What do people keep reading, here?

Since the new year, we’ve been running a statistical plug-in, and occasionally checking it. It’s not perfect and we’re open to a better one, but it is giving us some insights, which was the whole idea.

One thing it does well is provide a running tally of the most popular posts. The top level is the most common hit, simply weaponsman.com. But people who come in to a specific post are linked from somewhere, and some of these posts have generated lasting interest. A couple recent posts are always on the list, but there are also

  • New Camo.. again? From February 23,2012, this is one of our ealier posts, but is our second most referred link even today. It describes the battles the Army has had trying to update its camo uniforms, after its initial unwise selection of the super-visible Uniform Camouflage Pattern. Rereading it, it’s embarrassing how badly edited it is. Yeesh. But it’s true and accurate: there is that.
  • NRA Life Membership Deal was just what it said, a very steep discount on Life membership through having an existing Lifer sponsor you. It was published September 29, 2012 and has been the third most popular entry point this year. The NRA is not perfect, but it’s the lobby guns’ enemies fear. We’d love some feedback on whether this is still working. If you know us in meatworld, drop a line or ring if you need sponsored, and we’ll try.
  • Ask a Weapons Man: 5.56 vs. .223? is another old post (February 1, 2012) and still gets over 1,000 hits a month. This is a perennial conflict people ask about, complicated by the fact that not every barrel maker marks his chambers with the reamer he actually used. The bottom line: you’re probably OK with any quality factory ammo in any quality gun, but if you fire 5.56 in a .223 chamber, watch for signs of high pressure.
  • In AR-15 parts vanishing from shelves we observed the earliest signs of the present price/supply bubble, way back on May 23, 2012. We also rather presciently noted that:

“If Mr Obama is elected, and/or Congress winds up in Democratic hands, then expect the bubble to initially inflate at a faster rate, until the market prices in what the second-term Obama administration does. If he does nothing, expect the bubble to deflate some, and prices to go soft as buyers who overextended themselves in the buying spree are forced to cash out. If Washngton launches a round of attacks on gun rights, either by legislation or execive orders or rule-making, the bubble-driven high rate of inflation will continue indefinitely.”

We’re not going to say we told you so, just observe that this is our fourth most popular post of all time.

  • In the sixth position is LLAD: Ranger School Welcomes Women, Drops Standards, even though the plan was for them to drop the standards first, then add the women. This very controversial post from May 15, 2012, and its sequels, may have forestalled this boneheaded plan. Or it may have been that the Army was, as usual for this Chief of Staff, aping the Marines, and the Marines’ women-in-infantry program is a most un-Corps-like shambles right now. The DOD suits still want to do this thing. You should never go full retard….
  • And in eighth position, as the last “old” post in the top ten, is Saturday Matinee: Above Us the Waves. We never know who reads these things and, as you may have figured out, the movie reviews, especially the reviews of obscure movies, are a labor of love. Rereading that one, from June 2012, it was particularly good. The movie was particularly good, too.

If there is one lesson for us here, it is that continued readership comes from quality content. Those are all good posts for different reasons, and we’ll try to top them in 2013.

3 thoughts on “What do people keep reading, here?

  1. GBS

    We frequently see media BS about commercially available ARs being able to rapidly fire “thousands” of rounds. Have you ever looked at when commercially available AR platforms fail when firing large volumes of ammo? I recently found a video showing an M4 in a test where it fired 30-round mags on auto until it would only cycle single rounds and flames could be seen coming out of the handguard. Smoke could be seen at a couple-hundred rounds, and the “full auto” failure was ~ 900. While shooting a semi-auto AR, I would think it very difficult to fire & change out more than 3X30 round mags in a minute with any reasonable accuracy. Any idea how long a commercially available AR rifle could sustain that rate of fire?

  2. Jeff M

    Hey WeaponsMan, I have been following you for a while and I have always enjoyed your articles. I know the focus nowadays is on the desert and Taliban, but my early army days were spent prepping for the Red Army. Would love to read how the SF did and still preps for traditional force on force encounters (especially Spetznatz) if you ever decide to do a write up on that. Cheers and keep up the postings.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Great ideas, Jeff. Actually, I served in 10th and 11th Special Forces Groups when our focus was on what SF could bring to The Big One with the Soviets and Warsaw Pact. There were some great “speculative history” books written in the 1980s, including World War III by a British General and Red Army by Ralph Peters, as well as the more commercially successful Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy, back when (1) Clancy still wrote his own books, which he hasn’t done in ages, and (2) they were good. The climactic tank battle of Red Storm Rising was fought over terrain that SF exercised on in at least thirty years of Flintlocks and other UW exercises.

      SF elements generally do not seek contact with line units. We’re small and lightly armed by combined arms standards,although since getting the Javelin, and radio contact with jets full of JDAMs, A-teams have been able to tackle tanks no problem. In the 1980s we carried 12 M16A1s. It was a big deal when we got 2 203s per team. We didn’t have the firepower, mobility, or supplies to fight against an armor or mech unit. If we tangled with one, our only weapon was our radio. We usually were trying to slip past line units (or let them roll over/past us) so that we could observe and report, or so that we could recon or attack something high-value in their rear. As precision-guided-munitions improved, the nature of our targets changed. Cruise missiles made the SADM obsolete, for instance.

      Had the balloon gone up, the only place SF might have fought Spetsnaz was if they attacked an SFOB or FOB/Mission Launch Site (the biggest single SF loss in Vietnam was when the NVA attacked CCN, one of the FOBs of SOG). Our AO was in Ivan’s rear area, and Spetsnaz’s AO was in ours. In the words of one of our intel analysts, “You’re never going to see those guys, unless your MC-130 passes their AN-12 in the night, you can wave to them.” Rear echelon units, HQ guard forces, and MPs would have had their hands full with Spetsnaz. Some of our targets for SF are still classified, but in Europe our mission load was about 70-80% strategic reconnaissance, and 20-30% direct action. The NATO CGs had no interest in unconventional warfare or guerilla warfare; the intelligence agencies briefed that most satellite nation people were happy under communism and would not resist. (I remember arguing that point with a CIA guy, based on all the defectors, line crossers, and generally disgruntled East Germans and Czechs I’d talked to).

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