by John Boch

The Truth About Gun Reviews

Gun reviews, in almost all publications, are driven by advertising dollars or at the very least, product samples provided by manufacturers seeking positive publicity about their new offerings.  The pressure to get positive reviews about new stuff in particular is intense.

Here is a little ditty that's been making the rounds on the Internet for years.  The author is unknown.


CQB MK-V Tactical Destroyer review

Instruction From The Editor To The Journalist
Frangible Arms just bought a four page color ad in our next issue. They sent us their latest offering, the CQB MK-V Tactical Destroyer. I told Fred to take it out to the range to test. He’ll have the data for you tomorrow.

Feedback From Technician Fred
The pistol is a crude copy of the World War II Japanese Nambu type 14 pistol, except it’s made from unfinished zinc castings. The grips are pressed cardboard. The barrel is unrifled pipe. There are file marks all over the gun, inside and out.

Only 10 rounds of 8mm ammunition were supplied. Based on previous experience with a genuine Nambu, I set up a target two feet down range. I managed to cram four rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. I taped the magazine in place, bolted the pistol into a machine rest, got behind a barricade, and pulled the trigger with 20 feet of 550 cord. I was unable to measure the trigger pull because my fish scale tops out at 32 pounds. On the third try, the pistol fired. From outline of the holes, I think the barrel, frame, magazine, trigger and recoil spring blew through the target. The remaining parts scattered over the landscape.

I sent the machine rest back to the factory to see if they can fix it, and we need to replace the shooting bench for the nice people who own the range. I’ll be off for the rest of the day. My ears are still ringing. I need a drink.

Article Produced By The Journalist
The CQB MK-V Tactical Destroyer is arguably the deadliest pistol in the world. Based on a combat proven military design, but constructed almost entirely of space age alloy, it features a remarkable barrel design engineered to produce a cone of fire, a feature much valued by Special Forces world wide. The Destroyer shows clear evidence of extensive hand fitting. The weapon disassembles rapidly without tools. At a reasonable combat distance, I put five holes in the target faster than I would have thought possible. This is the pistol to have if you want to end a gunfight at all costs. The gun is a keeper, and I find myself unable to send it back.


Earlier in 2014, Remington introduced their new R51.  Several magazines with large advertising contracts with Remington wrote glowing reviews.  It was only when others began accurately describing the gun's (many) shortcomings that word got out that the new Remington offering was a flea-infested dog.  It was so bad that Remington pulled the R51 from their inventory, deleted any mention of it on their website and then they asked purchasers to send in their guns for repair.

Enter Taurus.

Check out their sales pitch for their new "innovative" product:

Your body has curves, so why aren’t pistols shaped to match? That’s precisely the question our engineering team challenged themselves to answer-and the results are unlike anything you’ve seen before. Introducing the Taurus Curve™, the world’s first and only curved firearm. Engineered to fit the unique contours of your body with no visible printing, the Curve is easily one of the most groundbreaking firearms ever conceived. An extreme departure from your typical compact .380, you’ll find the Curve takes form and function to an entirely unprecedented level. With its patented, snag-free design, the Curve boasts the industry’s first-ever light and laser built right into the frame. Exceptionally accurate and extremely lightweight at just 10.2 ounces, the Curve is one ultra-comfortable, ultra-reliable personal defense handgun.

This new gun isn't innovative. 

Instead, it's dangerous.  It's a gimmick.  It's got the potential to get you sued or killed.


Just when you thought you saw it all comes a gun that looks like someone left it in the oven just a little too long.
Yes, the gun really is “curved”. It’s not a carnival fun-house photo.




By all appearances, it seems to be a striker-fired double action semi-auto.  It comes with an integral belt clip and can be stuffed right inside the waistband in the appendix, inside-the-waistband carry mode.  That kids, is dangerous.

Yeah, it does come with a kydex "holster" which covers the trigger assembly.  Do you see most people, especially novices, troubling themselves with using it?

We don't either, especially as Taurus recommends just slipping it in your pants Mexican-style.  Oy.

Would you stuff a loaded Glock down the front of your pants, sans holster, for everyday carry?

You could, but you would be a fool.  Should something get into that trigger guard and move that trigger back, the gun will fire and at best you'll get powder burns on your privates.   More likely though, you'll blow your femoral artery.  Then you'll have a minute or two at most to reconsider the error in your ways before you bleed out.

It's also unsafe in the sense that it has no iron sights.  None.  It's got a (non-intuitively activated) laser and a flashlight, so you can waste precious time activating and the locating the laser on the bad-guy's shirt (assuming it's not bright sunlight and he's wearing dark clothing) before pulling the trigger.

How long does it take a bad guy to cover 21 feet?

1.5 seconds, at the most.

But how many bad guys initiate their attack from 21 feet?  Statistics show us that a majority of deadly force encounters occur at about six-feet or less.

How long does it take a bad guy to cover six feet?  How long will it take you to draw this gun, activate the laser as a sight and find the little red spot on the bad man's chest?

A lack of sights will also likely lead to errant rounds – and you're responsible for those missed shots in a deadly force incident.

Despite all these obvious shortcomings, Guns and Ammo wrote a glowing review about Taurus' new turd.

Click for full-size.  Image reproduced under fair use provisions of DMCA.

Upon reading it, we couldn't help but think back to that fictional CQB MK-V Tactical Destroyer review and wonder if a similar discussion took place between Guns & Ammo executives and the writers.  "Hey man, Taurus has inked a huge ad contract with us for the next few months to promote this new pistol they've come out with called 'The Curve'.  Can you take it out and write something up as a feature article to go with the cover photo we're going to do for them?"

As we at Guns Save Life receive zero dollars in ad revenues from Taurus USA, we're going to call a turd a turd.

We also love the creativity of blogger Jennifer Hast, who writes a rather entertaining take on this new Taurus offering at "In Jennifer's Head".

Be thinking the melody from Meghan Trainor's new hit tune "All about that Bass".

I guess they’re:

All about that bass, ’bout that bass, no safety.

All about that bass, ’bout that bass, no safety.

Yeah, it’s pretty clear, they ain’t got a clue

But they can sell it, sell it

Like they’re supposed to do

‘Cause they’ll put that boom boom straight down your right thigh

All the loud noises in all the wrong places.

Yeah, my salesman he told me don’t worry about the sights

He says, “Bad guys only come after booty at night.”


Don't buy this Taurus turd.

Friends won't let friends buy this Taurus turd either.




Got a little message this morning from Guns & Ammo’s Online Shooting Editor, via Facebook!   Seems they aren’t real pleased at us calling them out for their puff-piece on Taurus’ new turd of a gun, the “Taurus Curve”.

I must say, I’ve been threatened with legal action plenty of times before (I think this makes number ten), this one is the first threat delivered via Facebook!

To Whom it May Concern,

Regarding your website’s illegal use of our photography and slanderous statements about our publication (Guns & Ammo), you have until Nov. 21, 2014 at 8 a.m. CT to remove all content from your website that was stolen and/or improperly quoting our publication.

If the material is not removed by that time, we will seek legal action immediately.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.



Dusty Gibson

Online Shooting Editor

InterMedia Outdoors

2 News Plaza

Peoria, IL 61614

Office: (309)-679-5098

Mobile: (630)-618-0253


Dusty, you can call me John.

He said to call with any questions, so I did.   I called him to get some specifics of how I slandered them in calling their story on the new Taurus gun what it was:  a puff piece.

Dusty’s reply:  “I’m going to have to defer to my publisher on that.”

Fair enough, Dusty.

Frankly, that G&A story was a disservice to their readers.  I stand by what I wrote.  Taurus’ new gun is dangerous and liable to get users killed or sued.

Little did I know Guns & Ammo would threaten to sue us for reporting the truth.

I told Dusty the piece wouldn’t be coming down now or tomorrow or anytime after that.

Guess I won’t be writing for Guns & Ammo anytime soon.  Oh darn.



UPDATE #2:  It's over.

Todd Smith, the VP of Content Development for Intermedia called from New York this morning around 9:30am or so.

I suspect he's Dusty's boss.

He had a much more conciliatory tone than Dusty's initial threat-laden demand.  In fact, he was pretty nice.

Mr. Smith said there would be no legal action taken against Guns Save Life.

In the spirit of trying to rebuild some goodwill, I asked if it would make them happier if I killed off their photos in our blog post.  He said it would.  So, we've replaced the Guns & Ammo story photos (which can be found here) with new photos from Taurus USA.  Easy enough, right?

In the course of our conversation, I asked if Mr. Smith knew why Guns & Ammo execs in their headquarters city of Peoria, Illinois had never come to a Guns Save Life meeting in the couple of years we've been holding monthly meetings there.  You know, if nothing else, but to put a face to the company and promote their publications in person while supporting the fight for gun rights in Illinois.  He didn't know but would forward the information back to the Peoria crew.

We look forward to seeing them at our meetings.


59 thoughts on “TAURUS TURD: Guns & Ammo loves Taurus’ new Taurus Curve, a curved .380 pocket pistol UPDATE #2!”
  1. And with Taurus customer service and exceptional quality control, how can you lose. You can lose plenty, including your money and your life. Of 14 firearms we have had problems with on the range, 9 have been Taurus made. I personally would increase my odds of survival and buy a better made name brand with full size sites and not some gimmick that belongs on late night TV ads. Follow the safety rules and use only quality holsters that cover the trigger guard completely.

  2. Never been impressed by Taurus, owned one. The only gun I have traded off in 30 years, traded for a Ruger P-95.

  3. Dang! Is it just me, Sam Whittemore, or does that model have – like – totally – hyooooogeee man-hands?

    1. No way she can sit with those tight pants on, especially with that ultra discrete gun printing that badly. is she a reptilian or does she have a leather pad on that belly ?

    2. Pretty sure camera lighting is making her skin look funny. No way she’s sitting comfortable though.

  4. Someone page me to the courtesy phone?

    Nothing wrong with those hands, Ken. I’m curious though, with them long fingernails, how she draws that gun out quickly?


  5. Oh, and Taurus guns suck. God-awful triggers. Can’t find holsters for them. And then there’s the issues of them not working every time.

    Ask me how I know…


  6. I had a Raging Bull once, it worked fine but the frosted finish on the stainless steel began to get little rust spots on it even in the humidity controlled safe. it was hard to get them off. My buddy has a Taurus .38 blue steel revolver with a 4″ barrel and has problems with it.

  7. My ex-wife got my old Taurus 85. It was a nice S&W clone and I loved it.

    Every modern semi-auto I’ve had from them as been either a jam-o-matic or like you say, can’t find crap for holsters for ’em.

  8. While this little curve gun doesn’t sound like a winner, I bought the wife a PT111 G2 and it most assuredly is. Caveat emptor.

    1. I purchased that recently for myself, and it’s amazing. I’ve actually owned 3 Taurus’s and know several friends who shoot them as well. Not one of us has had an issue after, say, 2002. Several thousand rounds through my 24/7, most accurate gun I’ve ever owned (a collection which includes a Springfield XD, Springfield 1911, Ruger SR9, Ruger P94, S&W M&P40, etc).

    2. I agree, I own 3 Taurus handguns, including their 1911. All have been rock-solid, problem-free, and I have over 3000 rounds thru each. I’ve heard a lot of bad about Taurus before 2000, but it seems after that, they really tightened up their ship. And it’s hard to knock a lifetime unlimited warranty. While I can’t comment about the new “Curve”, it seems a pretty good idea, if it works. And to knock Taurus for the waistband clip seems a cheap shot, given that KelTec, among others, have been doing that for years!

  9. John – you got me on that one! I totally thought that was for real, but then realized it had to be a joke. Right? Like April Fool’s in November? An Onion article?

    Please tell me this is a big joke … and Guns and Ammo is in on it.

  10. The only thing I can say is that it is Double Action, not striker fired. Other than that little bit, the entire article was spot on. This turd is going to get ignorant people killed.

  11. If you think that anyone actually uses sights when the bad guy is <10 feet away, you need to take off the mall ninja mask and go get some training. Errant rounds…please.

    Additionally your claim that the shape is going to encourage people to carry this gun sans-holster is ludicrous at best.

    I don't disagree that the whole gun review process is terribly tainted by the allmighty dollar, but have you even held the gun let alone shot it? Call it ugly, fine, but how about getting ahold of one before tearing it to pieces.

    1. Never shot a gun in my life, sir.

      I learned everything I know about guns from MTV.

      You might not use your sights inside 10′, but they make a nice point of reference for the rest of us before we start slapping our triggers like a red-headed step-child who just crapped in our shoes.


  12. Is a review of an article or is it a gun review?

    If it’s a review of an article, fair enough. But if it’s a gun review, beyond a few comments about its appearance, the OP here has less credibility than those who actually handled the firearm.

    Time will tell…. as it did with the Judge.

  13. use your back pocket for the ‘ass gun’ that fits the curve of your ass…..would not recommend this weapon to anyone…imho

  14. Taurus make some great firearms and is the best in their price range, IMO. While this firearm may have some negative attributes, it has a valid place in the market for those who wish to carry small, unobtrusive firearms.

    1. If Taurus makes some “great firearms” I have yet to see them. What they do make is gimmicky, spotty QA/QC crap for the uninformed gun buying public.

    2. +1, I’ve owned several. No issue. They had issues before the 2000’s, but I think because of the price and features, a disproportionate amount of first time gun owners plague their quality dept with user-errors.

  15. I own a Taurus PT92 that has been great – but given the reports about the other models, I tend to think that they got this one right because the bought the factory from Baretta.

  16. PT92 is a great pistol, still kicking myself for getting rid of mine years ago.

    Super dumb question, I always thought the crown of a barrel being square was incredibly important fir accuracy. Made sense to me, as you wouldn’t want gas exiting in one side of the bullet before the other and maybe letting it get a little more push in one direction. But this thing looks like the top of the bullet exits 1/4″ before the rest. Can this work?

    1. This ain’t no Olympic shooting pistol, trust me.

      It just has to shoot minute-of-bad-guy at room-length distances… which, given this gun has no sights, might be best described as a laundry room or walk-in closet-sized room.

    2. At the distance it is meant to shoot, it would be accurate enough with a smooth bore and an uncrowned muzzle.

  17. Taurus revolvers are great and own several of them, but you couldn’t pay me to take one of their semi-autos!

  18. poor Taurus. Here they come out with a weird new product, and it gets called that name. “Taurus Turd”, I dunno, it seems like calling it that might catch on to me. I guess because “curve” and the other word have “ur” in them…

  19. I’m gonna buy this gun for my wife and I not because its the perfect CCW gun but it’ll also PO the gun grabbers on this site. w00t!

  20. Looks like someone needs to read the fair use clause of the copyright laws. Also editors should never send legal threats, legal threats should always be made through an attorney.

  21. I’m guessing that the “Streisand Effect” will be kicking in hard and fast on this one.

  22. I have owned and used Taurus revolvers and autos for many years and have never had to send one back to the factory. I also get decent accuracy. I don’t know where all the detractors obtain theirs, but it sounds like a lot of preconceived notions.

    1. Agree. I have several. I said above, I think a disproportionate amount of first time gun owners buy Taurus’s for the price and features.

  23. You can probably get away with the fair use on the quotes, and your comments are not anything libelous, just your take on their review, which is certainly fair game.
    I doubt if you can get away with using the photos under “fair use” though.
    An example. They put a statue in the park. Someone takes and posts a photo of that statue. If I’m doing a story about the statue, and I use that photo, it’s not fair use, I have to go get my own photo or at least get permission. On the other hand, if I’m doing a story about how a photo of a statue in the park suddenly went viral, fair use applies, because the story is about the photo, not the statue.

    Since the photos are being used to illustrate the gun, and not to illustrate an issue you have with G & A’s coverage of the gun, fair use is a stretch at best.

    1. JimmyZ is correct. Fair use does NOT cover the use of the photos since the photos are not the subject of criticism, comment, or newsworthiness, the review is. Everything else can stand, but the use of the photos is indeed a copyright infringement.

  24. G&A has been nothing but a fluff piece for years. Aren’t these the same guys who had that anti-gun editor?

  25. I agree with Jimmy Z. The “Fair use” doctrine is part of Copyright law. You aren’t using the photos to critique the photos or even to critique the G&A article. You are using the photos to help illustrate the gun and your concerns about the gun. I don’t believe that would fall under the “Fair Use” provisions of Copyright law.

    Now, your use of the G&A cover image possibly would be OK under Fair Use as you are critiquing their review in context with that image. That one isn’t as clear cut.

    Whatever you think of the Taurus pistol, or G&A’s coverage of the gun, if G&A does indeed hold the Copyright to those photos (which I don’t know for sure) your use of them is likely in violation of their Copyright.

    I’m not defending their FB message and I don’t think they have cause for action on your opinion of their article, but I believe they are correct on the Copyright issue regarding your use of their photos. The “Fair Use” doctrine is quite often misunderstood and I believe you have done so here. (Your quoting “Fair Use under DMCA” is evidence of that).

  26. Btw, I’m not pointing out that I think you are wrong in your assertion that your use of these photos falls under Fair Use to defend G&A. I just don’t want to see your site get dragged into legal trouble by anyone, at any point, if someone objects to your use of their images and decides to take action. (Whether it’s G&A or some other persson/company in the future)

    Here’s some quick research on Fair Use, especially in relation to photos, you may want to look at:

    And here are a couple of cautionary tales by people who got burned thinking something was Fair Use when it wasn’t.

    1. Thank you, Rob.

      The key text in what you linked to:

      the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.
      In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
      the nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

      I’m comfortable with what we used as being fair use. I’m even willing to litigate it in court.

      But in the interests of goodwill, I’ll taken them down.

      I do appreciate the info you sent and will hang onto to those links.


  27. In light of all this I will certainly not be renewing my subscription to G & A. I have not been happy with their rag or their tv show for some time now. This kicked me off the fence. Taurus is schit and this new poor excuse for a firearm confirms that.

  28. It’s not just Guns & Ammo magazine. Guns America’s online reviews tend toward the overly laudatory, too. Comes from getting “review guns” from the manufacturers – call crap “crap” too many times, and they don’t send hardware over for reviews.

    Specifically, their review of the Kel-Tec KSG 15 shotgun tended to gloss over the tendency of plastic parts of the forearm and rail mechanism to flex and break. This, of course, would tend to ruin your whole day in a firefight. A responsible reviewer would have panned the gun for this.

    GunsAmerica’s review? “For a compact high capacity shotgun, the KSG has had no equal.” Not a bad review for a gun which might break and leave you with an absurdly expensive club in your hands when you need a firearm.

  29. Jboch,

    Yep, that’s what it says. Note that excerpt does talk about the “factors to be considered” … including …”the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.”

    Just to clarify, that’s where I disagree with you and think the use of those photos may not fall under Fair Use.

    Look at following, also from the U.S. Government on Copyright:
    (And especially note the part that begins, “Any copying of an entire work usually weights heavily against fair use. Images generate serious controversies…” )

    “Amount of the Work Used

    “Amount is measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. No exact measures of allowable quantity exist in the law. Quantity must be evaluated relative to the length of the entire work and in light of the amount needed to serve a proper objective. The amount taken from the work should be narrowly tailored to serve these purposes. Any copying of an entire work usually weighs heavily against fair use. Images generate serious controversies because a user nearly always wants the full image, or the full “amount.” A “thumbnail,” or low-resolution version of the image, might be an acceptable “amount.”

    As you mentioned, it’s a moot point, since you removed the G&A photos at their request.

    I’m not continuing the discussion to “win” the argument and I don’t expect to change your mind. Heck, I’m not an attorney and its entirely possible you are correct and I am wrong. No way to know for sure.

    I just wanted to make sure I clearly explained the reasoning behind my view to you or anyone else that reads this thread.

    As you mentioned, it’s a moot point, since you removed the G&A photos at their request.


  30. Iron sights on a gun this short are completely useless. And all your comments about how little time you have to aim during a close quarters encounter prove that even more. Why are you aiming? You should be able to simply pull up and shoot from the hip at such short distances. If you need iron sights on a subcompact, maybe consider investing in some glasses first.

  31. Carried with a belt clip for years, never had a concern. Several of my pistols have a belt clip. Only the ones that either have a stiff manual safety or a heavy double-action trigger. I’ve been confronted about having an uncovered trigger, and I just don’t get it. Why would we assume that “something” can move the trigger which is 3x heavier than the gun itself while the trigger guard is flanked on one side by my jeans and the other side by my hip? Why is it not more plausible that the tiny little spring and plunger that blocks the striker won’t get knocked out of place somehow on any automatic? And if one is a fan of pocket holsters, I absolutely see no meaningful difference there. If we see reports or God-forbid a class-action lawsuit against TechnaClip or ClipDraw, then I would reconsider, but on imagination alone, I’m not seeing it.

  32. plz send me rate of taurus pistal in pakistani rupees.tps://

  33. have a Taurus 38-p ultra lite,works great,kind of leary about losing a body part with the curve or using it quick enough to stay alive!

  34. If it wasn’t for the fact that Taurus has such a bad reputation, I would be thoroughly enjoying yet another opportunity to listen to change-phobic conservatives gripe about something that is different. I am just old enough to remember the hysteria surrounding the introduction of the M-16 as a service rifle. It was far from perfect, but that basic ArmaLite form factor is still in service today, five decades later.

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