Ian and Jackson Crawford Discuss Making the Viking Atgeirr Videos

Dr. Jackson Crawford and I got the idea for our collaborative April fools videos on Viking firearms and gunpowder almost 8 months ago, when we visited Iceland together on the way to Finnish Brutality 2022. We took some time this week to talk about the origins of the videos and some of the Easter eggs in them. This was recorded live with an audience of our Patreon supporters, and now is published for the general public.

We’ve really set a high bar for next year’s April fools videos…


  1. You ” Got ” me. I was completely Fooled ! Good job ! There should be an Award for doing these . Call it the ” Sid Finch ” Award, after the Sports illustrated Aprils Fools issue of many years ago !

    • Bless you, Thomas M. Dunne! I bought the whole line of goods and stayed bought until I started reading the comments. I writhed in chagrin until late yesterday, and I would NEVER! have confessed if I thought I was the only one fooled. My excuse is 1. the plausibility of the academics who participated (they were real scholars, right? say they were!) and 2. the past several years I’ve spent rummaging around in things Viking and Northmen. The patchwork sources for early Scandinavian history leave so many lacunae that you can’t help craving to see them filled in.

  2. For the projectile used by handgonne: Molded lead was used for sling bullets well over a millennia before guns. I doubt it took long before lead (not necessarily sized for sealing) got used.

    On the subject of cooperating with doctorate holding historians, I think next time you’re in London, you should talk with Dr. Tobias Capwell about (bullet)proofed armor. It’s a subject virtually nobody not already knowledgeable on late-medieval/renaissance armor is aware of but is a hugely important subject many people have misconceptions about, absolutely a “forgotten weapon”.

    As for the plausibility, I realized it was an April 1st joke when I saw it but wasn’t sure if it was pure joke or if there really was a kernel of truth or punchline.

  3. Next, or another year, unveil the resurgence of large caliber rim fire cartridges. 277 steel rimfire by Sig, Federal rimmed pistol caliber self defense rounds. Perhaps a 477 nitro express that is a two piece cartridge, a bullet and a silk bag of powder a-la 16” naval gun.

    • Federal already did the two piece cartridge back in 2020, except it was a real thing called “firestick”. Should have paired in with Maxim 50 concept since it’s legally a non-firearm.

  4. Wow! I finally got it. You really pulled me in and I’m embarrassed. My initial reaction was absolutely secure in understanding that this was absolutely a joke. It was immediately and certainly foolish so I just jumped off. Then some folks assured me that I had to listen to the follow-up. I did and you pulled me in. You both seem to be teasing us to think that gunpowder and firearms were invented in “China.” That is a joke! Any thoughtful assessment has to know that it is not “true.” It is not supported by reason or fact. This has to be a send up, and I fell for it!

  5. If you’re interested in working with historians who have earned doctorates, I recommend meeting with Dr. Tobias Capwell about bulletproof armor the next time you’re in London. It’s a “forgotten weapon” in redactle that almost no one today knows anything about it unless they have extensive understanding of late-medieval and Renaissance armor.

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