Since I started writing for the gun magazines I’ve heard the claims that gun companies give the writers special treatment. More especially, that we are given special guns for our testing. Well, if that’s true, then it means that I’m not on the “A” list because I’ve been sent some real Loo Loos over the years. And I am not the only one. Consider these situations.
- A gun company brought a bunch of guns to a writers event. Within 30 minutes of getting to the range, Mike Venturino and I were each shooting revolvers that fell apart. And, up on the shotgun range, one of the shotguns went south for another writer.
- A gun company sent me a slim, little pocket auto for testing. My son was begging me to let him shoot it, but I decided that I’d better put the first rounds downrange with the gun. It made sort of a “Brrrrrp” sound and went full automatic. The company told me to send it back and they would replace it. That was 15 years ago and I’m still waiting.
- A writer/friend got a neat single action for testing. It looked good but it just wouldn’t group the shots. I mean, it wouldn’t group inside a #10 washtub at 25 yards. He checked the action, he checked the timing, he checked the dimensions of the cylinder throats, and couldn’t find the problem. That night, when he was cleaning guns, he discovered that there was no rifling in the barrel!
- The same writer and I were on a hog hunt with a new revolver. While we were sighting in, the writer called me over, handed me his revolver, and asked me to load it. Five cartridges dropped right into the chambers but the sixth cartridge wouldn’t even start to go in. The sixth chamber was undersized; the company had not finished boring it out.
- I was sent a prototype .45 auto for testing and evaluation. It shot fine. However, on about the 4th magazine, the gun blew up! I mean, the barrel went one way, the recoil spring another, and the whole thing just cratered. I picked up the pieces, sent them back, and suggested that their engineers needed to do a little more work.
I’m sure if we got a group of veteran writers together that we could come up with 10 times the stories. No, we don’t get special guns for testing, but I sure wish that we did!