Articles, Blog

An Ambitious New Project for Forgotten Weapons


Hi guys, thanks for tuning in to
FogottenWeapons.com. I’m Ian McCollum, and as some of you longtime viewers may remember, Forgotten
Weapons didn’t always have a video every single day. In fact, when Forgotten Weapons started it was not a
video channel at all. It was ForgottenWeapons.com, and it was intended to be an archive for
historical firearms information that was otherwise at jeopardy of being lost, or if not lost, not easily
accessible. And I wanted to take this information, make sure that it’s preserved, and make sure
that it’s readily available for people who are interested. Either, you know, on the whole scale of interested from a
very serious research academic perspective, or just curious. So, I started off this blog almost ten years ago now, with
photographs and manuals and trial reports and this sort of stuff. And then I also had occasionally video, and video was a fantastic,
still is a fantastic, medium to explain how a lot of things worked. And video has overtaken the project to the point
that I do a video every day now, and I love doing it, I don’t plan to stop, I don’t plan to reduce it. However, it’s been nagging at me a bit that the website
that I started as an archive, it is still a video archive, but I wish that it was possible to bring it a little more
back to my original vision of it as a data repository. And so what I would like to announce today is
my intention, my hope, my desire, to get back to that. Now the problem is I can’t do that and also
continue to do video. I simply don’t have enough time. If we could magically add a couple days to the
week, maybe, but obviously that’s not gonna happen. So what I … would like to do is actually hire a
person full-time, a qualified person whose job will be to oversee ForgottenWeapons.com
as a website archive database, and provide them with a budget to actually
pay researchers, many of whom are out there doing research, digging up really
interesting documents and archival gems. And they’re doing it out of just passion in the
subject, the same reason that I started doing this. And Forgotten Weapons has grown to the point that I
would really like to be able to kind of spread this around and help support the people who are
doing a lot of this primary source research. Because it’s not the sort of thing that I do
myself anymore, to the extent that it ever was. Now, I’m kind of violating one of my own core
principles here, I have always gone with the theory of do the work, provide the value, and then ask
people to support it if they think it’s worth it. I think that the reason that a lot of crowdfunded
projects fail is because they ask for support first, before having produced anything to stand on. So I’ve always
tried to bootstrap Forgotten Weapons as much as possible. The problem is I can do a little bit of that
… with this new project, but I can’t do all of it. Bringing on a full-time employee, especially one
who has real credentials and experience and expertise. I don’t want, this sounds bad to say,
I don’t want an amateur enthusiast. I want someone who I know can do this professionally
and well, and I have a couple people potentially in mind. I don’t want to name names because
I haven’t discussed it with them yet. But this requires being able to offer them a competitive
salary. It’s not something that I can really just bootstrap. And on top of that I need to be able to provide
them, or I want to be able to provide them, with a monthly budget to go out there and support the
other researchers who are actually doing this research. Give them a way to, really to monetise the work that they’re doing,
which is the sort of thing that you just can’t monetise in most systems. So I would like to be able to use the the size of the audience
that Forgotten Weapons has to make that a possibility. I think it’s a fairly noble plan
spreading some of this around, and using this to help preserve the
information that’s out there, but lost or locked away. We’ll have some discussion in a little while,
at some point, about the differences between publicly accessible collections
and museum collections, and how a lot of official formal archives, they
do a great job of preserving documentation, but at the same time they make it difficult to access easily.
So that’s something that I would like to try and help fix. And of course, the reason that I’m saying this
on video is because it is all dependent on you guys. So this can’t be funded with advertising; I guess maybe it
could be, but advertising I find relatively obnoxious online. I don’t want Forgotten Weapons to become
this myriad of banner ads and click baity junk. And at the same time the major ad
servers out there, basically Google AdSense, are not willing to run advertising
on firearm-related sites. So advertising is not an ideal model. I would much rather
support it with you guys. I’d rather have you guys support it directly. Hopefully you guys have the same
opinion on the viability of advertising, I would love to … continue to have Forgotten Weapons
to be an oasis of ad-free content on the Internet. So, to that end I am going to be
adding a specific goal on Patreon for where I think the funding needs
to be to make this financially viable. I’m going to be tweaking a couple of the perk levels, I want to find some perks that can really help
kick back to those of you who support this project. At the same time, the whole point is that this
information is freely, publicly and readily available. So I’m not gonna put anything behind a paywall, I haven’t yet figured out exactly what the right balance is,
how I can reward the people who do specifically contribute, without infringing on the core principle of the project. So I’m probably gonna put in like a placeholder
perk level or type on Patreon for that. But making a few tweaks with the idea of making this a reality.
I would love to have it happen in the next couple of months, if that’s possible. It would begin with finding the
person who can be an administrator and run this site, someone who can do some of this work themselves, but also
largely work to coordinate with other researchers who are out there. It will almost certainly involve revamping Forgotten Weapon’s
site to make it a little bit less of a blog, make it more of… give it a good foundational archival
system, a relational database back-end, to allow networking and access of this information. Probably also add more to the blog side of it,
so it’s more than just my own video posts. But also, of course, posting when
new material gets added to the archive, and also aggregating some of the other
content of this type that’s out there on the web. Even if it’s not actually being hosted on Forgotten Weapons,
I would like to make this a site that is the hub for archival firearms information that right
now is really scattered around the internet. So if this all sounds like something that you
would be interested in, that you would like to support with a couple bucks a month,
I would love to have your support. If this just completely fizzles
and goes down in flame, it will make me quite sad, but I will
continue doing what I do right now. This is something I would like
to add to Forgotten Weapons. So, that’s pretty much all I have for today. Of course
I have a link to Patreon in the description text below. You can head over there and take a
look at what’s been changed and sign up, if you have not at this point, or change your pledge
level if you think that this is worth contributing more for. Totally up to you guys, whether this
can happen or not will depend on you. So I will be checking back in with you guys
with some updates on this when things happen, it won’t be immediately. Again as I said, this isn’t something
I can quite just bootstrap entirely as much as I would like to. So, that’s it. … I’ve got actually a particularly
cool gun for you guys coming on video tomorrow, so we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled work. Thanks.

100 thoughts on “An Ambitious New Project for Forgotten Weapons

  1. Stop moderating your comments by banning Nazis. The only group who cares don't like guns anyway and it drags your political opinions in it. You've gone out of your way to remain apolitical so don't fuck it up by picking a side.

  2. How about a reward of asking for and receiving the available research on a specific gun? Updated as more information comes into the archive?

  3. Ian, I’d imagine there are some well-heeled people and companies that could provide endowments for rhis project, especially given the possibly multi-generational nature of the project.
    This would insulate the project from the requirements of having to rely on any form of real advertising, other than say the PBS style endorsements.
    This sort of funding and project certainly would provide enticements to museums, national collections other associations and larger private collections.
    One other positive that this means of financing would insulate the project from the continued heavy-handed and politically motivated removing funding sources and to some degree insulate from deplatforming of the project.

  4. Maybe you should consider using a wiki format for the website, this makes it easy to have a lot of contributors but still ultimately be able to control/lock the content.

  5. Clever man. Very interesting project. Reminds me a little of sheldon brown the bicycle guy pre youtube.

  6. Have you considered picking individual projects for study? You would crowd-source the individual projects, and hire freelancers to research the various projects.

  7. "If this fizzles and goes down the drain… it would make me quite sad."

    You wouldn't want to make Gun Jesus sad, would you?

  8. A very worthwhile project. Having worked in archives of a very different sort I know the problems involved in using and accessing them.

  9. I love this idea so much. There's been so many times I have a gun or are looking at a gun I'm interested in and finding information on it is next to impossible. Like recently "how do I use these ladder sights on my new (1913) 1894?" All I could find was a post on a forum with a link to a pdf identifying the type of sights… and then hit a dead end. Or my walther model 1 or 2 .22 rifle, I don't know which it is because I can't find anyone talking about the differences between the two ANYWHERE. Just endless rabbit holes of forum posts linking to each other.

  10. Have you considered getting a grant writer to see what there is out there? you're really in an area now where thats quite possible. Ideally from a University with the sense to offer you an honorary PHd in firearms history and endow a chair… (oh wait..then you get grad students to do it)

  11. I honestly love the Idea. You might think about a croud sourced area in it as well. People often have lots of background information, that is hard to find for one single person. Imagine something like a serial number database. You could do a database for every firearm, and put an additional crowd sourced page to everyone, in which users can enter and comment their information much like wikipedia 🙂

  12. The job is a great opportunity for someone out there. I wish it was me but I don't have the hands on knowledge. I hope you find the right person.

  13. knowledge is always worth to be preserved!
    thx Ian!
    really like your show for quite some time now!
    wish you best of luck for your future endavours

  14. I never expect (or really want) any extra rewards for supporting content creators. What I want is for the actual content to keep coming. 🙂

  15. Working on the dev side to support the preservation & sharing of history & knowledge like this would be so much more rewarding than the bureaucratic nonsense most of us get to do. If CVs for the dev aspects of the project were open for submission, I'm sure you'd get at least a few genuinely useful candidates among the torrent.

  16. I'm dropping a link to this video to a friend of mine who is a currently un-engaged professional librarian with managerial experience….

  17. This is a brilliant idea, Ian. I could wish you luck but really, you don't need luck. You have the army of fanatical followers ready to go to hell after you so luck is just redundant in this case, so instead I want to thank you for your work and the highest possible quality of content you keep providing us with.

  18. I have only been watching for a little over 2 years now but I love this channel. That is coming from a guy that has never shot a gun before lol.

  19. Kudos to you Ian!

    plus now I understand why you open 99% of your videos with "….tuning in to another video on ForgottenWeapons.com"

  20. Let us pray …. //Open in new tab and let it play forever…😄.
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6YwxBk7lVlB1cxZlAvpklX21QXU1egsb

  21. Very noble cause, and very professional looking shirt! Good luck with finding someone to curate the archival channel!

  22. Poli Sci major who didn't go to law school. I want to do this for my sheer interest in weapons. I fear that I lack the IT credibility to do your website the justice it deserves. I need Karl on this one!

  23. Would you be able to set up accounts on SubscribeStar and Bitchute, please Ian? – I and many others love your work and would gladly contribute, but as much as possible we'd like to avoid rewarding companies who are taking dumps on a significant section of their user base by increasing their profits and monopolies. Bitchute is especially good as a YouTube alternative since you can have any videos you upload here be backed up to there automatically, and we know that at some point YouTube/Google are going to shut down the gun channels anyway since they don't comply with their "values".

  24. Whoever runs http://tankarchives.blogspot.com/ is probably the best person I can recommend, they go through Russian archives from WWII and make them digestible.

  25. Ian. You have already produced something to stand on, that proves to pretty much all of us that you're not a charlatan out to syphon our wallets with nothing in return. You have this channel, you dork. smh

  26. You could take it even further. Begin categorizing all weapons, make yourself the standard of information, so when manufacturers make weapons, they send them to you for a seal of approval. You release the video when the gun is released, everyone watches the video to know if they want to buy it. It sets a huge level of quality requirement for weapon designers.

  27. Before I make a decision on joining your patreon to support the new changes to your website I need to know one thing and one thing only. Do you support the second amendment or do you just support guns? There is s difference.

  28. A few suggestions:
    1) Get an ammunition sponsor and/or Brownell's or Sonoran Desert Institute
    2)Sell Merch. Contact Bunker Branding, First item, a Gun Jesus shirt.

  29. Linus Tech Tips made their own streaming service and they release things on there a week before it goes on YouTube. If possible you could put it on patreon a week earlier, then post the actual one on the website

  30. I can add a suggestion on the Archival/Relation database system point of view. I'm in IT and we used knowledge based/sharing systems very often, I've worked with several. My two cents in this conversation is that you might want to take a look at a wiki system. A Wikipedia style of platform resembles very close what you are mentioning, its easy to use, to host (you can self host or there are several free providers) and is also familiar to a lot of people. Also come with all the controls to make it a platform where people can easily add/modify content (those can be your approved editors or just anybody from the web). It doesn't to use the wiki system per se, there are literally hundreds of clones. Search Google for "wiki software"

  31. Ian – Troy Hunt runs an internet security website with very specifically limited advertising. He has certain relevant sponsors each week or month, with a single banner just under the header. He – similarly to you – has done good enough work that he has a relevant following that some companies would like to target.

    I wonder if some of the organizations that you interact with might be interested in doing something like that. 'Twere I in your shoes, I'd look if something like that, as a supplement, might help.

    The banner is super unobtrusive, except I know to look for it so I always do, to see who his sponsor is, and whether they're doing something I could use.

    Cheers, sir.

  32. It's a great idea!
    Honestly kinda wish you just had your own History channel show, and have those big wigs fund such a venture.

  33. Have you tried talking to or advertising a job offer through ASU or U of A? I know most liberals have issues with guns, but anthropology nerds–some of which are school trained in what you're after, ironically–or engineering students might be interested in entry-level and more on such a project… Or, get a legit admin guy and potentially asked for interns…

  34. Hey Ian, I currently run one of the largest archives on the net, and I'm willing to help you out here.
    My archive currently has ~28TB of data on our own hardware.

    Whatever you want, I'll help mate.

  35. Patreon support perk idea!!
    For any number above say 15 or 20 dollars a month or there abouts, send a autographed bullet shell to the supporters. Opinions?
    Gun Jesus signed shells.

  36. Thank you Ian, an absolutely fantastic idea. My passion, knowledge base and smithing skills are all there. But I'm sorry to say my computer skills and research librarian chops are sadly lacking. If I may offer a suggestion, as one can see from your videos, you, like myself, have invested much into acquiring a vast collection of books. Offering the information that you are looking to produce here in a book format would be invaluable to many of the more serious. Be it in volumes or by country or specific models, this would be the go to information that some of us would use on a daily basis and spend endless hours learning from. I truly hope this becomes a reality. Thanks again for making all you do possible and sharing it with us. All the best and good luck.

  37. Ian, out of curiosity. Where and how can I find the original content you speak of that has information, data and manuals on the firearms you presented when you first started this glorious endeavour?

  38. i m from Poland …I listen to videos before sleep
    I m not really in to shooting but I love mechanics

  39. I loathe advertisements, and I am delighted by your interest in keeping Forgotten Weapons as an oasis. 🍻

  40. Get ‘interns’, like Steve Zissou would do! Then our ‘Gun Jesus’ can be-freed up to find more obscure firearms for our enjoyment! Great work, hope this find a way forward! All the very best.

  41. Man, if only I was actually qualified. I would work with callused hands to upload and preserve thousands of legendary weapons for the sake of history.

  42. The preservation of mechanical knowledge, a most holy pursuit Machine god guide you Iain. 01010000 01110010 01100001 01101001 01110011 01100101 00100000 01100010 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01001111 01101101 01101110 01101001 01110011 01110011 01101001 01100001 01101000

  43. i am only pushing out a dollar a month to ya, but i hope my contribution helps make this goal a reality!

  44. Could you ask Brownells or one of the large Weapons Museums toss a bit of money for a single banner ad? One banner isn't an issue and it would be topical.

  45. Wildly off topic, but there's no FAQ on the website, and the "contact us" email link is broken? (maybe?)

    What do I do if I want to ask a question about something?

  46. Good luck. You're looking for someone with a degree in library science and a deep knowledge in firearms history and dedication. Probably to be found in Europe with those qualifications.

  47. Hello Forgotten weapons. Would you be able to take a look at the 20 mm Madsen. I know they were used by Denmark during ww2 and i head that Finland still use them on their ships

  48. I've been one of those people for too long now that kept telling themselves they "should become a Patron"… This video, this idea, pushed me over the line to where I simply could not procrastinate any more. It's too important of an idea presented by someone who I've come to trust over years of content. You, sir, have more than earned what little I can give.

  49. I don't understand the ad firms fear of running ads on content that is about history but have no issues with ads on boxing matches where two people get violent with each other and beat the crap out of each other.

  50. I honestly think that Max and Ian should come together and merge Forgotten weapons and Modern firearms. Max has superb articles and has the knowledge how to maintain an encyclopedia.

  51. You made me extremely interested in old rare and unique firearms being a kid going into college I would love to learn about it

  52. What about sponsorship from weapon developers or museums? I wouldn't know how to go about it but I would think curators and manufacturers would be happy to help you cover the history?

  53. Awesome project idea Ian and good luck with it! Also love that you have the Trinity College Dublin Long Hub Library as the thumbnail. Spent 7 years of my life studying there in Trinity.

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