Much like blogs, podcasts offer an alternative form of new media that can offer insight and value to the interested consumer. In this instance, I am referring to gun owners that seek gun related news and reviews not commonly available in the mass media and popular press. I’m not sure when exactly I started listening to podcasts, but it was at some point a few years ago after I became bored with the repetitive nature of my iPod and even satellite radio during my hour long commute to and from work. Now, I am a voracious consumer of podcast content related to several of my hobbies and interests. Chief among these are gun related podcasts. In this post, I’m going to share seven of my favorites and perhaps identify some new options to listen to for readers of the blog.
After listening to a variety of gun related podcasts for a while, it becomes obvious that we do indeed live in a small and interconnected gun culture. Everybody knows everybody else, and it seems that podcasters have their own little subgroup. This leads to accolades, good natured ribbing, and in a few instances, outright hostility within the podcast community. I look at it primarily as entertainment, but I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that I have become aware of many new products, trainers, tactics, and techniques by keeping current with a variety of podcast content.
While there are any number of viable podcast delivery apps available, I have been using the now defunct Instacast app to listen with my iPhone. Here’s what I listen to on a regular basis:
- First up, the HandgunWorld Podcast by Bob Mayne. Bob Mayne is a part-time trainer, although he originally started the podcast as just an ordinary guy that “carries a gun because he can’t carry a cop.” Bob releases content once a week, and it is consistently good information for the armed citizen. One of the nice things about Bob’s show is that he does not have any show sponsors, and therefore no commercials! He does advertise classes and a subscription video series called the Shooter’s Club offered by him and another podcaster, but he usually keeps those ads short and unscripted. He has occasional guests, doesn’t review things with which he is not familiar, and is receptive to commentary and feedback. His podcast is probably one of the better ones available for new gun owners, although the content is equally applicable to experienced gun owners.
- Another good one is the Modern Self Protection Podcast, put out by Bob Mayne’s training partner Ben Branam. Ben is a former Marine, former armored car driver, and currently works in the gun industry and offers training classes, often in conjunction with Bob Mayne. The aforementioned Shooter’s Club is a joint project between him and Bob Mayne. He advertises his own classes as well as the video subscription on his podcast. I would say that his content is a little more varied, but still relevant to the armed citizen. One of the things that Ben brings to the table as a podcaster is the fact that he has actually been involved in gunfights, albeit in the military context. His experience offers valuable perspective and he occasionally discusses his gunfights on the podcast. The few guests that Ben has interviewed on the podcast recently have been interesting and informative.
- Gunfighter Cast is a very popular show offered by Daniel Shaw and John McGregor. Daniel Shaw retired from the Marine Corps and is an established trainer working in the gun industry, and John McGregor is an instructor at the Sig Academy and a retired LEO still active in law enforcement. Together, they have considerable experience to offer to interested listeners, as well as bringing on occasional guests that provide unique content. Unfortunately, they only sporadically release new shows. Vexing as this may be, it only seems to add to the show’s popularity! At any rate, listening to past shows is well worth your time and much of the information is still relevant.
- I also listen to the weekly podcast version of the syndicated Ballistic Radio with John Johnston. This show often features interviews with the celebrities of the gun training industry, and despite the commercial nature of the show, I always enjoy it and find it relevant and worth my time. One of the nice things about it being a commercial production is the fact that the podcast length is fixed and predictable without doubt. It is split into four segments, and this may be more valuable to those who have shorter commutes than mine, offering distinct pause points. John Johnston is a good host, and his guests are more often than not paragons of the training industry.
- The American Warrior Show is hosted by Mike Seeklander, and offers a lot of valuable insight to listeners. Mike Seeklander is a former Marine, police officer, and firearms trainer and competitor. In addition to the podcast, I would advise readers to look at his YouTube channel, specifically the new 5×5 Challenge series of videos. More often than not, the podcast features interviews with renowned firearms trainers, and it always seems to be a valuable listen to those of us that seek to embody the warrior spirit. Indeed, that is the professed premise behind the podcast, and it accomplishes this ideal brilliantly. The show is somewhat commercial, but not overwhelming in terms of sponsorship. Relatively new, the podcast has rapidly become one of my favorites.
- The RoadGunner Podcast is the brainchild of Chaz Murray, the Un-Named Trucker with “the worst kept secret identity in Second Amendment radio.” A staunch and profane Libertarian, Chaz is a relatively new firearms trainer associated with the Massad Ayoob Group, a former chef at Walt Disney World, and a longtime over-the-road truck driver. His irreverent commentary is always entertaining, often relevant, and sometimes offensive! While he does have sponsors, the advertising is unobtrusive, and is interjected with humorous farces that add to the entertainment value of the show. In addition to firearms content, Chaz offers frequent restaurant reviews, funny stories from life on the road, and cogent current events commentary, with the occasional paleoesque rice cooker recipe thrown in for good measure! All in all, he offers entertaining and useful content, sometimes only tangentially related to firearms, and often not safe for the ears of children. Highly recommended!
- I also listen to the Polite Society Podcast. This show has evolved over time, but the one constant is the host Paul Lathrop. Paul is also a truck driver, but his show is firearms and politics centric. Indeed, the show started life as the Politics and Guns Podcast. Currently, the show is hosted by Paul and his wife Susan, bloggers Rob Morse and John Richardson, Illinois firearms trainer Gary Daughtery, and Texas firearms trainer and musician Rachel Malone. The show features segments on personal news from the hosts, current events, guest interviews, defensive gun use stories, and e-mail and blog posts at the show closing. Paul is keenly interested in politics and gun news, and the show is continually relevant with the host commentary on current events. The interview segment often features individuals active in gun rights, and the show was able to stream content directly from the Gun Rights Policy Conference earlier this year. Commercial breaks between segments are repetitive, but are also easily skipped through. I find the discussions of training issues to be somewhat remedial, but typically relevant to the average armed citizen. If I were to offer a criticism of the show, it would be that the podcast often extends to two or more hours in length, and therefore becomes onerous to listen to fully. They do make the individual segments available for download though, and despite my reservations, I always listen from start to finish. If you’re interested in the politics of gun ownership and current events, this is the podcast to listen to. I am grateful for their willingness to read listener emails, as they were kind enough to mention the blog on-air once. In addition, I will often submit defensive gun use stories that happen locally, and they have always covered them.
While there are many other gun related podcasts, the ones above are what currently populates my podcast feed. Some others I have listened to once or twice and discarded, and no doubt there are many that I’m not even aware of… If the readers have any suggestions, please let me know in the comment section below! Frustratingly, podcasts with good content can often suddenly disappear without notice or explanation. When the Balloon Goes Up and The Gun Runner Podcast are two examples that I previously listened to but are now defunct, much like my preferred podcast app!
I also want to briefly address some podcasts that are not directly related to firearms, but are nonetheless relevant to gun owners and civilian gunfighters! I have found Start the World by Jack Donovan, Prof CJ’s Dangerous History Podcast, and Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History to be particularly relevant to the times we live in. In addition, Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution Podcast should be of interest to those that are health and fitness conscious, and The Tim Ferriss Show is a consistently interesting foray into excellence and innovation. Finally, Jocko Willink, author of “Extreme Ownership,” now has the Jocko Podcast. As one online comment noted, Jocko is a cerebral warrior. His content is consistently worth a listen!
I’d like to also give a special shout out to Joe Cocozza’s Pod Diver Radio. As the name suggests, this is a podcast devoted to scuba diving in all its many forms, but recently I was pleasantly surprised to find some firearms content covered on the podcast in the form of interviews that Cocozza conducted while at the Great American Outdoors Show. I always knew that a lot of divers liked guns, but perhaps a lot of gun owners also dive! I have briefly corresponded with Cocozza and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to meet him soon.
I doubt that there will ever be a Civilian Gunfighter Podcast, but one never knows! I hope that this post is useful to interested readers, and I hope to hear from our readers with suggestions and comments.