Shooting Gear

Firearms Guide

I hope the third edition of the Firearms Guide is better than the second edition.

I’m sorry, let me start over…

The third edition of the Firearms Guide was recently released.  The DVD claims to be the “world’s most extensive firearms, ammo and air guns reference guide,” with thousands of color photos, schematics and more.  It may be all of that.  If so, the guide may be worth the asking price.

What is the asking price?  Oddly, I could not find the price on the site until I clicked the “buy now” button and got whisked off to PayPal.  The price is $39.95.

However, based on my prior Firearms Guide review (second edition), I found some things that would make me hesitate before buying the updated edition.

A couple of problems I noted with the second edition:

  • Windows only DVD – Sorry but not all the world uses Windows and with more and more people migrating to devices without DVD players (iPhone, iPad, all things Android, MacBook Air, etc.), fewer and fewer people are using old optical disc technology.  A web-based solution is likely a better product.  The third edition is also Windows only.
  • Interface – The interface worked, but was a bit kludgy.  The interface reminded me of everything I hated about DOS and Windows 3.x.  Like I said, it worked, but it was not pleasurable.
  • No Unique Content – The information wasn’t anything new, nothing I had not seen before.  Essentially, it looked like most of the info and photos were just copied straight from each manufacturer’s press kits.  While many buyers don’t get access to the press kits sent out by SIG or Smith & Wesson, you do wind up seeing the photos and information on the manufacturer’s web sites.  I was hoping for unique content, but I didn’t see any.  Maybe I just missed it.
  • Incomplete information – Some guns do not have complete information.  As near as I can tell, the only info listed is what the manufacturer publishes.  So, while each handgun might have an entry for weight, if the weight of a specific gun is not published by the manufacturer, the entry for weight is blank.  So, don’t expect the guide to have info not already provided by manufacturers.
Firearms Guide
In this entry for Remington ammunition, notice the missing data.

I hope these problems have been corrected in the newest edition of the Firearms Guide, but I don’t know that they have been.  Somehow I doubt they have.

Keep in mind that the Firearms Guide has an affiliate program, meaning glowing reviews with links to the product may be self-serving.  Though I could have signed up for the affiliate program, I chose not to, because I do not endorse products that I do not use or have confidence in.

I would much prefer an online system with unique content than a DVD with only what the manufacturer sends out.  Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if the Firearms Guide is worth the $39.95 asking price.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

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