It would be easy for me to bask in the accolades that have been showering upon me since the publication of the steel vs. brass ammo test. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally doing that.
But this test would not have been possible without other people. My name is at the top, but their fingers are all over it.
Zach and Paul are featured prominently in lots of photos from the test for a reason. They came out to the range with me countless times to shoot lots of ammunition. Zach also helped manage the range portions of the test, which made a big difference when I had to be taking photos or examining a rifle. Zach's wife Marina was everywhere, from shooting to loading magazines to making delicious guacamole and cookies.
Mike helped with cutting and sectioning the barrels, without which the test would have been not nearly as visually interesting. He also came out to shoot a number of times.
Nick supplied AR small parts and magazines.
Adam, Seamus and Martin of 1MOA Solutions came out to shoot, drink (not at the same time), and decorate my house with My Little Pony figurines while I was away.
Jeff not only shot, but helped haul ammo in his truck and brought a canopy to help keep everyone out of the sun.
Michelle occupied space at the range and stared at her fingernails a lot.
Jim flew in from out of town to shoot, but mostly to hang out with me while I was pulled over by the local police for driving in a manner which upset them.
Scott, Gene, Dylan, Wanda, Terry, Chris, Nathan, and other people whose names I have unfortunately forgotten helped pull triggers.
My dad let me borrow his truck to haul ammo and was only mildly upset when I brought it back covered in mud.
Everyone who shot was a big help, but I really appreciated those who returned for a second or seventh day. To the average reader, this might sound like a dream job - but after dozens of hours in the heat, firing until you can't feel your index finger, it took a lot of dedication on their part to keep coming back.
Across America and Around the World:
Roy, Colleen, Chris, Rob, Ando, and others gave me a lot to think about when I sent them early draft versions of the post. So did Chris Bartocci and Ned Christiansen.
Paul helped with some of the technical side and Rico made me think about some things from a different perspective.
John at Rainier supplied the awesome Raptor charging handles, Earl at IWC the excellent sling mounts, and Tom at Spikes the backup uppers.
It's easy to sum up what these people did in a single sentence, but every mention here at the very least saved me a lot of time and aggravation, and in most cases resulted in a test that was better and more complete than I ever could have accomplished by myself.
I would like to write a brief post recognizing those who have made significant contributions to the work I have been putting out over the last few years. I do not list them in any particular order. I will probably forget (and thus offend) several people here...
Mike Pannone of CTT Solutions - I first met Mike in late 2006 or early 2007, I'm not sure which. Since that time, he has spent countless hours instructing me in the proper use of handguns and long guns. He's also been an invaluable resource for details regarding the operation and maintenance of the AR-15, Glock, 1911, and M&P. After all, he's written books about some of them.
Jim of Deliberate Dynamics - Jim has a lot of operational experience with modern weapons and gear. He's designed a few really neat products and has also helped me acquire interesting gear for T&E. He's been a great resource on a wide variety of topics.
Paul of Bravo Company - Paul has provided me with plenty of T&E rifles and information about ARs.
Rob Curtis of GearScout - Among many other things, Rob got me in to SHOT last year, and a badge that said "Military Times GearScout" opened doors that a "Vuurwapen Blog" badge wouldn't have. He's given me a lot of good advice on how to handle sticky situations, such as the disposal of bodies, which I appreciate.
Steve of The Firearm Blog - We met at SHOT 2011, and he's done a lot to help me make connections and put my content in front of a lot of people.
Tom of Spike's Tactical - Tom has sent me a lot of T&E stuff, been a great resource on AR manufacturing, and even allowed me to provide input on some Spike's Tactical products. The first big item I T&E'd was a Spike's upper.
Nick of The Citizens Armory - Nick has been a close and personal friend of mine for close to six years, and practically every article or video I post is run by him first, because he can be pretty critical. This is exactly what my work needs sometimes. Other times, he just says "looks good," and I'm thinking, "Dude, no acerbic wit?"
In addition, my friends Mike, Mike, and Zach don't have websites, but are no less impressive, and have been no less helpful.
Oh, I forgot - my gunsmith friend Kristofer has been a big help.
Thanks to these people, and others, this blog has become what it is today.