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One of the many pitfalls of the information age is that much of the easily accessible data available is just as likely to be in accurate as it is to be inaccurate thanks to the fact that anybody can say whatever they want, and unfortunately more often than not folks are just repeating what they've heard elsewhere for lack of any firsthand experience.

As a result, what should be a simple search for a reliable, well-made firearm becomes a baffling ordeal in which one must attempt to discern that which is factual from that which is merely overstated exaggeration based on anecdotal (often times unsubstantiated) evidence.
Now in some cases it's rather easy to discern because all you have to do is disregard any, "I've heard/read that..." or "I know a guy who knows a guy..." posts, but sometimes folks completely neglect to preface their posts with such, thus making it appear as though they are speaking from firsthand experience rather than merely repeating what they've heard.

This can be extremely frustrating, especially when in your search for information you see instances in which reports of product failure include very specific details which have been copy/pasted or otherwise abbreviated ad nauseam from a published article or blog post without citation.
Even worse is when you learn this after the fact in the event in which you've already been dissuaded from buying something due to such posts.

Frankly, as someone who has been bitten by this practice, someone who has been guilty of it myself, and is now once again having an absolutely miserable time in search of a new firearm as a result, I have decided that I for one am going to avoid being part of the problem. From this moment on, I'm going to attempt to stay out of discussions of products I lack any firsthand experience with, or at the very least be sure to always mention that what I'm saying is based entirely on hearsay. Granted that I've never been a huge offender to begin with, but it certainly won't hurt me to be more conscientious about it to ensure that I never become a contributor to worldwide web of secondhand anecdotal (often times unsubstantiated) information.
 

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I had similar issues as to what was good or bad before I bought my first handgun. However, I probably did it backwards. I couldn't understand how a Hi-Point could possibly be as bad as the gun snobs portrayed it. Therefore, I bought a used C9 and found out even though it is heavy and ugly, it performed fine. I figured if they were that wrong about Hi-Point, maybe they were wrong about Taurus so I traded the Hi-Point for an old Taurus revolver. They were very wrong about Taurus and as a result, I have bought five new ones. I also had the same experience with the Phoenix HP-22A. I also have S&W as well as Ruger but I don't find them any better than my "affordable" guns like the gun snobs said they were.
 

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I would add, this frustration extends to just about everything anyone tries to research. Unless you are able to find a reliable source who publishes first-hand information on the subject, you will get a continuous list of pretty much the same information with each author passing themselves off as "the world's foremost authority" on any given subject. Those of us of a certain age should remember, that title is reserved for Professor Irwin Corey (for the uninformed, please see this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irwin_Corey).

No matter your political views, fake news does exist. Characterized as parody, satire or whatever, it's cleverly disguised to conceal its true self from the casual reader, who then quotes it as gospel. And then it gets passed on as such. And Google and the other search engines contribute to the confusion, listing the search results by whomever has paid them the most.
 

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Frankly, as someone who has been bitten by this practice, someone who has been guilty of it myself, and is now once again having an absolutely miserable time in search of a new firearm as a result, I have decided that I for one am going to avoid being part of the problem. From this moment on, I'm going to attempt to stay out of discussions of products I lack any firsthand experience with, or at the very least be sure to always mention that what I'm saying is based entirely on hearsay. Granted that I've never been a huge offender to begin with, but it certainly won't hurt me to be more conscientious about it to ensure that I never become a contributor to worldwide web of secondhand anecdotal (often times unsubstantiated) information.
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