I served in the US Navy as a Hospital Corpsman – HM2 (FMF). I was first in my class at Hospital Corps School and given my choice of assignments. I selected First Marine Division and was sent to the 5th Marine Regiment after Field Medical Service School (FMSS).  From there, I was assigned to the regimental commander’s PSD platoon.

I deployed once, to Fallujah, Iraq, in 2006, and spent 11 months there. In addition to PSD, I worked for Scouts, Tanks, Tracks, and other units, including an Army MP Company. During that time I took part in over 200 mounted and dismounted patrols throughout Anbar province, functioning not only as a Corpsman but also as a vehicle commander, electronic countermeasures dude, and dismounted security.

After I was honorably discharged, I returned to finish my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Arizona.

Anyone interested in contacting me may do so via email at vuurwapenblog@gmail.com

145 thoughts on “About”

  1. You left out that you’re a cool guy with a good sense of humor and isn’t full of shit, that has to count for something, right?

    1. Sure beats Nuttn-whats-his-face.

      Thanks for setting this blog up btw!
      A buddy at work was watching one of your videos and I’m glad he shared them with me. Keep up the good work!

    2. Right on, Mike!

      Andrew’s videos caught my attention because they are quite NEUTRAL (provided his personal point of view), not aimed to influence the readers/viewers to buy the product but rather providing a concise review that helps educate the audience about the features that product has or fails to have.

  2. Great blog… it’s refreshing to hear an opinion that is validated by fact and experience. I may or may not agree with everything you post, but you always have first hand experience and an honest approach to your opinions. Look forward to more…

  3. Fellow Arfcomer here. nice blog, the pics of the production process was nice to look over. Good reading. Keep it up.

  4. Thanks for serving our country- like your writeups and thoughts- could you tell the type of upper that is pictured on the the top of the page- Thanks, Charlie

    1. Sorry, I missed this comment. At the time you posted this, I believe the upper at the top of the page was a BCM 14.5″ Midlength. Thanks.

  5. Great info here GN! You’ve obviously put a lot of time and effort into this site, and it shows. Keep up the good work-this industry needs more honest voices, so consider this a TAG πŸ™‚

    I’m looking forward to checking back often.

  6. This is the ONLY blog I read online! Former USMC and PSD and arfcommer myself. Keep up the great work!

    1. I took Dutch when I was in college, and have an affinity for the language, even if I have not retained much of what I learned.

          1. I actually had the same question, only I wondered how an afrikaans guy got there since “vuurwapen” means the same in dutch and afrikaans

  7. On you You Tube on the 15-22 with the YHM Mite suppressor, how long are the threads. Iam waiting on my returned paperork and need to get my barrel threaded. Appreciate your information.

  8. If you are looking to do further testing / comparison on NiB (nickel boron), nickel teflon, zinc nickel or FNC we are the only ones that do them all and can set you up. AR’s, 1911 what ever, there are a battery of comparisons you can do. Now that said my experience with NiB show it out performs all other coatings if done correctly.

  9. Welcome Home Doc.

    Sounds like you had a fun tour with the FMF. I had the honor of serving with Kilo 3/7, 1St MarDiv in that tropical garden called Vietnam in 67-68. Again, welcome home, and thanks for protecting our Marines.

  10. thank you for some really interesting articles, being a brit guns are pretty much solely the province of the army and some police officers, something I’m generally happy about considering the density of our population.

    I’m not here to disparage your interest in weapons, quite the reverse, I’m here because these weapons are reproduced to some degree in the FPS’s I play and it’s interesting to see how different reality is from gaming fantasy

    thank you again for your blog and videos – i have learnt a lot

    best wishes

  11. In AZ eh ?I have been here for 3 years love it. I travel alot with work bu keep calling AZ home. I am taking a gig with dynocorp and ship soon. If your ever near a range and wat to burn a few hundred rounds im down. Ps great blog.

    Fellow Medic

  12. I read your blog regularly. No BS, just fact-oriented and detailed impressions. Great stuff. I hope you keep it up.

    My wife is Dutch, so I have an affinity for the language, too.

    Jeremy G.

  13. where in AZ do you live? they shut down redington pass shooting area… and it costs money at the other place, where can i shoot?

    1. http://www.bajaarizona.org/trc/ Great facilities, inexpensive membership. A $60 annual household membership covers you, one other adult, and all minor dependent children (<18).

      Easy 25 miles west of Tucson. Free use of target stands.

      Rangemasters leave you alone if you know what you are doing.

      50 BMG and full-auto allowed with some restrictions.

      "It's worth it."

  14. Hi there! I was suprized to see a Dutch word in US service! Very cool. I’m wondering how it sounds when you guy’s actualy say “Vuurwapen”….
    Nice site, and I realy need to come over and shoot in AZ. Holland is to small for shooting in backyards etc.
    Keep up the goodwork, and when you guy’s visit the Netherlands, I’ll let you shoot my USGI TRW M14!



    1. Hey, check out some of my videos and let me know if I pronounce it correctly! I don’t say it in every one, but most of the reviews are introduced as “This is the VuurwapenBlog review of…” within the first 15 seconds or so.

  15. Watched your vid about vthe number of guns to own on Firearm Blog and followed the vuurwaden blog over to hear. W.E.B. Griffin, the author, frequently uses the phrase, “you can always guage another man’s intelligence by how much he agees with you” in many of his books. Watching your vid, I realized I have findly found my soulmate(S&W M&P 15; M&p 15-22;M&P 9, M&P 22, and Ithaca Model 37 Deerslayer with 20″ slug barrell and 28″ improved)

    I am saving up for a Ruger Scout rifle, an M1A or an AR-10.

    Great blog

    1SG USA (Ret)

  16. Andrew, Great blog and great videos, but I have one request. Protect your hearing. Please review this video from 3M on how to fit foam earplugs. It will make a world of difference. I was doing it wrong too and now that I learned how to fit them properly I prefer them over muffs. They should not be sticking out, like in the photo above.

  17. I have a question that I think you might be able to help with since you have good experience with buffers, etc.

    I have an over gassed 16″ mid-length. I put an H2, and it slowed down the action if you will, but it is still recoiling too strong. What difference in your estimation is the Vltor A5 assembly to a H2?

    Thanks, great blog!

      1. It’s the standard carbine spring.

        I figure I have some combination of options. Replace the buffer assembly with an A5, or action spring, compensator from standard A2, or adjustable gas block. Gas block being my last option since this is being setup for tactical reliability.

          1. It’s a PSA build. Their complete SS 16″upper, LPK, MOE setup. So it is a mil-spec tube. Seems like good stuff.

            Thanks for taking the time on this question.

          2. Well, I am unfamiliar with the quality of their stuff. You could start by going with a known quality action spring and see if that makes any difference – wouldn’t cost much. Sprinco White would be my choice. Maybe the Blue if it’s really overgassed.

            You could also get the A5, which I think is a great option, but much more costly (in a perfect world, I’d have A5s on practically all of my ARs). An overgassed midlength will probably still lock to the rear with the A5H4 buffer. But if you buy the standard A5 kit, you can play mix and match with the tungsten weights from your H2 buffer and the A5 buffer to find the buffer weight that would work best.

          3. I think I may just bite the bullet and get into the A5 system. Like you said, I have 2 tungsten weights to swap if I need more. But at least I will stop wasting money in the carbine setup.

            What compensator do you feel is a good value for complimenting the A5 system on a middy. I don’t care about side noise, or flash hiding. I am thinking for the money, the Miceluk/DPMS is hard to beat. But if you spend more their seems to be endless options.

  18. Finally a rational and intelligible discussion on the M4 platform. Thank you for the videos and posts. As a M4 enthusiast and tactical paramedic, I appreciate reading your tests and findings. Keep it up.

    Currently running: Colt 6933 stock. 6920 with sprinco springs + mods, BCM 14.5 Middy.

  19. Great stuff here Andrew. I like your low-key, no nonsense approach. Very helpful and useful– but, sad you don’t have Daniel Defense on your list of preferred ARs! LOL.

  20. Hi Andrew. Found your blog while surfing for Glock reviews. As Gene says above, great stuff, great approach. Maybe you can write on your personal methods of concealed carry. Wisconsin (and I) are new to concealed carry and I’m learning about things. My wife and I spend several weeks in the Tucson area and do lots of hiking; we use light packs and walking sticks (we’re old farts). How do you carry when you’re out hiking on all those great trails? Thanks, and keep up the good work.

        1. I carry on my ankle sometimes, or outside the waistband in a kydex holster. The former might not be comfortable for you on a hike (it generally isn’t for me, but I do it anyway) and the latter might interfere with your pack straps.

          Stay to the north or east sides of town. Sabino Canyon/Bear Canyon, Catalina State Park etc should keep you busy for a long time. Don’t go south or west of Tucson.

  21. I really enjoy your clear, concise, and unbiased reviews. Would love to see one on the Keltec SU-16. Preferably the “C” model. Keep up the good work!


  22. I ordered a scope mount for my M1A from Sadlak Industries cause they were suppose to be the best mount. 5 months later I still have not received the mount. Please help me with some advice.

  23. My compliments on your YouTube re: H2 vs Enidine Buffers. It was very informative and good data reference point on some research I am currently working on w/ respect to AR15 component selection reviews. Thanks !

    1. Yep! Will you? I was going to offer some SHOT swag since you were the first to guess the order of the pistols in that video, but if you’re going to be there…not much of a prize

      1. Yes, I will. I was hoping to meet you there. Looking to SHOT as more of a connections and people thing than a tech and fondling expo.

        Send me an email if you’d like to hook up.

  24. Maybe this question has been answered, but I can’t find it for the life of me. I saw that you nickle boron plated an M-16 bolt and extractor. Did you have to pull the black finish off of it before you plated it? If so, what did you use? I’ve dipped mine in a 50% muratic acid/distilled water solution with zero results. The summary is that I am trying to nickle boron coat my BCG, but want to make sure I get it right before I throw the entire thing in. Any help would be most appreciated!


      1. Thanks, what grit did you use? Did you use soda or sand blasting? I tried the vibrator/tumbler with 220 grit and it is damaging my (blank). What kind of set up do you have for a sand blaster?

        1. Hmm, I’m using my dad’s sandblasting cabinet at his shop. I don’t know the grit of the sand, but it’s pretty aggressive stuff.

  25. Just a heads up..

    The “subscribe to comments on this post” link faults out for me. I am using Google Chrome and clicking the link leads to:

    This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below. (Followed by a page and a half of code)

    1. Thanks…I will look into it, but am not a coder…might just have to eliminate the option.

      edit: doesn’t work in Chrome for me either – does work in FF and IE…humph.

  26. I had a question. I am going to build my first AR15 and I wanted to be able to use it in case I had to clear my house or in some kind of CQB scenario. Would a 14.5 inch barrel with a permanently attached FH be significantly better than having a 16 inch barrel?

    I would like to be able to do everything with my AR, but maneuverability is a high priority.


    1. Not for going through a house. For getting in and out of a vehicle, it would make a bit of a difference. But a 10.5-12.5″ SBR would be far better.

  27. Hey Andrew – I know you’ve stated your appreciation for the Kahr CW and CM models for CCW. are there any specific IWB or other concealable holster models (or makes) that you recommend? I know you recently posted the “What should I buy” article, but the holster makers you mentioned didn’t seem to have models for those Kahrs (maybe I missed it though).

  28. I really enjoy the objective opinions that you provide on a large range of products. You seem to know a lot about metallurgy as well, and I was very much wanting an explanation of the various barrel steels pro/cons. I have also been looking at getting a LaRue OBR so anytime you get a chance to review one would be great too!

    Thanks a ton for all your hard work

  29. I would like to buy a semiauto version of the original AR-15 that has the exact operating system except for the absence of select/automatic fire. I know that the original had a 20″ barrel with a 1/14 twist but can’t find any other details anywhere on the Net. Can you help? i apologize for posting this as a blog reply but couldn’t find a “contact me” button on your website.

    1. A 1/14 barrel is going to be hard to find. Honestly I’m not sure how to accomplish this. You could have a custom barrel made – but it wouldn’t be a historic piece, if that’s what you’re looking for. No Dak Spud might be able to tell you more about which receivers and furniture would be correct.

  30. I read your blog on the Lew Rockwell site… it was about concealed carry.. selecting a gun, caliber, etc. You start off with a gross mistake, citing that 49 states allow concealed carry. Sorry, but some states like NJ, may “allow” concealed carry, but it is VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE to get a concealed carry permit unless your father is a judge, etc. You must show a “justifiable need” to get a concealed carry permit, and, trust me, no needs are justifiable in the eyes of NJ police and judges… none! Don’t take my word for this… ask any NJ resident who has tried to get a concealed carry permit… NONE are ever issued, unless the person is “well connected”. NO one gets to carry concealed in NJ, except cops, etc… PERIOD!! Mike B.

  31. Finally decided to post something here. Very well-written blog, much information that I don’t use at present; but may well appreciate in the future.
    Not bad for a kid who stripped down and ‘re-designed’ a ’68 Mustang, much to the horror of a bunch of classic Stang lovers; and who once called himself “Doogie”.

    Having poked at you in fun; I’ll go back to being a (mostly) silent reader.

  32. Andrew, enjoy your perspective always. Keep up the good work. Which rifle length upper do you use?
    I had the M16A2 and want to make a clone…thanks.

  33. And here I was wondering why you chose an Afrikaans (South African) word: ‘Vuurwapen’ – I see it’s obviously Dutch as well! Nice blog.

  34. Dear Andrew,
    I hope this message finds you well.

    We are a photo agency based in Europe focussing on unique news, features and entertainment stories which we sell to our customers worldwide.

    I just came across this amazing feature about the use of a gun underwater ; (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2210560/Splish-splash-bang-bang-Stunning-photographs-reveal-beauty-shooting-handgun-UNDERWATER.html ) and I am very interested in offering a feature of your work to our worldwide clients. Would you be interested in working with us? And if so, of course; under which conditions?

    I can imagine you might need some more information about us first, so please feel free to ask what ever information you need.
    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best Regards,

  35. I have a few friends who would love to own your tactical flowers……are you selling them? If yes, where can i purchase some of them?

  36. Like what I have sensor far. I too, try before I buy. I won a Kei-Tec KSG twin tube shotgun, 14 + 1. I pick it up tomorrow. Should prove interesting to shoot.

  37. Andrew,

    I recently found this website and have been steadily reading backwards thru your archives. Currently on page 51. I appreciate your candid, measured approach to reviews. I like that you are not too “Hoo-rah” or chest-thumping like so many firearms blogs these days.

    Thanks for providing this service to the rest of us.

  38. Hi Andrew
    Don’t know if you’ll even see this or not but im trying to track down a review i saw on a gun blog but i cant seem to find it. It was for a customized 10-22 with an O.D.Green rubber Houge stock and very accurate. No idea if it was a review you did or not but if so i’m looking for a link to the review.

    Thanks, Justin

  39. Hey there Andrew,

    Been a reader for a while now, solid blog. Anyways, I was zooming on the highway today and saw a truck with a sticker in its rear glass. I knew I had seen it somewhere before, but couldn’t pin exactly where. Then it hit me- you are rocking the same design as a patch in the picture from 09OCT2012. Being a SW fan, I would almost venture to say that it appears to be related to the original Rebel Alliance design, but I could be wrong, since nothing on Google has even remotely popped up. Your help in identifying this design/patch/sticker is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


  40. Just wanted to say thank you for all the work. I have gone through the entire blog over the past few weeks and consider myself much better educated for taking the time.



  41. How can I order some of your hollow point “flowers” without the gems and how much each? Awesome art!


  42. Wish you were a Congressional consultant so the gun banning Democrats would be educated about firearms….perhaps then we would have less gun banning dems! Keep up the great work!

    1. Hah, if you know any Congressmen that want to talk to me, I will give them accurate information without bias one way or the other.

  43. Just logged onto your blog – funny. I did PSD for the MEF CGs in 06/07 as well as the Anbar Gov – fatboy Mahmood. Crazy times back then.

  44. This is a great blog. You do an excellent job and I very much enjoy reading your posts here and at TFB. Thank you for being a balanced and reasonable representative of what is, for some people, a very emotional subject matter.

  45. Andrew,
    I have been reading your blog for more than 2 years and its REALLY REALLY good. Especially love your almost scientific approach to gun myths. And I noticed that you wear/wore prescription glasses. I would definitely love to read your article about your experince with prescription glasses in tactical situations/gun training/warzone, prescription inserts for googles, contact lenses, fogging up etc. After all good shot requires good eyesight. Keep up the good work.

  46. I don’t have any videos or anything. I am a gunsmith with a machine shop. I specialize in precision weapons built on the AR platform. I was Army for 10 years and seen my share of the S**t. I have a 20″ HBAR that I assembled and tweeked that shoots .25MOA. My CQB guns have to shoot 1MOA or better. Any questions can be asked on my site or here. I am happy to help and will soon be a01,03,07,08 FFL. I will have my brand of ARs built in house all but the barrel blanks. The chambers are critical for performance. My brass only stretches .001 or .002 with full power Varget loads. This is done by matching the chamber to the size die. I will not do videos, but will offer advise.

  47. I see you use WP but I cant find you to tag your blog so I can read it easier ..is that by design or am I wordpress stupid ???? Great blog though , as a amatuer photographer / hack I appreciate those lebanon pics alot … Best regards

      1. Nice reply, lol. I recently subscribed to your videos on YouTube, and noticed it looked like Scottsdale-ish during a “Reloading an AR-15” video. Awesome blog, videos you post online! πŸ˜€ Maybe see you around SGC.

  48. We met over at Spikes shop I think right before the 2013 Shot Show. I tried to send you an email at the address you mention above but the delivery failed.
    Just checking in to see if still wanted to do some testing. Let me know.

  49. I am contacting you from SUBMERGE – South Africa’s premier diving magazine.

    I am looking for permission to use your “flower bullets” images off your blog. As this will be used in our online sister magazine (Scubatainment), we do not require high resolution versions.

    Hope to hear back from you soon. Many thanks for your consideration.

    Tania Wolson / BIS Publishing UP
    Assistant Editor & Advertising Sales
    SUBMERGE Publishers cc

  50. Andrew, I have enjoyed reading your blog. I served in 5th Marines as an infantry officer (3/5, 2008-2011). After getting out and moving to Arizona, I became more of a gun enthusiast and hobbiest. I actually shoot down at the Casa Grande range quite a bit but usually try to find to a lane to myself after being horrified by some folks’ weapons handling (I found your entry about people who shouldn’t own guns quite relevant in that regards). Your posts are quite balanced and informative, and I wish more folks would take your honest common sense approach to firearms as a hobby and past time.

    Thanks for your service and keep up the good work.

    Get Some,

  51. Excellent work on the videos. Haven’t read much of the blog, since I discovered this and your video posts tonight. While we might not agree on everything, you make compelling arguments.

    You might find my video informative too. It’s a bit longer, but circumstances being what they were, this was the only thing I had time to make, and even so, it was a very rushed, late night project.

    I’ve also run some numbers on the “40% of all gun sales occur without a background check” myth that you might find interesting and useful for the future. Let me know if you’d like to send my analysis along.

  52. Trying to find those awesome flowers made from glock 22 underwater art ~ link posted on facebook = http://cltbuzz.com/lifestyle/glock_art/ but when I went there it was a great page and someone left your blog link as the artist to contact. But not seeing anything on this blog either. Hope you can give more info. Thanks

  53. Your videos caught my eye while I was on Youtube, why does your blog have an Afrikaanse name “Vuurwapen blog” even though you’re in the US?

  54. Andrew,

    It was great to meet you in person at Chester’s. I sincerely hope our paths as firearm instructors and patriots with some common beliefs cross in the future. I enjoy reading your blog and look forward to more of your insight. You are a wealth of knowledge and value.


    Jay Okimoto
    Director of Training
    Crosswalk Readyness

  55. Nice to see another ‘doc’ out there doing good in the firearms business. Looks like we’ve been to some of the same places. I look forward to more of information you put out.

  56. I’m writing with two things to mention. One, I recently learned about this blog through your various YouTube videos, and enjoy it’s content and writing, and will try to keep current with this blog. Two, I’ve noticed that many of the hosted images have become dead links, and as a very visual person I’m hoping there’s a way to remedy this (e.g. a picture is worth a thousand words).

    Thanks for taking the time to produce interesting content.

  57. Glad your starting to post again. Didn’t see much going on and love the honesty. Just read something about Cory and Erika and they were overseas…Hawaii that is. Bwahahaha.

  58. Trying to add this to my email subscription list and think using the notify me of future posts option is the only way to sign up for email?

  59. Hey Vuurwapen Blog,
    Any chance you would be willing to do an in depth look and research project on the new style of bullets commonly seen such as the Lehigh penetrator and ARX bullets? Myself and a number of other healthcare folks who are all largely firearms enthusiast have a high degree of concern for these new rounds that look so great in ballistics gel. Here is what we think;
    This round will act largely like an FMJ in actual living tissue. Ballistics gel was only ever created to act as a consistent testing medium for expanding bullets to test expansion and penetration of the bullet. It was never intended to be used as a means for deciding exactly what a bullet was doing to our organs, but simply as a general approximation of the density and viscosity of combined tissue to test future expanding bullets based upon previous real world results. These new bullets supposedly create a large “permanent” wound cavity by hydraulic “flutes” based solely upon the “tears” seen in ballistics gel. It’s only been in recent years with the advent of easily accessible ballistics gel that youtubers and anyone else have been deciding that the “tears” seen in ballistics gel -that spread out well beyond the actual bullet material – somehow represent what real tissue would do. This is incorrect. This can easily be seen by your ability to rip/tear up a ballistics block with your bare hands. It does not have the same elastic structure that tissue does.

    So my point is that the entirety of this bullets marketing hype is based solely upon the tears it creates in ballistics gel.
    Ballistics gel was never made to be tested in this manner, it is only a way to evenly test how expanding/fragmenting bullets may react when they strike it and how far they will penetrate, that’s it. We, backdoor enthusiasts, youtubers, exc. have decided that ballistics gel is in fact real tissue, and anything that a bullet does to gel is how real tissue reacts, and Lehigh has realized this and so has made a bullet that makes a great a “permanent wound cavity” and penetrates great, but what you in fact have is a light for caliber bullet that looks like an phillips head screw driver (now a square bit) and acts like an FMJ.
    We just hate seeing folk lured into this thinking and potentially going out and needing to defend their lives with this stuff so we were hoping you could potentially do some research and testing on the matter beyond our skill set. ο»Ώ

  60. Hey Andrew,

    Apologies it took so long to contact you. Couldn’t find an email address, whether it be to my own failings or you don’t post one, so you’re getting one of these.

    Just wanted to thank you for stopping by the range the other day, I appreciate the support wholeheartedly.

    Shoot me an email sometime, when you get a spare moment, I have a few questions for you.

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