The best job, people say, is doing what you love. A similar saying goes, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
For decades, ﬁrearms aﬁcionados have successfully found ways to combine their passions with proﬁt. Some became manufacturers or gunsmiths, or opened retail gun shops. Some sought work as trail and hunting guides so they could spend the maximum amount of time armed and outdoors. Others turned to sharing their knowledge and experience for a variety of print publications, and still later, radio and television programs. For those who sought to expand their hobbies into full-time employment, it was nice work if they could get it.
That same time-honored tradition of “working at what you love” continued as the 20th century became the 21st, but in some diﬀerent ways. Today, a new generation of ﬁrearm fans seeking knowledge or information is as likely to access a computer search engine as they are to tune in a broadcast program or pick up a print magazine [Editor’s note: We think magazines are still pretty awesome], so it’s logical that many of the current outdoor industry’s most popular “media” personalities got their start online.
Like those who came before them, these social media mavens began as ﬁrearm fans before ever posting a blog or uploading a video. Far from killing the romance, this transition enabled them to do more of what they love and to bring their passions to the world. And while outsiders often erroneously perceive members of the traditional gun culture as stodgy and standoﬃsh, these new ambassadors are welcoming and engaging to wide and diverse audiences.
IAN MCCULLUM, the author of Forgotten Weapons blog and channel, started shooting while in school and continued recreationally afterward, often hanging out with collectors, where he learned by listening and reading. In 2010, a French friend who had some unique manuals and drawings of Pedersen devices – not just for M1903 Springﬁeld but also for M1917, Mosin, and Lebel – died. All of his info, including these unique and irreplaceable documents, were discarded by his family. That event prompted Ian and his friend Karl to begin to archive historic information about arms for the education of future enthusiasts, and his Forgotten Weapons blog was born. A supporting video channel launched in 2011.
Forgotten Weapons deals with historic and mechanical information in an academic format, rather than rely on ﬂashy Tannerite or exploding watermelons. The appeal to viewers worldwide, in turn, gives access to more gear. As the blog and channel’s reputation grew, museums and private collections became more readily available for perusal. Rock Island Auctions and the James D. Julia Auction Company gave Ian access to numerous unique arms all at once. The rise in viewership to 445,000 subscribers, and the promotional value of work done with auction companies turned a labor of love into a self-supporting enterprise. In addition to his own blog and video channel, Ian writes an “Exploded
view” column for American Riﬂeman. On the extra-serious side, he is a technical forensic adviser to the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE.org).
TIM HARMSEN was taught to shoot by his uncle in the early 1980s, and he became a regular reader of Guns & Ammo, Combat Arms and several other print publications. Tim began collecting ﬁrearms in 1985 with a Ruger 10/22 bought by his mother. A Colt AR-15 Sporter and a Government Model 1911 came the following year, and more have shown up regularly since then.
He launched the Military Arms Channel (MAC) in 2008, originally making short videos about new guns he had purchased or to illustrate points made on one of the many discussion forums of the era. Thanks to the breadth of his own collection and to substantial industry support, he has been able to feature many weapons that otherwise we would have only been able to see in video games.
At the time of his launch, he was very active on the forums, posting reviews of personally owned guns and accessories. Slowly, he switched to making videos and posting links instead of writing the posts. More and more people liked the videos, asked for more and started subscribing. Tim increased the frequency of his videos, while maintaining independence from manufacturers. He does not accept money for favorable videos or product placements; he only reports on things he owns and shoots. Unlike other “traditional” reviews, MAC videos often delve into minutia down to the level of “this screw turns left and this one turns right.” In a nutshell, Tim records range sessions using items of personal interest, and brings viewers along through the camera.
For 20 years Tim worked as an advertising executive at Omnicom companies and Hearst, both prominent international companies. Then he traded that career for doing
what he loves, shooting and ﬁrearms, and hasn’t looked back. The big pay cut was compensated by his passion being fed, and being happy to wake up and go to work every morning. The Military Arms Channel – which currently has 545,000 subscribers and many more occasional viewers – Copper Custom Armament and the Full30.com ﬁrearm video hosting site have comprised Tim’s full time work for the last two years.
DAVID NASH, better known to the social media universe as 22plinkster, has been shooting since age 5. His video production experience goes back to December 2011, when he rose to a dare by a friend about hitting a golf ball with a bullet at 100 yards and documenting the process on video. He hadn’t planned for fame, but 300-plus videos and 380,000 subscribers later, fame has clearly found him. Fifteen months ago he was able to turn “pro,” working mainly with Henry Repeating Arms, Vista Outdoors and the Sonoran Desert Institute.
The 22plinkster channel features mainly trick shots, gun reviews and “redneck” science (for example, how many balloons or silly string cans in a row would a .22 bullet penetrate?). He also does new product announcements, often getting to see preproduction samples long before anyone else in the industry. As with the other creators, David gets to have fun for a living, a nice gig indeed! Being able to lean over the porch railing with a lever action, make steel ring in the distance and call it the day’s work sounds pretty good to me.
While David possesses the technical skills required for much more sophisticated video productions, he has deliberately maintained the look of a backyard hobbyist on all of his pieces. Often shot with a single camera, the simple, accessible look and feel of his stories invites and encourages viewers to get into the game as well. Like many people in the outdoor industry, 22plinkster is supportive and cooperative rather than competitive, subscribing to “the more, the merrier” view. His goals include expanding the shooting sports, the attendant culture and the supporting industry, and most other members of the gun-themed new media hold the same values.
THE MAN KNOWN AS HICKOK45 may be the most reclusive of the currently popular online video personalities. His desire for privacy is easy to understand when you consider that a few of the 2.5 million subscribers occasionally turn up on his doorstep to worship the celebrity in person. That kind of attention, while ﬂattering, can creep out the family. Plus, at 6 foot 8 inches tall, he’s pretty distinctive, so we’ll use his screen name here as well.
A retired gentleman of leisure now, Hickok45 has shot guns all his life. He’s also always enjoyed photography, and was an early adopter of digital. When decent-quality pocket digital cameras became available, he always carried one. It was with the humble pocket camera that his ﬁrst video, now at a million views, was made. All it showed were ﬁve shots taken at a steel buﬀalo target with the .45 Colt SAA – but the viewers loved it. He made several silly videos back in 2006 – including ﬁlming himself shooting metal targets through the open doors of his car – mostly just fooling around. That was one of ﬁrst things he posted on YouTube, thinking that was just for “silly stuﬀ.”
Later, when teaching the novel Shane at a school where he taught for 23 years, he decided to ﬁlm “cowboy” guns in action and show the video in class so his students could see what arms the title character carried and used. That piece and a couple of Glock videos produced an unexpectedly high volume of positive feedback, encouraging him to make more content.
Neither he nor his son knew how to edit video at the time, so they just turned on the camera and let it run. They soon realized, just like 22plinkster did, that the simplicity and realism were a key part of his appeal to the viewers. Hickok45 had no idea that YouTube paid anybody, and so had no intention of making money from his channel. But a year into it, YouTube oﬀered to monetize his channel and share ad revenue. After some hesitation, they accepted the oﬀer, and the rest is history. As with the others above, his fame was largely accidental. Unlike some others today, he had no plan to create a big YouTube channel or to make money with it. His goal of simply ﬁlming for fun and sharing information kept expanding until it became a viable business. Hickok45’s most popular video has had over 15 million views, and ten more are currently at over 5 million views. Those are respectable viewer numbers for a large TV station, much less a father-and-son team having fun on their backyard range. While some of the guns featured are the latest and greatest high-tech models available, many videos show much simpler and inexpensive ﬁrearms. These, however, are often presented in a new light, such as smoothbore shotguns being successfully used with slugs against 200yard steel targets.
IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT people who have risen from humble hobbyist beginnings remain very friendly to other enthusiasts, including beginners. Recently, 22plinkster provided his personal range for a Midwestern gathering centered on a visit by California gun rights activist and writer Yih-Chau Cheng and his niece Dora (not her real name). At 14, she has not had an opportunity to shoot guns, nor had access to the NFA class of weapons brought for the occasion by Kris Paulson of DTV Tactical Innovations. Hickok45 was able to show up as well. Having several ﬁrearm instructors and two of the most popular online personalities all supporting the learning experience enabled her skill set to go from zero to competent with pistol, submachine gun and belt-feds in one day. It also underscored the diﬀerence between the cultures of Middle America and those found in those “less than gun-friendly” states such as California.
Each of these four – Ian, Tim, David and Hickok45 – possess a staggering amount of knowledge. But unlike museums that merely hold that knowledge for the occasional visitor, the quartet broadcasts what they know for the world to learn. What they don’t know, they investigate and then share.
The massive numbers of viewers indicate that the knowledge they spread is of substantial interest to American and foreign audiences alike. More recently, similar channels have sprung up in countries such as Hungary and the Czech Republic, presenting the best side of the gun culture to wider audiences. Hopefully, this positive trend will help reverse much of the oﬃcial anti-gun rhetoric inﬂicted on the European and American populations alike over the past century. ASJ
Editor’s note: On the day this article was completed, YouTube pulled all advertising from ﬁrearms-related pages. The decision seemed to be driven by their parent company, and may likely push much of the technical and right to keep and bear arms (RKBA) content to other sites. By the time this issue is in print, we will all know more.
One popular question that came up, is if someone with a .22 came up on you while you had your GoPro camera on your chest or forehead, could it protect you against the .22 Cal? Let’s say if the person is wearing it on the forehead that you often see with these “thrill seekers” or cops that have it on their chest. Realistic hypothesis?, who knows, but it makes a great conversation piece, enter 22Plinkster Youtuber.
22 Plinkster gets out to the range from some discovery, here’s what happens when a .22 bullet hits a GoPro Camera, see the video below.
The results? Well, the Federal .22 Long Rifle bullets fired out of a pistol did not penetrate the GoPro Camera. Two shots both ended the same and the bullet was actually captured inside of the camera itself.
When you’re out with your GoPro Camera, it is plausible that the bullet from a .22 caliber pistol could be stopped dead in it’s tracks. However, we suggest you not use one as a replacement for a more suitable ballistic helmet.
Hey guys, 22Plinkster here. Just like my yeti video, I always like to see what can stop a 22 Long rifle bullet. Especially out of the pistol form. My yeti video, as you recall, the Yeti stopped it. It’s kinda practical, you may or may not be taking a drink of coffee or whatever-have-you in your yeti, and someone comes up to you with a 22 longrifle, but if you are, guess what, you’re going to be safe. This is kind of the same idea. A lot of people wear these action cameras on their forehead or on their chest, and if someone came up to you with a 22 longrifle pistol, would this be strong enough to save your life if they go for a headshot or a chest shot?
Now this is my Hero4, this one does not work, I’ve had many phonecalls with GoPro, they refuse to fix it, I’m actually going to record me shooting a GoPro with my new E4K. So, I’m gonna back up about ten feet away, make this shot with my frankenpistol, I’ll be using federal bolt champion 36-grain high-velocity ammo, and if you think a GoPro would stop a bullet, put it in the comments below. I have no idea on this one.[Intro sequence]
If you haven’t put it in the comments below, will a GoPro Hero stop a 22 LR? Let’s find out.
I’m gonna go for the lense.[PTHT]
Alright, knocked his bullet off, let’s go take a look.
Okay, I have not touched anything. I said I was aiming at the lense. Look there, I hit right here at the lense of this, and you may have actually heard the bullet ricochet on video.
Here’s the camera below, and as you can see, it grazed the outer skirts of the lense, the bullet impacted there, and it did not go through. That bullet is stuck inside of this camera. That is pretty wild.
Alright, what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna see if I can get this thing back in here, I don’t know if it’ll fit back in there or not… Alright, yes. So what I’m gonna do now, I’m gonna aim to the left-hand side and just see if there’s enough electronics on the left-hand side here to stop the bullet. So let’s re-set, let’s try it again.
Ok, now I’m gonna aim on the left-hand side of the camera. I don’t know if it’ll make any difference or not, but we’re gonna find out.[PHTHT] [laughter] That mullet will not stay on. [instant replays]
Okay, let’s see what the second shot did. Gotta put his mullet back on there. There you go buddy. Alright. Second shot. Holy cow. Take a look there. There is actually the bullet, stuck in the front of the GoPro. So needless to say, if you have one of these on your head, and you have it in one of these cases, and someone came after you with one of these 22 Longrifle pistol, there is a very good chance if you’re wearing this and the 22 bullet hits it, you’re gonna be alright.
Guys thank you very much for watching. Until next time, Y’all be safe, and keep plinkin’.
Let’s finish this GoPro off! Put it out of its misery! I got my Stoger P3000 here and Twelve-gauge. Here we go.[Shot and laughter]
I think that’d take care of it.
Source: 22Plinkster Youtube
Well, this suppressed Ruger 10/22 bullpup rifle will leave you drooling, especially when you see shooting sensation 22 Plinkster getting some trigger time with it.
We sure love our Ruger 10/22 rifles. How can you upgrade your trusty Ruger 10/22 Rifle to a more enjoyable tacticool platform? Why not bullpup stock that .22 rifle? The Aklys Defense ZK-22 Bullpup Stock allows for a quick-shooting short-length package ready for action. What is better is that 22 Plinkster has a suppressor on his bullpup rifle. That would make this quiet shooting rifle perfect for the range and pest control.
If you’re looking for something different for your Ruger 10/22 rifle, you just might be interested in the very cool Aklys Defense ZK-22 Bullpup Stock.
Hey guys, 22Plinkster here! I have the ZK22 Bullpup for the Ruger 10-22 in my hands, let me shoot it a few times, I’ll tell you a little bit more about it![gunfire and metalic plinking]
There we go.[more]
Runs pretty good. Now, you guys know by now, I am not this big, tactical guy. Now I will give credit where credit is due: I own one other Bullpup design, and that is the Tavor, but this is actually a bullpup for your 10-22. Well, I’ve been shooting it now for a couple months, and I really, really like it. um, now, there is a lot of engineering that went on in building and designing and making this stock, but it’s pretty much a bullpup stock for your Ruger 10-22. Now I have several Ruger 10-22s that you guys have seen in videos, I’ve got rugers set up to shoot half-inch groups –well, half-inch to a three-quarter inch groups- at a hundred yards, I’ve got Ruger 10-22s that I use for trick shots with the open sights, with the folding stock, you know; I’ve got Ruger 10-22s with AR-15 stocks on them, so I didn’t want to sacrifice a Ruger 10-22 that I own for this build, so I wanted to get another Ruger 10-22 that I could keep in this configuration, because taking it apart, it does take a little bit of time. Now, my good friends at Clarksville Guns and Archery had a Ruger 10-22 in stock, and I went up there and got it, and so I wanna thank Clarksville Guns and Archery for the 10-22 that’s inside of here, but there are some legal issues that you also need to know about the ZK-22.
Those legal issues are simply this: You have to have a barrel, a 10-22 barrel, over 18 and one-half inches long to put in here. Now, the standard barrel, which I have in here, is 18 and a half inches long. That way it meets the overall length for this setup. Now, if you have an 18-inch bull-barrel, you cannot put it in this stock without SBR-ing it, because at that point it would not meet overall length, and you will have to SBR it.
So I wanted a suppressor on the end of this setup, but however I couldn’t find a company that made an eighteen-and-a-half-inch barrel that was threaded. I could find anybody and their uncle making them eighteen and eighteen-and-a-quarter, but not eighteen-and-a-half, so Joe was nice enough to thread this standard 10-22 barrel for me where I could put a suppressor, this is my Silencerco Sparrow that you guys have seen in multiple multiple videos, I really like that setup. But it’s a pretty fun setup.
Now the good thing about Bullpups is simply this: All the weight -well, not all the weight, but MOST of the weight- goes to the rear of the firearm, so you can handle it one-handed, and you can get pretty fast with it.
Now, I guess, before we go any further, let me shoot it a few more times. Now, having the stock on here’s not going to make your 10-22 any more accurate or anything like that, because accuracy is in the barrel, and also in the receiver. It just makes it really tactical-looking, and really fun to shoot, so…[More gunfire and metalic plinks]
Alright. It’s really, really controllable, like most bullpups. Now let’s talk about some of the specs on this stock.
Now this stock looks very similar to a P-90. You do have your front grip here, and of course thumb hole in the side here. Now right here is the safety, I don’t know if you can see that very well, but it does have a flip safety. If it is towards the trigger it is on safe, all the way forward it is on fire, and it does have another safety -internal safety- on the trigger here. This part right here has to be depressed before you’d be able to pull the trigger. So it does have two safeties. Right here on top is your charging handle. And it is ambi, so you can do it from either side. It does have a top picatinny rail that goes all the way across, and it does accept multiple Ruger magazines. Right now I’m running the BX-25 magazines, and it does– it can use the ten-rounders. You know I think I got a ten-rounder right here in my pocket. So, yeah. Here’s a regular ten-rounder, these are the new ones from Ruger that are clear, and it will snap in there like so. Let’s shoot it a few times.[Shots and metalic plinks]
So, yeah. Magazine release is right here on the bottom, so you simply press your magazine release and your magazine falls out.
This stock is polymer, so I was speaking with Joe, we’ve had several phone conversations about this stock. This is a hot, hot item. Everybody and their uncle wants one of these. Now, not everybody would be willing to pay two-hundred ninty-nine dollars for this stock, because that’s what they MSRP for, but a lot of people have a Ruger 10-22 or multiple Ruger 10-22s in their closet, and they’re looking at a way that they can modify it. Or you just wanna go out and purchase a Ruger 10-22 and put a ZK22 stock on there, but the stock will cost as much as the rifle. But the reason why this stock is, you know, up there in price range a little bit, is because nothing was spared in making this design. All of this material is top-of-the-line, the best you can get. It’s not going to break, it’s not going to fade, it’s not going to chip or crack or anything like that. It is tough, it is thick, thick stuff It’s a pretty good design, and overall I really enjoy shooting it.
On the sides here, on both sides, there are places where you can mount a picatinny rail. So you can put a flashlight on the side, a laser, a bostaff, ninja stars, grenade launcher, whatever you possibly want or think of to mount on these picatinny rails, you can. So, it makes it I guess a “tactical” setup. I can see, you know, for instance, you know, people using this for pest control at night, because it is a short package; and like I said previously in the video, the accuracy is in the barrel, it’s not in the length of the rifle or your overall length. So Ruger 10-22s for the most part are fairly accurate, and, you know, you mount a flashlight or a laser, for pest control in the country, you need to get rid of something, this is a great little setup for that.
You’ve seen everything, and I’ve spoken about everything that you can actually see on this rifle, let’s take it apart and show you exactly how this works.
First thing that we need to do is make sure that the firearm is clear and it does not have anything in there, which, this is unloaded. Since this stock is two pieces that clamp together and held together with bolts, you must first remove any optics that you have on top of the ZK22.
Ok, now that the sight is off, take your allen wrench and simply take out the thirteen bolts that are holding this particular stock together.
Alright, now that we have all of the bolts taken out, let’s open it up and I’ll show you what it looks like. It’s a little tight, because I’ve had it together for a while. There you go.
So as you see, you’ve got a trigger bar that runs all the way across here, that is attached to a small wheel that is inserted to your trigger. Now this is only touching the face of your trigger, so if you have a match-trigger already in your 10-22, a flatface trigger, or a factory trigger, doesn’t matter. So if you three of Volquartsen in here, in your regular 10-22, and you wanted to use your Volquartsen in here, it will work. It will work fine. And right here, you have your charging handle that lays on top here, and it’s a really really good design. So you basically just insert it, and you put everything together, like I said it only takes about thirty minutes to assemble, but I will give you this word of caution: If you are one of these kinda guys that wants to have their firearm spotless at every given time, this may not be the best setup for you, because I’m– I look at a firearm as a tool. I do not clean it every single time I use it. Now, every once in a while when it starts malfunctioning –now this is, I’m talking about rimfire, now– when it starts malfunctioning, I will clean everything, run a bore snake through it, and be good to go. But usually I shoot firearms ’till they start malfunctioning. But if you like guns spotless, this may not be the best setup for you, because it does take fifteen to twenty minutes to assemble and disassemble. You know, it is what it is. I think this is a great design. This is actually the first time I’ve taken it apart after the first time I put it together two weeks ago. I took it apart a couple of times just to familiarize myself with it, but I have not had it apart in a couple of months, it’s a great design, it works really well, and so, let me get this camera turned around, and I’ll give you my final thoughts on it.[more gunfire]
Okay! It runs great. My final thoughts on the ZK-22 by Aklys Defense: I like it. And I like that they use the Ruger 10-22 as the ‘mother gun’ for this setup. The Ruger 10-22 has sold millions and millions of rifles down through the years, and in my opinion, it is probably the greatest 22 longrifle rifle that is semi-automatic that money can buy. Just because they’re so highly accessorized, and you can do anything and everything that you can possibly think of to the Ruger 10-22.
Guys, thank you very much for watching, and ’till next time, y’all be safe, and keep plinkin’.
Source: 22Plinkster Youtube