Mil spec


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Ro1911
December 3, 2013, 05:16 PM
I was going to post this in another thread, but decided this was worth making it its own topic.

I have to put in my two cents about mil spec and why you don't necessarily need or want a mil spec gun, both of my current ARs follow mil spec on some things but are departures in others. The us military buys the cheapest thing that will get the job done, and they have needs and wants that you don't so why pay extra for stuff you don't need? For example 1/7 twist rifling, 1/9 will stabilize up to 62 grain projectiles just fine, the military runs 77 grain tracer ammo in all it's guns so they want 1/7, unless the rifle is setup to shoot longer ranges with 77 gr Sierra match kings or similar, you don't need it. The M16 bolt is different, I want it mpi hpt tested and to be the correct weight. My point is please don't buy guns just because it says mil spec with out understanding exactly what it is your asking for.

Well that's my opinion, what's yours? I'm curious to see the results

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tahunua001
December 3, 2013, 05:26 PM
here's my experience with milspec.
milspec toilet paper: so thin you can see through it, uncomfortable and you need about half a role for a stuck up brick that barely leaves a streak.
milspec pens: break after you sign your name 3 times, disassemble themselves in your pockets, and come in boxes thatsay made by blind people.
milspec camping cot: collapses after 2 weeks of use on a level, concrete surface.

today, milspec means a helluva lot less than it used to and the last thing I would want is a gun with milspec anything on it.

Warp
December 3, 2013, 05:32 PM
I consider the 'mil spec' to be a baseline for comparison. It's a known quantity. It meets a minimum specification, and that minimum specification is pretty good, and is pretty well known/established (granted that none of us have or have seen the actual TDP, etc).

No, nobody should buy based on seeing "mil spec" without understanding what that is and what that means. For one thing, a LOT of manufacturers and retailers label parts 'mil spec' when they are not...

When a manufacturer deviates from the specification I ask myself "why?". It is very often to save money, and the final product isn't quite as good as a result. Will this make a noticeable difference to the end user? Maybe, maybe not, it all depends.

Examples:

-FCG's (aka triggers) are often not designed to (or fail to) reliably ignite hard military style primers (RRA, DPMS, JP springs, etc).

-1/9 twist rates won't optimally stabilize longer (heavier and/or made of copper, etc) bullets.

-Commercial receiver extensions (aka buffer tubes) won't fit mil spec stocks...and "mil spec" receiver extensions made of 6061 (which aren't mil spec, the spec is 7075) won't be as strong.

It is up to the consumer to research these things, and more, before making a decision. The differences may not matter to them. Or it might. When you get a failure to fire on your Prvi or Federal XM855 or M193 or whatever, you might notice that. When you can't buy the better and more available stocks because they are made for a mil spec diameter tube but not commercial, you might notice that. When you can't make full use of the better rounds and bullets available (mk262, hornady 75gr TAP, anything 77gr SMK, barnes bullets, etc) because of a 1/9 twist rate barrel, you might notice that.

Or you might not notice those things. All depends on what you end up using the rifle for, and how you use it.

It is up to the consumer to inform themselves and make reasonable decisions.

jmr40
December 3, 2013, 05:33 PM
I prefer barrels 1:7, but have owned 1:8 and 1:9. I don't plan on shooting anything lighter than 55 gr and primarily shoot 60-65 gr. Truth told any of those will probably work. If I planned on shooting anything lighter I'd opt for the slower twists. But the odds are better that I'll be shooting heavier rather than lighter.

As far as the rest of the parts, Mil spec doesn't necessarily mean better.

NWcityguy2
December 3, 2013, 05:41 PM
I think forums make too big of a deal about lots of stuff, Mil-spec being one of them.

The hobbies I have been a part of I have read countless threads online about the importance of various equipment issues/specs. But when I have ventured into more serious aspects of them, namely professional photography and competition shooting, I've realized that skill is tremendously more important that equipment specifications.

But for people new to the hobby, skill requires lots of time, effort and dedication. OTOH buying equipment is easy and offers instant gratification. Hence the online discussion turns towards the importance of equipment. And because the experience level can be very low among many enthusiasts you will often see them making recommendations based on other peoples perceived needs. IE, "There are people here who go through thousands of rounds of ammo in X amount of time, they are shooting Mil-spec guns."

That sums up most people I see pushing Mil-spec on others.

SilverCat
December 3, 2013, 07:06 PM
To me milspec doesn't necessarily mean better, as others have pointed out. What it does do though, is set standard dimension specs for other companies to follow. It's like when two companies have their own versions of flat dark earth coloring, and you end up with different colors on your gun. If very single manufacturer made to spec, then it all works with each other.

hatt
December 3, 2013, 07:10 PM
I consider the 'mil spec' to be a baseline for comparison.

This.

If they deviate from mil spec they should be able to explain why and how it's better, or just as good.

Grunt
December 3, 2013, 07:22 PM
Depends. For a rifle that is to be used for serious uses, I wouldn't go with anything less than mil spec. However, when it comes to range guns where I won't be using it for defensive purposes, I am willing to consider using lower priced parts.

chicharrones
December 3, 2013, 07:34 PM
The closest I'll ever come to "battle" is if I ever have to draw a concealed carry gun or a home defense gun. None of the guns I have for that purpose are mil-spec, yet I do intend to bet my life on them to work. All I can do is run lots of ammo through them to make sure they function.

Regarding ARs, as long as the buyer educates oneself about ARs and knows their wants or needs, then it's up to them on what they purchase.

henschman
December 3, 2013, 08:44 PM
All my ARs are owned for 2A purposes, so I place a premium on reliability. I want all the critical components on my rifle to be at least mil spec, but I realize there are other ways of accomplishing the job that are as effective or more effective than the ways in the specs, such as nitriding instead of chrome lining, or NiB coating instead of parkerizing.

Quentin
December 3, 2013, 10:00 PM
I had to vote "I consider it the bare minimum and prefer better" but really don't like the wording. Also curious why it's in italics while none of the other selections are. Just mention this because little things can skew a poll.

Myself, I would have voted "I consider it the bare minimum but will deviate when there's a good reason"

Reasons to deviate? 16" barrel, midlength gas, hammer forged, semiauto fire, Magpul goodies, etc.

Warp
December 3, 2013, 10:32 PM
I had to vote "I consider it the bare minimum and prefer better" but really don't like the wording. Also curious why it's in italics while none of the other selections are. Just mention this because little things can skew a poll.

Myself, I would have voted "I consider it the bare minimum but will deviate when there's a good reason"

Reasons to deviate? 16" barrel, midlength gas, hammer forged, semiauto fire, Magpul goodies, etc.

It is in italics, for you, because you voted for it.

That's how these polls work. Once you have voted, your choice is italicized

wally
December 3, 2013, 11:37 PM
First its not milspec without the inspector's marks on the paperwork.

Second, blind obedience to milspecs is why Uncle Sap ends up buying $400 toilet seats and $600 hammers.

RetiredUSNChief
December 3, 2013, 11:57 PM
The term "milspec" is meaningless UNLESS you know what that milspec actually SAYS.

And most do not.

So it becomes a handy "catch phrase" meant to imply a general idea, like "quality" or "reliability". Not something specific.

And, to be quite honest as somebody who frequently has to look up milspecs on hardware and such, most people wouldn't know or understand what it is they're reading anyway.

I've never tried looking up the milspecs on a rifle of any kind in the military...however, I strongly suspect that what you'd really get are milspec sheets on all the various parts that make it up, not the completed assembly.

The actual engineering details of the weapon itself, however, is far more likely to be the providence of the company that makes the weapon. All the exacting material specifications, the engineering drawings, functional operations, maintenance, repairs, testing, and so forth.

Ro1911
December 4, 2013, 01:10 AM
I had to vote "I consider it the bare minimum and prefer better" but really don't like the wording. Also curious why it's in italics while none of the other selections are. Just mention this because little things can skew a poll.

Myself, I would have voted "I consider it the bare minimum but will deviate when there's a good reason"

Reasons to deviate? 16" barrel, midlength gas, hammer forged, semiauto fire, Magpul goodies, etc.


Did you read option #3 I meant it to mean exactly what you said, I'm sorry if the poll isn't worded exactly the way you would say it, but I made up those answers in about a minute so cut me some slack.

Quentin
December 4, 2013, 01:38 AM
It is in italics, for you, because you voted for it.

That's how these polls work. Once you have voted, your choice is italicized
Thanks, Warp! I didn't know that.

Rusty Luck
December 4, 2013, 01:46 AM
I voted the third option because I (like most others here) think that milspec is a baseline for comparison. But with today's markets and people it seems like "milspec" is being thrown onto everything. So I take milspec with a grain of salt and buy/have bought my AR15s based on research, reliability, QC and price. I'm fairly certain that they are mil spec but that was not what/how I researched. A little off topic but am I the only one who while researching a specific gun found themselves on YouTube watching torture test after torture test and saying "wow that looks like fun, how do I apply for that job at DD?"?

Quentin
December 4, 2013, 01:49 AM
Did you read option #3 I meant it to mean exactly what you said, I'm sorry if the poll isn't worded exactly the way you would say it, but I made up those answers in about a minute so cut me some slack.

It could be a good poll, and I'm not trying to give you a hard time, but for the results to mean anything a lot of thought must go into each selection.

Reloadron
December 4, 2013, 07:02 AM
Respect Mil-Spec, But Keep it Real! (http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/09/tim-harmsen/respect-the-mil-spec-but-keep-it-real/)

Not a bad short article on the Mil-Spec thing without getting into too much detail.

Ron

ugaarguy
December 4, 2013, 07:47 AM
Not a bad short article on the Mil-Spec thing without getting into too much detail.
That article is a joke. Anyone who publishes that there are nuts on the gas key doesn't have a clue. He also thinks that commercial spec tubes and mil-spec tubes are equally strong because the commercial spec tube is a marginally larger diameter, while ignoring the grade of aluminum and the way each is manufactured. He also thinks that changing the bolt to a different steel is a good idea. That ignores the fact that the bolt is designed to be weaker than the bbl extension, and for good reason.

Reloadron
December 4, 2013, 08:12 AM
That article is a joke. Anyone who publishes that there are nuts on the gas key doesn't have a clue. He also thinks that commercial spec tubes and mil-spec tubes are equally strong because the commercial spec tube is a marginally larger diameter, while ignoring the grade of aluminum and the way each is manufactured. He also thinks that changing the bolt to a different steel is a good idea. That ignores the fact that the bolt is designed to be weaker than the bbl extension, and for good reason.
I took the article for more of a take it for what it is worth. I don't agree with everything said.

Ron

Warp
December 4, 2013, 08:16 AM
That article seems to have a negative worth.

cfullgraf
December 4, 2013, 09:48 AM
Dimensional interchangeability with AR-15 parts is important to me.

Otherwise, the parts have got to work safely.

When I assemble a new AR-15, many of the parts I use are not mil spec because the mil specs do not cover them.

Nothing wrong with the mil specs but they cover stuff the military wants and the civilian AR-15 has moved beyond that.

Warp
December 4, 2013, 09:54 AM
Nothing wrong with the mil specs but they cover stuff the military wants and the civilian AR-15 has moved beyond that.

Can you explain/be specific about what you mean here?

longknife12
December 4, 2013, 09:57 AM
Mil-Spec....you mean Military Speculation?
Dan

MistWolf
December 4, 2013, 10:58 AM
Milspec isn't always the minimum standard but it is always the standard. When I worked as a contractor maintaining Army helicopters, any work I performed had to meet the specifications and standards without deviation to ensure safety of flight and best performance and reliability of the aircraft.

Let's look at some of the specs of the military M4-
-Forging produces stronger, lighter receivers and 7075 is a better alloy for the job than 6061. 7075 is tougher and more rigid. Forging 6061 can cause intergranular corrosion. 7175, the alloy Armalite forges their AR10 receivers from, is a bit tougher than 7075 but is it worth it for the AR15?

-Barrels are made from 4150 CMV. It's not the cheapest or the lowest quality steel but one of the best steels that meets all the requirements. 4150 isn't used because 4150 is specified, it's used because it meets all the specifications for the barrel. Not 4150 CM or 4140 or even 4130 which are all good barrel steels, but 4150 CMV due to it's wear properties, heat dissipation and machineability

-REs are made from 7075 extrusion. Again, 7075 is tougher and more resistant to bending (6061 extrudes just fine. In fact, it's better suited for extruding than 7075 but it bends easier)

-Barrel length is 14.5" Profile includes M203 cut outs. For civilian use, the profile makes no sense (although it's still usable) and the length is less than the legal minimum

-Fire Control Group is three round burst and isn't civilian legal (full auto for the M4A1)

-Grip is A2, stock M4. I don't remember if the round handguard is standard and the RIS is an acceptable substitute or what

-Gas system is carbine length

-Flash suppressor is the A2 birdcage

When I built my 16" middy AR carbine with the civilian legal FCG, Magpul furniture and stainless steel barrel, I deviated from milspec. Receiver dimensions (with the exception of the pin hole allowing the installation of the milspec FCG) are good and material & method of manufacture and anodizing are up to snuff. Bolt & carrier are correctly made. Whether or not everything was inspected using milspec methods, I don't know. Bolt was subjected to HPT/MPI but I'm not convinced that's important or even desirable. What's important is that the bolt was shot peened and was properly made and has the correct dimensions.

What's better about my carbine?
-It's legal

-Better trigger pull and no three round burst clutch

-Magpul furniture is more comfortable to me

-Handguard is longer

-Less muzzle rise from the Battlecomp than the A2 birdcage

Where is my carbine inferior to the milspec M4?
-Stanless steel isn't as durable for high volume fire

-Does not have the 3 round burst or full auto FCG

What would I change to bring my carbine closer to milspec? Nothing, unless I could legally install a full auto FCG.

The point is, the milspec for the M4 isn't there to let contractors build the cheapest rifle possible because most of the specs are excellent. Money could be saved by changing material type but it would reduce service life.

I've got a good quality carbine that doesn't follow the milspec but it does follow it in the important areas- material type and construction processes for bolt & receivers and critical dimensions

cfullgraf
December 4, 2013, 11:16 AM
Can you explain/be specific about what you mean here?

There are hand guards, barrels, stocks, smooth side uppers, muzzle devices, and sights, no name a few items, made for the AR-15 that are excellent parts but do not meet military specifications.

For instance, I doubt there is a military specification for my 26", 204 Ruger, AR-15 barrel.

RetiredUSNChief
December 4, 2013, 11:31 AM
Milspec isn't always the minimum standard but it is always the standard. When I worked as a contractor maintaining Army helicopters, any work I performed had to meet the specifications and standards without deviation to ensure safety of flight and best performance and reliability of the aircraft.

(Lots of good stuff removed for space.)

The point is, the milspec for the M4 isn't there to let contractors build the cheapest rifle possible because most of the specs are excellent. Money could be saved by changing material type but it would reduce service life.


For those who don't understand the purpose of milspec and think that it somehow means "minimum spec" or "cheapest spec", this posting pretty fairly hits it on the mark.

Milspec is THE spec. It's there for a reason and that reason is because this is what the MILITARY wants. Bidding for contracts to build equipment is another matter, and this is where the money part comes it. But, regardless of who wins the bid, the equipment MUST be built to the SAME milspec.


Used to be a time when "milspec" didn't really exist, per se. The Navy would say "I want a controller to perform this function" and a contractor would be paid to manufacture it. The contractor, not knowing any more than that, would build said controller and the Navy would install it on their ships. Where it would corrode excessively, come apart at the seems, rip out cables from entryways, or otherwise fail because it was built to specifications that work fine in non-moving, dry buildings on land but not on mobile, sea-going combat weapons platforms in the middle of a stormy salty sea duking it out with the enemy.


The REASON for milspec is to meet the physical requirements the MILITARY has, for whatever reason(s).

And those reasons may not be applicable to civilian use just as civilian reasons may not be applicable to military use.

RetiredUSNChief
December 4, 2013, 12:03 PM
First its not milspec without the inspector's marks on the paperwork.

Second, blind obedience to milspecs is why Uncle Sap ends up buying $400 toilet seats and $600 hammers.

No, this is not why "Uncle Sap" ends up buying $400 toilet seats and $600 hammers. There's a lot more that goes into this than "blind obedience to milspecs".

The PROCESS of how things are done has to be factored into this, as well. How the tooling requirements came about, how much equipment is required, whether or not commercial-off-the-shelf equipment will work, supply and support for the equipment over the expected lifespan of the ship or system, and more.

There is a required inefficiency built into the process when it comes to control and documentation. I can, in fact, as an engineer working in a shipyard get a package of 100 screws for $3.00, for example. I do it all the time and front-load material for planned jobs routinely.

However, when a deficiency is found during work that requires more material, or the initial quantity is insufficient due to expanded work (or lost screws), then there is an added expense that drives the cost of those screws from $3.00 to hundreds of dollars. Let me give you an example:

- Shop finds a deficiency which requires more screws. They must document this deficiency in order to both track it for repairs and to obtain the required material. This requires time for the shop to process the paperwork.

- Shop sends the paperwork to the Work Processing Center and goes back to work on what they were doing.

- WPC receives the paperwork, enters it into their tracking system, identifies the cognizant engineering code and forwards the paperwork to that code.

- The engineering code receives the paperwork and an engineer reads through the deficiency. Then the engineer goes directly to the job site and physically inspects the deficiency to ensure he fully understands the scope of the deficiency and what's required to repair it.

- The engineer completes any additional research required to correctly identify the correct repair parts via technical manuals, drawings, etc.

- The engineer processes the paperwork required to obtain the needed $3.00 diollars worth of screws and walks it through the supply people.

- The supply people do their magic, process the paperwork into documents which will obtain the needed material and return the paperwork to the engineer.

- The engineer drafts up the corrective actions required to conduct the repairs and includes in these actions the directions required to obtain the $3.00 worth of required screws to perform the work. Then sends the paperwork to WPC, who will package everything and get it ready for shop pickup.

- The $3.00 worth of screws is received in the shipyard and processed for pickup for that particular job.

- Shop picks up the paperwork and material and fixes the deficiency. Signs off the paperwork as complete and returns it to the inspectors and WPC.

- The inspectors and WPC do their jobs to ensure the work is completed satisfactory and the paperwork is closed out.


OK, I just bought a package of 100 screws for $3.00 to perform the required work. How much do you think it cost in manhours just to GET that $3.00 worth of screws, not to mention the manhours required to track this job throught to completion? Manhours that people are getting PAID for?


And there are reasons why the individual cost of any individual item may, indeed, be significantly higher than what YOU may pay as a civilian. For example, if a particular part is required to repair a given item and that part is required to be maintained in the stock system so that it will be on hand for repairs to that particular military system, there is an inherent cost to obtaining sufficient quantities of that item and then processing it for packaging, marking, handling, and storage into the stock system so that it will actually BE there when a combat vessel NEEDS it NOW for repairs.


A lot of military systems and ships aren't built and maintained like civilian systems and vehicles, and for good reason. I seriously doubt, for example, that you will EVER see in our lifetimes automobiles deliberately built and intended for 30 to 50 year operational lifespans, with full maintenance and repair support throughout their entire design lifespan.


Yes, there is waste in the system. Yes, I'm sure some of it is fraudulent. But it ain't all nearly as simple as many people would make it out to be.


'nuff said...I've already wandered too far off topic and I apologize.

W L Johnson
December 4, 2013, 12:13 PM
Mil Spec is another way of saying Min. Spec

IMHO

Warp
December 4, 2013, 12:43 PM
There are hand guards, barrels, stocks, smooth side uppers, muzzle devices, and sights, no name a few items, made for the AR-15 that are excellent parts but do not meet military specifications.

For instance, I doubt there is a military specification for my 26", 204 Ruger, AR-15 barrel.

When people talk about a rifle having 'mil spec' parts, or not...they aren't talking about handguards or stocks.

Come on now. No need to play these silly games.

MistWolf
December 4, 2013, 01:40 PM
Whether or not people are talking about handguards & stocks when they say "milspec", it still covers what handguards and stock are acceptable. That's not a silly game

Mil Spec is another way of saying Min. Spec

IMHO

Are you saying all M4 specs are minimal and can and should be raised? Or are you saying the specs are the minimum acceptable standard and make a good rifle?

Warp
December 4, 2013, 01:43 PM
Whether or not people are talking about handguards & stocks when they say "milspec", it still covers what handguards and stock are acceptable. That's not a silly game


In no thread I have ever seen on any forum where people ask about rifles, and discuss mil spec, has anybody ever cared about the handguard or stock meeting a spec.

If you want your input to be meaningful and useful it's probably better to talk about the barrel, upper and lower receivers, bolt, carrier, receiver extension, buffer, FCG, FSP, etc.

RetiredUSNChief
December 4, 2013, 01:50 PM
Mil Spec is another way of saying Min. Spec

IMHO

Then define what "Min. Spec" means, please. The way you post this, you make it sound like it means "lowest quality".

MistWolf
December 4, 2013, 02:01 PM
In no thread I have ever seen on any forum where people ask about rifles, and discuss mil spec, has anybody ever cared about the handguard or stock meeting a spec.

If you want your input to be meaningful and useful it's probably better to talk about the barrel, upper and lower receivers, bolt, carrier, receiver extension, buffer, FCG, FSP, etc.

Some shooters do care about milspec furniture and want or need milspec furniture for their purposes.

I agree it's good to know what we're discussing so it's helpful if a shooter has a question about an AR meeting milspec, enough is known to give a useful answer.

When I built my AR, I wanted a milspec RE and a stock designed to fit it although I did not want a milspec M4 stock. I wanted hanguards to fit my mid length upper, so milspec M4 handguards would do me no good as they are made to fit carbine uppers. In this case, I need to know what I'm talking about if I were to solicit opinions

Warp
December 4, 2013, 02:17 PM
Some shooters do care about milspec furniture and want or need milspec furniture for their purposes.

I agree it's good to know what we're discussing so it's helpful if a shooter has a question about an AR meeting milspec, enough is known to give a useful answer.

When I built my AR, I wanted a milspec RE and a stock designed to fit it although I did not want a milspec M4 stock. I wanted hanguards to fit my mid length upper, so milspec M4 handguards would do me no good as they are made to fit carbine uppers. In this case, I need to know what I'm talking about if I were to solicit opinions

In that case all you truly need to know is that a carbine length gas system requires a carbine length handguard and a mid length gas system requires a mid length handguard.

Mike1234567
December 4, 2013, 02:38 PM
I didn't vote because I'm clueless... but I'm sure as heck watching!!

mljdeckard
December 4, 2013, 02:44 PM
Mil spec has little to do with MY spec. I have had a issued gas key come unstaked. So much for mil-spec.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
December 4, 2013, 02:52 PM
While a few parts like the stripped upper, hand guards,buttstock, sights and bolt carrier can be Mil-Spec. The barrels((unless pinned) lower receivers, trigger groups and such cannot be. If so they would be classified as machine guns. The extra hole in the lower, the cam mechanism and the shortened barrel are all left off for us civilians. So the fact that unless you have a pre 84 AR with a tax stamp, you don't have a true mil-spec rifle anyway.

Mil spec is the bare minimum that the government accepts as what will work for them. There are better and there are worse. Remember this is built by the cheapest bidders that can do the job like other contracts. Some special forces use LWRC,HK, etc , they aren't stamped by Colt or FN, but are just as battle worthy.

Too many get hung up on the use of Mil-spec in AR rifles... I have a Colt 6920 and if anyone can get it to shoot the same groups as my RRA 24" Varmint, I welcome the chance. My RRA is under 1/2 MOA. Now I know that comparing apples to oranges but my Colt has an expected life expectancy of 8000-20,000 rounds. My HK is guaranteed to exceed 35,000 rounds. I have seen colts with a hundred plus thousand rounds, I have also seen an HK 416 that went throught 40,000 rounds of full auto fire over a weekend and it still shoots within military specs. Some break and some survive. Mil-spec parts are just a good all around minimum for BCG's and such. They are made to withstand full auto abuse.

I honestly think it is a term to sell guns. Because on that note Colt,FN, LaRue, Knights Armament and Hk are the only Mil-spec makers. (There might be a couple more but my old memory fades me). Most civilians will never put a gun through the abuse a battle rifle goes through. It is just people wanting to have the best they can, and I understand that. Just don't overlook good manufacturers because they aren't used by the military...

But there are cheap-o no good AR15's that should be used as boat anchors too. Buy a good brand name with a good warranty and be happy. Colt is one of the best and most affordable "good tier" rifle.

Warp
December 4, 2013, 03:00 PM
Mil spec has little to do with MY spec. I have had a issued gas key come unstaked. So much for mil-spec.

I think it's a given, and everybody ought to know, that nothing...not one dang thing...is 100%.

If anybody believes that having the right equipment and even using it the right way guarantees literally zero chance of something failing, malfunctioning, or breaking, that person is in for a serious reality check when they enter the real world.

holdencm9
December 4, 2013, 03:42 PM
I voted that I like it, but go away from it for cost and functionality. This is an important distinction from the other option that said "prefer better" since I think that suggests that the mil spec is a minimum, which I don't think it is. In some cases it it probably overkill (trigger, steel type, barrel profile). And better is always up for interpretation. A certain barrel steel or treatment may be better for heat resistance during high volume fire, but worse for accuracy, etc. The standard combat trigger may be able to ignite the hardest primers on the planet, but my Giessele has never had a misfire with anything. As has already been said, it is a good baseline though, especially for the components of the BCG (gas key staked, steel type, weight/profile, HP/MP test of bolt, etc).

Regarding the furniture is mil-spec discussion, are we sure there isn't a spec somewhere for type of plastic (ABS? PVC? what?) and perhaps the heat shields? I can't be certain, but I agree with Mist that some people are particular about the hand guards and do want to know what is on the military weapons.

Welding Rod
December 4, 2013, 03:45 PM
Personally I am not too much of a Milspec guy when it comes to ARs. I would much rather have a Wilson or Gieselle (Sp) trigger, a LaRue med contour barrel and quad, a Magpul Stock, and so on. I think an AR like the 6920 includes some very undesirable component selection, close to milspec or not.

That said, a real eye opener for me about "Milspec" v. commercial has been comparing Garands to M1As. Years ago I read a post stating the Garand was twice the rifle a M1A was. I was skeptical. After owning and handling plenty of both, now I believe it. The Garand was built to be a fine rifle, the M1A is built to appear to be a fine rifle.

Warp
December 4, 2013, 03:57 PM
Personally I am not too much of a Milspec guy when it comes to ARs. I would much rather have a Wilson or Gieselle (Sp) trigger, a LaRue med contour barrel and quad, a Magpul Stock, and so on. I think an AR like the 6920 includes some very undesirable component selection, close to milspec or not.

That said, a real eye opener for me about "Milspec" v. commercial has been comparing Garands to M1As. Years ago I read a post stating the Garand was twice the rifle a M1A was. I was skeptical. After owning and handling plenty of both, now I believe it. The Garand was built to be a fine rifle, the M1A is built to appear to be a fine rifle.

There are plenty of things out there that are better than simply being milspec. Examples include Geissele FCG's, some premium barrels, different furniture, as you say.

hatt
December 4, 2013, 05:35 PM
Then define what "Min. Spec" means, please. The way you post this, you make it sound like it means "lowest quality".
Minimum spec you want. You can come up with all sorts of minimum standards but the one that took years and millions of taxpayer dollars seems like the best one. And it's common. So we can say a 158C bolt is the min spec or just start making pot metal ones and work our way up to a good one. Former sounds easier.

mljdeckard
December 4, 2013, 05:46 PM
Warp, all I'm saying is, people imagine 'mil-spec' to be some magical standard to aspire to. Yes, they fail eventually like everything else does. I just go batty watching people nit pick over things like whether or not the key is staked properly, as if that means that it is some manufacturing step that will prevent it ever failing.

In any event, I absolutely trust commercial demand to drive quality more than governmental standards.

PabloJ
December 4, 2013, 05:59 PM
Mil-Spec....you mean Military Speculation?
Dan
Mil-Spec seems to mean it meets US Military standard. Faith sells mounds of inventory. To me Mil-Spec means suitable for storage in tool box.

ugaarguy
December 4, 2013, 06:03 PM
I absolutely trust commercial demand to drive quality more than governmental standards.
I don't, and with good reason: Look at all the commercial rifles made with materials and assembly that are inferior to even military specifications. The M16 and M4 TDPs prevent manufacturers from cutting corners when building for the military. You have to research commercial rifles to make sure they even meet those minimum specs.

Mil spec has little to do with MY spec. I have had a issued gas key come unstaked. So much for mil-spec.
And how much more quickly would that gas key have come loose if it wasn't staked?

rule303
December 4, 2013, 06:12 PM
Mil-spec can mean very different things depending on who is using the term. For any gun not actually fielded by the military, there is no mil-spec, period. Some in the AR crowd get so hung up on the term, that they will not purchase a part that isn't "mil-spec", even if that part may be drastically better than others on the market. There have been many inferior weapons designs over the years that met military specifications, but were total failures in the field. Keep in mind also that a mil-spec part just needs to meet a minimum performance specification, at the price agreed upon by the supplier, there may be better choices on the open market.

RetiredUSNChief
December 4, 2013, 06:15 PM
Minimum spec you want. You can come up with all sorts of minimum standards but the one that took years and millions of taxpayer dollars seems like the best one. And it's common. So we can say a 158C bolt is the min spec or just start making pot metal ones and work our way up to a good one. Former sounds easier.

"Minimum spec you want. You can come up with all sorts of minimum standards but the one that took years and millions of taxpayer dollars seems like the best one."

Thank you, hatt. THAT I will accept for "Min. Spec". Because it's actually accurate, meaningful, AND realistic.

If you (the generic "you") want somebody to build something, then you give them drawings, material, and specifications. Those specifications are, by definition, the minimum required for the job. In fact, they may be EXACTLY what is required OR they may be the MINIMUM that is required, depending on how the specifications are written.

But in no case is the contractor allowed to deviate from those specifications without authorization.

There may be better specifications, there may be better tolerances, there may be better materials...but they can't be WORSE than what is specified.


What problems, for example, could the Navy POSSIBLY have if they contracted out the fabrication of submarine high pressure air bank flasks to be made of (X alloy steel) and the contractor, having problems obtaining sufficient quanties of the steel required by the milspec, substituted an alternate (Y alloy steel) with the same or higher tensile strength characteristics?

What problem, indeed! Like maybe Chloride stress cracking/corrosion that the other steel is susceptable to but the milspec steel is not? Sucks for a strategic ballistic missile submarine on nuclear deterrent patrol with 150 men and 24 strategic nuclear weapons when one or more of those flasks ruptures and the ship cannot perform an emergency blow of all main ballast tanks at test depth. Kinda hard for 150 dead men to perform their job while sitting on the bottom of the ocean with 24 nuclear missiles scattered all around them.


A milspec is no different than any other engineering specification elsewhere...it's just called "milspec" because it's (insert drum roll here) MILITARY RELATED.

Warp
December 4, 2013, 06:27 PM
Warp, all I'm saying is, people imagine 'mil-spec' to be some magical standard to aspire to. Yes, they fail eventually like everything else does. I just go batty watching people nit pick over things like whether or not the key is staked properly, as if that means that it is some manufacturing step that will prevent it ever failing.

In any event, I absolutely trust commercial demand to drive quality more than governmental standards.

Of course being properly staked doesn't mean it is impossible for the gas key to come loose. But properly torqued bolts and proper stakes ought to reduce the chance of it coming loose, which is why people tend to prefer the bolts be staked.

I wouldn't call staked gas keys nit picking.

I might consider requiring parkerizing under the FSB to be nit picking.

Ro1911
December 4, 2013, 09:06 PM
Wow, look at you guys go, this has turned out to be a good topic.

Any way I thought I'd add my 2 cents again, mil spec doesn't mean minimum spec and I did not intend option #1 to sound like it was, but I think you have to agree that mil spec M4s aren't JP enterprises rifles either. Milspec is what the military decided that they wanted probably after a big cost v benefits study. Option #1 is stated the way it is because I would not go to a gun fight with a gun of lesser quality then mil spec not because it is the minimum acceptable, just if I'm getting shot at I want a rifle of known quality. Personally I voted for option #3 because even on that hypothetical rifle I'd be running magpul stuff which is not mil spec and an aimpoint pro because I know it works and its half the price of a compm4 aimpoint.

NWcityguy2
December 5, 2013, 03:02 AM
In no thread I have ever seen on any forum where people ask about rifles, and discuss mil spec, has anybody ever cared about the handguard or stock meeting a spec.


I have seen discussion about handguards having only a single heat shield instead of double heat shields. That would be deviating from Mil Spec in a meaningful way.

Warp
December 5, 2013, 08:59 AM
I have seen discussion about handguards having only a single heat shield instead of double heat shields. That would be deviating from Mil Spec in a meaningful way.

It would

Revoliver
December 5, 2013, 10:46 AM
I consider it a minumum baseline to go off of.

45_auto
December 5, 2013, 11:02 AM
I would not go to a gun fight with a gun of lesser quality then mil spec not because it is the minimum acceptable, just if I'm getting shot at I want a rifle of known quality.

Do you use full-auto (or burst) trigger group parts in your AR-15? If not, where can I find the mil-spec on a semi-auto trigger group for an M-16?

RubenZ
December 5, 2013, 11:48 AM
I agree. Like they say. MIL SPEC goes to Lowest Bidder LOL.

RetiredUSNChief
December 5, 2013, 12:08 PM
I agree. Like they say. MIL SPEC goes to Lowest Bidder LOL.

...who must STILL produce to the specification...

Warp
December 5, 2013, 12:08 PM
I agree. Like they say. MIL SPEC goes to Lowest Bidder that meets the specification

You forgot the most important part, relative to this discussion.

SlamFire1
December 5, 2013, 04:08 PM
Military spec is basically an advertizing term. It used to have meaning, there was a time when the Government designed and built equipment inhouse. That is no longer true, the Government does not design or build hardware with Government employees. These functions are contracted out. Contractors are paid to design and build the hardware. There are minimum requirements that hardware has to meet, but that depends on what the Major Command (MACOM) thinks is important. Tactical equipment, in theory, is tested in severe environments, such as sand, dust, hot, wet, shock and vibration. That is all good, but what you also find, if the equipment fails a test, the MACOM will “waiver” the hardware.

The Government used to own designs, the documentation was and is called a technical data package (TDP). On commercial off the shelf, such as the SAWS, the Government basically buys a built weapon, like you buy a car. The Government did not design the thing and does not control anything to do with part dimensions or materials. What the Government will specify is “performance criteria” : it has to fire our ammunition, maybe the sling swivels have to fit our slings, can’t rust in the rain, but that is about it. Performance specs for armor plate would be things like has to stop a 50 cal round and bolt up to a vehicle. If armor plate is not too heavy, stops the bullet, and is painted the proper shade of Army Green, and the manufacturer is the low Native American bidder , the Government will buy. Performance does not mean what steel, how it is heat treated, materials used, etc. The Government has no idea of what goes into armor plating and what it is made of. Armor plate cannot be hazardous if eaten, has to be made in an environmentally responsible fashion, preferences are given to minority and handicapped contractors, and it has to fit its vehicles. If the armor plate does not bolt up, then there will be a hissy fit, and the Government always ends up paying more for less.

Even if the Government owns the design, characteristics that don’t effect (for example) ammunition, magazines, or slings, are not controlled by the Government. The Government got out of TDP approval decades ago, and got out of manufacturing data package approval before that. Today, the Government is only interested in getting involved if the product does not meet the performance spec that the equipment was purchased under. The Government is sort of like a food critic, can’t cook but can eat. So, whatever cake is placed in front of the Government, what is in that cake is based on what the contractor decides needs to be in cake. The contractor is free to change the recipe up to the point the Government barfs.

Basically the Government has gotten stupider over time, it lets contractors decide what it needs, wants, and they build it for the Government.

However, designs that have been thoroughly tested and used in military environments for decades are more likely to function than designs that are new. Hopefully everyone understands that being the beta tester means you are going to have a lot of system crashes. It is better to let the Government be the beta tester on firearms and spend the money to fix the things that break.

But that does not mean someone can't copy a M1911, AR15 use different materials, and not have a pretty reliable mechanism. What you can be assured is that the further these copies get from a mature TDP the riskier it becomes for you whether the thing will work. What you find is that many commercial manufacturer’s still follow General Motor’s philosophy of “Marketing sells it, manufacturing makes it, and Customer Service makes it work”. (And anyone from the 70's remembers that GM almost went bankrupt when consumers switched to cheap, reliable Japanese cars) Basically they do very little testing and the thing breaks in use.

My Bud bought this carbon-carbon fiber lower. I commented at the time about the risk of changing material technologies (aluminum to carbon resin) and not seeing changes in external part dimensions. This receiver was not properly designed as there was no reinforcement made into the polymer cast receiver and it cracked under the weight of the buttstock.

In a very real sense, my Bud was the beta tester.

I covered up the name because the manufacturer replaced the lower and my Bud does not want to get yelled at.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Blowups/AR15%20Carbon%20Fiber%20lower/DSCN2200crackedlowerreceiver_zpsc1217cb2.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/SlamFire/media/Blowups/AR15%20Carbon%20Fiber%20lower/DSCN2200crackedlowerreceiver_zpsc1217cb2.jpg.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Blowups/AR15%20Carbon%20Fiber%20lower/DSCN2191leftsidecrackedlower_zps4edaa923.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/SlamFire/media/Blowups/AR15%20Carbon%20Fiber%20lower/DSCN2191leftsidecrackedlower_zps4edaa923.jpg.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Blowups/AR15%20Carbon%20Fiber%20lower/DSCN2198crackedbackendoflower_zps04e8b568.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/SlamFire/media/Blowups/AR15%20Carbon%20Fiber%20lower/DSCN2198crackedbackendoflower_zps04e8b568.jpg.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Blowups/AR15%20Carbon%20Fiber%20lower/DSCN2199crackedend_zps4cfa2f71.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/SlamFire/media/Blowups/AR15%20Carbon%20Fiber%20lower/DSCN2199crackedend_zps4cfa2f71.jpg.html)

Ro1911
December 5, 2013, 06:46 PM
Do you use full-auto (or burst) trigger group parts in your AR-15? If not, where can I find the mil-spec on a semi-auto trigger group for an M-16?
There are mil pec semi auto triggers, what do you think the navy puts in SPRs. Now as far as full auto goes I've used them and I'd rather have semi auto, and bringing up parts of the spec that cannot be legally built on new rifles is not in the spirit of this discussion.

RetiredUSNChief
December 5, 2013, 08:04 PM
Military spec is basically an advertizing term. It used to have meaning, there was a time when the Government designed and built equipment inhouse. That is no longer true, the Government does not design or build hardware with Government employees. These functions are contracted out. Contractors are paid to design and build the hardware. There are minimum requirements that hardware has to meet, but that depends on what the Major Command (MACOM) thinks is important. Tactical equipment, in theory, is tested in severe environments, such as sand, dust, hot, wet, shock and vibration. That is all good, but what you also find, if the equipment fails a test, the MACOM will “waiver” the hardware.

The Government used to own designs, the documentation was and is called a technical data package (TDP). On commercial off the shelf, such as the SAWS, the Government basically buys a built weapon, like you buy a car. The Government did not design the thing and does not control anything to do with part dimensions or materials. What the Government will specify is “performance criteria” : it has to fire our ammunition, maybe the sling swivels have to fit our slings, can’t rust in the rain, but that is about it. Performance specs for armor plate would be things like has to stop a 50 cal round and bolt up to a vehicle. If armor plate is not too heavy, stops the bullet, and is painted the proper shade of Army Green, and the manufacturer is the low Native American bidder , the Government will buy. Performance does not mean what steel, how it is heat treated, materials used, etc. The Government has no idea of what goes into armor plating and what it is made of. Armor plate cannot be hazardous if eaten, has to be made in an environmentally responsible fashion, preferences are given to minority and handicapped contractors, and it has to fit its vehicles. If the armor plate does not bolt up, then there will be a hissy fit, and the Government always ends up paying more for less.

Basically the Government has gotten stupider over time, it lets contractors decide what it needs, wants, and they build it for the Government.


OK, I cut a lot of stuff out for space considerations, but I'll attempt to address the majority of issues you brought up. If I miss someting out of all that, sorry.

First of all, on a positive note, there is quite a bit of truth to your comment about "thoroughly tested and used in military environments" with respect to documented reliability over time. This is not to say that there is no room for improvement or for something else that's better...only that a given design has passed the test of time.

And yes, I agree that "milspec" is, indeed, used as a marketing term quite a bit, with the implication that, somehow, "milspec" implies "the best" or "high quality". This may or may not be true for a given application, but that's the marketing strategy.

However, with respect to the government designing and building stuff "inhouse", this isn't as true as you make it out to be. Uncle Sam has ALWAYS had a history of contracting out design and construction work on a great many things. Some things may have been designed and built inhouse, yes...but that has never been the sole source of military innovation and construction.

There are a great many examples of this throughout history. Joshua Humphries, for example, was a civilian shipbuilder who was contracted by Congress to retrofit merchant ships into the first six frigates of the U.S. Navy, the most famous of which is the USS Constitution. The Colt 1911 we're all so familiar with was not designed and built by the miltary, either. Submarines, from the first to the last, were not designed and built by the military, either. And the same can be said for nearly everything on any Naval vessel.

Uncle Sam essentially says "This is what we want:..." To the list of what Uncle Sam wants is a list of criteria that the end result must be capable of. And in many cases, there is a lot of reasearch and development that went into figuring out what it takes to get what Uncle Sam wants, the majority of which (not all, by any means) contracted outside of the military.

But in very few cases are civilian contractors just given a completely free hand in designing/constructing something the military wants. It HAS to meet the criteria the military establishes.

You said "The Government did not design the thing and does not control anything to do with part dimensions or materials. What the Government will specify is “performance criteria”". This is overly simplistic to the point of being false. Whether the actual material specifications arose from contracted civilian R&D or a direct military R&D program does not matter...it's STILL "milspec". The R&D programs are part of the process of determining what those milspecs actually are. And, when all the R&D is actually done and the weapons system (or whatever) is produced...when the military orders it, they order the weapons systems to be built to the milspecs that were determined during the R&D phase. This includes maintenance and repair components, tooling, and equipment as well.

If I want a "ruggedized multimeter", there is a milspec that covers what constitutes such a device. (It's A-A-50734B, by the way.) There are many commercially designed and built multimeters out there...but for it to be classified as a "ruggedized multimeter", it HAS to meet that milspec.


I guess what I'm trying to say with all these words (that people have probably glazed eyes over by now) is that milspec ALWAYS goes back to the military, regardless of whom it is that does the actual R&D. If civilians do the R&D for the military, then the specifications that arise out of that R&D IS milspec. The civilians do not decide what the military needs or wants...it's the other way around. The civilians work to engineer the solutions that give the military wat it wants or needs.

MistWolf
December 5, 2013, 08:42 PM
It has not been my experience that the government does not know what's in the TDP. While the government may not have developed it, they know what's in it because if the contractor does not deliver what was promised, that's one of the things the government will be scrutinizing to see if the TDP (among other documents) was followed. On the contracts I worked on, there were government inspectors onsite to ensure the government was getting what they were paying for. You may be selling them $600 toilet seats, but if it doesn't meet the specs or if proper procedures are not followed or the promised number are not delivered on time, they will fine you and yank the contract and give it to somebody else

SlamFire1
December 5, 2013, 09:31 PM
You said "The Government did not design the thing and does not control anything to do with part dimensions or materials. What the Government will specify is “performance criteria”". This is overly simplistic to the point of being false. Whether the actual material specifications arose from contracted civilian R&D or a direct military R&D program does not matter...it's STILL "milspec". The R&D programs are part of the process of determining what those milspecs actually are. And, when all the R&D is actually done and the weapons system (or whatever) is produced...when the military orders it, they order the weapons systems to be built to the milspecs that were determined during the R&D phase. This includes maintenance and repair components, tooling, and equipment as well
Very interesting reply Chief. I don’t know if you went through the mid nineties era of Gansler and acquisition streamlining or were unaware of the significance of what was changed.

The entire database of Mil Specs were obsoleted (except for Navy nukes!). Only commercial specs were allowed and for developed equipment only performance specifications were allowed. This turned out to be very expensive, as the Government bought items without technical data packages. The example I was told, as the bad example, was a Navy example. The Navy bought a ship under a performance specification and needed replacement pumps. These were huge pumps, truck or van sized. The pumps were bought under a performance spec and the supplier was not interested (or out of business) to build more. So the ship had to be parked as the pump was removed, given to another vendor, reverse engineered, and a new one built.

There has been tweaking since then, there are a few mil specs that were brought back, but the example you used, the multimeter, is a performance specification.

I have the feeling you don’t know the difference between a product specification and a performance specification, so you don’t understand what my objections are, and to the way the term mil spec is abused.

There are a great many examples of this throughout history. Joshua Humphries, for example, was a civilian shipbuilder who was contracted by Congress to retrofit merchant ships into the first six frigates of the U.S. Navy, the most famous of which is the USS Constitution. The Colt 1911 we're all so familiar with was not designed and built by the miltary, either. Submarines, from the first to the last, were not designed and built by the military, either. And the same can be said for nearly everything on any Naval vessel.

The technical core competency of the Government is something that ended after the Robert McNamara era. There was a time when the Government ran, designed and built the largest artillery ever built, designed and built ships, trained Soldiers and Sailors to fix that stuff. Now all that activity has been outsourced, if the thing in the field requires more than a screw driver to replace, then expensive Contractor Logistical Support has to do it.

Since October we have seen perhaps the greatest public example of the lack of core competency in the Government: the Obama Care website. After $600 million dollars it has been shown that not only does the Government lack people who can write code, but that it lacks the people who can manage a software development program. In my lifetime I have never heard the President get on the television and apologize for a messed up procurement. This example is repeated time after time on equally costly, but far less visible, major defense procurements.

RetiredUSNChief
December 5, 2013, 09:57 PM
^^^^

I was active duty from 1985 to 2005, and yes I was a Nuke. So I'm a little familiar with the process, though one of my collateral duties was NOT as repair parts petty officer for my division.

I agree that "milspec" is an abused term. Typically rendered as "mil-(letter designation)-XXXXX", or the newer "MSXXXXX" format. Like "MS51958" is the milspec for "screw, machine pan-head, cross-recessed, corrosion-resisting steel, UNF-2A".

You were correct that I confused a performance specification in the previous posting. However, performance specifications and product specifications set forth by the military are still specifications established by and for the military. The agency which does the R&D which the military has made their decision on makes no difference.

;)

HammsBeer
December 5, 2013, 10:13 PM
Milspec is about standardization. If you get a milspec part you know it will fit and cohabitate nicely with other milspec parts. Can you improve on milspec, of course, but then you run a chance of it not being matched or balanced properly with other parts. The evil word is proprietary parts. But sometimes a proprietary part, such as an improved release lever on a charging handle, makes it work that much better.

meanmrmustard
December 6, 2013, 06:59 AM
I vote that it doesn't matter. The term has become a buzzword, overused and misunderstood.

Mil spec triggers suck.
4140 is used in SAW barrels, so I'm not sad over the lack of vanadium.
1/8 twist is a good compromise for eclipsing many bullet weights and OAL.
Carpenter 158 isn't as strong as 9310.
Chrome lining degrades accuracy as a coating in a barrel, melonite changes nothing.
I prefer, overall, the Wylde chamber.

You can go away from mil spec or beyond it. Either way, if it goes bang every time, then it was a good buy.

Warp
December 6, 2013, 08:02 AM
I vote that it doesn't matter. The term has become a buzzword, overused and misunderstood.

Mil spec triggers suck.
4140 is used in SAW barrels, so I'm not sad over the lack of vanadium.
1/8 twist is a good compromise for eclipsing many bullet weights and OAL.
Carpenter 158 isn't as strong as 9310.
Chrome lining degrades accuracy as a coating in a barrel, melonite changes nothing.
I prefer, overall, the Wylde chamber.

You can go away from mil spec or beyond it. Either way, if it goes bang every time, then it was a good buy.

So are you voting based on what mil spec IS, or on what marketing departments + ignorant consumers THINK it is?

ugaarguy
December 6, 2013, 09:25 AM
Carpenter 158 isn't as strong as 9310.
There's a very good reason the AR-15 / M16 bolt is made from Carpenter 158 and not a stronger steel. None of you have picked up on it.

meanmrmustard
December 6, 2013, 09:50 AM
So are you voting based on what mil spec IS, or on what marketing departments + ignorant consumers THINK it is?
Both.

meanmrmustard
December 6, 2013, 09:51 AM
There's a very good reason the AR-15 / M16 bolt is made from Carpenter 158 and not a stronger steel. None of you have picked up on it.
Only one place makes it, so I figure its probably a Monopoly thing.

Warp
December 6, 2013, 09:53 AM
Only one place makes it, so I figure its probably a Monopoly thing.

That doesn't even make sense.

Can you specify your unclear pronoun (it) and explain?

meanmrmustard
December 6, 2013, 10:00 AM
That doesn't even make sense.

Can you specify your unclear pronoun (it) and explain?
Carpenter 158 is a P6 alloy made by Carpenter, the "it" in my statement.

Point being, military says to use a steel that only one company makes. Thats business.

9310 has better wear resistance, but is costlier .
Harder, yes.

ugaarguy
December 6, 2013, 10:15 AM
Only one place makes it, so I figure its probably a Monopoly thing.
You're over thinking it. Between the bolt and the barrel extension (the two parts that lock together to contain the cartridge as it's fired) the bolt is by far the easier and faster part to replace. If the bolt was stronger the bbl extension would wear out first. You always want the easiest and least expensive part to replace to be the weakest link. When you factor in man hours and tools to replace a bbl extension it's a very expensive part to replace. Because the bbl extension also maintains head space on an M16 / AR-15 rifle a replacement bolt can literally be dropped in if necessary in field conditions.

It's much like fishing. You should never use a line with a higher weight rating than your rod and reel. If you run line that has a higher weight rating, you risk breaking the rod or the reel since they'll give out before the line will. Extra line is easily carried, easily replaced, and far less expensive than rods and reels.

meanmrmustard
December 6, 2013, 10:23 AM
You're over thinking it. Between the bolt and the barrel extension (the two parts that lock together to contain the cartridge as it's fired) the bolt is by far the easier and faster part to replace. If the bolt was stronger the bbl extension would wear out first. You always want the easiest and least expensive part to replace to be the weakest link. When you factor in man hours and tools to replace a bbl extension it's a very expensive part to replace. Because the bbl extension also maintains head space on an M16 / AR-15 rifle a replacement bolt can literally be dropped in if necessary in field conditions.

It's much like fishing. You should never use a line with a higher weight rating than your rod and reel. If you run line that has a higher weight rating, you risk breaking the rod or the reel since they'll give out before the line will. Extra line is easily carried, easily replaced, and far less expensive than rods and reels.
I see your analogy.

However, by that line of thinking, couldn't one up the ante with stronger barrel extension, or lessen the hardness of either bolt or extension?

I see your point, though.

RubenZ
December 6, 2013, 10:35 AM
That I knew. Thats actually been the case for almost all weapons. The Bolt in a lot of firearms contains the weaker metal and in same cases some have a plastic part too. I know a lot of Semi Auto shotguns have plastics in the bolt assembly for that reason.

ugaarguy
December 6, 2013, 10:43 AM
However, by that line of thinking, couldn't one up the ante with stronger barrel extension, or lessen the hardness of either bolt or extension?
Potentially, but it is worth the added R&D, the added steel cost, the accelerated wear on tooling to make such parts? The current bolts (C158 steel, properly heat treated, shot peened to relieve strees, and that pass the HPT / MPI) average over 10k rounds before failure. Considering that the M16 family of rifles have been thoroughly refined over their 51 years in service, I'm pretty confident that they've found the point of diminishing returns on bolt material and manufacturing process.

As you and several others have noted, the key is identifying the most critical or significant specs of the rifle.

meanmrmustard
December 6, 2013, 10:58 AM
Potentially, but it is worth the added R&D, the added steel cost, the accelerated wear on tooling to make such parts? The current bolts (C158 steel, properly heat treated, shot peened to relieve strees, and that pass the HPT / MPI) average over 10k rounds before failure. Considering that the M16 family of rifles have been thoroughly refined over their 51 years in service, I'm pretty confident that they've found the point of diminishing returns on bolt material and manufacturing process.

As you and several others have noted, the key is identifying the most critical or significant specs of the rifle.
If Joe Average had the money...maybe.

I don't, but I recognize quality and where I need meat and potatoes or where I can skimp.

Hence how I voted. Thank you for the info UG

hatt
December 6, 2013, 11:06 AM
9310 has better wear resistance, but is costlier .
Harder, yes.Do 158C bolts "wear" out in any reasonable service life? All the bad ones I've seen were broken. Looks like a harder bolt would be even more prone to breaking.

meanmrmustard
December 6, 2013, 11:11 AM
Do 158C bolts "wear" out in any reasonable service life? All the bad ones I've seen were broken. Looks like a harder bolt would be even more prone to breaking.
The same could be said of the 4150 CMV barrels, being harder and more brittle than 4140. However, seen either of those fail?

I haven't. Not a kaboom anyway, but anything can wear. Just some faster than others.

So, how would 9310 be more prone to breakage?

hatt
December 6, 2013, 11:18 AM
By "being harder and more brittle?" A bolt and barrel are vastly different apps.

meanmrmustard
December 6, 2013, 11:22 AM
By "being harder and more brittle?" A bolt and barrel are vastly different apps.
Indeed, but both see tremendous pressure, friction and heat. So, the apps are different, but the environment they perform them in is quite similar.

hatt
December 6, 2013, 11:44 AM
Don't know how you're comparing a steel tube to a small complex machined moving part.

ugaarguy
December 6, 2013, 11:48 AM
Go back to what Hatt is saying. The bolt is bearing all that pressure on its face and the seven lugs. The bbl is bearing that same pressure across a much larger surface that's also uniform. Hence, brittleness in bolts is much more of a problem than brittleness in barrels. There's also the issue of the bbl needing to be of a proper alloy and heat treat to maintain the rifling. Keep in mind also that a SAW bbl is a totally different bbl from an M16 bbl.

SlamFire1
December 6, 2013, 12:25 PM
I was active duty from 1985 to 2005, and yes I was a Nuke. So I'm a little familiar with the process, though one of my collateral duties was NOT as repair parts petty officer for my division.

I agree that "milspec" is an abused term. Typically rendered as "mil-(letter designation)-XXXXX", or the newer "MSXXXXX" format. Like "MS51958" is the milspec for "screw, machine pan-head, cross-recessed, corrosion-resisting steel, UNF-2A".

Hey, Chief, thanks for your service to our country. Submariner was an elite group and not a job I could have done as I would have gone nut case without a window!

Since you left life has gotten harder for all Government agencies in procuring good hardware. Smart people have created briefings predicting the end of all manufacturing in the US. Getting good bolts, nuts, screws is just one of these issues. The vast, if not all, is coming now from China. People in the loop tell me the fasteners are inferior to what you used to get from American vendors. The certifications that come with the fasteners are not worth the paper they are printed on. You can’t buy an electronic part that does not have Chinese components.

How will people feel when a product made 100% in China is labeled "Mil Spec"?

meanmrmustard
December 6, 2013, 12:44 PM
Go back to what Hatt is saying. The bolt is bearing all that pressure on its face and the seven lugs. The bbl is bearing that same pressure across a much larger surface that's also uniform. Hence, brittleness in bolts is much more of a problem than brittleness in barrels. There's also the issue of the bbl needing to be of a proper alloy and heat treat to maintain the rifling. Keep in mind also that a SAW bbl is a totally different bbl from an M16 bbl.
Doesn't the SAW operate at 850+ rounds a minute though?

Mike1234567
December 6, 2013, 01:00 PM
It has not been my experience that the government does not know what's in the TDP. While the government may not have developed it, they know what's in it because if the contractor does not deliver what was promised, that's one of the things the government will be scrutinizing to see if the TDP (among other documents) was followed. On the contracts I worked on, there were government inspectors onsite to ensure the government was getting what they were paying for. You may be selling them $600 toilet seats, but if it doesn't meet the specs or if proper procedures are not followed or the promised number are not delivered on time, they will fine you and yank the contract and give it to somebody else

You assume the government employees watching/policing incoming products know what they're doing or even care. I was civil service for nearly a quarter century and can assure you... that ain't always the case.

Specifying a very specific product that is only made by ONE manufacturer is nearly always a sign of palm-greasing behind back doors.

ugaarguy
December 6, 2013, 01:25 PM
Doesn't the SAW operate at 850+ rounds a minute though?
That's the cyclic rate, but the sustained rate is much lower. The point I was trying to make though is that a LMG bbl is an entirely different animal from a rifle bbl. The M249 (and most true machine guns) have quick change bbls to start with. When the bbl gets hot you swap to the spare and let the first bbl cool. Belt fed MGs don't have the accuracy requirements of rifles, and indeed rifle level accuracy is undesirable in a MG. Hence, with a MG bbl your priority is not precision. Your priorities are getting the most endurance for the lowest price. Even so, MG bbls get shot out and require replacement much more frequently than rifle bbls.

hatt
December 6, 2013, 02:50 PM
A bolt from different material may indeed be better. But that doesn't do me any good if I don't know how much better. I know kinda what to expect from a milspec bolt because of decades and billions of rounds fired and can plan accordingly. It also may not be as good. This is all academic, 99% of people are never going to shoot enought to wear out an AR. If you run your gun hard and depend on it in life and death situations replace the bolt/springs/etc every 5-7000 rounds and worry about other stuff.

Warp
December 6, 2013, 02:56 PM
A bolt from different material may indeed be better. But that doesn't do me any good if I don't know how much better. I know kinda what to expect from a milspec bolt because of decades and billions of rounds fired and can plan accordingly. It also may not be as good. This is all academic, 99% of people are never going to shoot enought to wear out an AR. If you run your gun hard and depend on it in life and death situations replace the bolt/springs/etc every 5-7000 rounds and worry about other stuff.

It also doesn't do any good if you don't know which other material may be better...and that "may be" means that it may not be.

We've gone full circle. The 'mil spec' is a known quantity that is pretty darn good.

meanmrmustard
December 6, 2013, 03:23 PM
It also doesn't do any good if you don't know which other material may be better...and that "may be" means that it may not be.

We've gone full circle. The 'mil spec' is a known quantity that is pretty darn good.
What's to say he doesn't know? The statement nay be general.

Good enough, better than good, and "pretty darn good" are also subjective.

I love polls!!!

Warp
December 6, 2013, 03:25 PM
What's to say he doesn't know? The statement nay be general.

Good enough, better than good, and "pretty darn good" are also subjective.

I love polls!!!


Would you please be so kind as to tell us what the best is, and why?

meanmrmustard
December 6, 2013, 03:34 PM
Would you please be so kind as to tell us what the best is, and why?
I know what works for me, but not you.

I don't pretend to know everything, but I dont try to convince myself or anyone else here with subjective statements.

If mil spec works for you, super. As of now, more folks polled could care less. Me too.

Warp
December 6, 2013, 03:35 PM
I know what works for me, but not you.

I don't pretend to know everything, but I dont try to convince myself or anyone else here with subjective statements.

If mil spec works for you, super.
What works for you?

How well does it work for you?

Quantitatively stated.

meanmrmustard
December 6, 2013, 03:45 PM
What works for you?

How well does it work for you?

Quantitatively stated.
Thank you for asking.

For my HD gun, BCM. Haven't had to "use it" other than training. So far so good.

My plinker, 8620 S&W. Works well.

Longrange? Doesn't matter so long as it headspaces.

And you?

Warp
December 6, 2013, 03:47 PM
Thank you for asking.

For my HD gun, BCM. Haven't had to "use it" other than training. So far so good.

My plinker, 8620 S&W. Works well.

Longrange? Doesn't matter so long as it headspaces.

And you?

So...mil spec Carpenter 158 for the bolt?

meanmrmustard
December 6, 2013, 03:49 PM
So...mil spec Carpenter 158 for the bolt?
In my bedside rifle, yes.

Got it as a B-day gift.

hatt
December 6, 2013, 03:55 PM
LOL, all the arguing about better bolt material and he uses mil spec for the go to gun.

meanmrmustard
December 6, 2013, 03:59 PM
LOL, all the arguing about better bolt material and he uses mil spec for the go to gun.
Would it have mattered if it were in any of the others?

Did you know my "go to" gun doesn't have a forward assist or dust cover? Or that the barrel is 4140!!! Oh my gosh!

I may as well not even use it during a BandE. May fail.

RetiredUSNChief
December 6, 2013, 06:48 PM
Hey, Chief, thanks for your service to our country. Submariner was an elite group and not a job I could have done as I would have gone nut case without a window!

Since you left life has gotten harder for all Government agencies in procuring good hardware. Smart people have created briefings predicting the end of all manufacturing in the US. Getting good bolts, nuts, screws is just one of these issues. The vast, if not all, is coming now from China. People in the loop tell me the fasteners are inferior to what you used to get from American vendors. The certifications that come with the fasteners are not worth the paper they are printed on. You can’t buy an electronic part that does not have Chinese components.

How will people feel when a product made 100% in China is labeled "Mil Spec"?

Thanks for the recognition.

I've retired from active duty, however I still work for the Department of the Navy as a nuclear engineer at one of their shipyards. So I'm much more involved with materiall appropriation, milspecs, and engineering evaluation/planning than I was before.

An interesting aspect of the military that deals directly with your concern, which ultimately is inferior quality material and equipment, is the fact that such things ARE addressed through the processes already in place in the Navy...and I assume also in the other branches as well. High maintenance and repairs, as well as component defects and failure rates, are tracked for a huge fraction (if not ultimately all) parts, components, and equipment. Not just in the nuclear world, either. The system does factor these concerns in for improvements, alternate sources, design changes, and so forth.

Where the material is made doesn't matter, so long as it meets specifications and works as it should.

MistWolf
December 6, 2013, 11:37 PM
You assume the government employees watching/policing incoming products know what they're doing or even care. I was civil service for nearly a quarter century and can assure you... that ain't always the case.

Specifying a very specific product that is only made by ONE manufacturer is nearly always a sign of palm-greasing behind back doors.

The Air Force Colonel that oversaw the C-17 program was a stickler and knew his business. He knew what McDonnell-Douglas was supposed to be delivering.

On another contract, the guys that oversaw the maintenance we performed on helicopters for the Army may not have known how to do maintenance, but they knew what documents we needed to follow and what those documents said.

Neither situation was perfect, but those guys knew what documents we needed to follow and they knew what those documents say. When something went wrong, they knew how to follow the paper trail to determine if procedures were followed or not. The AR TDP covers more than just specifying what steel the barrel is to be made of

SpentCasing
December 10, 2013, 05:31 PM
My barrel isnt milspec.
My gas system isnt milspec.
My bolt material isnt milspec. Nor is the testing done on it.
My AR is probably as far as you can get from the TDP. Probably laughs at it. Milspec altar worshipers probably think its a ticking time bomb on paper. But yet I have the utmost confidence in it to protect my family's lives. More reliable and durable than a milspec AR too. Milspec is the floor and you can go MUCH MUCH better. Eugene Stoner proved that in the late 90's.

hatt
December 10, 2013, 06:30 PM
That post is worthless without details.

Warp
December 10, 2013, 06:34 PM
That post is worthless without details.


If he trusts it...that's what matters.

If he tells us what it is, that will just lead to 'discussion' about whether or not his "more reliable and durable" claim is valid.

He probably believes we won't agree with that assessment, if we knew the specs.

Which is fine. It's his rifle.

RetiredUSNChief
December 10, 2013, 06:49 PM
My barrel isnt milspec.
My gas system isnt milspec.
My bolt material isnt milspec. Nor is the testing done on it.
My AR is probably as far as you can get from the TDP. Probably laughs at it. Milspec altar worshipers probably think its a ticking time bomb on paper. But yet I have the utmost confidence in it to protect my family's lives. More reliable and durable than a milspec AR too. Milspec is the floor and you can go MUCH MUCH better. Eugene Stoner proved that in the late 90's.

Meh. If it works for you, great. You'll not hear any objections from me on how much you want to put into your gun(s) or what specs you choose to follow in your quest.

But saying "Milspec is the floor and you can go MUCH MUCH better" is kind of like saying that your average Ford/Chrystler/Chevy sedan "is the floor" and you can go MUCH MUCH better with a Ferrari/Bently/Viper.

But "the floor" can STILL reliably and satisfactorily get the job done.

SpentCasing
December 10, 2013, 07:13 PM
Meh. If it works for you, great. You'll not hear any objections from me on how much you want to put into your gun(s) or what specs you choose to follow in your quest.

But saying "Milspec is the floor and you can go MUCH MUCH better" is kind of like saying that your average Ford/Chrystler/Chevy sedan "is the floor" and you can go MUCH MUCH better with a Ferrari/Bently/Viper.

But "the floor" can STILL reliably and satisfactorily get the job done.

Depends on what "the job" is. Daily driver? Yep. Hardcore pro level race season? Nope. (using the car analogy of course)

In gun terms I guess a Lorcin can do what a 6920 does. Id prefer neither though in terms of my family's safety. I prefer the best, they deserve it. And also in gun terms, a "milspec" 6920 doesnt cut it.

Edit: Sorry Warp didnt see your post. I use a KAC SR15 Mod1. Any problems with that selection over a 6920 for home defense? It absolutely does NOT adhere to the TDP.

Warp
December 10, 2013, 07:14 PM
Depends on what "the job" is. Daily driver? Yep. Hardcore pro level race season? Nope. (using the car analogy of course)

No factory, production, street car will succeed at a "hardcore pro level race season".

SpentCasing
December 10, 2013, 07:33 PM
My goto AR is a KAC SR15 Mod1. What am I missing out on by adhering to milspecs/TDP by that choice? What does a 6920 give me as an advantage? SR15 Mod1 is VERY far from that "standard". That why I consider it the bottom. The base line.

Warp
December 10, 2013, 07:41 PM
My goto AR is a KAC SR15 Mod1. What am I missing out on by [not] adhering to milspecs/TDP by that choice? What does a 6920 give me as an advantage? SR15 Mod1 is VERY far from that "standard". That why I consider it the bottom. The base line.

The SR15 is a great rifle, and gives up nothing to a 6920.

I'm not sure why you insulted people by calling them "Milspec altar worshipers " in your previous post when you are in total agreement.

SpentCasing
December 10, 2013, 07:45 PM
Not necessarily. I was mainly pointing out that on paper my rifle would be seen as a matter of time until failure. The TDP can and has been improved upon.

My bbl is not 4150 CMV.
My bbl is not BR.
My bolt is not C158.
My bolt is not HPT.
My gas length is not carbine.
etc. etc.

IMO, milspec/TDP is outdated.....
but is a good indicator of known value/quality. But no means a ceiling of quality. Merely a floor.

Warp
December 10, 2013, 07:48 PM
Not necessarily. I was mainly pointing out that on paper my rifle would be seen as a matter of time until failure.

...no, it wouldn't.

Maybe you should do some more reading and research, if that's what you think.

MistWolf
December 10, 2013, 07:50 PM
The question isn't what will the 6920 do better than the KAC but what will the KAC do better than the 6920

SpentCasing
December 10, 2013, 07:55 PM
Again I disagree. How would a SR15 stack up on Rob_S "chart" vs a Colt? Who would have more boxes checked? Who would be perceived "better" by the uninformed based of the criteria of the "chart"? Now, which is truly better in real life/use?

Not the one that adheres to the TDP.

SpentCasing
December 10, 2013, 07:56 PM
The question isn't what will the 6920 do better than the KAC but what will the KAC do better than the 6920

Plenty as far as reliability and durability is concerned.

Warp
December 10, 2013, 08:04 PM
Who would be perceived "better" by the uninformed

The KAC SR15.

Go ahead and start a poll, if you want to see. Ask what's better, a Colt 6920 or a KAC SR15.

Link it here please.

SpentCasing
December 10, 2013, 08:09 PM
The KAC SR15.

Go ahead and start a poll, if you want to see. Ask what's better, a Colt 6920 or a KAC SR15.

Link it here please.

Actually Im interested in this social experiment. How should I word it? Should I simply ask which is "better"? Or which the buyer would prefer? Or if the SR improvements are worth the cost difference over a 6920(milspec/TDP)? Also I assume you want the poll on this site, no? I figure it would be more fair here than arf, M4C or LF.

Warp
December 10, 2013, 08:11 PM
Actually Im interested in this social experiment. How should I word it? Should I simply ask which is "better"? Or which the buyer would prefer? Or if the SR improvements are worth the cost difference over a 6920(milspec/TDP)? Also I assume you want the poll on this site, no? I figure it would be more fair here than arf, M4C or LF.

Which AR pattern rifle is better? <--title

Money no object, which AR pattern rifle is better?

Uses: Go-to rifle for home defense and self defense. Reliability and durability are of the utmost importance.

Colt LE6920 or Knights Armament Company (KAC) SR15?

SpentCasing
December 10, 2013, 08:17 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=737224

Boom.

savanahsdad
December 10, 2013, 08:24 PM
love the AR , hate the 5.56 so guess how I voted :D

back40
December 10, 2013, 08:28 PM
Plenty as far as reliability and durability is concerned.

do you have any documentation to support this?

RetiredUSNChief
December 10, 2013, 09:14 PM
Depends on what "the job" is. Daily driver? Yep. Hardcore pro level race season? Nope. (using the car analogy of course)

In gun terms I guess a Lorcin can do what a 6920 does. Id prefer neither though in terms of my family's safety. I prefer the best, they deserve it. And also in gun terms, a "milspec" 6920 doesnt cut it.

Edit: Sorry Warp didnt see your post. I use a KAC SR15 Mod1. Any problems with that selection over a 6920 for home defense? It absolutely does NOT adhere to the TDP.

Oh, absolutely it depends on the job. Like a typical family car that gets everybody to and from work, school, grocery store, vacations, and such in very much a dependable fashion, a gun built to "milspec" will likewise do everything it's designed to do.

But if I want to drag race a car, that Ford/Chrystler/Chevy ain't gonna do the trick without modifications/upgrades at the very least.

Likewise, I would not expect a "milspec" gun to be something that would be used for, say, precision shooting in competitions.

These are examples of two entirely different classes.

For self-defense use, you don't NEED the Lamborghini of firearms. Nor do you need a Bugatti rifle to take down that deer in the woods.

As I said before, you'll not hear objections from me on how much you (or anybody else) may WANT to dress up and improve your firearms for whatever purpose you wish. Some people simply relish the mechanical perfection of the process, even when it goes way beyond any practical use. More power to you and them. I'm all about improvements.

And for some people, it's simply a work of art to be appreciated for the beauty and effort that went into it.

I just think it's a misnomer to to make your final statement in your comment like you did.

;)

MistWolf
December 10, 2013, 09:26 PM
The automobile comparison doesn't work because folks talk about "Ford/Chevy vs Ferrari". It just doesn't work that way. Ford & Chevy are trying to design affordable cars that are reliable enough to make their customers happy while making the automakers money. Ferrari is selling an image. Ferraris are much more expensive to purchase and maintain, have a reputation for being finicky and practical doesn't even begin to describe their mission.

Making a comparison between a top shelf AR maker and an "also ran" is more like comparing a Ford F150 with a factory modular V8 to an F150 knock off with an engine that might come from Ford or maybe was built up with aftermarket parts reverse engineered from a Ford engine.

Or buying a V8 Mustang off the showroom floor, or buying one worked over by Shelby, Saleen or Kenne Bell

Warp
December 10, 2013, 09:32 PM
That last line sounds much more accurate

"Making a comparison between a top shelf AR maker and an "also ran" is more like comparing a Ford F150 with a factory modular V8 to an F150 knock off with an engine that might come from Ford or maybe was built up with aftermarket parts reverse engineered from a Ford engine"

Ferrari sells more than an image, though. Let's be real here.

savanahsdad
December 10, 2013, 09:40 PM
The automobile comparison doesn't work because folks talk about "Ford/Chevy vs Ferrari". It just doesn't work that way. Ford & Chevy are trying to design affordable cars that are reliable enough to make their customers happy while making the automakers money. Ferrari is selling an image. Ferraris are much more expensive to purchase and maintain, have a reputation for being finicky and practical doesn't even begin to describe their mission.

Making a comparison between a top shelf AR maker and an "also ran" is more like comparing a Ford F150 with a factory modular V8 to an F150 knock off with an engine that might come from Ford or maybe was built up with aftermarket parts reverse engineered from a Ford engine.

Or buying a V8 Mustang off the showroom floor, or buying one worked over by Shelby, Saleen or Kenne Bell
off task , but ,, FORD beat Ferrari at there own game 5 years in a row with the GT40 now if I could get an AR spec like a Ford GT40 that would be a true race gun !! lol

Mike1234567
December 10, 2013, 09:51 PM
It took the GT40 to beat the 250 GTO... two friggin' awesome cARs!!:D

MistWolf
December 10, 2013, 09:52 PM
...Ferrari sells more than an image, though. Let's be real here.

The Ferrari does a good job of living up to that image, there's no denying that

taliv
December 10, 2013, 10:21 PM
Again I disagree. How would a SR15 stack up on Rob_S "chart" vs a Colt? Who would have more boxes checked? Who would be perceived "better" by the uninformed based of the criteria of the "chart"? Now, which is truly better in real life/use?

that really is unnecessarily trollish. it's not as if it's a revelation here that you can make something better than milspec. heck, the first answer in the poll in the opening post implies almost everyone here expects better or doesn't care

meanmrmustard
December 11, 2013, 08:17 AM
Kinda wish this particular thread had been more of "why material A is better than B", rather than a brand bashing. There's just too much subjectivity here. :(

I have "milspec" parts in guns that aren't. I don't buy supposed mil spec guns because they're generally more or less better, but only because I prefer a choice in features in not afforded with certain "milspec" guns.

Doesn't make it better, just different. If I don't need a 4 moa, 15,000 round gun, why buy it.
If I need a beat-em-up gun with no match capabilities, why buy a varminter or SPR?

kimbershot
December 11, 2013, 08:30 AM
mil spec=drilled and milled and all parts fit and function. all pieces go through stress test and all have life cycle.

hatt
December 11, 2013, 08:43 AM
Kinda wish this particular thread had been more of "why material A is better than B", rather than a brand bashing. There's just too much subjectivity here. :(

I have "milspec" parts in guns that aren't. I don't buy supposed mil spec guns because they're generally more or less better, but only because I prefer a choice in features in not afforded with certain "milspec" guns.

Doesn't make it better, just different. If I don't need a 4 moa, 15,000 round gun, why buy it.
I don't see anyone advocating for a strict mil-spec across the board gun. Pretty much everyone said they'd start there and work themselves up to other things based on wants and needs. Just like you are doing in practice.

meanmrmustard
December 11, 2013, 09:19 AM
I don't see anyone advocating for a strict mil-spec across the board gun. Pretty much everyone said they'd start there and work themselves up to other things based on wants and needs. Just like you are doing in practice.
I never said anyone was.

...and your statement is flawed. Over half of those polled don't care.

But, I see your point.

Warp
December 11, 2013, 09:40 AM
I never said anyone was.

...and your statement is flawed. Over half of those polled don't care.

But, I see your point.

Your statement is flawed.

Currently 61.05% care.

Only 37.66%...considerably less than half...say that it doesn't matter.

meanmrmustard
December 11, 2013, 09:45 AM
Your statement is flawed.

Currently 61.05% care.

Only 37.66%...considerably less than half...say that it doesn't matter.
Methinks you're counting a near 12% where it shouldn't be, sir.

If liking and actually buying milspec guns were synonymous, you'd be right.

If 12% opted against buying milspec in lieu of cost, but liked it, I'd say that's a "don't care" answer. Maybe someone who voted that way could/should interpret.

jim243
December 11, 2013, 09:52 AM
I pretty much view "mil-spec" as the bottom of the barrel (min bid) on a product whether it is a rifle or a MRE. The government is not known to purchase the best products out there.

I have more respect for those that are made from scratch by private citizens building their own AR's from better parts. The advantage of a "mil-spec" is that a lot more testing is done on them than one made with commercial parts. But it is not an indication of better quality. The general purchasing market shakes out commercial products that meet or exceed "mil-spec" requirements, those that exceed this standard, stand the test of time, those that fail to stand the test of time, fall by the wayside.

I have yet to see someone ask for a "mil-spec" car or truck for their main transportation. Will it perform it's main function, yes. But while I love my SKS for looks, I am not taking it out to a competition that requires accuracy to sub-MOA. (and yes it was "mil-spec")

I don't expect my AR to see the same action that a military rifle would, but I do expect it to last longer than one used for combat.

Your choice.
Jim

hatt
December 11, 2013, 10:34 AM
I don't know what's so difficult about this subject. I believe most of the issue is buyers of cheap shortcut guns wants everyone to agree their guns are just as good as a higher quality "mil-spec" gun and buyers of high end guns wants everyone to accept their guns are vastly superior to your quality "mil-spec" gun.

meanmrmustard
December 11, 2013, 10:44 AM
My main thing is accuracy. While your box stock milspec gun without match ammo is only asked of a 4 moa print. Hell, the ammo is held to higher standards (in the case of Mk 262). It'll run forever, but really is only ever a battle rifle.
If that's what I need, that's what I'll buy. Its not got as much to do with wanting to buy cheap junk, as it does with what can be afforded, or if I need a milspec, minute-of-pie plate rifle.

Its more about necessity. I think the milspec advocates try to push the issue as though ARs are only fighting guns. I do not concur.

hatt
December 11, 2013, 10:54 AM
No one has ever advocated not buying a precision barrel if you want a precision gun. I've never seen that one time on any forum. That's just silly.

Carl N. Brown
December 11, 2013, 11:09 AM
I always read "mil spec" as meaning meeting minimum and maximum tolerances and materials for interchange with parts from other "mil spec" manufacturers. The old Eli Whitney interchangeable parts mass manufacture thingy.

And that "lowest bidder" who promised to match "mil spec" but didn't was another problem entirely. (Like the whole run of one manufacturer's Type L Thompson drum magazines (50 shot) that were laid out on a runway and ran over with a steamroller after some failed quality checks.)

meanmrmustard
December 11, 2013, 11:29 AM
No one has ever advocated not buying a precision barrel if you want a precision gun. I've never seen that one time on any forum. That's just silly.
But I've seen the milspec vs. the world argument time and time again. Its not silly, just annoying.

hatt
December 11, 2013, 11:41 AM
You have an example where people were touting chrome bores as the last word in accuracy? I've never seen one.

meanmrmustard
December 11, 2013, 12:17 PM
You have an example where people were touting chrome bores as the last word in accuracy? I've never seen one.
Then you've not used the search function on this very site. Some of your peers, myself included, have shot non lined, Melonite, chrome lined, and stainless to observe larger groups from a chrome lined bore. Uneveness in the lining is what I chaulk it up to. But, they were never lined for accuracy, but for longevity. That's why I prefer Melonite to chrome: its not a coating, but a treatment that goes beyond steel surface, and is as wear resistant as chrome WITHOUT accuracy degradation. As tested by S&W with the Sport barrel (1/8 twist, 5r rifling by Thompson Center).

Nature of the beast. I could make a milspec rifle more accurate, or get over it.

hatt
December 11, 2013, 12:24 PM
Did you even read what I wrote?

meanmrmustard
December 11, 2013, 12:25 PM
Did you even read what I wrote?
Apparently not! Very sorry, I misunderstood.

Apologies, sir.

Warp
December 11, 2013, 12:44 PM
Did you even read what I wrote?

I wondered that as well.

For multiple posts

meanmrmustard
December 11, 2013, 02:44 PM
I wondered that as well.

For multiple posts
I don't get it.

What other post has been misunderstood. I'd like the post numbers please.

RetiredUSNChief
December 11, 2013, 02:49 PM
I pretty much view "mil-spec" as the bottom of the barrel (min bid) on a product whether it is a rifle or a MRE. The government is not known to purchase the best products out there.

Well, you can certainly view milspec as this all you wish, but that doesn't make your view correct.

Milspec doesn't have a thing to do with "bottom of the barrel (min bid) on a product" at all.

Minimum bid is a financial aspect with respect to selecting a potential contractor to perform some service. Milspec is the criteria or design specifications required for the construction of the product the military wants.

If you want a concrete sidewalk to be built that's X feet long, Y feet wide, and Z inches thick, from Type D concrete, THAT is the specification you require for the job.

If there are three contractors out there who could form and pour your sidewalk for you and you select the one with the lowest bid, then THAT is the "min bid" on the job. That contractor must STILL build your sidewalk to your specifications.

Welding Rod
December 11, 2013, 07:55 PM
Sorry to step into the bickering ;) , just a side note about chrome bores... they can be very accurate. I had a chrome lined RRA rifle that was a sub MOA shooter. I think some Noveske shooters have had some really good accuracy results too.

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