West Point firearms documentaries

by Miles

A TFB reader sent these into us about West Point professor Arthur Alphin making firearms development and history videos for his classes, using his own firearms, and those from the West Point Museum. We’re so used to seeing videos explaining cycles of operation using graphics and various 3D techniques today, it’s easy to forget that there was a time when all people had were a low quality video camera and their own imagination about how to demonstrate various principles. They are available over at Documentary Tube and the West Point Department of History Youtube channels.

TFB reader Buddy Lee writes-

I was going through your videos and realized it reminded me of these videos I had to watch while a cadet at USMA for history classes. Apparently in the 1980s, a faculty member made instructional video supplements to history classes using firearms from the department’s and his own personal collection.

Unfortunately, after the professor got out of the Army, he started a custom rifle business named A-Square and took a serious hit when he tried to move to Wyoming from Kentucky. Both failing, and being sued.

Much thanks to Buddy Lee for the tip!


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I've made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv

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  • Pete Sheppard Pete Sheppard on Jul 15, 2015

    I've enjoyed several of his videos on YouTube. Allowing for his presentation quirks, they are very informative and thought-provoking. One video, where he compares a BAR to an MG42 is something of a stretch, but shows US perception of automatic weapons at the squad level during the WWII era.

    I hope he's able to resolve his issues and goes on to success!

  • Gunsandrockets Gunsandrockets on Jul 16, 2015

    The business failure reminded me of something I read (can't remember the source). That most small business failures are not because of a tough business environment (the usual excuse for failed restaurants) but because they were badly managed. Apparently it's fairly common for small business startups to operate with almost total carelessness towards the bottom line.