My top 10 YouTube channels for learning to shoot/carry better.

I got into a discussion the other day about good YouTube resources to get educated on gun stuff. It is a travesty that there are some great, super knowledgeable instructors who post valuable advice and then get 3,000 hits, while some dumb ass can pontificate about dumb shit and get 300,000, and the audience doesn’t even know enough to know that they’re getting terrible advice.

So here’s a list of some channels that I think offer really good stuff to get you shooting better, or to help you with concealed carry tips. I’m putting these up for educational value, not entertainment value. I enjoy the hell out of Demolition Ranch seeing how many washing machines a Barrett can shoot through, but I’m talking practical/educational, and the fun channels already have huge traffic.

  1. Langdon Tactical
  2. Modern Samurai Project
  3. Lucky Gunner – especially their Start Shooting Better videos
  4. PHLster – the best source for tips on how to carry concealed in a way that’s effective, fast, and comfortable.
  5. Active Self Protection – about 30,000 videos of actual gun fights.
  6. Tim Herron
  7. Pat Mac
  8. Demonstrated Concepts LLC
  9. Paul Gomez
  10. Shiv Works

It’s already wildly popular, and not so much about competition or defensive shooting, but I personally love Forgotten Weapons. It’s an educational deep dive on a lot of very cool guns.

These others were suggested to me by shooters I respect/trust, but I’ve not watched much of them myself, Complete Combatant, Kyle Lamb, Lee Weems, Citizens Safety Academy, and Armed and Styled (I’m told this one is really great for new shooters).

WriterDojo S2 Ep26: Historical Fantasy
WriterDojo S2 Ep25: Supporter Spectacular (Round 4)

42 thoughts on “My top 10 YouTube channels for learning to shoot/carry better.”

  1. Like all good professors you just assigned us a mountain range worth of homework.
    I know what I am going to be doing for the next year and a half. lol

  2. In the same vein as Forgotten Weapons but more specifically about milsurp is C&Rsenal. Their Primer series looking at the small arms of WWI has 158 episodes to date. They average about an hour long and go deep into the history of the guns.

  3. I really have enjoyed Lucky Gunner’s start shooting better. Really gave me some good drills. I’ve seen some of the others but not to this degree.

    Ever seen and any thoughts on Sage Dynamics?

    1. If you want to know if your micro Red Dot is good to go and how to shoot with one, Sage Dynamics is one of the best channels.

      His reviews are great too.

  4. Thank you for this, Larry. I know I need to spend more time dry firing and getting to the range. All of this should help facilitate that. Much appreciated.

    1. The Mantis X is great for helping your dry fire practice, even the most expensive version is way cheaper than a case of ammo.

      Just a couple of minutes a day over the course of a few weeks and I’m way better with my trigger control and alignment.

      If you want a way of practicing with your AR without having to manually resetting the trigger, the Blackbeard is wonderful too. Great for introducing new shooters safely in a calm and familiar place first, rather than a noisy shooting range.

  5. What kinds of firearm guides would you suggest for a writer who wants to use guns in his fiction but isn’t very knowledgeable of them? I find a lot of beginner guides to be a bit overwhelming. Looking for a guide to melee weapons too.

    1. Take a class. There just isn’t any substitute for actual hands-on experience. As a bonus, you’ll learn to shoot for real.

      Then you’ll be ready to write gun scenes that won’t make people who know about guns cringe. Start by ensuring that your characters follow proper gun safety procedures. Unless the character is supposed to be an idiot about guns, that is.
      “They were the bad guys, as you say, we were the good guys, and they made a very satisfying THUMP when they hit the floor!”

    2. Do you want a guide to modern melee weapons or archaic melee weapons? I’m not sure about modern, but for archaic, go to the Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA).

      1. Mostly I want to be a able to write training montages without sounding like I don’t know what I’m talking about. The weapon is, let’s say magic, and can take different forms so specific types aren’t as important (I don’t need to know the difference between hundreds of different longswords, for example)

        1. I suggest looking up Wiktenauer. It’s a repository of scans and translations for all the sword fighting manuals from the medieval and Renaissance periods known to still exist (unfortunately lacks some newer treatises, but Napoleonic saber and the like likely beyond your interest anyways)

      2. SCA is good for basic baton/sword work. And some use the fightbook techniques. Though HEMA says they’re better, SCA does teach the individual to do all the right moves and teaches it via the pain method.

        Both have good points, both have bad points.

        I’ve beaten HEMA fighters using SCA techniques. And been beaten by HEMA fighters. Eh, the truth is nobody really knows because as one of the best Escrima fighters in the US said, “Gun Fu wins out over Kung Fu every time.” And he was rather freaked as to how hard we hit.

        But for melee work, SCA works…

    3. Rory Miller wrote a book “Violence: A Writer’s Guide, Second Edition” by Rory Miller and Steve Perry
      Super for avoiding SOME writing mistakes (no more shooting someone with a 9mm and having them fly backwards, eh? Only the book is WAY better than that!)

  6. Paul Harrell is pretty good, though he’s often into more intermediate and specialized than a bare beginner, though he has some videos for that too.

    1. +1 on Paul Harrell. He can be repetitive and tediously detailed, but he offers good information.

    2. Paul is more an entertainment and review-ish than a “how to shoot better” channel.

      His approach to testing can be something of an acquired taste, but he is completely and totally sincere about what he does.

      Also, he has been in a gunfight and survived. So he’s got that going for him.

      1. This is accurate. Though, he wasn’t an acquired taste for me. I got hooked on his first video. I appreciate his humility, error-free elocution, and dry humor.

    3. Another +1 for Paul Harrell.
      He’s fun to watch. He does some videos on carrying and tactics, but mostly he does firearm and ammunition comparisons. His testing of different calibers is especially interesting – yes, his targets are odd, but he’s trying to find a way to do better than ballistic gel, and I applaud the effort.
      Very, very thorough and scientific.

    1. For those of us fortunate enough to have known him, he’s unforgettable. It’s a shame that he wasn’t better known when he was with us. Damn good instructor, damn good shooter, and an even better friend.

  7. The USCCA series of courses seem to be reasonably good. Not everyone is a member, but from a risk/reward standing I’m betting my $22 a month will either never be used or desperately needed one day.
    I’ve had five interesting encounters where having a gun or having the perp believe there was one made a difference in my life.
    Hopefully none of them will ever be repeated, and if they are that I’ll never have to fire a round… but knowing I’ll have a lawyer and bail so I can work on my defense lets me sleep a little better at night.

  8. To this, I would add “The Law of Self Defense” blog and Youtube channel by Andrew Branca.

    He doesn’t do gun stuff, but he pretty much literally wrote the book on self defense law!

    I want to say “Mas Ayoob”, too, for both law of self defense stuff, and practical considerations for carrying guns, but I don’t think he has a Youtube channel, and I can’t remember off the top of my head what channel he shows up in a lot.

    1. Beat me to it.

      If you’re looking to carry concealed and defend yourself and your family legally, Andrew Branca’s “Law of Self Defense” is a must read/watch. He covers the legal aftermath of self-defense shootings, what the defender did right, what he/she might have done better to avoid legal trouble. He also covers the trials of some of the big cases — to date he did play-by-plays of George Zimmerman’s, Michael Dunn’s (the “loud music” shooter), and Kyle Rittenhouse’s trials, from arraignment to verdict — and breaks down the proceedings to be easily accessible to us non-lawyers.

      Very interesting stuff, especially how far a politically-motivated prosecutor is willing to bend, stretch, flog, and sometimes outright ignore the law in their push for a high-profile conviction.

      Massad Ayoob is also a good resource. He doesn’t have his own YouTube channel, but as Joe in PNG said, he’s a regular contributor on Wilson Combat’s channel, among others. He also blogs a few times a week at Backwoods Home Magazine ( He has some good tips on how to get and keep the responding officers on your side after a self-defense shooting; it never hurts if the “official” report on the incident reads heavily in your favor.

      It’s good to have all these points of view to see the full picture of a self-defense shooting — and aftermath — from several angles.

  9. Awesome list!

    Damn. I sure do miss Gomez. On top of being a damn good shooter, a damn good instructor, and a repository of firearm and shooting knowledge (some of which was freaking scary obscure), he was a really good dude and a good friend.

  10. Don’t forget the Active Self Protection Extra channel.

    John Correia’s (I’m assuming no relationship with Larry) second channel is full of shooting drills, dry fire practice, shooting class audits, interviews, reviews, how to choose a holster, and so much more.

    A couple of highlights:

    The Chronicles of the Range Monkey is a great series shortish videos (almost sixty now) that document the continuing progress of a young female shooter from novice to experienced.

    Everyone needs to watch the Chuck Haggard OC class playlist. Everything you need to know about OC use except how it feels to be sprayed.

  11. He’s kind of a douche but you’ll have to go a long way to find a better shooter than Ben Stoeger. He’s also a very good, effective instructor. He’s geared toward USPSA but the man knows marksmanship and how to teach it. Ignore most of his After Dark vids and focus on his teaching ones. Really, really good. Changed my grip completely.

  12. I’ve mostly been watching Gunsite, USCCA, and U.S. LawShield. The last mostly for it’s legal advice. So these are all new to me, looks like I’ve got a lot of watching to do, thanks for taking the time to post this 🙂

  13. Big fan of Forgotten Weapons and 9-Hole reviews here, though to be fair, I also go to Brandon Herrera when I need a laugh, not really for advice.

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