A couple months back I reached out to Matt Carriker, the man behind the wildly successful Demolition Ranch YouTube channel, to see if he’d be interested in working together on a project. As luck would have it, he was happy to oblige.
Some weeks later I made my way to south-central Texas with a video producer to talk to Matt in person and learn how and why he makes the videos he does. Luckily, I was also able to participate. As the editor of TFB sister site ATV.com, I was able to borrow a tricked out UTV and secured a couple of 3D zombie targets from Delta McKenzie for use in a Demolition Ranch video.
According to Matt, Demolition Ranch came about while he was in veterinary school around five years ago. He is a huge gun enthusiast and he likes making videos, so YouTube gave him an outlet.
It took Demolition Ranch a little while to find an audience, but it has been growing rapidly and now boasts more than 1.7 million subscribers. That ranks right up there with the biggest gun channels on YouTube and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
All the credit for the growth of Demolition Ranch goes to Matt. While there are no shortage of firearm channels, what sets Matt apart is he is likable and doesn’t take himself too seriously. He is willing to make fun of himself and try goofy things. One of the things that really helped Demolition Ranch reach more viewers was a series of videos featuring custom shotgun shells. Matt shot everything from razor blades and spark plugs to glow sticks and Mentos out of his shotgun and YouTube viewers ate it up.
You might think that with a channel this popular, Matt would have some help putting the videos together, but it is almost entirely a solo effort. Matt shoots the videos himself using a simple handheld camera and a GoPro. It can be a slow process moving the camera to different spots on the ranch or just setting up targets, but Matt almost always does it by himself.
Once he’s done shooting, Matt goes home and edits everything into a finished video. He generally does one or two videos each week for Demolition Ranch, and another for Vet Ranch, a veterinary channel that uses viewer donations to provide animals with lifesaving surgeries and veterinary care.
It’s a busy life for the 30-year-old married father of three, but the chance to play with awesome firearms and get creative seems to be paying off.