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Old March 1, 2011, 07:52 PM   #1
BGutzman
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Exactly what does Mil Spec mean to you concerning guns?

I spent most of my adult life on active duty in the Army. I came to learn that in some cases Mil Spec means it is actually crap and in other cases it means its tougher than nails.

Case in point: Army brown shower towels as issued are the most water resistant things on earth and remain so for years and endless washings, they are durable but crap as they soak up nothing.

Case in point M1A1/A2 Tank, virtually unstoppable with a driver with a brain. Its Mil Spec and its awesome.

In the case of firearms what does mil spec mean to you? Crap, middle of the road or tougher than nails?
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Old March 1, 2011, 07:58 PM   #2
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Somes good, somes aint so good. Now you take a mil spec M1 Garand, or a 1911A1, what you got is tuff as nails and then some.
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Old March 1, 2011, 08:12 PM   #3
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"Mil Spec" should mean "manufactured in strict accordance with military specifications."

For most firearms manufacturers today, it seems to mean, 'We needed a name that sounds tactical and we couldn't think of one by the time the catalogs had to go to press."
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Old March 1, 2011, 09:42 PM   #4
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To me mil-spec means that parts should interchange between the military firearm and whatever "civilian" gun claims to be "mil-spec". Also the gun has to be configured more or less like the military rifle. So some target AR-15 with free float handguards and fancy bull barrels and adjustable cheek rests is not mil-spec no matter how many parts you can swap between it and an M-16. Obviously a 7.62x39 AR-15 is not mil-spec. But that's just my definition.
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Old March 1, 2011, 10:08 PM   #5
chris in va
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Quote:
I came to learn that in some cases Mil Spec means it is actually crap and in other cases it means its tougher than nails.
Yup. Basically means nothing to me.
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Old March 1, 2011, 10:14 PM   #6
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Just something built to a specific set of specs, or not.

These days, its mostly just a bandied about marketing term that loses more credibility with every breath. Just ask Springfield.
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Old March 1, 2011, 10:26 PM   #7
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Means one thing to me:

Marketing Slogan.

"Low end" marketing slogan, at that. I would expect "reputable" companies to sell me their product based on reality, not a meaningless slogan.

I do realize that I expect too much.
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Old March 1, 2011, 11:35 PM   #8
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Mil Spec is short for Military Specifications.
When a firearm manufacture claims that there firearm is Mil Spec, they are stating there firearm is on line with military specifications.
Every branch of the service has a team of personal which sole job is to test and evaluate everything that branch pontientally buys.
For instance, the U.S. Army provides standards for CLP.
Break-Free one the contract, there were certain specifications the CLP had to perform such as temp rating, friction rating, etc. Then the team assigns a Mil Spec number and/or statue to it, like MIL-A-8625 Type III Class 2. Even coatings on firearms for the military have a Mil Spec rating, and the standards they have to meet. Such as 150 hour high pressure salt water spray test. If any company is found violating these specs they are subject to punishment as outlined in the UCMJ. You can research any military specification online.
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Old March 2, 2011, 01:23 AM   #9
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In the firearms world, the term "Mil Spec" means, "Our marketing team is a bunch of mall ninjas" to me.

Mil-Spec means absolutely nothing. Often, Military Specifications are not what should be used in the situation, anyway. When I see "Mil-Spec" on something... I think "oh.. they didn't know how to fine tune it for themselves, so they just took specs from public domain to save money".
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Old March 2, 2011, 08:48 AM   #10
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Loose tolerances and few features, marketed as being military to try and get mall ninjas to buy it.
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Old March 2, 2011, 09:33 AM   #11
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To me, "Mil Spec" has become synonymous with "Tactical" and "Assault Weapon."
The marketers have abused all three words and now they are all pretty much meaningless.
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Old March 2, 2011, 10:12 AM   #12
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Since mil-spec has a finite definition, I go by that...

Military puts forth a list of "specs" for everything... Companies take the list and supply the military with an item they feel meets those specs... If it passes muster, the military can adopt the item... if it fails testing... the company goes back and tries again.

So if the specs produce an item that is superior... COOL if not... Well, the government hasn't always been perfect...

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Old March 2, 2011, 10:27 AM   #13
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If any company is found violating these specs they are subject to punishment as outlined in the UCMJ.
Cite your source please. I've never heard of somebody not in Uniformed Service being subjsuct to UCMJ. The contract may outline penalties- usualy monetary- for failing to meet standards or production schedules. If the company is deliberatly deciving the military, criminal fraud charges may be appropriate... in a civilian court.
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Old March 2, 2011, 11:08 AM   #14
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrongSideArmsInc
If any company is found violating these specs they are subject to punishment as outlined in the UCMJ. You can research any military specification online.

That's completely bogus. "Mil-Spec" has the same meaning on the commercial market as "lite" does in reference to food.... it means whatever the maker deems it to mean.

"Official" Mil-Spec means that something is built to some sort of military specification. "Advertised" Mil-Spec means NOTHING.

I could sell Mil-Spec pizza if I wanted to.

As a matter of fact, if I was REALLY cool, I'd sell Tactical Mil-Spec Counter-Sniper Match Grade pizza.
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Old March 2, 2011, 11:44 AM   #15
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Mil-spec is mostly a sales term. Typically, if some thing is advertised as "mil-spec", I tend to shop for another brand.
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Old March 2, 2011, 11:53 AM   #16
Bartholomew Roberts
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As used in firearm marketing, it means practically nothing. Many firearms that claim to be "mil-spec" aren't. And for that matter, many of the specifications that are out there do not get updated all that often and may not represent the best value. In other cases, the "mil-spec" contains features that I don't need since I won't be doing a HALO from 36,000' followed by a 2 mile SCUBA through salt water or shooting in MOPP gear.

For me the military requirements are a good starting point. The military tends to keep busy with firearms and often discovers things that I might not discover for myself for quite some time (or things that it would be very unpleasant to discover personally). So I am always interested in what they deem necessary for their needs. I just don't assume that this same requirement is the best for my needs.
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Old March 2, 2011, 12:22 PM   #17
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it means $50+ added to the price
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Old March 2, 2011, 01:28 PM   #18
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As a matter of fact, if I was REALLY cool, I'd sell Tactical Mil-Spec Counter-Sniper Match Grade pizza. Peet--Mil-spec Pizza Cutters.. I want one already.
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Old March 2, 2011, 01:53 PM   #19
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4runnerman
Peet--Mil-spec Pizza Cutters

I got 'em already, dude! Tactical Piranha Match Grade Mil-Spec Pizza Cutter:

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Old March 2, 2011, 02:08 PM   #20
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thats just bad a** i want two of them
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Old March 2, 2011, 03:10 PM   #21
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Military puts forth a list of "specs" for everything... Companies take the list and supply the military with an item they feel meets those specs... If it passes muster, the military can adopt the item... if it fails testing... the company goes back and tries again.
One of the problems with true "Mil-Spec", is that sleaze-ball companies often relax their standards and QC after their product is approved. So, even the military isn't getting gear that's actually Mil-Spec. And, since the contracting process, and appeal / complaint processes are so ridiculously complicated and time consuming... It can sometimes take years to get a supplier's goods declared to be sub-standard and not meeting specifications. But in the mean time; they can legitimately claim the part to be Mil-Spec.

An often ignored argument for Mil-Spec could be the lack of certain standards, or just how worthless those standards can be.
When we deployed our helicopters, we generally left all but an emergency supply of tail rotor head oil behind. Why? Because 80w90 gear oil was easier to get (even in hostile foreign countries), and nearly every brand greatly exceeded the "super strict" specifications for that lubricant. An off-the-shelf, broad-use, consumer-grade oil gave us better longevity than the lubricants specifically formulated for that single purpose.

In a more critical area...
In 2003, we had a recall on a specific flight control rod for the collective system (think "altitude/power control") on our helicopters. It turns out, that the supplier had used aluminum rivets to attach the rod ends (heim joints), rather than a special titanium alloy rivet. Being stuck in a bombed-out crap-hole, in the middle of a foreign country... getting a replacement control rod was out of the question. So, we radioed home for the specifications for that control rod, and found them to be a complete joke. All we had to do was find an object of the proper size and shape, maintain a very low tensile strength and have minimal deflection with 100 lbs of compressive force applied, and use the titanium rivets .

Our answer?... We riveted new heim joints to a metal fence post, and threw the thing back in our helicopter. That fence post was now a Mil-Spec flight control rod, and remained in service for over 2 years (due to a shortage of the proper rods, and the fact that it met all of the specifications needed).
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Old March 2, 2011, 03:22 PM   #22
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I should have guessed Peet. I want one...
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Old March 2, 2011, 03:27 PM   #23
BGutzman
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I loved the pizza slicer!!!
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Old March 2, 2011, 03:38 PM   #24
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Mil-Spec = Lowest contract bid
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Old March 3, 2011, 08:32 AM   #25
danez71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrongSideArmsInc
If any company is found violating these specs they are subject to punishment as outlined in the UCMJ. You can research any military specification online.

If the companies violate the mil-spec that are actually going to the military.... true. Well, almost true. Essentially they have to be defrauding that the parts have passed the appropriate specs and tests when they havent. If the part has passed and then it fails, it becomes another issue.


I dont know if that applies to mil-spec stuff not going to the military though.

Of course.... there has to be a mil spec # that is not in compliance. The term "Mil-Spec" on its own is meaningless.
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