ARP 105 - Merry Christmas, Semper Fi

Welcome to Episode #105 of the AR15 Podcast. I’m your host Reed Snyder and tonight its just me.  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. Brownells helps make this show possible.

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Main Topic:  A Christmas Poem

“Merry Christmas My Friend”

 By James M. Schmidt, a Marine Lance Corporal

 Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,

 In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.

 I had come down the chimney, with presents to give

 and to see just who in this home did live

 As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,

 no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

 No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.

 On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.

 With medals and badges, awards of all kind,

 a sobering thought soon came to my mind.

 For this house was different, unlike any I'd seen.

 This was the home of a U.S. Marine.

 I'd heard stories about them, I had to see more,

 so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.

 And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,

 Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.

 He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,

 Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.

 Was this the hero, of whom I'd just read?

 Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

 His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.

 I soon understood, this was more than a man.

 For I realized the families that I saw that night,

 owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.

 Soon around the Nation, the children would play,

 And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.

 They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,

 because of Marines like this one lying here.

 I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,

 on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.

 Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.

 I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.

 He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,

 "Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice

 I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more.

 My life is my God, my country, my Corps."

 With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,

 I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.

 I watched him for hours, so silent and still.

 I noticed he shivered from the cold night's chill.

 So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,

 and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.

 Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,

 with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.

 And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,

 and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.

 I didn't want to leave him so quiet in the night,

 this guardian of honor so willing to fight.

 But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,

 said "Carry on, Santa, it's Christmas Day, all secure."

 One look at my watch and I knew he was right,

 Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.

The AR-15 Giveaway Winner:

John Wind


Mike R:  Reed, JR and Anthony, Great shows - I was going to mention - can you talk about low mass bolt carriers - spring weights, and buffers - and how they relate to different uses. Barrel length - VS bullet weight VS caliber even.  Maybe this is a show topic.  I did hear you guys mention it during your last show - so fingers crossed.

Can JR let us know more about painting - maybe a video - or even a segment of the show. I have my paint - just finding lots of youtube vids - but I would like to hear direct from one who has done it.

Ken D:  Hi Guys, I just listened to the hearing protection episode during my commute from Dallas to Chicago. It was informative, and by your own admission not all inclusive, so I'd like to add my two cents. I, like you, have tried the basic foam earplugs, plain-Jane earmuffs, and the Howard Leight electronic earmuffs. They all perform well, and each has certain things the do well. Recently I purchased the GunSonics! app for my iPhone. Essentially, your iPhone plus the app provide the electronics that allow you to wear earbuds under your regular ear muffs and obtain the benefit of electronic hearing protection. The app is around ten bucks as I recall. From my unscientific perspective the  GunSonics! app works as well as my Howard Leight electronic earmuffs.  GunSonics! claims the response time to noise is way better than the electronic ear muffs out on the market. The app also lets you choose from a number of gun types, i.e. shotgun, pistol, spectator, etc. The app, just like the dedicated electronic earmuffs, has an area mic, so conversation is easy. Personally, I use the foam insert style of earbuds under my earmuffs. They work great, and for someone wanting to give electronic hearing protection a try, very cost effective. Keep up the great work.

Arturo:  Hi Reed, Listening to ARP 103. Regarding your Howard Leight ear pro. I haven't been able to test this myself, but I've heard comments from others that say electronic ear pro doesn't work as effectively in general when indoors compared to outdoors. I've also heard that Howard Leights do much worse than higher end Peltors when indoors. I believe it has to do with the timing and reflection of sound vs. the noise canceling.

Only 20%? I thought for sure you'd get more than that if not 10 already by now.

P.S. John Wind contact you yet ;-)

Ken D:  Hello Gentlemen. I've been listening to your podcast for a while and really enjoy it. Lots of great info and commentary. Having been bitten by the "bug" it is nice to find additional resources, (your podcast), to help fill in some of the blanks and grey areas regarding our favorite MSR. I have two areas that might be of interest to your listeners. Aging eyes and how we can mitigate the effect. and brass catchers. Regarding idea number one, I haven't been able to satisfactorily solve the problem. I don't personally have any eye issues other than degrading close-up vision. The second issue I think I have a pretty good handle on. Since I am afflicted with Brass Monkey Disease, I'm always on the lookout for an effective way to capture my brass for reloading, especially my spent 300 Blackout brass. I've tried the inexpensive bags that hook/loop onto the rear of the foregrip, the expensive detachable units that are mounted on the picatinny rail, and lastly, and the best solution I've found, (so far), is the mid-priced Caldwell AR-15 Picatinny Rail Brass Catcher. The inexpensive models have a droopy mesh bag into which the spent cases are supposed to collect. These need to be modified in order for the bag to not obstruct the ejection port. The expensive, (3bucc), brass collector mounts securely and accepts the ejected brass well, but there is no adjustability for the placement of the picatinny mount. The Caldwell brass catcher addresses both of these issues, as the collection bag has a rigid frame and the bag can be adjusted fore/aft on the picatinny rail mounting point. The brass catching assembly detaches bayonet style from the mounting point. You can also purchase additional mounts, and leave them mounted to each of your MSRs. Brass capture on all of the three brass catchers is excellent, but the Caldwell unit is the most flexible as far as mounting options is concerned. Keep up the good work