By Dan Shea

We’re pretty proud of SAR, but we’re equally as proud of the new website resource and perhaps a bit more excited about that. We want to make sure that all of our readers understand about the online site. If you’re a subscriber to SAR, it’s only ten bucks extra per year to have access to all of the historical articles, and the archives. If you just want the online access, it’s only $19.95 per year. You get every new issue of SAR online, plus all the archives. While we continue publishing SAR as a physical magazine, we’re experimenting with how to bring it to you for your Kindle or other reading device. It’s looking very possible. The great thing about the online magazine, if you are computer accessible, is that you get it the day we print it- it’s online, you can read the articles, and be right in the groove.

However, the key to the future is the archiving. Our long-term plan presents millions of small arms related photos, manuals, research documents, articles, etc, for your use and enjoyment. The LMO library has about 700,000 of these, and every day we have more offers from reference collections and museums to participate. The archive items are presented in a format you can use readily for your own personal purposes. Every week we add more to the searchable resource, because we have people scanning all day, every day. The most critical part of the archives is this may well be the only resource on the Internet for small arms that has peer review and editing done before anything gets posted. It’s not composed of posts made by any anonymous person, the fact checking is done religiously. Certainly, there will be mistakes on occasion, but our group of professionals do a pretty good job of cleaning up the info and making sure it’s correct for posterity. Again, the goal is to catalog and present the archives for the small arms community, forever. Too much has been lost already.

Once you get signed in- and if you’re having trouble with that, email us at office@smallarmsreview.com and you can even call in 702-565-0746 during weekdays 8am-4pm Pacific time and have someone guide you online- It’s worth it. A number of readers who had poor Internet skills have said they got help from (Embarrassingly) children and grandchildren to get online, and are now avid readers and researchers. Remember, those children and grandchildren are really who this is all for- the building of the searchable archives is for posterity. Long after we’re all gone, the roots of the weapons we collect and use are there for researchers.

Please go online and try this out, you’ll be glad you did. A short while ago we opened the Stoner 63A files at LMO and posted about 30 pieces, there are about 30 SPIW program files there now, and hundreds of Maxim, Thompson, Lewis, etc files as well. We’ve just received more interesting correspondence from 1950s and 1960s importers talking to high school students on their science projects- on firearms of all things. What a great window into the America of yesterday, when firearms weren’t a target for crazy anti-constitutionalists, when a young person could go to school and discuss ballistics or heat engines in relation to firearms, and not have some bunny-hugging hand-wringer called in to evaluate if there was something “Wrong” with the person. In this writer’s opinions, there’s something absolutely “Right” about a young American going to school studying firearms, physics, ballistics, as well as our martial history.

- Dan

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V16N4 (December 2012)
and was posted online on October 26, 2012


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