Happy 2nd to WeaponsMan.com

Apart from a placeholder post to test the domain, the first post on WeaponsMan.com went live at 0005R (that’s five past midnight, Eastern Time) on 1 January 2012. Thus, today is our second anniversary — Our second birthday, if you will.

In the light of our first post…

We’ve already covered our 2013 in Review. Here’s where we tell you what we’re doing in 2014, but first, let’s look back at that first, optimistic post, and see if a course correction is in order.

Here’s what we wrote:

Every Special Forces soldier is cross-trained in multiple disciplines. One of the most important is communications. These days, with modern satellite communications and locations systems, it’s rare for a team to be lost or out of touch with HQ, but for most of the history of Special Forces and special operations forces in general, it wasn’t unusual for a team to be both.

Your team might have made every mission tasking with flying colors, and brought everybody home safe, but if you didn’t make commo, you might as well have failed at everything. Your name was mud with the Colonel (generally called The Boss, unless he was disliked), the staff, and just about everybody.

So we all cross-trained in commo, first. And we became familiar with various communications concepts, including the signal to noise ratio. This is essentially the ratio of desired signal to undesired signal. The internet in general, on the subject of weapons, has a pretty lousy S/N. Here’s how we’re going to try to keep the S/N high on here.

  1. Stick to what we actually know
  2. Document and source facts where we can
  3. Explain the reasoning, as well as source the facts, behind our opinions.

I know, hare-brained, radical ideas. Fortunately, for those who want unsourced, unsupported snark,it’s never more than a click away on this set of tubes. De gustibus non disputandum est.

In the light of that first post, it’s clear that some things have changed, but that still is, believe it or not, the lodestone we try to navigate by. Our intent in sticking to what we know and, an original intent we expressed elsewhere on the blog, minimizing politics, was to make this site a destination for weapons facts (entertaining ones, to be sure) and not to alienate potential readers. We also don’t think our politics are especially unique or interesting, although we are well situated (in first-primary state New Hampshire and secondarily in unreality-show Florida) to see the sausage being made up close.

Politics and WeaponsMan.com

Of course, we’ve failed at keeping politics out of the blog in 2013. What changed? What changed was a violent assault on your gun rights and ours. Regardless of our personal politics, the assault was unmistakably a partisan political one, with politicians who had run as pro-gun 2nd Amendment supporters falling in along the Party line, and issuing various Washingtonian (the city, not the President) doubletalk about how they would support the 2nd Amendment to the death, just as long as it didn’t let you have guns.

If you are in the gun culture, one party is a lower threat to you than the other, although neither is truly your friend. Look at the moves of “pro-gun” Republicans Pat Toomey and ex-Senator Scott Brown, profiles in the opposite of courage when they thought, based on media reports, the trend was with bans and registration. Brown is so corrupted with lust for power that, having alienated the voters of his own state who once backed him, he’s moved to a new state (unfortunately, ours) where he thinks he can define himself, again, with empty promises and vague slogans.

Politicians of whatever party are self-serving and profoundly crooked. People who are attracted to this career have something lacking at the center of their souls; they are content to face you with servile, fawning professions of friendship or high-handed contempt, depending solely on where they are in the election cycle. They make treacherous servants and terrible masters.

Here is the conundrum we face

Here’s the conundrum we face: every political post distracts from our main mission of informing people about, and entertaining people with, firearms. Not only that, it also risks alienating readers who, for personal political, familial, or historical reasons, may align themselves with politicians who are rabidly anti-gun. (It’s a free country, as our grandparents, who emigrated from unfree ones, were wont to say). Finally, compared to writers who make politics their bailiwick, of whom there are a great many, we’re not all that terribly good at it.

But the other leg of the conundrum is this: what if we do not vigorously defend our rights to own, enjoy and use the widest range of weapons? If we do not seek to expand and broaden our rights at every opportunity, even as our enemies, and we use that term advisedly, miss no opportunity to try to constrict, outlaw, and suppress the same, we wind up as poorly off as the gun culture of, say, Britain.

It is not inevitable that things should keep on going the way they have been. The successes that we have only came about because people have toiled hard on our behalf. There’s no scientific principle or immutable law that says that men shall be free. Freedom must be seized, and then must be defended, in every possible medium.

So we will defend it here. And we make no apologies for that.

So, is a course correction in order?

We’re asking you. We know an awful lot of people read this blog. (If you’ve read the year-end wrapup, you’ve seen the stats were so proud of).  We’re satisfied with the way this blog is going. Every work day we try to make four posts:

  1. A gun-industry or -tech post, first thing in the morning (0600R, ideally).
  2. A post about the military or unconventional warfare in late morning (1100R).
  3. A post reminding us that despite the rhetoric of the anti-gun world, some pretty rotten stuff would keep happening When Guns are Outlawed (1400R).
  4. A post about whatever catches our fancy.

In addition to those, we try to post about breaking gun news, and have several regular (sometimes irregular, but that’s strictly unintentional) features:

  1. The Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week — a website worth visiting about our gun or war focus.
  2. The Saturday Matinee — a movie review about a war movie or one where guns play an important part. (Sorry, no sparkly vampires, although we might cover zombies as long as someone’s shooting them).
  3. That Was the Week that Was — our saturday evening wrap-up of the week’s stats and posts.
  4. The Assclown of the Ides — a post about a military impostor or phony on the 15th of the month.

It takes a lot of time to do this, and other things go on: a day job (several, really), some medical recovery (grrr…), PT (not enough), meals (too much, goto PT), some travel, and going to ranges and whatnot.  So from time to time, posting gets slack. If we know it’s going to get like that, we try to frontload scheduled posts.

Anyway, we believe this system is working. But we don’t know, and want to know, what you think?

  • What do you want to see more of?
  • What do you want to see less of? (i.e., what stories do you skip now?)
  • What questions do you have that nobody’s answering?

If you want to keep your comment private, just say so. First-time commenters are always sent to comment limbo (it’s our last line of defense against comment spam), and if you are a regular commenter with a private message, say so. We’ll set that one to “unapproved” and any subsequent message will go to the offline queue until the private discussion ends, and we can release you from the penalty box (whilst keeping private those messages you wanted private).

There are some things we’re not expecting to do in 2014. We don’t expect to try to monetize the blog directly. Yes, it serves a business purpose, but a long-term one; we don’t think the gains from, say, advertising, would be worth the aggravation it would put both of us to.  (We actually have cut back on linking to sites that have infected themselves with adware. pop-ups and other malware like the Undertone virus. We can usually find the story on a clean site even if we find it on a polluted page, first. We doubt we’re alone in that).

And we don’t expect to turn this into a go-to place for 2014 election gun politics. We might have something to say about local stuff, and we will defend our culture from those that attack it, but the horse race is not our thing. (Both horses in any given race will bite you, given half a chance. It’s our duty to our grandchildren not to give them that chance).

But we do expect to continue to build our community here, and our friendship with you, our readers. May 2014 be entertaining and successful for us all. And as a nod to that first cautious post we drafted back in December 2011 to announce a new blog on New Year’s Day, this one goes live at five minutes past midnight on the first day of 2014. Who knows what new knowledge, skills, and adventures lie before us?

21 thoughts on “Happy 2nd to WeaponsMan.com

  1. DJ

    I would change nothing. Nada. Zip.

    I’m liking it just the way it is. Keep it up.

    And thanks for the time and commitment you demonstrate here.
    The quality of the site reflects it.

  2. Aesop

    Mazel tov!

    Keep doing what you’re doing, as often and as well as life and random circumstance permits.

    Politics leaks into stuff because the kids who fell in love with telling others what to do in student council grow up and become even more obnoxious pricks and prickettes, to the point that such nonsense, once suitably kept in a closet and only trotted out during the brief period from Labor Day to Election Day every four years, now seek to occupy and direct every micron of space 24/7/365/forever, down to last electron on the Internet, the last 1 or 0 in the Matrix, and the last penny in your pocket.

    That being the case, public mockery, and ridiculing the ridiculous is not only unavoidable, it’s a public service, and when well done, worthy of accolade. Once the monitor is cleaned off.

    Best wishes on the next year.

  3. The Old Man

    Ran across your site about 4-6 months ago. It is now a daily read. Love the historical weapon development posts and the weekly recap (now BI-weekly… sorry).
    “You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in YOU!” I think you have handled the political posts well, and have not gone off the reservation (see remarks about pricks and prickettes above).
    Bloody well keep up the out-STANDING work you have posted here – I’m looking to you for quality posts and have not been disappointed.
    That being said, my wish is that you and yours have a safe and prosperous New Year.

  4. Kommander

    I’ve been reading your blog for about six months and would not change anything. Yours is one of the few blogs I’ve gone through and read months of back posts at. Politics is unavoidable at this point but you have done a good job of not letting it overwhelmed your primary objectives for this site while still giving solid political commentary. I do especially like the weapons tech posts though. Your series on the SAW was very well done. Perhaps an article about the history precision rifles, either generally or in SOF specifically, could be next. Thanks to Aesop for sending me here in the first place.

  5. RobRoySimmons

    I skim the headers on the “news” items having a lifetime of American A-clown antics I know the script by now, but I do enjoy reading just the headers.

    Movie reviews really like reading your opinions, tech stuff of course even if it is out of my range which is shallow but I put the bytes back in the deep memory for future cross reference purposes. .Mil stories always interesting.

    I was a battery weapons custodian for 2 1/2 years in the era of the A1/A2 .45 M-60 M-2 hope to add my non-inflation adjusted Zim dollars worth down the road.

    Thanks again

    1. RobRoySimmons

      One request, I am assuming that you are in the “industry”, perhaps you can mention it around the water cooler that at least one Indian out in flyover land is not happy with the term “modern sporting rifle.” If I want sport I’ll buy a basketball. IMO Daniel Defense got it right with their ad. Thanks

  6. Samuel Suggs

    I would like more current military news and more stories from your early military career, like maybe a first hand account of your some of your SFQC.

    1. Bill K

      I’m with Sam’s suggestion. But I have enjoyed everything you’ve posted, and have generally found that though most commenters are somewhat to the right of Genghis Khan, we are spared from flame wars here.
      I attribute that to your firm behind-the-scenes commenter approval. With liberty at stake, the lesser controversies of politics just seem to pale in comparison. Few here seem to trust any political party.
      In fact, your blog reminds me of another which I’ve sorely missed, “Neptunus Lex”, the author of which died in a Red team plane crash more than a year ago. Like yours, his was a community of commenters, naval aviators for the most part, getting long in the tooth, that were a congenial group of gentlemen that didn’t mind speaking their minds, but saved the fangs for their targets, and avoided friendly fire.

  7. Tom Schultz

    Who would have thunk it two years ago? A beat-up battered weapons man (are there any other kind?) and refugee from aviation scrivening starts a blog. And it is successful. Congratulations and keep it up.
    Okay, enough of the gushy stuff Just fair warning, if you are going to start acting like you have “The Terrible Twos” we are watching and waiting to pounce.

  8. 6pounder

    Hello– I have been enjoying your site for a couple of months now and have made it a daily read, along with Rawles’ site. Weapons and their history are my main hobby. (the 6 pounder is in the barn) I think your mix is good on the gun stories, movie reviews, much needed political sit rep reminders, and perps that really need removal from the gene pool. Every Group guy that I’ve known over the years has been a straight shooter with solid creds.
    My two cents is keep up the great work. Sincerly, Jeff

    1. Hognose Post author

      Thanks Jeff. We’re very grateful to James Wesley, Rawles for calling attention to us over there in his big and active community. If you really have a 6 pounder, my old team sergeant is restoring a Bren Gun Carrier to tow it… well, he says he’s restoring it.

  9. Arturo

    I like the gun tech posts that you have put up, the place besides forgotten weapons shows some real interest in weapons and their design. I like the sound of that new schedule.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Thanks, Arturo. Your readership and comments are very welcome. I think FW and WM share a lot of readers and interests.

      1. Samuel Suggs

        Your post on the American “SAW that never was”, is probably the most fascinating thing I’ve ever read on the Internet and I was recovering from a concussion at the time.

  10. Stefan van der Borght

    Again, thanks for this great blog and the effort you put into it. Since you’ve permitted requests (granting them is another thing…), may we non-SF types hear about a WM’s experiences putting all that training to use? For example some of the unusual weapons & related situations you may have encountered, and what it’s like organising and field-expedient maintaining the weaponry of, er, NGO’s. As an Aussie temporarily stranded in Teutonia about the only likely contact I can expect with guns these days is counting the rifling grooves and wishing I was on the other end; so thanks for the whiff of cordite wafting across the web, it’s better than nothing. You transatlantics are the last bastion of something that was relatively good (and I’m only referring to the people and the resulting personality of your community that made it so, not the malignant parasitic growth that is consuming them). There’s not much of anything we can do for you from over here other than pray and voice our support and hope you don’t end up like us. Most of you will, but we’re cheering for the ones that stand in the breach.

  11. Jim

    Only been reading this blog for a couple months, but it’s now a near-daily read for me. Terrific stuff – I wouldn’t change anything on the menu. Congrats on the 2nd anniversary – hope many more to come.

  12. Sando

    Congrats! I’m sure it takes ALOT of commitment to make this thing go. I appreciate the effort.
    I check in a couple times each week for the insight and witty commentary. The detailed posts on weapons are usually all news to me. I enjoy the movie reviews – a good deal of overlap between us and it’s interesting to get your opinion. I usually skip the When Guns are Outlawed posts – the buffoonery is grating.
    Since you’re looking for ideas: Maybe a post on what it takes to become a Weapons Man on a Team? What’s your role?
    Looking forward to reading the blog this year.

  13. 6pounder

    Hog nose — yes I have a 6 pounder and have built some for others. Model of 1841 with the limber. Sorry, it’s not a breechloader. You guys would probably find–The School of the Piece– somewhat quaint.

    1. Hognose Post author

      There was an artillery officer I ran into in Afghanistan who had found two mid-19th-century cannon in the junkyard at KMTC and shipped them home.

      I would love to see and fire a gun like yours. We’ve written here before about the technology of the Parrott gun and some makers of reproduction black powder artillery. There’s a lot of thought and engineering in those guns, they were high tech in their day.

  14. 6pounder

    I would love to see those two tubes to see where they came from. They could tell a fascinating story. Building one is a tremendous education. You learn to appreciate how smart those weaponeers were back then and see how the building blocks got us to today’s amazing weapons.
    Question– it’s my understanding that an early, or first model, American tank was found in Afghanistan a few years ago and was brought back here for restoration. True story? Thanks

  15. Samuel Suggs

    It would appear that me and Sando would both just like to know bit more about the man behind username, his military career imparticular.

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