Beginner firearm info online?
March 6, 2015 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of a good YouTube Channel or website that has a good, methodical introduction to firearms? I know there are lots of review blogs/channels and forums, but those tend to require a great deal of digging around. Wikipedia is of course, useful, but a closeup walkthrough and demonstration would be ideal.

If you've ever seen something like ChuckE2009's channel on welding (explaining differences between types of welding, welding different metals, step by step technique, etc.), that's the sort of thing I'm hoping to find. I'm not a complete noob when it comes to firearms (I know the differences between automatic, semiautomatic, revolver, bolt action, lever action, familiar with ammo sizes, done basic firearm safety course), but there are lots of finer points that may vary greatly among manufacturers (double/single action, e.g.) that I'm not so knowledgeable about. Any great online tutorials on this stuff?
posted by holterbarbour to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I would start with Hickock45. He does everything: basics, safety, history, and also specifics about models and years and comparisons. And all with a lot of humor and very little politics.
posted by Woodroar at 11:12 AM on March 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I swear I saw these on mefi a long time ago, but the army's "how firearms work" videos from the 40s or 50s are utterly fascinating. Even to someone who knows their way around a firearm, the models, details etc are such I could watch the videos on repeat.
posted by k5.user at 11:21 AM on March 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The NSSF has a pretty good "Handgun 101" video series on YouTube, hosted by Chris Cheng (who is an amazingly good competitive shooter); it's a good place to start. They're mostly about technique, not hardware.

If it's the guns side of things that's more of interest, Hickok45 is sort of famous for his YouTube videos. (Some of them are a bit eyeroll-worthy in terms of antics, but there's nothing particularly unsafe. Just that shooting at random household objects to watch pieces fly off is not my cup of tea.) His more technical videos are good and I can't find anything in them to really take issue with. He has one specifically about the three major types of handguns that is a good primer. Same with his gun safety video, which I've pointed people to in the past when they want something a little less dry than than the official NRA ones.

Speaking of: if you want something a little more buttoned-down, the NRA has a Firearm Science channel with some good videos. They have much higher production values than the average Youtube backyard-Gopro video as well. You may find them too basic, though, and there are some occasional oversimplifications that I find grating to my sense of technical correctness (which is the best kind of correctness). I think they were designed to be shown as bumpers on broadcast TV and when you have the unlimited duration of YouTube I'm not sure why they are as short as they are. But still, decent.

Jerry Miculek, easily one of the best living shooters in the world, also has an active Youtube channel with some interesting stuff. Most of it is worth watching just as "competence porn", i.e. watching someone who is ridiculously good at something do their thing, but he has a good basic techniques video. He uses almost exclusively S&W current-generation firearms (they sponsor him), so it's not a particularly balanced introduction to firearms, but it's fun to watch someone use the hell out of them. (Some people find his... lack of humility... grating, personally I think he's earned the right not to make apologies by being that damn good.) He also has access to some pretty sweet slow motion cameras that make for pretty cool video.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:34 AM on March 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Forgotten Weapons is another good youtube channel for those who are curious about the actual operating mechanisms of firearms. The slow-motion videos are often paused and narrated with the different stages of operation. Modern short recoil handguns have fairly simple operation, but it took a long time for firearms development to arrive at this mechanism; some of the more fascination Forgotten Weapons videos are the ones where they describe the older/weirder evolutionary dead ends of firearms design, like the Mars Automatic Pistol.
posted by strangecargo at 6:10 PM on March 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

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