Particularly aggravating, it turns out, is our grading system, which scores guns with grades like those on a school test. "How come," we were asked in various ways by various gunmakers, "so-and-so's gun scored higher than ours when ours costs twice as much?" And that's the crux of why we're getting a bad reputation in some quarters. It's a reputation we take considerable pride in, but not without some losses ourselves, because some gunmakers have a few ways of hitting back, or at least hiding out. "Scarcity" of some makes or models to test is one excuse we hear. "Not available yet" or "We don't have a sample to loan" or "We can't get it there in time for your tests" is an increasingly familiar response to our requests for guns to test, along with some truly original excuses. My personal reaction to those who shy away because they are fearful of low scores is simple-make better guns and you'll get better scores.