More work to be done

The past week has been a busy one.  I have been trying to wrap up the Glock 22 and SKS pages, but I keep getting pulled back into the intricacies of website design and development.  On the advice from a friend who is much more versed in website design, I am spending more time working on the back end of this site, before I add any more content.  There are some major changes I need to make in how I am naming, linking and controlling my pages if I want to make this site scale-able, and apparently it is much easier to fix now then it would be later.  So unfortunately the site doesn’t look that much different (aside from the new new Glock 22 pages), but the back-end is starting to look much better.  I am hopping to wrap up the back-end work this week, and I can get back to work adding more info by this weekend starting with the ar pages.  So that is it for now, and to everyone that has been providing suggestions and feedback (you know who you are!), I really am thankful for all of your help.

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Continuing Development

It has been over a week since my last update, so I think it is time to give a few details as to what has been happening behind the scenes.  On the technical side, I have been experimenting with different menu and page options while continuing to update the SKS knowledge center.  I don’t have any formal training in website development, so a lot of this is trial and error.  But that said, I think I have found a style that will work going forward and should be scalable as we add more information into our knowledge center portion of the website.

Speaking of which, the SKS potion of the knowledge center is pretty much complete and now includes both the breakdown, lubrication, re-assembly and general info about the rifle.   I still need to add a FAQ section, which is in the works, and I am still debating if I will add a SKS specific cleaning page, or if I will make a more general cleaning section.  The FAQ section should be finished shortly, but with regards to the cleaning section, I think I will hold off on that for now and move on to other things that need to get done first.

With regards to other tasks, I have three goals for this week.  First and second is to complete the breakdown/lubrication/re-assembly/Info sections for the Glock 22 and AR-15, and get them added to the knowledge center.  The third task is to work on getting better SEO for this site.  Admittedly, guns101.net is still very new and lacking in content, but I as I mentioned above, I don’t have any previous experience in web development.  With that in mind, I figure now would be a good time to start understanding what I need to do to help grow the visibility of this site naturally, and determine if any changes need to be made to the layout, wording, or linking before the site grows to large.

Also, I wanted to add a couple notes regarding what has happened over the past week.  First, I want to give a big thanks to my buddy Curt.  Curt working our first Guns101.net tutorial video, and I could not be more thankful.  There are few things we need to get adjusted before it is uploaded, but we are looking to have it added to our Guns101.net YouTube channel shortly.  We are very excited to start producing our own content, and I hope that this will be the first of many videos starting Curt.

Finally, I want to give a big thanks to Texas Custom Guns.  I recently purchased an SKS (from a different company), and I have been slowly restoring it (it came literally dripping with cosmoline), getting it ready for some time at the range.  However, try as hard as I might, I was been unable to disassemble the bolt assembly.  After fighting with it for days I finally decided to take it to a gunsmith.  Now, I have never done business with Texas Custom Guns, but they did come highly recommended from a company that I do business with.  I made a trip down to their shop in Alvin Texas on Friday, thinking I would only be there for 20 or 30 min.  But I ended up staying for well over two hours taking with the guys that work the shop.  The guys there are amazing, they take great pride in their work, and it shows… but they are also some of the most down to earth people I have had the chance to meet.  I wont go into all the details, but I will say, that aside from the conversation, they showed me some of their custom rifles/pistols, and the work they do is pretty spectacular.  So guys, if you see this, I just wanted to say thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it.

I guess that’s it for now.  I am going to be busy this week plugging away getting the Glock 22 and AR-15 pages ready and uploaded, and hopefully we will have our first video up on YouTube sometime later this week.  But if you have any thoughts or opinions you want to share about the site or what we are trying to do, feel free to drop a comment below or email us here.

What this is all about

It has been a few days since I have made a visible update to the site, so I thought now might be a good time to give a bit more insight to where the idea for this site came from, and share a bit about my goals for guns101.  Simply put, I feel like there is a large knowledge rift in the gun culture world between people with limited (or no) gun experience,  and people who are experts in the field.  It has become very intimidating and overwhelming for new gun owners to get into the sport and find reliable information.  This is not because there is a lack of information available online and off, but because there is so much of it, and a large portion of it seems written for other experienced gun owners.  While this is not inherently bad, this can create a intimidating barrier for people who are new to the sport.

Over my years, I have had the opportunity to meet, work with, and become friends with a lot of diverse and interesting people, many of whom are gun owners, and have been shooting on and off for years.  But when I start asking some of them questions like, why did you choose the gun(s) you did?  Or, How do you properly disassemble and clean your gun?  Or, what is the best way to hold and safely shoot your weapon?   I am generally met with partial answers, guesses, blank stares and a surprising amount of bad information.  Almost every one of my friends (who are non experts) want to learn more and become more proficient with their firearms, but many of them were to embarrassed to ask for help, didn’t know where to look and didn’t have time to spend hours trying to find accurate information.  Honestly, I understand their situation.  Not everyone is willing to just take apart their gun and learn on their feet without help, and it can feel somewhat embarrassing to ask for help when you get over your head.  Heck, I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, asking a experienced shooter for help/advice sometimes feels similar to when I need help from the auto parts store installing new windshield wipers on my car.  (Yes I am serious, I am terrible getting those things on, and I feel like I have to give up a man card every time it happens)

The funny thing is, the more time you spend in the “gun culture scene”, the more you realize that these are some of the nicest people in the world.  Many of whom are happy to go out of their way to help others in any way possible.  This is the side of the gun culture world I want to help make more visible, and get new and potential  shooters get exposed to.  With that in mind, hopefully, as a open community, we can get more people interested in this great and diverse sport, and all learn something new together.

Now, with all that said, here is what I am looking to do with this site, specifically in the short term.  Currently, I am planning on having this site start by serving as a knowledge center for some of the most common gun platforms out in the world today.  We will be linking, sharing, and creating new videos and documentation that clearly outline the following topics:

  • How to safely take apart and reassemble various gun platforms
  • Proper gun maintenance
  • How to properly and safely hold/shoot various gun types
  • Common FAQs and “pitfalls” when working and using various types of guns

As you can see on the main page, we have started by breaking up the common gun platforms into their respective categories, and we will be nesting all relevant information as it is created into their appropriate sub-categories.  Since this is a new site, I expect that we will have many changes to the layout and functionality, but my goal is to keep this site always looking clean, simple, and easy to use.

With that said, I am always looking for advice, notes, complaints, suggestions, or thoughts.  So if you see this, and have anything you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment, or Email us here.