Trying before you buy is certainly a great idea, if you are a member of a club, then you will have access to multiple scopes and rifles.
I disagree with the fact that Airgun reviews are pants, but I do agree that they are nearly always the reviewers opinion and it comes down to whether or not you trust the mag or reviewer. I personally have always tried to be honest about the kit I look at and on the few occasions I have been given stuff that is bad. I have sent it back and refused to endorse it.
I am well aware that if I say something is good and it turns out to be rubbish, I will have shooters approach me at either the Nationals or at M.A.D and I will have to explain myself. I have been working for Airgunner now for three years and I have only ever had two people complain to me in person about a review. However, I have had lots of very nice emails from shooters who have been happy.
I stand by my article and if you would like a copy to make up your own mind, please drop me a line.
Somehow I made TEAM ENGLAND 2012 and 2013
Illiterate writer for AirGunner
The real Kung Foo Panda.