22Plinkster is a household name in the gun community, serving up good, wholesome rimfire fun on YouTube for the past decade. With hundreds of thousands of viewers tuning in to his channel to check out the latest rimfire reviews and trick shots, he’s amassed a loyal following all built on the love of plinking. Guns.com caught up with 22Plinkster to learn more about plinking and get some insight into how he does it.
GDC: First off, give me the evolution of 22Plinkster. What set you on the path towards being what you are today?
22Plinkster: Well, I’ve always enjoyed shooting but it got to the point back when I was newly married that I didn’t have a lot of money. My wife was a full-time college student and I didn’t make a whole lot. I needed something to fulfill my desire of shooting but I couldn’t afford a lot of 9mm at the range or a lot of .40 S&W or anything like that. I’ve always been a fan of .22LR. I grew up shooting them, my dad had several different kinds when I was growing up, and I just started shooting primarily .22LR.
It was about 10 years ago, I think it was about 2009 I uploaded my first video. My best friend lived in Florida at the time and we were into Top Shot — the show that was on History Channel at the time. Dustin Ellermann hit a golf ball at 100-yards with a .22 rifle. I just thought that was an amazing shot under pressure. Next day, I was talking to my friend and he said it was a lucky shot but I said, “When I get home, I’ll recreate the shot, but I won’t do it with a rifle, I will do it with a pistol.” I set the golf ball up, backed up 100-yards and shot it. It went flying. I uploaded the video, that I shot on a phone, to YouTube so my friend could see it and a couple of weeks later I started getting messages from people asking if I could shoot other things. That’s how the channel started.
GDC: Did you ever think you would reach the scale you’re at now with sponsorships and millions of views on YouTube?
22Plinkster: No! This is so far from reality. It’s still very weird when people come up to me and ask if I’m 22Plinkster. After 10 years of doing this, I’m still not used to it. I will never get used to that. I’m just Dave from Tennessee.
GDC: Does it ever get old being 22Plinkster and tying yourself to rimfires?
22Plinkster: It doesn’t get old but it can get mundane trying to come up with something different each and every week, whether it be a review or a trick shot. It used to be a whole lot more fun when YouTube left us alone and let us put anything up that we wanted. I could make viral videos and that’s what I worked towards every month. Now with YouTube taking that away from us, there’s no content going viral anymore. That makes it more difficult now.
And I very seldom get to shoot for fun. I’m taking cameras out with me and two sets of audio gear every time I go to the range. That does get old.
GDC: I totally understand that. I think it’s a common misconception that those of us who work in the gun industry go out, shoot and have fun all day long but that’s not the case, right? It’s work, not so much playtime.
22Plinkster: Yes. Every time I’m shooting, I have a video camera on me. Every time I’m hunting, I have a video camera with me. Every time I’m fishing, I have a video camera on me. It takes some of the fun out of it.
I had an old college professor of mine contact me to say that he’s been watching my videos for a few years now. His niece and nephews were coming to town from Chicago and they’d never shot a gun. He said they were big fans and he asked if we could get together and go shooting. I said, “Of course!” We shot that day for two hours, just for fun. That was so much fun for me just getting to shoot without a camera or some kind of talking points. Just shooting.
GDC: Just plinking is always a good time. What do you think it is about plinkers and rimfires that is so enjoyable?
22Plinkster: I think most people’s first pistol or first rifle was a .22LR. It’s great to learn on from trigger control, to stance, sight alignment, sight picture…it’s a good, all-around training, hunting, practicing pistol.
.22LR ammo is available everywhere. It’s still the cheapest round to shoot. It’s low recoil, low noise — especially if you suppress it. It can be reliable. With the right setup and the right ammo, it can be extremely reliable and extremely accurate. It’s fun!
GDC: Are there are specific features that you think make a gun perfect for plinking?
22Plinkster: You don’t have to have an expensive pistol, it is about what you want to do with it. Do you want it for hunting? Do you want it for practice? Do you want it for competition?
I tell people all the time get a Ruger MKIV or a Smith & Wesson Victory. I recommend those two handguns more than any two handguns because you can start basic but then upgrade them down the road. If not, both those firearms are accurate and reliable enough that you can perform any tricks.
GDC: What about for trick shooting? What’s the key to getting that right?
22Plinkster: If someone wants to get into trick shooting, you have to be aware of your surroundings. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, but you can’t let your guard down because that’s when accidents happen. Be very careful.
Honestly, with most of my trick shots, I had no idea if I could do them. I turn on the cameras and just go with it. If I make the shot, I make the shot.
GDC: Ok, last question, what’s next for you? What are you excited about coming up in the next few months?
22Plinkster: I’m taking a month off to spend time with my family since my kids are home from school. For the channel, I have a lot more reviews coming up. I am getting in a lot of guns that were introduced at SHOT Show that are now coming to market. 80-percent of the reviews will be rimfires, but about 20-percent will be centerfire. I’ve got some really cool guns lined up in the next couple of months.
Check out 22Plinkster over on YouTube to get all the .22LR goodness.