When I started my blog last year, I really didn't have a clear vision of how it would all work. I barely knew the basics on how to set up and maintain a blog. I knew even less about the tools needed to create and share the pictures and video required for a visually appealing blog. I knew the information I wanted to convey, so with that as my guiding light I set off down the path of learning how to use the tools of the blogging trade. Luckily, it didn't take very long to get up to speed on the tools.
Spin the clock ahead about a year and Mouse Guns and Gear is just about to hit the 100,000 views milestone. It's only May 17th today as I write this, so this post won't be published until May 30th which is the official blog anniversary date. I never thought the blog would grow from 5,000 views a month up to the 16,000+ views it now gets per month. It didn't really hit me until about 6 months ago, but I think the blog is becoming a reference resource for folks that search for information about mouse guns and gear. That makes me feel great that I can give back to others a bit of the enjoyment that I've had with the shooting sports as they do their own homework on the right guns and gear for them.
What started out as an information sharing and review blog has morphed into a display case for the ballistics testing work that I have really come to enjoy. Based on various comments I've received from readers, they seem to get some value from the test results too. I still post the occasional gear review, but most of my posts deal with testing ammunition from short barrel pistols. When I went looking for this data from other sources, I realized there wasn't much out there so it's a target rich area for me to focus on and I'm genuinely interested in what I discover.
Just a quick note about my tests. I'm not trying to strictly replicate any specific testing protocol. My initial plans were just to test for expansion at a measured velocity. Really just making sure JHP ammo would expand at short barrel velocities. When I couldn't get my bullet trap to work, I switched over to SIM-TEST ballistics media that also allowed me to capture penetration data. It works great in the Fall, Winter, and Spring when temperatures are moderate. Now that Summer is here again, I don't believe I will be able to do much testing. Just a few minutes in the sun can really warm up a block to the point that it softens and invalidates penetration measurements. It also takes forever for the recast blocks to cool off even if I bring them out of the hot garage and into the house to cure. I'll try my best to get some testing in this summer, but I really think the heat will be slowing me down.
Last month I added two additional pages to the blog. The first lists my upcoming tests and previously completed tests as of May 2012 going forward. You can view that page via this link Upcoming Tests or from the tab at the top of the page.
Over the last year, I've had some folks contact me about helping support the blog. I've added a page to facilitate those requests and that page can be access via this link Fund More Research or from the tab at the top of the page. I would like to publicly thank those that have contributed so far. A running list of blog supporters will be maintained on the Fund More Research page.
I would also like to especially thank Ken and Frank at NCTA for their generous contribution of access to their top notch range facilities. Without their support, I couldn't do my testing.
Alan Bogdan at Remora Holsters has been fantastic about making holsters for new on the market pistols in time for reviews. He has literally turned around a made from scratch holster order for me and had it to my door in days.
Honor Roll of Donors
The following folks have contributed funds or ammo in support of further testing and evaluations. I really appreciate them for their support.
Alan Bogdan with Remora All Year Long
Ken and Frank at NCTA February 2012
Brian April 2012
Steve April 2012
Brett May 2012
Fred May 2012
Conan May 2012
Lehigh Defense May 2012
Ventura Munitions May 2012
I'm really looking forward to year 2 of the blog. I have a large, and growing, list of things I want to test which includes stepping up my game and getting into the big boy calibers like .38 Special, .357 Sig, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. I will still be focused primarily on the short barrel testing of these calibers. Hopefully, everything I've learned so far from the smaller caliber tests will enhance my testing with the more powerful loads.
Thanks for keeping up with the blog. If you have any comments on how it can be improved, feel free to drop me an email. You can get to my email address through the "About Me" profile view on the right. Also, all the videos from the blog and a few others that didn't make the blog are on my YouTube page. Please feel free to visit and subscribe if you would like to be alerted when new videos go up. http://www.youtube.com/user/ljutic1