YouTube Personalities and Gun Bloggers Don’t Know Jack About Guns

This is another one of those times where I’m going to make some general statements. Yes, we all know there are exceptions to the rule. In fact, I’m not even saying that the points I’m about to make are generally true. But just because somebody makes videos about guns or writes about them, doesn’t mean we know what we’re talking about. It’s not like we graduated magnum cum badass from gun school or something.

Some gun bloggers and YouTube personalities work really hard to investigate and educate themselves before posting something. Some, like our own Nathaniel F., are knowledgeable enough that they can be considered SMEs in their own right. Some are quite well informed in one area but overestimate their opinion in another. A few are simply unethical shills who will say whatever they are paid to say. Most of us are probably somewhere in between all of those, but hopefully without much of that latter part.

I posted an article recently that discussed the proper way to interpret gel test results. That’s something that I can focus on easily because I’ve put a lot of time into researching the subject. There are several YouTube channels that make spectacular claims about gimmick ammunition based on misinterpretation of gel results. One famous YouTube personality made a whole video about the flash sometimes seen in clear gel where he incorrectly identified it as sonoluminescence. While that is a real phenomenon, it occurs under different conditions. The flash is caused by dieseling. The passage of the bullet aerosolizes Β the flammable media and the heat caused by the compression of the gas mixture in the temporary cavity as it collapses ignites it.

Other YouTube personalities and gun writers have often recommended less than optimal choices for defense such as bird shot. Less severe, quite a few of these print and video personalities sell a great deal of advertising space by clutching at pearls over cliche subjects like how scary guns are prosecutor bait. In reality, no one has been convicted for using a scary gun in an otherwise good shooting. Except for a couple of extreme edge cases ,Gary Fadden and Harold Fish, I don’t know of a single case where the gun used was a material part of the case. Criminal cases involving use of force hinge on whether your actions were legal.

I think the moment when I first realized that I really can’t take gun writers at face value was when I read an article back in the late 90’s in one of the popular rags that advocated the Hi-Point 4095 carbine and CF-380 pistol for duty use. By law enforcement officers. Without the slightest hint of sarcasm. Aside from the obvious problems associated with Hi-Point guns, they aren’t even the same caliber! What is the point of using a pistol caliber carbine in a different caliber? And before the Hi-Point crowd beats me to death with their flat brimmed ball caps and their vape pens, I know that Hi-Points have a great warranty and usually run well. But they are not as small, as light, as well made, or as reliable as higher quality guns. They’re good enough if you can’t afford better, but they are far from the best choice for a duty gun.

Please understand that I include myself in this too. I’ve made numerous mistakes over the years. Held beliefs that I later found to be untrue and drew conclusions that were not warranted. Making those mistakes has, I think, opened my eyes to my own fallibility and planted me squarely on the lower end ofΒ a Dunning-Kruger graph. I will do my very best to avoid passing on to you “facts” that are not correct. But if you hear an opinion from me, take it with a grain of salt. Or ten.


Andrew is a combat veteran of OEF and has performed hundreds of ballistic tests for his YouTube channel, The Chopping Block ( He is an avid firearm collector and competitor and lives with his family in Arizona. If you have any questions, you may email him at


  • MR

    For the record, the Hi-point compact is nearly the same size as the S&W shield, a bit wider, but length and height, its extremely close. Not a hi point owner, but something i noticed working at a gunshop.

    • Chop Block

      Not sure if serious?

      • Vitsaus

        “… but something I noticed working at a gunshop.” There you go.

        • Chop Block

          Yeah, that really only raises more questions.

        • SPQR9

          Whether I’ve heard more stupid crap on the internet or across the counter at a gun shop is a close question.

  • Pete – TFB Writer

    I profess expert level status of all firearms made between 1770 and 1771. It’s a small but important niche.

    • Nick Pacific

      I read your work on colonial P.S. proofed Jaeger Rifles of 1770, and found a disgraceful amount of unforgivable technical errors.

      • Pete – TFB Writer

        I wrote that piece at a difficult time in my life. I was buying like two or three KelTec’s a week.

        • Friend


        • Gus Butts

          You managed to actually, physically purchase two or three KelTecs a week?! They actually kept up with demand in some point in time? This is the most impressive statement in this entire article.

          • Matt Taylor

            What he means is he was pre-ordering two or three KelTecs a week – enough to give anybody a difficult time in life. I have some ocean front property here in Kansas for sale by the way Pete. GREAT view of the mountains.

        • TexianPatriot

          Now we know you are lying. Kel Tec can’t produce two to three firearms a week.

        • G B

          So that’s where all the KelTecs were going!

        • DangerousClown

          Dang! So you had a $1,000/month habit?

          • Pete – TFB Writer

            Don’t even get me started on my Taurus days. Ugly.

      • Independent George

        And don’t get me started on the obvious product placement!

        • Pete – TFB Writer

          That powder horn was on loan. On loan!

          • None

            I am so glad I stopped reading TTAG and came here…

            There is some actual intelligent humor and a conspicuous lack of blaming everything on blacks and liberals…

          • Nicks87

            …and cops dont forget the constant cop bashing at TTAG.

          • Yea we don’t like that much do we Nick

          • Sandydog

            Well, it’s not really ‘constant,’ it’s just ‘regular,’ ‘predictable,’ ‘inevitable,’ and ‘commonplace.’ But, not ‘constant.’ They do take the occasional sabbatical, sojourn, or reflective moment. Sometimes, literal MONTHS go by without a single cop being bashed.

          • GaryOlson

            Did you tell the ranch owner that it was a Really Large 1 point buck?

  • ActionPhysicalMan

    Dunning-Kruger graph – excellent reference. One of my favorite – most of us move on it through our lives, but unfortunately some don’t.

    • Chop Block

      Lol. Thank you. Much as I’d love to point them out, it would just cause drama.

      • Paul White

        but drama drives clicks; it’s sound business!

    • Phillip Cooper

      Hey! There you are! Why don’t you write anymore? πŸ™‚
      -Some guy at Ft Benning a few years ago…

  • Blurb

    I claim absolute authority on the firearms manufactured in Rapa Nui during the latter half of the reign of Emperor Mo of Jin.

  • Dan Shea of SAR came up with a term that best applies to those that know their limitations, RKI – Reasonably Knowledgeable Individual – because no one can know it all even about guns. Unfortunately there have been books written by those do no research and these books have become tomes for writers that refuse to do their own research. Its sickening for me to read the often repeated false statements about various weapons i.e. Czech, Japanese WW2 weapons, etc.

    • Zapped 02

      Thought it was the late Peter G kokalis who came up with the RKI tag line decades ago in his early days at soldier of fortune magazine.
      I know I have been using it ever since.

      • You may be right. I know Dan used it and even titled his column in MGN with it but maybe Peter was the origin.

    • teesquare

      The 2 edged sword of the First Amendment cuts both ways – eh?

      That and Little Johnny got a computer AND a BB gun for his birthday – so…now he is an expert….;)

  • Major Tom

    I profess expert knowledge on things Mosin-Nagant M91/30 manufactured 1939.

    • Nashvone

      There were so many changes between 1939 and 1940. We should compare notes some time.

    • Cymond

      I know it’s a bit outside you’re speciality, but I have a 1939 Mosin Nagant M38. Is that close enough?

      Edit: Nevermind, wrong year. It’s a 1943.

  • Friend

    I profess expert level status on the ridiculous parts incompatibilities of AR308s…

    • Rick O’Shay

      Anyone who’s ever built one from the ground up rapidly becomes an expert.

      • Beju

        Does it go like this?

        Order enough parts for 5 308 ARs

        Result in one complete rifle

    • teesquare

      Been there…bought all the parts that don’t fit. Still have the collection….

  • PersonCommenting

    I think TFB is taking themselves too seriously lately.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      I tend to agree.

      • PersonCommenting

        I mean I think everyone already knows this especially in a post R51 world. Dont get me wrong, I love the site and will continue to support it just throwing it out there.

        • Pete – TFB Writer

          I don’t mean it in a bad way. I’m as guilty as the next guy. For the most part, none of this stuff is that serious.

          • Gus Butts

            But firearms is a serious topic! Please let us argue about using the term slide stop versus using the term slide release for another few years.

          • Paul White

            And I thought silencer/suppressor got pedantic enough!

          • Oh man don’t say those words in the same sentence you could start a war!

          • Chop Block

            It’s easy for us to forget that guns are fun and people are funny.

          • Pete – TFB Writer

            Truth right there.

          • Some Rabbit

            And TFB is the best gun comedy/parody site on the web.

    • Chop Block

      But that’s because we’re all experts.

      • Um yea I guess:-)

      • teesquare

        Expert test:
        Do you prefer reading material printed on 1 or 2 ply perforated, dimensionally square sheets? Please don’t say “lotion infused”….

    • Could be maybe I don’t know I’m not an expert in seriousness:-)

  • I’m both, and I would put money down that I know a lot more about firearms, firearms history, the science behind the ballistics, and the implementation of the use of firearms, than Andy here. And I’d wager that I know more about how the Gun Industry works at the design, manufacturing, marketing, and retail levels of the firearms industry.
    Always a bigger fish out there Andy.
    Also, it’s always the little dog that barks the most.

    • ActionPhysicalMan

      What’s your point George? That you are super smart and that Andrew is smaller than you and should shut up? If that is all, thanks for sharing.

      • Chop Block

        He kissed the girls and made them cry.

    • πŸ‘CSBπŸ‘

    • Mrninjatoes

      Okay Ogre. I still haven’t forgiven you for your worthless, “WHY I HATE THE M-16/AR-15 RIFLE” article…

      Stick to motorcycles and brisket.

      Oh, and while we are here…What does the fox say?

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      Here we see someone who just reached the peak of Mt Stupid.

      Unfortunately some people take so long to get even that far that they mistake their long slow progress for years of experience.

      • The first rule of Dunning-Kruger Club is that you don’t know you’re in Dunning-Kruger Club.

        • Chop Block

          I’m stealing that.

    • Dan

      Just based on your comment I’d put money down you’re arrogant and a loud mouth.

    • DangerousClown

      I’ll bet your mom told you you’re special.

  • I associate myself as an expert on firearms… how dare you suggest otherwise you racist!


  • Dougscamo

    I am well on my way to becoming a firearms expert….the more I learn the more I realize how little I know…. πŸ™‚

    • Big Daddy

      I approach everything like that. I call myself a student of the gun. I try to make the next step or grade as often as possible. Also keep an open mind and a scientific approach which means don’t always believe the science.

    • Now that makes you an expert!

    • Gary Kirk

      A Jack of all guns, master of few, student of many more

      • Dougscamo

        Master of none, student of many!

        • Gary Kirk

          Nah, I’ve mastered at least a few.. But will always be learning, even on those I’ve mastered.. A true master, will forever remain a student..

          • Dougscamo

            Just when I think I have mastered something God smacks me across the face and says “No, stupid!”….never fails….always the Grasshopper….

          • Gary Kirk

            As was said.. “A true master will forever remain a student”

          • Gary Kirk

            Also, “the eldest grasshopper.. Has learned to jump over the spider, yet under the bird”..

            Probably completely screwed that translation.. And can’t remember who gave it to me.. But you’ll probably get the point..

  • disqus_0rUeRcNTmW

    you call them out and they get so pissed your comment gets deleted.

    • gunsandrockets

      Really? That is very interesting.

    • Chop Block

      I didn’t delete anyone’s comment. The editors are not inclined to do so, either. This sort of thing is usually a result of Disqus being how it is. Your comment will likely show up eventually. But do go on showing how balanced and rational you are.

    • Not often at all. I have had as many as 75 waiting to be approved that Disqus grabbed,. That was one day during SHOT.

  • gunsandrockets

    “… one famous You Tube personality”? who?

    “… other You Tube personalities and writers…”? who?

    To make accusations, however well intentioned the writer, comes off as ill-intentioned when those accusations lack specificity.

    Not naming names, not directly referring to the “bad” content, might be intended as politeness, but can seem cowardly instead.

    • Chop Block

      The content is where the error lies. And unless there is an intent to deceive, I’m not inclined to call people out by name. Think of me what you will.

      • Paelorian

        Most of us aren’t knowledgeable enough to not be deceived, so a general warning to be careful and proceed with healthy skepticism doesn’t get us too far. I expect I probably regularly watch gun content on channels you think routinely provide inaccurate information. Information I don’t possess the knowledge to identify as wrong.

    • Cymond

      I don’t think it counts as an accusation if no one is being accused.

  • gunsandrockets

    Off topic:

    Falcon 9 1st stage just landed! Beautiful video…

    • gunsandrockets

      Dragon spacecraft for CRS-12 just successfully deployed in LEO.

  • gunsandrockets

    “But if you hear an opinion from me, take it with a grain of salt. Or ten.”

    Very fair. Modesty is admirable.

    • Chop Block

      Thank you.

  • Phillip Cooper

    “In reality, no one has been convicted for using a scary gun in an otherwise good shooting, except for a couple of extreme edge cases (Gary Fadden and Harold Fish).”

    So basically, “Noone has been convicted for using a scary gun legally, except those guys that were convicted for using a scary gun legally.”

    Logical fallacy, and idiotic to boot.

    • Chop Block

      No, except for a guy who shot and man in the middle of nowhere at a time when the burden of proof rested on the advised to prove a shooting was justified and a man who shot a biker in the back. Fadden’s attacker spun around as he was hit and one shot grazed his back. The prosector made a big deal of that. While Fish’s 10mm and Fadden’s AC556 were both brought up in their trials, but the real problem was the circumstances surrounding the shootings.

    • Chop Block

      Stupid phone buggered that comment, but I think you get my meaning.

    • Paul Rain

      And these are only the ones we’ve heard about. Does anyone think the media really reports on this stuff honestly? The NRA and GOA can only do so much.

      • Chop Block

        Yeah, makes perfect sense to choose a less effective weapon because of some fictional garbage that could, like totally happen, if the MSM wasn’t hiding it.

    • Matt Taylor

      Should of googled those names first bud. Not hard to find at all.

      “If the boot fits….”

      • Phillip Cooper

        I’m quite familiar with the names, thanks.

        • Matt Taylor

          Ahhh, right. My apologies. Your ignorant comment led me to believe otherwise. Have a quality day.

      • DangerousClown

        Before you cast the first stone, learn basic grammar.

  • Nicks87

    “And before the Hi-Point crowd beats me to death with their flat brimmed ball caps and their vape pens”

    Real hipsters carry whitney wolverine’s. You’ve probably never heard of them.

    • Chop Block

      Lol. Yeah, but I was going for the “giant Monster or Glamis sticker on the back window of their Ford Raptor that Daddy bought” crowd, not hipsters.

    • Dougscamo

      How old are you?! Or did your father/grandfather give you one? I had to think about this and something came from the dark recesses of my mind (very dark)….

      • BillyOblivion

        You’ve heard of Google, right?

        • Dougscamo

          Yeah? I think something springs to mind…..(dark recesses again)….which is why I asked because I had to use it to fully realize my memory…..was hoping that he bought one himself. Old people love company…..

          • Gary Kirk

            So does misery.. But, I am just “cross” The river from you brother..Let’s go shooting one day

          • Dougscamo

            Sounds good but which river? Not Styx I hope… πŸ™‚

          • Gary Kirk

            The Potomac, you’re over in VA right?

          • Dougscamo

            Good memory! I’m in the southwest mountains which means I can be in 4 other state capitols before I can get to Richmond….quite a distance from MD….

    • The Mystic Seer

      -the Olympic arms re-issue Wolverines, you’ve probably never seen one.

    • teesquare

      And the less that is heard from hipsters…the better humanity becomes!

  • yodamiles

    I remember watching Sootch00 claiming that the .25 Sharps is the best new AR 15 round that fire powerful high BC 6.5 round…… I can’t believe that a guy who shoot guns as a profession and spend more time behind one than my age can’t understand ballistic

  • USMC03Vet

    As I read this all I could think about was a digital mountain of pepper clickbait over at your mother domain, all outdoor.

  • Alex A.

    Both Nathaniels, Miles, Ronaldo and Pete really know what their talking about. In their respective subjects as well as the forgotten weapons guys.
    But I especially enjoy the exhaustive research Nathaniel does. Speaking of, it’s long overdue for one of his amazing articles

  • Gun Fu Guru

    You write this but don’t name names? For shame, sir. For shame.

    • Chop Block

      I’ll name one name:
      Andrew B.

  • Kivaari


  • Jim Burgess

    The irony being that another TFB writer hit the back of a firearm with a hammer to make a point, and then was silly enough to defend it.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      I am a silly man that makes silly decisions.

      • mazkact

        I liked that test, guess I’m silly as well πŸ˜‰

    • Dan

      If we’re supposed to take what writers say witha grain of salt then call up Morton because we need a truck load when it comes to what that writer says.

  • Indianasteve

    Facts that are not correct?

    • mazkact

      “Facts” that are not correct. Fixed it.

  • john huscio

    Chris bartocci and mishaco are my YT go tos if i want detailed information. Mrgunsngear is great for short concise reviews with zero BS.

    Nutnfancy and yankeemarshal are at the very bottom of the barrel

    • Billy Vegas

      oh you want bottom of the barrel? American Gun Chic, its like some stripper/trailer park queen got an AR15 and a GoPro from her husband/brother(same person) as a present.
      AGC:im going to document my journey to learn how to shoot.
      Me: Well thats nice.
      Me: im out…

      • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

        Oh wow. I hadn’t been subjected to that channel yet.

      • john huscio

        Weaponseducation is truly awful and pete from the armory channel….if nutnfancy is the jim rome of guntube, that guy is the bill simonson.

        • Billy Vegas

          That analogy…lol

  • Cal S.

    Experts are just former drips under pressure. The ‘best’ of the crowd are those that don’t take themselves too seriously, which are more likely to change their opinions based on new info in an effort to convey the most accurate information to their viewers.

    Or you could be Yeager, where everything is a dogma and you’re either licking his boots or wrong. Pick any two.

    • Zapped 02

      Lol, you forget Gabe s and voda

      • Cal S.

        I try not to think of the latter as much as possible.

        Thanks for triggering me. Now I feel like I need to go shoot up my local indoor range’s ceiling.

  • ShootCommEverywhere

    The leading qualification to make someone a firearms expert is claiming they’re a firearms expert, didn’t you know? The Disqus spam gods wouldn’t allow me to link the video, but absolutely look it up.

    • tsubaka

      actually they did,look up the comments

  • Royce Williams

    And the winner of the Embarrassingly Lame YouTube Gun Guy contest is (drum roll please):


    • Kevin Bates

      I hate it when 2 things pop up in my Youtube feed, James Yeager and Yankee Marshal. F&*% those guys.

      • Cymond

        I think Yankee Marshall survives on clicks from his inflammatory video titles and comment-fueling idiotic content.

        I’d rather watch Nut N Fancy than that moron, which tells you something.

  • Renov8

    I don’t take anything, anyone says at face value. Not today…too many out their blowing smoke.

  • SPQR9

    “as long as it was a double shot weapon ….”

    • Dougscamo

      “as long as you have a rifle that has a clip”….”your bullet doesn’t have to be ejected in between like a single action rifle”….
      OMG….they actually think you can buy things “in the grocery store” to make a regular rifle an “assault rifle”….
      We are in deep doodoo!

  • mazkact

    I used to read a lot from a certain gun review guy in the Appalachians who’s theme music is “The battle Cry of Freedom” . One day realized that everything he reviewed was “just dandy” and he never once that I witnessed had one bad or less than glowing thing to say about a firearm. I do not think Brother Quinn is paid for his glowing reviews and have come to realize the man just loves guns so much that he loves them all. I still go there and catch up on the fun from time to time.

    • Chop Block

      Even if he is not paid directly, it’s harder to get T&E samples if you are critical. Ask me how I know. πŸ˜‰

      • mazkact

        Honestly never thought of it that way, You make a great point Sir.

  • Full Name

    Youtubers and bloggers are people. People quite often don’t know what they are talking about.
    But any opinions that run counter to mine are highly suspect.

    • Chop Block

      Well that’s fine, so long as they mirror my opinion.

  • Karl Vanhooten

    RE:YouTube Personalities: I hope you’re not talking about Hickok45, 22plinkster, or Iraqveteran8888. I have found these guys to not only be entertaining, but very knowledgeable. Hickok45 is a crack shot with any rifle or pistol.

    • Chop Block

      Definitely not the first two. I have mixed feelings about IVhitlerhitler.

      • Karl Vanhooten

        Go back under your bridge, Mr. Troll.

  • Anonymous

    I feel so much dumber for having watched that. I’m sad now.

  • Cymond

    Yes, I honestly believe that the national news does not report the details of every homicide in the nation. I honestly believe that things could happen without me knowing.

  • Cymond

    It’s relative. I know nothing compared to many people, including several commenters on TFB. On the other hand, I am a *GOD* among my local shooting friends because I dared to fill out a Form 4.

    • Dougscamo

      An RKI….as 1 commenter so aptly described earlier….

  • Ced Truz

    “before the Hi-Point crowd beats me to death with their flat brimmed ball caps and their vape pens”

    I’m still laughing.

  • teesquare

    Buutt…Buuuttttt…Buuutttt…It MUST be true..’cause I saw it on the Internet!!! HAHAHA!!!

    The author is to be applauded for his legitimizing the value of the available overload of information. And that there are no restrictions on anyone posting anything – should always be present in your mind when you read something.

  • Steven L

    I think it is important to qualify a person as an expert and not bestow such a title on oneself (as we see on Youtube). Anyone who has ever testified in court as an expert witness certainly knows that they are considered a ‘subject matter expert or SME’ in the area they are testifying in. And in court you go through a voir dire process to establish yourself as an expert.
    As we know there is no fact checkers on the internet and anyone claiming to be an expert without supporting qualifications should be heavily scrutinized.
    I believe the biggest problem is when people confuse their personal opinions with facts. Opinions are driven by personal experiences. It is always important to state when a personal opinion is being given. We call witnesses who testify in court to their personal opinion a lay witness (Rule 701). this is because their testimony is based on their perception and not on scientific, technical or specialized knowledge/experience. Experts (and Expert Witnesses) use facts to drive their EXPERT OPINIONS. These facts are compiled as a result of very specific scientific, technical or specialized knowledge, training and experiences. Just because someone has put a number of rounds through a firearm does not make them an expert in firearms. Think about all those drivers on the road who have been driving for years and could still use a few lessons in driving.
    So for me, if you profess to be an expert in some area you better be stating your relevant qualifications otherwise you are stating your personal opinion.

  • Anton_Zilwicki

    You guys are freakin’ hilarious. And most of the time you seem to actually know wtf you’re talking about. I’ve been in the Gun Biz for 48 years. The level of BS on the Innertoobyfaceywebs is phenomenal! Thanks for keeping it real.

  • Kodi

    Absolutely true, if not too kind. Everyone with a camera, even if it’s only a phone camera, thinks they have something interesting to say. Video selfies about guns essentially replacing sexting for those w/o the nads to sext.
    Unboxing videos and so called table top reviews typify the silliness.
    If I ever make videos, I think I’ll include as one of my first, an unboxing video about an unboxing video or a table top review of a table top review.

  • frankspeak

    take it all with a grain of salt …read or view several…before arriving at a consensus….

  • Like everything else some are challenged as you said and some are pretty good.