazy gun nuts like we have here!

chickenfried
03-14-2009, 6:39 PM
One of the shooting magazines I like is Shooting Times. Nice combo of informative articles and eye candy.

navraster
03-15-2009, 3:44 AM
I had a subscription a few years back, but let it lapse. I recently resubscribed, and was pleasantly surprised to find that they have a full, searchable archive of their past reviews. I use the site a lot, mainly because they publish one piece of information that is almost impossible to find anywhere else. That is the "trigger span" of handguns, which is critical to me because of my small hands.

They aren't perfect, but I find their service worth the $24 a year. I spend a lot more than that on things that aren't as valuable to me.

They will indeed send you about a billion pieces of junk mail if you don't sign up for the magazine after the trial issue. However, none of mine were threatening to send the account to collections. However, once you either decline or subscribe the mail stops. I also had a problem with not receiving issues, and the missing issues were sent to me within 2 days(!!) to me.

I would give it a shot for the $24, as their online database goes back 10 years or more, and has already paid for itself for me since December.

-Steve

Knight
03-15-2009, 3:53 AM
I've subscribed to it for about three years. Pretty much everyone's comments in this topic seem about right-on.

I mostly read it like I would listen to a guy at a gun store or range that I just met telling me about his new gun he bought and what he thought of it - if you catch my drift.

Ford8N
03-15-2009, 6:59 AM
I used to subscribe to GT and all the gun magazines. But now with the .net, why? I can get all kinds of opinions and reviews on just about any firearm. I realize opinions are like...well you know. And it is correct about the pretty magazines being shills. It was Mike Venturino who mentioned one time in an indirect way that you either write positive or you will not get any more work, the manufactures just won't send you any more firearms to test. Of course Mike is one of the last writers from a different era.

bowfin
03-15-2009, 9:19 AM
I had subscribed to Gun Tests magazine at one time, but they lost me when they gave the Chipmunk single shot rifle a "Do Not Buy" rating because the teenager who tested it claimed it was a "little kid's gun". No kidding?...

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g184/artsmom/bestdavidhoneycoon.jpg

...I thought that was the point behind the Chipmunk rifle. It's okay to have an opinion, but I'm only willing to pay for informed ones.