AR15.Com Archives
 BEST mil-spec buffer tube?
MichigamaGunslinger  [Member]
2/9/2010 12:05:42 AM
Hey,

First off, I would like to tell you that I have been on this forum for about four years, under the username "claybreaker12gauge". Just wanted to get that off my shoulders (sighs relief)

Anyway, I am doing a build around a Noveske 16" basic upper and I ordered a Stag carbine receiver extension kit for it. I was planing on swapping the buffer for a heavy one, but keeping the carbine spring and tube. The folks at Noveske recommended me to go with the Stag receiver extension over any other brand out there, including BCM (I know this will stir the cool aid, but whatever). The main reason they gave me for this is that they use this same receiver extension (Stag/CMT) on their completes, and they have found it to be the smoothest functioning.

So like I was saying before, I ordered the receiver extension kit along with a LPK, directly from Stag. The receiver extension kit came in a box, without the LPK or any sort of receipt . I've gotta figure out what happened to the LPK and my receipt tomorrow.

My question is, is this the BEST mil-spec receiver extension kit out there?

I'm looking for something that's plain jane (no company logos) but is machined as perfectly as possible. The Stag/CMT receiver extension that I received certainly looks serviceable (and is extremely smooth on the inside), but the machining on it isn't terribly good on the outside (in fact my complete Stag that I just sold seemed to have better machining on its extension tube).

And I know some of you guys are gonna say that any machining issues I'm worried about with the Stag/CMT extension are purely cosmetic and you are right. Its just that this will be my one AR I'm gonna have for quite a while (I changed my mind from an M16A4 clone) and I want it to be 100%, inside and out.

Thanks,

Mike
SSeric02  [Team Member]
2/9/2010 12:34:52 AM
Most of my ARs have Stag/CMT 6 position kits on them. A few have Colt kits. The Vltor receiver extensions are very nicely machined and have cool little witness numbers on the top but a Vltor logo on the aft end, and the LMTs have the dry film coating on the exterior and a niftily desinged buffer retainer slot so you can't possibly rotate the tube during installation.
MichigamaGunslinger  [Member]
2/9/2010 9:02:50 AM

Originally Posted By SSeric02:
Most of my ARs have Stag/CMT 6 position kits on them. A few have Colt kits. The Vltor receiver extensions are very nicely machined and have cool little witness numbers on the top but a Vltor logo on the aft end, and the LMTs have the dry film coating on the exterior and a niftily desinged buffer retainer slot so you can't possibly rotate the tube during installation.

Cool thanks. Out of the three other options you mentioned, I would be interested in the Vltor (the logo will be covered up unless I remove the stock). Is there any other options out there than the ones you listed for a top quality receiver extension?

Thanks a bunch,

Mike
DevilPig  [Team Member]
2/9/2010 9:22:05 AM
I'll be getting the LaRue mil-spec buffer tube kit today. I'll let you know after I try it out.

I do have a BCM and its been great so far. Of course I've never noticed an appreciable difference between buffer tubes anyway.
doubleajaybrock  [Team Member]
2/9/2010 9:48:18 AM
The Vltor piece is pretty nice.
DSZM4  [Industry Partner]
2/9/2010 9:57:53 AM
We make a very very good Mil spec tube BUT Vltor makes a GREAT tube, they do cost twise as much though.

BUT its only money.
Captains1911  [Member]
2/9/2010 10:06:30 AM
I've never heard of a mil-spec tube breaking, nor a commercial tube for that matter. With that said, I'd buy from whoever has the best price.
haLfLiFe  [Member]
2/9/2010 10:34:52 AM
Originally Posted By DevilPig:

I do have a BCM and its been great so far.


+1
MichigamaGunslinger  [Member]
2/9/2010 10:36:18 AM

Originally Posted By DevilPig:
I'll be getting the LaRue mil-spec buffer tube kit today. I'll let you know after I try it out.

I do have a BCM and its been great so far. Of course I've never noticed an appreciable difference between buffer tubes anyway.

Cool thanks! I would love to hear what the scoop is on this.
Shawnmt6601  [Team Member]
2/9/2010 10:37:03 AM
if its honest to god "milspec" then it shouldnt matter they will all be made the same in theory
MichigamaGunslinger  [Member]
2/9/2010 10:37:46 AM

Originally Posted By DSZM4:
We make a very very good Mil spec tube BUT Vltor makes a GREAT tube, they do cost twise as much though.

BUT its only money.

Aren't the BCM ones made by you guys? I'm not trying to trash BCM or DSA so don't take it the wrong way.
Milo5  [Member]
2/9/2010 10:39:21 AM
This company offers my favorite extension tube.
http://www.vltor.com/accessory.htm
strat81  [Team Member]
2/9/2010 12:11:14 PM
BCM, Vltor, Stag. I own the first two and have used all three. Good stuff.
mortismaker  [Member]
2/9/2010 12:23:23 PM
DSZM4,

Is the DSA buffer tube (extension) true milspec? As in not just size but in material and forged and coatings and such??

Mortis...
DarthMuffin  [Member]
2/9/2010 4:59:58 PM
My opinion (worth every penny you're paying for it) is that it's a freaking tube. It's pretty hard to screw up manufacturing a tube with no moving parts. I just buy the brand-name mil-spec tube that's in stock and cheapest. Never noticed a difference.
Krylancelo  [Team Member]
2/9/2010 5:33:17 PM
If you like the M4 stock: http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/M4-Stock-Milspec-p/stock%20m4%20milspec%20black%20-%20gen2.htm

If you want a different stock: http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/Stock-Hardware-Mounting-Kit-Mil-Spec-p/stock%20hardware%20kit.htm

That's my opinion.
atl3695  [Team Member]
2/10/2010 9:34:52 PM
Originally Posted By strat81:
BCM, Vltor, Stag. I own the first two and have used all three. Good stuff.


What makes a BCM, Stag, or any other tube better than other the rest? Also how are the Vltor stocks different than the others?
JRM1983  [Team Member]
2/10/2010 10:08:30 PM
I have several from BCM and they are gtg.
KBAD  [Team Member]
2/10/2010 10:18:12 PM
Originally Posted By doubleajaybrock:
The Vltor piece is pretty nice.


+1
SSeric02  [Team Member]
2/10/2010 10:27:53 PM
Originally Posted By atl3695:
Originally Posted By strat81:
BCM, Vltor, Stag. I own the first two and have used all three. Good stuff.


What makes a BCM, Stag, or any other tube better than other the rest? Also how are the Vltor stocks different than the others?


Little things that may not always be obvious. Are they made from the right material, are they properly finished, do they have the lip to retain the buffer retainer and spring, are the corners on the aft end beveled. I've handled one of the "no name" REs I received last year in the middle of the madness and was immediately unimpressed with it as compared to the other brands like Stag, Colt, LMT, and Vltor. It felt lighter, the finish was flakey, and the corners were sharp. I realize these things may not matter to everyone though, so YMMV.

The Vltors I've handled are very nicely machined and finished, probably the best, and have the little witness numbers on the top as well as the Vltor dagger logo on the end.
thevibe  [Member]
2/10/2010 10:39:14 PM
Originally Posted By KBAD:
Originally Posted By doubleajaybrock:
The Vltor piece is pretty nice.


+1


+1
DevilPig  [Team Member]
2/11/2010 10:23:13 AM
Originally Posted By MichigamaGunslinger:

Originally Posted By DevilPig:
I'll be getting the LaRue mil-spec buffer tube kit today. I'll let you know after I try it out.

I do have a BCM and its been great so far. Of course I've never noticed an appreciable difference between buffer tubes anyway.

Cool thanks! I would love to hear what the scoop is on this.


Seems just as nice as the BCM but my ACR locks up nice and tight on the LaRue where it had some play with the BCM
TXGUNNER308  [Team Member]
2/11/2010 10:25:00 AM
VLTOR
Primos  [Member]
2/11/2010 10:53:52 AM
LMT makes a very sturdy tube.


I'm not sure how useful all of this info will be without actual knowledge about the differences in manufacturing between the brands.
walli  [Member]
2/11/2010 11:14:57 AM
The buffer tube with the most features is the new PWS Tube: PWS

ACE Ldt is also offering a stronger buffer tube, but this one is not mil-spec. ACE Ldt.

The LMT/KAC tube should have a few design improvements, but so far I did not see any details.

The Vltor is probably the nicest buffer tube that is close to the original. So far I like this one the most, but did not have problems with others. (DSArms, CMT)
MichigamaGunslinger  [Team Member]
2/11/2010 11:50:55 AM

Originally Posted By walli:
The buffer tube with the most features is the new PWS Tube: PWS

ACE Ldt is also offering a stronger buffer tube, but this one is not mil-spec. ACE Ldt.

The LMT/KAC tube should have a few design improvements, but so far I did not see any details.

The Vltor is probably the nicest buffer tube that is close to the original. So far I like this one the most, but did not have problems with others. (DSArms, CMT)

I'm seriously considering the Larue now. Reason being is that I can't see how you would be able to see the position markings on the VLTOR because they are so far back on the tube (I'm gonna be running a MagPul ACS stock on it). I'm looking for basically the best Mil-Spec tube I can get my hands on. I appreciate your suggestions but the 1st one is way to expensive and the second one is a commercial sized one lol. I'll look into the LMT/KAC tube, I don't know much about those.
LWT  [Member]
2/11/2010 12:02:39 PM
I've seen, handled and or used Mil-spec receiver extentions from every major manufacturer listed in this thread. Most are well made and will serve you well, however if you want the best I would recommend a Colt receiver extention hands down.

SSeric02  [Team Member]
2/11/2010 12:03:11 PM
The witness holes are meant for all the stocks that have holes in the top for installation of the locking level parts (mainly mil and Vltor stocks). I don't think the MagPul stocks have this so you're right, it's no value for you.
Hueto  [Team Member]
2/11/2010 12:06:49 PM
Wasn't there a recent thread about Vltor outsourcing their extensions to DSA? I think mine is a DSA with a $25 Vltor silk screened logo.
Andrew9869  [Member]
2/11/2010 12:15:15 PM
Originally Posted By Hueto:
Wasn't there a recent thread about Vltor outsourcing their extensions to DSA? I think mine is a DSA with a $25 Vltor silk screened logo.


Seems that the new vltor tubes are not on par with the old ones. The photos are pretty convincing.
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=12&t=459734
SSeric02  [Team Member]
2/11/2010 12:40:07 PM
Originally Posted By Andrew9869:
Originally Posted By Hueto:
Wasn't there a recent thread about Vltor outsourcing their extensions to DSA? I think mine is a DSA with a $25 Vltor silk screened logo.


Seems that the new vltor tubes are not on par with the old ones. The photos are pretty convincing.
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=12&t=459734


Hmm, that's interesting.

The no-name tube I mentioned above was just like the DS Arms and "new" Vltor tubes described in that thread. I received it from Stag in the middle of the madness. It was different from previous and later tubes I'd received from Stag or with Stag kits, and I suspected at the time Stag had sourced it from an outside supplier, but just didn't have any evidence.
CaptShiess  [Member]
2/11/2010 1:26:08 PM
Vltor is nice, but there is not enough room to put the magpul ASAP if you ever want to add one of those. They are nice because they cover all of the threads, but that means that you cant get the castle nut back enough to drop in the little stopper included with the ASAP. Just some info.

By the way, I like the DSA ones, they are cheap, have 6 positions and have a very nice black finish on them.

Originally Posted By MichigamaGunslinger:

Originally Posted By SSeric02:
Most of my ARs have Stag/CMT 6 position kits on them. A few have Colt kits. The Vltor receiver extensions are very nicely machined and have cool little witness numbers on the top but a Vltor logo on the aft end, and the LMTs have the dry film coating on the exterior and a niftily desinged buffer retainer slot so you can't possibly rotate the tube during installation.

Cool thanks. Out of the three other options you mentioned, I would be interested in the Vltor (the logo will be covered up unless I remove the stock). Is there any other options out there than the ones you listed for a top quality receiver extension?

Thanks a bunch,

Mike


DevilPig  [Team Member]
2/11/2010 3:18:50 PM
Oh and btw the BCM milspec I have is 5 position and the LaRue is 6 position....if that matters to you.

Gary-G23  [Member]
2/11/2010 4:14:42 PM
The trouble with receiver extensions is that not much information is available about them. The extension, like every other part on an AR, can be made cheaply and sold cheap to those that only look at price.

I can't honestly believe that a $20 RE is made to the same standards as a $50 RE. Do you really think they would sell you the same exact piece $30 cheaper just because they like you?

I wish the manufacturers would tell what materials they use for their extensions. Different grades of aluminum alloy are used to make the tubes. Some use 6061, some use 7071, some use 7075, etc. Keep in mind the tensile strength of a 7075 part is almost twice that of a 6061 part, and the manufacturer has to pay a hefty premium for the 7075 alloy. 7000 series alloy is also harder to extrude than 6000 series alloy.

Personally I will only buy these three brands of receiver extensions:
Stag Arms tubes that are made by Stag Arms.
LMT tubes that are made by LMT.
VLTOR tubes that are made by VLTOR.
As someone has already pointed out, during the Obama madness some companies sourced their tubes out to other manufacturers. Do your homework before you buy.