American Rifleman: “We Don’t Publish Negative Reviews” | The Truth About Guns

This really should come as no surprise but, few gun magazines or websites ever publish bad reviews of guns or other equipment. Nick Leghorne of The Truth About Guns recently interviewed for a position with American Rifleman magazine and it was a significant learning experience for him.

American Rifleman magazine is printed on dead trees and mailed to subscribers. Every extra page (well, four pages actually) costs tens of thousands of dollars to print and ship. With such a steep price, any additional information printed on those pages has to be worth the expense. And in the minds of the American Rifleman staff, negative reviews don’t count as “worth it.”

via American Rifleman: “We Don’t Publish Negative Reviews” | The Truth About Guns.

Like I said, this really should not come as a surprise to anyone. It is perhaps the worst kept secret of 99% of gun publications…the articles/reviews are just filler to put between the ads that actually pay for the publication. A bad gun review assures loss of the related revenue as well as removal from the manufacturer’s T&E list which means the cost of doing such reviews is that much more expensive as you’ll have to actually buy the items you’re reviewing rather than testing them and sending them back to the manufacturer.

-GM

3 thoughts on “American Rifleman: “We Don’t Publish Negative Reviews” | The Truth About Guns

  1. Gun reviews in magazines remind of me yearly evaluations in the military; it isn’t how good you are, every is “good”.
    The trick is deciphering the exaggerations and hyperbole in describing how ‘good’ something is. A flat “it is an okay gun” means to avoid it like the plaque.

    Or a wildly enthusiastic review could me “they paid a lot for advertising and we can’t trash our best customer”. (how many evaluations were used to make sure someone was promoted out of a unit?)

    Bob S.

  2. The Star “Firestar” was proclaimed “handgun of the year” back in the day. What? You never heard of it? That is because it was a huge turd of a pistol, that won the award due to the amount of add space purchased. Much like the Springfield XD…

    Magazines, as well as web sites like “nut n fancy” are notorious for 100% positive reviews.

    The size, weight, and photos are usually Thor only accurate part of the review.

  3. We all know that. Well, maybe not all. There are people who voted for Obama…twice. But those of us with functioning gray matter have known that forever. Car mags, photo mags, gun mags, or any product magazines live off of advertising. If you don’t think that is true, please PM me about a great real estate deal I have been holding for the right guy.

    However, the worst of them still have good photos and some objective test results. Guns & Ammo does accuracy tests from rests that can tell you a lot. Yes, they rotate ammo types, but if you look at enough, you can glean information about their test guns and their test ammo. (Note I am not saying that G&A is the worst. They have been around since I was a kid…and I respect tradition and persistence. I am a subscriber and will remain one!)

    Just one more opinion. I would hate to see G&A disappear while Time magazine and USA Today survive.

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