What Happened to FPSRussia?

If you’ve spent much time watching gun or explosives videos on YouTube, then you’ve almost certainly come across FPSRussia.

FPSRussia was not only one of the most popular YouTube channels of its type, but it was also one of the most popular channels in YouTube’s history…period.

FPSRussia 2

But then all of the sudden and with absolutely no warning the channel completely stopped producing content in April 2016.

Understandably, fans of the channel were disappointed and confused. So what exactly caused the apparent end of FPSRussia?

I decided to find out and now you get to reap the benefits of my search.

Ready?

Let’s start at the beginning.  

Origins/History of FPSRussia

FPSRussia was started in September of 2010 and is hosted by Kyle Myers. By June the channel had 1 million followers. As of February 2018, the channel has over 6.5 million followers and their follower count is still growing, despite no new content being produced.

What makes FPSRussia stand out among the roughly one jillion gun and explosive YouTube channels out there is the character (an very heavy, very fake Russian accent) that Myers takes on when hosting, Dmitri Potapoff.

According to the channel’s mythos, Potapoff is a gun- and explosive-loving Russian from Moscow who has access to a wide variety of firearms and explosives and loves using them on his family’s farm.

soviet russia pikachu

In real life, on the other hand, Myers is a gun- and explosive-loving American from Lavonia, Georgia who had access to a wide variety of firearms and explosives and loved using them on his family’s farm.

Huge differences.

But how does a channel go from that level of popularity to basically disappearing?

Death of Keith Ratliff

If you believe in signs from the universe, you might say that the first sign of the end for FPSRussia was the death of Keith Ratliff.

Ratliff, a member of FPSRussia’s production staff who was responsible for providing the firearms and other equipment used in the channel’s videos, was found shot in the head in his own gun store on January 6, 2013.

Keith Ratliff FPSRussia
Keith Ratliff of FPSRussia

Though police suspected foul play based on the angle of the shot, no charges were ever filed and no arrests were ever made. The store’s surveillance equipment and some firearms were missing from the scene.

Of course, like any mystery found on the internet, there are plenty of theories floating around, including conspiracy theories. Evidence for the conspiracy theories is, at best, insubstantial, so I’m not going to discuss them here.

The personal and professional hardship that resulted from Ratliff’s death led the channel to take a hiatus until February 19, 2013, but even more trouble was still on the horizon for FPSRussia.

ATF Raid of Kyle Myers’s Home

On March 29, 2013, less than three months after Ratliff’s death, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives led a team of almost 40 law enforcement officers, including agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) and officers from the Royston County and Hart County sheriff’s offices, in raiding Myers’s home in Royston, Georgia.

GBI
Yes, Georgia Bureau of Investigations is a real agency.

Another team of authorities raided Myers’s father’s farm in Lavonia, Georgia, which sometimes served as a filming location for FPSRussia, at the same time.

ATF spokesperson Richard Coes told a local newspaper, the Athens Banner-Herald, that the raid was motivated by the ATF’s suspicion that Myers was violating a federal regulation that bans individuals from manufacturing explosives for distribution, sale, or use by their own business without a federal license.

Coes declined to comment on whether or not the raid was connected to the death and suspected murder of Keith Ratliff.

No arrests were made following the raid. None of the law enforcement agencies involved stated whether any items were seized, though Coes did state that no guns were seized at one of the two properties that law enforcement searched.

Following this incident, the channel once again went on hiatus, this time for nine months, before uploading a new video in January, 2014.

However, this wasn’t the end of Myer’s trouble with the ATF.

Second ATF Raid & Arrest

After a little over two years of posting videos again, FPSRussia suddenly stopped. They made no statement about why, but it’s probably a safe bet to assume that the decision was a result of the legal troubles that Myers had faced before, and perhaps the knowledge that he would face similar troubles in the future.

Because in August 2017, Myers would be arrested and his home searched by the ATF once again after approximately 25 grams of butane honey oil, a high-THC marijuana concentrate, were found in his United States Postal Service P.O. box.

ATF Meme Guy

Myers was charged with possession of a Schedule I substance with the intent to distribute, a felony, and misdemeanor possession of drug related objects

During the raid, the ATF seized more butane honey oil, various drug paraphernalia, and, in accordance with federal law that prevents illegal drug users from owning firearms, more than 50 guns.

Where You Can Still Find Kyle Myers

Since Myers can’t own firearms anymore, it’s highly unlikely that FPSRussia will ever start making videos again.

His channel is still running…and our favorite is his AA-12 full-auto shotgun video:

But just because Myers isn’t making new YouTube videos anymore doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy his current work.

Myers, under his gamertag FPS Kyle, has hosted the video game podcast and Twitch stream “Painkiller Already” along with other YouTube celebrities Murka and WoodysGamertag since 2010.

PKA Logo
Painkiller Already Logo

Myers got his start on YouTube back in 2007 making Let’s Play style videos of first-person-shooters like Call of Duty, so he’s a seasoned pro at this kind of streaming. You just won’t get the Dmitri Potapoff character and his ridiculous-in-the-greatest-possible-way accent.

Thoughts on this story or on FPSRussia in general? Let us know in the comment section below!  How about what happened to Red Jacket Firearms?

15 Leave a Reply

  • Scott Hargrove

    Let’s see, the government at the time didn’t like guns and the most popular channel on you tube was about guns. Well now the government can’t have that so kill Keith Ratliff (gun guy) and plant drugs on Kyle Myers problem solved.

    4 weeks ago
    • King Assphalt

      I haven’t seen any records that he was convicted. How can he be a felon if he is not convicted. Anybody know if there has been a conviction and sentencing in his case. I don’t think there has.

      2 weeks ago
      • Pimp Daddy Supreme

        He was sentenced to two years probation and has to live at a half way house for two months.

        1 second ago
  • Trevor m

    How do you get a felony from a subtance being in your p.o. box? Did someone plant it?

    2 months ago
    • Scott Hargrove

      Yes it’s all planted all right, no doubt.

      4 weeks ago
      • Taras

        Mysterious death with foul play suspected but never investigated and shared publicly, and conveniently drugs are planted on Myers to prevent him from owning firearms, even though he's never presented any danger to anyone? Sounds like they wanted to shut down this high profile pro-2A operation, and they did.

        1 week ago
  • poppy miller

    A ONE SENTENE explanation was all that was need..right? Could have lead off with : he cannot make vids because he is now a prohibited person

    4 months ago
  • Brian Saylor

    Thoroughly impressive article, Outstanding job.

    4 months ago
  • Abraham Perez

    This is the best analysis I ever read. Now I have a more knowledge of what happened in real....Two thumbs up!

    4 months ago
  • Richard Hyman

    Good story and good to see all the details laid out in a timeline. Shame what happened, but if you want to own guns the law is very specific on how you can lose that right quickly.

    4 months ago
    • rameses

      well written...i think the lesson is don't use drugs while using guns. but seriously, ppl forget about the responsibilities of gun ownership pretty easily.

      4 months ago
      • wwwwwwof

        Responsibilities of gun ownership? You make it sound like its a privilege and not a right. We can keep our free speech while using drugs like marijuana in sanctuary states. We keep our fourth amendment rights no matter how "irresponsible". So please, tell me, what is the threshold of being a "responsible gun owner"? Because Gun ownership is a R I G H T. Not a privilege.

        2 months ago
        • sanso gyorai

          Yet, why are we not covered (by the first amendment) should we yell fire in a public place? Or why is it that nearly half of the US has criminal defamation laws? Rights are certainly stronger than privileges regarding ubiquity, but they are certainly not unlimited.

          3 days ago
        • Taras

          Shhh, quiet down now, or a PO Box is going to end up having some thc oil put in it and conveniently found by the ATF after previously failing to be able to shut down this high profile gun channel.

          1 week ago
      • Meh

        Lesson is don’t get schedule 1 items mailed to you

        3 months ago
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