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Web Video / C&Rsenal

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Othias and Mae and their Wall of Weapons

C&Rsenal began as a firearms history blog. Its first YouTube video, hosted by blogger-historians Othias and Mae, was uploaded on June 5, 2015. Appearing on alternate Tuesdays, each "Primer" episode presents a detailed examination of the development, design, dissasembly, and service history of a particular military weapon or series of weapons, including a live fire demonstration. Since the video series started as a partner channel to The Great War, C&Rsenal is concentrating on military firearms used in World War I, but will eventually cover weapons from other conflicts and eras.

On February 7, 2017, C&Rsenal began a second series of episodes, "Anvil," in which gunsmith Mark Novak demonstrates techniques for repairing and restoring the vintage weapons seen on the show. These are posted on Tuesdays in the weeks between "Primer" episodes.


C&Rsenal is supported in large part by donations to its Patreon account.

"Hi, I'm Othias and this is a list of tropes appearing on this channel."

  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Othias
  • Brutal Honesty: if Mae doesn't like something about a gun, she tells you.
  • Cool Guns: most of the guns of the week fit this trope. Some are also Rare Guns.
    • BFG: the German "T-Gewher" antitank rifle.
  • Crossover:
    • During the run of Great War, there was a series of episodes in which Othias and Indy showed and commented on the rifles and pistols of a particular warring nation.
    • On November 28, 2017, the channel published a video conversation between Othias and Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons discussing how Othias's original archival research on the Air Service model of the Springfield M1903 rifle overturned the conventional wisdom regarding the intended role of the weapon. This led to a joint "Q&A" session and:
      • "Project Lightening," a collaboration between the two channels, beginning in February of 2019, on the topic of World War I light machine guns.
  • Advertisement:
  • Deadpan Snarker: Othias, who often engages in low-intensity Snark-to-Snark Combat with Mae.
  • Disapproving Look: Mae has a great one, which she uses on Othias if he gets too snarky.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Averted. Mae is certainly an attractive lady, but she's also an experienced shooter who is very knowledgable about historical firearms. She does the live-fire demonstrations in part because she's roughly the same height and weight as the average soldier in World War I. If a gun is awkward or cumbersome for her to use, it was probably just as awkward or cumbersome for the man it was originally issued to.
  • Gun Porn
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Mae is an extremely good shot.
  • Kill and Replace: As part of a skit parodying telenovelas with Crozier the guinea pig (as Guillermo) taking the place of his supposedly identical twin, Sir Raspberry, by eating him and taking over the family fortune.
  • Mascot: Crozier the guinea pig.
    • Blatant Lies: "We are a serious historical firearms show, we don't have time for fuzzy little things running around on camera with us."
  • Once an Episode: each Primer follows a standard format:
    • A short introductory narration over vintage photos or film clips, followed by the title sequence.
    • Lightbox photos and basic statistics of the gun of the week.
    • A detailed history of the weapon, its designers, and the company that made it.
    • A look at the gun itself, including a 3-D animation of its inner workings and details of markings and serial numbers.
    • A live-fire demonstration by Mae.
    • The weapon's service history in World War I and afterward, including production totals.
    • Finally, Mae reviews the ergonomics of the weapon, describes the experience of shooting it, and gives her opinion on whether or not she'd carry it into combat.
  • Only One Name: Othias and Mae; averted with gunsmith Mark Novak.
  • Punny Name: "C&Rsenal" is a play on "C&R," which is short for "curio and relic," a defined class of weapons in U.S. law. All of the guns shown on the channel (and the original website) fall into this classification.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: some of the guns of the week fit this trope; for example, the notoriously flawed Canadian Ross rifle and the Italian Vetterli-Carcano, a black powder rifle converted to fire modern ammunition which the show accurately described as "very explody." (Both of the Vetterli-Carcanos they used to film the live fire segment blew up on them.)
  • Running Gag: several
  • Self-Deprecation: Othias doesn't take himself too seriously. Neither does Mark.
  • Shown Their Work: the channel runs on this trope.
    • Othias is a thorough researcher, insists on having a reliable source for all the facts he presents, and tries in each video to cover everything he's learned in his research about the gun of the week. This attention to detail results in some epic-length installments: the episodes on the British SMLE rifle and the U.S. Krag-Jørgensen ran to an hour and forty minutes each, and the two-part episode on Maxim machine guns clocks in just short of three hours.
      • Even though the SMLE is generally and justifiably considered one of the greatest bolt-action rifles ever made, it's not without its flaws, and Othias and Mae made sure to discuss these in a fair fashion.
    • The show goes to great lengths to demonstrate the weapons being used as they were a century ago, even to the point of making their own rounds for guns that use rare or extinct cartridges.
      • In live-fire demonstrations, Mae shoots pistols one-handed ("fencing style") because that's how European troops of 100 years ago were trained to use them.
    • Gunsmith Mark Novak gives guns borrowed from collectors a thorough inspection, and repairs any defects he finds, before they go out to the range. Some of this work is shown in "Anvil" episodes.
    • When discussing the Springfield 1903 Air Service variant they were able to source, with assistance from another researcher, original cablegrams that prove the role it was meant for was as an air-to-air weapon fired by pilots at enemy aircraft instead of the generally accepted narrative of it being designed as a survival rifle for downed airmen.
    • In order to get a working example of the Pedersen Device, a never-issued "secret weapon" that converted a standard Springfield rifle into a semi-automatic carbine, Othias reverse-engineered some of the internal parts, and Mark fabricated replacements.
  • Shout-Out: To Futurama via the War Were Declared Running Gag, a reference to a scene in which the characters are promised by a military recruiter that they could join the army, exploit the military discount to buy some gum, then turn around and quit the service, unless "war were declared," followed immediately by a siren indicating that "war were declared."
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Mae is not a large woman. In this video, she shoots a German anti tank rifle that is about as long as she is tall.
  • Something Completely Different: The "Making of..." episode and the "Q&Arsenal" question-and-answer episode.
  • Southern-Fried Genius: Othias, Mae, and Mark Novak, residents of South Carolina, all qualify.
  • Unobtanium: how Othias described a super-rare Romanian Mannlicher rifle
  • Wall of Weapons: Although many of them are simply on loan to Othias for the show.
  • Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things: Othias frequently has to explain that he has to severely restrict in person fan interaction because of firearms safety issues with people he doesn't know and the likelihood that Mae will attract a Stalker with a Crush.


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