Note: I want to take a moment to point out that most bloggers, reviewers and even magazine writers don’t do this as their primary job.
Visiting a blogger’s home or, as in this case, going to visit the boss of a blogger’s primary occupation because you were unhappy with a product review, is completely unacceptable.
When you ask us to review a product, expect that we are going to be open and honest about our findings.
If you have been in the AR-15 game for any period, the chance is good that you have come across a smoking deal on one of Radical Firearms’ rifles or uppers. Any chance of me taking that company seriously went right out the window as soon as they crossed the line with a blogger that was reviewing one of their “Blueline” rifles.
Primary & Secondary is a forum for professionals that use their guns in situations where bad gear can literally get you killed. Radical Firearms reached out to the staff at Primary & Secondary with an offer to review the rifle and asked “only for candid and unbiased feedback” The email to Primary & Secondary is attached at the end of this post.
When the staff writer received the rifle, he did a quick inspection of the components before heading to the range like anyone should when shouldering a new rifle. What he found on this supposed duty grade rifle was not up to par as a result of the following deficiencies:
- Gas key not staked properly and able to be removed with little effort
- Castle nut not staked at all
- Upper out of dimensional spec
- Lower out of dimensional spec
The staff member tested both the upper and lower receiver by marrying both upper and lower to various quality rifles from Colt, Daniel Defense, Bushmaster, Smith & Wesson and Sons of Liberty Gun Works. Each time the pins needed to be knocked out with a hammer and punch as a result of how out of spec the parts were.
After hearing about the issues Radical reached out to the reviewer and stated they felt he got one of the hobby grade rifles and would like him to send it back so they can send the right gun out. They never sent the second gun out; instead, Radical’s national sales manager drove over to the reviewer’s primary employer to complain about the review that was being conducted.
After the reviewer’s boss called him into his office as a result of the unprofessional and uncalled for visit to the reviewer’s primary place of employment, Primary & Secondary halted the test and will not be conducting any further conversation with Radical Firearms.
UPDATE: Radical Firearms responded. They said:
By now you are no doubt aware of the recent “review” of an RF firearm that has circulated online. This event did not play out as was described, nor despite our request for a review did it begin that way. We don’t know what might have motivated and such distortion and misrepresentation, but distortion and misrepresentation it was. Because of NDAs, legal relationships with that individual’s place of employment (legalities that necessitated us making contact with that employer, which has also been misrepresented) and an unwillingness to create a cyber-slapfight, we see no point in going into further detail. We wish the writer no ill and are not concerned with allegations of subpar functionalities. We still welcome reviewers willing to provide candid feedback. The rifles will speak for themselves, if reviewed and reported honestly – in the unlikely event they do not perform adequately, we want that information conveyed honestly and accurately so we can deal with it righteously.