Product Tests & Reviews

Product Tests & Reviews
.300 Savage Ackley Improved Bellm Contender Barrel
Bellm Custom .25-20 Winchester Contender
.30 Bellm Contender Bench & Field Pistol
Bellm-Virgin Valley Custom Guns 30 Bellm Encore Barrel
Product Test: Bellm 44mag Barrel
Product Test: Bellm/VVCG 14" 223 Rem SS Contender Barrel
Product Test: Mike Bellm Wyoming Stones
Remington 581 Custom Match Rebarrel by Guy Malmborg

- Our Purpose In Product Testing -


In addition to our company pages, we would like to put forward a wide-ranging series of Product Tests and Reviews, covering an extensive array of hunting shooting sports merchandise that our customers are likely to encounter. As we are also avid sportsmen and shooters in our own right, it is our intention that these reviews will supply as much as possible a true "customer" perspective on all items analyzed, highlighting the highs and lows, the best and the worst, and giving an insight into what we might suggest as needed changes and improvements to a given product.

- Our Comittment To The Reader -
I should also let you know that while I have product sponsors, i.e. BellmTCs, and in one test through BellmTCs, VVCG, and while I carry many different manufacturers in the shop such as Remington, Thompson Center, Glock, Savage, Browning, Tikka, S&W, Dan Wesson, etc., I believe that if a product I have tested has a better value for the dollar or performs certain tasks better and in a given situation surpasses one of my sponsors, Ill say so regardless of sponsor or competitor. 
My ultimate loyalty is, and has always been, to the hunter/shooter and not to the manufacturer!  

(If in posting an honest review I offend the manufacturer, then so be it: the purpose of testing is to provide an honest review and publication, not to pacify and appease an upset manufacturor.)
Product Tests
The goal of product tests is to measure the acceptance of goods or services in a given market, and specifically customer feedback relative to the goods or services being evaluated.
There are four distinct Product Test configurations, each one aimed at achieving a specific objective:
1. Tests vs. the competition: These measure the performance of a new product or service with those of the competition.
2. Product improvement tests: These determine if a new, improved version of a product or service should replace the original.
3. Cost saving tests: These determine if a product or service could and/or should be substituted with a cheaper one.
4. Concept performance tests: These determine which version of a product or service, among different variations, best coincides with the manufacturers message.
I will implement and incorporate any or all of the above configurations in carrying out a given product test on this site.

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- Our Testing Standards -
Some very simple and basic standards you should be aware of by which we judge all tests:
1. Accuracy is paramount. We are singularly uninterested in expensive or custom guns that, all other things being excellent [fit, aesthetics, price etc] do not outshoot plain factory guns. Anything less than MOA at 100 yards for a scoped sample is simply unacceptable, and in the custom work we review, we tend to expect a great deal more.
2. Tolerances and fit must be tight. Loose actions, locking systems, and sloppy triggers etc are quite avoidable, and if such are a recurring theme in a product line, then such are a sign of a lazy manufacturer whose financial bottom line is more important to them than the extra minutes it takes to do a first-rate job.
3. Aesthetics and Beauty must also be functional. Example: We are particularly turned off by such things as externally cocking hammers on double barrel shotguns [As seen on some current cowboy action double shotguns out there] that are NOT functional. Such things earn extra demerits in out tests!
4. Internal mechanical dimensions and tolerances. In rifles and single shot carbines and handguns, we subscribe to the philosophy and paradigm view of chamber-throat-crown distinctives and their relationship to accuracy as professed by Harold Vaughn in his book Rifle Accuracy Facts and as developed and advanced by Custom Gunsmith Mike Bellm. In revolvers etc we subscribe to the same as professed by Custom Gunsmiths Hamilton Bowen, John Linebaugh, etc.
5. The quality of a product must be commensurate with its asking price! This one is basically self explanatory: you generally get what you pay for, yet sometimes you don't, and we are interested to report either way!

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- Product Testing and the Pretended Neutrality Fallacy -

 Many product testers and evaluators will assert that they approach every product test in an identically neutral manner.
The problem with this assertion is that in stating this, a given tester is committing the pretended neutrality fallacy, which is a fallacy that we as imperfect men so often commit!
Such a professedly "neutral" tester is assuming that the characteristics and data of a given product are simply a collection of brute facts that can be investigated apart from any influences of the particular world-view or belief commitment on the part of the tester.  Such of course is not the case, as everyone has a presuppositional world-view and truth commitment by which we judge and evaluate all things.
This presuppositional bias is evident in us all, because when we examine or talk about a particular body of proofs and comments, there is always an assumed standard by which all other products are measured, which more often than not also happens to be our particular favorite among all available options. Such is the case for any particular tester or evaluator of products.
Often the manifestation of this fallacy is that if we put forth a test that ignores a particular individual testers chosen "standard" and instead give our own interpretation of the facts as tested, according to our published standard, often such testers simply cry foul and state "this interpretation of the collection of data does not give any integrity to the process, because the ultimate standard [as THEY see it] was not taken into consideration." 
What such testers do not seem realize is that we could of course say the same exact thing about THEIR interpretation.
Such folk typically assume that their way of interpreting the data is therefore the ONLY neutral way, and unless we are interpreting it in the same way as they do [I.E. according to THEIR presuppositions and bias] then we are not being good evaluators.  
When two people look at data from two opposing world-views or belief commitments, how can such even begin to argue intelligently about the interpretation of the data?
Thus, the answer is that NO ONE is truly neutral, but rather we All HOLD to certain presuppositional belief commitments about what is true, and what is our ultimate standard of measure in a given area. For example, my ultimate standard by which I measure all other shooting sports optics is Swarovski. For others it is Zeiss, for others it is Leupold, and for still others it is Bushnell. Knowing the world-view and belief commitments of an individual ahead of time will greatly facilitate an accurate interpretation of a given set of conclusions, as one then has an accurate idea of the starting point used, in order to understand the basis for comparison.
At this point the studious reader may then examine our results and compare such to those arrived at by others, and form intelligent and well-informed conclusions by evaluating not only the published data, but more importantly evaluating the internal merits or demerits of the world-view and belief commitments of the individual publisher of data.
It is at this stage that we must concede our personal bias, or presuppositional commitment which is a direct result of our own particular world-view and belief commitments in the area of the shooting sports and hunting products, and thus state that all our tests will be done taking such into consideration.

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