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My February birthday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black it now over. I sincerely and with deep gratitude thank all those who donated. Without your support I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. For those who did not contribute during the campaign, please consider adding your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


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Forgotten Weapons – Winchester Thumb Trigger Rifle

An evening pause: A bit of engineering history. Note the simplicity.

Hat tip Gene Shipp.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • judd

    RIA has some lovely old rifles shotguns in their catalog.

  • Col Beausabre

    Great, I have been a fan of Ian “Gun Jesus” McCollum for years. There are almost no politics on his site, just history and discussion of the technology as in this video. and

  • Blackwing1

    I dunno about this thing…other than for people with some type of disability in their trigger finger it strikes me as horribly unsafe. Once loaded and cocked there is no safety, and the usual “keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot” doesn’t even apply. I’m guessing that the center of balance for the thing is probably muzzle-forward, but there is still going to be a natural tendency for people to pick it up by the stock right on top of the trigger resulting in an unanticipated “bang”. With no safety you’d have to carry it in the woods (say, for squirrel hunting) either with the striker not cocked (be sure not to bash it around then), or unloaded, and there doesn’t even appear to be a good ramp built into the feed area so loading is going to be very slow and awkward.

    It’s interesting but since he didn’t perform a range test I’m left curious as to how accurate it is. I’m also guessing that with the metallurgy of that era it probably would not handle high-velocity .22 ammo, and you’d be limited to shorts or “standard” (low) velocity .22 LR which is pretty spendy. I had a Marlin 39 made in 1926 in which you couldn’t shoot high-velocity .22 since it tended to cause the bolt to break. I donated it to a museum since I didn’t want to stock “standard” low-velocity ammo for it.

    The first rifle I ever shot was my grandfather’s old single-shot bolt action, which also had a pull-back type striker arrangement, but it was a standard type with a trigger. For an ancient old .22 it was extremely accurate (squirrel’s head at 25 yards), and it taught good shooting (sight alignment, sight picture, move the trigger back without disturbing the first two).


    Ian usually has separate videos of him shooting the weapon. Sometimes though, it’s the property of a museum or individual who doesn’t want it shot. For other good sites see Bloke on the Range and The Royal Armouries – especially Jonathan, the Curator of Firearms (They also have pre-gunpowder weapons and armour)

  • Jeff Wright


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