FN 509 Midsize with TulAmmo / Photo by Jack Shepherd

A lot of gun owners look online for reviews of firearms and ammunition, but can these reviews be trusted? It is a fair question to say the least, but there are a lot of things that need to be considered when you consider the legitimacy of any one review. 

There are all sorts of ways to do reviews, in some cases the company that makes the product might send it to someone for review and in other cases someone might go out and buy the product on their own. These are two very different cases and most would lean into trusting the reviews of people who bought a product on their own as opposed to the review of someone who was sent a product.

Many are afraid that the reviewer who is being sent a product is getting a better or “cherry picked” version of the product, while this isn’t always the case it certainly has happened in the past and people are right to worry about this sort of thing. In instances where a reviewer gets the cherry picked version of a product they might not even know that this is the case. 

For the most part though, even these reviews can be trusted if you apply a few filters to the comments made from the people reviewing them. Take the praise they may have for the product with a grain of salt and really take a look at the features of a particular product.

Another great tactic is to use multiple resources, not just one, but that is not always possible. For new products especially, there may only be reviewers who got the product for free or reviewers who are being paid to review a product. 

There is a simple way of getting around reviews like this if you can not find one where someone bought something with their own money. Look at the secondary market, and look at online comments. The internet is one of the best resources for consumers of any goods, you would be wise to remember that before you make any purchase. 

It is easy to understand why comments are a good place to look, there are a lot of people who are going to voice complaints in the comment section and there are going to be a lot of people who sing the praises of a product there as well. But what about the secondary market? 

The secondary market gives a lot of information about products after the buyer has left the “honeymoon” phase of owning a product. Some optics seem like a great idea and you make feel like you made the right decision when buying it for the first couple of times you use it, but maybe there is a problem with that optic that comes up later in its lifespan or after a more thorough examination. These products end up on the secondary market in those cases, people liked it for a while but for some reason no longer wanted it after extended use.  If you see the same product over and over again on the secondary market, then chances are there is an issue with it that is not immediately seen after buying it. 

Trust in media is at an all time low, in order to thrive in this market and make good buying decisions you are going to need to work harder and use more of the resources you have at your disposal.

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