Kevin “Hognose” O’Brien of Has Passed Away

It is with a very heavy heart that I inform the readers of The Firearm Blog that Kevin O’Brien, known as “Hognose” to readers of his website, passed away yesterday morning. Kevin was a US Army Ranger, Green Beret, and veteran of the Afghanistan campaign. More than that, he was a subject matter expert, and a kind and patient listener and teacher.

Kevin began in 2011, with a mission statement that reads simply: A lot of nonsense is written about weapons, especially on the Net. Rather than rail at the nonsense, we thought we’d talk sense instead, and see how that catches on. Over the next five years, he would publish a wealth of informed discussion via the site, establishing himself as one of the most well-informed and well-educated voices in the Internet small arms community.

Recently, he had also agreed to become a contributor here at The Firearm Blog as well, and we consider him every bit a member of the TFB family as any of the other writers here.

The Firearm Blog extends its sincerest condolences to Kevin’s friends and family, and requests that our readers give them any support they can during this trying time.

You can read more about Kevin’s life and find more details about what happened via a post made by Kevin’s brother over at his site.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • gunsandrockets

    That’s horrible news. I will miss him.

  • jamezb

    Everyday when I logged on, Weaponsman and TFB were my first two stops. I’m going to miss Hognose terribly. His insight on world situations alongside his firearms knowledge were an invaluable asset to me which cannot be easily replaced. I salute you Kevin. You will be sorely missed.

    • BillC

      Yeah, I loved his insight and writing style. The topics he covered varied greatly to good effect. I hope his family, or somebody is able to keep the website open for a little while longer or at least archive his posts. It’s one of the few places where even the comments had a wealth of info.

      • PK

        wget is a powerful tool for web archive of this nature, for what it’s worth. I plan to run it on his whole blog shortly.

        • BillC

          Awesome-sauce. I was just about to figure out what I needed to what you just described.

        • You would be doing everyone a service. Please let me know when you’ve completed it.

          • PK

            It’s going to take me a young century, I’m running on a very slow connection and of course using the -w 2 out of courtesy. I may have to refine the commands used if this doesn’t work, but I suppose I’ll find out in the morning.

          • DeusVult

            @ PK
            I tried to install wget on Windows, but can’t get it working…any pointers?

          • PK

            It likely did install correctly… wget is a command line program, not a GUI program. If you’re using Windows, as you mention, you’re likely more comfortable with a GUI. Luckily, a program has been written just for that use:

          • PK

            It likely did install correctly… wget is a command line program, not a
            GUI program. If you’re using Windows, as you mention, you’re likely
            more comfortable with a GUI. Luckily, a program has been written just
            for that use, I tried to link it to no avail but search for “WinWGet” and you’ll find it on sourceforge.

          • PK

            Just finished. 4.7GB once I made sure there was no duplication and so forth. All the pages point to local files, and it’s a total of almost 50,000 pages/pictures.

            I have no practical way to upload this as a torrent, however, or I would be seeding right now!

        • Barry Snell

          PK: What command(s) are you using for wget? I’ve tried wget, winwget, HTTrack, and DarcyRipper, and every last one of them fails when I run the job. It’s the most bizarre thing…It’s like there’s something preventing the download.

          • PK

            wget –mirror -w 2 -p –html-extension –convert-links -P -H -e robots=off -domains=

            That’s what I’ve had running since yesterday, now. Grabbed about 2GB so far.

          • PK

            I tried to reply (it may show up later if approved), but the command line argument I’m using includes -e robots=off which is sort of a terrible thing to do, but bypasses the commands in robots.txt and just does what I’ve told it to do instead. Most websites have commands in place to prevent wget and similar programs from causing a DoS. To counteract that, I’ve got -w 2 for courtesy so I don’t tax any servers.

            What I tried to post elsewhere is “wget –mirror -w 2 -p –html-extension –convert-links -P -H -D[url_here] -e robots=off -domains=[url_here] [url_here]”

            Just replace “[url_here]” with the actual url and you’re off. It’ll take a long while to download, but other than that make sure you have the .exe in a main path for the command window, usually C:windows works, and the libraries in there as well, then navigate via the prompt to the folder where you want the backup to go and execute the above command.

          • Barry Snell

            I guess either I’m too stupid or someone somewhere just doesn’t want me to have that site. When I run with your flags, it basically does the same thing: wget runs for literally one second, and says “index.html saved”, then quits. Doesn’t matter what I add to wget, always same thing.

            Any chance you could just post your entire wget command? I’m truly at a loss as to why nothing and no other program works.

          • PK

            Ah, you’re pointing at the index alone… you do need the entirety of that command I posted previously, as follows once again (and replace all three instances of [url_here] with the main address of the site)

            “wget –mirror -w 2 -p –html-extension –convert-links -P -H -D[url_here] -e robots=off -domains=[url_here] [url_here]”

            That is the entire command as I ran it, so far as I can remember. I can’t exactly pull it up again while it’s running, sadly, but that’s the last group I’d run.

          • Barry Snell

            Ah, now it just throws errors and won’t run at all. Lol.

            I give up. I have no clue what the problem is. It wont work with any other program either. I really do appreciate your help though. Sorry it came to naught.

            Hopefully, somehow, you’re able to archive it and get the word out so the rest of us can find it.

            Thanks again.

          • Barry Snell

            Hey PK, in a Hail Mary I tried:

            wget –mirror -p –html-extension -convert-links -e robots=off -P .

            And it’s working just fine. Thanks again for all the help. You got me on the right path, and I’m grateful.

          • PK

            Glad to hear it! The more copies that end up out there, the better.

  • noob

    Godspeed Hognose. May your words and work endure forever.

  • Nathan

    This is so sad. The only two firearms sights I check daily are TFB and Weaponsman. My condolences to his family.

  • PK

    Oh, my God… RIP, friend. That was sudden, and you will be missed greatly.

  • BillyOblivion

    I only knew Hognose through his blog, and this *hurts*.

    I’m going to miss him, and technically I never knew him.

  • Walter E. Kurtz

    Hognose will be sorely missed. He was a terrific writer and very knowledgeable. We are greatly diminished by his passing. The horror…..the horror….

  • Cap’n Mike

    Very sad day
    Kevin will be missed

  • Tassiebush

    That is sad news! I will miss his writings. Doubtless those who knew him will miss him a great deal.

  • Renegade

    Well, sh*t.

  • Don Ward

    I hope someone has or is going through the effort of preserving some of the better articles and research that has been done on the Weaponsman site. Unlike old gun magazines which still remain after the publication folds, the ephemeral quality of the Internet, particularly with amateur bloggers like the late Hognose, means that good work and good writing can disappear forever if an unfortunate situation such as what just happened occurs.

    • PK

      “I hope someone has or is going through the effort of preserving some of
      the better articles and research that has been done on the Weaponsman

      As I type this, I’m ~180MB into archiving the entirety of his blog. It will not vanish, that I can assure you!

      11 hours later, I’m 1.9GB in and still chugging along!

      • Tassiebush

        Good and thank you!

    • iksnilol

      Try the wayback machine, it doesn’t get everything but it does get plenty.

  • nadnerbus

    I have you to thank for discovering Kevin’s site a year or two back, Nathaniel. It has been a daily read ever since, and a fascinating glimpse into an obviously well informed and sharp mind. I honestly shed a few tears last night, for a man I never met, but gave me so much enjoyment with his unique perspective and writing witt.

    Life is a bit less bright with his voice gone.

  • AHill

    This is very sad news indeed. The world has lost a treasure trove of information, humour and an excellent researcher. He had a fantastic writing style and his contacts made it so he always had something interesting to talk about that he somehow was able to go in depth in while avoiding getting stuffy or boring.

    My thoughts are with his family and their deep loss.

  • Newport Bill

    RIP Hognose you will be missed. I always loved your prospective and the weird and odd things you wrote about.

  • DeusVult

    It’s very dusty in here.
    He will be missed.

  • whskee

    Godspeed to our lost brother. He greatly enriched our community and we’ve all lost with his passing.

  • n0truscotsman

    Kevin was one of the few voices of reason and experience in the gun world. My condolences to his friends and family.

  • oldman

    Condolences to his family and friends rest well solder.