In the beginning...
Eric and Chad became friends in high school by sharing a love of music. They eventually discovered they also shared a love of firearms as well. In 2008, Eric and Chad began to record their reloading days and trips to the range on a little Sony point and shoot camera - just for fun. Eric uploaded these videos to YouTube and noticed that he started gaining subscribers. He would receive an email for each new subscriber and one day woke up to over 300 email notifications at which point he had to disable those notifications! YouTube invited Iraqveteran8888 to become one of the first 50 channels to become part of their new "partners" program - they wanted to place ads on the content. Today Iraqveteran8888 has close to 1.8 million subscribers and almost 475 million video views.
As the channel grew...
As a longtime customer of Moss Pawn and Gun, he was offered a job there in the gun sales department. Ray, the resident gunsmith, recognized Eric’s affinity for firearms and took him under his wing as his apprentice. Over time, Eric began to incorporate Barry into the videos, creating episodic content such as Gun Gripes, Firearms Facts and Five Guns which became exceedingly popular. Barry loved being in the videos and brought some additional flair to the channel until his unexpected passing in April 2014. Eric and Chad filmed a "Final Farewell" Gun Gripe in Barry's honor and planned to retire the series, but the fans insisted the series go on. (Barry is still missed by the Iraqveteran8888 family as well as all his fans.)
The amount of content that was being created started to overwhelm Eric, so Chad became more involved and took over filming and editing. It became evident that Chad had an eye for filming and the content became more professional looking.
Until one day...
Chad started working at Moss Pawn with Eric, but they quickly realized that making content for YouTube was taking up more and more time. Brandy (Mrs. IV8888) quit her job in 2013 to become the administrative assistant for the channel - answering subscriber emails, planning range days, arranging appearances, getting the guys on a schedule and basically being the "glue" that held it all together. Eventually the channel became the priority and both Eric and Chad quit Moss Pawn, but still maintain a good relationship with the Moss family and their employees and continue to visit the shop frequently.
The birth of Man Cans...
During the 2013 holiday season the guys decided to do a video centered around gift ideas for the gun lover in your life. Eric grabbed an empty ammo can and explained that you could find an assortment of gun related items that would fit inside to give to your favorite "gun guy" and he called it a "Man Can". When the channel reached 500,000 subscribers, Brandy decided to put together 5 "Man Cans" filled with as many items as possible. She reached out to some of the companies and other YouTubers that have always been supportive of Iraqveteran8888. These companies each donated 5 items to be included in the packages. Items in the boxes were donated by 1776 United, Key Bar, Savoy Leather, Federal, Champion, Skinny Medic, Four Guys Guns, Modern Musket, ShootSteel.com, LPS and many others. There were so many items, it would not fit inside the ammo can and we had to put everything in a larger box - the final "Man Can" boxes ended up weighting 17 lbs! Five winners were picked, and one grand prize winner was selected to come shoot with Eric and Chad. The idea was tossed around for a while and in November 2014 it was decided to do a trial run of 100 "Man Cans" to gauge interest. The trial run went live on Thanksgiving Day and sold out in less than 45 minutes. The funds received from Man Can sales allows the team to create engaging and entertaining content for the YouTube channels as well as keep up the fight for our Second Amendment rights!
88 Industries, LLC has grown to include YouTube channels Iraqveteran8888, ReelMen8888 (fishing content) and Guitarsenal (music content) as well as Man Cans. Merchandise can be found on Forged from Freedom and Patriot Patch Company. Subscribers of Iraqveteran8888 also pushed for a Patreon page - an outlet to help support the channel without making a purchase.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you own Moss Pawn and Gun?
No. Eric, Chad or anyone in the Iraqveteran8888 family does not own Moss Pawn and Gun. Although there is still a great relationship with the Moss family and occasionally videos are filmed there, but they do not and have never had any ownership in the business.
Why did you choose "8888"?
The "8888" in the name is not what some people may think. When Eric was picking the name for the channel, he had his tour in Iraq on his mind as it was his biggest accomplishment at the time. "Iraqveteran" was taken of course, so he added "88" - the number of his favorite race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr- but that was also unavailable. He then added "8888" and it was available, and it stuck. Had he known then what he knows now, he would have picked a different name.
What is your stance on the Second Amendment?
Everyone at Iraqveteran8888 strongly believes that the right to self-preservation is a fundamental human right. Those that would disarm others are evil at heart and only wish to remove a person’s ability to defend themselves. The 2A lifestyle is one that must be lived every day. Sport shooting, hunting, self-defense - as well as potentially fighting an invading force foreign or domestic - are all cornerstones of the original concept. Eric, Brandy and Chad are pro modern rifles, pro black rifles, but also love shooting black Powder and vintage military rifles. The 2A is not a bargaining chip. It’s a simple and basic statement but a bold statement. The words “shall not be infringed” are very clear. Our 2nd Amendment is clearly worded and very simple to understand. Iraqveteran8888 will always fight for a zero-compromise stance on the 2nd Amendment. There is no such thing as comprising with a right.