On YouTube, all sorts of folks are out there trying to make a buck or three by offering content. Some of it borders on very good. Some falls into the very poor category and most of it falls in the middle. Unfortunately, when it comes to information on guns and self-defense, offering bad information can get someone who doesn’t know any better killed.

Yes, if you have a thousand subscribers and X many hours of people watching, you can monetize your account.  How much does it “pay”?  Not very much.  A hundred thousand views of advertising-laden content will net the publisher (called an “influencer”) roughly $200-600.

In some ways it’s like real estate. Everyone sees that high-profile realtor selling a few million in sales in a given month and bring home about 3% of that and all the others see are dollar signs.  ($3M x .03% = $90,000.  Not a bad month’s income!)

On YouTube, as an example, there’s a guy called “Blippi.”  He’s gone from rags to riches doing programming for very young kids’ content.  With 17M subscribers, he gets a lot of views and makes a lot of money doing silly videos that parents play (over and over) to entertain their infants and toddlers while they do domestic chores and catch a moment’s rest.  Blippi’s most popular video has 898 million views.  (898M x $4 per million = $3.5M over the past four years it’s been up.)

So, with dollar signs in their eyes, all sorts of folks in the gun community have fired up their cameras and jumped onto YouTube and other social media outlets despite YouTube rules about guns and content.  

Some, like our own Todd Vandermyde, the former NRA contract lobbyist for Illinois, offers niche content (legislative and legal analysis) in areas well-within their wheelhouses.  I’d highly recommend Vandermyde’s Freedom’s Steel if you want to stay on the cutting edge of what’s happening.  He doesn’t hold much back, either.  (Don’t tell anyone, but I watch his stuff religiously and you should too to stay up to date and informed.)

On the other hand, others go outside of their wheelhouses with content that seems like it’s just put up to bait people into watching.  One crossed my desk this morning from “Prepared Airman.”  The topic:  “I will never install Night sights ever again!”


Great. 8 minutes and 45 seconds of your life that you’ll never get back.  He starts off by saying “night sights are 100% a gimmick.”

Okay, Francis.

Then he talks about “many keyboard warriors and people who say they know things” being wrong about night sights.

So where does Mr. Talking Horse go from there? He recommends “saving money” by installing a battery-powered red-dot optic instead of wasting money with traditional tritium-powered night sights.

I’ll share a spoiler that will take you 10 seconds to read:  “Red dot sights are better than night sights (which they are), so don’t waste your money installing night sights on your pistols. Put on red dots instead.”

Opinions are like rectums, everyone’s got one and you know the rest.

Because every pistol’s slide is configured for night sights (they’re not), and because batteries never go dead or leak and go dead (they do) and electronics never fail. No, never.  And because everyone is an “operator” out there in the world.  Of course.

Get night sights folks. Most deadly force encounters take place in low-light conditions, because bad guys prefer darkness! For everyday people they represent a huge game-changer in terms of how well they can make hits when the light grows dim. Far from a gimmick, they’ll save your life, no matter what some young man in front of his basement workbench has to say.

Unless you’re a high-speed, low-drag operator operating operationally with a team of fellow operators facing an enemy with night vision, run night sights on your guns.  And if your likely adversary has night vision they probably have thermal, so you’re screwed either way.  

Maybe his preparedness content is better than his dubious advice on night sights. I didn’t stick around to find out. Time is valuable.

5 thoughts on “YouTube Gun ‘Experts’: Caveat Emptor”
  1. Good advice. I purchase night sights standard on every new pistol I buy, and have retrofitted many of my older weapons with aftermarket products. A decent sight pusher can be bought for a small outlay, and it is very useful to have around.

  2. I also just found out that the TRO was not only upheld by the Fifth Appellate, but it was now extended to the entire state. It no longer just encompasses the 866 original plaintiffs, but all of us. Kwame blew it, again. He is demanding an expedited hearing with the Illinois Supreme Court.
    My understanding is that on a 2-1 vote, the 5th agreed that the plaintiffs are likely to prevail on the equal protection clause violation, which arbitrarily exempts a few protected classes from the law, while subjecting the rest of us to it. Onwards to the ISC.

  3. So paying for YouTube subscription is bad but paying Douchebag DeVore is ok??? I bet if he cut you in GLS he would have a better review…just saying…I can already hear the DeVore whore’s pounding there key boards

  4. Fortunately the bad channels go away sooner rather than later. But not always. Like those “it is a trap” youtube vids about how if you register your pistol brace as a short barrel rifle with the ATF, you’re going to get rated and sodomized by the ATF lawyers in the end.

  5. As an Internet expert, it truly annoys me when non-experts trying talking about anything. 🙂
    As for night sights, that reminds me, mine died a while back after several years on my firearm. Well, there’s a new project.
    The money is the lure for so many channels; they all picture working a few hours a week and being millionaires.
    But I do thank the channels that feature their attractive wives, girlfriends, sisters, etc. The only problem is I usually pay no attention to the video content itself for some reason.

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