What do you want to see in a YouTube gun video?


May 9, 2011, 08:50 PM
I've got some plans to start publishing a fair number of gun videos on YouTube and ForgottenWeapons.com over the next few months. I've got access to take some really neat and rare stuff to the range - things like a Pedersen rifle, St Etienne 1917, Bergmann-Bayard pistol, and so on.

My question is, what would you like to see in a video about a gun like that? I want to make the most of the opportunity. There will definitely be some disassembly and explanation of the working bits of each gun (that's what we're all about at FW), but beyond that it's up in the air. Any suggestions? Keep in mind that these are generally crazy expensive relics, so torture testing in a mud pit isn't an option. :uhoh:

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Rail Driver
May 9, 2011, 08:52 PM
Lots and lots of muzzle flash. I also like to learn about the history and development of different types of firearms.

May 9, 2011, 09:13 PM
Please, no grating heavy metal music as a background.
Keep the narration crisp and to the point.
Keep the photography clear, well-lit with interesting angles, but as little "jumping" or "shaking" as possible.
Good audio - let's hear what the folks in front of the lens have to say - clearly.
Check your footage as its shot. If any sloppy/unsafe administrative handling is shown leave it on the cutting room floor.

Ignition Override
May 9, 2011, 09:28 PM
Anything based on the style of "hickok45".

You can see or hear almost every round hit the targets.

Cal-gun Fan
May 9, 2011, 09:28 PM
1. I want to see the firearm from all angles. I hate seeing videos where the person talks about different features of the firearm and leaves the camera on one side of it.
2. If you are using any accessories on them, I want to know all about them. Where did you get them, how much are they, do they improve the rifle, etc. Don't assume that just because its a review for the rifle that you don't need to review its accessories.
3. Shoot the dang thing before you review it! I also hate (hater here) videos where people review it based on "how it looks" or "i read this on the internet". I want experience. Try to put some range footage in too and show us your targets with what ammo you used and what distance.
4. What are the specific attributes of the weapon? Don't just say "Oh its a defensive carbine". Give me what I will ACTUALLY use it for. Is it good for hunting, will it defeat obstacles in the brush for plinking and hunting purposes, is it versatile, etc. Concentrate on the attributes of the weapon, not its role.
5. No "Im sosososo kewl i got mah gun and ima run and gun and shoot and play badass music" scenes. Preferably no music at all.
6. Make the title easy to find. I like Nutnfancy's reviews, but he puts the most god-awful dramatic titles on them and has far too many.
7. Don't spend too long on history and such. Refer us to where we can read up about the rifle's history while the video loads or something. Focus on the rifle in the actual videos.

So theres some tips of what I personally like. I'm awfully picky, but I think most will agree.

May 9, 2011, 09:48 PM
I am reading you post about shooting WW1 era firearms wearing puttees... don't ask. Well you can if you want. I want to see clear images of the firearm. Not a blurred pan but a nice steady clear image so I can see all the detail of a firearm I will most likely never see in person. No 25 or 50 yard ranges for rifles. Good crisp information without dragging on for years before you actually shoot. Keep it short and to the point.

May 9, 2011, 09:48 PM
HQ camera used,good sound so as to heard the shot report,camera at point of shot and camera at point of impact....and keep them short no more than 2 mins per video....IMO...

May 9, 2011, 10:15 PM
Less talking. More shooting.

Way too many Nutnfancys lately.

May 9, 2011, 10:29 PM
I'll tell you what I don't want to see instead.
I don't want to see someone with zero knowledge basically saying, "This is my new gun."
I don't want to see them put a few rnds or even a few dozen rnds downrange followed by a endorsement of how reliable it is since it didn't jam after 25 or so rnds.
I don't want to see the narrator looking like trash, a thug or a punk kid.
I don't want accuracy claims based on 2 yd shooting.
I don't want recycled internet myths.
I don't want everything compared to Glocks.
I don't want profanity.
I don't want 37 minute long videos in which everything is compared to Glocks.
I don't want to see stupidity such as bump firing.

Basically if I watch a gun video I want knowledge and professionalism from the guy doing the video. I want to learn something and even if it runs to epic Nutnfancy proportions it's ok if it's full of good information.

May 10, 2011, 12:09 AM
No Talking Heads telling us what we are about to see, make a movie and leave illustrated audio to lesser souls,

fallout mike
May 10, 2011, 12:58 AM
Make sure you curse.every other word. Make. Sure you tell us why it is such a great gun for shtf. And make sure you completely explain why your tactical pants are so great bc of the 1 inch piece of paracord on your zipper pulls.

Tim the student
May 10, 2011, 01:21 AM
I want:

about the history and development of different types of firearms.

Good audio - let's hear what the folks in front of the lens have to say - clearly.

based on the style of "hickok45".

No "Im sosososo kewl i got mah gun and ima run and gun and shoot and play badass music" scenes.

No 25 or 50 yard ranges for rifles.

keep them short no more than 2 mins per video

I also want lessons on sheeple. And how tactical stuff is. And guys on bikes with guns. And knife checks. And I want videos to last about 30 minutes, when all you really say takes up about 2. Ok, I don't want that stuff. No Nutnfancy, k?

May 10, 2011, 01:22 AM
If you don't actually SHOOT the firearms, it is a waste of time. I can see them looking pretty and doing nothing in museums and books. You need to actually fire the weapons.

May 10, 2011, 02:05 AM
If you don't actually SHOOT the firearms, it is a waste of time. I can see them looking pretty and doing nothing in museums and books. You need to actually fire the weapons.

Then I guess you wouldn't much care for this video here (http://www.gunshopfinder.com/kimber/eclipsetarget2.asp)

May 10, 2011, 06:57 AM
I want to watch a video done by someone who uses an excellent camera and has read the manual. Good video devices are cheap today and an hour or two spent on perfecting your technique as a photographer is time well-spent. I want good lighting and excellent audio. I want articulate narration that does not descend into profanity, the rufuge of those with a limited vocabulary. I want to see that some thought went into the planning and execution of the video. A script (planning) is a good idea and the absence of a script is sloppy. And any good video, just like any good feature film, needs to be edited.
There are too many videos available on You Tube that show little planning and little care. Even if the information provided might be excellent, I stop watching if it is presented in a sloppy fashion.

May 10, 2011, 07:34 AM
Something I'm surprised no one has mentioned: Set up a series of scenes that show the firearm being used in a setting and manner which has something to do with its intended purpose.

If it is a service sidearm, set up some basic practical drills -- El Prez, Bill Drill, Mozambiques, etc. -- and show us how effective the gun is for defensive shooting like a police officer, military officer, tanker, pilot or other original intended user might need to do. Tell us how easy or difficult you thought it was to accomplish the task. Is this a sidearm you'd be comfortable relying on in a tight spot?

If it is a target arm, set up something that is close to the original intended target course, or a portion of it at least, on the intended target form, and show us how that gun works under those conditions. What features of this gun assist you in precision accuracy? Tell us a bit about the specific shooting sport this gun was designed to excel in and what makes it good or bad at that task?

If it is a front-line military rifle, get a pile of stripper clips or mags and run a few simple courses of fire. Operate that bolt and reload a few times while prone behind cover. Give us a rapid-fire kneeling string on a ~50 yd. target. How smoothly does the system work? How fast can you reacquire the target and how fast can you put a magazine-full on the "enemy?" Yes, you can shoot it off the bench and show us what kind of accuracy it can produce, but shooting the weapon as it was intended to be shot is much more useful information.

As a side note, try to put together a decent assortment of the accessories and gear that would have been issued or delivered with that weapon. How well does the whole system work together? How smoothly and effectively can you recharge the empty weapon from the issued web-gear? Are there tricks to getting the stripper clips to feed smoothly?

In other words, put the gun into context as much as possible. I can see pictures of one anywhere. Show me how it really WORKS.


Oh, and for heaven's sake, write all of this info down ahead of time, rehearse your spiel, and don't post your first take. Speak clearly and calmly and stick to your script. Give us relevant info without rambling and repeating yourself. If you do a VERY good job planning out your demonstrations, explanations, and detail shots, you should probably have between 5 and 8 minutes of information. Practice, make several tapings, and don't post it until it is honestly watchable.

May 10, 2011, 08:04 AM
history of weapon would be nice

May 10, 2011, 08:41 AM
Thanks, guys - lots of great input here. I appreciate it!

FWIW, you can see my first video post here:


It's a tour of the Forgotten Weapons shop. And yeah, it doesn't quite live up to most of the suggestions here. :o But I'll get there. :)

May 10, 2011, 11:44 AM
Quick history, good/clear demonstration of action, maybe a field strip, shooting. IMO.

Avoid 47 minute long "tabletop reviews."

EDIT: watched your first vid and subscribed. You may want to look into a better camera. I shoot my vids with a simple handheld Canon Powershot digital camera, in 640 (I think) and rip them using windows movie maker to 720HD. Works fine (for youtube). an HD video camera would be better.

Example: (not to say this is the template for a good gun video, but just to show the definition)

May 10, 2011, 12:01 PM
No obnoxious music or "bass fishing" style intro. I'm looking for good video showing the details of the action both on the bench and when worked. I also like to see the recoil to have some idea of how bad it might be. Most videos, esp. those produced on a semi-professional basis, are too much about the host and about making the thing look "cool." I don't care about that, I want to see it in real operation. Ideally torture tested. I want to see warts and all.

Obviously safety is also very important, and I wince when I see a lot of what's out there now.

May 10, 2011, 12:01 PM
As a bonus to what I posted in #16 ...

I like the history of the guns as well, so chalk me up as one that would like to hear at least a snippet of background on when the gun was invented, who fielded it, why it replaced what it replaced, why it was replaced and with what, etc.

But -- and here's the extra credit homework question! -- in the case of military arms especially, if you could find out a little about the military tactics in favor in the nation that fielded this weapon during the years it was in use, please explain how this weapon fit into that context as well.

Is this a close-quarters-battle carbine for use in the jungles of southeast Asia? Is this a mid-to-long range battle rifle for repelling the divisions charging across no-man's land between the trenches? Is this a volley arm designed for close-order formations on an 18th century field of battle? Was it issued to a force that would plan to see heavy fighting, or more guard duty? If a sidearm, was it predominately issued as rank insignia, or as a vehicle driver's defensive arm, or as a cavalryman's ranged weapon? Etc.

Again, it gives context. There were reasons why nations and armies made the choices they did and understanding those choices helps us to better appreciate the wide variety of weapons we might see side-by-side on a dealer's rack.

May 10, 2011, 12:10 PM
One thing I think would be neat is to demonstrate unique mechanical features of the guns and possibly up close. This gives a unique insight into possibly rare guns that people haven't seen and also if any viewers ever do get to handle one in a shop or a show they will be more knowledgeable. Some examples I can think of are:

1) Rare auto revolvers and how they cycle (Webley Fosbury or Matebas)

2) I know some old SM Lee Enfields have a single load magazine cutoff that is sort of interesting if you've never seen it before.

Those are just two I can think of off the top of my head but every time I see a different gun they usually have some unique mechanical quirks and operations to them.

May 10, 2011, 02:28 PM
I would like to see a video that is shot with approptiate background. I see too many with some kid in a messy bedroom, or a guy in a dimly lit workshop.

I would like to see someone who really knows a particular gun, break it down in a concise, easy to follow manner, and reassemble it. I ask for this because it is a great way to learn about a gun I dont yet own, but may consider looking into.

I would like to see a clean cut, articulate person, practicing all the proper safe handling techniques. Some people like to generalize about people who own guns, lets not give them video ammunition against us.

Finally, I would love good camera work. A tripod and good angles makes a video more enjoyable than one that jumps around, never keeps the subject in frame, and leaves me feeling a bit sea-sick.

May 10, 2011, 02:41 PM
I enjoy seeing comparisons of similar guns. For example, if you're doing a review of the S&W 642, maybe hold a LCR next to it for a size comparison. If you're looking at a stevens rifle, maybe show a marlin xl7 and compare their features.

May 10, 2011, 09:56 PM
I would like to see a clean cut, articulate person, practicing all the
proper safe handling techniques.

I can do safe and articulate, but I look like a hippie. :p

Ohio Gun Guy
May 10, 2011, 11:09 PM
1. Refinishing / home upgrade (not cheap tactical crap) videos
2. Unpaid, non-professional, but knowledgable reviews of new models
3. Target videos, WITH THE TARGET at the end.

Guns and more
May 11, 2011, 01:27 AM
What do you want to see in a YouTube gun video?
1. A camera on a tripod. I don't need to see the cameraman's shoes while he talks to you.
2. A presenter who has rehearsed what he wants to say.
3. A presenter who has positioned and prepped his props. Oops, can't get the box open.
4. A windscreen on the microphone. Why does it have to sound like they're in a hurricane?
5. Edit out the mistakes, we all make them. Nobody said this was easy.

That would put you ahead of 99% of YouTube videos.

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