YouTuber Spotlight: Bloke on the Range

The big name YouTube channels, like Hickok45 and Forgotten Weapons have gotten large followings for a reason, but from time to time I come across smaller channels with just a few followers that really deserve more attention. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been watching one of these channels, called Bloke on the Range. What makes BotR a channel worth looking at is the Bloke himself’s attention to the detail, and good sense of humor. To see what I’m talking about, take a look at two of his videos below: One on the Lee-Enfield and why it’s a faster action than other bolt guns, and another on some of the tall-tales surrounding the M1 Garand:

As you can tell by the accent, Bloke himself is English (although it doesn’t look like he lives in England – the scenery and AIA Enfield he’s using suggest Canada to me), and he seems to have fully embraced the birthright of sardonic humor that comes with that. On a warm, sunny day in the mountains while filming one of his videos, he quips: “can you think of anything better to do on a beautiful day like today than to spend it in a basement shooting range? I can’t.”

His channel is very new, only a couple of weeks old, but give it a look!

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Anton Gray Basson

    In his about section the country is listed as Switzerland. And I really enjoyed the Lee Enfield video

  • wetcorps

    Fun fact : the first gun video Ian of Forgotten Weapons ever poster online was him topping off a Garand 🙂

    • randomswede

      That can’t be done, nor can you remove a clip before expending it. Ask any video gamer, they’ll tell you.

      • iksnilol

        Ah, yes, emptying my last two shots since I wanted a full mag whilst sneaking up on those Krauts.

      • SP mclaughlin

        At least the Garand in World at War and Rising Storm can be reloaded mid-magazine 😛

        • randomswede

          Yes, the industry has gotten better at replicating relevant functionality as it ages and matures along with the audience, who now contains people who spots it and cares.
          Funny thing is, once one big enough game gets a feature right it tends to spill over to the next generation as the floor has come up that little bit.

          • iksnilol

            I think the reason you couldn’t reload the Garand was because it would be extra work. Since that’d require two different reloading animations with different events triggering them.

            Back in the day you only had one reload animation per weapon.

          • randomswede

            I think it’s equal parts, resource saving (a vertex or bone animation is essentially without system cost but they had to be made and that’s a resource), ignorance (not willful just garden variety) and “laziness” (no one will know/notice/care).

  • Norm

    It’s somewhat disingenuous to talk about how quickly the SMLE can be fired accurately when he’s shooting 7.62×39. 303 has much stiffer recoil which would slow you down a bit when reacquiring the target. I’ve had an Enfield and it was a quick customer to operate but shooting it fast like this guy would leave you unhappy for a few minutes while your shoulder kept screaming.

    • Mike Burns

      I am the “Bloke”, and I’d like to thank Nathaniel for featuring my spanking new YouTube channel here. Much appreciated.

      Back in the days before YouTube (and about 3 computers ago, so it’s lost in the midsts of time) I used to have a video of me doing even better than that with a proper one in .303. I don’t have one right now, which is why Frankenrifle was used. But I was cheating – I’d been practicing, lots, and as any true Englishman will tell you, practicing is akin to cheating 🙂

      • iksnilol

        You are no mere “Bloke”… You’re Mike.

      • Boogur T. Wang

        Welcome. Good show.

    • .303 Brit is an extremely comparable round to anything else that other military service bolt actions of the day would be using.

      Mike using 7.62×39 doesn’t really change his observations about the human factors advantages of the Lee-Enfield, either.

  • Evan

    I do. I’m sick of the ridiculous “throw the empty clip to trick the guy into thinking you’re empty and then shoot him” story. It’s obviously not true for a number of reasons. I was just glad to see that I’m not the only one who realizes that.

    • Tritro29

      I don’t know who told you that, but surely not an actual Veteran. Also the Garand suffers from real ailments. And just so to make these things clear a 3/4 second gap in firing means that your target simply gets out of your sight especially In nasty environments like the Bocage or Urban warfare. It’s a life/death matter. That’s usually taken care off by the rest of your unit.

      Yeah war is a team sport…

      • Evan

        Yeah, if you read what I said more carefully, I said that I’m glad he’s exposing that obviously false myth as false.

        • Julio

          I’ve always looked on the whole “mythbusting” thing simply as a good tool for getting people to take a closer look at how things actually work. If you already know how they actually work, you can always award yourself a gold star and move on to learning about something else, or find some other way to enjoy your time on the planet.

  • Evan

    I like that he dispelled the ridiculous “throw an empty M1 clip to fool the enemy into thinking you’re out of ammo and then shoot him” myth, but that someone made a Lee-Enfield into that thing is just sad.

    • It’s an AIA Enfield, so it’s new production, not an original gun. And it was made from the ground up for 7.62×39.

      • Evan

        I had no idea that was even a thing.

  • Norm

    Mike and Nathaniel, I’ll delete my post and concede your point.

  • Gorilla Biscuit

    Very good Enfield video. Thanks!

  • Marcus D.

    Thanks, I enjoyed both vids. I never knew the Garand was built in .308, and yes I was wondering why those cartridges seemed so small.

  • Bursar

    I think the AIA company also no longer exists. At least in Australia.

    • There’s some interesting info on AIA here in this ARFCOM thread, including quite a bit I didn’t know and/or had gotten wrong:

      Regardless, a 7.62×39 No. 4 is a rifle I’ve salivated over for a ling time, ideally one that took SKS stripper clips.

      • AHill

        We had a few dealers get some AIAs here in Canada a while ago and most dealers said the parts used were of very poor quality and possibly from some badly mistreated surplus guns. Doesn’t help that the Gov turned down using AIA Enfields due to the poor quality of the parts (there is a report around from the Ranger rifle program on the net, don’t recall where, might be in the ARFCOM link above).

        It’s always a shame when a personal Grail gun is either poorly made or suffers from a major design/materials flaw that if it breaks, it is near impossible to fix. Especially because they probably aren’t made any more!

  • Paul White

    I’m in lust for no reason I can fathom.

  • Boogur T. Wang

    Good on the Lad, I think he is in Switzerland.

  • Mike Burns

    The concept is superb, which is why I got one. But, the barrel on mine was just shocking. Really bad. Badly-made, and really badly breeched up. It wouldn’t even hold a decent 100m zero.
    But I’ll explain all that (and what I did to turn it into Frankenrifle) in a future video. (BTW, the loads I was shooting in that vid were 160gn gas-checked lead at 2200fps, so not a million miles off a .303 Mk.VII (174gm at 2400fps), although the DNTC brake I have on it is awesome).

  • AD

    I found the Lee Enfield video very interesting, lots of interesting details that I’d never realised the significance of.