206 — Behind the Scenes of Garand Thumb with Micah and Charlie

“Hey, it’s Jeremy from Gun Mag Warehouse.” That’s how we’re used to hearing the Mag Life Podcast open, and this episode is no different. But this time, we’re treated to different impressions of Jeremy, thanks to Micah and Charlie from the Garand Thumb YouTube channel. That’s merely the opening to a podcast driven by the guests’ unique brand of humor and more than a few interesting insights. As always, we recommend you listen to the entire episode, but here’s a quick rundown to whet your appetite.

Host: Jeremy Stone

Guest: Micah and Charlie

Accompanying Article: William Lawson

Mike from Garand Thumb
Mike is the Garand Thumb OG, but Micah and Charlie have helped him take the channel to a new level. (Garand Thumb YouTube Channel)

The podcast airs from an “undisclosed location” in the Pacific Northwest, probably meaning Washington State and likely near some Sasquatch village. Jeremy kicks off the episode by noting that his guests took the already very successful Garand Thumb channel to new heights with their humor and cinematography, “the likes of which the YouTube world had never seen. And now it’s created a new era of quality meets entertainment, meets information.”

Garand Thumb and the Beatles

It’s difficult to argue with Jeremy’s assessment. After all, 3.23 million subscribers, as of this writing, can’t be wrong. Micah seems to agree, though he throws the credit back to the OG Garand Thumb personality himself: “It wouldn’t be a thing without Mike,” who already had something really good going. “He’s intelligent, thorough, and has all the skill sets that people want.”

But Mike, himself, agrees that everyone’s unique personality contributes to the Garand Thumb crew pretty much having everything down. The goal now is to keep it going. Micah says that breaking up the current Garand Thumb crew would be like breaking up the Beatles.

Micah from Garand Thumb
Micah, with his videography and editing, forms one leg of the GunTube Beatles. (Garand Thumb YouTube Channel)

If Mike already had the knowledge and skill sets, Micah adds the top-notch videography and says he is obsessed with improving the channel’s overall quality. Charlie brings the humor, which Micah says Mike couldn’t do on his own, given Charlie’s spontaneity. “That is the Beatles,” he adds.

Building on Garand Thumb’s Success

Micah’s videography improvements were a no-brainer. Charlie notes that Micah’s editing takes a good video and makes it “a banger.” But Micah also regularly engages what may be the most active comment section on YouTube.

Mike always acknowledges that “the comment section is out of control.” It’s part of Garand Thumb lore. Jeremy asks if the comments drive community engagement with the channel. “Yeah, probably,“ Micah responds. “I feel like if you don’t feel like you’re a part of it, and you can’t relate to it, why are you here?”

But, as we all know, comments are not always positive. Jeremy asks Micah if spending time in the comments helps with shrugging off those negative opinions. Micah offers an insightful answer, acknowledging that “Not everyone’s gonna like your stuff. You can’t be perfect. You can’t please everybody. It’s literally not possible.” But even a few criticisms resonate more than the many, many positive or neutral comments. You remember the negative more than the positive, especially the negative points that make sense. But that’s how you improve things.

Charlie and Mike from Garand Thumb
Charlie’s not really a doctor. He just plays one on Garand Thumb. (Garand Thumb YouTube Channel)

A Different Vibe

Anyone who watches Garand Thumb knows Mike can be very funny, but Charlie takes it to a new level. “My jokes and my dark humor, especially, it’s a constant,” Charlie says, “but I know time and place.” But he had to get a feel for time and place when he first joined the crew. He admits that his first appearance was a bit awkward as he worked through it. Micah says he had to assure Mike afterward that Charlie really was funny. Despite a somewhat rocky start, Mike warmed up to Charlie’s humor, and viewers were soon asking for more.

Jeremy notes that “You need some of that chaos mixed in” to balance out Mike’s calm knowledge. Micah agrees, saying they could try to script some comic relief, but he doesn’t think it would work. Charlie’s timing is as important as what he says. “I don’t think you can script what Charlie does,” says Jeremy, “you can’t bottle it.”

Charlie’s hilarity apparently doesn’t stop when the camera turns off. Micah says his compatriot’s superpower is internet trolling. I won’t spoil the stories, but they involve feet pics and fake social media accounts, among other things. Charlie especially enjoys trolling fake PVC patch salesmen.

Micah refuses to reveal his “Icelandic superpower,” though he has apparently mastered abruptly hanging up the phone. Do with that what you will.

Micah and Mike from Garand Thumb
Micah has definite opinions on barrel length. (Garand Thumb YouTube Channel)

Gun Talk

Jeremy asks an interesting and important question, given the number of new gun owners who continue to enter the sport and the hobby. He asks his guests where, if he were to start a gun collection from scratch, he should begin. And if he wanted to build a first rifle, should he build it for a specific purpose, or would a general build be better?

Both guests agree that a pistol is a better first purchase than a rifle. A few basic accessories should be included, such as a light and perhaps a red dot. They recommend a duty-sized pistol such as a Glock 17.

The rifle discussion is a bit more ambiguous, as you might expect. After all, the AR-15 platform is so flexible that almost anything goes. All agree that knowing the rifle’s purpose is important if for no other reason than avoiding buying stuff you don’t need.

That discussion really can’t be reproduced in this commentary, but it’s very much worth a listen. It goes into brands, cost, barrel length, and even shooting range limitations for training. A couple of philosophies come to light, demonstrating once again that there is no “one size fits all” answer to gun ownership.

Training and Other Topics

Jeremy offers a take on how shooters train in various states. He thinks that shooters in more restrictive states, like Washington or California, take their training, by and large, more seriously than people in freer states like Texas. That sparks a great discussion about gun laws, training perceptions, and the role of public land. I found that to be one of the podcast’s highlights.

Mike and Charlie from Garand Thumb
Where else can you get this? (Garand Thumb YouTube Channel)

True to form, however, some lighter topics come up which are no less interesting, including theoretical encounters with “mountain men” in the woods, which eventually devolve into shades of “Deliverance.” You Millennials and Gen Z types can look that one up, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

We also learn that Jeremy is into Classical Greek philosophy, though there’s some doubt as to whether he’s an “Aristotle guy.”

“Ulterior Motives”

Finally, Jeremy asks if there are any secret “ulterior motives” to Garand Thumb content. Charlie clarifies that as “underlying goals.” Micah replies that, “We just want people to be exposed to the joys of firearms and firearms ownership. We want people to see them being handled in a way that is both professional and fun. I just want there to be as much content, accessible to people, that it becomes normal.” Essentially, with so many people searching for firearms-related content, Garand Thumb strives to provide them with the best quality possible in a welcoming and entertaining way.

There are two basic narratives. One states that gun rights and gun usage are beneficial to a free society. The other is about control. Garand Thumb seeks to counter one narrative with the other by making it appealing, especially to younger generations. Garand Thumb content is purposely not heavy, and they strive to make it fun.

This is one of the Mag Life’s best podcasts yet, even if it is a bit chaotic. Or probably because it’s a bit chaotic. It is Garand Thumb, after all, and you know it’s out of control. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

William "Bucky" Lawson is a self-described "typical Appalachian-American gun enthusiast". He is a military historian specializing in World War II and has written a few things, as he says, "here and there". A featured contributor for Strategy & Tactics, he likes dogs, range time, and a good cigar - preferably with an Old Fashioned that has an extra orange slice.

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