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Mil spec

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ro1911, Dec 3, 2013.

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How do you feel about Mil spec on AR15s?

Poll closed Jan 2, 2014.
  1. I consider it the bare minimum and prefer better

    56 vote(s)
    34.4%
  2. I only buy mil spec

    24 vote(s)
    14.7%
  3. I like it, but I go away from it for cost and functionality

    19 vote(s)
    11.7%
  4. I only buy non mil spec guns

    2 vote(s)
    1.2%
  5. It doesn't matter to me

    62 vote(s)
    38.0%
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  1. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    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
     
  2. tahunua001

    tahunua001 Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2013
  3. Warp

    Warp Member

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    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.
     
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    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.
     
  5. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

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    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.
     
  6. SilverCat

    SilverCat Member

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    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.
     
  7. hatt

    hatt member

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    This.

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

    Grunt Member

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    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.
     
  9. chicharrones
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    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    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.
     
  10. henschman

    henschman Member

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    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.
     
  11. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  12. Warp

    Warp Member

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    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
     
  13. wally

    wally Member

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    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.
     
  14. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    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.
     
  15. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    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.
     
  16. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    Thanks, Warp! I didn't know that.
     
  17. Rusty Luck

    Rusty Luck Member

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    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?"?
     
  18. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    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.
     
  19. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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  20. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  21. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    I took the article for more of a take it for what it is worth. I don't agree with everything said.

    Ron
     
  22. Warp

    Warp Member

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    That article seems to have a negative worth.
     
  23. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    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.
     
  24. Warp

    Warp Member

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    Can you explain/be specific about what you mean here?
     
  25. longknife12

    longknife12 Member

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    Mil-Spec....you mean Military Speculation?
    Dan
     
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