The State of Internet Gun Reviews

The Vuurwapen Blog has an interesting post on the state of gun reviews online. He doesn’t feel they are up to par in most cases. I haven’t done that many reviews here, largely because I only review guns I use fairly regularly, and have some expertise with. I only have two pistols I carry regularly, a Glock 19 and an Elsie Pea, and there are enough reviews out there on those guns that I don’t really have anything to add. I did recently do a review / comparison with my previous pocket carry piece, the P3AT. but generally speaking, I don’t consider gear to be something I have any unique expertise in. I’m also out that phase where I see a new gun an automatically have to have it. Sure, every once in a while I’ll see something that strikes my fancy. Not too long ago at a gun show I saw a beautiful, unmolested Krag-Jorgensen and damned near dropped the 1400 they were asking on it in a month where I had already spent my play money. I ultimately hesitated, because I always like to research what to look for on a gun before diving in, so I can ensure the price is right. But I’ve never seen one since, so I kind of regret being careful.

Either way, back to the original subject, a good bit of advice to up and coming bloggers it to find an area of expertise in the community you’re blogging in, and fill that niche. For me, I’ve tried to develop expertise in the politics of the gun issue, and on how the law surrounding firearms works (or doesn’t work, as the case may be). I’ve also spend a good deal of time learning about the National Rifle Association, how it works and doesn’t work, and how the organization is structured and operates. In that process I’ve gotten to know a number of people in the Association, both in Fairfax and in the field. I think developing unique expertise is important, and there’s plenty of areas out there that are lacking. For instance, until John Richardson came along, I couldn’t keep up with all the Second Amendment cases that were filed post McDonald. John has developed the expertise and is the go-to blog when there’s a case development. SayUncle is the blog to hit when you want to see what everyone is writing about today, and what the topics of conservation are, which brings up another important point. The Internet gun blog community is really an ongoing conversation on the topics of the day. The key to relevance is entering that conversation with the expertise you developed. If you consistently do that, you’ll earn people’s respect and they’ll start linking to you. It’s unfortunate that getting noticed is harder now then it was when I started blogging, but it’s not impossible. The key it just to get yourself out there and make enough conversation that people notice. I generally will read links provided in the comments, and generally read e-mailed links (though, due to volume of e-mail, I miss a lot).

I’m with the Vuurwapen Blog that reviews are now pretty much a dime a dozen. I don’t read gun reviews anymore. That market has been so crowded by SEO seekers with no real expertise such that any review is suspect. When I’m in the market for a new gun, I will generally ask someone I know who’s got experience or expertise on a particular type of firearm, like Tam, Caleb, SayUncle, or Joe depending on the gun of interest.

6 Responses to “The State of Internet Gun Reviews”

  1. Wow! Thanks for the very nice compliment.

    I have to admit that there are times that I’m a bit overwhelmed by all the new cases and new developments. I need to start adopting the “tab clearing” technique to at least alert people to some of the stuff.

  2. RG says:

    I’m still trying to find my niche, so to speak. Firearms in general are just very interesting to me, in a good way. Though I must say – when I need a good laugh or food for thought, I read Tam’s stuff. You, Joe, SayUncle, John Richardson and Barron Barnett have the most informative gun blogs, IMO. Miguel, Thirdpower and Sean D. Sorrentino are the ones I read for the anti-gunner smackdowns.

  3. Mulliga says:

    If there’s one thing eight years of shooting and reviewing guns has taught me, it’s that any gun review done with a nonproduction firearm is completely worthless. The QC of all manufacturers today is so spotty that a handpicked “sample” from a factory is not representative of what people can actually purchase.

  4. Chad says:

    Maybe I’m just old and cynical, but I’ve always been suspicious of the gun mags’ reviews. Primarily because when I’d read ” *insert gun manufacturer here* sent me this production sample of XYZ pistol” I thought, “yeah, right, suuuure that’s a production sample”. It may have been taken off the production line, but they’re not fooling anybody if they expect us to believe that QC didn’t go over the sample in question with a fine toothed comb.

    • HSR47 says:

      Which, of course, makes it all the worse when the sample fails spectacularly.

  5. Alpheus says:

    I appreciate the advice! I decided long ago that I should be posting things on the defense of “small” pursuits and the obstacles placed before them, but I haven’t had the time. :-(

    That’s another thing that I’d suggest to blog posters: find the time to post things! People won’t read your blog if the last post is going on seven months old. (Has it really been that long?!? Yes, it has…a lot has happened, too, in those seven months…)


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