When I started Ultimate Reloader, I had no idea I would ever produce 200 videos, acquire 29,000 subscribers, and rack up nearly 8,000,000 views (averaging 40,000 views per video!). Today I’ve met those goals! It’s been a lot of work, a lot of fun, and has been one of the most satisfying experiences in my life. I really enjoy engaging with you all, and working with partners.
From my YouTube dashboard, 200 videos!
I wanted to personally thank all of you out there, and also let you know I’m planning some very exciting new stories for the coming year, and will “take things to the next level” yet again! I can’t wait to roll out these changes and take you all along for the ride. It only gets better from here…
While I’m feeling reflective, I thought I’d share some of the video highlights from my “journey” here on Ultimate Reloader. From humble beginnings and learning a ton about storytelling and creative pro skills, to the latest series I’ve been working on (and many more in the queue) it’s been quite a ride. But one of the biggest highlights for me personally is to read comments on this website, on YouTube, and on Facebook. It’s great to learn from you all and to share our experiences together. I’m happy when I read that I helped someone, or that they enjoyed a video or write-up. It’s the “energy” that’s made it all worth it.
Where it all started
OK, I’ll admit it: It’s a bit difficult to watch this video, my very first on YouTube published in January 2008:
At the time there wasn’t much information about the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP on YouTube, and I had just spent a month or so in “analysis paralysis” trying to decide what press to buy. I decided to start publishing videos about this press because I wanted to make it easier for other “press shoppers” out there to make their decision about what press to buy. These were the days when I was “borrowing” the family MiniDV camcorder (with a tape inside, remember that?) to make videos in the garage. A lot has changed since then! Since the first video was posted on my “gavintoobe” YouTube channel I conceived of the idea of “Ultimate Reloader” which was originally was though of as a place to build out the “ultimate” reloading press with accessories and customizations, hence the name. Shortly thereafter came this website, and the notion of blogging about reloading equipment and processes.
This year I’ve been filming exclusively in 4K, and have expanded my focus to more complete end-to-end stories about shooting and reloading. The Ruger Precision Rifle series has been a ton of fun (still going), and has expanded my network to include the 6.5 Guys, as well as many other partners and friends.
More than ever, I’m going the extra mile to bring more interesting stories about shooting sports to life- all with the common thread of ammunition reloading. It’s really fun to use new tools to tell these stories, and to see the reaction from you- my audience.
Here’s a studio video from this year that will contrast the difference between my original videos and the content I’ve been publishing this year:
…and here’s a “field video”, something I’ve done a lot more of this year:
I can tell you, 2017 will be a “breakout” year for Ultimate Reloader. I’ve got a pretty amazing facility I’m building out for shooting and filming, will be onboarding some exciting new partners, will be covering new topics, and have some “secret weapon” gear that I’m going to use to tell the stories. I can’t wait to start publishing this “next generation” content! I’ll have more on that very shortly. These new tools and resources will enable me to bring more stories, and bring more depth to these stories as well.
More than anything else- I want to thank all of you. I want to thank my partners for their collaboration (couldn’t do this without them) and all of the viewers and readers out there that have helped me build out Ultimate Reloader to what it is today. I appreciate all of you!