How can I make my Del Ton Mil Spec?


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onthecount
January 31, 2011, 09:28 AM
What needs to be replaced to make the rifle Mil Spec or as close to Mil Spec as possible? I know many companies claim to be manufacturing Mil Spec rifles including Del Ton, but from what I've read they are not. I know there have been threads about what makes a rifle mil spec but I dont know what is if anything Mil Spec on Del Ton rifles...Thanks!

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kaferhaus
January 31, 2011, 09:39 AM
I wouldn't bother fooling with it. IF it shoots and functions reliably it likely will for many thousands of rounds.

"Milspec" in reality means that certain parts have been individually tested in a certain manner vs batch testing which is what commercial mfgs do as it is less expensive.

There are some other very minor dimensional differences in some non critical parts such as a commercial receiver ext vs a "mil spec" one. meaningless.

And many companies advertise that their parts are "mil-spec" with dubious justification.

A way over rated term in my opinion.

I own both fully mil-spec ARs and some that are likely not. zero difference in any of them function or reliability wise.

Save your money and buy more ammo

onthecount
January 31, 2011, 10:16 AM
Thanks, the rifle shoots great and I really didn't want to put a whole lot of work into it. However I see many users on here that say they wouldn't trust their life to a non mil spec rifle so I should have asked why Del Ton isn't a brand many people would use for HD purposes?

Dr T
January 31, 2011, 10:21 AM
Mil Spec means that it has been designed, built, and tested according to a specification developed for an approved by the military. There is even a specification for how to write the specifications (as well as different specific levels of specs).

You have to distinguish between Mil Spec and best commercial practice.

In some equipment, the technology in Mil Spec equipment lags behind best commercial practice because the newest (and sometimes better, sometimes worse) technology has not been approved for incorporation into the spec (or a decision was made not to incorporate it).

For example, a number of the modifications loved by 1911 shooters are not mil spec, even though they may be superior to the original design.

It is interesting to note that if you buy a retail Ka-bar "original Marine fighting knife", the box it comes in has a specification drawing as a packaging graphic.

And, I agree with kaferhaus: If it shoots well, don't worry about it. You will not be adding any collector value except in your own mind.

kaferhaus
January 31, 2011, 10:41 AM
n some equipment, the technology in Mil Spec equipment lags behind best commercial practice because the newest (and sometimes better, sometimes worse) technology has not been approved for incorporation into the spec (or a decision was made not to incorporate it).

For example, a number of the modifications loved by 1911 shooters are not mil spec, even though they may be superior to the original design.


Exactly. In fact Colt has submitted many design changes to the DOD for the M16 that offer improved performance and reliability. None have been adopted.

The military is usually years behind the commercial sector in innovation and improvements to anything.

You ever read the "mil-spec" for a ball peen hammer? It's no joke.

The other almost always overlooked little bugger about "mil-spec" is who supervises the testing? the contractor does! They simply produce a form attesting to the fact that they have indeed tested the parts/products as stipulated by mil-spec xx-xxxxx.

The gov't sometimes will randomly test samples to verify compliance. But those usually only happen after a problem has surfaced. Several contractors are in prison or have been heavily fined for fraudulently submitting testing documents.

How many commercial ARs have you seen blown up due to parts defects? Damned few and likely on par with what the military sees. Most failures are user induced.

Rshooter
January 31, 2011, 11:00 AM
Thanks, the rifle shoots great and I really didn't want to put a whole lot of work into it. However I see many users on here that say they wouldn't trust their life to a non mil spec rifle so I should have asked why Del Ton isn't a brand many people would use for HD purposes?

I just read another thread that said if your rifle is not a Colt, Novenski, etc it is junk. These blanket statements truly do no one any good. It is amazing what you "need" today. People will tell you that you need a chromed bore but the M1 Garand and the Springfield 1903 made it all the way through WWII and Korea without this option.

I built a DS and would trust my life with it. I am building a Del-ton for my nephew just back from Afghanistan and he is happy with the rifle.

Get a rifle that suits your needs and, make sure it works correctly and practice, practice, and practice.

Chris Rhines
January 31, 2011, 12:46 PM
The reason that some shooters seek out milspec guns and parts is that, taken as a whole, milspec guns are generally more reliable than commercial guns of similar configuration. This point cannot really be argued - professional trainers who see hundreds or thousands of AR-pattern guns per year have well and truly documented what guns run, and what guns don't.

Now, no one is saying that your individual Del-Ton, or DPMS, or Bushmaster AR will not run. Just that you're somewhat more likely to have trouble at some point, especially if you do a lot of shooting. I find that a lot of 'reliable' guns start to choke when they fire 1200 rounds during a 2-day training class...

Anyway, so you want to modify your AR to make it more reliable, right? Since mission drives the gear train, the first thing I'd do is look at what you want to use the gun for. If you're going to take your Del-Ton to the range three or four times a year and run 100 or so rounds through it, well, I wouldn't do anything to it. Save your money. The stock Del-Ton will probably run just fine given such a modest firing schedule. Just remember to keep it lubed.

If, on the other hand, you plan on doing some serious training, there are a couple of things you can do to improve your rifle's odds:
- Get a milspec M16 bolt carrier group from www.bravocompanyusa.com, and swap it in. Keep your old BCG as a spare. You'll have a much more durable bolt, properly staked gas key, and correct carrier weight, all for about $140.
- Some ARs have a .223 Remington chamber, which is tighter than the 5.56 NATO spec. This can cause extraction trouble, especially when the rifle gets hot. You might see if anyone local to you has a 5.56 NATO chamber reamer. With the right tool, it's about a ten minute job to team the chamber to NATO specs.
- Get good magazines and keep them clean. Magpul PMAGS, Lancer Systems L5s, or USGI aluminum magazines with Magpul followers. Promags, Tapco mags, USA mags, throw all that junk into the recycle bin.
- Lube. A fairly heavy coating of quality lube on the bolt carrier rails, cam pin, bolt body, and ejector is the quickest way to turn a balky AR into a smooth-running lead hose.

Hope this all helps.

-C

kwelz
January 31, 2011, 12:54 PM
You can't. Milspec (really the TDP) is more than just cosmetic or little things.
It is the material that goes into the rifle and the testing that must be performed on those parts. It represents the absolute minimum requirements for the components of the weapon.

your Del Ton doesn't come close. However you can probably make it reliable enough to function ok for your needs. Mr. Rhines already covered that quite well in his above post.

Personally I would sell it and buy a more reputable brand. But that is just me.

ETA: My 1911th post. I should have made it in the Handgun forum. Oh well. :D

RockyMtnTactical
January 31, 2011, 01:17 PM
You cant make it exactly milspec but you can make it pretty close in a lot of critical areas.

I would make sure the bolt carrier is properly staked. Buy a milspec bolt, for about $65 or so from Bravocompanyusa.com. Add an H buffer.

Mags
January 31, 2011, 01:18 PM
I added a complete BCM BCG and H buffer to my Del-Ton. I also added a BCM Gunfighter CH.

taliv
January 31, 2011, 01:28 PM
n some equipment, the technology in Mil Spec equipment lags behind best commercial practice because the newest (and sometimes better, sometimes worse) technology has not been approved for incorporation into the spec (or a decision was made not to incorporate it).

while that is probably true for some manufacturers, i've seen no evidence to show that it applies to del-ton, which appears to be competing on price and not quality. and that's ok. i'm glad they're in business offering budget rifles. but let's be honest here. if there's something on a del-ton rifle that exceeds the mil-spec, feel free to identify it.


Add an H2 buffer.

h2? how come?

X-Rap
January 31, 2011, 01:57 PM
There are many comments on how you shouldn't rely on anything but milspec for a defensive AR but nothing about all the pistols and revolvers numbering in the millions that do defensive duty every day.
I may be mistaken and admit I haven't checked but how many Beretta, H&K, Sig, Glock, Colt, S&W pistols claim milspec construction?

kwelz
January 31, 2011, 02:21 PM
X-Rap, I used to ask the same question.
The answer is very simple actually but there are multiple parts to it.
1: You are confusing two separate issues. Milspec and quality. While they are somewhat the similar they are not the same thing.
"Milspec" which is actually called the Technical Data Package is a set of absolute minimum requirements for the weapon to meet to be accepted into government service. This includes the materials used in the parts. The dimensions of the parts, and the testing of the parts as well as the completed weapon.

For instance if a HPT test said that a barrel must withstand XXXX amount of pressure and it was tested at XXXX+1 it would still pass.

Time and use have shown the requirements of the TDP are a good formula for a working weapon that will withstand high use. This is why it is so important.

2: An AR works at much higher pressure than any pistol you mentioned. The requirements don't have to be as high for them. There are less moving parts, fewer things to go wrong, etc. But any weapon submitted for Military consideration still has to meet a minimum number of requirements. I have heard people say a HiPoint is fine for most people but I haven't seen to many in Military trials.

3: Overall they have proven themselves time and again in many situations. Although there are exceptions. G22s have had a number of issues, Sig quality has really slipped since 06, Colt doesn't exactly make the best pistol on the market, etc.


People get caught up on Mil Spec and the Chart that Rob put together. They get their feelings hurt because they see a gun they spent to much money on has way to many empty spaces. They then shoot half a case of ammo and claim that the Chart and Milspec are BS.

They ignore a couple important facts. Shortcuts can and do catch up with you. If a company uses steel for a hammer that is so soft it starts to deform, then it will cause problems eventually.
If they don't have proper sized chambers then you will see popped primers and failures to extract.
If they overgas the system then it will have excessive recoil with good ammo and will lead to a shorter life of the gun.

I could go on for a long time about the problems with the shortcuts. But in the end it wont' matter. Because so many of you are convinced that good enough is good enough. For many of you that may even be true enough. Paper doesn't go bump in the night or shoot back and dirt won't harm your family or friends. But for me, my life is worth the extra 100 bucks it would cost me to buy a quality weapon with a proven track record.

I don't understand the "Good enough" mindset. I don't accept it for any part of my life whether it be firearms, cars, or anything else. But if it works for you then that is fine. Just don't try to convince others that it is really true.

X-Rap
January 31, 2011, 03:48 PM
I understand your points but also believe that there are few manufacturers that are producing pure junk like some would have us believe. I think most AR parts would exceed the specs of foreign AK's for instance.
Personal defense shotguns are another example of weapons that are depended upon daily with no more specification than that of millions of duck hunters or trap shooters.
The great:rolleyes: Mini 14 and its owners claim it to be a better weapon than the AR but it carries no great lineage aside from some police and corrections use.
The Springfield M1A1 while not millspec is considered by many to be a first rate weapon.
There is a world of difference between the quality of a $700 $800 AR and a HiPoint pistol in my opinion and personally would use a 686 S&W or SA 1911 as a better comparison both of which I rely on at times for my protection.
In the big picture the AR is but a small percentage of what gets picked up when things go bump in the night, I will admit some of those weapons of choice are less than desirable but on the average an AR that has a proven Mag and fired a few hundred rounds without failure will not blow up or cause the owner to loose his life simply by failure of the gun or its parts.
Don't misconstrue the point I am trying to make, I will freely admit that if I were to go into a security contract overseas and needed to supply my own weapon or I was to compete on a regular basis I would no doubt pick some enhanced parts that likely would exceed the TDP this would also include sights.

kwelz
January 31, 2011, 04:16 PM
I understand. And please know that my post wasn't just directed at you. It was a general post.

One point I didn't really focus much on but I think is important is the cost issue.

One argument that HiPoint has going for it for instance is Cost. They are half the cost of a Glock or M&P. So while I disagree with it, I can at least see where some people are coming from. The same is not true with ARs.

For instance. A Delton M4 clone will run you 800 or so from most places.
Such as here:
http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct556.aspx

Alternativly I could get a BCM such as this:
http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=MID-750-C
For around 1000-1100

The overall difference in price is not that great compared the the improvement in quality.

Factor in something like a Spikes or S&W which are less expensive, but still high quality and the gap closes even more.
Such as this one:
http://www.gandrtactical.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=311002

Z-Michigan
January 31, 2011, 05:04 PM
Pretty much post #2. Shoot it, identify any actual problems, and don't go chasing the TDP of mil-spec because you're never going to get there. Consider a quality bolt like a BCM, but even that isn't necessarily a requirement.

BTW, I own a Del-Ton and like it, and I also own some true milspec DD guns... yes there's a difference, but if the DTI is working for you, don't worry about it. If you shoot it enough, any real problems will quickly rear their head.

onthecount
January 31, 2011, 05:42 PM
Thanks for all the replies...I think I'm going to leave my Del Ton alone and just go ahead and save up for an actual Mil Spec down the road. Just out of curiosity what companies that claim Mil Spec standards are actually Mil Spec? I'd really like to build my own Mil Spec SBR but am not 100% sure if NYS does the whole tax stamp thing to allow SBR or if I'm going to have to build a standard 16" rifle. Sorry for all the questions, I've gotten hooked on the AR 15 and want to build one that'll last a couple lifetimes.

Z-Michigan
January 31, 2011, 05:59 PM
The only company where you can be almost 100% certain it's milspec is Colt, since they have the military contract, and the civilian-legal 6920 model pretty much comes off the same line as military M4s.

However, there are perhaps 5 or more companies that are also building to milspec standards:
Bravo Company (BCM)
Daniel Defense (barrels are not milspec but are better)
LMT
Spike's Tactical (subject to some debate)
Noveske (deviates better in some respects)

You may find this informative:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pwswheghNQsEuEhjFwPrgTA&single=true&gid=5&output=html

Quentin
January 31, 2011, 06:02 PM
The reason that some shooters seek out milspec guns and parts is that, taken as a whole, milspec guns are generally more reliable than commercial guns of similar configuration. This point cannot really be argued - professional trainers who see hundreds or thousands of AR-pattern guns per year have well and truly documented what guns run, and what guns don't.

Now, no one is saying that your individual Del-Ton, or DPMS, or Bushmaster AR will not run. Just that you're somewhat more likely to have trouble at some point, especially if you do a lot of shooting. I find that a lot of 'reliable' guns start to choke when they fire 1200 rounds during a 2-day training class...

Anyway, so you want to modify your AR to make it more reliable, right? Since mission drives the gear train, the first thing I'd do is look at what you want to use the gun for. If you're going to take your Del-Ton to the range three or four times a year and run 100 or so rounds through it, well, I wouldn't do anything to it. Save your money. The stock Del-Ton will probably run just fine given such a modest firing schedule. Just remember to keep it lubed.

If, on the other hand, you plan on doing some serious training, there are a couple of things you can do to improve your rifle's odds:
- Get a milspec M16 bolt carrier group from www.bravocompanyusa.com, and swap it in. Keep your old BCG as a spare. You'll have a much more durable bolt, properly staked gas key, and correct carrier weight, all for about $140.
- Some ARs have a .223 Remington chamber, which is tighter than the 5.56 NATO spec. This can cause extraction trouble, especially when the rifle gets hot. You might see if anyone local to you has a 5.56 NATO chamber reamer. With the right tool, it's about a ten minute job to team the chamber to NATO specs.
- Get good magazines and keep them clean. Magpul PMAGS, Lancer Systems L5s, or USGI aluminum magazines with Magpul followers. Promags, Tapco mags, USA mags, throw all that junk into the recycle bin.
- Lube. A fairly heavy coating of quality lube on the bolt carrier rails, cam pin, bolt body, and ejector is the quickest way to turn a balky AR into a smooth-running lead hose.

Hope this all helps.

-C
onthecount, even if you paid for it you'd be hard put to find better advice than Chris gave. Truly outstanding and clearly written! The only thing I could possibly add is if you consider ordering the BCM BCG, throw in an H buffer.

RockyMtnTactical
January 31, 2011, 06:51 PM
h2? how come?

Sorry, actually meant H buffer. Not H2.

taliv
January 31, 2011, 07:09 PM
np :) thought i might need to try something new

Quentin
January 31, 2011, 08:09 PM
Taliv, actually an H2 buffer likely would work well in most ARs, so certainly worth a try. I have one in my ArmaLite that has an AR-15 weight carrier and an H in my Daniel Defense that has the heavier M16 carrier. Neither shortstrokes, even with lower power Russian ammo. Very smooth cycling. Both are midlengths, too! I need to try the H2 with the M16 carrier and see if it finally shortstrokes.

It's just not something you like to recommend to everyone but as you say you're thinking of something new. Cheap too. And if the H2 doesn't work out and you have a carbine weight buffer you can swap a steel and tungsten weight and now have two H buffers.

If you enjoyed reading about "How can I make my Del Ton Mil Spec?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!