Featured Youth Brigade: Autumn’s Armory Interview John Schwartze March 25, 2022 Join the Conversation Younger Generations are the Future of Firearms. Autumn Fry of Autumn’s Armory is Helping Lead the Charge to Keep That Future in Good Hands Photos by Q Concepts Many of us can credit our initial firearms encounters to family members who wanted to ensure that experience was positive — the parent who took us to the range for the first time, the uncle who took us hunting, the grandparent who gave us a 22. Ask yourself what your perspective might’ve become without those formative experiences. It’s pretty clear that many of those who didn’t became just another vitriolic protestor who thinks activism is a sure way to gain acceptance with the in-crowd. Raise your hand if you know lots of people who started forming false assumptions about firearms because they never had any formal exposure to what they’d like to pretend they’re an expert on. We thought so … The only way to preserve our rights is by getting younger generations involved early on, lest they grow up to become one of the many narrow-minded adults who were brainwashed by ignorance. Autumn Fry, her father Randy, and mom Lindsay couldn’t agree more. At 8 years old, the amount of followers her YouTube channel, Autumn’s Armory, has already amassed reaffirms the notion that starting them young is a good thing. By the time Autumn is 18, she’ll have had more experience with firearms than many adults. There’s something to be said for that. Ask yourself how many schools still offer shooting sports as part of the curriculum, where that number was 10 or 20 years ago, and why it continues to dwindle. In other words, we need more young people like Autumn in the world to show that proper education is the way forward. We got the lowdown on how Autumn got where she is, what her future plans are, and the battle to get youth recognized as legitimate participants in the firearms world. Autumn with a customized X-Products Can Cannon. RECOIL: How old were you when you first started shooting? Autumn Fry: I was 2. I just started going to the range with my dad, and one day I just asked him to shoot. Randy Fry: I had a rifle with a 22 conversion in it, so I held it for her and just let her yank the trigger. What do you enjoy about it? AF: It’s just fun to do. We had some clays that were 10 feet in front of me. I just started shooting and watched them shatter — it was so fun for me to watch. RF: There’s also the mechanical aspect of it that I can tell she likes. Whenever she takes it apart or puts it together, she’s really good with that sort of thing. What led to the creation of your YouTube channel? RF: She was 7 when we started it. I saw that she was really advanced for her age. I thought it was something everyone needed to see, so we put a video out there and it was really well received on YouTube, so we just kept going with it. What’s it like living on the road as full-time RVers? RF: We like being able to see a lot of new places and meet a lot of new people. Right now, we’re sitting on 90 acres of private land in Georgia. We can shoot here and everything. I work in construction; back in 2014, we started traveling for that and that’s what it’s been all about. Lindsay Fry: And we wanted to stay together as a family. RF: We’re always together, and I’m never more than 20 minutes from the jobsite, no matter where it is. Is it hard to keep up with scholastics at all? RF: No, it’s all online and workbook. What kinds of competitions do you participate in? AF: We can’t really get into any competitions, but we do drills. That’s really the only competition I can do. We did almost get into one but couldn’t. RF: There’s been a couple that said they were a youth-shooting competition and everything, but as soon as I mention her age that’s the end of it. She’s just too young; even though she definitely could compete, they freak out. I haven’t had any luck getting her into competitions. Autumn with an M2 on top of a military truck. Why do you think you get resistance because of her age? Is it the insurance they have to carry or some other reason? RF: So far, every time the guy we’ve dealt with was just a Fudd and doesn’t want anything to do with it. If somebody is buying insurance, and youth shooting is important to them, they would buy insurance that would accept young shooters, so they like to say it’s an insurance excuse. I know I would if I was setting such a thing up and youth shooting was important to me. For instance, we went to a competition in Texas that was literally for youth shooters and were denied, so you can’t tell me that insurance is the reason for her not being able to shoot at her age. She shoots all over the place, so we know there are insurance companies or policies that are fine with it. We know you just attended the Iraqveteran8888 event. What events have you felt were welcoming to people your age? AF: There were a lot of kids there. RF: All the range days we’ve ever been to have been so good to her. The machine gun shoots at Dragonman’s and the Gundies were great too. What would you like to attend that you haven’t had a chance to so far? AF: SHOT Show! RF: We’ve been told she might be able to get in and might not. You’re supposed to be 16 to get in I guess. It’s a possibility we’ll get into a SHOT. Have you experienced any censorship on YouTube after you started posting videos? RF: Definitely. Our first channel was up from January till May of 2020, and we were doing really good. We had over 10,000 subscribers in just a couple months, and all of a sudden YouTube just shut us down. There was nothing else that was going to happen on that channel, so we started another one, and this one has been going really good. They even let me monetize this one. So there was no explanation on why the previous channel was shut down? RF: Nope, it’s totally arbitrary. I don’t try and understand YouTube. There can be someone doing the exact same thing as you, and their CPM rates and views will be way higher for no reason. Autumn firing the cannon to open the IV8888 range day. Have you experienced any criticism from internet trolls trying to shame you for having someone Autumn’s age be a firearms proponent? RF: It’s really rare. Every now and then I’ll get a comment saying she should be playing with dolls or whatever. AF: I hate that! RF: Yeah, for every one that does that, there’s a million that say it’s great, so I don’t even pay attention to them. I don’t respond to them. Usually they have no argument, and it’s just something about how she should be playing with toys instead or something. AF: I mean, I do play with toys.[Laughs] RF: [Laughs] Yeah, she plays with toys plenty already. Autumn, mom, and dad visiting with vendors at IV8888 range day. Have you had any positive experiences of being able to really open someone’s eyes up to what firearms are all about? RF: I’m sure it happens every day. We get a lot of messages saying how someone who had previously been hesitant about shooting is now getting into it just because of seeing Autumn. That’s really what it’s all about is getting new people shooting and making guns less scary for people. We hear stories all the time, so we know we’re making a difference. We just got a message the other day from someone on Facebook who messaged us and said their daughter was autistic and didn’t want anything to do with guns, but after seeing Autumn shoot, she was all about it now. What do you think can be done to educate both adults and kids who are currently opposed to firearms? RF: Stop watching TV. If there was a thousand more people just like Autumn on YouTube, that’d be a big help. Guns can be a lot of fun. Your child might be capable of more than you think they are. What are your plans to grow the brand beyond YouTube? RF: We just signed the papers to buy 80 acres in Texas, and we’re going to start a campground and range there that’s just for youth and new shooters to come to. Autumn’s going to teach classes, and of course we’ll be able to record more videos. Autumn meeting a fan at range day. When do you think you’ll be open for business? RF: Can’t put a date on it yet since the property still needs a lot of work. It’s the perfect piece of property, because there’s no zoning or permits because it’s West Texas, but we’re going to have to get some water out there and do a lot of groundwork. AF: And you can get a backhoe so I can drive it. RF: [Laughs] Yeah, Autumn will take care of some of the digging. We’ll put up some structures, a shop, and be able to have a nice workspace and an area to do indoor projects. Autumn getting ready to take aim with a full auto PS90. What else do you want to accomplish in the world of firearms that you haven’t yet? RF: I want to see a major brand accept that there are people her size who actually want to shoot cool guns and produce a smaller semi-auto 22. Something lightweight. Right now, the only thing out there are a single-shot 22 with the Crickets, the Henry mini bolt, or the Savage Rascal, but that’s it. It’d be cool to see some better options out there from a major manufacturer. AF: It would be really cool to have a 22 AR that doesn’t need a conversion. RF: We’re just going to keep getting her in front of as many people as possible to inspire and teach others. Autumn’s got two videos where she shoots 10mm; most adults won’t shoot 10mm. AF: I like 10mm. It’s one of my favorite calibers that I shoot. 50 cal is my favorite. I shot a 50 BMG twice, but wanted to do more. [Laughs] Autumn getting help from dad with her muffs. Have you ever been able to sit down with any manufacturers and discuss something like that? RF: No, we are slowly growing some relationships, but until they develop a personal interest or they see a money-making opportunity, it’s never going to happen. It might be something that we end up doing. Once we get built up, we could potentially start making some stuff. So you’re really looking into developing your own brand of firearms? RF: That’s really the hardest thing for us, every time, is getting a gun that fits for and works for Autumn. Every single gun that she shoots we have to modify in some way to make it work for her. It’s a bit ridiculous that it has to be that way. Are there any that have worked right out of the box that required little, if any, modifications? RF: An AR pistol with an adjustable brace is the easiest. AF: Yeah, but the 60 I really like. RF: She does shoot a Marlin 60 a lot, but it is a little too big for her. 22 pistols always work great for her, but a Glock 19 we’d have to put a brace on it if it’s going to work for her. It’s just certain models that don’t work. Do you have any sponsors? RF: With me working full-time, it’s been tough, but I am opening up that door for sponsorships. What else did you want to accomplish with your website? We know you have merch available right now. RF: We’re moving all of our merchandise over to Ballistic Ink to make things easier to fulfill. Right now, living in an RV, it’s hard to stock all that stuff. Who else do you enjoy watching in the firearms world? Is there anyone in particular you’d really like to meet? RF: She watches Kentucky Ballistics for hours every day. Demolition Ranch, hours every day. She’s been able to meet Scott from Kentucky Ballistics. We’ve met the Miculeks. Do you plan to compete in the future? AF: Yeah, pistol and rifle, maybe not shotgun. RF: She can smack some clays with the 410. AF: One time I did shoot a clay at like 160 to 200 yards away from me with a 410. RF: [Laughs] It was a lucky shot. Autumn shooting a full auto Tippmann M4-22 at clays. What would you want people to know about you that they might not know from just watching your channel? LF: That she’s just a normal kid. RF: She’s just a normal 8-year-old. She watches the same shows and has the same toys as any other 8-year-old kid. And she has a big ammo collection; people might not know that. AF: It’s just huge. I have a lot of rounds — 20mm, 50 BMG, 40mm, 223, 25 ACP, probably all the 22s you can think of, all the 9mm you can think of. I have 500 Magnum, 50 AE; I can’t even tell you, I have so much. RF: She’s got every 5.56 I’ve ever known existed and a lot of others you don’t see too much. What can we expect to see coming up on the channel? RF: We’ll be doing a video with Iraq-veteran8888 here soon. He’s building a new range, and Autumn’s going to break that in, so that should be pretty fun. AF: And we’re going to shoot with Kentucky Ballistics! RF: We just filmed with 22 Plinkster, so that video is coming up pretty soon. We did a shotgun ammo test in different patterns that’ll be posted here in the not-too-distant future as well. We have so many in the queue right now, so there’s lots of cool stuff coming. Autumn Fry Parents: Randy and Lindsay Favorite food: Cheese pizza Favorite animal: Elephant Favorite guns: Black powder 1849 and Marlin Model 60 Gun you’ve always wanted: Purple Barrett 50 BMG M107 Favorite movies: Ace Ventura and Venom URL: www.youtube.com/c/AutumnsArmory556 videos.recoilweb.com/channels/details/autumns-armory Autumn with one of her favorite stuffies. Explore RECOILweb:TRU-SPEC Uniforms Now Available in MultiCam Tropic and AridWeekly Deals From Around the Firearms Industry2021: This Year In Gun CultureNorth Carolina Match for the AR Enthusiast NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). Click here to get IMMEDIATE ACCESS to a digital PDF of this target pack!