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Old December 22, 2012, 11:06 AM   #1
MMV.30
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Colt M-4 questions

What is the difference between Colt's LE 6920 SOCOM and LE 6920 SOCOM 2 ? Are Colt carbines the only MILSPEC guns on the market?
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Old December 22, 2012, 01:38 PM   #2
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What is the difference between Colt's LE 6920 SOCOM and LE 6920 SOCOM 2 ? Are Colt carbines the only MILSPEC guns on the market?
The SOCOM II is a limited edition (only 1500) gun with a longer rail than the regular SOCOM.

Colt 6920s aren't really milspec either (FCG, barrel, & lower are not the same as the M4).

There are plenty of companies that make rifles with "milspec" parts though, including Colt.
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Old December 22, 2012, 04:56 PM   #3
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@plouffedaddy Does Colt or any other manufacturer make a total milspec platform with the exception of course of select fire for the civilian market? How does Smith and Wessons M&P rate? Does it have milspec components? I've had a Colt A2 style match target for some years now and i'm thinking of upgrading to newer carbine.
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Old December 22, 2012, 05:32 PM   #4
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@plouffedaddy Does Colt or any other manufacturer make a total milspec platform with the exception of course of select fire for the civilian market?
Not in the way I think you mean it. In order to put a mil-spec barrel to the civilian market, for instance, it would have to be a registered SBR or have the FH pinned (which would itself deviate from the GAO mil-spec). Colt/BCM/DD ect all get it right in the important areas (mil spec HP/MP BCGs and HP/MP barrels, 4150 CL barrels, proper pin size, ect....)

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How does Smith and Wessons M&P rate? Does it have milspec components? I've had a Colt A2 style match target for some years now and i'm thinking of upgrading to newer carbine.
They make very good rifles but if you're looking for "as close to mil-spec as possible" you should probably look elsewhere. That said, the obsession with "mil-spec" is somewhat of an archaic thought process. Most of the specs were established by the GAO before modern CNC machines were standardized and other modern improvements came along and some of the specs just don't readily translate to civilian use (are you going to mount a 37mm grenade launcher to your AR anytime soon?).
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Old December 22, 2012, 06:32 PM   #5
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They make very good rifles but if you're looking for "as close to mil-spec as possible" you should probably look elsewhere. That said, the obsession with "mil-spec" is somewhat of an archaic thought process. Most of the specs were established by the GAO before modern CNC machines were standardized and other modern improvements came along and some of the specs just don't readily translate to civilian use (are you going to mount a 37mm grenade launcher to your AR anytime soon?).
Thank you!!

I get so frustrated with people who do not understand the purpose of military specifications and how they translate into usability. Furthermore, to expound on your point relating to archaic though processes, other technologies besides CNC have progesses as well. I particularly prefer salt bath nitriding over chrome lining.
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Old December 22, 2012, 09:28 PM   #6
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@plouffedaddy No, i'm not looking to mount a grenade launcher on anything nor do i have a desire to. Maybe my definition of milspec is wrong. I was under the assumption that milspec was like a grading system. When the military puts a weapon or its components under endurance or stress tests and it passes, it would be considered milspec. That's what i was told and i'm probably wrong but then that's why i joined this forum, to gain knowledge from people who know. If thats not the definition of milspec then what is? I appreciate the input and don't mean to come off as frustrating.
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Old December 22, 2012, 09:55 PM   #7
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Mil-spec simply means an item is produced according to the military specifications for that particular item. Specifications can be any number of things such as the material used, features it must posses, durability it must display, etc etc.

If the military wanted a hammer with a head made out of Unobtainium weighing 20 oz, a handle made of Bubinga, and capable of providing 10^10^100 hammer strikes before failing, that would be the milspec for that hammer. Anyone capable of producing a hammer with those specs would be producing a milspec hammer. If their hammer was identical except they made the head out of Not-Quite-As-Unobtainium, it would no longer be milspec, although not necessarily inferior.

The best thing about milspec is you know exactly what you are getting (as long as you know what the milspec is). When someone roles their own design you have no real idea what type of criteria they adhere to and have to take their word that is as good as or better than milspec.

Clear?
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Old December 22, 2012, 10:03 PM   #8
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I was under the assumption that milspec was like a grading system. When the military puts a weapon or its components under endurance or stress tests and it passes, it would be considered milspec.
Sure, that's why we're here--to help and share knowledge with the firearms community. And as you correctly assumed, you're a little off.

Quote:
Mil-spec simply means an item is produced according to the military specifications for that particular item. Specifications can be any number of things such as the material used, features it must posses, durability it must display, etc etc.
Correct.

The title of the thread is "Colt M4..." so I was listing some of the specs for the M4. They're different than the A2, M16A4, ect...

On the AR platform, the things that really matter in terms of "mil spec" are barrel material/construction/testing and BCG material/testing.

For bolt carrier groups, I literally just posted a video a couple minutes ago that should help clear some things up for you. I'll be doing a barrel video along the same lines here soon because these questions come up a lot with guys new to the AR platform.

How to select an AR-15 Bolt Carrier Group HD Video Link
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Old December 22, 2012, 10:18 PM   #9
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To put it simply, Colt has what's known as a techinical data package for the M4 carbine they produce for the military. It includes everything from the sizes and dimensions for each of the parts, to the materials that they are made of, how they are finished, how each of those parts is tested once they are completed, and how they are put together into a complete working rifle.

Guns that are built to the very specific set of standards set forth in the technical data package are know as "Mil-spec". And as plouf said, it's true that no civilain version of the gan can be completely mil-spec, since the M4's 14.5" barrel classify it as an SBR and the the lowers must be made slightly different to prevent the installation of a trigger group that allows for full auto or burst fire.

It's also not the end-all-be-all when it comes to AR-15 pattern rifles. It is possble to create guns that exceed mil-spec, though you are more likely to come across guns that fall short of those standards. Mil-spec doesn't mean the absolute best, but it is important to remember that the sepcs were created to build guns that can stand up to hard use in battle.
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Old December 22, 2012, 10:28 PM   #10
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Vote for plouffedaddy's explanation to be stickey'd. This is exactly what I have tried to tell others for a while, but usually falls on deaf ears. Great job explaining.
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Old December 22, 2012, 11:24 PM   #11
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@ plouffedaddy Great video, very informative on BCGs. Looking forward to your video on barrels.
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Old December 22, 2012, 11:30 PM   #12
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@ auto426 Thanks for the explanation, from what i've been reading on this and other threads, the term milspec comes with many definitions.
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