Commercial vs. Mil Spec part 2???

We had some “high speed/low drag” dudes pointing out how little I know about everything. Well…haters gonna hate. They had issues with the first post on this topic. That one I tried to keep it so even the newest of the newbies out there could stay on track. So for the more “high speed” guys…

Forging is a process where a chunk of billet is heated to the point of being pliable. Not a puddle but not ridged either. Then it is put in a precision mold inside a hydronic press. The press forces the workable metal into the mostly complete outer shape of a receiver (which is much different than an extrusion process). I originally called this similar to a casting for mental image comparison. This is as close to casting something as you can get with out starting with molten metal. Now, any time you have a lot of sharp angles, and yes I consider right angles to be sharp, you have a week spot. On an AR receiver there happens to be a lot of them. Then the finish machining can begin. This is things like magazine wells, trigger housings, and yes even final outside shape. After all, you have to attempt to remove the crease left from having a two piece mold (metal tends to squeeze out from between the mold). Now unless you have the metal in such a state that you can alter the shape of the crystalline grain structure to the shape of the mold you are creating areas of high stress. These areas are more prone to cracking than non-forged receivers. Now, with everything I’ve read (there’s a lot of arguments on both sides) as long as you use the same material to make a forged or milled receiver it still has the same material strength…except for the stressed areas.

A billet receiver is just that… machined 100% from a single piece of material. This method ensures that you are much less likely to have highly stressed areas (and probably micro fissures). Companies that use this method usually are proactive and keep areas that are know high stress areas and beef up that area. Yeah, the mall ninja will complain because it weighs an extra couple of ounces….yes ounces…but in my opinion (10+ years as a gunsmith and government armorer) you have a longer lasting (and able to endure more abuse) receiver using this method over forging. Feel free not to like my opinion if it lets you sleep at night.

BattleComp…..just use it and you’ll see. Does this comp remove recoil? No. You’d have to be a moron to think that. What a compensator does is use the gas blowing out of the muzzle to pull the rifle slightly away from your shoulder. This essentially dampens “felt recoil”. All the recoil is still there…you just don’t feel as much of it because the muzzle devise is “compensating”….see what they did there? This comp is basically a single suppressor chamber that has been vented on top. You get great flash suppression and acts as a compensator at the same time. How is this not a win?

Mil Spec is still the military’s attempt to ensure everything meets at least the their minimum quality standards and parts commonality. A field armorer has to be able to throw in a new trigger from a bucket of parts and it work in any rifle. This doesn’t, however, mean that it’s the best standard. Mil Spec may say to keep to the blueprints measurements to within .005″ while civilian manufactures are trying to stay within .0005″ to .001”. That means better tolerances which equals out to everything working better together. But the military needs to establish a minimum standard to make sure they aren’t given absolute crap. But this also allows companies to make things as cheaply as possible within the set parameters. Any questions? So why make something that uses more material and therefore costs more if you don’t have to? That’s Mil Spec.

Things like buffer tubes use the extrusion method of manufacturing. It’s a process where metal is pressed or drawn through a mold. Think of it like metal noodles. Put aluminum in and force it into the mold…spit out new buffer tube ready for media blasting and anodizing.

Metallurgy has to do with the metal itself…not in machining methods. Just saying.

Anyway that’s all for now.

3 thoughts on “Commercial vs. Mil Spec part 2???

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