Thursday, August 09, 2012

Draw Tippy Turtle...

...or whatever the writing equivalent is, and you may have a future in the gunwriting game!

Prerequisites include:
  • Being able to handle firearms from third tier manufacturers that you normally wouldn't touch on a bet without making faces like you were getting something unpleasant and vile on your hands by simply touching them.

  • Being able to describe your less-than-complete satisfaction with a firearm without resorting to phrases like "wretched pulsating ball of suck and fail".

  • Being able to say things like "recoil was brisk, but manageable," and use phrases like "acceptable combat accuracy" with a completely straight face.
Paid position available now! If you think you got game, then take a shot at getting the only sort of literary criticism that matters: The kind that starts with "Pay To The Order Of..."


Tango said...

I stole this link from Weerd but thought it perfectly fits your description of reviews!

The latest Hi-Point review? Maybe?

H/T Weerd.

Heroditus Huxley said...

I has a sad...I don't know guns nearly well enough to do that.

Besides that, I'm a lot better writing fiction.

Anonymous said...

Oh, don't let ignorance deter you. These days, ignorance is a huge plus in the gunwriting world. (Was it ever otherwise?)

Also, with the hurry-up pace of online life, nobody with a website wants you to take time to do anything right. "Just get it up, fast!" is the name of the game.

It's a game that favors shortcuts, such as kitchen-table gun reviews on YouTube that don't involve actually, you know, shooting the gun (because who has time for that?), and holster reviews that come from people who have never (and will never) actually worn a working firearm throughout the day, and who certainly haven't taken the time to spend a week or more wearing, living with and really wringing out the holster they recommend you drop a c-note on, and "concealed carry outfit" recommendations from cute little girls who don't actually own or use the outfits they cut & paste from the clothing catalogs they find on the web (because, you know, it just takes too much time to buy the outfit yourself and actually wear it to find the quirks before you put up a review and recommend it to others), and pumped-up bald guys who tell you that it's tactical to "never stand out" from other people so you can avoid needing the tactical tacticalness they teach in a tactical manner in their tactical training classes ... and nobody thinks that's weird or odd, because after all pumped up scary-bald-guyness is very tactical, and that look won't ever draw the attention of criminals, and besides which, it's an image that sells a lot of products, which is the other name of the game.

But the pay is crappy and the respect non-existent, and you get bunches of free crapwear, so there you go.

DanH said...

If anyone actually sent me a gun, of any quality, and wanted me to shoot it, I think I would write that they obviously are poor judges of skill and therefore should not be trusted.
Then again, getting paid to sound intelligent regardless of the presence of actual intelligence seems to be the key to wealth these days.

Rustmeister said...


Robert Fowler said...

Pay To The Order Of

Some of my favorite words. Maybe I'll apply. It's not like I have anything else to do.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Being able to rewrite the only the first sentence of a news release ...

Tam said...


"The latest Hi-Point review? Maybe?"

'Hi-Point'? When I said 'third tier', I meant stuff like Chiappa or Diamondback. Jeez, even I have some standards.

Caleb said...

@Anon 0900 - wow dude, butthurt much?

Mulliga said...

I just wish every reviewer would, up front, disclose if (a) the gun being reviewed was provided by the manufacturer and (b) they or their organization receive or have received any remuneration whatsoever from the manufacturer.

Caleb said...

Generally, if you're reading a review in a magazine the gun was provided by the manufacturer but there's no payment from the manufacturer. Most of the guns I get for reviews are sent to me, and when I'm done with them I either pay for them or send them back.

Kristopher said...

The payment is in advertizing, Caleb.

Eventually, this conflict of interest will cause problems unless you refuse advertisers.

ALL of the gun mags have this problem.

Woodman said...

"The payment is in advertizing, Caleb.

Eventually, this conflict of interest will cause problems unless you refuse advertisers.

ALL of the gun mags have this problem"

In theory every magazine has this problem, not just gun mags. And most magazines handle it just fine, even if the separation between the review department and the advertising department is a cubical wall, or a hat.

Occasionally you'll hear about one stepping on it's Johnson about it, but that's just enough to keep the rest on their toes.

Can't have a gun magazine without gun ads, and can't review only products that don't advertise, or disallow people you are reviewing from advertising.

Anonymous said...

"wow dude, butthurt much?"

Truth hurts the worst don't it?

Stingray said...

@Anon 0900 - wow dude, butthurt much?

The hit dog yelps.
Here. I'll play.

Don M said...

Odd, I hope to live so long as to read Tam on the last page of Guns and Ammo, and not because she sells out. Rather, I would hope that G&A would upgrade their standards to match her writing.

I know, I have said this before.

Joe in PNG said...

One more job requirement:
-Being able to deal with rabid fanbois in the comment section when they get all butthurt because you had the gall to point out flaws in their precious.

Blackwing1 said...

Can you use words like "puke" in the article:

"The flimsy tack-welds holding the floorplate of the magazine let go at the first shot, puking the contents of the magazine (including all 6 of the powerful .25 ACP rounds left, the spring and the follower) onto the cement floor of the range."

Don M said...

The problem of measuring results is more widespread than mere magazines. It starts with the Heisenberg uncertainty, and continues on to anyplace where measurement is used as a surrogate for value.

A Soviet manager had a hard quota of shoes to manufacture for the year. He also found there was a shortage of leather that year.

The eventual solution: They made their quota, with the shoes being a newly invented size, about 2 inches long and three quarters of an inch wide. No value was created, and in fact, good leather was wasted in making the subscale shoes.

Incentives work. Particularly perverse incentives.

Angus McThag said...

The comments for the job posting seem to indicate that while they are paying for the writing they aren't, for the most part, paying for what you are to be reviewing.

That lets a lot of people hoping to make an entry into the gunwriting biz out; because they can't afford to buy an endless parade of products to write about.

mikee said...

I hereby suggest a Bulwer-Litton writing contest to be held in the comment sections of all the web's gun blogs, starting, oh, say, about the time the gun blogs began taking comments.

What? I've already been competing now for years and years?

It was a dark and stormy night when the UPS truck delivered another 1911 for evaluation....

Ancient Woodsman said...

One must also use all of the following in every article:

Describe the accuracy as just what the doctor ordered, "...if I do my part."

Describe your reviewed device as, "just fine fot social work (or purposes)"

Include in the last paragraph - or preferably start it with - "All in all..."

And of course, don't forget the crucial marketing phrase: "If you're looking for (x), product (y) is just the ticket."

Certainly by following the above, you can not only have a gun blog but readily be hired by any dead-tree gun rag. Unfortunately, you'll lack at least one reader.

Windy Wilson said...

If Tam wrote for the back page of Guns & Ammo, I would reconsider buying the magazine. I stopped when Colonel Cooper stopped writing for it and haven't found a need to re-up.
A column from Tam would be strong incentive.

pax said...

Tam is too modest to toot her own horn, so I'll do it for her: she does have a regular back-page column in an excellent dead tree gun publication.

That publication accepts no paid advertisements.

Figuring out which gun magazine that might be is left as an exercise for the reader.

Caleb said...

Truth hurts the worst don't it?

@Anon 1:59 - You're right, it does. I'm going to go cry myself to sleep on my pile of free gear and advertising money. How ever will I survive without your love?

Anonymous said...

"How ever will I survive without your love?"

Marginally. Proof once again that your comp skillz -literal as to humor commentary as well as conceptual as in capitalism- ain't.


Anonymous said...

Also, "Management"...redacted and deleted are not interchangeable terms.

Oh well. They say those that can't, teach. Or edit.


greg said...

Because I've been waiting for a house to sell, and in no position to buy a gun, I haven't bought a gun magazine for a LONG time. I finally scratched my itch by buying the latest copy of Guns and Ammo. After trying to read their article defending a 2-shot 9mm/45 derringer in this age of smaller and smaller pocket rocket .380s/9mm's, I decided I wasn't missing anything.

ToddG said...

So basically... Caleb, how dare you offer someone the opportunity to make some money discussing their hobby! Is that about it?

re: declaration of free gear, etc., there's an FCC rule on that already:

It never ceases to amaze me that people are all too willing to throw about accusations of dishonesty and selling out anonymously on the internet. Someone on a forum just recently accused me of being in the back pocket of "whoever is paying for all the ammo" of a project I'm working on. According to ATK and American Express, that $12,000 or so was charged to me. So I guess, what, I'm in my own back pocket? Somebody call M.C. Escher!

mustanger said...

I recall Tam saying some political candidate "went blah blah blah yakkity schmakkity" (sp?). Gun writers do it all the time too.

Less marketing. More shooting. More enjoyment.

Colt's Navy .36cal... Hmmm... No magazines there.

Kristopher said...

ToddG: Been burned a few times by magazines that put advertizing dollars ahead of honest reviews is all.

I'll read a gun mag for new product announcements. I do not trust advertiser funded sources for reviews.

If Caleb can make money doing this, fine.

Matt G said...

I've got friends who have their own reasons for disliking Caleb, for reasons not mentioned here. Okay, they're entitled to them.

But it seems like people here are slagging him for... wanting to write and talk about guns professionally! I guess that I'm really not much of a target market for pro gun writers, because I don't buy much of their publications. But I sure as hell am not going to tar them all with the brush that they're all dishonest, or bad writers, or ignorant. Hell, if I could get paid to have such a career, I would.

Caleb decided to, a while back. He's got a lot of gumption. He works his ass off at it. He has realized correctly that he is a brand, and has marketed himself. Don't hate the player. Hate the game.

Anonymous said...

MattG: How could you "hate the game"? It's capitalism pure and simple; nothing at all wrong with that.

As to the player though, the rub comes when pretense is made that it is something else, and that's all most commenters were saying. Which jibes perfectly with Tam's closing blurb: "...the only sort of literary criticism that matters: The kind that starts with "Pay To The Order Of...""

And even gleefully acknowledged by the Cap'n himself: " pile of free gear and advertising money."

So why is he so butthurt over others agreeing with his admission of being a shameless shill? And some (okay, me) poking fun at that thin-skinnedness and his lack of comprehension of humor, definitions, and inferences, results in being deleted and banned.

Anyway, I'm sure he's okay now that you've kissed his owie and made it all better...which I guess is what being in the "cabal" is all about.

Bright side though, if I click Tam's link to the site now, I get a "banned" message, and a cute little cartoon that is way better than the normal content, so it's all good. :)


Tam said...

"......which I guess is what being in the "cabal" is all about."

There's a cabal now? Is it like the Masons where you can just ask one to join, or do you have to wait to get tapped, like Skull & Bones?

Caleb said...

Yeah Tam, you're in too. Didn't you get you initiation packet with form 23-0B?

I've said too much.

Anonymous said...

"There's a cabal now? Is it like the Masons where you can just ask one to join, or do you have to wait to get tapped, like Skull & Bones?"

Geez, even Tam doesn't read GN; she was drafted into the sooperseekrit club years ago, and she didn't even know it? Wonder how many others were shanghai'ed onto that creaky ship against or without their will?

I'm probably not in danger of it though; and I might as well also withdraw my contemplated app for the shill gig...sigh.