Gun tests

Taurus Manufacturing has officially released the Curve, a small, polymer .380 pistol with a distinct curved frame, meant to comfortably wrap around your hip or thigh when carrying inside the waistband or in a pocket, respectively.

Here’s my gripe about ‘range tests’:

First, some quick range notes: After handling and firing the Curve I can straight away can [sic] tell you that the 100 or so rounds I fired through the gun fed well and the empty cases ejected perfectly. The long trigger was decently smooth and the recoil, while sharp, was manageable. And not only was the gun a reliable shooter, it also hit where I aimed, thanks in part to its integrated light and laser.

How much meaningful information does that convey? What distance, what was the target, what speed, what anything? How about putting a trigger pull gauge and ruler to it? Then we might know what ‘long’ means, in a couple of dimensions.

I’m actually interested in doing a comparative test of the Curve. Anything that has generated so much hate without even being seen, handled, or fired deserves a second look. Perhaps I’ll do something even slightly scientific, such as firing it on the same course of fire as a full size gun or perhaps a competitive gun, e.g., an LCP.

If they’re going to fire 100 rounds anyway, why not do something meaningful with it? For example, “I fired the XX State weapons carry qualification course with the Curve and an LCP. With the Curve, I was able to make a score of XX in a time of XX. The LCP gave me a score of XX in XX seconds. So, XX produced better results, for me, than the XX. Then I fired the same course with a Glock 17, which produced XX results. So the smaller guns gave up XX percentage of performance.”

Larry Potterfield, of MidwayUSA, even developed his own analysis protocol for testing handguns. His procedure is not what I would use but I give him credit for doing something original, measured, and somewhat informative.

C’mon guys, this isn’t that hard if you think about it just a bit. You don’t have to put on a Top Gear show to provide some kind of meaningful information for people to use in decision-making.

8 responses

  1. Hear, hear! Well played sir.

    I like the COF idea, mainly because I do exactly that with guns, often when helping Rich Grassi do shoots for magazines. I run the KS C-POST qual, easy, simple, anybody can do it, and I have LOTS of runs through that COF in which to compare apples-to-apples

  2. Like many of the “reviews” I read it seems more of a marketing piece than a review and I do believe many gun magazine writers would not write a negative review of any gun. It’s as if their job is one of cheerleader.

  3. As an alternative, would you suggest the LAPD retired officers course that you mentioned earlier?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Anything quantitative would suffice, Chris. Just put some kind of number on it.

  4. I bet that a lot of “gun writers” would not want to reveal their own skill level at certain drills for their readers to consider. Many of the ones that do have the knowledge and skill to make such tests useful, probably don’t work at publications that would be interested in having such numbers for their readers to compare about their advertisers products.
    Most magazine articles are nothing more that extended, rehashed press releases. I much prefer to read reviews on certain web forums(or blogs), by skilled individuals, whom I am familiar with, that are motivated by a real passion for shooting, and are less constrained by their company business model.
    It can be hard to remember that for many companies in the firearms industry(including gun manufacturers), excellence may not be compatible with their successful business model(Taurus, Hi point, ect).
    It’s a shame, but sometimes I think that serious, skilled, passionate shooters radically overestimate the importance of their opinions, and their financial importance to the industry as a whole.

    1. I won a S&W M&P15 at the 2007 SHOT show in a shootoff S&W had for the writing community. When I mentioned it to Hackathorn, he said “Don’t get a big head, remember you were shooting against gun writers.” That burst my bubble.

  5. Yea. Science; It works, bitches.

  6. I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw a bad review of a new firearm in a gun magazine. However evry time I’ve ever seen a review of a new gun that was just hitting the market, there was an advert for in in the magazine running the review, and the review was alwyas positive.


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