Sour Grapes?

The Remington R51 Sheriff Jim WilsonTo my knowledge, I have never met Nick Leghorn. He writes a blog that I am not going to refer you to because it doesn’t deserve you wasting your time. Most recently, he wrote about the Remington R51 pistol or, rather, he wrote about Richard Mann’s recent article in Shooting Illustrated magazine. In short, he doesn’t like the Remington R51, therefore Richard Mann must be a liar and Remington must be bribing Shooting Illustrated to get the coverage. For the record, I have not shot the R51….haven’t even held one in my hands.

While I don’t know much about the R51, I do know a good deal about Richard Mann. He is my friend. We have hunted together from Africa to Newfoundland. He knows guns; he knows terminal ballistics; he knows hunting; and he has a fine family who are also my friends. More importantly, Richard is an honest and honorable man. If he says the R51 shot well for him and he likes it, then I believe him. But… wait…. there’s more.

According to Mr. Leghorn it would seem he thinks that all of us in the firearms print industry are on the take. But he went on to let something slip… what we in law enforcement used to call a clue. You see, Mr. Leghorn just recently applied for a job as an editor at NRA Publications and Shooting Illustrated and was turned down. My question to Mr. Leghorn would be, “If we are all lying bastards, why are you trying to go to work with us? Do you want to be a lying bastard, too?”

It would seem that Mr. Leghorn needs to put his Big Boy pants on. If he truly wants a career in this industry he needs to work on his own skills and not be bad-mouthing his betters. And Mr. Leghorn might get away with questioning Richard Mann’s honesty at long range, but I would surely suggest that he not try to do it to Mann’s face. Bad things could happen when you call a hillbilly a liar.

So, Nick Leghorn, whoever the hell you are…I’m sorry you didn’t get the job you wanted. And I’m sorry you aren’t man enough to stand on your own two feet. Come out and see me some time and we’ll have a warm, personal visit.

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202 Responses to Sour Grapes?

  1. John says:

    While I didn’t particularly like the article by Mr. Leghorn you are referring to, there does seem to be something fishy about the R51’s that are getting sent to consumers versus most of the ones sent to print media testers. Heck, even some of the ones sent for testing to bloggers such as the folks at the Military Arms Channel / The Bang Switch was beyond a lemon… yet again, all of the print media seems to get super R51’s with no problems and then get glowing written reviews. I think it is either time for writers to start testing some of the consumer guns as well as the special guns sent for testing and maybe then we can see if it is Remington (or the other companies) that are pulling the wool over peoples eyes or the writers. And for the record, I’ve read you article about crappy test guns that have been sent to gun writers, some of which didn’t even function. So I get what you are saying… but in this case, what is being printed is not matching up with peoples real world experience! Maybe a gun writer should check into that and write about it!

    • clair rees says:

      In nearly a half century of using, testing and writing about guns, I have encountered a very few that didn’t deserve at least a semi-positive review. If I felt I couldn’t be honest with my readers, I’ve generally declined the assignment and returned the gun. I recently received a rimfire revolver from a well-respected manufacturer that flat wouldn’t function. I contacted the company, returned the gun, and received one that worked wonderfully in return. In my review, I mentioned the malfunction revolver, then pointed out its replacement functioned flawlessly.
      There may be exceptions, but most gun writers (who survive very long in the business) are scrupulously honest.

  2. J.Moyer says:

    Well said, Sheriff.

  3. John says:

    No Sheriff, you are missing the point! The point is, Mr. Leghorn is NOT the only person to call into question the creditability of Mr. Mann. Why? Because the article he wrote, be it his opinion or not, do not mess with what appear to be the facts at hand. And not just from the bloggers you seem to have so much distrain for but also from real world people who simple wanted to like or even love the R51 and are having the same issues with theirs that the bloggers have been having. So, how is it someone can go on youtube and pull up video after video of normal people with a jacked up gun and then read a glowing review of the same gun? Something doesn’t mess there and the only possible answers are a lying, possibly paid off writer or a manufacture that is trying to pull the wool over everyone eyes! Now, it does sound like Mr. Leghorn may have sour grapes but that doesn’t mean he isn’t entitled to his own opinions and theories, not only of the R51 but of Mr. Mann. At least in the United States of America I live in, people are allowed to have their own thoughts and opinions (wrong or right) and only elitists who consider them better than everyone else believe differently!

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Yes, John, and when Mr. Leghorn expresses himself I exercise my freedom and call him a fool. As are you.

    • alex says:

      Well said…The easiest way to settle this is to find an actual article that Mr. Mann has written? I have yet to find one and I’ve been scouring the web. How can you be a critic/review blogger/journalist without ever having a bad review? Smells something fishy to me…

  4. I wonder what happened to civility? Back in the day, if you disagreed with someone, you picked up the phone or wrote him a letter instead of attacking him in a public forum…especially personal attacks. Mr. Mann isn’t that hard to contact if the blogger in question had tried, which apparently he didn’t. And had he contacted Mr. Mann, I’m sure a civil conversation about the handgun in question would have accomplished a lot more than the personal attack has done.

    I’ve had personal conversations with Sheriff Wilson, Richard Mann, and a few other writers online. They are all normal people who are happy to communicate with other normal people, especially about a topic they love, even if there is a disagreement about a topic. Personal attacks won’t accomplish anything, though. Civility. Interesting (if antiquated) concept.

  5. Outdoor Editor says:

    Sheriff Jim,
    I never respond to these things, but I feel I must weigh in here…I cannot enter my name, unfortunately, because I feel it would be unprofessional. Having worked at NRA Pubs, and being an editor in the Outdoor Industry, I feel I have a unique perspective on this situation. I’ve met and shot with Mr. Leghorn and have shot recently with Mr. Mann. On a personal level, I like and respect Mann, and think Leghorn is a jackass.

    But there are things that Leghorn gets right. NRA Pubs, and almost every other outdoor publication in our industry give preferential treatment and coverage to advertisers. We let the tail wag the dog, and act as if it’s not only OK, but the way it has to be. NRA Pubs does it all the time. The company I currently am employed for does it all the time.

    So, to act as if Richard Mann has any control over the end product of his article in Shooting Illustrated is dishonest. This is not a clean slate, Mann does not have the ability, whether his testing and analysis are truthful or not, to work outside the parameters set for him by SI and NRA Pubs. The edict in this case, if I had to guess, was to give this gun substantial (if not overly positive) ink as a parallel benefit to an ad buy.

    You may hate blogs, but they are almost never bought and sold like gun magazines. They speak to their readers directly and tell the truth. In the democratic environment of the Web, you have to do this to survive. And in that way, the traditional media of the shooting world is cannibalizing itself. Discrediting what should be honest edit by selling out and driving clever readers to the web, where the playing field is even and honesty is allowed to flourish.

    Mann may be a good, honest man with an honest evaluation in this case, but how can you expect the reader to trust a word he says? He’s writing his article for a publications group that does not shy away from native advertising disguised as edit. Which is something we all do.

    Would be interested to hear your thoughts…

    • Jim Wilson says:

      I’ve never been a magazine editor, so I can’t speak to the truthfulness of your statement about motivation. I can tell you that I have refused to write about a number of guns during the years I have been doing this work. I’ve never had trouble with an editor over my refusals. The only thing a writer has is his own integrity. I know Richard Mann personally and am confident that he has the same values that I do. There are certainly good blogs out there; Jeff Quinn’s comes to mind. However, too many bloggers obviously lack professional skills or the knowledge or experience to impart valuable information to their readers. Regardless of what you may think of print writers and regardless of what I may think of bloggers, the particular incident that I am addressing is a personal attack on Richard Mann by Nick Leghorn. And, as we have seen he may very well have a personal agenda that underlies his remarks. He does not appear to be much of a man.

      • Jim Wilson says:

        Oh, and posting your real name would add more credibility to your remarks. Full disclosure, and all that.

    • alex says:

      Kudos to you for writing this. It’s probably the best and most insightful response up here.

  6. Outdoor Editor says:

    Thanks, Jim.

    I’m just too close to the situation to give out my particulars. Love the guys at SI, but just want us, as an industry, to be honest with ourselves. Major print products have long since been cheapened by pay for play advertorials. That doesn’t mean that blogs aren’t doing the same thing.

    Richard Mann’s integrity is unquestioned. Bottom line.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Does it bother you a little bit that you are afraid to use your own name when stating your opinion?
      Not being an editor, I don’t have any direct information about the “pay for play” as you call it. However, the unwarranted attack on Richard Mann was my main focus in this article. It was a cheap shot and a highly unprofessional one.

      • Jim Wilson says:

        OUTDOOR EDITOR…Your comments have raised a question in my mind. I’m assuming by your title that you are, in fact, an editor. And, since you speak with such directness, you must be involved in the practices that you describe. How do you justify this in your own mind? You obviously think it’s wrong, so why do you do it? Wouldn’t it be much better to just find another line of work?

  7. ensitue says:

    I’m no fan of Leghorn but I find your pontificating against him to be damming, but not against him. You need to re-read what you have written in a mature and critical frame of mind, maybe talk to your Padre.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Jeez, I’m sorry to upset you. But I will stand by what I wrote. In fact, I toned it down from what I originally wanted to write.

  8. Outdoor Editor says:

    The simple answer Jim, is that I do (as an editor) willingly take part in the pay for play in the major media market. It happens in print and on the web. But there are two things I do not do where that is concerned: (1) I don’t lie to myself about what I do. I have a journalism degree but at most levels am not a pure journalist at current. I do not work for a journalistic organization. (2) I try where I can to change this culture for the better and I normally do my best writing in a journalistic sense where products aren’t involved. Maybe one day I’ll be a publisher, and I can move to change the culture. Until then, I won’t hide from it.

  9. Ing says:

    Leghorn’s criticism of Mann aside, I keep coming back to this: I’ve never seen a gun magazine print a negative review of a firearm. Ever.

    Even guns that are later shown by mass consumer experience to be unreliable crap are praised up one side and down the other. Problems are almost never mentioned. Often the very features that fail to function and parts that frequently break are praised in these reviews.

    If I want to know what a gun is really like — warts and all — I know where *not* to go.

    Plenty of people are defending Mann, and I have no reason to doubt their assessment of his character. It must be a difficult line to walk, but I suppose it is possible for a man of honesty and integrity to work in a business that has so little.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      I won’t waste my time reviewing bad guns. I have better things and more fun things to do. And I’ve never had an editor get upset when I tell him the gun is junk and I don’t want to review it.

      • TCBA_Joe says:

        I would LOVE to review crappy guns. In a former life I worked in firearms R&D and my job was to break things, find flaws, and make recommendations. This ensured that our products were the best that someone could put their lives on the line with. If anyone wants to hire me to write reviews of guns no one else will touch, I’ll do it. And I’ll gleefully be brutally honest about it.

        I’m sorry, that glossy review that praises a firearm without addressing the negative (unless it’s “what’s not written” ie: the cowards way out) is more than a disservice to a consumer. It’s placing your paycheck above the life of an armed citizen or professional.

        Print is dying. The new media is where those of us under the age of 40 are getting our gun reviews. TTAG has been great about this.

      • Billy The Kid says:

        Jim, I think this comment pretty much describes the problem. If gunwriters are not allowed to submit bad reviews of firearms produced by the same firearms manufacturers that are advertising in their publications, then what is the point of reading them? You just said “I won’t waste my time reviewing bad guns”, and so if there are others out there writing with this same attitude (Clair Rees said he has refused to test some also in a earlier post), only the ones who get the good guns get published. If a manufacturer sends a test gun, and it is junk, then it should be reviewed and reported that it was junk, thereby letting your loyal readers know which guns to pay out good money for and which ones to stay away from.Now I enjoy reading Richard Mann’s articles (and yours), and if Richard says the guns HE SHOT worked 100%, then I believe him, but at the same time I have to wonder if he was given specially tuned R-51s to test.

        • Jim Wilson says:

          Billy the Kid…Gun writers don’t set the editorial policy for magazines. Many of us do, however, maintain a standard of ethics and decline to write about junk. Did you ever have a job and get to tell your boss how to run things? How did that work out?

          • Billy The Kid says:

            “Gun writers don’t set the editorial policy for magazines. Many of us do, however, maintain a standard of ethics and decline to write about junk. Did you ever have a job and get to tell your boss how to run things?” I am sure that is true, however the result is the same, only good reviews get published. Maybe it isn’t the writer’s fault, but the fault of the editor, or publisher, or whoever. But that part where you said “we decline to write about junk” says that you aren’t interested in letting your loyal readers know which guns to avoid, which is the entire point of reading reviews of it.

          • Jim Wilson says:

            No, the point of writing reviews is to tell you about good guns, or what a particular gun is useful for. If you don’t see some gun reviewed, then that should let you know, right there, that it is something to be careful about.

      • Billy The Kid says:

        “I won’t waste my time reviewing bad guns. I have better things and more fun things to do”? Because I could care less if my loyal readers spend hard earned money on a gun and it turns out to be junk! I have more fun things to do than report about a bad gun to the very people who are depending on my review to help them make a decision as to whether they should buy it!

    • Jim Wilson says:

      This isn’t about a gun review. It’s about a damn fool calling us crooks and liars. I’ve since found out that he’s been to the same writer events that he criticizes. And most recently word has come that his reputation in our industry is not so sterling. I don’t care about his gun review, but I do care about him running his mouth.

      • joey says:

        Who the heck trusts any review in a gun magazine? I first watched MAC review the gun and then TTAG, both showing the same flaws. You guys seem to think theres nothing wrong with writing a glowing review of a POS gun. Guess what, some of us do t have thousands laying around to buy whayever gun we want that could potentially fail when we need it. I dont trust any big gun magazine for this reason. Thanks TTAG, MAC, IV, and other honest bloggers. Screw you snake oil advertisers

  10. Kevin says:

    If you have a problem with someone who has written a bad review of this gun then you have a problem with a LOT of people. I have not read one single positive review of this gun and at least 100% of those reviewers have at least handled the firearm you do not know much about.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Kevin, if you think this is all about a bad review, you have missed the whole deal by a country mile.

  11. Tim says:

    With all do respect sheriff, you lost any credibility when commenting on this “story” when you said Richard Mann is your friend and that you’ve never handled the pistol. So you’re a little butt hurt because you feel that someone questioned the integrity of your friend, I would be too honestly. But aren’t you doing the same by staying these comments about Mr. Leghorn? I’m a loyal reader of and have consistently found that their product reviews are impartial, scientific, and incredibly useful for their target audience. Remington and apparently Mr. Mann aren’t the first to learn that sometimes the truth hurts, they won’t be the last. At the end of the day TTAG is proving that the good old boys club that has represented gun facts to the public needs to adapt to stay relevant or step aside.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Tim, you are wrong. I didn’t get a little butt hurt (as you put it) I got a lotta butt hurt. I don’t care what the fool says about the gun; he called my friend a liar, he suggested that NRA Publications is on the take, and by association, he called me a liar, too. This from a guy who is considered a joke by quite a few people in our industry. Real gun writers simply do their review, post their results, and stand on their own two feet. Only a fool picks a fight when he doesn’t have to. But he picked this fight, so he can fade the heat. Is all that clear enough for you?

      • Max Ravazzolo says:

        Ok, here I’m missing the logic. So Mr. A says something that goes against all the common experience. Mr. B wonders why this has happened, and advances a few possible options (which while not agreeable are nonetheless reasonable). Mr. C immediately goes against Mr. B, because since Mr. A is his friend there’s no way anyone can actually have any doubts…
        …C’mon Sheriff, I really appreciate your loyalty in Mr. Mann, but here you’re possibly pushing the subject too much. Just to be clear, I’m NOT implying that Longhorn is right, what I’m saying is that what he says has a logical base, and avoiding the discussion on the base of personal faith is not really bringing anything on the table…

        • Jim Wilson says:

          He can have all the doubts he wants to about the gun. I don’t know and don’t care. His remarks were untruthful and dishonorable. Leghorn lives in Texas and he needs to learn about Texas manners and what happens when he makes an ass of himself.

      • Amsdorf says:

        “Sheriff Jim” everyone knows NRA publications never publish a negative review of anything, ever. Point me to a single negative review published by the NRA. Go ahead. Please. Show me.

        You won’t because you can’t.

        You want to talk about a lack of integrity and bad “ethics” … how about that?

  12. Dullahan says:

    Now, all mudslinging aside, I look at a plethora of reviews before I make a gun purchase. I loved the look and promise of the R51, but scrapped any plan to buy one when I did my review checks on it. There are a few folks who sing praises on it, but the overwhelming majority say it’s a lemon. And while Nick Leghorn is a reviewer I trust, I also read reviews from roughly 30 other prolific reviewers, and several forum threads from all corners of the internet. And the consensus seems to be that with some guns, there is the occasional lemon, but the R51, there is an occasional good one. And some reviewers, like Military Arms Channel.. have a larger sample size with three guns… and had nothing but problems.

    As for print magazines.. I read them back in the 80’s. My Dad subscribed. But back then, all I had were gun mags.. who never printed a bad review. Today, we have digital media, where blunt truth gets out. And the blunt truth from damned near anybody NOT at a print publication, is that this sucker is a lemon.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      For the umpteenth time, it’s not about the gun. It’s about rude behavior and dishonorable remarks.

      • Jim Wilson says:


        • Jim Wilson says:

          And, by the way, thanks to all of you for jumping in on this. All of these visits to my web site are really going to jump the numbers. My web manager and sponsors are going to be impressed.

          • joey says:

            Yup thats all that matters to you right? More money. Who cares if a poor college student like myself goes out and buys a gun that SI praises that ends up failing when he needs it. As long as you guys get you advertising dollars.

        • Amsdorf says:

          Quinn has never met a firearm given to him that he didn’t like. That guy is a joke.

  13. Amsdorf says:

    Hate to break it to you, “Sheriff Jim” but the R51 is a piece of crap and anyone with half-a-brain who hasn’t been bought and paid for by the major gun manufacturers knows this. The reviews are coming in from all over, not the boot licking pieces in NRA publications and other major gun rags, and the overwhelming consensus is that Remington has major problems.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Amsdorf, I’ve already addressed the issue and it’s not about the gun. But thanks for visiting my web site.

      • Amsdorf says:

        Jim, I’ve got bad news, pal. The day of print are dead and you have just grabbed a tiger by the tail by going after a chief writer for the most frequently visited gun blog site on the Internet.

        We all know you and your colleagues in print gun media are whores for the gun industry. Just a fact.

        You see that flash of light in the corner of your eye? That’s your career dissipation light. It just went into high gear.

        • Jim Wilson says:

          Thanks for your concern about my career. I’ve been at this task for quite a number of years and I expect I’ll be making a living at it for as long as I want to. But I really do appreciate your concern.

  14. Amsdorf says:

    Challenge to “Sheriff Jim”

    Jim, point us to a single negative review of any firearm published in a NRA magazine in the past five years. A single one.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Amsdorf, you have me confused with a magazine editor. I’m not, I’m a writer. If that issue concerns you, it should best be taken up with the managing editor. You need to read more, son, you’d learn something.

      • Amsdorf says:

        You are a writer who, unless you can prove me wrong, has never written a negative review of any firearms or gear, writing for the NRA.

        Prove me wrong.

        Link me to any negative review you’ve written that has been published in any NRA publications.

        • Jim Wilson says:

          If you read my gun review from over the years, in Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Shooting Illustrated, American Rifleman, Handloader, Petersen’s Handguns, you will find that almost every one has critical comments about the gun and things I think should be changed or don’t like. Check it out.

          • Amsdorf says:

            Jim, you failed to point me to even one negative gun review either you, or Mann, or anyone else writing for NRA has ever had published.

            Further, do you deny that the NRA has a “no negative review” policy?

            If you say ti is not true, it should easy for you to show us where you or the NRA has ever had a negative review published.

  15. Dullahan says:


    I saw what Nick wrote, and sure, it could be seen as rude. Or, it could be seen as him honestly questioning the credibility of the review. Your response came off as offended to the point of offering him some “Say that to my face and we’ll go behind the woodshed”.

    I’m not questioning Mr. Mann’s integrity. I am dead certain that he got a shining example of the weapon. I believe he wrote his review as he always does. But I do understand the questions folks ask, when very few unaffiliated reviewers have had a good experience.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      How long do you want me to keep rehashing this? My statement should be very clear by now. If Leghorn and I ever cross paths, we may, in fact, have a discussion about it. Is there anything about that that you don’t understand?

      • Dullahan says:

        Yep, crystal clear.

        You wrote a negative article about a man you never met, based upon him writing a negative article about a man he never met.

        But somehow, you are in the right, and he is in the wrong.

        That about right?

        • Jim Wilson says:

          The part about I am right and he is wrong is spot on. Thanks.

          • Dullahan says:

            Well, I’d like to know why that is, Sir.

            I’ve been reading your stuff for over twenty years, I respect your work. I just don’t understand how you justify this stance. When two men do the same thing, for the same reason, how is one right, and the other wrong?

          • Jim Wilson says:

            Because one man chose to create the issue with unprofessional and rude behavior. And there are still those of us around who take it real personal when our honest and integrity are challenged.

          • Dullahan says:

            Won’t let me reply below your last post.

            So.. “He started it” justifies implied physical “discussion”?

            When my kids come to that point, I make them both sit down and think about what they’re doing. I don’t mean that to imply you are a child, but perhaps you, Mr. Mann, and Mr. Leghorn might have a private chat about things, and settle things.

            We have enough problems with the media, we don’t need to be slingin it at each other.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Don…Sometimes we are told that the guns we are testing at these events are prototypes or production models. Sometimes we don’t know. Since I wasn’t at the event, I can’t tell you about this particular incident. And that, of course, is not the issue I am concerned with. The issue is the writer’s bad manners and rude behavior. Thanks.

  16. Caleb says:

    Yeah, it really looks like a great gun!

    Except for the videos where it’s either reviewed or shot.
    Or at the Remington booth, where they couldn’t get one running properly…

    But hey, If magazines dropping out randomly and firing out of battery are your thing…

  17. Howdy says:

    Just the facts. You have no empirical data or practical experience with the R51. You know Mr. Mann, but don’t know with certainty if Mr. Mann, in this instance, may have been persuaded to give a favorable review regarding the R51. You haven’t asked or done due diligence in this particular matter.

    If what you declared was coming out of anyone else’s mouth, you would be dubious. If it were a court case this would be hearsay. In the court of science, you have zero evidence.

    According to you, this he said/she said, is all you need to make a decision. I hope your post is not indicative of your “sheriffing”.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Howdy…I know that the guns that Richard Mann shot worked because he said they did. I know that Nick Leghorn is ill mannered and unprofessional by reading his own words. Had Leghorn simply printed an unfavorable review of the pistol I would never have said a word. When he calls my friends and colleagues liars then I take exception. What part of that don’t you understand. The boy lives in Texas and he ought to learn about Texas manners and Texas paybacks.

  18. I have only seen pictures and I have read both positive and negative comments. If some of the guns run good then I want one. I feel quite sure that if some are good, then I can make one run good. I’d be willing to take my chances. I’ve never had a Remington, that with a little touch up here and there, didn’t preform well for me.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Even the big companies can create a lemon from time to time. The good thing about Remington is that they want your business and will try very hard to make you happy.

  19. A. Kaminski says:

    After trying the R51 at the range, I, too, feel that it is a total piece of crap, and I, too, wondered if Mr. Mann was paid to write that review. He must have the ONLY R51 that operates and cycles properly. Every one I’ve talked to agrees, too. Remington screwed the pooch on this one! Also, I can’t speak to Leghorn’s character, but I do find his reviews to be more accurate than Rick Mann’s or S.I. in general!

    • A. Kaminski says:

      The only sour grapes here smell like they’re coming from the direction of the “sheriff”.

      • Jim Wilson says:

        But, A. Kaminski, you have me confused with someone who gives a damn what you think!

        • Jim Wilson says:

          The purpose of my original post was to address the rude and unprofessional behavior of blogger Nick Leghorn. Most of you get this and a few of you just want to stir stuff up. That’s fine.
          However, an underlying current seems to be that some are upset because gun writers don’t write negative gun reviews. Some of us may actually want to, but we don’t set the policy for the magazines. If you want truly want to express yourselves on this issue you should be directing your comments to the editorial director or the managing editor of a magazine. The guys are found on a page towards the front of a magazine, along with their contact information. If you are sincere, that is who you should contact. If you are not sincere, then you will just go ahead a spew nasty without anything being resolved.

          • Calvin Ledford says:


            I find your behavior, comments, threats (“Texas paybacks?”) and single minded effort to stick to your personal agenda (vs. acknowledging that Remington is causing a lot of blow-back on a number of members of the Gun Media – blow-back many consumers would agree is LONG overdue…) to indicate that you too are a Damn Fool.

            While Leghorn’s behavior (in your opinion) may have been rude or disrespectful to your friend; Mann (as do you) opens himself up to it by virtue of choosing to professionally write opinion articles, from a position of authority on a given subject, that all know are going to be PAID FOR by consumers, and which will directly influence peoples purchasing decisions on critical matters. Integrity, honestly, and honor are not things that that are situational or can be toggled on or off when necessary (i.e present in one’s personal life but not in professionally)– a person displays them all of time or he doesn’t have them at all – period. Your friendship with Mann and your observations on a personal level that he possesses these qualities doesn’t mean squat outside of your relationship with him. People who read Mann’s, yours, and a number of other professional gun writers reviews observe an alarmingly consistent dis-congruity between what gun-writers claim about their character and how much faith can be put into what they write. These inconsistencies cannot be ignored.

            You have now publically acknowledged that you “cherry pick” products to review (as have other writers in this thread) to not have to write poor reviews. Others have acknowledged that gun writers copy is often substantially changed before final printing – and I don’t believe for a minute that you writers don’t go back and read what is published. You are doubly a Damn Fool if you think people are reading your reviews for entertainment or to pass the time. People read reviews as part of a process of deciding to buy a product that could either save their lives, or allow those lives to be snuffed out should that product fail. Professional Gun Writer reviews (whether directly stated, or implicit) always make endorsements that can directly impact peoples health, safety and the wellbeing of themselves and families. Sitting back and hiding behind statements like “the gun I WAS GIVEN worked great – I can only report on what I see”, “I wrote the truth, someone else changed it”, “I can’t help it if they sent me a handpicked, tuned, atypically good example of what eventually turned out to be a steaming pile of crap”, or “I just write articles, I’m not the publisher” are all disingenuous. You know the deal as well as all of the rest of us and *plausible deniability* is not consistent with true character. If gun writers are not writing the truth ALL OF TIME (and therefore NOT sending back faulty review guns for ones that do work, only writing about the guns that performed well, continuing to write articles knowing that editors are changing what was written) than said gun writer has a very serious problem. The problem is, either find a new job where your integrity can be maintained, or get down off your horse and stop acting like you possess it. If you can’t take it into the office with you, and maintain it there in an unadulterated fashion, then you are a sellout.

            BTW, I can be and often am foolish myself. In this matter I think not. Gun writers have been playing both sides of the fence for years and it is eventually (if it hasn’t already) going to get someone hurt or worse. Open your eyes, you guys have become a joke and the previous comments about the new age of media are entirely accurate. Rude or not, the truth is the truth – and the truth people are seeking (about a product – they could really care less about the person writing about the product)) can by in large be found online readily; not so much in the “gun rags.” In an unprecedented manner, traditional articles are being debunked at the speed of light. There’s nothing new here, it just that technology is finally bringing all of this home to roost.

            -Calvin Ledford

          • Calvin Ledford says:

            Hey, just came across another “sour grapes” article – the writer spells it out a lot more cogently than I can… Someone else requiring some schooling on “Texas manners” 🙂





    • Calvin Ledford says:

      I have wondered this myself. My household owns TWO R51s and they are both crap! There are several reliability, manufacturing and design issues that render the gun, in my opinion, completely unsafe. There are numerous (dozens) YouTube videos, blog posts and forum comments that all seem to speak to consistency of these issues, across a wide swath of serial numbers. These all (In my mind)suggesting that the issues are systemic – and not relegated to a handful of problem guns.

      Mann has not only had an article published in traditional print – but has posted YouTube videos and blog entries. While his experience may have been his experience, it is (in my opinion) irresponsible to continue to endorse a product with such a huge number of verifiable problems. Where does the gun journalist’s liability begin/end on something like this, should a person become injured or worse if they purchase the gun and it fail? It can be hard to retract an article, but web content can be updated in minutes. Could it be deemed irresponsible to not do so after new information is learned after the fact? Continuing to hide behind the position that “the one they sent me worked fine” when there is so much evidence to contrary is quite concerning to me. Further, these guys are supposed to be the experts – it is a stretch to me to play that card when writing an article and taking a position as an authority on the subject, then to turn around and claim “I can’t keep up with everything!” Aren’t experts expected to be expert about what they write about?

      • Jim Wilson says:

        We can only report on our actual experience. Richard Mann’s guns worked, Bryce Towsley’s guns worked, Jeff Quinn’s guns worked. I’m so sorry that yours didn’t. But shouldn’t you be taking this up with Remington?

        • Jim Wilson says:

          My original post was about Mr. Leghorn’s bad manners. I don’t fix guns. If your gun is broke, contact Remington. I know that you’ll get quicker results than telling me about it.

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  22. Chad says:

    I’m just a regular Joe and bought a production model as did my co-worker. Both of ours are back at Remington for repairs. There’s always a risk when purchasing a first generation gun. I want to hold out and give Remington a chance to repair it because the gun feels unbelievably great and is the best natural pointing pistol I’ve ever held. I don’t know how many of these pistols Remington produced and I don’t know how many are in for repairs. I don’t want to speculate or do any trash talking, but it was obvious mine was going back to Remington within 100 rounds. Either my co-worker or I call Remington every couple of weeks and we haven’t gotten any news as to their repair status yet – we are at the 11 week mark. If you go to Remington’s website they have a repair lookup tool, which doesn’t work for our R51 repairs. What stings is the lack of communication from Remington. I really hope this thing gets resolved soon, but my confidence in Remington is eroding.

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  24. rick says:

    So explain to me again why this gem of a pistol was just taken off the marked after all the stellar reviews in magazines and the internet if full of liars?

  25. rick says:

    So explain to me again why this gem of a pistol was just taken off the marked after all the stellar reviews in magazines and the internet is full of liars?

  26. Andrew Stamp says:

    Sheriff Wilson: Now that Remington has recalled the POS R-51, it sounds like you owe Nick Leghorn a serious written apology. Remington played SI like a fiddle and made them look really bad in the process, and Nick was one of the few writers with the balls to speak the truth.

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  29. Dan says:

    It would seem that Nick’s review of the R51 was accurate, as his claims were duplicated by several other independent gun reviewers, and your friend’s results were not. It’s a trend in the industry.

    I can’t think of anything more “Big Boy Pants” and “Standing on Your Own Two Feet” in this industry than A) Being an independent reviewer not backed by the industry you are reviewing and B) Being right. Your friend in this case is neither A nor B.

  30. mike mobley says:

    Hey deputy fife I WISH TO GOD your gracious yet incredibly pompous invitation to a face to face meeting had been directed at a infantry soldier like my self who believes in honesty not the lies posted by mann that could have causes injury or death. There would have been a new sheriff in town. You are gargage

    • J. Moyer says:

      Since the time that this all started 6-8 months ago, I got the opportunity to meet Richard Mann a few months back. He took from his time at his hunting camp to meet me as I happen to live in the area. I’m not a writer, blogger, nothing like that, just a gun nut who reads a lot and I was impressed by Richard’s down to earth attitude so I’ll stick up for his reputation in this little dust-up. You can figure out a good bit about a man over a plate of food and good gun conversation. I got your point Sheriff and agree with you.

      • Calvin Ledford says:

        One of the things I find interesting about Mann and what I see as his *continued* defense of the R51 – is that he doesn’t seem to cut the same slack to other manufacturers. He posted a YouTube video a while back (circa 2011) regarding the Taurus TCP which I consider nothing less than a hit piece on that gun. (Search for “The Problem with the Taurus TCP”) In the video Mann waxes on about how dangerous the trigger on the TCP is – yet the R51 has a very similar (In my opinion much worse) issue (among many) but years after the TCP video he heaps praise on that R51 and never mentions its trigger problem at all.
        In the Taurus video Mann educates the world as his opinion on the ease with which the TCP can be “short stroked” due to a small click that can felt less than midway through the return trigger stoke – prior to the actual, tactile reset of the TCP trigger. Mann seems to think that the issue is serious enough that he outright states that the firearm is “unsuitable for personal protection.” However, I’ve seen no such public service announcement regarding the trigger on the R51 (or any of its many other flaws) in any of Mann’s articles on the R51, or in his subsequent defenses of his praise of the gun.
        For reference, the original R51 has NO tactile trigger reset at all. The trigger essentially does not reset until fully released. In my experience with firearms, I don’t recall a single other handgun I’ve ever experienced with absolutely zero felt reset as is the case with the R51. The R51 is *exceedingly* easy to “short stroke” because of its zero trigger reset. Why was no similar observation from Mann on the R51 as well, since matter of trigger reset is such a personal matter of scrutiny for him?
        I find such behavior kind of hard to understand. Is it because Remington butters up established gun writers with free trips and Taurus doesn’t? Who knows – but in my opinion there has been a clear effort on Mann’s part to defend the R51 while apparently giving it passes on matters he considers serious problems with other guns.
        For the record, I own a TCP and I owned a R51. I purchased the TCP with the refund I received for my R51. The TCP goes bang every time I pull the trigger (something the R51 was completely unable to do) and the TCP has been utterly reliable through over 500 rounds. (Something else that the R51 could not come close to…) I was unaware of Mann’s opinion on the TCP until after I purchased mine to replace the R51. Even before I was aware of Mann’s opinion on the TCP, I’d put a few hundred rounds through my TCP with no issues – including no issues short stroking. To tell the truth, I never even noticed the click he seems to have such a concern about. On the other hand I short stroked the R51 dozens of times when I owned it and was quite concerned about the possibility of doing so when under stress of an armed encounter.
        In my opinion the R51 is a dangerous piece of junk. It seems the overwhelming number of opinions on the R51 range from (at best) “not ready for sale” to “total piece of crap with life threatening reliability issues,” yet only the mainstream gun writers don’t seem to have noticed any of the multitude of problems with the firearm – even gun writers who seem to be quite critical of other manufacturers.
        Oh, and based on reports from the 2015 Shot Show, it seems every criticism Leghorn made about the R51 has been updated or changed by Remington (along the lines of Leghorn’s exact observations) with their new model. One of the changes apparently announced with the “new” R51 is the addition of a tactile trigger reset. Very interesting to say the least…

  31. somedude says:

    Things have come full circle. Nick Leghorn is all but fellating the Sig MPX he just received, while most others on the site are extremely skeptical.

  32. Dave Foreman says:

    Sheriff Jim,
    While this is along the lines of resurrecting a “zombie” thread as it goes in this day and age, I could not help myself. I’ve read your writing through the years along with many other writers no longer among us (to our collective detriment) like Col. Cooper, Skeeter, Elmer Keith and others that have forgotten more about firearms than this country boy could ever hope to learn. What seems to be lacking in the comments in this thread is the common understanding (rampant in today’s online society) is that there is a right way and a wrong way to conduct oneself. The online nature of today’s world seems to have insulated the young among us from the consequences of haphazardly running one’s mouth. Lack of consequences you see…recklessly impugning a man’s reputation used to come with consequences. A shame we seem to have forgotten that. I don’t own an R51and have no desire to do so but that has more to do with my preference in firearms than the reviews attached to the weapon. I don’t think Mr. Mann sold his soul for an article and if I disagreed with him as the blogger known as Foghorn had done, I would hope I would present my opinion in a more professional manner than to indict the entire industry I had aspired to work in. Hat’s off to you for stepping to your Amigos defense.
    Dave Foreman

    I particularly enjoy your articles on Border Lawman, revolvers (Ruger and S&W), hunting and rifles writ large ( I love a good Lever gun)…so I hope we see more from you soon. Carry on Sir, you are doing God’s work.

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