The Shooting 50 is our list of the most influential Twitter profiles in the firearms industry.
The list includes nonprofit organizations, firearms manufacturers, media, journalists, and shooting sports athletes. Their Twitter profiles help their users navigate the complex firearms industry through engaging and informative conversations.
The majority of these movers and shakers will gather next week in Las Vegas for the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show, January 13-14, 2014, the largest shooting, hunting and tactical trade show in the world. Wide Open Spaces will have boots on the ground at SHOT Show bringing you complete coverage of the latest and greatest firearms products.
Throughout 2014, Wide Open Spaces will have similar lists of influential figures, organizations and companies in other outdoor sports industries, including hunting and fishing.
So, without further ado, here’s The Shooting 50:
1. The National Rifle Association – @NRA
The NRA is the most influential and powerful firearms organization in the US. Their mission revolves around promoting firearms competency, providing firearms training and certification programs, and defending Second Amendment rights. The NRA’s Twitter account is followed by over 200,000 people and made up of mostly links to news stories, but their recognizability and devotion to gun rights makes them number one.
2. Beretta – @Beretta_USA
Beretta is the granddaddy of firearms manufacturers. They are the oldest gunmaker in the world, and have inspired countless gun designs. Several of The Shooting 50 entries, along with other notable figures in the firearms industry follow Beretta’s Twitter feed. Known as “Beretta Nation,” the huge fan base that uses Beretta products gets great feedback from the brand’s Twitter account, and vice versa. Weekly polls and plenty of fantastic gun images make regular appearance in their feed.
3. The National Shooting Sports Foundation – @NSSF
If you own a gun, you should be following the National Shooting Sports Foundation. As the premier trade organization for the firearms industry, one that is 10,000 members strong, NSSF is devoted to promoting and preserving shooting sports. Each year NSSF holds the SHOT Show, the largest annual gathering for firearms manufacturers, retailers and media in the world. The majority of their tweets revolve around what’s making news in the industry, as well as “Bullet Points,” a great round up of things you need to know.
4. Cabela’s – @Cabelas
Known as “the World’s Foremost Outfitter,” Cabela’s is a massive outdoor retailer that supplies sport shooters around the world. The company offers a huge selection of firearms, ammunition, gun accessories, and maintenance services. Cabela’s is a major sponsor of the SHOT Show, and has a strong following of sportsmen through their social media channels. With over 130,000 followers and the popular #deernation hashtag that encourages hunters to send in bucks they’ve bagged, there’s no wonder why Cabela’s account is so active.
5. Ted Nugent – @TedNugent
The “Motor City Madman” is one of the most staunch and outspoken advocates of shooting sports and the Second Amendment. Ted Nugent has also been on the NRA’s Board of Directors since 1995. He currently hosts “Spirit of the Wild” on the Outdoor Channel, a program that explores outdoorsmanship. Nugent’s affinity for backstraps, and the general use of venison for a home-cooked meal, has become a bit of a Twitter slogan for the guitarist, adopted by his followers as a rallying cry for deer hunters.
6. Glock Inc. – @GlockINC
Glock handguns can be found in the hands of law enforcement officers, military personnel and sport shooters around the world. They also sponsor Team Glock, a successful professional shooting sports team that competes with sports shooters in the US and around the world. You can follow their profile for updates on their full line of products and news about Team Glock.
7. Willie Robertson – @williebosshog
Willie Robertson of the extremely popular TV show “Duck Dynasty” has one of the most influential profiles on Twitter, with more 1,700,000 followers. Robertson is the president of Duck Commander, the popular duck hunting call brand at the center of “Duck Dynasty.” Duck Commander has recently partnered with firearms manufacturer Mossberg & Sons to develop the Duck Commander series of guns. Be sure to follow Robertson for updates on the new gun line and news related to the show.
8. Colt Firearms Manufacturing – @ColtFirearms
Colt Firearms Manufacturing is the division of Colt that designs and sells handguns, revolvers and rifles for general citizens. Their Colt .45 revolver, also known as the Single Action Army, is one of the most famous firearms ever made. Their counterpart, Colt Defense, designs guns and rifles for law enforcement and national defense industries. Colt holds a weekly #FollowColt Twitter contest, where entrants upload and tag photos of their Colt firearms for a chance to win prizes.
9. USA Shooting – @USAShooting
USA Shooting is the nonprofit organization that administers the US Olympic shooting sports athletes, teams and events. Olympic shooting sport athletes compete in a variety of events using pistols, rifles and shotguns. Follow @USAShooting for updates and coverage the Olympic events and trials leading up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. Their tagline “Rio In Sight” has caught on as a hashtag for Olympic hopefuls, and is helping raise awareness as competitive shooting sports prepare for their biggest stage.
10. American Rifleman – @NRA_Rifleman
American Rifleman is an official NRA publication that focuses on gun reviews and firearms industry news. Their in-depth reviews cover handguns, rifles, shotguns, ammunition, accessories and gear. Their regular “Gun of the Week” and “The Armed Citizen” features are favorites of their nearly 55,000 Twitter followers.
11. Smith & Wesson – @SmithWessonCorp
Smith & Wesson’s high-quality firearms are widely popular among among sport shooters, law enforcement agents, military personnel and general citizens. Their Twitter feed is followed by 60,000 users, and provides great sneak peeks and unveilings of their extensive line of guns. It also provides updates on sponsored shooters and the competitions they participate in.
12. Remington Arms – @remingtonarms
Remington is the oldest gunmaker in the US. They are the only manufacturer of both firearms and ammunition in the states, and produce some of the most popular guns among sportsmen. Their shotguns and rifles are staples of the shooting sports industries and law enforcement organizations throughout the country. Their Twitter support of advocacy programs, most notably #TakeaStandNow, which helped raise awareness and support for the fight to stop gun regulation changes.
13. Guns and Ammo – @GunsAndAmmoMag
Guns and Ammo is perhaps the most popular firearms publication in the world. In addition to their print and online magazine, Guns and Ammo’s publication network includes Handguns, Rifle Shooter, and shotgun news. It’s a must-follow for any gun enthusiast, as their Twitter account not only provides links to good content, but it asks intriguing, thought-provoking questions and shares their weekly caption contests.
14. NRA Blog – @NRAblog
The NRA Blog provides education, training and competition information to their 38,000+ followers. Officially a project of the NRA’s Media Relations division, the blog shares details on the youth and women’s programs connected to the organization, as well as NRA member-created content. As far as engaging with followers goes, the NRA Blog does it right; their conversations can carry on for a while, encouraging even more interaction.
15. Gun Owners of America – @GunOwners
Gun Owners of America is one of the predominant pro-gun lobbies in the US, with more than 300,000 members. The organization actively lobbies Capitol Hill to prevent gun-control laws from passing. An obviously political-based organization, Gun Owners of America isn’t afraid of getting a little controversial from time to time, evidenced by their outspoken Twitter feed with more than 25,000 followers.
16. My Gun Culture – @mygunculture
Writer and shooting expert Tom McHale’s My Gun Culture, is a popular blog with firearms enthusiasts. The blog features articles cover a wide range of topics in the firearms industry, including news, shooting tips, and more. Tom replies often and shares plenty of links to his blog, but also sparks conversation and isn’t afraid to touch on sensitive topics with his followers.
17. Julie Golob – @JulieG1
A highly-accomplished sport shooter and author, Julie Golob is popular voice in the shooting industry. Captain of Smith & Wesson’s shooting team, she’s won over 120 competitions. She authored “Shoot: Your Guide to Shooting and Competition” in 2012. Her newest e-book, “Shooting While Pregnant – A Resource for Expecting Moms,” is one of the first in-depth guides for the much debated topic.
18. Dustin Ellerman – @TopShotDustin
Top Shot Season 3 champion Dustin Ellerman is one of the most popular and engaging personalities in Twitter’s shooting space. In addition to shooting, Ellerman writes for Texas Fish and Game Magazine and publishes informative and humorous shooting-themed YouTube videos. His tweets are often far more profound than you would think out of a southern man from East Texas; for example: “Political correctness is tyranny with manners.”
19. Colion Noir – @MrColionNoir
Colion Noir is a popular Youtuber, Twitter personality and NRA News commentator who specializes in concealed carry rights, gun control and popular culture. Noir’s videos also feature reviews of handguns and rifles. Self-described as an “Urban gun enthusiast,” Noir brings his unique perspective to Twitter as someone who had never picked up a gun until after college. “After firing a gun for the first time no matter who you are, you begin to understand the enormity of the gun debate,” he wrote on his website. That’s the kind of approach you can expect from his Twitter account.
20. Massad Ayoob – @MassadAyoob
A handgun editor at Guns Magazine and law enforcement editor at American Handgunner since the 1970s, Massad Ayoob is one of the nation’s top-rated gun instructors. He’s written more than a dozen books on firearms and related subjects, and now trains with the Massad Ayoob Group. Ayoob was the first to earn one of 10 Five Gun Masters titles from the International Defensive Pistol Association.
21. Shelly Rae – @ShelleyShooting
Shelly Rae, Managing Editor for GunUp Magazine, is a popular author and firearms advocate in the online shooting community. Rae’s informative and often humorous Twitter posts reach a wide audience in Twitter’s firearms space. She often opens up the floor with engaging questions, and is good about responding to her audience. Although her profile description says she’d rather tweet about ponies and bourbon, topics on the shooting industry typically dominate her feed.
22. Kim Rhode – @KimRhode
Olympic shooter Kim Rhode is a highly accomplished skeet shooter since she took on the adults at 13 and won her first world title. She’s competed in five Olympics, won five Olympic medals, and is set to compete in the 2016 Olympic games in Brazil. Rhode keeps an active stream of Twitter updates on her training, and if she accomplishes her goal of medaling in the next Olympics, she’ll break her own record for six consecutive Olympic top-three finishes.
23. Bushmaster Firearms – @bushmasterLLC
This North Carolina based manufacturer distributor of semi-automatic rifles and AR-15 style rifles is one of the leaders in the firearms industry. Their Twitter account is followed by several of the leaders in the firearms industry, and they often share pertinent news, their own sweepstakes and product information about their line of guns. Bushmaster also sponsors the Tarheel 3-Gun competition, and tweets results information and upcoming matches.
24. Haus of Guns – @HausofGuns
Haus of Guns is an online firearm resource for the everyday shooter. Their content is great for shooters who are new to firearms. Haus of Guns’ firearm reviews are practical and informative. Their Twitter feed focuses on engaging conversation about guns and gear with shooting sports enthusiasts.
25. Mark Wills – @MarkWillsmusic
Mark Wills is a country music singer who happens to also be a member of the FNH USA’s 3 gun team of competitive handgun shooters. He’s an accomplished musician and was the host of 3 Gun Nation, a television show sponsored by FNH. When he’s not using Twitter to share his hunting or shooting adventures, he’s filling his followers in on the latest news regarding his music career and life as a family man.
26. Cam Edwards – @camedwards
Cam Edwards is a popular talk radio personality and host of Cam and Company, a program that covers news and politics in the firearms industry. His show airs on NRA News, SiriusXM Patriot, and iHeart Radio. Edwards enjoys leading the #Gunversation, as the popular hashtag puts it, and isn’t afraid to stir the pot when it comes to gun rights infringements.
27. NRA News – @NRAnews
Touted as “Your first source for Second Amendment news and information,” the NRA News Twitter account is the best place to find real time updates and investigative reporting on a variety of gun issues. The NRA News radio station is home to the Cam & Co. Show, hosted by Cam Edwards, number 26 on our list.
28. NRA Competitions – @NRACompShoot
The National Rifle Association’s competition-based Twitter feed is another worthy follow, as it highlights the many events sanctioned by the organization and shares up-to-date information on the latest nationwide NRA competition results. The separate NRA accounts that appear on The Shooting 50 list are all worthy follows, but if competitive shooting is your passion, this is the one to follow the closest.
29. Brownells – @BrownellsInc
Brownells is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing suppliers to the firearm industry. Since the company was founded nearly 75 years ago, they’ve become the dominant online supplier of the shooting sports. Their catalog has more than 80,000 gun items, including gunsmithing tools, gun parts and firearm accessories. Whatever you need for your gun, Brownells probably has it.
30. The Firearm Blog – @firearmblog
The Firearm Blog features shooting industry news and informative on a wide variety of gun and gear reviews. The blog is also a popular source for news within the firearms industry. Their Twitter background image shares the tagline “Firearms Not Politics,” so if straight shooting is your interest with none of the DC spin or lobbying agendas wanted, this is the account to follow. Keep in mind that their feed consists of mainly links to their content or interesting images.
31. Emily Miller - @EmilyMiller
Emily Miller is the Senior Editor of Opinion at the Washington Times, and author of the popular book, “Emily Gets Her Gun…But Obama Wants to Take Yours.” Her writings focus on gun advocacy and anti-gun legislation. Miller has a strong Twitter following of sport shooters and gun-rights advocates. A great variety of retweets, links and other types of tweets keep her followers engaged.
32. Mia Anstine – @Mia_Anstine
Mia Anstine is a popular firearms and hunting blogger who writes for Beretta Blog, Women’s Outdoor News, NRA blog and a number of other shooting industry publications. An NRA Certified Shooting Instructor, Anstine has an informative and humorous female voice that’s popular among her social media followers. She’s also a ZASP archery instructor and co-owner of Wolf Creek Outfitters.
33. Four Guys Guns – @FourGuysGuns
FourGuysGuns.com takes on the great responsibility of educating and helping new gun enthusiasts with their recently found appreciate for firearms. They’re admittedly not former military members, longtime hunters, in law enforcement or competing, but instead set out to do things differently and in terms that all newbies (much like themselves) can understand. Their Twitter account shares plenty of content from their wide range of outlets, including YouTube videos and Instagram photos.
34. GunNuts – @GunNutsMedia
Gun Nuts Media is a home base for shooting news and information, and their 90-second gun reviews have caught on as a cool way to get an idea of how well a firearm performs in a short and sweet video format. Their Twitter account shares a lot of links, but not necessarily to only their content. They post plenty of relevant articles from other outlets, especially the bigger, mainstream media companies that don’t always devote attention to the shooting sports.
35. POMA – @POMA_HQ
The Professional Outdoor Media Association is the trade organization for outdoor sports writers. Their members cover shooting, hunting, fishing, trapping and other traditional outdoor sports. Several of their members are reporters and bloggers who cover firearms the shooting industry. POMA’s Twitter feed is a must-follow for any writer or media outlet that covers shooting sports.
36. AmmoLand -@AmmoLand
AmmoLand is one of the best online news sources for new in the firearms industry. Their articles topics cover a wide variety of shooting topics, including gun conservation, firearms rights, gear, ammunition and competitive shooting. We excuse the fact that their Twitter feed is almost exclusively made up of links to their content, mainly because their content represents the pulse of the shooting world in more ways than one. Maybe you won’t get a reply, but you’ll definitely get something informative and new to read from them daily.
37. Gun Digest – @GunDigest
Gun Digest is a leading gun publication that covers a wide-range of topics in the shooting industry. Their outlets include a print magazine, online publication, and educational resources about things like how to shoot a rifle. Don’t assume Gun Digest’s Twitter feed is made up of nothing but recycled magazine content; they often share videos (both educational and amusing) and great images as well as reply steadily when followers reach out.
38. Guns.com – @Guns_com
This popular firearms website is a go-to source for all things related to shooting. They cover news throughout the industry, review new products, offer original how-to content and provide editorial commentary on gun related issues. This is a must-follow Twitter account for shooting enthusiasts, as their feed shares just about every gun news story there is to share. That causes the vast majority of their tweets to be links to their content.
39. Gabby Franco – @GabbyFrancoTS4
A Top Shot Season 4 and All Stars contestant, Gabby Franco has staked her claim as shooting aficionado since she made the Venezuelan Olympic team at age 16. She held several international titles before appearing on the show, and now serves as a NSPCA instructor. Among her many courses, she teaches the “Shoot Pink for Girls” class to empower young women with the knowledge of and ability to operate firearms. Her Twitter account provides a mix of links, images and plenty of conversation between her and her followers.
40. 5.11 Tactical – @511Tactical
5.11 Tactical is one of the fastest growing private businesses in the US. They design apparel, gear and accessories for professionals in tactical fields, such as law enforcement, public safety, security and military. Follow their active Twitter account for updates on new gear and web specials, including information on just about everything you need for shooting except for the gun and ammo.
41. SKD Tactical – @SKDTAC
SKD Tactical is a top online tactical gear retailer. They carry several brands and have a huge selection of products. SKD Tactical has been at SHOT Show in recent years demonstrating new gear, such as AR-15 accessories, body armor and gun slings. If you follow them on Twitter, you’ll find updates on sales, product reviews and more. What you won’t encounter is much interaction, but the content they provide is entertaining enough to make the list.
42. Gun Shots – @gun_shots
Gun Shots is another excellent resource for information about selecting and maintaining firearms. They also provide a lot of information about navigating legal issues surrounding firearms. Links to their content are accompanied by the occasional quotation or retweet on their Twitter feed. If you’re interested in learning about different brands or styles, or are new to the world of shooting, then Gun Shots should be considered as a worthy follow.
43. Imminent Threat Solutions Tactical – @ITStactical
ITS Tactical is a popular online resource about survival and tactical information. In addition to covering firearms, their articles provide information about a wide range of skill-sets for survival and tactical situations. They strive to to present an unbiased evaluation of informative topics, reviews and resources through their varying channels of communication. Their YouTube channel, for one, includes neat DIY projects to sharpen the mind and keep the hands busy. The videos are shared via Twitter, and they are one of the more interactive tactical companies on the platform.
44. The Truth About Guns – @guntruth
The Truth About Guns covers the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns. Based in Austin, Texas, the online publication has a collection of great contributors, and is also open to new writers from any viewpoint. “There’s no “party line” on gun issues; we accept editorial/videos from any perspective,” says their website.
45. Chris Dolnack - @chrisdolnack
One of the many faces behind the NSSF, Dolnack has been positioned with the duties of bringing the best parts of the foundation to the forefront of peoples’ minds. He takes care of media and industry relations, advertising, interactive and emerging media, marketing communications as well as industry research, websites and social media. Dolnack’s Twitter feed is largely made up of information about NSSF, but also features great business and marketing information, which is super helpful for gun shop, range or other shooting business owners.
46. Tracking Point – @trackingpoint
If you haven’t heard of Tracking Point, now’s your chance to learn about one of the most high-tech firearms developers in the industry. Tracking Point’s Precision Guided Firearm systems are about as advanced as you can get. Their rifle scopes’ heads-up displays look like something straight out of a video game — target tracking and Wi-Fi capability relay a live feed to a computer or smartphone. Follow Tracking Point for updates on their groundbreaking technology.
47. Chris Cheng – @TopShotChris
A strong proponent of diversity in gun culture and journalism, Chris Cheng’s Asian American heritage has allowed him to speak out about firearms from a unique perspective. He grew up in California and was Top Shot’s Season 4 champion. Cheng earned a sponsorship with Bass Pro Shops as part of his winnings, and writes for The Firearm Blog.
48. Gun Link – @Gunlink
Gun Link is an online firearm community, complete with message boards, a business directory and more. The Twitter account shares a lot of links to both their own content and others, and serves as a central hub for online gun conversation and information. The website also includes a gun database, where users can list and register their firearms, ammunition and accessories to keep track of serial numbers, insurance values and other pertinent information.
49. ArmaLite Inc. – @ArmaLiteInc
ArmaLite is the company that developed the original AR-15. They are an industry leader in semi-automatic, full-automatic and select-fire rifles. Some of their most popular models include the AR-15, AR-10 and AR-50. Armalite is sponsoring the 2014 SHOT Show Mobile App, and holding a “rifle raffle” at the event, giving away a AR-10A Low Profile Carbon firearm. They also share relevant news and product announcements via their Twitter page, which boasts over 12,000 followers.
50. AZweaponsite.com – @AZWS
The AZ Weapons Site is what online gun communities strive to be: a passionate group of like-minded enthusiasts who care about getting the right message across. Their Twitter account engages with a lot of people and tweets 20 times per day on average, and their use of the #2A (Second Amendment) hashtag proves their dedication to preserving gun rights for Americans.