I have been sitting on this post for some time, debating on whether I wanted to write it or not, but then some things happened and I couldn’t keep it bottled up anymore.

As much as a gun guy as I am, I do not watch gun influencer YouTube videos.  I don’t go on gun influencer websites.  I don’t read other people’s reviews.   I hate them all and hate the influence they have over an industry they do not understand.

This is a true story.  The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Put yourself as an engineer in a major firearms manufacturer in the mid-2010s.  Guns are flying off the shelves.

Your executive management team tells marketing: “We see gun sales are booming.  We want to get in on that boom.  Tell us what the market wants so we can make it.”

Marking does its research and comes to these conclusions.

Most of the guns being sold are being sold to first-time gun buyers or first-time product line buyers.  What is a first-time product line buyer?  A first-time product line buyer is someone who owns a gun, maybe a 22 for plinking or a bolt action deer rifle, but doesn’t own a handgun or an MSR/AR-15 style rifle.  They may be gun owners but this is the first time they are buying outside of their product comfort zone.

What is selling are AR-pattern rifles, handguns, and shotguns for self-defense, personal protection, and for some people, a hedge in case they are banned for political reasons.

Your company makes AR-pattern rifles and shotguns, but what you really need is to make handguns.

Market research comes back and says: “The vast majority of new handgun buyers want a gun for home defense and personal protection.  They will take it to the range a few times a year, and shoot maybe 200-250 rounds per range day, maximum.  They are going to buy from a major big-box sporting good retailer (Academy Sports, Bass Pro Shops, etc.) where they feel comfortable.  They want a gun that is from a brand with a known quality reputation, a warranty, and is reasonably priced with an MSRP ideally $399.99.”

The big takeaway here is that these gun buyers are not gun guys.

Gun guys are not buying 400 million guns.  Gun guys are the extreme minority of the gun buying community.  Readers of this blog are probably gun guys.

There is an old Yiddish expression: “to the worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish.”  For us, guns are our horseradish.  Most gun buyers do not live in our horseradish.

So you are an engineer and you set out to make this gun.

You have some design parameters that you need to meet:  Polymer frames are both popular and low-cost.  Abadextriousness and interchangeable grip sizes have become industry standards.  Popular barrel lengths are 4-4.5 inches.*  Magazines should hold 15-19 rounds of 9mm.  The gun needs to come in 9mm and 45 ACP.  It needs to come with two magazines and be manufactured at a cost that makes the MSRP $399.99 and can still be profitable when the retailer runs a flyer ad for the gun at $349.99.

*Remember, these are first-time handgun buyers.  They are not into concealed carry yet.  They want a gun for the nightstand or glovebox and to take to the range.  It doesn’t need to be a sub-compact.

The target consumer for this gun is going to go to Bass Pro or Academy or any one of those types of stores and ask for a pistol for home defense.  They are going to look at the price first.  The guy behind the counter will pull out a few guns in the same $400 range.  The buyer will pick them up and decide based on what feels best in their hand is the one they want.  If one model happens to be on special that day, that one will probably be the one sold.  Maybe the consumer will say something like “my grandfather had a gun made by [Brand], I’ve heard of them, I want that one.”  This is who buys the majority of guns in America, especially during a boom.

There is some good news here.  Because of the intended market of these guns, assume the service life is 15,000 rounds.

Again, if you are a gun guy and you read this and choke on that, remember you are a gun guy.  Most of these shooters will own the gun for 5 years.  Assume one range trip every quarter, 200-250 rounds per trip, that gun will see 4,000 rounds at best.  Most will probably see half of that.  This is a nightstand gun, not a military or law enforcement service pistol.  Remember that last sentence, it will come back later.

You make this gun.

To take into account economy of scale, you make the 9mm and 45 ACP versions nearly identical in all the major dimensions.  That gives most of the parts interchangeability between the two guns.  Where parts are not interchangeable, you only change the internal dimensions that need to be changed.  For instance, the outside of the slide and the position of the locking face are the same, but the breech face cuts are different to accommodate two different rim sizes.

R&D starts the gun design.  Industrial designers poke at it to make it aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.  It goes to engineering services that runs the CAD design through FEA and recommend changes.

At the same time, materials and sourcing get together and figure out what the gun is going to be made out of and who the parts and raw materials should be purchased from.

Sourcing also has to work with manufacturing to buy the tooling to make the guns.

Once FEA approves the design you order prototypes and you test them.

One engineer develops a test rig that uses a hydraulic ram to cycle the gun to simulate live fire on the critical components to save money on live-fire testing.  Some parts break.  That engineer does a root cause failure analysis and comes up with design changes.   Sourcing goes back to the vendors and works on changes there.  They are implemented and work.

Other engineers do different tests and the iterative design process does its’ job and at the end of the project, you have a last-generation prototype.

You take that to the range with your co-worker friends and shoot that gun until you can’t use your fingers anymore.  Five thousand rounds per shift, all fired by hand.

The gun passes all the final tests.

The manufacturing facility is tooled up.  The entire manufacturing order of operations is laid out to optimize production.  Workers are trained on the new equipment.  Quality testing of parts is implemented.

The first dry-run guns are built.

They go back to live-fire testing, the final quality check.  Do the guns do what they are supposed to do.


This is just a brief summary of the product concept to the final execution process of manufacturing.  If you work in this world, you know how difficult and complicated this process really is.

Now you launch the product.

The last three years of your life are validated.

Some gun influencer on YouTube gets your gun.  He’s a real VetBro and a CZ aficionado.

He shits all over your gun.

It works.  No malfunctions.  The gun runs exactly as it is supposed to.

But he doesn’t like it.  It’s too big and too heavy for a 9mm.  It’s not high-speed, low-drag.  It’s bulky, with an okay trigger compared to his beloved CZ.  It’s not something he’d trust his life to in whatever arid shithole he was deployed to that endowed him with his VetBro status.

Your gun is not “a Glock killer.”

YouTube McVetBro-Douche’s word is law.  Your gun becomes a laughing stock on gun boards.

Gun guys were not your target consumer, right?

Yes, but no.  See, a lot of guys who sign up to work behind the counter at these retailers are gun guys.

First-time buyers rely on the knowledge of the guy behind the counter or their gun guy friends for advice.

So now the gun guy friend or the gun guy behind the counter is asked for their sage advice, they repeat what YouTube McVetBro-Douche said.

Your gun gets no sales.

Your management team comes to you in a panic and wants changes to fix what the internet is saying.

You do.  You do a year’s worth of engineering in four months and relaunch the second-generation product.

By this time, the reputation has set in.

The following year, your company kills that product line.

What YouTube McVetBro-Douche never said or remotely acknowledged is that this gun was never ever, ever designed to be a high-speed, low drag, tactical pistol built for the law enforcement or military user as a service weapon.

This gun was never intended, at $399.99 MSRP from a big-box retailer to stack up against a $700+ MSRP Glock, CZ, HK, SIG, etc.

This gun was designed and built to be a reliable, functional, reasonably accurate*, budget-priced pistol for the causal gun owner to buy occasionally take to the range, and keep in a nightstand because the news says that crime is going up in his neighborhood.  This consumer does not need a high-speed, low drag, tactical pistol built for the law enforcement or military user, and most certainly doesn’t want to pay the price for a gun like that.

*Reasonable accuracy.  Everyone loves an accurate gun.  What is accurate?  For 99.9% of shooters, they are the limit of the gun’s accuracy.  A B27 target has a 10-ring that is 4×6 inches.  Put the B27 at 10 yards.  Take your favorite pistol.  Can you put every single round you fire into the 10-ring?  Can you put every single round you fire into the x-ring?  Every one.  Can you do that at 25 yards?  If you can, congratulations.  You probably need a more accurate gun.  Now, look at the person next to you at the range who is doing his best to keep them all in the black at 7 yards.  Does it really matter if the gun he shoots groups 3 inches vs 1.5 inches?  Do you put money and effort into making a tack driver for a shooter who considers it a good day on the range if he keeps them all in the 7-ring?  Or do you say a 3-inch group is easily deliverable and totally acceptable?  Understand that firearm accuracy is like top speed in cars.  You can make a cheap sedan that goes 100 MPH.  It takes a good sports car to do 140.  It takes a premium sports car to do 160.  It takes a supercar to do 180+.  It takes half a million dollars to go over 200 MPH.  It becomes exponentially harder the faster you go.  Accuracy is the same way.  It’s easy to build a gun that shoots 3-4 inch groups.  To cut that group size in half, double the price.  To cut the group size in half again doubles the price again.  Every increase in precision needed to improve performance comes with a cost.  Now watch as a gun influence with tens or hundreds of thousands of rounds of experience says that your gun isn’t as accurate as his favorite CZ that is three times the price, and he’s disappointed.

The gun you helped design was perfect for what it was supposed to be and for the consumer it was targeted to.

But none of that matters now, and the gun guys online, ignorant of the entire marketing and design philosophy of your gun, enjoy jumping on the bandwagon of shitting all over it.

The last time you see this gun you threw your life into is in an email flyer for an online wholesaler giving them away at $239.99, barely above cost.

Imagine for a moment that you are a product engineer at Ford.

You design the new Ford Ranger.  A compact, four-door pickup truck, designed for maximum fuel efficiency for the suburban guy, who doesn’t tow, and maybe will fully load the bed with a cooler full of ice and a 40-lbs propane tank for some tailgating, or a new push mower from Lowes.

Now, imagine some truck influencer gets a Ranger, puts a 5th-wheel in the bed, and tries to tow his 45-foot gooseneck.  Then he shits all over it saying it’s not as good as his diesel F-350 and it’s not “a Powerstroke killer.”

Most logical people would think that video was dumb as shit because everyone knows you don’t buy a compact pickup like a Ranger to do a Super Duty’s job.  That’s self-evident, or at least should be.

In the gun world, that logical step is absent and the influencer acts like a budget polymer-frame 9mm from a company that doesn’t sell military service weapons should be tantamount to a polymer frame 9mm that is twice the price and is used by half the military in the world because they look alike.

Years of work were destroyed by influencers talking out their ass about something they didn’t understand and wasn’t made for them.

And I hate them all for it.


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By J. Kb

30 thoughts on “Why I hate the gun influencer community – a true story”
  1. sarcasm / Well obviously Acme gun company should have supplied the gun free (along w/ bucketfuls of goodies) to all the influencers so they could get positive reviews, just like they did w/ gun mag reviewers. That’s the only honest way to do it. /sarcasm

    Reviews suck in general.

    1. I almost never look at video reviews. As in, I think I’ve bothered with one or two over the past decade. Generally I find them painful to watch.
      I will, however, do searches for malfunctions or known problems with the gun I’m interested in. And then it’s usually fairly straightforward to sort out the one-offs the “this-person-is-an-idiot-and-should-not-be-in-charge-of-a-fishtank-let-alone-a-gun”s from broader occurring problems. (Example: Grand Power’s previous imports of 10mm pistols. Seriously irritating to reassemble, and tended to drop magazines during firing. Good to know about.)

  2. And thank you, J.Kb, I used to like horseradish. Now, though, with that image…! (Posted partway through reading.)

  3. Dang that’s a good article.

    I use to own a KalTec sub-sub 9mm. It fit in my paws barely. It hurt to fire. It wasn’t a range gun.

    For me it was reliable and put rounds where they were needed at the ranges I anticipated needing it.

    Its selling point was how small and light it was along with a price tag I could afford. And I did not walk out the door without that little gun.

    Everybody I spoke to tells me horror stories about KalTec guns. And the people on YouTube make jokes about them. The answer people give you when you tell them you’ve had positive experiences with them is “Well, you got lucky”.

    I replaced that with a Sig. The Sig cost twice as much? I don’t remember. I sold the KalTec. My friend put many a round through it and it developed issues. He sent it to KalTec. The fixed it free of charge, including shipping both ways. He’s now very happy with it and it goes with him everywhere.

    At some point, somebody had to stand back and let me and then my friend make the “mistake” of buying a KalTec.

    On the other hand, I watched my LGS owner do exactly the right thing for a woman trying to buy a gun for the first time. She wondered in and wanted a semi-auto pistol, a Ruger, because that’s what her friend told her to buy. My LGS owner/friend directed her to some revolvers. He explained the reliability issues and that he could sell her a revolver at almost her price point but he couldn’t get close to her price point in a semi.

    I don’t like Ruger pistols for the most part as they are a pain to clean. But for the average person that does range day once or twice a year, no big deal.

    Some times the best thing we can do is keep our mouths shut and give the customer what they want.

    On the other hand, we were at a LGS and my lady asked to see a pistol from the other case. The guy behind the counter said “I know exactly the one you want” and went to get it. When he put that pink monstrosity in front of my lady, the look she gave him would have melted ice. “Uhhh, Uhhh, Sorry” was all he could stammer.

    1. Probably worked so well because you bought a KalTec and not a Kel-Tec! 😛 I’ve never owned one but the ones my friends have had have been nothing but reliable.

  4. one range trip every quarter, 200-250 rounds per trip – I’d say more like 50 rounds a trip. In year two maybe two trips, year three/four/five one trip after that maybe the very odd day out. I once read that in the 1980’s S&W worked out most of the guns they sold got at most 500 rounds in the first ten years

    1. I personally know ex-military, current S.W.A.T., and “gun guys” who have the time and money to put 500 rounds through their fave guns at least once per month. On the other hand, I also know a few people (mostly family relatives) who go to the range maybe once per year, and only if/when invited by someone else who’s already going. Then they’ll put 100 rounds downrange and say they’re exhausted.

      The market has room for all types of guns. As long as they’re reliable, I say leave the market to find its own way.

      1. This Post was about buyers who are not gun guys. Not us Gun Nuts and people whose Life and work depend on the use of guns.

  5. 1) Your “marketing and design strategy” means Jack and Sh*t in the grand scheme. What matters are sales, because the customer is always right. If you can’t sell it, nothing else matters. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure they cover this lesson in business school; not so much in engineering school.
    2) You’re not releasing a gun to the target market, you’re releasing it to the whole market. When your design bureau, marketing bureau, and sales bureau were one guy, you got Hi-Powers and 1911s. Which work as designed, and sell ridiculous numbers at retarded prices, to this day. Or even Glocks. Same-same.
    3) When you try to make a gun by committee, using the above approach, you get a Tec-9. Or a Kel-Tec. Which are, to the whole market, what the Lada and the Brabant are to the car market. Yes, they work. For some values of that word.
    4) People who review cars and trucks know Ferrari and Lamborghini as well as Ford, Chevy, and Kia. Just as people who do fashion know Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Ralph Lauren and as well as Target and Wal-mart brands. So with guns and gun guys. Savy businesses get this, and build products in a range of levels, from entry to top-end. When you’re building top-level, you have a far better grasp of getting to entry level, than you do if you start with entry-level, and try to build a Ferrari.
    5) When you build high-end quality into low-end products, because you’ve learned how to do this, you crush this. When you build low-end quality for low-end prices, you get an AMC Pacer, not a Ferrari. And in short order, you go away.
    6) Entry-level customers can be expected to move up, or want to. Again, businessmen get this; engineers, not so much. I will never be a JSOC ninja kicking down doors to kill terrorists on a CIA raid into Trashcanistan. But I want the same level of function, reliability, accuracy, and design specs they demand sitting on my nightstand, because my @$$ and my family is as valuable to me as theirs and their mission are to them. And for far less cost-to-upgrade from a Cessna to an F-22, I can get that level of quality, at the local gun store, and even at Bass Pro Shop.

    Your gripes, while well-founded from an engineering perspective, should be served with cheese from a sales and marketing perspective. This is why engineers make lousy marketing reps and salesmen, and vice versa, in most all cases. Engineering is in the business of can we do this?. Marketing and sales are in the business of should we do this?
    Letting the tail wag the dog is how your story happens.

    Any “influencers” who can be swayed by a free gun or other minor trifles are worth their weight in fish sinkers.
    Ditto those who review items as if Joe Average is trying to decide between buying a Camry or a Countach.
    A good reviewer – cars, guns, movies, books, whatever – will tell you what you need to know to decide if you want a product, not merely whether he wants it. Those who honestly review a product for all levels of user are worth their weight in gold. Even if they sh*t all over your effort.

    I don’t own a Beretta A303, or any of its current descendants. But in my life as a gun wholesaler, I literally wore out my left arm for a week throwing a thousand-plus rounds through one for free, one fine afternoon at a local skeet range, and can testify first-hand to this day about its superior accuracy, reliability, balance, and pointability in comparison to the best offerings from eight other makes and models that day. I still own Remington and Mossberg pumps, personally. But I know a Ferrari when I drive it, and if I were to take up sporting clays, skeet, or waterfowling seriously, I’d buy one in a minute, based solely on that experience. It was that good.

    I had a Tec-9 once too. And for $189 in 1980s money, it did everything I wanted it do, and couldn’t be beat, on the theory that a gun you have is better than a gun you wish you had. But once I had better options, it went away. An OSS Liberator is better than a pointy stick too, but no one ever made them for the home market, nor ever likely would.

    But I’m sure that somewhere, for forty years after WW II, there was an engineer or two grumping that he “coulda been a contadah”, if only people had swarmed to his entry-level design.
    Oh well.

    1. “People who review cars and trucks know Ferrari and Lamborghini as well as Ford, Chevy, and Kia.”

      I think this is true, but it is also very easy to get to a point without realizing it where you become detached from what is the experience and needs of the average user when you work a job for 10 years that lets you drive a different super car every other week for a review.

      An example from my own life is I’m into collectible card games. When I first started there were cards that were simply unattainable due to cost and rarity. Now however, I’ve been balls deep into collecting for so long that I forget, that for the average dude, a card I consider trivially inexpensive in comparison to others and nothing special IS special to that other person because they have never had the opportunity to even see let alone hold or own such a card. I’ve become detached from the average collector’s and player’s experience because I have spent too much time at an extremely high and expensive level, and I have no idea what it would be like to be that person anymore and cannot fathom how I’d get back there.

      Also did we read the same story? It sounds like jkb described exactly what you do, letting sales and marketing lead with the product and engineering making it happen. I see no committee or tail wagging its dog to speak of.

      1. We did an Internet upgrade here the other day. The ONT went into the room where I do reloading. In preperation I moved about 1500 pounds of stuff out of the room. Ammo. Lead, neat boxes labeled with this that and the other thing. All that stuff has a boat load of gravity.

        Then I put up curtains to block the view of the gun cabinet. But the cabinet is full so I had to cover the long guns that were beside it.

        Then I realized I had a couple of pistols that I had to move.

        Oh, that AR needs to move.

        So I put everything in safes or in my office. My dang office looks like, well you know.

        And then there was a problem. The tech had to come into my office as I was debugging the install.

        After he left I looked around and just shook my head…

        In 1995 time frame my friend took me shooting. He had an AR-15 from colt. A K98 from WWII and a few others. Maybe 4 rifles over all. He had maybe 3 pistols. I think he might have had a 1000 rounds total across all of his firearms.

        A few years later I got a windfall and purchased my first firearms. Three long guns and 3 pistols. And I thought I had a lot.

        And I don’t think of it as having “a lot” but to somebody just getting started, yeah, there are and there are some nice ones, from their point of view.

      2. Sales and marketing shit the bed, or that product would still be a going concern. But their competition (which is everyone else) left them looking like Brabant, rather than Toyota. It’s tough to recover from that.

        The story of gun makers missing the boat because they thought they were the customers, instead of letting the customers be the customers, is as old as time, and has been retold by every single former and current manufacturer, times beyond counting. For but one example, Marlin made some classic lever actions, but wouldn’t make many stainless ones, because their equipment was mostly from 1920-1930 (and that was the newer stuff), and they simply couldn’t do it. Marlin is dead and buried, and Ruger – the king of stainless firearms – owns the brand now.

        The story in this post was the chapter in that book called “When ‘Good Enough’ Really Isn’t”.

        Firearms have been around for centuries, center-fire pistols for going on near to two. If your gun isn’t better than what already is, somewhere or some way, it’s worse. Price is a weak selling point, because prices always change, but quality lasts for the lifetime of the gun. Trying to down-sell customers rarely works, unless you’re willing to set a price point approaching “free”. See how popular Teslas (higher cost, shorter range than even a VW Beetle) are when those batteries all start to brick in a few years, and the resale on them drops to $0. And as he loses money with every one he sells, Musk will actually make more money than he does now, having banked all the eco-weenie Good Guy points he ever needs, and dropping a clunker of a car.

        When you’re already a billionaire, you can get away with making temporarily trendy clunkers.
        In the gun-making business, the best way to become a billionaire is to start out as a trillionaire.

  6. The problem with the Remington handguns was that they looked like service guns but were built to be budget guns.
    And 399 is in used Glock territory.
    And though the gun was supposed to be for first time buyers, like you note, that is not who is going to be reviewing and selling it.
    That is a failure of knowing the market.

    And Remington was a trusted name, but at the same time you had the company having been bought by a big conglomerate, started having QC issues and a perceived cheapening of its legacy products at the same time it was jumping into a section of the market outside its core competencies.

    Around this same time, you had the Rem 700 trigger issue blow up, police armorers and trainers started noticing a lot more problems with new production 870s, Marlin, which was now under the same umbrella with Remington and made in the same facilities saw its reputation destroyed with the first guns coming out being compared to the ones before the move.

    And the other new handgun that Remington came out with was the R51, and it appeared to be downright dangerous to fire based on early reviews.

    And also I dont know what influencers you watched that crapped on it, because it wasnt a CZ, but your gun being a CZ wouldn’t have saved it. CZ came out with the P10, their challenge to the Glock, and it had about the same impact.
    No less than Larry Vickers (he was Delta Force dont ja know) crapped on the P10.
    Cz still sells it, because they got some European police contracts, but it is still outsold by the CZ75 based guns by a lot.

    Same with Beretta, the current gun forum favorite. Everybody is tricking out 92s, but the APX( which sold for 399 itself most of the time) is a redheaded stepchild, despite it actually being a service grade gun that competed in military trials.

    The marketing guys may have said the public wanted a polymer framed striker fired gun, but what they missed is that the market already had plenty of those, from more established brands in that niche, that people wanted more of, just not yours.

    Hell Mossberg did the same thing, and outside of gun rags, I have never even seen a mossberg handgun.
    But S&W is still selling every Shield, Glock every anything, and Ruger every Security 9.
    Oh yeah, but Ruger can’t sell the American, their equivalent to the RP9 & 45.
    Saw those on CDNN for 299 as well.

    1. Hell Mossberg did the same thing, and outside of gun rags, I have never even seen a mossberg handgun.

      I’ve seen a handful. (Heck, I bought one, used for cheap, as a potential loaner.) It did not help Mossberg that their little gun was introduced into a very crowded market, and came out just before Sig introduced the P365. And suddenly, single stack micro 9s, the hot category for the prior decade, are completely passe.

  7. Just curious what type of channel/person you consider to be an influencer or if they all fit into that bucket.

    There some douche bros and there’s some good peeps. I find the legal updates and tracking from a number more useful than any reviews; too much to stay on top if by yourself so they are valuable sources of info. But then again, reviews are not really the content I ever looked for anyways and I find the bast majority to have any real value.

    I think you hit the nail square on the head and drove it straight in with one strike with your last bit at the end. Often a particular gun is not evaluated or viewed in the correct context.

  8. Many many so called experts who review the latest gee whiz gizmo are idiots… cars trucks guns bikes tools. They are all the same. Thier opinion is the ONLY opinion that matters. And none of them can be objective. Their own ego driven opinion will show. I read a review on a Toyota Tundra a couple years ago, printed words, and the guys obvious dislike for the truck shone like a lighthouse on a dark night. Little comments and snide remarks. Since sandy hook sued Remington and won maybe the gun company should sue the shiite out of the youtube azzhat….

    1. Thought exercises:
      1) You’re writing a review. So tell me, whose opinion are you going to write, if not your own?
      Tell me how you do that.
      Show all work.
      2) Name all objective unbiased authors. Now do it for human beings.
      Once again, show all work.

      The only thing you got right beyond any question is that many many “expert” reviewers are idiots.
      But if you knew how little most of them know about the products they review, you’d shake your head in shocked astonishment.
      Writers write for editors and publishers: the people who sign their checks.
      The good ones can please them and still know what they’re talking about. They’re a very small subset of the total.
      But all of them get paid.
      One of the things that scares legacy media is that with computer digitization, editors can see who gets clicks, and for how long, and it’s changing who gets paid, how much, and for what.
      The blowback from readers at those who come out as Fudds is leaving them all butthurt and scared too.

      But at the end of the day, it’s customers who spend the money (or not) and all the influencersin the world are still just sideshow carnival barkers, trying to shill you into spending a nickel on their come-on.
      The final vote is the guy who spends the dough.

  9. Sounds like Hi-Point. Yet Matt from Demolition Ranch tortured one to death before it quit working.
    Took everything he threw at it until he shot it with another pistol and it finally gave up.
    So don’t bad mouth a gun until you actually use it yourself.
    I had a Taurus PT24/7 LS/DS 9mm. for 5 years and the worse that happened after several thousand rounds was a chipped extractor, which did NOT affect the operation at all. Now I carry a PT111 Millennium G2 9mm. simply because it is smaller and lighter.
    3 years on and it still functions fine AND it can use the 17 round 24/7 magazines.

    1. Indeed. A Hi-Point C9 was the first non-.22 gun I ever fired. I didn’t know any better at the time, so it was fine. It put rounds approximately where I pointed it, within my ability.

      I remember one YouTube video where someone put a C9 through the military testing routine and a simulated sandbox-conditions firefight (shooting at targets). Wind and sand and everything. It completed the course with no malfunctions and enough accuracy to get “kill” hits on all targets.

      Now, I refer to it as a “brick on a stick”. Narrow grip and very top-heavy. Having shot other pistols that fit my hands far better, I wouldn’t buy one now.

      But at the time it sold for ~$180, compared to over $400 for a Glock or S&W, or $700 for SIG. At that price point — where you can buy a primary gun AND a backup gun for less than one competitor (or, where you can buy a gun AND good ammo to feed it 😉 ) — it’s a fantastic gun, and absent a sizable financial windfall (in my case, an unexpectedly-large tax return) that expanded my price point, would have been the only gun I could afford. As someone else said, the gun you have is better than the one you wish you had.

      And of course, professional reviewers hate it.

  10. I don’t think the problem is with the influencer. He has an opinion like everyone else. The problem is that people stopped thinking for themselves, and traded objectivity for fanboy-ism. I once attended a carbine class where I had just mounted a brand new eotech 512. One of the instructors comes up and says why did you buy that?? Recoil makes the terminals fail in the battery compartment. It was what I could afford. Was like WTF? Went home, did some research and yeah, it’s a failure mode for that model, but like after many thousands of rounds. More than I shoot. So still ok for me.

    And all the work you described above is the job. I work in automotive, so yeah, lots of work and some models/brands etc, don’t always sell well. That’s up to the marketing guys.

    I’m not saying there aren’t asses out there, but be smart enough to see through the shtick, and make up your mind.

  11. RE: “Reasonable accuracy” —

    Back in the day, when we were getting our first guns, we bought through one of my wife’s relatives. He’s a “gun guy”, and had his FFL and could get whatever we wanted, which he’d sell to us at cost.

    But even as a “gun guy” who sold guns for a living, he was honest about his thoughts and knew what we were shopping for even when we didn’t.

    For accuracy, he said that since it was our first purchase, we just needed guns that shoot more accurately than we do. If we get to the point that we’re more accurate than our guns, then it’s time to upgrade. But starting off, there’s no point in spending twice as much (or more) for a “match-grade” gun if we’re not “match-grade” shooters.

    In short, we were the kind of people the pistol in your story was intended for, and if it had been available when we were looking for our first guns, our “gun guy” relative probably would have recommended it, and to Hell with the “professional” reviewers.


    I have my own gripes about magazine and online reviewers. Being all “gun guys”, they act like money is no object, that anyone worth exercising their 2nd Amendment rights should be able to afford anything. Easy for them to say when manufacturers send them T&E copies for free or close to it.

    Here in the real world, budgeting is a thing, and we can’t always justify the latest-and-greatest gizmo when there are alternatives that, while lacking a few bells and whistles, will serve our purposes just as well, for a fraction of the cost.

    You can find the same fanboi attitude with any kind of gear review; for example, if you don’t have $400 to spend on the biggest-and-bestest Maxpedition backpack, you’re a sh!t human who deserves to haul your sh!t by hand. Even if you don’t need and aren’t shopping for a big pack.

    Just something to keep in mind when checking out reviews.

    1. Honesty would be to require the reviewer to have the retail cost of any positively-reviewed item taken out of his paycheck.
      Or else to state, outright, that he couldn’t afford the item unless it was bought for him by a sugardaddy, up to and including Uncle Sugar himself.

      I’m not holding my breath.

  12. Assuming that the pistol in question is the Remington RP9, I went looking for the “Vet-Bro” review.

    Of the ones with the most views, by the popular gun YouTubers.

    Military Arms Channel has two from early 2017 (Jan- Feb) with 258k and part 2 with 153k.

    The first video shows an malfunctioning firearm with serious issues that are fewer after a case of ammo but still happen. The only reference to CZ in the video is to some manufacturing technique.
    He does point out a very real problem with the ambi slide release not functioning due to a design issue.

    Part 2 he has bought second pistol and ammo sent from Remington to test in his first pistol.

    The second sample seems to work just fine and he specifically talked about the problems of having a very small sample size one pistol.

    The next one that shows up has only 50k views and could be “Vet-Bro”-ish. He had several problems and didn’t like it, but still said it could be just his pistol.

    If you could just point out the actual Vet-Bro reviewer, that would be helpful.

  13. Personally, I hate video reviews. They take entirely too long talking about bullshit like the packaging, etc… I get a lot more out of a written review.
    And, I tend to make my purchasing decisions based on the negative reviews. Not because they are negative, but because of what they choose to cite as justification. If the reasons you are knocking the gun have nothing to do with performance, reliability, or form/fit/finish, it is a good gun. Ignore the negative.
    Finally, I remember early in my gun guy days, I was looking at 1911s, and I think I made a comment about Taurus being unreliable. The guy behind the counter made a very good point. If they were as unreliable as I was led to believe, the company would be out of business. Guns are not like other products. A piece of crap gun will get people killed, and a company will not want to take on that level of liability.

  14. My first handgun was bought from an ad in the classified section of my local newspaper. (Remember when you could still do that?) I bought it in 1987, a Smith and Wesson Model 59. I paid $150 for it as a used pistol. At the time, I was happy if I could hit the black at 7 yards.
    I was raised with rifles only. My Dad owned two handguns: an M&P revolver that belonged to my grandfather, and an old RG revolver that my mom kept in the house as a safeguard against burglars. I had no experience with handguns.

    I loved shooting that handgun from the beginning and it wasn’t long before I was reading gun magazine articles describing the shortcomings of the Model 59. If I wanted a GOOD gun, I should go with the Sig 229, just like the Navy SEALs carry. So instead of shooting my $150 used M59, I should go buy the latest 229 and spend a kilobuck getting it. That was in the days before social media. I can only imagine the pressure being imposed by social media now. They even have courses in college now on how to be a social media influencer. It’s becoming an entire branch of marketing.

    I wish that I still had that old M59.

  15. You described me perfectly. My first gun was an S&W M&P 9mm. At first, I went to the range a couple of times a month and shot off 100 rounds or so. But the cost of ammo and range fees became prohibitive, so I moved to going monthly and firing about 50 rounds. I usually shoot from about 20 feet — which was the approximate distance from my bedroom door to the front door of my apartment. I got the gun to defend my family. I didn’t know I’d love shooting!

    I have a long wish list, but weaponry falls pretty low in budget priority. The M&P was a bit large for CC, so I bought an M&P Shield. They are both accurate enough for me. I’m not into competitive shooting, and at my age, I doubt I ever will be. My goal is to be able to hit close enough to a vital area to stop a threat.

    I love going to the range. Gun people are some of the most giving people I know, and I’ve had the fun of shooting all sorts of really nice and impressive weapons. But the guns I own suit my needs and my budget. I’m not ashamed of that.

  16. There are plenty of people on youtube who will tell you if the gun is crap or not without the ad money. Are there accessories? Do people make decent holsters? Can you get Magazines? There are things to worry about besides the gun.

    If you need a gun RTF now, you failed to plan. Murphys law is a real thing and experienced by many. Mini 14s are notorious crap, and if it breaks its dangerous trash, hard to find and expensive mags. It will kill 6 FBI agents in 5 minutes. Ask the ones in 1986, oh wait if that happened right now, hed get smoked. Why?
    Those agents would have MK18 clones and smoke him where he stood, not reaching for a gun on the floorboard.

    I have to absolutely disagree with EVERYTHING youve said about guns this last year when it comes to cost

    I can screen shot a get home/range bag, S&W shield and 5 spare magazines for 321 bucks plus a 99 cent BDU membership, RIGHT FING NOW. In stock ready to ship.

    You couldnt sell a gun to save your life after Trump took office. Those who didnt adapt died.
    Yes if fewer people are buying guns, and guns are getting cheaper, you have to spend ad money to get people to buy them.
    Meanwhile 2 years after they released the Shield they were on gunbroker for 199 with mags. Gun companies went broke. That thing takes a 10k round review like a pro. In 2017 500 bucks would get you a shield 3 spare mags and 1000 rds of ammo. 1k wouldve gotten you fantastic training. Better than 3 untrained people with rifles.

    Its better to be a warrior in a garden, than a gardener in a war. Good times NEVER last forever.

    Point is, if you didnt buy when they were cheap, you get to pay the stupid tax. Dont buy gas now? When it runs out; Get to pay the stupid tax.

    Grasshopper, meet ant.

  17. A good percentage of the $399 “1st time gun buyers” are tomorrow’s “gun guys”.

    At Wanenmacher’S Tulsa Arms Show back in the late unpleasantness (~2010) there was a nice older Oklahoman couple who I watched, with tears in my eyes, slap down $1K + for a .22 AR patterned rifle built mostly of polymer. The gentlemen’s wife was like “is that all they have left” (and this is Wanenmacher’s, 4,200+ tables, acres of guns under one roof [should be on your bucket-list]) and the gentlemen says “yes, that’s why I said we should get one before. . . “. And his wife says “well, you better get that then” and asked “how many do they have left of those?”.

    Want to make a “gun person”? Tell them they can’t have something, and then let them obtain a taste of it anyway.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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