Jump to content

UK Gun Magazine Reviews


Peteri

Recommended Posts

Genuine question - I've returned to the sport after a break of 6 years, having a hell of a year waiting for my SGC - but it's saving me money! Having lessons in the meantime and reading all I can.

Can someone please explain why Vic Harker is writing the same reviews he was writing when I last shot? I'm gob-smacked at how hard it is to get decent gun reviews in print, Lloyd and TGS are my go to

This isn't meant as a personal attack, if they're paying him why not? But I'm amazed

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as I’m aware Vic hasn’t written a bad review about any gun in the past 10 years. Does that mean guns are that much better including some at the very bottom of the price range, or is it a load of old cobblers. You decide 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wynno, I agree but think it’s more like 30 years, according to Vic every gun he has reviewed is good value for money. I understand he gets paid to write the review and can only assume that he doesn’t want to offend the gun makers but he could be a little more honest 

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
schmokinn

Doesn't matter who does the gun reviews they are always much the same and never bad.

Vic has probably not written one for years somebody is just copying and pasting.

Ground reviews always good.

Criticism of anything will never happen.

Never worth more than 5 minutes a day in the smallest room and then left there when finished.

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Not just Vic, other magazine reviews are all “this gun is wonderful” pretty much regardless. 
 

I think the problem is bias. It’s inevitable. To someone who shoots a Krieghoff, they’re the best thing since sliced bread. If that gun is subsidised or even free to use, then it’s not ever going to be “the gun is just too heavy” until another gun come along that’s free, subsidised and better, or so much better (to that particular person’s sensibilities) the subsidy becomes irrelevant. 
 

Then of course there is the advertising bias. A good friend is owner/editor of an engineering publication. Now he’s pretty much a ‘call a spade a spade sort of chap’. However, he’s not an idiot. He may find fault with a product but writes only about virtues. These people who send him stuff to review also send him a monthly cheque to advertise their wares. Don’t bite the hand that fees you. 
 

Then there are personal bias. I’m biased towards Blaser. I have my reasons and maybe their nonsense, but if you gave me a Browning, I could say what is great about it, but also what I don’t like about it as my bias is towards the Blaser. That’s my benchmark. For what its worth, I do like the 525. 

So far I’ve shot CG Summit Accent, Beretta 686 & 694, Browning 525 & 725, ATA, Kofs, Benelli 828, Winchester 101, Fausti FX4, Blaser F16 & F3. They’re all good guns. They all break clays and I’m sure other makes do too. 

A £500 Kofs cannot be expected to quite as good as say a Browning.  But as someone who has conducted a lot of ‘Value Engineering’ what separates the Kofs from say the Browning? Or say even a Krieghof? What binds them together?

Materials: I don’t know the material specifications used in a Kofs, but I’m reasonably confident that the materials are up to the job of being a safe shotgun. The materials might be of a more commonly available grade than this say used in the Kreighof or even the Browning. As a proportion of the overall cost of the gun, the materials, be those of a common nickel chromium verity or a more specialised nitriding steel, the difference is relatively small compared to the overall gun shop ticket price. The performance difference will be seen in service life.

The work required to convert a billet  of steel to a basic component part used in a shotgun is largely going to be the same. Post processing heat treatment, metal finishing and production tolerances will have a fairly small  effect on price also. These may also have a small effect on service life and arguably some technical performance gains that to most would be indistinguishable without instrumentation to measure (Claimed Blaser lock times spring to mind) but advertise these and the placebo effect will have many of us convinced we can discern  the difference.
 

Guns that have a significant amount of hand finishing will have their prices  dependant largely on hours spent multiplied by cost of labour. So a gun made in turkey with 5hrs of hand finishing is going to have quite a different price point that a gun made in Germany with 50hrs of work put into it. 

Volumes built will have a major effect. If your order book is for 100 guns a year, you take a very different approach to manufacture than if your order book is for 1000 guns. The latter may involve greater levels of automation than the former. A set-up cost of £1000 amortised over 100 guns versus £2000 amortised over 1000 guns makes a very different pricing model.

Similarly with the wood. It takes about as much effort (cost) to chop down a tree, chop it up into billets, and select a bad piece as much as a good piece. Scarcity and popularity (fashion is you will) makes up the rest.

Shaping the stock by hand by some chap in Portugal is pretty much the same effort as someone doing the same job in Hertfordshire. The labour costs may be a little different, the value of the timber is what ever you perceive it to be.

In greater volume, a 4 axis CNC router may be used, at least to rough out the blank. The cost of the machine must be weighted against the cost of equivalent labour. It’s a simple business decision based on mathematics with perhaps a marketing fudge factor in there too.

Then we come to margins. At factory, wholesale and retail. A £500 gun still has to make a profit. Even if it comes to the retailer at say £350, the wholesaler (I wild guess) £250, the manufacturer perhaps had a cost of making the gun at say £200.

Given the very best materials, the very best post processing, best finishing, lots of hand working and low order book, the more expensive guns will likely not cost £5,000 to make. Again, it’s a guess, but I’d wager somewhere between £2,000 to £4,000 for an off the rack gun. (Engraving, by hand especially could legitimately double the cost and more)

So most of the price of a higher end gun will be margin. This will largely be governed by brand values. I’d hazard a guess that had no one ever won a championship with a Perazzi, you’d be looking at a gun much less than the price they are.

Im quite sure that my Blaser is costing me more than the intrinsic value of the materials and processes and I’m ok with that. 
 

In my opinion, a good reason to not give a bad review is that when taking pricing and brand values into consideration, there really aren’t any bad guns (just bad shooting)

So by and large, I tend to read/watch reviews just out of interest what other people have to say. 
 

I never did like a film Barry Norman or Mark Kamode said was good. But if Johnathan Ross said its a good film, I’d be booking my cinema tickets right away.

For me, you [ I ] choose a gun because I likes it. Nothing more, nothing less. 

Edited by Lloyd
Link to post
Share on other sites

All excellent points, thanks for the great replies - I agree with all.

Guess I'm just amazed how few words of these reviews actually talk about the gun, compared with a 5000 essay on the importance of gun fit to a trap shooter ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Freddypip

In Vic’s defence it has to be said that most guns now are well made and do reflect good value compared to 20 or 30 years ago. The problem is that much comes down to feel and balance and personal preference (etc) and if the reviewer doesn’t have a way of differentiating one gun from another in his text, the ‘review’ simply becomes a standard list of the guns technical specs – barrels, comb, locking mechanism and a statement that it handled “well” and I hit some clays.

I think it’s the same with most product and reviews – influencers are paid to provide “Reviews” which as a consequence are never objective.

I enjoy listening to music on headphones and hifi equipment reviews are the same. A while back I came across this page,

https://www.13thnote.net/2019/05/01/the-fckd-up-nature-of-the-audiophile-audio-industry/

The site was going out of ‘business’ because the so called ‘corrupt’ manufacturers would not pay for the reviewer’s time – he saw it as a job with his reviews creating revenue for them of which he was entitled to a share. Putting aside whether they had agreed to pay for the reviews, I was quite amazed at his failure to understand how biased & flawed his comments were. The reviewer says he is impartial but I do wonder if he knew what the word really means.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/12/2020 at 3:28 PM, Lloyd said:

 

In my opinion, a good reason to not give a bad review is that when taking pricing and brand values into consideration, there really aren’t any bad guns (just bad shooting)

 

In my humble opinion it goes something like this ... 

Shooting Scribe , “ The Ohmygoshi  900 32”    ProAm Sporter  is a completely woeful  piece of sh*te . Too many gimmicks , and at £ 2000 above the perfectly useable grade 1 you’d be a total retard to waste your hard earned . 
 

Editor , But Ohmygoshi have taken out a

£10,000 double page ad this month ... 

 

Shooting Scribe ,  How about , “ This gun changes the game .. years of R&D have resulted in the most useable sporting shotgun ever made “ .... 

 

  • Like 3
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Cosmicblue

It reminds me of starting out at clay shooting in 2008, deeply analytical I read anything and everything going and concluded that gun magazine reviews would be more useful if they were printed on toilet tissue, cartridges that go 'bang' are generally OK and clothing that doesn't cook you in summer or get you cold/wet - delete as applicable is good to have.  I  haven't bought a gun mag since.   Lloyd and his Gunshorts Youtube channel is our saviour.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Cosmicblue said:

It reminds me of starting out at clay shooting in 2008, deeply analytical I read anything and everything going and concluded that gun magazine reviews would be more useful if they were printed on toilet tissue, cartridges that go 'bang' are generally OK and clothing that doesn't cook you in summer or get you cold/wet - delete as applicable is good to have.  I  haven't bought a gun mag since.   Lloyd and his Gunshorts Youtube channel is our saviour.

Completely agree, Lloyd is wonderful - doubly so because his real job is in IT and yet he appears to have people skills :) (I'm in the same industry)

TGS has also been a lot of fun, and insight

Maybe with lockdown, Vic will have chance to write a new review....... 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

And look what showed up in my email today 

C62CA65D-1BA0-49A5-AD3C-B153C835EE04.thumb.jpeg.aea63b3a7bbb0a2f9e384d333d14949a.jpeg

https://www.sportingshooter.co.uk/kit-tests/shotguns/browning-b725-sporter-test-and-review-1-6885759?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=DM33023

And one from Mr Yardley too who is “blown away” by the EGE E61

and to quote 

“ EGE E61 12-BORE - BRIEF OVERIEW

WE LIKE: The engineering and style; The stock and rib configuration; The reasonable bottom line 

WE DON’T LIKE: The fact that other guns are so much more expensive when you can make something this good under £1,000 “ (quiet a lot under £1,000 actually)

0B6EB4E5-2B52-4566-BF61-442D73A3189C.thumb.jpeg.ede5cf85ca3d7b08bf49a966e0e288b3.jpeg

Makes for particularly interesting reading, regarding bore diameter and chokes...

  https://www.sportingshooter.co.uk/kit-tests/shotguns/test-review-of-the-ege-e61-sporter-1-6928242?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=DM33023

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I learnt a lot from both these, Vic telling me the stock is the bit that goes nearest my shoulder - amazing how I’d forgotten that and explains the shouts from behind me!

And Mike praises a gun for having straight barrels - I never knew that was something I needed to specify!

 

You live you learn....

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Freddypip

The B725s review is a wonderful piece of the old & the new of the browning design resulting in a gun that is not standing still but is traditional, its 100 years old but it's a new design, etc, etc.  By the way it has chokes - mentioned in three separate paragraphs, and Vic is pleased the palm swell has returned - not sure if it is small, or medium or large but its returned. There is no comparison to any other gun, no mention of how it fits in the browning lineup, and I am clueless as to how the new B725s differs from the old one - I think Vic is too as the "s" is dropped part way through the article.

And don't get me started on straight barrels - a gimmick if you ask me. A fad, a fashion, a bloody waste of time & money. Anyone upgrading their gun for straight barrels is just a stupid muppet led on by the manufacturers and their newfangled ideas.

My favourite bit is,

"At the North Oxfordshire Shooting School, the B725 looked and felt impressive and certainly fulfilled my expectations. It was very much a back to the future moment when I lifted and shouldered the B725."

I was hoping the next sentence was,

"Later the same day whilst having a double cheeseburger at my local McDonalds in Grimsby the B725 looked a little dull, poorly dressed, with mismatching socks and a kipper tie. I felt like I was in the 1950's until I saw the new logo and felt the chokes"

  • Like 2
  • Haha 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
Lloyd Pattison
On 11/12/2020 at 1:49 PM, Peteri said:

Genuine question - I've returned to the sport after a break of 6 years, having a hell of a year waiting for my SGC - but it's saving me money! Having lessons in the meantime and reading all I can.

Can someone please explain why Vic Harker is writing the same reviews he was writing when I last shot? I'm gob-smacked at how hard it is to get decent gun reviews in print, Lloyd and TGS are my go to

This isn't meant as a personal attack, if they're paying him why not? But I'm amazed

First of all, thank you :).

You might have spotted that I write for Clay Shooting magazine from time to time, but that I don't write gun reviews. There is a reason for that. No gun manufacturers advertise on my channel so I can say what I want, magazines are paid for by advertising. I think that Vic Harker and Mike Yardley are irrelevant nowadays but they can be relied upon to pump out 3000 words that wont offend anyone in print so that's what you get. Jonny and I suffer no such restriction, although we might fall out with the marketing department at the distributor from time to time in my experience they know the power of youtube, and generally are happy to let the guns stand on their merit. The mags charge a fortune for ad space which gives the manufacturers a lever. I will always get hold of guns eventually used whether the disty sends me a press gun or not and my reviews will always be honest.

 

  

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Lloyd Pattison said:

First of all, thank you :).

You might have spotted that I write for Clay Shooting magazine from time to time, but that I don't write gun reviews. There is a reason for that. No gun manufacturers advertise on my channel so I can say what I want, magazines are paid for by advertising. I think that Vic Harker and Mike Yardley are irrelevant nowadays but they can be relied upon to pump out 3000 words that wont offend anyone in print so that's what you get. Jonny and I suffer no such restriction, although we might fall out with the marketing department at the distributor from time to time in my experience they know the power of youtube, and generally are happy to let the guns stand on their merit. The mags charge a fortune for ad space which gives the manufacturers a lever. I will always get hold of guns eventually used whether the disty sends me a press gun or not and my reviews will always be honest.

 

  

Thank you - great reply, and similar to other hobbies of mine (Guitar magazines basically award 9/10 the whole time now).

And I completely agree regarding the relevance, I'm super happy paying TGS and yourself for what you put out - I believe it much more

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...