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  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 of 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 [email protected]