Format and Feedback

Well, today is the first day of RIA’s April Premiere auction – if you are bidding on anything, good luck! Of course, this also means we are finished with the current series of videos and I would be interested in hearing feedback from you folks. My audience has expanded into areas like Reddit and YouTube and Facebook, but the people like you who come here to read the daily blog are the core group that I would like to cater to. My stockholders or employers, if you will.

The opportunity to work extensively with both Rock Island and James Julia this year has provided me with access to a huge pool of fantastic guns to bring you video coverage of, and I would like to make the most of it. Do you like the balance of new versus old, military versus civilian, and practical versus slightly goofy guns? Is the significant increase in video (as opposed to written text) a net improvement for the site or a detraction? Are there any particular changes you would like to see? Do you prefer short-form videos on individual guns, or longer pieces discussing groups or families of related guns?

There are a couple things I am planning and considering for the coming months…

For one thing, I would like to take some of the guns I have in my own personal collection and spend more time shooting them in a variety of conditions with the goal of producing text or video analyses that give a more in-depth assessment of them. Disassembly and a handful of rounds downrange can only tell you so much about a design. Sometimes that is all that is possible (like with the Schwarzlose 1898 that will be coming soon), but when I own something myself I can spend a lot more time getting to know its quirks. Two of the guns that I specifically have in mind for this sort of treatment are the Gewehr 41(W) and the Winchester-Hotchkiss. I anticipate that I will be posting incremental material on these two guns (and other that get this sort of treatment) as I work my way towards being able to write something more comprehensive.

Something I am considering doing is adding a section on forgotten conflicts. There are a lot of small wars that are barely known at all today, but which comprise a significant amount of actual combat use of some of the guns we look at here. Some of the American Indian wars, for example, or the African bush wars of the past 60 years, or conflicts like the Gran Chaco War. Would this be of interest, or would you rather see me stick to just guns themselves?

Ultimately, the material here will continue to be based on what I find myself passionately interested in – that is what has made it successful from the beginning. But within that umbrella, there are of lots of different options for how material can be presented and I would appreciate getting your input. Thanks!

Shooting a G41(W) with ZF-41 scope




  1. Ian
    If i might make suggestion of a excellent book to read on the battle of islandwana and the true account of what happened and the absolute bravery of the brittish soldier.
    read “how man can die better ” it is an aweseome read, and you find out the 800 british soldiers where not over ran by 20,000 zulus but held them at bay for hours.

  2. I’ll always be interested to hear what you have to say. I came here to read about oddball guns, but hearing the history that led to their development and what happened after is something you can’t find anywhere else. You really make some stuff that might otherwise be pretty dry quite interesting.
    That said, I’d LOVE more of the history stuff, as long as it relates to the guns somehow. Just don’t turn into yet another dry, boring, history buff.

  3. I’ve only recently found you, by way of YouTube, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your videos and posts. While I don’t actively shoot, anymore, I remain very interested in the history of firearms. Your obvious knowledge and passion is very welcoming, and I look forward to whatever is coming up next.

  4. Ian,

    I like the idea of small conflicts and the guns used in them. I wouldn’t, in my opinion, detract too much from your in depth look at the obscure and novel though. I have learned so much from your videos on the auction house fire arms I would hate to it go.

  5. Ian,

    I like the changes you have made to the site. I prefer video because you can get a much better idea of how the firearms function as opposed to a few pictures and some text. I really like all of the strange and odd firearms you come across. The Chinese pistols are hilarious!

    I think you should stick to just focusing on the firearms themselves though. After all it is called “Forgotten Weapons” not “Forgotten Wars/battles”. Don’t get me wrong though, I do like military history just as much as the next guy. I think it would still be good to mention what conflicts a particular firearm was involved in though.

  6. I like the changes and the videos, as they allow a much better understanding of the weapons. I would like to see coverage of the forgotton conflicts as well. That is part of the story of the weapons and including the forgotton conflicts would be a great addition.

  7. I am responding to your request for feedback. I live in a rural area without broadband, dial-up only. Because of this I can not view YouTube etc. Or RIA – they are very slow loading. Too slow for dial-up.

    I would appreciate your posting a [still] picture of whatever it is you are reviewing on YouTube etc.

    Just my $.02. Perhaps there are other broadband-challenged viewers who would also benefit from pics, as well as the occasional video.

  8. Love the new ideas and I thought the balance of guns examined at the auction houses was good, its a great opportunity to get a look at guns that often disappear into private collections. Definitely looking forward to the Hotchkiss stuff, done quite a bit on tubular magazine military rifles over on and the Hotchkiss is one of the better designs so I’m glad you finally got one and have a chance to experiment with it.

  9. I would be very interested to learn about the historical/battle context of the weapon design and usage. Understanding the conditions and tactics for which the weapons were optimized (or not) and how the weapons circulated around the world would add a lot to the understanding of how they evolved the way they did.

  10. To start with, I like that “leave a reply” is a lot easier than on full30. Your auction videos are fantastic, because they bring me as close as I will ever get to a serious amount of weapons. “Forgotten wars” is a good idea, as long as it is the weapons of these conflicts you are focussing on. Having said that, I would really like to know what kind of nation is behind certain weapons. Their industrial complex, their dogma’s, their culture etc. Why did the Japanese in ww2 hardly use smg’s? That kind of thing. The text explanation of how a certain weapon works are difficult to follow for non-technical viewers from non- English speaking nations, so your videos are perfect. I also like the 2 gun matches from you an Carl. The book reviews are welcome too. In short, great job!

  11. Just found this article about a month ago . Really enjoy it
    One of the first things I read each day
    Forgotten conflict sounds great , but let’s make sure we keep forgotten weapons

  12. Glad to see you mentioned the ‘Chaco War’…a truly forgotten conflict. I’d LOVE to see this type of subject covered…as well as perhaps, the guns of the Spanish Civil War. I have in my collection a VZ24 that was intended to be part of a shipment to the ‘Republicans’ from ‘Uncle Joe…it has a unique ‘waffle’ pattern mark obscuring the Czech arsenal acceptance mark…which hardly hides the country of origin – the Czech lion crest is still firmly stamped on the receiver. You and your compadre, Karl, do a great job bringing these C&R (mostly) firearms to life!!!

  13. I look forward every day to checking to see if there is a new post or video from your website. Exposing us to so many fascinating firearms and their history and the research and all that you provide with the touch of a button…

  14. I like the idea of historical context. Explaining innovations or technical misfires and how they affected conflicts I think would be particularly interesting. Percy Hobart and his funnies are a great example. You could easily do a whole week on him alone. But anyway I find flavor particularly engaging.

  15. It would be really nice if you could give an auction round-up, describing the results for the guns you presented. I know auction houses make it difficult to find out what items go for, but with your connections they might let you make a post if your mention them prominently ;).

  16. They way you disassemble a gun, show precisely how it works and explain all the technical things in a calm and professional manner is just delightful. Please keep this attitude up, no matter on what exactly you report.

  17. The stuff so far is great , an insight that cannot be gotten from books alone.Personally I prefer the gun stuff ,the more
    obscure the more interesting.Keep up the good work , we will keep on learning .

    Thank you.

  18. I think the ‘forgotten conflicts’ idea is great, especially when they can tie in with the guns used in them. The auction videos were fantastic, the HD close up detail and analysis of how the guns worked and the history behind them was informative and insightful.

    In a few of your videos, you strap a go pro onto your head for a ‘first person’ view, I personally thought that this gives a good insight in to how the weapon looks and feels for the soldier/individual using it. It would be great if there were some more of that.

    As for the quirky guns discussion, I think a good mix of quirky and conventional would be ideal.

    As you were!

  19. I really appreciate your coverage of obscure, one-off, and formerly well-known firearms and/or their variants — you are THE source for that in my opinion. I don’t care too much to see coverage of newer firearms, as there is plenty of that type of coverage available already (the firearms in the mud video was an exception).

    My attention span is fine, but I prefer shorter videos. If a video is, say, 45 minutes or longer, I generally don’t view it unless it’s a very comprehensive piece.

  20. Ian, I really enjoy your daily posts. I especially enjoy the videos of your two gun matches using using older guns. I would be interested in your take on lesser known battles and wars and the firearms used in them.
    Thanks for what you do.

  21. I find the videos where you explain what is DIFFERENT about this or that historical firearm very helpful. It helps make clear the true limits of practical firearm design, and the true breath of mechanisms that could be made to work.

    The slow motion videos are also very helpful. Having slow motion videos of some of the weird auction guns would be wonderful, but of course not often possible.

  22. I want to thank you for the excellent site. I check it daily for my knowledge fix. I believe the format and presentation more than meets my wants and needs. The proposed additions and changes sound both exciting and informative. I am looking forward to your next addition. BTW I have a Martini-Henry from the Bohr war, in 577-450 which I shoot regularly. Ammunition for this rifle as you know is hard to find and is cost prohibitive. However a machinist friend of mine has machined several sleeves which allow me to shoot 45 long colt in it. the accuracy is even suitable for hunting [50 meter groups in the 2-3 inch range].Works wonders on rabbits and deer/bear in the heavy bush up in Northern Ontario Canada, where I live. Please keep up the excellent work you do. I appreciate all of your time and efforts. I especially enjoy the video clips as they bring to life the text.

  23. FW website format and content satisfies me. Cool stuff is always cool, practical stuff is always good to know. I’m more than happy to defer to you for what you think is worth looking at.

    The main issue I have is that Full30 doesn’t play well with my setup (I’m getting low, unbalanced audio, video fidelity not up to par). I do like the video hosting website in terms of content and any alternative to YouTube is good. I’m just wondering if anyone else is having issues with sound and the like.

    • No problems with sound, but I get only 480p video on (I am registered there). That has never bothered me much, though, since I find 480p acceptable quality and I have just assumed that’s normal for the site. Some videos there advertise that they are HD, so perhaps HD videos have to be specially enabled somehow.

  24. Love the auction site reports. Very good quality and wondweful gun selection. A Japanese Pederson? Really” I would never have seen one in person, let alone how it was configured. Excellent work. Keep it up. All your ideas sound reasonable to me,,,,,,don’t forget the Balkan Wars.

  25. I would appreciate a piece on the mechanical differences (with examples) of long and short recoil weapons with some examples of each, if possible and detailing the advantages/disadvantages of both systems.

  26. Personally, I am both a gun nut and history buff combined (plus multiple varied interests) so the addition of the conflict aspect will interest me. If it is something I am not particularly interested in I can always “change channels” or review a more interesting prior post but let the new additions to your followers enjoy something that is of special interest to them. You have a very multifaceted interest horizon and I would not deprive anyone of their enjoyment of peering into the depths of your “diamond” through a facet other than mine. Go for it!

  27. I have enjoyed the videos from the auction houses tremendously, all of them. I can add little to what has been said above. Keep up the excellent work!

  28. Ian, I’ve never believed I OWNED a firearm unless I’ve disassembled it to the nth degree, and found some spring loaded poppet on the other side of the room! What I like about your site is when you give your HANDS opinion of what it’s like to fire something that recoils in a different way!

  29. Going over past conflicts would be interesting if that were to be accompanied with hands-on assessment of the arms involved, and not a rehash of what “everyone knows.” Especially if it were to end with the two opposing arms in a practical rifle course. Speaking of which, Karl would do well with just about anything. How about recruiting a few “recruits” whose skill levels may be closer to the grunts on the ground at the time? And have them swap rifles half way through?

    One thing that would be of interest would be shop tours of companies that rebuild/restore C&R type arms. That would help us pick who to use, and the discussions with the gun smiths would be interesting (what tends to break on design X, what does not, etc.)

    One area that has not shown up much is ammunition development. And really it was the development of ammunition that paced the development of arms up until the 1900’s at least.

  30. Checking this blog has become a bad habit for me.
    I love most of your work, mostly because it is more knowledge-based than most other channels.

    What I mean by this is that unlike many other places where they give brief explanations and simply start blowing stuff up and doing stupid things (I believe you and Karl referred to this as ‘terrible modern tv drama’), you take the time to note the history, practicality, and the technical aspect of many arms. Before hearing you mention the difficulty of production for some firearms and parts, it was something I never considered before when looking at a piece of hardware.

    I’d ask that you try to avoid the cliche’s like mud-testing and kabooms when doing your videos since these are things we can find anywhere else and aren’t what make your channel/blog particularly special.

    Except for the AP ammunition video… that was great!

  31. I have enjoyed the auction co. videos a great deal. I think it speaks volumes that they let you have this access and even allow you to take the firearms apart!

    You are providing a nice mix of content here already and a bit more history would suit me just fine. War of Jenkins’s Ear any one? One of my personal favorites has always been the Gran Chaco, probably due to a bad Jones for Latin American Mausers at one time…

    Keep Up The Good Work!

  32. The videos are fantastic, a chance for a European like me, severely limited by arms legislation (I own an air rifle…) to actually see up close some (in your words) pretty cool guns. I’ve always been interested in firearms, and I did a fair amount of competition shooting and instructing when I was in the UK’s TAVR.
    I look forward to further posts and your ideas are very interesting. There’s nothing like a video to show how something works, or not. Incidentally there is here in the Military Museum in Lisbon a Maxim machine gun in 6.5 mm Portuguese, with an enormous brass muzzle booster! This was not a very powerful cartridge. They were replaced by Vickers guns which were gradually re-barreled to 7.92 Mauser sometime after WW1.
    Keep up the good work!

  33. Hello there

    I really like the actual format, seing internals of the firearms and listening about their history instead of simply seing another “I shoot guns and say with an overly viril voice that it’s a real gun for real men” video youtube is full of. Continue as you do, it’s the good way !

    I would like to continue reading and seing videos about fancy, little-known and unusual guns as you already do, and the balance between those and the most know guns suits me well.

    In fact, do not change anything. Sounds good to me.
    I can’t wait to see your series about you own firearms.

  34. I get the most enjoyment out of the technical side and historical aspects of the weapon. How it works, why (if known) was it done that way. Did it work? Why did it fail? Most of your videos cover that and are jewels. The actual shooting ones don’t do so much for me. Seeing how design ideas that are well over 100 years old have been incorporated or “rediscovered” into modern firearms. First computer thing I do in the morning is see what is new on Forgotten Weapons. Then read the latest Dilbert.

  35. I’m still trying to figure out why the ZH-29 Semiauto Rifle had to have the barrel mounted at an angle to the receiver. Would it have made it too bulky to shift the bolt assembly over? The asymmetrical appearance of the sights is disturbing to my eye.

  36. I think the way you have presented the guns at the auctions is the best thing to you can do. I love to look at the “forgotten weapons” on your site but seeing the films of them being disassembled is by far an away the best part of your site. I go to your site to see forgotten weapons. If I wanted history, I can read a book. Seeing ANY gun disassembled and carefully explained is priceless to me. I look forward to your coverage of the next auctions.
    Think how many weapons in your collection, the people you know collections, and even newly manufactured weapons that aren’t forgotten could be shown on your new Weapon Disassembly Section on your site. The section could be subdivided into three sections: 1) Forgotten Weapons 2)Older More Common and 3) Recent Weapons. Perhaps today’s manufactures would be interested in this and sponsor this as a money making (for you)ad. I can’t wait for the videos of you breaking down all your collection pieces. That would be a great addition to your site.
    As for the history. Well, the NRA show had a 3 part series on weapons of the Battle of the Bulge (I think too old to remember) showing the weapons from a museum. Oh well M-1 rifle and carbine, MG-42, M3, 98K etc, etc. Nothing new.
    Now if they had stripped down a MG-42 showing everything all the way to to how the belt was feed in by the claws (I assume), the cartridges stripped from the belt and feed ,the sears movements, etc. Now THAT would have been something.

    I fear this might be taken the wrong way, but I will give it a shot.

    Keep Stripping

    John W

  37. First of, I want to thank you Ian for all the hard work you put into this amazing site. I absolutely adore this sight, and I come here nearly everyday to get my daily weapon fix. Onto your questions.
    Personally, I prefer the videos over the written text, but both have their merits and I enjoy both forms. What I want to see more of, if possible, are the Two Gun Action Match. Those are such unique videos, I love them so much. Also, I enjoy longer videos, but the current length you have is good. The mix of civilian vs military, practical vs wacky, and new vs old is a perfect mix. The longer pieces you have done, such as the evolution of the 1911 and the overview of Pedersen’s guns, have been fantastic. Also, you’re ideas on forgotten conflicts and more in-depth looks at guns in your collection both sound interesting and like something to look forward too. I hope you pursue these roads, as I feel they could bring even more content to the site. I wish you the best of luck!

  38. If possible, do a few shots over a chronograph, especially when the barrel length is not standard (FG 42, for example). It need not be historic ammunition, but should in any case be factory ammo to make comparisons possible.

  39. I love history, so I’d be all for hearing about the history of obscure conflicts. (How about the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 and its influence on the development of a “long range” loading for the .45-70 cartridge? Ever heard of the two mile testing done at the Sandy Hook beach in New Jersey? ^__^ Would tie in nicely with a discussion of the Winchester-Hotchkiss since many of those guns had their sights re-regulated for the .45-70-500 loading that came out of that testing.)

    I have to admit that my favorite videos are ones that include dis-assembly and shooting demonstrations. Watching the guns function in slow motion and seeing how they kick and recover for follow-up shots is all great fun and adding some historic context, (the guns that were around at the time and the conflicts they participated in), would be a real bonus.

    Re-creating a military trial, especially with black powder era weapons, would be something to see, but that would be time consuming and expensive.

    In the end I’ll be around for whatever you put out there, you have a good eye for the interesting!

    • Do you have any historical pictures of sandy hook proving ground? If so, I would like to ask if you send any digital ones you have. If not I have a collection of some and would be willing to share.

  40. I thoroughly enjoy your videos on youtube. I really like the 2 gun videos.

    I received an email soliciting feedback, and your idea of forgotten conflicts is a good one I think, of course with references to the firearms used there. There’s a whole host of potential topics including proper cleaning and maintenance of these historic firearms, perhaps the pros and cons to various sighting systems, perhaps black powder cartridges in detail (such as formulations for bullet lubes on bullets in trapdoor springfield, grease cookies, wads, etc). Early smokeless powders, cupronickel bullet jackets (and fouling), the Fokker interrupter gear on those 08 Maxim aircraft guns (how did it work?).

    Keep up the good work Ian.

  41. Thank you Ian for the outstanding job you have done so far please continue, I truly enjoy both the video yous produced and the printed articles.

  42. I definitely prefer the more video heavy format. It is just easier to understand how guns work when show in video rather go by textual description.
    Would like to see you disassemble more than is possible at RIA and other auction houses.

    Thank you for the great work. Best gun site on the web!

  43. You’ve got a lot of answers so far, but I’ll add my thoughts below, starting with your questions and then adding my answers:

    Forgotten Weapons: “Do you like the balance of new versus old, military versus civilian, and practical versus slightly goofy guns?”

    Me: I think you’ve got the balance right. Variety helps keep the interest level up.

    Forgotten Weapons: “Is the significant increase in video (as opposed to written text) a net improvement for the site or a detraction?”

    Me: I think there’s a place for both. The videos have been great for seeing how something works, but sometimes you may want to write about a weapon that you can’t get your hands one, in which case a text article with photographs may cover it better.

    Forgotten Weapons: “Do you prefer short-form videos on individual guns, or longer pieces discussing groups or families of related guns?”

    Me: I think both are needed, but more of the latter (groups of guns) would be a good idea when the opportunity presents itself. I think you should also compare unrelated but comparable guns. For example, how does a Luger compare to a Mauser C96, and most importantly, why do you think that those differences exist? What was the designer trying to achieve (cost, size, reliability, etc.)? Compare a Tokarev to a “real” Browning or a Makarov to a Walter PP – what changes did the designers make, why did they make them, and how did it affect the result?

    Forgotten Weapons: “For one thing, I would like to take some of the guns I have in my own personal collection and spend more time shooting them in a variety of conditions …”

    Me: Yes, as I said variety is a good idea. If you do one thing all the time, then you will fall into a rut and people will lose interest.

    Forgotten Weapons: “Something I am considering doing is adding a section on forgotten conflicts.”

    Me: I think it would be a good idea, provided you can tie it into the firearms used. Forgotten battles fought with forgotten weapons would be the perfect “hook” for that concept. If you don’t talk about the weapons used though, then a lot of your core audience may lose interest. A good way of handling this would be to talk about how the firearms were used in the battle. Was it the first, or one of the first times that firearms was used? How was it used? Did it make any difference to the battle? Did any changes to the firearm come about because of it? For example, the Martini rifle was used at Mafeking by British auxiliary forces. You can talk about the battle in general, but also talk about how well the Martini (and the Lee Enfield performed there against the Boer Mausers. By the way, did you know that the Battle of Mafeking indirectly led to the creation of the Boy Scouts? It’s where Lord Baden-Powel made his reputation which he parlayed into his subsequent efforts.

    Aside from your questions, I would like to add that I think the auction house videos have been great. There’s probably nowhere else outside of a major museum you could get to view so many rare and unusual firearms, and without them there are a lot of items which you would never get to see or handle. From a material production perspective, I suspect they also have the advantage of letting you produce a lot of material in a short period of time, which frees up more time for planning and preparing other episodes (or whatever we call these video casts).

    I also think the slow motion videos have been great. They give real insight into how many of these firearms really work.

    Some new themes or topics which I think you should consider doing are:

    1) Ammunition. We see a lot about the firearms, but not so much about the ammunition they use.

    2) Military trials. An overview of the trials which were conducted for some of the more important and interesting firearms would be interesting, particularly when they were controversial or were introducing a major change in weapons. The format for presentation would state the objectives of the trials, which firearms were being considered, how the testing was conducted, how each performed, and controversies which ensued, and what the final result was. Some of this has been mentioned in passing when discussing various firearms, but a broader view of the trials could provide insights into how and why certain decisions were made.

    3) Military manuals of arms and what this reveals about how certain armies thought about weapons at the time. As an example, I think it was you (although I could be mistaken) who interviewed someone who had some early Austrian automatic pistols and who talked about that they were issued in threes to cavalry, with two being hung on the saddle and one on the belt. This gave a lot of insight as to why having removable magazines didn’t matter to them, since they changed pistols, not magazines! There’s lots more such things which could be discussed, such as did the change from revolver to automatic pistol lead the US cavalry to change how they used them? Was there something in that which told us *why* the US was so interested in automatic pistols?

    4) Firearms fiascoes. What were the notable fiascoes in firearms history, and what effects did those have on the countries which bought them? It need not even be about “bad” firearms, but also about scrambles to get firearms during wars and how this lead to certain countries buying oddball weapons.

    5) Firearms myths. What popular misconceptions about certain historic firearms do people have, how do you think they originated, and what is the real story? I thought the video you did on the Ross rifle was fantastic, and perhaps one of the most fascinating that you ever did. I don’t mean that you would always need to bench test a firearm in this manner (which can be time consuming and expensive), but showing the actual facts with a real rifle was very instructive.

    6) Take the firearms development story from a different angle. Instead of talking about a rifle and who adopted, it, pick an army or major police force and discuss which small arms they adopted. Pick a field of use, e.g. anti-aircraft machine guns, and talk about what was developed where and when and how or why certain weapons fell out of service.

    Some of the above suggestions will involve discussing weapons that you have previously covered, but covering them from a different historical angle.

    There is a YouTube channel about swords that I follow quite closely called “Schola Gladiatoria” (I hope that I’ve spelled that right). The presenter, Mat Easton, talks about swords from his large collection, but he will return to the same swords repeatedly from different angles, focusing as much on how and why each was used as he does on the swords themselves. He is very keen on emphasizing that each sword (or other weapon) must be evaluated in the context of how and where it was used in order to understand it. It results in very interesting and thought provoking videos (although the YouTube comments are not as interesting as the ones I read here). I think a similar approach. but applied to firearms could be equally as interesting.

  44. Keep doing what you do.

    More videos is excellent, as your way of presenting things is as much entertainment as the content. History is excellent as well, but I will admit to being less interested in the old west vingnettes you do on inrange. The US indian wars are rather boring compared to what was going on in Europe at the time.

    Another user said ammo development. I would echo that, and add, where are the needle guns? Dreyse, Chassepot, etc. How about a Kropatschek or a Werder?

    I may be in the minority, but I enjoyed the videos of your presentations immensely. I would love to see more of those, even (especially!) in hour long, painful detail.

    Aside from content I’d like to see, all I have to say is keep doing what you do best, it brought you this far.

    Thank you, for doing it.

  45. HI Ian,
    Thanks for your great work! I found this website a couple of months ago and I now check it every evening when I get back to my apartment. I really like the new video format. I can watch the videos while eating dinner or just to relax. They are short enough that no matter how busy I know I can watch at least one. For that reason, I think you shouldn’t try to make them longer and more comprehensive except for occasional ‘specials’.

    I also like the how you describe the historical context surrounding various firearm’s creation and use. I think picking historical themes, like ‘Guns of the Boer War,’ would work as long as you continue to talk mostly about the guns. It would be nice to have more information about how satisfied various users were with their firearms and the firearms general reliability, but I am very happy with the format you currently use.

    The only thing I would like to see more of is analysis of the firearm’s effectiveness and how confident you would be with it as a weapon. The two gun matches are great for this and the one video of the mud and sand tests on the M14, AR15 and MAS was also really good. There are a lot of ‘torture test’ videos on YouTube, but they are rarely as comprehensive or hard on the firearm.

    Anyway, my opinion for what is is worth. Keep up the great work!

  46. I would like insight into how certain features of firearms parts are manufactured. For example, how was the parabolic cam of the M60/FG42/Lewis Gun bolt cut? How about the cams on the inside of the MG42 barrel extension that kick the bolt rollers out? How were the flutes in an SVT-40 chamber cut? How was the cam contour on the MAG 58 breech block cut? How do they cut helical cam grooves in any number of firearms? How are the helical locking lugs & recesses in an M1 Garand, M14, M249 or M60 cut? How did they locate feed ramps and how did they know that the gun wasn’t operating on “the ragged edge of reliability?” How the heck did they do that?!

    I would like slow motion shot of ammunition feeding, bolts rotating in and out of battery, and spring surge. I would like to know if primary extraction does anything.

  47. Just keep doing what you’re doing and all will be well with the world. You started this because you loved it, and it shows; if you get into anything that you don’t love doing, or covering, then it will become a job and a drag; that, too, will show. I love the idea of covering obscure battles (like the Battle of Athens right here in the good old US of A right after WWII) and the weapons involved in them would be a nice touch. Rock on bud and we will follow.

  48. I’ve enjoyed your long-format presentations immensely. The depth of your knowledge on the subject is simply incredible.

    I also appreciate your videos on obscure modern firearms, and your sand and mud test series with the M1A was extremely eye-opening. I was considering buying one at the time and you steered me towards getting an AR instead, a rifle I am extremely satisfied with.

  49. – I do like the ‘balance of new versus old, military versus civilian, and practical versus slightly goofy guns’

    I would like to say, as a wood worker, if it has a case please show the case. Finely engraved pieces are nice from time to time, it would be nice to see the changes in styles and technologies for them.

    -‘Is the significant increase in video (as opposed to written text) a net improvement for the site or a detraction’

    I would go with net neutral, I think partly because there were 3 auctions pretty well back to back, I was starting to miss your shooting videos and longer text articles. I would say have a shooting video to throw after a few days of (great) auction highlights. The monthly 2 gun matches were handy for this.

    -‘Do you prefer short-form videos on individual guns, or longer pieces discussing groups or families of related guns’

    I think both have their place, if you can show the development of a family of guns go for it.

    – Longer/multi piece reviews on stuff you own


    -Forgotten conflicts

    You are a great writer and researcher, I’m sure you’ll do a good job with this.

  50. Ian, frankly I love it as it is. I watch basically anything you put out, though I’m a bit hesitant when it comes to the really old stuff (pinfire revolvers, the elgin cutlass etc) I end up watching it anyway.

    What I’d love to see however, is stuff like the factory tours you did on the gunlab channel. Perhaps a series on how various types of guns are/were made, from scratch? Not just modern stuff, but hobby shop repros too. That would be really awesome.

    • Something that I forgot to put in that last post.
      Your site is absolutely fascinating to me and it has really stimulated my interest in guns, both new and old. It also makes me more than a little jealous, being a veteran of the British army and a resident of the UK and a gun nut. You have access to all this crazy stuff that I simply won’t be able to see, let alone touch or hold (and lets not get in to you know actually firing the stuff!), being a resident of the UK.

      I loved it when you got Jim Sullivan on for some interviews. Is there any possibility that interviews like that could happen again in the future?

      • I could not agree more with this- the interviews with designers are great. While I suspect your viewpoint and diction are a big part of what brings a lot of people coming back over and over again, it’s always interesting to hear from other with a unique insight in their subject. The Apex Gun Parts interview/tour video is great too- more interviews with specialist shops or collectors would be interesting. Looking at the views on these videos they’re well up there..

        • Actually- was looking at the views on the interview/tour videos and obviously I was wrong (though admittedly they are older).

          An interview with Larry Vickers would be funny as hell.

  51. Impress me! Your work on battles in the American southwest alone is amazing! Looking forward to seeing new stuff. I have enjoyed the videos, but it has been a bit of a slog. Don’t take that wrong, the window was what it was and you did well.

  52. Pretty well anything you show or do on your page is great.
    I am thankful for it all, although some subjects interest me more than others. Orientation by events in history is good idea – maybe bit away from wars on European continent such as French colonial wars in Asia and Africa as well as other nations such as Belgium or Portugal.

    History or current state, lineage and developments, similarities and differences… all that has its value in improving our knowledge.

    The comparable shoots in group of two with various observations are also enjoyable, so are presentations at auctions. Good luck in your endeavour!

  53. Perhaps one more thing to mention, if I may.
    Since it is hard to conceive to run this page as one man show, I do not mind if you use references to other sources. This can speed up search and multiply the effect.

  54. Hey Ian, I subscribe to forgottenweapons. I eat up everything you produce. I’d love to read about forgotten conflicts. However, my only concern is that you might stretch yourself too thin, trying to cover everything! If you’re passionate and think covering the conflicts will help your weapons research, go for it; I’ll read it. Otherwise, there’s only so much one person can do in a day!

  55. I’d really enjoy to see you expand the videos to include Forgotten Battles/Wars. With some good references to the source/history that could make it a lot easier for us to go grab a book on the subject.

    Plus, there’s always the possibility you could just role out a ‘B’ channel if you wanted to…

    Keep up the great work!

  56. Ian, there’s not much I can add to all the comments praising “Forgotten Weapons”. It wouldn’t be so popular if you weren’t already hitting on a great mix of subject matter.

    One idea you mentioned was to shoot weapons you already have in your possession in a variety of different conditions. For example, when you tested the M1 Garand against the FG42, would the latter have fared as well as the Garand in adverse conditions? Even the Canadian Ross rifle appeared superb until it encountered trench warfare~~~and the rest is history. You may have an excellent idea there…

  57. I’ve got Ospreys Chaco war book. Most of the weapons seem to be mauser rifles, Madsen guns, Vickers Machine guns and browning pistols. The one that interested me the most was a Bolivian contract Luger in 7.65 made by Vickers.

  58. Paraguay is alleged to have been given a shipment of Thompson Submachineguns by a wealthy Argentinan woman, but there’s no hard evidence.

  59. Even tough I love the way you run your show, I’d love to see more on obscure conflicts of the last 150 years; the Gran Chaco War is a great idea. A few more: the Pacific War, fought by Chile against a Peruvian/Bolivian alliance; early to mid-XX century colonial campaigns, especially by nations other than Britain (something on the smaller colonial powers, such as Belgium and perhaps Portugal, as per what Denny said, would be interesting imho); the Mexican Revolution; the Greco-Turkish war of 1919-22; Ecuadorian-Peruvian war of 1941; well, it is perhaps best to stop here, as the ensuing list would be too long.
    Keep up the superb work!!

  60. First off I love this site. I enjoy the two gun challenges, the auction videos, the examination and firing of odd and rare weapons…the only gripe I have is that I don’t have a gripe.

    Living in the UK I would never get the opportunity to handle let alone see some of these weapons, this is one of the sites I check every day mainly because it is never possible to predict what is coming up next and I always learn something new. I would like to see examples of obscure wars and the weapons used; Seeing as WW1 started just over a Century ago (not 1917) it might be interesting to look at some of the more obscure weapons used by the Allies and Central powers, Gallipoli happened 100 years ago this month so it would be informative to look at what the Ottomans were using.

    Keep up the excellent work.

  61. I absolutely enjoy your website and videos, and please keep up the good work. I enjoy the videos over the text, but your content is a nice balance. A forgotten conflicts series would be interesting and I hope you proceed towards that endeavor. Also, I’m curious how you got the idea to go to the auction houses? The auction houses are great sources for topics, and I’m learning about things that I wouldn’t have ever had the opportunity to learn about if it were not for your videos.


  62. I have been reading the website for quite some time, however recently I have been watching the videos on Youtube and Full30 and then coming here to see the same videos posted with very little additional information, as a result I haven’t been spending much time on the website recently. I would prefer to be on the website, mainly because of the commenting community, there are some very smart people in the comment sections here, not all of whom make it into the comments on the videos. I would like some more written text, as an encouragement to come back to the site, it’s also easier to find that way; if you don’t remember the name of the gun, like some of the Czech guns, witch model number, but do remember how it operates, you can search and find it by the technical description.

    I really liked the longer videos on the family of guns, like the guns of Mr. Pedersen. I think it would also be interesting to put together the guns of a specific country, to see how the military ideas changed there.

    the forgotten conflicts is an interesting idea, and I would like it, but I think the main focus should be the mechanics of the firearms, though I’m sure you must be starting to run low on accessible bizarre guns to examine, so an infrequent examination of forgotten conflicts and battles, and the guns and training that made them unique, would be welcome.

    all in all, I welcome what you do, as you are good at it. and I hope to be enjoying content from Forgotten Weapons for years to come.

  63. I’ve been keeping an eye on this website for a year or so and watching your videos for a few years. I think you’re doing a good job with the overall mix of videos vs articles you’ve put out so far. Lately you’ve published a lot of videos but given the upcoming or ongoing auctions that is understandable. The length of your videos so far has remained in the sweet spot for their content and what you are able to do (examination, disassembly, simple firing, or true testing) with individual firearms. I even got some (sanity-free) enjoyment of watching your lecture on proof marks. The only thing I would change is the audio of your videos at the auction houses. I find myself distracted by fiddling with the volume a lot – either the Forgotten Weapons intro and your close-up shots are uncomfortably loud or your auction house & weapon introduction are inaudible.

    I would probably enjoy videos or articles on forgotten conflicts so long as you can tie them in to broader events, period firearms, military or economic developments and other things of interest.

    Keep up the good work! I rarely break my silence on the internet these days but you and those who help you deserve it.

  64. Could spend a few episodes on some of the icons of of shooting, not so much in terms of gun design, but in terms gun tactics. Could be part book review, part looking at the sort of arms they favored, the sort of holsters and bullets they designed, and some of their tactics in action. Keith, Fairbairn, Askins, Jordan, Cooper, etc.

    Neither the usual knocking people off of their pedestals as one introduces their own one true way, nor hero worship. But rather a discussion (and demonstration) of what the typical practice was before they came along, what they were suggesting (and why–and sometimes that changed over decades), and what lasting impact they had. Give proper description of what they contributed and how that played a part in where we are now.

  65. I would like to see more coverage of improvised firearms used in various conflicts. Like the Avenger submachine gun used by loyalists against the ira, etc. Idk how you could do it, but some coverage of the danao gunsmiths in the Philippines would be amazing.

  66. I like the short video that gets A point across. One point rarely makes good coverage, but if done in a series then you have something I can digest a bit at a time. Take your G41(W) for example, one vid of design history, one of contemporary / competitive designs, one of takedown and reassembly, one of shooting / comparison / competition.

    I’ve always liked your manner of presentation and your honesty in your videos and commentary.

    One thin I have liked that I’ve seen in Shotgun News is their articles on the Cartridges of _______ Country. The discussion was on the ammo first, then the various arms used, sometime after that. I would like to know more about the arms involved, the wars that were fought, how the arms were used, what worked and didn’t, etc., but focused more on the weapons in use at the time rather than the ammo.

  67. I love the auction-house videos and think it was an excellent idea to approach both RIA and JDJ. A win-win situation for you, them, and us. I never fail to learn something new from all your vids, however they’re presented.

    As for Forgotten Battles, yes, I am definitely interested, but maybe the format would work better over on Inrange TV? I’m sure that there’s enough cross-pollination of viewers to make the point moot, but it seems a logical place for it, seeing as Karl already does his historical bit over there.

    Anyway thanks for all your knowledge, time and effort over the years, Ian! I’ve enjoyed seeing this website grow and grow over the years.

  68. One more thought: Finnish winter war. Love to see a video on the suomi, and a discussion of how the russians turned it into the PPsh. As is my understanding, the suomi killed tens of thousands of russians, and they adopted it and finnish tactics in WW2.
    And it’s been told plenty of places, but another article on Simo Hayha is always inspiring.

  69. the “forgotten conflicts” idea is a good one. lately I’ve been reading the “cartridges of (X) country” series in Shotgun News..and while a lot of it is repetitive the history sprinkled in between the cartridge descriptions is interesting, and shows a lot of WHY certain weapons were in use, such as Mausers in countries that were friendly with germany, and thus had german military instructors as part of their army.

    perhaps also consider guns that are so “forgotten” there aren’t any left..only pictures or illustrations. not as fun as being able to handle the real thing, but perhaps an interesting diversion once in a while.

  70. I discovered this site through thefirearmblog, and became hooked on your auction videos where you took apart weird weapons and demonstrated how they work. Your videos are the primary reason I come to the site.

  71. I have to say I’m not terribly impressed by the move to Full30. Their video player is a piece of garbage and the video quality has gone to rats because of it. It’s 2015 and 480p is the best they can do? Youtube did better when they launched in 2006.
    I also find it really strange that this site is the last place where the video turns up.
    So yeah, not a fan.

    • FWIW, I am still publishing everything on YouTube as well so if you want a higher resolution you can find it there. I think 480 is just fine for most people, and it dramatically reduces bandwidth costs. Full30 will improve over time, I am sure. I am transitioning to it for two reasons: (1) it is specifically gun-oriented and thus not going to decide to suddenly censor or block advertising on gun-related content (which YouTube is reasonably likely to do at some point), and (2) it is almost an order of magnitude more profitable fr me than YouTube. That money is what allows me to keep doing this full time. I recognize that they have some improvements to make in some areas, but I think they are doing remarkably well for being only a few months old and I am going to stick with them for the long haul.

      As for why the videos come to the main FW blog last, it’s because I got in the habit of posting video a day or so early to YouTube as a final error check. If I had a problem with the video, people on YouTube would let me know (repeatedly) in the first few minutes of it being published, and it gave me a chance to fix the video an re-upload it before the associated blog post went live. When I added Full30 into the mix, I wanted to post there before YouTube, and that’s where the current scheduling arrangement came from.

  72. Please keep going with the weirdos and rare guns as much as possible. I prefer more text and less video, but I’m a fast reader. I suspect video is more popular with most subscribers. Have you thought about getting into 1860-1890 weapons, the black powder cartridge weapons? Loading data on these is also very hard to come by.

  73. So far your approach and choices have been excellent. Of course the main thing that you bring is your clear, no-bullshit, and highly articulate treatment of the material.

    Personally I would like to see a bit more about what went into actually making the various parts and mechanisms, such “making this part requires making a casting, then 3 separate machingin operations, see here how this one had to be done before this other one.. ” etc.

    • I like this angle too! I don’t know that any of the manufacturers will let you see, but detail would be best if you can get it. I’m a machinist and I like to learn new things….even about old processes.

      • Well, most of the manufacturers for the weapons Ian examines are long gone, so they couldn’t help us see how they made things even if they wanted to. But Ian has training in industrial processes, and of course many people (some on this site!) are willing to help, so I bet we could all learn a lot.

        Often I will see people make a comment about how some older firearm or other should be “brought back in a limited edition” and I think people really do not understand what it takes to make things. The metal forming, heat treating, fitting, etc.

        And although many techniques are old, they inform the present: An old design that was not successful may become more viable with new materials and processes, for example.

  74. Ian, try not to end sentences or phrases with a preposition. There is a good reasons for this, it affects what follows. Same as stripping a Bren gun: body pin, piston, barrel, body, bipod.

  75. Love the RIA videos. The Pederson rifles…AMAZING! For me, the military gun nut, this is the type of stuff dreams are made of. To be able to see up close and personal these exceedingly rare military guns is an experience that simply would never come about for most of us. For me, I come to your site, watch your videos and read the blog for the military gun content. The occassional commercial gun coverage from time to time can be cool too, when it’s relevant to history (i.e. Winchesters and the old west, etc). However, the super rare prototypes and never to be encountered guns, IMHO probably appeal to a different audience. Maybe the mechanical engineering crowd? Anyway, keep up the outstanding work, Ian. Love everything that you do!

  76. Talking about forgotten conflicts is interesting to me if it’s related to small arms. I like to see more torture tests on odd designs. Overall, your video, articles are awesome and inspiring. Thank you Ian and Karl for your excellent work. 🙂

  77. I would love to see a section on forgotten conflicts especially if you discuss the firearms of the conflict along with it. I think just talking about guns sometimes leaves things out of context. I really enjoy your videos especially the ones where you are actually out using the guns. The one on one matches you guys do are particularly fun to watch.

  78. Ian, if you are looking to shoot more often, The Las Vegas area has 3 different vintage service rifle matches a month. One shoots steel targets from 200 yards to 960 in a loose but structured style (you’ll shoot from various positions from prone to bench rest) and the two others are shorter in range, but more varied in format. with them going to only 400 yards (they are also split between semi auto rifles and bolt action).

  79. Ian, please improve and diversify your vocabulary. I love seeing the obscure and interesting weapons but can’t stand the poor vocabulary and overuse of terms such as “at any rate” “legitimately” “BUT!” etc.

    Not attempting to be rude here but it sticks out like a sore thumb.

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