We asked a few of our freelance writers to tell us about their favorite firearms-related YouTube channels. Here’s what they had to say…
I have to admit, I’m not big on internet videos. You won’t find me perusing random stuff on YouTube for hours on end. In fact, nothing makes me crazier than some random person babbling on for 10, 20 or 30 minutes about who knows what. However, there are a handful of channels out there that are exceptionally valuable or delightfully entertaining. Here are the ones I like best.
National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)
The biggest problem with the internet is … the internet. Yes, it’s awesome that any of us can publish content on the internet. Yes, it’s also lousy that there’s a lot of bad, and even dangerous, advice floating around out there. One reason I love the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s channel is that the content is validated as created and delivered by experts on the topic at hand. Check it out. There’s a broad range of educational videos available for every skill level, ranging from how to buy your first gun to competition to home defense and self-defense to long-range shooting and more.
Is there anything purer than recreational shooting with a .22 handgun or rifle? David over at 22 Plinkster has built quite a following with more than a half-million subscribers. His content is unadulterated fun that will remind you of the first time you busted a tin can or nailed a bullseye. No politics or serious stuff, just enjoyable trick shooting demonstrations and experiments, many of which you can try at home. You’ll also get a good look at different ammo, guns and gear in the process.
Active Self Protection
Self-defense isn’t pretty and doesn’t look anything like the movies or what most people imagine when plinking away at the range. It’s fast, ugly, chaotic and brutal. John Correia finds actual surveillance camera footage from around the world that shows the harsh reality of crimes, attacks and self-defense shootings the way they really happened. He applies a thorough analysis of each for shared learning from others’ successes and sometimes failures. Some videos aren’t for the faint of heart, but they’re real and can help you develop the proper mindset required to survive a life-or-death encounter.
The World Wide Web is both a blessing and a curse. In many ways, it makes our lives easier, but in others, not so much. Case in point: gun-related videos and blogs. Thanks to the internet, everyone is suddenly an expert and can present themselves as such. How do you know who is and isn’t legit? I’m glad you asked. These are my top picks for gun industry YouTubers to watch.
Not just one of the original video gun reviewers but really the original, Jeff Quinn has long since established his creds in the gun world. Quinn knows his guns — and then some — and has been doing video gun and gear reviews for almost 20 years. His YouTube channel is a good source of years’ worth of content, but his website is a fantastic place to go as well.
What makes Quinn awesome isn’t just his knowledge and skill level but also his delivery. He’s the kind of guy you just know you could sit down and chat with about whatever gun crosses your mind.
And yes, he can shoot. I’ve shot alongside Quinn many times over the years, and he’s a solid shooter with a good grasp of every platform. If you’re looking for straight gun reviews and coverage from a guy with decades of experience, Gunblast is a solid source. No rants, no lines in the sand; just straightforward gun reviews.
Also cool: Quinn’s long, double-braided beard, penchant for Harleys and kick-ass gun collection.
There’s a reason Ian McCollum is known in many circles as “Gun Jesus.” From the long brown hair and facial hair to the almost-biblical knowledge of classic/old/rare/forgotten firearms, he’s got his bases covered. Face it, Ian knows more about antique and unique firearms than any of us could ever hope to forget.
Forgotten Weapons is where you go when you’re a firearms history buff or just curious about some obscure gun you saw mentioned somewhere. Want to learn about the C2A1 or the 1910 Maxim? He’s your guy. Grenade launchers, machine guns, pistols, rifles … it’s all there. McCollum also does book reviews and the occasional video on random subjects — like a few months ago when he went off in “A Mild Rant: Stupid Marketing Names.” He’s a gun geek and lover of all things pew pew from way back. And while he can’t and won’t shoot all those guns on camera, he does it when it’s possible.
About Tom McHale
Tom McHale, Certified NRA Instructor for pistol and shotgun, is passionate about home and self-defense and the rights of all to protect themselves and their loved ones. He has completed dozens of training programs and will be completing the USCCA Certified Instructor program in the near future. Tom has published seven books on guns, shooting, reloading, concealed carry and holsters, including two for the USCCA: Armed and Ready: Your Comprehensive Blueprint to Concealed Carry Confidence and 30 Days to Concealed Carry Confidence. He has published around 1,700 articles for a dozen gun and shooting publications. Between writing projects, you can find Tom on the range.
About Kat Ainsworth
Kat Ainsworth is a firearms enthusiast with 15 years of concealed carry experience and more than 20 years of hunting knowledge. She has an eclectic background of K9 Search-and-Rescue and emergency veterinary medicine. Kat currently works as an outdoors freelance writer, covering everything from ballistics to self-defense to hunting. She enjoys the nomadic side of her writing and gun-related lifestyle.