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Getting 65,000 firearms industry types together in the same place for the SHOT Show means the annual Las Vegas confab also becomes the venue for a host of annual award presentations. That included honors like the 17th annual Golden Moose Awards, the Emmys of outdoor programming. This year rifle and bow hunter Junie Pack took home a Moose for the Sportsman Channel’s ‘Just Junie’, all about a mother of two who knows how to put her own food on the table.

Entertaining as these shows may be, our guess is that their audiences are primarily made up of those already included in the Venn diagram of gun owners and hunting enthusiasts. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. While we’d like to broaden the appeal of firearms ownership and Second Amendment rights to non-gun owners and those on the fence, The People of the Gun deserve entertainment, too. Do you click over to catch this kind of programming? Do you watch gun-related and outdoor-oriented TV?



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    • Pretty much the same here. I bailed from TV in general around ’02.

      Any since then I’ve torrent’ed. Well, there was one I kinda liked, *slightly* gun related, ‘Pawn Stars’. That shop tho was substantially higher-end than any of the shops I’ve worked at.

      One thing they did capture, even though some (or most) of them were likely staged, was that you *never* knew what just might walk in the front door.

      And yeah, the folks that work there really do scarp up the sweet deals…

  1. Generally, watching other people trapse around in the woods “stalking” their game and making the kill shot isn’t very interesting to me. The hunting shows mostly bore me with the hunter whispering about this and that and then doing high fives and rebel yells about how awesome that was. I’ll watch a high-quality production, well-done 3-gun match and some of the You-Tube-posted bird hunting in England/Scotland/Wales. The current World Cup Biathlon events (skiing followed by shooting) being posted also are on my watch list but otherwise, I’d rather be out shooting rather than watching someone else doing it.

    • Ken, I thought I was the only one who detested these guys sitting in blinds all camoed up on a game ranch that do the “High Five Dance” as if they accomplished some great stalk through treacherous terrain for a one in a million shot.

      Maybe I’m different, but taking game is for me both a happy and solemn occasion.

    • I’d agree on all the white tail shows but when they’re hun ting someplace other than North America it can be interesting.

  2. Once in a while I’ll flip over to Outdoor or Sportsman channels but most of it is hunting shows which are pretty boring. R Lee Ermy’s show and some of the others that have competition highlights are worth watching. I would like to see gun shows that are more exciting, everything now is geared towards Fuds.
    Colion Noir should have his show broadcast, his last two seasons have come on as really great. Or some of the other youtube stars like Demo Ranch, Vickers, Kirsten Joy Weiss, etc. They are all awesome but they are all easy to catch on youtube so they don’t really need to go on TV broadcast I suppose.

  3. The old Top Shot show was good for the shooting stuff. I hated the vote-em-off-the-island crap that they finally did away with in their last season but I always enjoy a good shooter-on-shooter contest. Wish there was more of that.

    • Yep Top Shot is what I was going to put as well and I’m in the exact same camp as you about the voting crap. I also like Forged in Fire, not about guns but forging knives is good tv.

    • Ah yes, Top Shot. Putting two rival teams in the same house in order to drum up some phony drama. Voting off the guy the rest of the team liked least. All the usual claptrap of the “Survivor” wannabe shows. I watched for the first three seasons because I liked the idea of really good shooters competing with different weapons, What I came away wondering was how in the world they could manage to make this show so goddam BORING!

      Also, it should have been about shooting. Tomahawks, knives, slingshots? Maybe cool just as added entertainment, but they should never have been used as a criteria for elimination. And as for the elimination, if there had to be one based on personal votes as opposed to who had the worst score, having each person fire at a particular target while everyone watched was just another way to stir up drama and controversy in the house afterwards.

      I would have given each person a black powder pistol (real black powder, not Pyrodex), done a “Ready, Aim, Fire!” countdown, and see who was eliminated after the smoke cleared.

      But that’s just me.

  4. Joe Montegna’s Gun Stories is pretty good.
    Under Wild Skies with Tony Makris is good. (I got to fix his knife for him)
    There is some good precision rifle competition show going.
    I do like Extreme Outer Limits, but it’s probably because I know Bob and Chris.

  5. I used to watch the shooting oriented shows on Wednesday nights on the Outdoor Channel. Then I got laid off and needed to cut back. I HATE sports, and was able to drop most of the sports channels, for a substantial savings. Unfortunately, the Outdoor Channel went with the channels devoted to felons chasing inflated animal skins.

    I work IT phone support on the second shift. When things slow down, I watch firearms related channels on YouTube, C&Rsenal, Hickock45 and TAOFLEDERMAUS in particular.

  6. I don’t get Outdoor Network and know of no other shows on satellite. My new idiot box has YouTube built in, which is nice, but given my crummy internet connection 360p streaming looks like garbage on a 4K HDTV.

  7. If the TV had shows like C&Rsenal’s or Forgotten Weapons or InrangeTV, etc, etc, I would. As you might imagine, gun-oriented TV is thin on the ground in Canada.

  8. Most of the good guns content is still online. The last two shows I saw about shooting were people sitting in a blind and whispering about how hard it is to hit birds with shotguns, and the other was people doing moderately complicated target shooting between 5 minute shilling segments for guns I hate. The Olympics would have been decent but they showed maybe 20 minutes of actual competition with .22’s because that network had the worst coverage in history.

  9. I generally stick to tactical/military type stuff. I have an unhealthy obsession with any and all things tank-related and that spills over into lots of former-military channel shows. That said tho, I usually stick to NOIR or other YouTube vids as I’m a skinflint when it comes to tv programming. You can pick up entire series on dvd for the cost of one month of some streaming services and several others for the same price as DirecTV…

  10. Nope. I watch shows that have guns in them, like The Walking Dead, but not because of the guns, but that’s a nice side show. Until they start firing them, with no slide movement or recoil to speak of (except the ARs, they usually make the shoulder move a little even in TWD).

  11. Youtube stuff. Demolition ranch. forgotten weapons. TFB tv. Inside The Chieftan’s Hatch.

    That sort of stuff. I like stuff thats fairly quick and has some humor to it. So no nutnfancy.

    • I watched one Demo Ranch video, where he bought a .50 Barret and brought it home and stuck it on his kitchen island while his wife was making sandwiches. Thought it was entertaining enough.

      Later in the video, he was talking with his wife about them not making much money due to him opening his own vet clinic. After that, I absolutely tell as many people I can how much of a douche he is.

      “The money is in my checking account for this rifle, but the bank doesn’t do transactions that large.”

      “We’re not making a lot of money.”

      • His vet videos are interesting. Like when he had a dog in that had a snout loaded with porcupine quills…

      • I don’t care if the trained monkey is a douche. I want to be entertained. For free. He fills that bill, along with others.

      • He’s doing just fine. It just takes awhile to get things going when you open your own business. You’ve formed the opinion that someone is a ‘douche’ because he bought something nice while striking out on his own as a veterinarian. It’s a cold winter’s day, but you’re a warm Summer’s Eve, because you’re a douche.

        • My issue is him dropping $14k+ on a rifle in a video, CASH essentially, then turning around 5 min later in the same video saying “we aren’t making much money”, and that things are hard for him right now. Apparently not THAT rough, that you spend $14k in cash on a gun. Don’t get me wrong, it’s his money, he can do whatever he wants to do with it, but don’t just throw money like that around and then cry about not having any. And on top of that, posting in online for people to feel sorry for you.

          That’s a douche thing to do.

  12. I would love good fire arms content. My problem is most if not all of the stuff on tv is nothing more than a reality show with guns. I HATE REALITY SHOWS. I had high hopes for Top Shot but it turned out to be just another reality show with the vote them out garbage. When somebody gets it right I’ll be there to watch. Until then, I get all of my firearms content on youtube and full30

  13. Pffft.


    EVERY time I see a gun or hunting show on TV, I cannot make it more than five minutes into such a thing before I turn the TV off before my brain becomes damaged from the level of stupidity on display.

    The example I love to use is Mr. “Nevah been dun befor!” ginning up a whole bunch of drama about driving hours away to obtain parts for fixing their clapped-out Bridgeport mill to make some deadline, while just barely out of focus in the background, they have a Haas VF-2 sitting right there.

    • That’s funny, too, because Haas machines aren’t particularly difficult to program (I run a couple of VF-3’s at work). Maybe it’s the “drama factor”…?

      • Heck, for what I recall them needing done, they didn’t even need to program it. They could have used the hand jog function and gotten what they needed done.

        • Yup, pretty much. I generally use handle jog when I want to do a quick face-off on a plate, though. Not hard to write a quickie program in MDI, if I want something simple done and I don’t need to save the program. Our shop makes a lot of armor plate components for military vehicles (as well as pintle mounts for M2 .50 caliber machine guns). A few other things as well, but it’s nearly all military.

  14. Yep I watch gun TV. Sportsman & Outdoor Channel. No hunting stuff or wilderness stuff. Gun Hunter was cool on Smithsonian. too. Never a fan of “reality” show Top Shot. I have noticed Sportsman is gone from Ondemand and Outdoor only has hunting /fishing ondemand. I don’t view much YouTube though unless it’s a specific firearm. And I spend WAY too much time HERE and on Facebook.

  15. I used to enjoy watching “American Gun” until Discovery Channel decided that it would be “insensitive” to continue airing it after Sandy Hook.

    Needless to say, I don’t watch ANYTHING on Discovery Channel any more…

  16. No…the hunting shows for the most part are ridiculous on many levels and the gun shows lack useful information for the most part. And the ads…..10+minutes of ads in a 30 minute show….no thanks.

  17. YouTube or Full30? Sure, and I even post up occasional shooting videos on my YouTube channel (it’s mostly devoted to abandoned mine exploration videos). Television? No, I don’t own a television (the only television in the apartment is used as a Playstation 2 monitor by a roommate).

    • SP. I’m very interested in your mine exploration stuff.
      I’ve done a bit of that myself in NE Oregon using metal detectors.
      Care to share a link?

  18. I don’t really watch TV. When I did I watched. Mail Call on occasion but mainly to see if Emrey would tell someone they could suck a golf ball through a garden hose.

  19. I used to see a show on cable TV where some competition shooters would compete using three classic firearms. I was interesting to see what they had and the course they had to complete.

    I also used to watch R Lee Emery’s Lock’n’Load (what does he have against Watermelons?). My son, aged 15 months at the time, would crawl over and climb on my lap to watch. I think that got him interested in firearms, which he is still interested in 8 years later.

  20. “The People of the Gun deserve entertainment, too.”

    Which is why almost every watchable Hollywood movie is a gun movie. I’m now waiting for John Wick 2.

  21. TV Programming? Nope … We’ve been “unplugged” from cable TV since 2013.

    I watch gun content on YouTube via our Amazon FireTV. Sadly there is no Full30 app for FireTV – otherwise I’d be watching a lot of that.

  22. You forgot to mention that I won Best Non-Sporting Breed at the Golden Moose Awards! I asked Nick L. to be my dream date to the ceremony, but he was otherwise engaged (JOKE!).

    Seriously, if I could briefly toot my own horn, I think that with GUN STORIES WITH JOE MANTEGNA and THE BEST DEFENSE: MASS CASUALTY EVENT, we’ve managed to kick firearms-oriented programming up a couple of notches. We filmed the Mass Casualty Event special to “real” teevee standards, and I would stack it against anything from Discovery or History.

    OC is rolling out HOLLYWOOD GUNS later this year; I’m not producing, but it’s based on one of my original outlines. It’s going to be great.

    My focus this year is on Internet products, including the on-line version of SHOOTING GALLERY. I’m hoping to carve out the money to do another special like the Mass Casualty Event.

    I very much wanted to produce a hunting series along the lines of the special hunting shows we’ve produced for SHOOTING GALLERY, but I couldn’t get OC on board. My production team and I may do version for the Internet.

    Lots to do; never enough time or money…

    Michael B

    PS: Good to see you, Nick!

    • Hey I watch your shows. I am also one of your 3800 FB “friends”. I’m late to the party( in my 60’s) and need all the knowledge I can glean…keep up the glood work Mr. Bane!

  23. Not much since Fios took away The Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman channel. I do check out videos on various websites.

  24. I don’t have cable, so I don’t watch any of those shows. YouTube/Full30 fills my appetite for gun programming (not mention stuff about my other hobbies/interests).

  25. The two best firearms shows, neither of which were mentioned here, were “Justified” and “Hell on Wheels”. Guns are not just about sport.

  26. I watch anything on Outdoor Channel by Mr. Bane, but I just wish the shows were all an hour long and I could see them in hi-def.

    Top Shot I would record and fast forward past the drama to see the bug-ass crazy shooting competitions.

    I also liked Talesof the Gun when it was on.

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