The Weekly Reload Podcast

Forgotten Weapons' Ian McCollum on the Appeal of Collecting Firearms

January 3rd, 2022

One of my favorite YouTubers joins me on this week's episode of the podcast. Ian McCollum has built Forgotten Weapons into the premier firearms history publication.

His videos documenting some of the world's rarest and most interesting firearms have been viewed nearly a billion times. His depth of knowledge on guns dating to the early 19th century is unrivaled and his ability to explain the unique, and often complex, mechanisms unique to hundreds of different guns from across the globe is impressive. And the way he is able to connect the development of the gun with the historical context to create a compelling story sits at the core of what makes his channel so successful.

We talk about what motivated Ian to get into making gun videos and how he chooses which guns to make videos about. What is it that makes a gun a Forgotten Weapon? What is it about a gun's history that makes it interesting enough to grab hold of millions of eyeballs?

We also get into what it's like to run a successful gun channel while YouTube is continually cracking down on gun content. How does Forgotten Weapons deal with not being able to rely on YouTube for ad revenue?

Plus, Ian discusses whether there were guns throughout history that should've been more popular than they were. He also talks about where gun design is headed and whether something like the Laugo Alien is going to lead to new innovation through the rest of the industry.