ARP 056 - Anticipating Shot Show

Reed discusses what he is anticipating from Shot Show 2014

Welcome to Episode #056 of the AR15 Podcast.  I’m your host Reed Snyder and solo tonight. This is the podcast about your favorite black rifle!  This show is for you; whether you're building your first AR or you’ve been building ARs for years. There is something we can all do to take our black rifle to the next level.

Otis Ripcord Giveaway

For times in the field when you just can’t reach your Otis cleaning system and need a quick and effective clean – reach for the Ripcord®. This convenient tool cleans from Breech-to-Muzzle® in one quick and easy pass. The molded rubberized core and Nomex® fibers together create a more effective way to trap and remove fouling.

Winner: Rob L.

Hi, ARP-O54 feedback.....1st time AR assembler Greg P asked...."How do I know if my build is safe to fire"?  I'm finally working on my 1st AR....(thanks to the great encouragement & info from AR-15 podcasts)......As a newbie I've been told to have the "headspace" checked by a pro gunsmith before using the long shoe string. I believe ARP has discussed checking headspace in the past.

Looking forward to the NEXT ARP!!!

BTW....Are you still doing the Otis Ripcord Giveaway?

PS...What happened to Jakes AR Blog assembly videos? I've seen 3?

Brownells helps make this show possible.  

They are there for you anytime you make a mistake, like when Jake shoots a spring across the room into his shag carpet.

Shop for AR-15 parts at Brownells.  Go to:

Tip of the Week:

No tip of the week this week, but if you want to be a co-host on the AR-15 Podcast, send in an audition tape to Jake and me at  and

Main Topic:

Shot Show 2014

Ten Things I am looking forward to seeing at Shot Show

1. FNH AR-15

2. Mega Arms - Shot Show Surprise

3. Tactical Fire Control - 3MR  Trigger System

4. Remington 2020

5. Left Handed 1911 (Cabot)

6. Advanced Ballistics Concepts - Multi-segmented Bullet

7. Where the AR platform is trending

8. Magpul

9 SIG Sauer’s Shot Show Reveal

10. Remington R-51

Listener Feedback:

Brent Weber:  hi guys.  I have about caught up with the back catalog but am not looking forward to the 2+ hr Christmas episode. I am interested in a 7.62x39 ar15 rifle. I want this strictly for the ammo cost since this round is much cheaper than the 223. Several companies make this rifle and I am interested in the Bushmaster A3M4 Patrolman. What would I be getting myself into with this rifle or one like it? What are the pros and cons to this type of platform or would I be better off going to a Sig 556r or AK?

Love the show and if you are giving anything away, please sign me up.


Steve C:  Reed- Great show and a perfect way to start the new year! High bar to set though. I listen to up to 9 podcasts a week and the ar15podcast is my favorite.

I have a question. I have a basic, mil spec AR all Magpul furniture and I want to begin upgrades at some point. Have the Magpul rear sight and fixed A2 front sight. In your opinion, what should my next two upgrades be... trigger, BCG? My gut tells me trigger since that the one thing that will help with a more controlled break.

Keep up the great work! And please, enter my name in this weeks Otis giveaway.

Steve C:  best wishes tony on your new opportunity! will miss hearing from you.

Reed.. has there been a show discussing components that commonly fail in the ar? perhaps what to be looking for as trouble signs? i just started listening to the podcast in the past couple of weeks and have hear all of the ones that are available with the exception of a couple....

is there a location that i can down load the first dozen and a half shows?

really enjoy the podcast and look forward to hearing more.

and finally... please enter me in the otis give away.

steve c

Nathan:  Good morning.  Just finished listening to your last 2 optics podcasts.  It is great to listen to Marines argue about optics. . .and breaking stuff.  Super show!

First, I wish the "marksman"(Nate, I think) could have been there for part 2.  It seemed like the short/normal range guys got lost a bit talking long range.(especially FFP vs SFP. . .you have to edit that out when someone is just making shit up!)  I wish they could could have explained a bit better why they liked what they liked.  Just because a Marine can break an optic doesn't make it bad.  Marines can break ANYTHING when they put their mind to it!  Wish they could have really dug into the optics side a bit.  ACOG's have good glass. . .It needs said.  S&B, US Optics and Nightforce have great glass.

Interesting comments about Vortex.  I have always thought them good, but not really good.  I have shot their high end scope and frankly it was hard to look through for more than 5 min at a time. . .something off a bit.  I refocused the reticle and side focus properly, but it was still ouchy!  Maybe I try again.

I really liked their Leupold comments.  Sure, a Mark 4 is a decent optic, but obviously not really built for hard use.  Wish they would have quantified this a bit more.  I guess they did talk about failing a box test.  Actually, Leupolds are know by target shooters as having suspect turrets, also!

I was super surprised to not hear like a 20 min rant about mirage!  Doesn't Iraq and Afganistan have killer mirage! Heck Montana has brutal mirage!  That is one of the main reasons not to shoot on like 20x at 1000 yards!

Liked the triangle concept.  Although, my triangle is more like Optical quality, Reasonable Cost, and Magnification.  You can't have all three, but you can balance the 3 with some sense of mission or purpose.

Liked them bringing it down to real for AR's. . .As in AR's are a 550 yd max rifle, if something other than paper is on the other end!

In their under $400 optics blow off discussion. . .Sure wish they dug in a bit there!  I get that blister pak scopes are unusable and $200 optics are hit and miss. . .but there are some real hits!  Burris E1, Vortex Strikefire and SPARC, Nikon Monarch. . .

I've blabbed to much, so now I need to look for your next show.

Zachary Brown:  This was hands down the best show yet. Information and entertainment wise. I agree about starting with good iron sights. I am a fan of troy. I use a flip up rear because it fits behind optic and a fixed HK style in the front. I like the super quick line up of the circles of the HK front with rear 0-200 aperture. The 200-400 aperture and front sight post make tiny groups and can bang a 12" gong no problem past 200 yards shooting off hand. The new magpul mbus pro are another good option. I run a 3x compact Acog with Larue single throw mount. It is such an amazing durable optic. Very alaska proof, super quick to get on target. I would certainly trust my life on it. I have the orange chevron reticle. I can put in on target out to 300 quickly and accurately. One of you all said something about .308 acogs. Mine quite interestingly will go on my 18" DSA Arms FAL with picatinny dust cover and shoots almost the same zero as my AR15. FAL is no where near as accurate as my AR but it punches holes like crazy on an IPSC target all day. Not sure how that is possibly but it is. I also have an older 1x trijicon acog reflex. It is a very durable red dot type sight except that it also has the orange chevron reticle so I guess it isn\'t a red dot. I agree 100% that the crazy high power magnification is asinine on an AR. It is a close to medium range round cartridge. I would love to put the VCOG on my next build. 1-6 with acog durability should be perfect. 6x is all you need. My longest kill shot ever was 450-500 yards on a Caribou with a .375 HH loaded with lighter bullets with a 4x fixed optic in about -20 below. Caribou dropped instantly. I have made plenty of 300 yard properly placed shots in Alaska on lots of various critters with various calibers with 2-7 and 3-9 Leupold scopes. I agree they are overpriced now but years ago a VX2 was a damn good affordable option. The vortex line of optics rock. The spark and strikefire are damn good red dots for the money. I don't know how bomb proof they are compared to aimpoint and eotech but they are good solid optics. A friend has the red/green dot strikefire on his AR. It has held up well. I also recently got the Nikon p223 3x 32 that I mounted on my 10/22 takedown actually. I also plan on running it on my tactical solutions ar22 m4 upper when I get some warne quick detach mounts. It is clear and solid has BDC and nice positive click turrets. I chose it because of compact size and no need for anything more than 3x that is the same as my acog on my main go to Ar15. I got it on sale for 100 bucks before Christmas. I will give a report after an Alaska winter of banging it around. The p223 and m223 are good scopes for the money. I don't think they are as good as the vortex in the same price but they are good quality. By the way is vortex made in the US? one thing you all didn't hit was people also buying high dollar or low dollar optics and then using crap mounts not properly locktited down. I have seen lots of scopes die and not able to shoot the broadside of a barn because of crap mounts and people not using locktite. want an Alaska gun enthusiast who is fairly knowledgeable on AR's to BS with on the show let me know.

David:  No hate mail here - one of the best episodes yet (at least one of the funniest!).  Nice to hear the perspectives and real world experiences of your fellow Marines.  As per usual, I just thought I'd help add to the fact-pile.  Mythbusters conclusively confirmed that the round Carlos Hathcock fired indeed could very well have gone through the Russian scope the Viet Cong sniper was using at the time.  Whether or not a shot like that could be made (unless by dumb luck), is another question.  As to the AR-10 / .308AR being unreliable and unable to function as well as a FN SCAR H - the general feeling is look no further that LaRue Tactical's OBR.  If weight is a concern, see their "PredatOBR".  It is like the S&B of the 308AR world - yours if you have the cash and can wait for one.  LMT's MWS is another, if budget is of concern and you don't want to build your own GA Precision's GAP-10 & Crusader Weaponry's Broadsword or Longbow.  The list goes on....  All can be had for about the same price as a SCAR H, maybe a little more, until you get into the upper tier.  They weight about the same (depending on barrel, etc.) perhaps a pound more.  Plus, like the AR15 there is a ton more aftermarket lego fixtures for it compared to the SCAR.  FYI I am interested in finding that 150 dollar Chinese acog. Did you have a link?

Thanks for letting me ramble keep up the great show. Thank all you Marines for your service. If you ever




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