Taking the Plunge

I’ve been writing this blog for a couple years now, and it has been an extremely rewarding, exciting, and educational experience. So much so that I have decided to take the plunge and make the site my full-time occupation, so that I can continue to expand and improve it. As part of this new step forward, I am putting together a membership program to help keep me in beans and rice (and ammo). And I would appreciate some input on what you guys would find most valuable.

First off, let me say that the regular daily content of the site will still be there, free for everyone. The membership program will be there as a way for you to get more value, and allow me to spend more time digging up cool stuff to show you. As a member (I don’t have a slick name for the membership program yet, but I’m working on that too), you would get discounts to a bunch of companies in the firearms industry, as well as some other members-only perks (rather like a AAA membership, but with discounts that are actually useful). Membership would be somewhere in the vicinity of $50 annually, and the discounts would be easily worth that several times over. My question is, what specific sorts of products would you be most interested in? I want to make this the best value I can for you, so I would like to know what you are looking for, while I’m starting to negotiate with companies.

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Is there something else that you would be interested in that I didn’t think of? Well, drop me an email and let me know!

Guns galore!



  1. Glad to see you making the move to full-time Ian. I look forward to seeing the membership schemes.

  2. Unfortunately, I live in Belgium, a country where owning a gun is considered a crime agains the community.

  3. Hi Ian.

    I import, as a hobby, into The Netherlands from the USA pre 1899 antique blackpowder rifles like the Beaumont Vitali and Vetterli, which I buy at Gunbrokers and via Proxybid. I would like to get into contact with people who want to get rid of theirs (I know, the wrong blog). I can’t visit your garagesales or establishments like the one in your picture above, so perhaps that could be something. Also, although most of these rifles are cheaper in the USA than in the country which produced them, some are priced a lot higher in The States than in Europe. If there are people interested you could use a Gunbroker percentage of some sorts.


    PS: I still have to refresh your site to get the latest post.

  4. I’de like to see ( Off the Grid ) stuff, such as water purification, solar heating, edible wilderness foods, reloading as a separate entity.

    • Offgrid gear is good, but not in the scope of the site. I would suggest checking out Jack Spirko’s site at TheSurvivalPodcast.com for a membership program to get this sort of thing.

  5. How about member’s test shoots? Guided museum tours?

    This reminds me of Terry Pratchet’s decision to write full time when he realized that he was losing money every day he went to his real world job.

  6. I’d like to see blueprints, parts breakdowns, disassembly procedures, line drawings of new and archived weapons.

  7. Great news

    you must be one hell of a productive worker to have kept the pace and quality up as you have for the past two years – as a hobby!

    I’m in the fifth world banana republic (where Haig was a general)but will happily subscribe.

    one possibility which would interest me, and I’d be willing to contribute some time to it, would be good quality scans of some of the harder to get books which are still in copyright (and some that are out – like the British Patent office books of firearms patents, covering many of the patents which aren’t on the web yet). I’m not sure how one would go about locating the copyright holders to put that in motion.

    Would you like someone to carry your notebook and hold the camera next time you visit the pattern room collection?

  8. Thanks, Ian! This is a great website and I’m pleased to see it grow. I’d love to be an inaugural subscriber. I read this daily and find it worth supporting. The discounts are icing on the cake, but of them, I think the most significant is the book discount. Books on such esoterica as this are rarely cheap unless you come across them at a used book shop or a garage sale. Books are also legal everywhere… so far…
    Anyway, this is good news. Keep up the good work!

    • I have found that books are sometimes discounted by the publishers of Small Arms Review and SADJ and by the publishers of Gun Digest.If you go through books like I do, you want to be on their email lists. Not sure about international shipping, which is always an entangled and contentious thing.

      Most US senders ship books internationally by US Post Office, which offers attractive rates but inserts a certain chance element into the possible arrival of the shipment.

      I prefer to buy books by Ian’s Amazon link while I can, which has been my way of supporting the site so far. I welcome the opportunity to subscribe.

  9. Love the Terry Pratchet comment! While some of the discounts etc have appeal I would be glad to subscribe just to support this Blog. Just tell me when and where to send the ransom! And BTW, other than the last Inca, who or what is Atahualpa? Bill in Boulder

  10. Fantastic. While the mechanics of various weapons are always interesting, I think you should dedicate some portion of your topics to milsurp guns that people are able to own in the US market.

    If you build up a strong community, this could be a clearing house for information on the topic. Perhaps even bringing in vendors that sell either NOS or new manufactured parts for restorations, etc.

    • Great idea, Sean. And don’t forget our friends and contributors from overseas — they have their own unique circumstances and legalities to deal with, and perhaps we could all help one another with this issue as a collective think-tank.

  11. This is strictly reading and drooling over some of the things I would love to shoot, much less own. However buying some of the weapons would take too much money away from the race car… I’ll subscribe just to keep on reading

  12. Ian all the best in your new venture. I offer my weird collection for study. Look forward to your next post.

  13. If there were general meetups, that would be great.

    Apart from that, I am all aboard with this plan. I cannot wait!

  14. Congratulations to big step! since I live in Canada I cannot take full advantage from your membership program and that makes me counted out. However, I may in time, thru your review procure a book. Your site is unique source and you muster great deal of professionalism in it. Good luck!

  15. Ian, congratulations and best of the best with this new venture. You’ve built up a really loyal, intelligent, well-informed and discriminating yet open-minded and largely non-egotistical following over the years, and I sincerely hope that all will continue to work out the way you planned. You have been very ethical and fair-minded in the step-by-step process toward this goal, which I feel is extremely commendable, to say the least. Too bad the so-called “captains of industry ( and finance )” of today’s economy are either too bloody stupid, too beholden to special interests and / or too greedy to learn from an example such as this. You can count on my support for your efforts and I am looking forward to seeing the details covering membership soon.

  16. Keith posed a very good question concerning locating copyright holders for various patents — definitely something for all of us to think about and comment on for the near future.

  17. I wonder if there is some way we could help our fellow members outside the U.S. with similar discounts, perhaps at least at the local level? I know that different countries’ firearms and trade laws can make this sort of thing very difficult and time-consuming, but I’d hate to see them left out.

  18. Just my devaluated two cents. Keep it firearm related. You can’t swing a dead squirrel without hitting a survival blog/board these days. Yours is unique in this aspect. One thing to add value to a membership would be, say a one week ‘heads up’ on any products a vendor may be getting ready to advertise.

  19. If Keith wishes to visit the Pattern Room (now called the National Firearms Centre ) for research purposes all he has to do is write in and pay the fee (£105 per day and well worth it )

  20. Congratulation:

    One: I will be ready to send you my membership fee to support your operations.

    Keep me informed and since I live in the VALLEY .


    I will make my shop available to you if needed.

  21. I live in Australia and so like others wish that I had the opportunities that you guys do in the States! I really enjoy what you do Ian and would be happy to be a subscriber. Out here we say “living the dream” in an ironic way, but you’re really going for it! I especially like the gun smithing videos. I know restoration of milsurps and old rifles is not an original idea but it’s interesting to me and hopefully others. Firearms were built to go bang after all! Best wishes for the future Andy.

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