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Posted: 10/10/2003 1:46:12 PM EDT
Okay, maybe I'm dense, but here goes. FLAMESUIT ON!

Based on browsing this forum (and others like it) I get the general feeling that most individuals shy away from "Mil-spec" parts if at all possible because they are of lower to questionable quality. What I don't understand is if these are the parts that our military uses (or are at least built by the same people using the same tools and materials as the parts for the military), what kind of shape is our military in? Are our soldiers at risk of weapon issues due to low end parts? Or is it an issue such that the mil-spec parts are fine and I am just throwing money out the window because I am buying something that is percieved as better quality with no real advantage? I'm in the process of gathering the parts for my first build and I have no problem spending money where it is justified but, to quote a phrase I saw somewhere else on this forum, I'm building a rifle to shoot not for show.

Comments?
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 3:18:01 PM EDT
ill take mil spec parts any day i have no idea what you are talking about
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 4:41:41 PM EDT
"milspec" = good to go!
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 4:56:29 PM EDT
I don't know where you are getting that idea. Some may shy away from M-16 parts in AR's because of possible legal complications. Plus "mil-spec" is a term that isn't always clearly defined. SureFire will tell you about "mil-spec" when talking about their flashlights. You have to dig deeper to realize that the anodizing is "mil-spec" not the whole flashlight. Generally in AR's mil-spec is a good thing. But some items, like the LMT enhanced bolt/bolt carrier, which isn't mil-spec, is also pretty dang good stuff too. Know what you are buying, what it was designed to do, and what you want it to do.
Link Posted: 10/11/2003 7:14:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2003 6:03:03 AM EDT by shamayim]
The problem with "mil spec" is that it's become an advertising term, which may or may not be true. Yes, a true mil spec item is equivalent to what Colt and FN put into their M16 and M4 rifles. No, it's not always true, and how the hell can you tell until the thing either doesn't fit right, or breaks after a few hundred rounds. That's precisely the reason that I use only Colt internal parts in my ARs. I'd rather have used Colt milSURP, parts than anybody elses milSPEC claimed parts. Barrels, recievers, even stocks, there's lots of good aftermarket stuff out there. Internals? Maybe it's good, maybe not; and I don't want to take the chance.[:D]
Link Posted: 10/11/2003 4:36:58 PM EDT
Mil-spec Built by the lowest contractor bid.
Link Posted: 10/11/2003 11:56:03 PM EDT
Yes, but built to military defined specs no matter which company. If not built to mil-spec, you have no guarantee how good it is objectively. True mil-spec guarantees the part to specific tolerances and design, unless the source MFG has failed, knowingly, or unknowingly.
Link Posted: 10/12/2003 10:34:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AK_Mike: Yes, but built to military defined specs no matter which company.
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That doesn't mean much to me. I've had parts made for Lockheed Martin's Federal division, and some of their prints were pretty horrible. It took a lot of phone calls and faxes and visits to be sure that the parts would be what they really wanted. If I had just made the parts to spec, a lot would have been junk. Parts made to spec are only as good as the specs themselves, which are made up by fallible humans.
Link Posted: 10/13/2003 1:41:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Suburban:
Originally Posted By AK_Mike: Yes, but built to military defined specs no matter which company.
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That doesn't mean much to me. I've had parts made for Lockheed Martin's Federal division, and some of their prints were pretty horrible. It took a lot of phone calls and faxes and visits to be sure that the parts would be what they really wanted. If I had just made the parts to spec, a lot would have been junk. Parts made to spec are only as good as the specs themselves, which are made up by fallible humans.
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I agree. However, commercial specs and military specs aren't to the same level. Military specs are usually tough, they have to be to survive the brutality of war. If they don't survive, they are usually changed so people stop dying as a result of bad specs. Of course, sometimes even they don't change the specs as soon as required, or ever in some cases, and I mourn for those fallen brothers due to it. There needs to be less B.S. when it comes to equipment for our boys, and less shortage problems damnit.
Link Posted: 10/13/2003 6:58:22 AM EDT
If you are defining 'milspec' as 'military surplus M16 parts', most people avoid them due to ATF's constructive posession hassle. AR semiauto parts are modified to remove features needed for selective fire capability. Purchase your parts from a respected company and you will be fine.
Link Posted: 10/13/2003 11:26:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2003 11:28:27 AM EDT by shamayim]
Originally Posted By rxdawg: If you are defining 'milspec' as 'military surplus M16 parts', most people avoid them due to ATF's constructive posession hassle. AR semiauto parts are modified to remove features needed for selective fire capability. Purchase your parts from a respected company and you will be fine.
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What respected company are you talking about? Bushmaster =crappy hammer in an assembled lower, and poorly heat treated trigger. Rock River =broken mag release packed in a new lower parts kit DPMS= Totally out of spec and tool mark filled bolt holdopen and mag release button in a factory assmbled lower. Colt, new or used= Never a bad part found. I can buy a set of used Colt GI surp parts and make them totally AR15 legal in less than an hour; and save money to boot.
Link Posted: 10/13/2003 11:50:21 AM EDT
What respected company are you talking about? Bushmaster =crappy hammer in an assembled lower, and poorly heat treated trigger. Rock River =broken mag release packed in a new lower parts kit DPMS= Totally out of spec and tool mark filled bolt holdopen and mag release button in a factory assmbled lower. Colt, new or used= Never a bad part found. I can buy a set of used Colt GI surp parts and make them totally AR15 legal in less than an hour; and save money to boot.
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My experience with Bushmaster parts have been the opposite, no problems to date. Colt parts are good quality also, never used DPMS or RR. YMMV. Where do you get your milsurp parts from? It is easy enough to modify M16 internals if you want to use them, but I dont have time to visit gun shows hoping to run across a set.
Link Posted: 10/13/2003 12:28:28 PM EDT
Interesting how some people are soooo frigin opinionated about certain brands..... I'm sure if you look you'll find people that don't like colt parts because they've had one or two things that didn't work out. And there was that whole issue of colt modifying their stuff so "milspec" stuff wouldn't even FIT, much less function. I don't dislike colt, but I don't worship their stuff either. [:D] The reason to pick parts from a respected company is because IF you happen to get something that doesn't work, they're more likely to work with you (exchange it, whatever) to make it right, whereas picking the no-name-made-in-some-third-world-craphole piece will probably just be a waste of money.
Link Posted: 10/13/2003 1:17:09 PM EDT
I don't think some people know what Mill-spec means. Mill spec is short for Military specification. The military has certain defined tolerances that parts have to adhere to. So when someone like RRA says there parts are millspec, it means that the tolerances are within military guidelines. All parts from different manufacturers should be millspec which also makes them interchangeable.
Link Posted: 10/13/2003 5:41:58 PM EDT
Remember "Murphy's Laws of Combat", "Your rifle was built by the lowest bidder!"
Link Posted: 10/14/2003 1:29:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dogcatcher223: I don't think some people know what Mill-spec means. Mill spec is short for Military specification. The military has certain defined tolerances that parts have to adhere to. So when someone like RRA says there parts are millspec, it means that the tolerances are within military guidelines. All parts from different manufacturers should be millspec which also makes them interchangeable.
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Lowest bidder makes no difference as long as it is built to mil-spec, even the highest bidder would build to same spec. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers build to mil-spec, and some falsely claim mil-spec when they are not. This is another reason to go with a well known mfg.
Link Posted: 10/14/2003 7:41:03 AM EDT
While making light, I totally agree. MILSPEC is the standard in which all military parts are supposed to be designed and manufactured. Find a good dealer of MILSPEC parts, get educated in assembly and disassembly of your weapon, and have fun learning about it. It's a machine and it's relatively easy to teach yourself about the AR-15. Have fun with it and be safe! When in doubt, don't shoot!
Link Posted: 10/14/2003 9:26:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 101ABN327: Remember "Murphy's Laws of Combat", "Your rifle was built by the lowest bidder!"
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So, FN has the contract for the M16A2-A4 and Colt has the contract for the M16M4. Are you insinuating that this is a bad thing?
Link Posted: 10/14/2003 12:06:25 PM EDT
Not necessarily bad, just a matter of fact...
Link Posted: 10/14/2003 11:38:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 101ABN327: Remember "Murphy's Laws of Combat", "Your rifle was built by the lowest bidder!"
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If that makes you feel bad, imagine how the astronauts who ride the government built space shuttles feel, or when they step into space in that lowest bidder space suit...
Link Posted: 10/17/2003 2:53:50 PM EDT
The last group of Astronauts to ride in the Shuttle don't feel anything--they're dead.
Link Posted: 10/18/2003 12:59:31 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Austin_Nichols: The last group of Astronauts to ride in the Shuttle don't feel anything--they're dead.
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Ouch! I didn't want to make that connection, it was a good point I used make before that unfortunate incident. My apologies for bringing it up in the first place.
Link Posted: 10/18/2003 8:41:12 PM EDT
Your point was unfortunately powerful and correct. It's just a damn shame really....
Link Posted: 10/19/2003 12:12:42 PM EDT
The loss of the shuttle Columbia was NOT a result of any failure of the actual orbiter due to it being built "cheap", so to use it and the deaths of the astronuts is pretty fucking shitty ans well as stupid. On the other hand the loss of the Challenger can be directly blamed on the specifications of the MT solid rocket boosters o-ring design. In any case MILSPEC menas more than it being built to a spec, it also means that it was inspected and tested to ensure consistancy. A MILSTD is what most parts (not only AR15 parts) are made to. Then those in turn are pawned off on the suckers. They way to tell if something is built to an actual MILSPEC? Just ask WHAT MILSPEC they were manufactured to and where is the paperwork to prove it?
Originally Posted By AK_Mike:
Originally Posted By Austin_Nichols: The last group of Astronauts to ride in the Shuttle don't feel anything--they're dead.
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Ouch! I didn't want to make that connection, it was a good point I used make before that unfortunate incident. My apologies for bringing it up in the first place.
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Link Posted: 10/19/2003 10:52:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By KA3B: The loss of the shuttle Columbia was NOT a result of any failure of the actual orbiter due to it being built "cheap", so to use it and the deaths of the astronuts is pretty fucking shitty ans well as stupid.
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Hey, my original post had NOTHING to do with the last shuttle disaster, and my second post was me saying that it had no connection. My point it still valid, the space components are still goverment items, nothing shitty about that point. I also did not mean to EVER imply that using lowest bidder had anything do do with the disaster. I use the shuttle and space suit as a lowest bidder example, and have done so WAAAAY before any accidents occured.
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