ARP 036 - The Listener Feedback Show, Déjà vu all over again


This week Reed tackles some feedback from our listeners.Intro:

Welcome to episode #36 of the AR15 Podcast.  I’m your host Reed Snyder and tonight I am recording solo. This is THEE podcast about your favorite black rifle! This show is for you; whether you're building your first AR or you’ve been building AR’s for years. There’s something we can all do to take our black rifle to the next level.

Shout out to Alex who is trying to get us an invitation to speak with the folks at Shilen Barrels and maybe get a tour of their factory.

AR-15 Product of the Week:

Norgon Ambi-Catch™ Magazine Release/CatchOtis BONE Tool and O12 Carbon Remover Giveaway O12 removes stubborn carbon fouling with ease BONE tool is the quick clean tool which scrapes carbon and fouling from the bolt, bolt carrier, and firing pin of your AR15. Winner: Mike R,  the ejbeefranch guy

Listener Feedback:

Devin E:  Just want to write in and say that i appreciate everything that everyone at FRN is doing to improve the entire firearms community. I am not sure if you have touched on this topic but It would be interesting to learn more about some of the coatings that are available for your BCG and trigger group such as teflon and nickel boron i also know there are some more proprietary coatings out there as well. Are they worth it are some better that other. Thank you for your time. Keep up the good fight. Joe: Hi Reed and Steve, and Jake too, I guess.  Thanks for the great podcast that covers so much about my favorite Evil Black Rifle.

Reed, on episode 32 you were wondering why you hadn't received any feedback from newbies that had built their first AR-15 after listening to the podcast.  Well, I finished mine on May 29 when I finally found the completed upper receiver I needed.  I sighted it in with iron sights on the next weekend, and my son and I have been enjoying shooting it.  My first build shoots straight, performs great, and we really enjoyed learning about it, researching parts, and assembling the rifle.  The building process was very rewarding, and you learn about your rifle that way.  I have shot 22LR rifles for years, but had only shot and cleaned them, and had never done anything resembling gunsmithing.  Anyone that can change a blade on a lawnmower can build their own AR.  Maybe we could say that building ARs helps build strong families!

My first AR-15 build has a Stag Arms lower, USM4 LPK, Magpul stock, CDD 16" chrome lined barrel in 5.56 with 1:9 twist and matched BCG, upper receiver with iron sights and the classic handguards.  We like the PMAGs better than the metal Colt mags because they're easier to handle, but all the mags load and unload just fine.  Light, accurate, and easy to handle - just what we wanted with this build.   You and Steve are absolutely correct on the recommendation to build the platform to achieve whatever you want, and get really good with the iron sights.  Excellent advice.  I wish I could register to win the EBR that Jake built, but it isn't welcome in CT at present.  The Otis MSR cleaning system with the BONE tool sounds great, so that and a sling are probably my next investments, along with more ammo.

Here is a picture of my son shooting the EBR, taken while we were sighting it in, and a picture of the rifle.  He consistently outshoots me at the range with his sighted-in target 22, but my groupings with the AR are better.

We live in Connecticut, and sadly the EBR can't be obtained by the good guys anymore.  However, I bought 5 lowers before the idiotic unconstitutional ban was steamrolled through the state legislature (in spite of overwhelming support by gun owners and businesses that the state used to welcome), so I have 4 more to build eventually.  Maybe an AAC Blackout is in the works, and perhaps a 7.62 ...  

Thanks for the great show, useful information, and encouragement to build my own instead of buying something that someone else built.  I also have to give shout outs to a few others in the non-Texan good guy community.

The staff at Delta Arsenal ( for help finding parts and answering questions ITS Tactical for the excellent AR build videos at (since Jake's video was only a discussion topic when I built my EBR) Brownells for the excellent armorers tools my buddies who helped me convince my wife that spending the money to invest in the EBR lowers before the CT ban went into effect was a good thing.  I am still married, and she is more interested in her Glock 26 so I get more time with the AR.  It's all good!

How about a future episode on factors to consider with slings (single point versus double point, adjustability)?  Inviting the manufacturers on is great, and I can't wait until those get rolling.

Anyway, keep up the great show and thanks for the encouragement to build my own EBR.  By the way, the training tips have been a great addition.  I have put several of them to use.

Reguard32:  ACE Tactical Bottle Opener Sling AttachmentMichael C.: Development of Mk262 Ammunition. I have enjoyed listening to your podcasts and appreciate your honesty in admitting you don’t know everything, and are always looking for input.

I was in the gym listening to the episode regarding ammunition (ARP 031) and you covered some military cartridges.  You did not know, or could find, information about the development of the Mk262 ammunition.  And of note one of your ideas behind the bullet is incorrect, while technically correct. (1)

First let me introduce myself so you don’t think your reading some scuttlebutt from a seabag lawyer or NeBT-NeDT – Never Been There, Never Done That.

I have been shooting for 3 decades and have used the M-16/AR-15 in various forms. I am a former Marine who served on the Marine Corps Rifle Team in 1988 (shooting an M14), MOS: 5811, secondary: 8531.  I joined the Navy Reserve in 1998 and have been a member of the Navy Reserve Rifle Team since 1999.  I’m a Distinguished Marksman, have won three national trophies at Camp Perry, numerous plaques, medals, badges and ribbons.    I am a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  My Navy Rate is IS/3912 – Special Warfare/Expeditionary Warfare Intelligence Specialist.  I have also been a full-time Law Enforcement Officer in Southern California.  Should you feel the need to vet me please e-mail me a phone number and a time/date we can talk.

Now on the development of the Mk262 ammunition: Until 1999 the Navy did not supply match M-16 or ammunition to Navy competitors.  (Which needless to say gave a huge advantage to those shooting their own AR-15 with tuned match loads.)  In 2000 the Navy begins to supply Match grade AR-15 (from RRA) for Navy Matches and in SAC (Small Arms Competition) kits to qualified sailors.  So if they were issuing the rifle at matches, they need ammunition for it.  Some competition shooters gave their recommendations (a 77 grain Sierra Match King at 2,750 fps) to Crane and thus began the development of the Mk262 ammunition.   The first lot (picture of first white box attached) was a little weak and numerous jams occurred during the rapid fire stages.  (2)

In early 2001 the second lot, Mk262 Mod 1 (red box) was hotter and it is/was a tack driver!   Coincidently at the same time Crane was working on a project for NSW called the SOPMOD Kit.  The idea behind the kit was one receiver and two uppers.  A ten inch for CQB and Mid-Range work (This upper became known as the Mk18, which is now a stand-alone weapon); and an eighteen inch upper with scope, bipod, Etc. for long-range work. (This upper became known as the Mk12, which is now a stand-alone weapon).

The concept was great, with the exception that the Mk12 did not perform as well as an AR-15 match rifle.  There was no reason why it shouldn’t have.  The difference in performance between an eighteen inch and twenty inch barrel is negligible.  After all, the Mk12 is really nothing more than a military varmint rifle.  Then someone ran some Mk262 through a Mk12 on range 116A at Camp Pendleton in May 2002.  At 500 yards the rifle held a sub-moa group.  Even in the double crossing whirling winds that blow in from the Pacific and Down the Mountains.

Now the Mk262 Mod 0 was in the inventory and it could be ordered.  NSW quickly realized:  bigger bullet – harder hit.  So the guys started using it in ALL there M-16 platforms (M-4, Mk 18, and Mk 12).  A problem with the round was discovered in 2003 when problems with bullet “set-back” were reported.  Set-back is when the bullet is pushed back into the case. (3)  This was occurring in Fully-Automatic weapons.  To solve the problem Black Hills (Which had been involved in the original development/manufactory of the competition Mk262) did what has been done on military bullets for the past 50 years, add a cannelure to the bullet and crimp the mouth.  (A little side story on that, but it’s not important.)

With the addition of the Cannelured Sierra 77 SMK bullet, crimped neck and crimped primer pocket, the Mk262 Mod 1 was born. (Brown box).

The Marksmanship Team thought the changes to the round would cause a decrease in accuracy, but it didn’t.  Surprisingly both Mods of the Mk262 shoot equally well.  Since 2006 the Mk262 Mod 1 has been issued to Navy Competitors.

(1)     The “technical” purpose for the cannelure is to prevent the bullet from moving in or out of the case.  It also provides a place for the neck to crimp down on the bullet and keep it in place.  Coincidently is the bullet as it hits a soft target the front of the bullet begins to slow down and the rear mass of the bullet keeps moving forward.  As the base of the bullet pushes forward under rapid deceleration it mushrooms out on the bearing surface of the round, and the lead pushes out on the weakest part of the copper jacket; which is the area of the cannelure.  And gosh-darn it that bullet begins to split apart.  And if the bullet hits a bone it shatters and spreads in the body like a shotgun.

(2)     It was at this time we discovered that the weight of the weapon can affect how it cycles.  Heavy match grade AR’s will cycle different than lighter weapons. But that is a different topic for another time.

(3)     When the bullet “sets-back” into the case a few things can go wrong, the least of which is a pressure spike do to a compressed load; but military M-16’s can take the added pressure.  The worst thing that can happen is the bullet gets pushed back in the case and loses tension on the neck, now the likelihood of jam just increased exponentially by the power of HS times HF cubed.  And then if the powder falls out of the case and the weapon has been running full-auto there is the possibility of a flamer (the loose powder burns with the bolt open and a flame pops out the ejection port and sometimes – or usually – between the gap between the upper and lower receivers.)  Either way it’s a bad day, and you can’t hit pause or reset or claim a “teachable moment”, you just have to deal with it; which usually means going to a pistol because all you have now is a seven pound club.

Please keep up the podcasts; they are very entertaining and informative.

Tiny: Hey guys, Love the podcast and look forward to listening every week. You guys have inspired me to build my own ar 15. I started collecting parts back in march and sold an old SKS at the height of the hysteria to fund the project. So far I have all the parts for my lower and snagged a bolt carrier but am now wondering if I should buy an upper or assemble one. I've read all the arguments on online forums on head spacing. I would rather build one from parts but a lot of people say if you piece one together from various manufactures and the head space is "no go", your screwed. I trust your expertice, what should I do?

Craig:  Gentlemen, My question is . . . when buying an upper from a manufacturer, the round size (.223 or 5.56 comes from the barrel put on the gun, not from the upper . . . correct?  After listing to your podcasts, I have started shopping parts to make my 1st AR.  (Have never owned or shot one, but have always wanted one.)  I thank you for all your work in making the podcasts.

Wrap Up:CMP: The Civilian Marksmanship Program -

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