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Old January 7, 2019, 03:44 PM   #1
M88
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Military grade?

Almost every time I talk to somebody who knows almost nothing about guns, they inevitably say something like... "I'm not totally against guns, I just don't think civilians should be able to buy "military grade" weapons of war". For those that I sense will listen, I explain to them that "military grade" is a marketing term, simple as that, nothing more. Ford advertises "military grade aluminum" for their truck frames. Really? As stupid as I personally think some marketing is, it works. I'm sure someone is going to think that if his/her truck frame is military grade, it would be able to withstand the rigors or war. Nonsense. When I was in the military early 70's, I was familiar with mil-spec... EVERYTHING from my canteen to my sleeping bag to every nut and bolt on my 60 ton M88 tank retriever has a mil-spec, meaning it had to conform to some specification certifying that it has a certain hardness or conformed to a certain physical specification. There are thousands if not millions of mil-specs. My mil-spec bayonet was exactly xyz ounces, had steel of xyz hardness etc etc. That did NOT mean it was the best quality, not by any means. It meant the lowest bidder that could meet that specification made it! So... mil-spec doesn't exactly exude premium quality, and "military grade" means practically nothing. But I hear gun enthusiasts, even some folks on this forum use it from time to time. Aren't we feeding the tons of misinformation we get from the mainstream media every day concerning guns when we do? Perhaps I'm being naive.
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Old January 7, 2019, 05:05 PM   #2
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Just ask them if they know what "regulated" and "militia" meant at the time of the ratification of the COTUS.
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Old January 8, 2019, 10:15 AM   #3
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Almost every time I talk to somebody who knows almost nothing about guns, they inevitably say something like... "I'm not totally against guns, I just don't think civilians should be able to buy "military grade" weapons of war"
I've actually had someone say something similar to me. I merely responded that I am very grateful that the AR's available for me to purchase and use are far better than basic "military grade".
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Old January 8, 2019, 10:28 AM   #4
Don P
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Working in a machine shop running a CNC machine the term "military" only meant that a larger quantity of parts were selected for QC check. I made extractors and whether the part was for company X, Y or Z all we had to have at our machine was the spec sheet with the customers name on it. That was for our ISO rating. Other than that X, Y and Z were getting the same part made to the same spec.
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Old January 8, 2019, 10:35 AM   #5
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Military grade=low bid.
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Old January 8, 2019, 10:45 AM   #6
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You can simply take the comments from the source they came from which is based upon ignorance. It is not your or my responsibility to enlighten them. Just as it is not our responsibility to advise them upon the stock market or how to invest their savings.

Their comments are no worse than those of us who try to question or advise the military on their source selection process for firearms and equipment purchases. How many thread on various forums do we see where some proclaimed experts wants to tell the military how and what to purchase for their handguns and rifles? Those folks are also ignorant of the military source selection and requirements needs processes.
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Old January 8, 2019, 11:33 AM   #7
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those of us who try to question or advise the military on their source selection process for firearms and equipment purchases.
I have faith that this board's collective knowledge is greater than those government employees picking guns for our soldiers. As individuals, we have access to a large variety of superior handguns and even some rifles than those used by the Military. Yet, for some reason, I do believe that the military has better access to high-quality optics than we do. Why is that?
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Old January 8, 2019, 12:28 PM   #8
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Skans, In my view, you would be wrong. I worked for 35 years in both the military and the acquisition community of both the Department of Army and Department of Defense. I am currently not in the "know" since I retired over 15 years ago. The highly quailified personnel, primarily civilian, reaching the position to make recommendation and decision in the acquisition community are highly educated with years of service and experience to make the proper decision to supply our forces.

Yes, there are some smart and experience people on various forums. This does not qualify them to know what is best for the soldiers, sailors and airmen of our forces and the proper utilization of tax payer dollars. A vast majority of these good folks on various forums are also not privy to the classified and common information available in the specific requirement needs and source selection community within the Department of Defense and its services.

If you disagree with what I am stating, then you can believe what you choose. I think I know better but am not going to try to influence your perspective. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. I am not attacking your intelligence or diligence.
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Old January 8, 2019, 01:05 PM   #9
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So to your point on MilSpec, my favorite MilSpec to show friends is the one on oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip brownies. By all accounts, they're awful.

As far as the requirements go, I will agree that there are many intelligent and smart people with data to back up their suggestions in the government acquisition programs, there are also just as many lobbiests that have an agenda either from a specific manufacturer or company that are attempting to sway the requirements/request for quote that gets pushed out to the manufacturers. We just have to hope that the politicians and even the military brass that are part of these acquisitions have the good sense to listen to data and that those with the data don't skew it to achieve their own ends.
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Old January 8, 2019, 02:24 PM   #10
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If you disagree with what I am stating, then you can believe what you choose. I think I know better but am not going to try to influence your perspective. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. I am not attacking your intelligence or diligence.
I'm no expert at procuring arms for soldiers, but here is what I know. Take handguns for example. I can afford to purchase just about any handgun currently produced, and I have sufficient expertise to know what I am purchasing and why I am purchasing it. I can customize it to my desires. I can spend $10,000 on such a gun if I so desire, even if $7,000 of that is pure waste. The standard issue pistol for the Army was the Beretta M9 for years. State of the art? Hardly! More like low-bid junk, plagued with problems until maybe the last 15 years or so after a number of "fixes". So, now I suppose they have gone to the Sig P320. Better than the M9, but again, this is a fairly low-end gun for Sig. It does (hopefully, anyway) what the Army needs it to do cheaply, that's all.

I could make the same case for rifles and other small arms. Being a US civilian is like having access to the best small arms in the world, often however with a much larger budget per person than what the Army has to play with.
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Old January 8, 2019, 02:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlatinumCore16
As far as the requirements go, I will agree that there are many intelligent and smart people with data to back up their suggestions in the government acquisition programs, there are also just as many lobbiests that have an agenda either from a specific manufacturer or company that are attempting to sway the requirements/request for quote that gets pushed out to the manufacturers. We just have to hope that the politicians and even the military brass that are part of these acquisitions have the good sense to listen to data and that those with the data don't skew it to achieve their own ends.
Not knocking lamarw's point, I agree with it... to a point. I was in the military for only 3 years early 70's and didn't know or think much back then about what I was issued other than it was issued to me and I had zero choice but to use said issued items. My Dad however, who left us a few years ago, was a full bird (Colonel) in the Army, as well as working procurement for the Navy for many years. His stories about what was chosen for our military, and what influenced that, fits PlatinumCore's assessment above. Yes lots of smart good people in procurement, but politics (lobbyists) played a HUGE part in that process. Dad retired from all that 30 years ago however... perhaps things are different now? I doubt it.
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Old January 8, 2019, 06:35 PM   #12
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Getting hung up on a generally loose definition for people that don't have a clue (and thats common in all fields)

Mil Spec is an different animal.

I assume they mean military class weapons, which would be machine guns (no one issues machine pistols though some semi auto handguns are capable of being that)

As Machine guns are severely restricted, that is usually what is meant.

Not likely to ever get changed.
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Old January 8, 2019, 08:05 PM   #13
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OK Gentlemen, you believe what you choice to believe. I will not argue the point with you or even attempt to convince you. If I did so, I would defeat my major point.

I will add, we were charged with the responsibility of purchasing our minimum needs and not above it. Yes, best value became a major acquisition goal as opposed to low cost on many buys in the Department of Defense. Although, when there was the presence of detailed specification for routine items, meaning not developing technology, then low cost is the rule of the day. The minimum requirement for a majority of our forces is not necessarily the minimum of some forces.

By the way, I have a Beretta 92 FS Inox and consider it a decent handgun. I also have a couple of Sig P226's and they lost to Beretta, and they are fine handguns too. I have checked out a couple of Sig P320's but have not fired one. I can say they do not appeal to me, or I would of bought one already. I will never say never though. I do own a Colt M1911 and a M1911A1 like I carried in Nam. One day, I may have the urge to add the P320 to my assortment.
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Old January 8, 2019, 11:38 PM   #14
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Just ask them if they know what "regulated" and "militia" meant at the time of the ratification of the COTUS.
Well, it meant absolutely nothing on 21 June 1788 when COTUS was ratified. Why? Because that was not in COTUS when it was ratified. The 12 Amendments were sent out in September 1789 to each of the states, but it wasn't until 15 December 1791 that the BOR became effective.
https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us...ill-of-rights/
https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/...n-was-ratified

Be that as it may, I am sure they don't really care what the meaning was 229+ years ago as they have a 'that was then, this is now' mentality.
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Old January 8, 2019, 11:45 PM   #15
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This is interesting.

Nanuk notes Mil grade = low bid. (But with a pallet sized paper specification)


Consider the flip side: The semi-auto Sig you can buy is significantly higher "grade" than what many African or Asian countries provide to their military.
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Old January 9, 2019, 01:20 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Skans
I've actually had someone say something similar to me. I merely responded that I am very grateful that the AR's available for me to purchase and use are far better than basic "military grade".
Too true. I carried a "military grade" M16 around southeast Asia at one time in my life. Back around 2000 I bought a brand new AR-15 for $500 that was far more reliable than my "military grade" M16 ever dreamed of being.

But all this is far afield of the original post: The anti-gun forces are again trying to use terminology against us. When they get John Q. Public and Suzie Soccermom all worked up over civilians having "military grade" weaponry, they're not talking about manufacturing specifications and tolerances, and they're not talking about procurement policies and procedures. They're telling John and Suzie that you and I and every "gun nut" who owns a semi-automatic AR-15 type rifle owns "military grade" weaponry. They know that John and Suzie don't understand the differences among semi-auto, select(burst) fire, and full auto. They are counting on the fact that AR-15s superficially look like M16s or M4s, so they're telling John and Suzie that our "modern sporting rifles" (hah!) are "military grade" weaponry.

It's the new "assault weapon," folks, that's all it is. It's another of their moves to control the narrative by controlling the terminology, and I agree that we need to counteract that where and when possible. But we have to be careful that we don't come across as overly defensive when we do so.

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Old January 9, 2019, 01:46 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
Back around 2000 I bought a brand new AR-15 for $500 that was far more reliable than my "military grade" M16 ever dreamed of being.
Have to agree with Aguila on this one... although I never had to fire that M16 they issued me in '71 in combat, at least every other time we took our weapons to the range many of us had problems with M16's. Jamming, FTF... now granted some of that probably had to do with the substandard ammo they issued us for the range. We were told it wasn't the exact same stuff they issued to front line guys... that the powder wasn't the same? Was fresh out of high school and I learned early on not to ask to many questions or second guess what was told to us. Sir, no excuse Sir!
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Old January 9, 2019, 01:53 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by lamarw
OK Gentlemen, you believe what you choice to believe. I will not argue the point with you or even attempt to convince you. If I did so, I would defeat my major point.
Certainly not wanting to argue. From what you said lamarw, you seem to have more first hand knowledge than many of us on this subject. Just relaying things I learned from my father, who was in the military procurement business end of things also. We are making some pretty general points here, and I'm sure that things are much more complicated than some generalizations.
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Old January 9, 2019, 06:05 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by M88
Have to agree with Aguila on this one... although I never had to fire that M16 they issued me in '71 in combat, at least every other time we took our weapons to the range many of us had problems with M16's.
I was in country in 1968, and I think pretty much everyone experienced problems with the early M16s, more often than not.

But, to reiterate, that's not the issue. The focal point of the original post was:

Quote:
Originally Posted by M88
Almost every time I talk to somebody who knows almost nothing about guns, they inevitably say something like... "I'm not totally against guns, I just don't think civilians should be able to buy "military grade" weapons of war".
What do those people mean by "military grade weapons of war"? Hint: They are NOT talking about production specifications, and they are not talking about what testing protocols were used in deciding what the new combat rifle was going to be. They are talking about letting you and me have the same weaponry that our soldiers have. That's what they are talking about. And, just as with the older made-up term, "assault weapon," it's a trap.

My $500 AR-15 fired the same 5.56x45, 55-grain ammunition that a U.S. Army M16 fired. In fact, the cheapest ammo available for those who don't reload is either surplus M193 or bulk XM-193. So I had a rifle that looked like an M16, and it fired the same ammo as an M16. The forces of evil want the unwashed masses to believe that, as a result of these two similarities, my $500 AR-15 was a "military grade weapon of war."

That's the lie. There's no recognition that our civilian rifles don't have "da switch." The civilian AR-15 is, pure and simple, a different firearm than the military M16 and M4.

There is no definition for "military grade." A working definition, which could be applied to any product from a scout knife to a backpack to a canteen to a pair of boots, is "equivalent in quality and function to what our military buys and issues." If our military doesn't buy and issue any semi-automatic AR-15 pattern rifles ... then how can any AR-15 pattern rifle be called "military grade"? And, since I am not aware of any semi-automatic AR-15s having been used anywhere in the world in an actual war (declared or undeclared) ... how can any civilian, semi-automatic AR-15 possibly be labeled as a "weapon of war"?

See the trap? Let's talk about the trap, and not worry about how the Air Force got $500 toilet seats.
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Old January 9, 2019, 08:35 AM   #20
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It’s simply propaganda that has performed its intended purpose.
Some think that if the army uses a particular type of weapon it must be the most powerful. They don’t understand that the weapon is just logistically economical.

Also, throughout my life, I’ve heard the gun braggarts boasting about their AR15s to anyone who was in listening range. I know a couple of them at work today.

After the Vegas tragedy, it will be hard to convince many that they aren’t military weapons.
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Old January 9, 2019, 09:21 AM   #21
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Not really sure how to aproach this w/o somebody yelling at me but as a guy who lives in a VERY liberal part of CO..With the internet, anybody can google 'M16' and look at a picture of it and see the caliber, '5.56'..that will mean nothing to the person who knows nothing about guns but what they see is what a M16 looks like, those 'numbers' 5.56, and know that's what the US military was issued when and if they 'went to war'..

Then forward to a 'mass shooting'..and the description/picture of the weapon...or pictures from Gun Show or Gun Store, USA...ARs, black, scary looking, that look an awful like that 'M-16'...THAT'S why Suzie SoccerMom and Jerry IBMEmployee call these things 'weapons of war.

I don't know any answer..maybe paint them blue? BUT the design of ARs you see everyday at GunShow USA or GunStore USA enforce the propaganda for the non gun people.

The below are commercially available AR platforms..

BTW-NOT making any political statement but just mentioning what I see and hear from the trenches in the 'republic of Boulder'..If the rifle looked like the second one(Ruger in 5.56)...most non gun people would say, 'so what'..
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Old January 9, 2019, 09:42 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
Let's talk about the trap, and not worry about how the Air Force got $500 toilet seats.
This would go a long way toward explaining why my wife's bathroom remodel was so expensive; maybe she ordered "mil-spec".

Quote:
Originally Posted by M88
Almost every time I talk to somebody who knows almost nothing about guns, they inevitably say something like... "I'm not totally against guns, I just don't think civilians should be able to buy "military grade" weapons of war".
Public-policy conversation is often rich in clichés and memes. Sometimes it takes a couple of questions to find what people actually mean. I do not believe that gun-control enthusiasm is actually directed at “weapons of war”. A friend let me shoot his 1917 Enfield and Garand, both very nice rifles and both “weapons of war”. Yet, neither is particularly hackles raising. Prohibitionist enthusiasm seems more animated by bayonet lugs and “shoulder things that go up”.

“Mil-spec” seems somewhat like the term “clip”. People will use the term in a way that is not accurate, but that can reasonably convey meaning. Yes, the thing you insert in the magazine well that contains your cartridges is not really a “clip”. Also, the sort of awful trigger and hammer that is the default for inexpensive commercial ARs is not really “mil spec” or “G.I.”, but in the world of ARs that designation does not so much mean “military specification” or military “general issue”, but means that it is not one of the many thousands of aftermarket parts that depart substantially from the original style.

A 40 round Magpul “clip” isn’t “mil spec”, but that does not seem to have made uncomfortable people any more comfortable.


It's hard to know if misuse of a term is innocent or cynical without a little discussion.

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Old January 9, 2019, 10:57 AM   #23
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Doesn’t help when there’s an open carry rally and the participants show up dressed like two-bit mercenaries. Or when “patriots” show up to “help” dressed the same way.

Then we put skulls and scary spiders on our guns, crenellated muzzle brakes, this tactical doo-dad or the other. Someone is buying, using and wearing all the tactical crud... so the gun community has not helped their own image either.
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Old January 9, 2019, 11:14 AM   #24
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They are counting on the fact that AR-15s superficially look like M16s or M4s, so they're telling John and Suzie that our "modern sporting rifles" (hah!) are "military grade" weaponry.

It's the new "assault weapon," folks, that's all it is.
I know this and do not disagree with your observation. The left is good at waging a propaganda war with semantics and new phrases to try and scare non-gun folks. However, rather than falling into their "trap" of trying to proclaim such weapons are not "military grade" or not "assault weapons", I like to embrace such terms, just like African Americans learned to embrace the "N"-Word and Homosexuals embraced the word "Gay".
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Old January 9, 2019, 12:03 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by skans
However, rather than falling into their "trap" of trying to proclaim such weapons are not "military grade" or not "assault weapons", I like to embrace such terms, just like African Americans learned to embrace the "N"-Word and Homosexuals embraced the word "Gay".
OK, how would one DO that? What would be your approach the next time Suzy soccer mom tells you she doesn't approve of civilians having "weapons of war"? I'm honestly curious how that convo would go from your perspective.
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