MBAssociates artilcle by Mel Carpenter in new "ARMAX" Journal of Contemporary Arms

Mel Carpenter has an article in the Spring 2021 issue of “ARMAX, the Journal of Contemporary Arms.” This is a resurrection of ARMAX, last published by the Cody Firearms Museum in 1996, with the Museum once again involved, along with ARES (Armament Research Services.)

" *Armax: The Journal of Contemporary Arms* is published by Helios House press twice yearly, in partnership with the Cody Firearms Museum. The Editor invites the submission of original scholarly articles examining those small arms and light weapons, and their ammunition, produced from 1880 to the present day."

This is a project to bring information on weapons and ammunition to a higher academic standard to gain acceptance into the academic and legislative world. In my view, this is a worthwhile project which cartridge collectors should support, with subscriptions and submission of articles.

Mel’s article is " The MBAssociates M1 Silent Pistol & Javette Projectiles: Chemical & Biological Warfare at the Individual Level" but only an abstract and snippet are available without subscription.

Subscriptions are $100.00 for two issues a year, or you can buy single issues or articles.

More info at their website:

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Was just going to purchase a digital copy of Mel’s article…website appeared to want to charge me $20 +$18 shipping…for digital delivery? anyone successfully purchased anything digitally so far? how much did it cost?

Well, this publisher obviously follows the example of big publishers like Springer and Elsevier. To an outsider it looks as if boundless greed is the only publishing business model left by these giants.
Even for short obituaries or book reviews, published in journals decades ago, they charge astronomic prices like the one you mention. As if they were distributing the first publication of relativity theory by Einstein with his personal autograph, not a $0.05 PDF file.
Charging $18 for simply sending you a link from which you can download the already fully paid article is totally in line with this attitude.
In my opinion, the only answer to this type of greed is not to buy.

Not to be misunderstood: the author will most likely not receive a single cent from all these transactions. After profit for the shareholders and bonus payments to the publishers’ managers, sadly, there usually is nothing left for the author. Bad luck. Anyway, compared to what the managers contributed intellectually to the publication, the author’s contribution obviously is practically nil.

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I’m the editor of Armax. We were trying to offer pre-order digital items (without shipping charges, of course!) as well as pre-order physical items, so that all arrive at around the same time, but it appears the commerce platform we are using does not allow this to be implemented. As such, digital articles have been removed from the store for now, but will be added back once the physical copies start shipping out. Apologies for any inconvenience, and thank you for the interest in the journal—it has been a labour of love a long time in the making!

As the editor of Armax and the publisher, I can say categorically that you simply do not understand how publishing works. As it stands, we will be lucky if we break even on this project—indeed, a not-inconsiderable subsidy out of my own pocket (from ARES) and the from the Cody Firearms Museum is the only reason this publication is possible at all. It is incredibly disheartening to read ill-informed, mean-spirited posts like this. I and my colleagues on the Editorial Board are, frankly, working our behinds off to further legitimise the field of contemporary arms studies. This takes considerable time and effort, and, as I say, is still a gamble for all involved. There are no shareholders and managers taking lavish cuts of the (non-existent) income.

I am a long-time IAA member and IAA Journal contributor, and believe strongly in making high-quality research available to specialists and enthusiasts alike. Feel free to ask Mel about his experience working with my colleagues and me, and whether or not we add anything to the author’s original manuscript.

– N.R. Jenzen-Jones

P.S. I should add that several IAA members have supported us by subscribing to the journal. You each have my sincerest thanks.

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John, thank you for the very kind words. I am the editor of Armax, and hope to publish an announcement in the IAA Journal in due course, seeking submissions. As a long-time IAA member and ammunition collector, my hope (pending enough suitable submissions!) is to include at least one ammunition-focused article in each issue of the journal.

If anyone sees this post, we have one short article (‘note’) slot left open for the second of the new issues, and I would love to include a piece about ammunition in that spot. Please see the author guidelines here: Information for Authors — Armax: The Journal of Contemporary Arms

Thank you for investigating the issue. Tech is a pain when it throws a spanner in the works! I am aware from the science journal/publication area that it isn’t an easy thing to do. Good luck and best wishes with the journal.

Here you hit the point of contention. 1989rjb was charged a shipping fee of $18 for the digital copy, which was not being “shipped”, as it is a download link.

Nobody made any disparaging remarks about the cost of hard copies, (outside of my current budget, but that is another matter), or the mailing price for those hard copies.

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RogueAdventurer, my editor during the preparation of my article for Armax, invited you to ask me about my experience working with him and his colleagues. I’ll save you the trouble. It was an incredible experience, unlike anything I’ve ever done before, and made the article much, much better than it otherwise would have been. All of the building blocks for the article were present in my Gyrojet book, spread out between Chapter 5 and three supplemental chapters, but the goal of this article was to interest and inform readers worldwide who had never heard of me or my book. Instead of being one chapter of 28, this would be a stand-alone product, undiluted by information about Gyrojets, Finjets, Lancejets, Prowler-Foulers, survival flares, and atomic bombs.

After I submitted my first draft, the fun began with many suggestions and edits, all of which were correct and beneficial. In writing a scholarly work, documentation of sources is critical and as a result of a lot of very hard work by RogueAdventurer and others, the article includes 3.5 pages, out of 20, of 83 endnotes documenting nearly everything I wrote in the article. I had no idea of the information in many of the notes. Then, when the editor and I were finally satisfied, the article was submitted for peer review by authors and others in the publishing business. Some of their comments were adopted and others were not. One of RogueAdventurer’s colleagues formatted the article’s text and figures and did an outstanding layout job.

To summarize, I’d say that at least half, probably more, of the work done on “my” article was done by others. Readers of this Forum who have a copy of my Gyrojet book now have a unique opportunity to see how much difference (improvement) a dedicated group of professionals can make in the presentation, in writing, of an interesting cartridge subject. I’d encourage everyone to get a copy of the Armax version when it’s available.

I didn’t continue with the order but posted my original question. Tech is great….most of the time. Every so often the wheels come off. I’m sure it will get sorted

Mel,
Congrats on your upcoming article.
I have a question. Did you get a complimentary copy of the journal afterwards?
I read on the Armax site that they do not pay for submissions, but they do not mention an issue for a contributor.

RogueAdventurer, I recognize your name from the Headstamp series of fine books.
I recently reviewed Ian McCollum’s book of French rifles for Small Arms Review magazine, and will soon be reviewing Jonathon Ferguson’s book of British Bullpups, also for SAR.
Best of luck with the new/reborn journal.

Are you interested in only military arms? Or would you consider unique civilian guns as well?

Cheers,

Dean

TooTall,

Yes, among other things Armax authors receive a copy of the magazine. Do you have a family member who used to play football for the Dallas Cowboys?

Mel

Mel,

Thanks for the answer. The topic of payment for photos and articles is a hot topic.
Many believe that it (Working for no pay) is a valid way to get noticed and build a portfolio.
Many others say it is a race to the bottom, and doing so is what is killing the writing and photography jobs.
But having to buy my own copy of the issue my work appears in is a non-starter!
So I am glad to hear that this is not the case for Armax.

No, no relatives in football. What made you suspect so?

Mel - Dean is a fellow Canadian, so unless he’s a NFL fan the reference misses the mark.

Paul

Too Tall Jones?

Yes, Edward Lee “Too Tall” (6’9") Jones; a great Dallas Cowboys defensive end. 15 seasons, Super Bowl winner, All-Pro, etc.