Hognose, Our Friend Kevin O’Brien


Tomorrow will be 3 years since we lost our friend Kevin. Or, “Hognose, owner of weaponsman.com. I miss talking with Kevin and I really miss his daily posting at WM. I swear there was days I spent more time reading his website than I spent working here. I’m betting that a lot of you spent more time at weaponsman than you spent working on some days. I recently cleared at a bunch of old emails on my @looserounds email account. A few dozen from Kevin that I had left alone since he died. I re read them and then deleted them. That was a tough thing to do because I am a sentimental fool believe it or not.

Kevin started weaponsman at the same time Howard and I started this website and I found him through a link back to us after I posted the first Colt 901 review. He had some really nice things to say about our then small site. After that I never did stop visiting his site multiple times every day. I know some of you found us through Kevin and from interacting with me in his comment section.

I have tried to give you a little bit of the same experience of reading weaponsman since he was taken from us. I carried on the When guns are outlawed …and “Foom”! Most of you seem to not hate it so that is encouraging. Kevin had the best readers and commenters. That came up in our conversations more than a few times. I’m proud that a lot of you came over here. I told Kevin and Howard many times i wish we had the same caliber of commenters that Kevin did.

Thankfully Kevin’s brother graciously let us take over weaponsman to save it here. It will always be up as long as one of us is alive. I got to admit I don’t have the heart to read much of it anymore. If I do, its to find some technical link.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see some gun, news or military related thing and wish I could hear or read what Kevin would have to say on the matter. For at least a year as soon as I read or some something in the news I instantly had a reflex response to check weaponsman to see what hilarious take Kevin would have on it.

I did buy one gun from Kevin’s estate to keep. I’m pretty sure I talked about it at the time. I intended to restore it to working order but that’s really not the point.

It’s missing most of the bolt and a few other parts. Maybe I will work on that this year if I can figure out where to get parts for this thing.

I know I’m a day early for this but I probably won’t be posting on the weekend. I been using those to shoot and take pictures and gather material or the site during the week.

I hope to talk about Kevin with you guys more in the comments today and tomorrow though.


  1. I was a habitual daily user of Weaponsman and Sipsey Street….. They were both essential for me for a long time. Loose Rounds has sort of taken over that itch for me, glad to have you here.

  2. Hognose was epic. Thanks for keeping his site alive. Prior to his passing, I hadn’t discovered how engrossing and educational it really was. Every time I go back and read it again I learn a little more.

    • I agree 100%, Hognose was and still is in my mind epic. I took “OB” as we called him, on many my patrols in the Afghan mountains during the 2002 tour. As goofy as he could be at times, he was a true professional. It was always fun watching him make the Sergeant Major’s blood boil.

      • thanks for cheakin in. If you would like to share any more about Kevin we would love it if you did. Many of Kevin’s friends and fans are here now

        • OB was the B-Team Intel Sgt on that tour. I was the Senior 18B on an A-Team from a different group that was OPCON to OB’s B-Team. Me and my buddy Mike (18D/Acting Team Sgt) were with OB during his infamous bare handed fight with a huge and vicious Afghan dog/wolf on the ridge above the firebase. OB was FEARLESS, but unfortunately we had to medevac him for possible rabies exposure. When we finally got off the ridge and back to the firebase, Sergeant Major was just standing there with his hands on his hips staring at us and shaking his head. Sergeant Major loved OB…but boy could OB make his blood boil. If it was me, there ain’t no way I would have fought that dog bare handed. That dog would have gotten a round from my sawed off Winchester 1200 Trench Gun. If you ever see the book War Stories of the Green Berets, you’ll see me with that sawed off trench gun, which sadly to say, no longer exists in the Army inventory. During a 2007 tour, it was damaged and the SASC in theater couldn’t repair it, so it was removed from our property books and replaced with a Mossberg 500. That was a sad day indeed.

          • Yes, that was me OB mentioned, but he got the wrong shotgun nomenclature. He mentioned my M14 rifle and my sawed off 870. He got the M14 right, in fact after 18 years has passed, I still remember the serial number 541726. The shotgun was a US M1200 Winchester Trench Gun. The SF Group Armorer’s got me a custom ported and shortened barrel so I could nix the 20″ barrel, heat shield and bayonet out. I carried shotgun when we raided villages and the M14 when we went into the mountains. OB mentioned in his previous post the cave entrance I used the shotgun to breach. I assaulted the entrance with 5 Afghans and one of OB’s buddy(18C) whose name I can’t remember (TBI is a bitch). My Aghan soldiers tried to breach with an AK47, which not surprisingly failed (they weren’t the sharpest tools in the shed). I pressed up to the front and blew the door and we made entry into what we all thought was a shack. As I swept the room, my heart sank when I saw the rough hole in the ground that was the cave entrance. It was about 2 or 3 feet in diameter and I could see that there was a room below. My first thought was to drop a frag and right after it detonated, jump down the hole into the room to mop up whatever the frat didn’t take out, but the previous op a couple weeks prior nixed that idea. Earlier that month, OB had us raid a village not too far from where we were currently located, that resulted in finding a HUGE cache of several hundred 107mm rockets in a cave. I was afraid there might be another cache in the cave that would result in a sympathetic detonation if I dropped a frag in. I slung the shotgun, pulled out my M9 and a surefire hand held flashlight and was about to jump in when one of my Afghans stopped me. He told me in in Dari, “No, there might be a booby trap”. Those Afghans may not have been the smartest, but boy were they loyal. He pointed to my M9 and my flashlight and gestured that he would jump down first so I wouldn’t get wounded (or killed). I ignored him and tried to move closer to position myself jump down the hole and bless that Afghan’s heart, he grabbed me and pointed to himself. He was adamant, so I handed him my light and pistol then shouldered my shotgun to cover him, but it ended up being all for nothing. He jumped in, turned on the flashlight and it was completely empty down there. No people, no weapons, no ammo, just dust. A whole lot of adrenaline and anxiety for what turned out to be…a dry hole. I felt like an ass. Unfortunately, there were a few more times both in Afgh and Iraq that I ended up feeling like an ass.

  3. He was a good man. And a good friend. I miss him everyday.

    He’s the reason I blog some what.

    I take solace in the fact that we set our M-4s up the same way.

    Thanks for all your work.

  4. Yeah, every day and multiple times a day at that I’d check his site. I can only imagine what he’d have to say today.

    Did his brother get his plane built?

  5. I’m one of those who found “Loose Rounds” from a link at Kevin’s site.
    And I’m very glad that you took it over, it deserves to live a long time.

  6. RIP Kevin,was going to hit up his marker and do a toast in Diet Dr, Pepper but find myself away from home stomping grounds during this bug nonsense.I also found this site thru Kevin’s and found Kevins some one on WRSA,rest in peace Hognose!

  7. RIP Hognose.

    I am working my way through Weaponsman chronologically. I’m somewhere in spring of 2014 right now, and it’s very interesting to read the items that were topical at the time and to think about how much the world has changed in just six short years. Six years ago, it was the Republicans who were on about “Russia, Russia, Russia” after the Crimea invasion, and it was the Democrats who were Putin-symps. It’s really rather bizarre to see how things have flipped over in that time, and the whole thing makes me scratch my head a bit. But it’s still interesting to see a bit of a time capsule to a time that was both not very long ago and another country.

    But the man was really a treasure. The gracious kindness that he extends to randos in his comments section, many of whom were too short for his ride (my hand raises sheepishly), is something to behold.

    Thanks for this site, Shawn and Howard, and thanks for preserving Weaponsman for our ongoing perusal.

  8. What all the other guys said. I stuck my nose in as a damn furriner, and Kevin was very gracious to me. I hoped to meet him one day.

    I still wonder wonder what his take would be on the crazy things that happen each day.

    I came here from there, so thanks for keeping his memory alive and his writing available. Damn, be was a funny bastard.

  9. I’ve loved seeing many of the same commenters that I used to see on Hognose’s site pop up here on the regular (yes you guys LSWCHP, Kirk, et Al).

    Like John M, I was/am too short for the ride, but it’s been a comfort to know that community didn’t just disperse entirely.

  10. Man. Time flies. I was doing the chronological thing too but got to busy. I’m still working on it. The amount he posted was just insane. Another thing that I thought was extremely valuable along with what everyone else has mentioned was his insights in current events. Obviously he never revealed anything that wasn’t supposed to be but always felt like i was getting a peek behind the curtain. Oh and embarrassingly short for this ride so don’t any of you worry. Ha

    • i have no idea how he posted so much. AS you probably noticed since Xmas I have tried to maintain his posting schedule and its honest to God a full time job. It’s so tough I had to take weekends off from it

  11. “there were giants in the earth in those days, mighty men of renown” and it was our great, good fortune to have had one of those men in our midst.

    Also our great, good fortune that Loose Rounds perpetuates Hognose’s legacy website and does what they can to keep up the fire. For which I’m grateful.

  12. I can only imagine. But hey if you want to slow down on the posts we all would understand. Heck just take a sanity break. You don’t owe us anything.
    I remember him mentioning he used that talk/type software so maybe he would sort of just talk while looking over something then go back and do a quick polish. Who knows.

  13. Hey guys, this is Brendan, aka Kevin’s “BlogBrother.” Hard to believe it’s been three years since his passing. I’m so grateful to LooseRounds for keeping Weaponsman alive. They are great guys.

    If Kevin was alive today, the plane would be flying. It’s just me and although I have made a lot of progress, I’m probably looking at another year and a half. The fuselage, believe it or not, is mostly built. I’m working right now on the firewall which is the front of the fuselage – just like in a car, it keeps the hot’n’heavy machinery (engine) away from the precious cargo (my fanny.) When that is done, the “sheet metal” part of the project will be 95% finished. Then comes endless hours of plumbing, wiring, fiberglass work, etc., on and on, world without end, amen. But I’ll get there.

    Someday, hopefully not too far off, I will work on getting some of Kevin’s unpublished manuscripts, you know, published. He had about five books that were 90% written. My plan would be to put them on line at Amazon and have the proceeds split 50/50 between the Special Forces Foundation and the scholarship we have set up for him at Worcester State University. That scholarship is ONLY open to ex-military which is a nice touch.

    Not many people could say they have made friends all over the world. There are probably 50 countries where someone knew Kevin and would be happy to buy him a beer. Sadly, that opportunity will never come, but it’s a great legacy for my brother.


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