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A term often bandied about, especially concerning AR pattern rifles. What's your take? Personally, I take comfort that my chosen defensive rifle(Colt 6920)meets that criteria. Do I think it has the be all and end all NASA-spec parts? Not at all. To me, mil-spec is the minimum in a serious defensive rifle, at least as far as ARs go. Am I one of those "your second-tier AR sucks" snobs? Not at all. It all depends on what you want to do with your rifle. I'm also very curious about the durability of US produced AK parts. Especially the Tapco G2 and gas piston assemblies.
 

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Its subjective. Even a Colt AR isn't "milspec" without an autosear and FA or 3RB FCG. Use "milspec" to determine the minimum requirements for materials in the upper/lower...BCG...etc. Any quality AR parts are fine. Look at steel/aluminum grades and a history of QC and consistency above all else. The list of companies who make parts in this category is much longer than the few who don't.
 

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IMHO people try to tie too much value to "Mil-Spec". It should be a min. quality standard, not the high standard.
 

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mojo100 said:
IMHO people try to tie too much value to "Mil-Spec". It should be a min. quality standard, not the high standard.
True. But at least its a known standard.Some of the "MIL SPEC" is a none issue to most civilians. Like park'd under the frint sight. Other stuff is more important. Like what my extractor is made out of. And, lets say, that it broke because of the ammo and not because of shitty material. This is where guys buy DPMS or other "just as good as" AR and blame their problems on ammo.
 

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"Mil-spec" has basically become a marketing buzz word, just like the word "tactical", and the word really is meaningless when buying products these days.
 

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Honest to God "Mil Spec" IS comforting. I've seen parts break on lower end civilian AR's that I've never seen break on a M16 or M4 in 19 years of service. YMMV.

What does annoy me is the whole "Oh US Government - We got lowest bidder shit." Should the Government go with the highest bidder? Who ever builds it, it has to meet the specs. The Colt M4 and the FN M16A2's are well built rifles.
 

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I should add that I come from an industry that relies heavily on specifications, and seeing what has been specified for very complex technical parts, I would be more interested in the actaul material, heat treat, and testing that went into a product than trusting the military specifications.

In point of fact, how many people here can state what is mil-spec for a bolt and bolt carrier on an M-16? :wink:
 

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Dawg180 said:
I should add that I come from an industry that relies heavily on specifications, and seeing what has been specified for very complex technical parts, I would be more interested in the actaul material, heat treat, and testing that went into a product than trusting the military specifications.

In point of fact, how many people here can state what is mil-spec for a bolt and bolt carrier on an M-16? :wink:

Bolt: Carpenter 158
Carrier: 8620 Steel

That said...there's better steel alloys out there as metalurgy has progressed since the 1960's. That's what should be accepted as the minimum quality. For instance, during the panic Brownells was selling bolts made by a company called AR Stoner. The materials used were not advertised but were likely substandard. Dozens if not hundreds of people complained about the bolts binding, cracking lugs, peening, or breaking after less than 100rnds. The steel was likely not up to spec and their heat treating was likely flawed. I tend to avoid M&A Parts, Model 1 Sales, and similar "discount AR" companies because of these QC issues. They are more than likely fine for plinking and range use, but I like to buy once cry once...and buy the best I can afford the first time around.
 

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Dawg180 said:
I should add that I come from an industry that relies heavily on specifications, and seeing what has been specified for very complex technical parts, I would be more interested in the actaul material, heat treat, and testing that went into a product than trusting the military specifications.

In point of fact, how many people here can state what is mil-spec for a bolt and bolt carrier on an M-16? :wink:
Probably something very basic and general lol. What is the milspec number for a M16 bolt and carrier?
 

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If it says "US Property" and "Colt" and looks right maybe it is milspec.
Otherwise there is no guarantee that Colt does not use different materials, specs and QC for civilian vs military production of the same parts etc.

I know old AR parts kits are milspec like old AK kits etc. Bout it after that. :doh:
 

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AKBLUE said:
If it says "US Property" and "Colt" and looks right maybe it is milspec.
Otherwise there is no guarantee that Colt does not use different materials, specs and QC for civilian vs military production of the same parts etc.

I know old AR parts kits are milspec like old AK kits etc. Bout it after that. :doh:
That would make no sense whatsoever. The cost of setting up a separate assembly line, sourcing different materials and keeping the substandard commercial parts out of the mil-spec guns assembly line would vastly outweigh the cost savings of building guns to whatever shit standard that Bushmuncher or DPOS builds to.

If you buy a Colt you can be assured that all of the important parts came from the same bin that the US military gets theirs from.
 

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DesertRat said:
AKBLUE said:
If it says "US Property" and "Colt" and looks right maybe it is milspec.
Otherwise there is no guarantee that Colt does not use different materials, specs and QC for civilian vs military production of the same parts etc.

I know old AR parts kits are milspec like old AK kits etc. Bout it after that. :doh:
That would make no sense whatsoever. The cost of setting up a separate assembly line, sourcing different materials and keeping the substandard commercial parts out of the mil-spec guns assembly line would vastly outweigh the cost savings of building guns to whatever shit standard that Bushmuncher or DPOS builds to.

If you buy a Colt you can be assured that all of the important parts came from the same bin that the US military gets theirs from.
You work on the line., do you.? :grin: Military contracts can be very demanding or arbitrary and quite different than commercial parts. In todays CNC set up's and assembly line computer control part access it is not really a big deal to switch assembly activity or parts access/installation. Ever been to a modern assembly plant making 6 models of the same object on the same line? Common practice. Just sayin' there are no guarantees unless someone works in the plant and can indicate first hand. Casting., assembly, parts types easy to swap or pick and install.

The point is that a commercial Colt may be in fact identical to a military one or it may not. There are really no manufacturing or assembly obstacles to this process.
 

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AKBLUE said:
DesertRat said:
AKBLUE said:
If it says "US Property" and "Colt" and looks right maybe it is milspec.
Otherwise there is no guarantee that Colt does not use different materials, specs and QC for civilian vs military production of the same parts etc.

I know old AR parts kits are milspec like old AK kits etc. Bout it after that. :doh:
That would make no sense whatsoever. The cost of setting up a separate assembly line, sourcing different materials and keeping the substandard commercial parts out of the mil-spec guns assembly line would vastly outweigh the cost savings of building guns to whatever shit standard that Bushmuncher or DPOS builds to.

If you buy a Colt you can be assured that all of the important parts came from the same bin that the US military gets theirs from.
You work on the line., do you.? :) Military contracts can be very demanding or arbitrary and quite different than commercial parts. In todays CNC set up's and assembly line computer control part access it is not really a big deal to switch assembly activity or parts access/installation. Ever been to a modern assembly plant making 6 models of the same object on the same line? Common practice. Just sayin' there are no guarantees unless someone works in the plant and can indicate first hand. Casting., assembly, parts types easy to swap or pick and install.

The point is that a commercial Colt may be in fact identical to a military one or it may not. There are really no manufacturing obstacles to this process.

Pure speculation on your part with no evidence whatsoever to back it up. I stand by my original statement that what you suggest makes no economic sense.

I'm out.
 

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DesertRat said:
AKBLUE said:
DesertRat said:
AKBLUE said:
If it says "US Property" and "Colt" and looks right maybe it is milspec.
Otherwise there is no guarantee that Colt does not use different materials, specs and QC for civilian vs military production of the same parts etc.

I know old AR parts kits are milspec like old AK kits etc. Bout it after that. :doh:
That would make no sense whatsoever. The cost of setting up a separate assembly line, sourcing different materials and keeping the substandard commercial parts out of the mil-spec guns assembly line would vastly outweigh the cost savings of building guns to whatever shit standard that Bushmuncher or DPOS builds to.

If you buy a Colt you can be assured that all of the important parts came from the same bin that the US military gets theirs from.
You work on the line., do you.? :) Military contracts can be very demanding or arbitrary and quite different than commercial parts. In todays CNC set up's and assembly line computer control part access it is not really a big deal to switch assembly activity or parts access/installation. Ever been to a modern assembly plant making 6 models of the same object on the same line? Common practice. Just sayin' there are no guarantees unless someone works in the plant and can indicate first hand. Casting., assembly, parts types easy to swap or pick and install.

The point is that a commercial Colt may be in fact identical to a military one or it may not. There are really no manufacturing obstacles to this process.

Pure speculation on your part with no evidence whatsoever to back it up. I stand by my original statement that what you suggest makes no economic sense.

I'm out.
And your idea is based on??? comeonman., watch some contemporary manufacturing etc. Kinda like the same frame on a $15,000 pick-up as on a $25,000 ., just different specs and accessories and running gears etc.

Think of any military item and see if it is the same as commercial, Planes? trucks? clothing, protective gear? ordnance., firerams., no reason to believe that Colt would need to adhere to milspec for commercial production if they can substitute. Maybe they do and maybe not but assembly is not a show stopper in todays modern assembly operations.
 

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DesertRat said:
Pure speculation on your part with no evidence whatsoever to back it up. I stand by my original statement that what you suggest makes no economic sense.

I'm out.

The hypothetical that AKBLUE states is plausible when it comes to manufacturing for DOD contract. I work for a DOD contractor manufacturer that also manufactures for the commercial civilian world.

If you are doing DOD contract work in or near the same facilities as civilian sales work, there is a very organized segregation in both materials and parts from each other. I can say with certainty that any DOD part COLT makes or sub-contracts out for sourcing will have many levels of certification of compliance to the contract "mil-specs".

Parts that are used in DOD contract are also certified in LOT quantities. These LOT quantities are a defined number and come at a premium cost because of the extra level of administrative compliance procedure that are needed. So for example, if COLT makes or sub-contracts for lets say 1000 widgets with 500 being for the DOD contract and 500 for commercial use, those 500 widgets for DOD use will have a higher costs due to the extra quality control and administrative cost of contract compliance. The 500 widgets for commercial sales will not have these compliance quality constraints and COLT "may or may not" pay the premium to ensure those parts are meeting the same specification.

So in summation, there is plausible leeway for COLT to forego not being as stringent in ensuring their commercial used parts are meeting the same "mil-spec" as the DOD certified parts. Given the premium Colt charges, I am inclined to think they do the extra compliance assurance for their commercial use parts, but it is not a 100% certainty.
 

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AKBLUE said:
And your idea is based on??? comeonman., watch some contemporary manufacturing etc. Kinda like the same frame on a $15,000 pick-up as on a $25,000 ., just different specs and accessories and running gears etc.
OK. I was out until you just made my point for me.

You are correct. The $15,000 pickup has the same frame as the $25,000 pickup. Why is that? If the manufacturer could have substituted a cheaper frame and increased its profit margin on the cheaper pickup, it would have done so, wouldn't it?

The fact that the manufacturer did not do so is because there was no practical way to do it. By the time that a separate assembly line is set up for the cheaper frames, cheaper materials are sourced, cheaper frames are engineered, the frames are rerouted to skip Inspection processes, processes designed to keep the cheap frames out of the good frame line, etc. there are no cost savings to be had.

In the same way, there is no money to be saved by Colt by running a separate line for (for example) bolt carrier groups for commercial guns vs. guns destined for the military.

If you have some documentation to show that the critical components on a commercial Colt AR are built to a lower standard than those installed in a gun built for the military, please enlighten us. Otherwise, it's just pure, speculative :bullshit:

I am now done with this thread.
 

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Read the post just above from Hootbro for another view. :wink:
See my other post as well. Simple logic and the cost of milspec contract work and so forth says there are more than one standard and Colt is under no such obligation for commercial production.
You do not offer any logic or evidence at all and simply refute what I am saying about modern manufacturing and differences in milspec vs commercial.
A receiver could be milspec or not (ala truck body a vs b) but the barrel may not be or the bolt parts or furniture etc., or the barrel coating/lining.
Can you think of any military item that is the same as commercial?
Think what you must. matters not really.

Reminds me of the old WASR discussions over what parts were used to make those. :grin:
 

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Colts match target line (the ones that look like neutered "post ban rifles) are made to a different commercial spec. Their LE and current SP line is made from the same parts speced out for government issue M4's. So if its a Colt with a flash hide/bayo lug...its pretty darn close to an issue M4. Nothing to get fired up about people. Bottom line...yes Colt AR's and issue M-4's are bothhigh quality rifles.
 

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Can't speak to the AR parts but in my field ...electronics "Milspec" electronics parts usually came off the same production line as all the other electronic parts. They were just tested and certified to meet the military specs. They didn't grow special silicon blanks/wafers or use some extra super duper photo mask to meet the milspec contract. The stuff was all made the same they just certified the milspec product for heat/cold tolerance, vibration etc and did all the testing to ensure they performed at or above specs.

All the testing and measuring and certification took an IC that sold for maybe $5.00 on open market and turned it into a $35-40.00 chip when sold as certified "Milspec". The reality is the milspec part wasn't any better then maybe 95% of the $5.00 chips...you were just assured by the testing that you were not getting the faulty marginal and/or substandard components.

AR Builders may say they are building to the "milspec" and that all their items are built to milspec or better but very few I suspect are testing and certifying all the components at the milspec standard for sporting arms...HPT,MPI proofing every bolt and barrel and whatever else is required.

That being said I suspect the suppliers who are acustomed to building parts that pass milspec muster regularly, probably will build a higher quality commercial product then a builder who has never had any outside critical testing of their product...(even when the parts are not going to be milspec tested the process knowledge and QC control parameters are already in place in their facility)
 
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