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Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

BORN TO DIE
HAIG IS A FUCK
Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED






I'm Somebody Awful, and I'm here today at my projects table looking at something that appeared outside my house last night.



An enemy infiltrator? No, it seems quite inert.



Is it my Handbook of Resonance Cascades? No, that hasn't shipped yet.



drat the rules, I'm going to cut you like a Cornish game hen.



I'm blue, da ba dee da ba die



Wait a minute. I wasn't expecting this until Wednesday!



Yes, it's finally here. Chassepot to FAMAS: French Military Rifles 1866-2016 is the inaugural volume from Headstamp Publishing, a venture co-founded by Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons, N.R. Jenzen-Jones of Armament Research Services, and James Rupley of the Vickers Guide series. The book itself was written by McCollum with photographs by Rupley, and funded through a Kickstarter campaign which ran during May 2019. You may be asking yourself, how many people would give money to a Kickstarter for a book about French rifles? Ask the typical gunshow goober and you'll get an earful about them cheese-eatin' surrender monkeys with their tanks that have one forward gear and five reverse. Why, don't you know 'bout those Frenchie guns boy? Never used and only dropped once! Now how's 'bout you forget that junk and put down some cash on this fine 'Murican Remchester? No hagglin', I knows what I got!



Happily for those of us with an appreciation for military history, it turned out quite a few people were interested in the book. The Kickstarter met its base goal of $25,000 in two and a half hours and was one thousand percent funded in the first week. By the time the campaign ended, Chassepot to FAMAS had secured over $800,000 from 6,076 backers and become the second largest publishing project in Kickstarter's history. The last hours featured a live stream hosted by Ian and his father Duncan McCollum, author of Japanese Rifles of World War II. It was pretty fun, other than Othias crashing the stream. Totally on purpose, I'm sure.

Then the long wait began.

The original goal was to have books finished and ready by November 2019, but a series of unforseen delays prevented deliveries from starting until just a week ago. The volume of orders and number of bonus features far exceeded original plans, and I understand there were difficulties at the printer as well. To their credit, Ian and the others kept up a steady stream of progress reports and sneak peeks into the production process.

Now that I finally have a copy in hand, let's see what I got for my first ever crowdfunding contribution.



This is not a large book. It is not the sort you leave on your coffee table to impress The Honorable Lord Fitzroy Frontloading-Washer at Sunday tea. It is however quite dense (532 numbered pages) and suitable for bludgeoning the boche if he should assail you when you have neither fusil nor baionnette at hand. Kickstarter backers got a special version with a blue cover. The regular retail edition is red.



Ian spent three days signing preorder copies. As you can see, some of the blame for his ordeal is mine. I presume that's him and the talented Mr. Rupley in the very charming engraving to the left.



Mr. McCollum is a man of some distinction himself.



The book covers a lot of ground. In addition to French service rifles proper, it devotes some pages to other rifles made or modified in France during the period of interest, such as the Daudeteau conversions of Mauser 1871 rifles for Uruguay.



Do you like milsurp porn? Because this book is all about milsurp porn. Everything from factory part variants to field expedient armorer repairs, each captured in loving detail.



Full page spreads of milsurp porn.



Not only guns, but also their accessories.



There's production data...



...And diagrams.



Ian ran a similar FAMAS + EOTech configuration at a recent match, because of course Ian has a FAMAS.

I wish I had a FAMAS. :smith:



Of course no book on rifles would be complete without discussing the cartridges they fired.



And for the hands-on collectors, an appendix of disassembly guides is included as well.



Three very patriotic ribbons are provided for your place-keeping convenience.



The book came with a few extras. I assume the Ex Libris label is for writing your name on and sticking inside the cover. The bookmark is made of leather from a family-owned Scottish tannery, which is pretty neat. Me not realizing it's upside down until just now, less neat.



There's also a set of cocktail recipes. The other side has four original ones, named in honor of French arsenals. I don't drink, but Ian was a bartender in a past life so I'll trust his judgment.

Another bonus from my preorder actually arrived a while ago: a print of the Gun Jesus poster whipped up by HK USA to capitalize on the adoption of the HK416 by the French armed forces. That's rolled up in a tube somewhere in my closet full of parts boxes, so I didn't get a picture of it. I believe we're still waiting on one other Kickstarter stretch reward, which was a mini-audiobook of chapter summaries read by Ian. Hopefully that will be coming soon as well. All in all, I'm pretty happy with how things turned out. I've long wanted to add a Lebel or Berthier to my collection and Chassepot to FAMAS will greatly help me judge prospective purchases.

I look forward to seeing what Headstamp Publishing brings out next. Hopefully you enjoyed the box thread, thanks for reading.

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NerdyMcNerdNerd
Aug 3, 2004

Lol.i halbve already saod i inferno circstances wanttpgback


That is a very pretty book.

Kramjacks
Jul 5, 2007



Looks like a real nice product. I'm not that interested in french rifles, but I'll definitely be keeping an eye on what else they publish with quality like that.

DeesGrandpa
Oct 21, 2009



Yeah I wanted to get in on the kickstarter but really have no interest in French rifles (except that the MAS36 is really neat) so didn't. Looks to be excellent quality and excited for them to write book on something I'm into so I can get in on it.

Dr. Gojo Shioji
Apr 22, 2004



Kramjacks posted:

I'm not that interested in french rifles, but I'll definitely be keeping an eye on what else they publish with quality like that.

DeesGrandpa posted:

Looks to be excellent quality and excited for them to write book on something I'm into so I can get in on it.

For what it's worth, the next book in the pipeline is about automatic Soviet/Russian military rifles written by Max Popenker.

Captain Log
Oct 2, 2006

Captain Log posted:

"I AINT DYING! Choo choo motherfucker!"
:toot::birddrugs::toot:



Nice books are so drat nice.

glynnenstein
Feb 18, 2014



I haven't had a chance to dig into my copy yet, but I'm prepared to line a whole shelf with whatever they come out with.

Tyro
Nov 10, 2009


I almost funded the Kickstarter, now I really regret not doing it. Cool book!

Mambo No. 5
Feb 24, 2009

Admiral Parry "Terror" Sornis,
Dead Birds Society



A local shop has a Mas 49/56 (in 7.5 not .308) that i would like to buy one day. That's my French gun story.


Cool book OP!

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

BORN TO DIE
HAIG IS A FUCK
Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED




Dr. Gojo Shioji posted:

For what it's worth, the next book in the pipeline is about automatic Soviet/Russian military rifles written by Max Popenker.

Definitely interested in that one. From what I recall, there was also a chronicle of British bullpups and a history of the Kabul Arsenal in the works, and some talk of Ian doing something on Japanese weapons.

wolfs
Jul 17, 2001

posted by squid gang



Dr. Gojo Shioji posted:

For what it's worth, the next book in the pipeline is about automatic Soviet/Russian military rifles written by Max Popenker.

wait, isn't that the world.guns.ru guy? i used to love that website

madeintaipei
Jul 13, 2012



wolfs posted:

wait, isn't that the world.guns.ru guy? i used to love that website

Yeah. He's done a few videos with Ian, IIRC. Like many Russian scholars, his spoken English is bad, but his written English is not. The Solzhenitsyn of Russian firearms history (minus Gulag and exile).

A.o.D.
Jan 15, 2006

The Suffering of the Succotash.


madeintaipei posted:

Yeah. He's done a few videos with Ian, IIRC. Like many Russian scholars, his spoken English is bad, but his written English is not. The Solzhenitsyn of Russian firearms history (minus Gulag and exile).

I'd say his spoken English is servicable, not bad.

ishikabibble
Jan 21, 2012



Somebody Awful posted:

Definitely interested in that one. From what I recall, there was also a chronicle of British bullpups and a history of the Kabul Arsenal in the works, and some talk of Ian doing something on Japanese weapons.

Japanese weapons would make sense. Isn't his father a huge collector of them?

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

BORN TO DIE
HAIG IS A FUCK
Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED




Probably does if he wrote a book on them. I'm fairly sure Ian himself is also into Japanese weapons alongside French.

madeintaipei
Jul 13, 2012



A.o.D. posted:

I'd say his spoken English is servicable, not bad.

Fair. I wasn't trying to insult the dude. Max Popenker's written English is better than his spoken English, which isn't bad.

His website is chock full of pop-ups. That one site started me using an ad-blocker.

glynnenstein
Feb 18, 2014



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-djwo2noLnI

A.o.D.
Jan 15, 2006

The Suffering of the Succotash.


Somebody Awful posted:

Probably does if he wrote a book on them. I'm fairly sure Ian himself is also into Japanese weapons alongside French.

It looks like Ian's next project is to try to document the unholy mess that was civil war China.

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

BORN TO DIE
HAIG IS A FUCK
Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED




Welp, that's a must-buy for me. :retrogames:

Beardless
Aug 12, 2011

I am Centurion Titus Polonius. And the only trouble I've had is that nobody seem to realize that I'm their superior officer.


A.o.D. posted:

It looks like Ian's next project is to try to document the unholy mess that was civil war China.

I can't say I'm shocked, he does have a soft spot for, as he calls them, Chinese Mystery Pistols.

BeAuMaN
Feb 18, 2014

I'M A LEAD FARMER, MOTHERFUCKER!


Gotta say the gold page edge gilding is awesome (you can see your reflection in it). Pretty sure it was originally supposed to be silver gilding except for the Super Deluxe Extra Money Collector Editions... probably missed an update or something where they said they were going to go all gold.
But really the whole book is awesome. I mean I payed plenty for that Serbian Weapons of Victory book and, while it too is awesome (especially the photography), this just has all the extra flourishes that make it look amazing.

And I see you too are a man of distinction having snapped up one of those nice looking leather bookmarks. (They were like $6 iirc). However, I'm also a cheap bastard so I didn't pay $20 for a signature. If I ever meet Ian, I'll tell him this and ask him if he'll sign it (he'll probably try to charge me $20). On that note, btw... If you look at the kickstarter stats, fewer backers were cheap bastards by far, and therefore non-signature kickstarter edition books are rarer.

BeAuMaN fucked around with this message at 22:13 on Mar 17, 2020

Schofferhofer
Oct 7, 2010


Thanks OP for posting images of the book. Seen a few people who have picked this up and interested to see the format and style. I think I'll go order a copy now.

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

BORN TO DIE
HAIG IS A FUCK
Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED




BeAuMaN posted:

Pretty sure it was originally supposed to be silver gilding except for the Super Deluxe Extra Money Collector Editions... probably missed an update or something where they said they were going to go all gold.

Yeah. From what I remember, they decided silver would clash with the gold elements on the cover and raised enough surplus money to just go all-in on gold. :q:

Schofferhofer posted:

I think I'll go order a copy now.

:hfive:

Pursesnatcher
Oct 23, 2016



Grimey Drawer

Seriously underrated box thread, with a seriously nice writeup on what you get. I was hovering between "I need to get me one of those" and "that's too nerdy even for me" until I saw the cocktail pages. Or are those only for preorders?

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

BORN TO DIE
HAIG IS A FUCK
Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED




I think the cocktails were for preorders only, sorry. You can still get the Ex Libris sticker and snazzy bookmark though!

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

BORN TO DIE
HAIG IS A FUCK
Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED




The Kickstarter for Headstamp's second book is now open.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTZ0tR8Au2I

Edit for crosspost:

Somebody Awful posted:

Shaocaholica made a table breaking down the various package options:


Somebody Awful fucked around with this message at 23:57 on Apr 12, 2020

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A.o.D.
Jan 15, 2006

The Suffering of the Succotash.


I finally received my copy over the weekend. It's a very handsome volume.

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