A while back, a good friend of mine was a contestant on the History Channel’s show, Forged in Fire. He finished as a runner-up in that episode, but I kind of think he got robbed. Then again, Trenton Tye and I go way back. In fact, we’ve known each other almost 20 years now.

So, I was kind of stoked to hear about his new gig, and when you guys hear about it, I think you’ll be pretty stoked too.

DISCOVERY TO PREMIERE ALL-NEW COMPETITION SERIES ‘MASTER OF ARMS’

Premieres Friday, November 2 at 10 PM ET/PT on Discovery Channel

(LOS ANGELES) – Over the course of history, skilled craftsmen helped shape the fate of mankind by constructing the most iconic weaponry known to man. Inspired by age-old traditions, Discovery Channel is gathering the best builders to battle it out in a head-to-head competition to re-create the armaments that have changed the course of history. MASTER OF ARMS premieres Friday, November 2 at 10 PM ET/PT on Discovery.

Centuries ago, the greatest empires leaned on the backs of weapon craftsmen to create the blades, bows and ballistics that would win wars and alter history forever. Now, modern weapons smiths will put their technical knowledge and ingenuity to the test giving insight into age-old building techniques — and the traditions, methods and craftsmanship that define them.

Each episode, three builders will face-off in two historical challenges that call upon era-specific weaponry, from the firearms of the frontier to the blades of the Vikings. But these aren’t just quickly fabricated weapons – each tool will be heavily researched and crafted pieces of art.

Weapons will be tested by a decorated military marksman and judged by four experts:

Ashley Hlebinsky, one of the leading firearms historians in the country. Ashley has dedicated her life and career to the study of weaponry. She is currently the Chief Curator of one of the largest firearms collections in the country, the Cody Firearms Museum, in Wyoming.
Nicholas Irving, a former Sergeant within the Special Operations unit, 75th Ranger Regiment 3rd Ranger battalion, served as an assaulter, machine gunner, designated marksman and sniper. He is also The New York Timesbestselling author of The ReaperWay of the Reaper andReaper: Ghost Target.
Zeke Stout, a certified firearms specialist. He has served as an executive at one of the largest firearms, technology, and gunsmithing schools in the country. In that role, he was certified as a higher education professional in leadership, an Armorer in several platforms, including the 1911 and Penn arms grenade launcher.
Trenton Tye, a professional blacksmith with over 20 years’ experience. His specialties include casting, gunsmithing, knife making, and ancient arms and armor.

In each episode, blade, ballistic and bow weapons will be rigorously tested as well as judged on their design, historical accuracy, and abilities.  With an elimination after each challenge, only one smith will walk away with the grand prize of $10,000 and be crowned the “Master of Arms.”

MASTER OF ARMS is produced for Discovery Channel by Matador Content. For Matador Content, Todd Lubin, Jay Peterson and Brian Nashel are executive producers. For Discovery Channel, Matthew Vafiadis and Bill Howard are executive producers and Cameron Doyle is Coordinating Producer.

About Discovery Channel:

Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 224 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the non-firearm weapons they’ll be making this season:

However, don’t think they’re just making sharp pointy things either. Other promos include reproductions of some seriously cool antique firearms, as well.

Frankly, I can’t wait to watch it–and not just because an old friend is a judge. If you like watching craftsmen at work and have an interest in historical arms, this might just be the show for you. Since I’m a history geek and a gun nut, I can’t help myself.

We’ll have to see how the show itself shakes out, but color me intrigued, especially since it’s a show that portrays firearms as pieces of fine craftsmanship rather than unspeakable evil. In this day and age, that’s a nice change of pace from what we usually see portrayed in the media. Granted, cable has been more open to gun-related content than network television tends to be.

It’s unlikely that the program will take any stand on political issues, but that’s alright. We don’t need that. What we need is quality entertainment featuring firearms, and now we’re getting it.