Friday, May 6, 2016

Educational YouTube Channels: Forgotten Weapons

This is one that will surprise many people, but the YouTube channel Forgotten Weapons, run by Ian McCollum, is perhaps one of the underappreciated gems of YouTube. Yes, the channel is all about guns, but he manages to pack in an incredible amount of history, engineering and weapon design into each video. I started watching because he had some interesting videos demonstrating some cool historical weapons, but I stuck around because of the incredible history behind the guns. For example, did you know that that Norway developed a combined knife-pistol for their mailmen in the mid 1800's? I didn't.
Or take this early Browning harmonica rifle (which sold at auction for $120,000).

This gun channel is not like others which emphasize the "macho" aspect of guns. Ian is more like the Bob Ross of guns. He keeps it calm, informative, and well researched. If you watch this channel for a while you will learn more about guns than you ever though possible (for example, ever wonder if a gun with a curved barrel would actually work? Well you can watch a video and find out.).

This is one of those channels where some parents may be concerned because it is all about guns, but there is an incredible amount of firearm history and gun engineering, presented in a non-sensational way, that I highly recommend it. You will also learn how different guns work and along the way learn about some of the most innovated solutions to mechanical problems in history. The thing that really blows me away (haha) about this channel is learning about how guns have evolved over time, and seeing all the failed designs. Watching a lot of these videos you really get a sense that the development and progression of gun technology was not direct and straight forward, but had a lot of false starts and incredible solutions to problems you never knew existed.

This channel can also serve as a kind of nerd sniping. If you are concerned that a certain loved one may secretly have the knack, try showing them this channel and if you come back and find them watching all the videos, then you know that they will be an engineer.

Note: A very small number of his videos have incidental swearing, usually when he demonstrating the most powerful guns.

Some interesting videos:
Firing a German anti-tank gun.
4-Bore Stopping Rifle in slow motion. (he nearly gets his shoulder dislocated)

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