PDA

View Full Version : Commercial or Milspec?


Capt. Speirs
09-03-2010, 8:16 AM
How many of you have Commercial or Milspec Buffer Tubes on your ARs. I got in a debate with an individual about how most of the ARs out there have Commercial buffer tubes, I must live under a rock, I haven't seen a Commercial tube in soooo long.

Recession
09-03-2010, 8:20 AM
Why would anyone opt for a commercial tube especially when the price difference is pennies. :confused: Oh wait, they use them on Airsoft guns. :p

Shawn L
09-03-2010, 8:22 AM
Milspec on mine.

tomd1584
09-03-2010, 8:48 AM
Why would anyone opt for a commercial tube especially when the price difference is pennies.

And limit your options in terms of Stocks.

TripleT
09-03-2010, 8:51 AM
I sell way more commercial than mil-spec as most AR manufacturers are supplying commercial these days.

Crowesnest
09-03-2010, 8:55 AM
Right now, it really makes no significant difference to me. Practically speaking, both buffers are comparable and both accomplish the same task. As far as stocks go....it seems many manufacturers will sell stocks in both formats, so it is not like I am being deprived of owning anything special.

vta
09-03-2010, 8:57 AM
commercial tubes are much cheaper from what i can tell. especially those chinese made 6 pos. stock kits that sell for $40 complete with hardware, spring and buffer. i just 'upgraded' mine to milspec.

TripleT
09-03-2010, 9:05 AM
I'm not talking chinese crap. Manufacturers like Rock River etc. are supplying to me commercial. I don't have a clue as to why there was ever two different sizes but it's a royal PITA. There is no functional difference while commercial seems to be easier to get. YMMV

Of course the ninja appeal of "mil-spec" may be another matter... :D

wash
09-03-2010, 9:05 AM
I think Magpul has said that they will not make any new products for the comercial tube.

I think their ACS stock might be mil-spec only.

I support that because standardization in an area where neither option has an advantage is a good thing and no military is ever going to ask for commercial stocks.

Flogger23m
09-03-2010, 9:05 AM
Neither, A1 stock.

I would go for a mil spec if I had to get another.

I bought a Tapco commercial spec and it wiggled a lot, so I kept my A1.

Recession
09-03-2010, 9:06 AM
commercial tubes are much cheaper from what i can tell. especially those chinese made 6 pos. stock kits that sell for $40 complete with hardware, spring and buffer. i just 'upgraded' mine to milspec.

Nothing like a Chinese made commercial tube, stock and buffer for our American AR15s. :patriot:

TripleT
09-03-2010, 9:11 AM
Maybe commercial will become the betamax of receiver extensions and I could really care less. I would like to see the powers that be just pick one !

plan-b
09-03-2010, 9:12 AM
The Magpul ACS comes in both now:
http://store.magpul.com/prod_detail_list/87

a308garand
09-03-2010, 10:14 AM
Maybe commercial will become the betamax of receiver extensions and I could really care less. I would like to see the powers that be just pick one !

Colt already decided the matter by designing "milspec" sized receiver extension on the carbine. Other top shelf makers do so as well. Legend has it "milspec" is far better than "comercial".

We need to get Bushmaster,Rock River, etc to follow the established standard for the "milspec" sized tube. ;)

Now this discussion will devolve into who makes what better & mine is better than yours type finger pointing. Sorry.

DavidRSA
09-03-2010, 10:16 AM
My AR's are both S&W MP models, which are milspec. Dont know where the commercial spec came from, seems silly to me.

ebencikiv
09-03-2010, 10:34 AM
Mill spec on mine

dieselpower
09-03-2010, 11:08 AM
I'm not talking chinese crap. Manufacturers like Rock River etc. are supplying to me commercial. I don't have a clue as to why there was ever two different sizes but it's a royal PITA. There is no functional difference while commercial seems to be easier to get. YMMV

Of course the ninja appeal of "mil-spec" may be another matter... :D

wrong.
Mil-spec tubes are thicker at the threading, and are stonger. The threads themselves are stronger too.

I can do 2 things to a Commercial tube, that I can not do with a Mil-spec.

1) I can place my knee at the selector, one hand at the muzzle the other hand at the end of the stock and by pulling, I can bend and break a Commercial stock. I tried this with a Mil-spec Stag and with over a dozen trys could only slightly bend it. The commercial took almost no effort.

2) If your AR15 has a sling point at the reciever plate, I can hang the AR15 from a tree. I can then grab the Commercial tube and pull the tube straight out of the firearm...the threads are weak and will rip right out. I can not do this with a Mil-spec.

The way they are made makes them completely different.

one is cheap to make and weak.
one is expensive to make and strong.

I can make a commercial tube for $0.89, then charge anywhere from $5.00 to $30.00 for it.
The cheapest I can make a Mil-spec is about $10.00, and then I would need to charge $30.00 to make a profit.

If you are paying more then $40.00 for a complete Commercial reciever extension system, you are getting ripped off. Tube, Spring, Buffer, plate and Nut...$40.00

A Mil-spec will cost $70.00 to $100 and has only a slight make up from what it cost to make.

darkest2000
09-03-2010, 11:17 AM
Commercial tubes are made from an extrusion and finish machined, milspec tubes are fully machined from a forging.

The only reason commercial tubes exist is because they're way cheaper to produce. And they had to be oversized to make up enough thickness for the threading(and even then, still not as thick as milspec) as well as strength.

Yeah I got milspec tubes on all my ARs. Not because their stronger (the way I baby my stuff I'm sure a commercial tube will last me just as long), but for sake of being "standard".

dieselpower
09-03-2010, 11:24 AM
Commercial tubes are made from an extrusion and finish machined, milspec tubes are fully machined from a forging.

The only reason commercial tubes exist is because they're way cheaper to produce. And they had to be oversized to make up enough thickness for the threading as well as strength.

Yeah I got milspec tubes on all my ARs. Not because their stronger (the way I baby my stuff I'm sure a commercial tube will last me just as long), but for sake of being "standard".

Actually the first thing you said is the main reason commercial tubes exist in the size that they are.

someone said, "how do I make this thing cheap?" An Engineer said, "..well you increas the OD to match the threading you will cut into it, you can now push out 1000 per second and quickly cut the threads to fit the reciever...". Bam, the commercial tube was born. The thickness of the tubes walls is what it needs to be to house a buffer. It has nothing to do with strength.

Recession
09-03-2010, 12:36 PM
I'll let you guys be the judge.


http://sttgl.com/30060901/page%20graphics/inv/Buffer%20Id.jpg

voiceoftheright
09-03-2010, 12:47 PM
Ya, the "strength" defense of milspec is a joke to me. Pretty sure my commercial tube isn't snapping in half. I think most people get caught up in the "milspec" terminology thinking it is "what the military uses" when in fact you could hand them a commercial tube and they wouldn't even know the difference without measuring the damn thing. Either one is fine, I have both, get the one that fits your stock and saves you more money for ammo.

dieselpower
09-03-2010, 1:16 PM
I'll let you guys be the judge.


http://sttgl.com/30060901/page%20graphics/inv/Buffer%20Id.jpg

These don't explain the problem in a way everyone can understand. To some (most) people the difference is simply size.

here is a pic I made. You can easily see why a Mil-spec is stronger while a Commercial is larger.

http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu272/Wiringguy/milspecthread-1.png

dieselpower
09-03-2010, 1:18 PM
Ya, the "strength" defense of milspec is a joke to me. Pretty sure my commercial tube isn't snapping in half. I think most people get caught up in the "milspec" terminology thinking it is "what the military uses" when in fact you could hand them a commercial tube and they wouldn't even know the difference without measuring the damn thing. Either one is fine, I have both, get the one that fits your stock and saves you more money for ammo.


I've snapped them in two. I have pulled the tube straight out. The threads are very weak.

Wicked K5
09-03-2010, 1:42 PM
I put a milspec on my build. Only because that's what came in my lower build kit from Palmetto State Armory.

CHS
09-03-2010, 1:46 PM
Ya, the "strength" defense of milspec is a joke to me. Pretty sure my commercial tube isn't snapping in half. I think most people get caught up in the "milspec" terminology thinking it is "what the military uses" when in fact you could hand them a commercial tube and they wouldn't even know the difference without measuring the damn thing. Either one is fine, I have both, get the one that fits your stock and saves you more money for ammo.

Get a milspec.

I've seen quite a few commercial ones broken in just as many different ways.

I've never seen a milspec tube break in any way.

shark92651
09-03-2010, 2:38 PM
Stag, Daniel Defense, LMT, Noveske, and most other higher tier mfgs use mil-spec. If people quit buying the RRA, Bushmaster, DPMS, etc... then perhaps they would get a clue. Availability of after market stocks in mil-spec is reason alone to not get commercial. If you never plan on changing your stock then it is a non-issue.

voiceoftheright
09-03-2010, 5:03 PM
So what are you guys doing when you happen to have broken a commercial tube? Are you just trying to break it? I am sure they are probably weaker when serious tests are compared but this: "I can place my knee at the selector, one hand at the muzzle the other hand at the end of the stock and by pulling, I can bend and break a Commercial stock" is really kind of a joke, right? Because I've never done that with my ARs or my M-16s in my years in service, regardless of tube being used. If you are doing legitimate range firing drills/room clearing and have broken one then I would totally understand. But if you are hooking your tube up to the wench on your truck, ANY tube will break or come out of your receiver regardless of the threads.

voiceoftheright
09-03-2010, 5:15 PM
BTW guys, I'm not offended or trying to offend. Friggin internet can be missleading and I really am interested if you guys have broken one and how, because like I said above, I have both currently.

CHS
09-03-2010, 5:26 PM
So what are you guys doing when you happen to have broken a commercial tube? Are you just trying to break it?

Not trying to break them at all.

I saw a very crappy commercial tube that was of a two-piece design. The flat end of it literally popped out while someone was shooting it.

I saw another one literally crumple at the threads because they're so thin and the castle nut was being tightened.

They're a poor design and made from inferior metals.

voiceoftheright
09-03-2010, 6:51 PM
Interesting. I have taken mine on and off a few times and have shot it plenty with no issues at all. As with anything though, I'm sure some of the manufacturers are just making crap as fast as possible. Anyone else have some firsthand experience with this?

Cokebottle
09-03-2010, 6:55 PM
We need to get Bushmaster,Rock River, etc to follow the established standard for the "milspec" sized tube. ;)
My VLTOR Modstock fits just beautifully on my RRA milspec tube.

I think it actually fits a little better than the RRA stock ;)

slomofo
09-03-2010, 9:59 PM
Commercial, mil-spec, doesn't matter to me, I have mostly mil-specs, but I've got two commercials and they appear to function the same on all my rifles.

rero360
09-03-2010, 10:18 PM
I can attest to the different ODs between the two, when I changed my RRA over to a featureless build I removed the origional buttstock and replaced it with what I assume is a Milspec pistol buffer tube. I didn't like the receiver end cap that came with the new buffer tube so when I tried to reuse the RRA one I found that it would not slide over the threads. What I ended up doing was taking a round metal file and removing a tiny amount of material all around the inner portion of the end cap, just enough for it to slide over the threads.

dieselpower
09-03-2010, 10:53 PM
I tried to break one (and did) to prove it could be done. I saw a guy fall on his AR15 in a weird way. When he stood up, the tube was bent. He then tried to straighten it and he broke it. The bend was at the threads. I told this story at a shooting range and a fellow shooter called it BS. He handed me his AR15 with Bushmaster Commercial stock and said to try and bend it. I placed my knee at the selector switch, and pulled hard...bent it to 90 degrees in about 2 seconds. I then tried it with my own Stag Mil-spec as hard as I could. After several times, I only managed to slightly bend the stock. I then traded my bent Stag tube for the guys other mil-spec tube. He was not able to bend the Stag any further, but I think I could have if I kept at it.

I have also pulled on the stock so hard, I pulled the tube right out of the reciever.

dexterbase
09-04-2010, 3:24 PM
If there is even a possibility that the mil-spec tube is stronger then that justifies the expense of buying it. If you have to butt-stroke somebody in the head with your rifle and you snap the stock off(with the buffer), you are completely screwed. If you take fire and have to go prone in a hurry and bend or break the buffer tube... Screwed again. Tell me that either one of these scenarios are outside the realm of possibility.

xxINKxx
09-04-2010, 3:43 PM
On my first AR build, the shop (J ana J armory, vendor on here) Sold me a commercial magpul set up as thats what they carried. Its been fine. But all my recent purchases have been a mil-spec. Figured maybe in the long run its easier to just have all mil-spec so stuff is interchangeable.

No issues with the commercial, but im also not an operator doing secret operator missions danger close

voiceoftheright
09-04-2010, 3:53 PM
If there is even a possibility that the mil-spec tube is stronger then that justifies the expense of buying it. If you have to butt-stroke somebody in the head with your rifle and you snap the stock off(with the buffer), you are completely screwed. If you take fire and have to go prone in a hurry and bend or break the buffer tube... Screwed again. Tell me that either one of these scenarios are outside the realm of possibility.

This is the first logical example and is exactly what I was thinking. THANK YOU! If i was headed to combat, actual combat, and had to provide my own gear then I would ABSOLUTELY get a milspec, "just in case". But for basically anything that we do (people with enough time to post on Calguns), even if it is CQB ranges, a commerical will holdup 99.9% of the time. These examples of "holding the rifle, placing a knee on the selector, and yanking that b-tard six ways from Sunday" is NOT a logical example/test, no matter what "combat" conditions you are thinking of.

dieselpower
09-04-2010, 8:18 PM
This is the first logical example and is exactly what I was thinking. THANK YOU! If i was headed to combat, actual combat, and had to provide my own gear then I would ABSOLUTELY get a milspec, "just in case". But for basically anything that we do (people with enough time to post on Calguns), even if it is CQB ranges, a commerical will holdup 99.9% of the time. These examples of "holding the rifle, placing a knee on the selector, and yanking that b-tard six ways from Sunday" is NOT a logical example/test, no matter what "combat" conditions you are thinking of.

I can sorta agree...and disagree

We were walking in the mountain area hunting when one of the guys fell on his AR and bent the tube. We were not in some war zone...playing airsoft or trying to break the tube. It was a simple slip and fall over a rock. The tube was bent so far there was no way the BCG would have cycled. So he tried to bend it back to straighten it out...and snapped it.

So you are correct, if you dont plan on doing anything but go to the range, a commercial is fine. I have tripped and fallen a couple times with my AR15...and never bent the tube. I feel this was a freak accident, but it does show there are real world limits you place on your gear when you buy cheap.

voiceoftheright
09-04-2010, 8:33 PM
I can sorta agree...and disagree

We were walking in the mountain area hunting when one of the guys fell on his AR and bent the tube. We were not in some war zone...playing airsoft or trying to break the tube. It was a simple slip and fall over a rock. The tube was bent so far there was no way the BCG would have cycled. So he tried to bend it back to straighten it out...and snapped it.

So you are correct, if you dont plan on doing anything but go to the range, a commercial is fine. I have tripped and fallen a couple times with my AR15...and never bent the tube. I feel this was a freak accident, but it does show there are real world limits you place on your gear when you buy cheap.

And I agree with your agreement :), but don't you feel that not ALL commercial tubes are the same? Mine sure seems very well made when compared to my milspec Vltor (I'm not sure the brand of commercial I have, bought it with it on). I don't despute that there probably are some really cheap ones out there (as with anything), but there probably are some that are made well. I feel mine is the latter. In all honesty, I would probably have put a milspec on had it not come with a stock when I bought it, but really wouldn't know the difference until I inspected it closely.

destro360
09-04-2010, 8:36 PM
I tried to break one (and did) to prove it could be done. I saw a guy fall on his AR15 in a weird way. When he stood up, the tube was bent. He then tried to straighten it and he broke it. The bend was at the threads. I told this story at a shooting range and a fellow shooter called it BS. He handed me his AR15 with Bushmaster Commercial stock and said to try and bend it. I placed my knee at the selector switch, and pulled hard...bent it to 90 degrees in about 2 seconds. I then tried it with my own Stag Mil-spec as hard as I could. After several times, I only managed to slightly bend the stock. I then traded my bent Stag tube for the guys other mil-spec tube. He was not able to bend the Stag any further, but I think I could have if I kept at it.

I have also pulled on the stock so hard, I pulled the tube right out of the reciever.
if this is true then you must have ripped out the threads from the receiver as well..... because the receiver is made from aluminum which is going to bend/break strip long before a "steel tube" will

dieselpower
09-04-2010, 9:21 PM
but don't you feel that not ALL commercial tubes are the same?

Agree. The worst kits are the UTG $40 ones. I have always said if LaRue or Spikes made a Commercial tube it would be higher quality then the chinese ones. I just see the made in china ones all over.

if this is true then you must have ripped out the threads from the receiver as well

Yup. The UTG tubes threads only enter about 50% of the receivers threads. If the nut is loose, you can wiggle the tube a lot. Add in some rearward force and you will pull it out by "jumping" threads...and ripping some.

Heres the deal. A Commercial tubes threads are not the same as a mil-spec. They both fit, but the commercial isn't as tight in as a mil-spec. You can wiggle a commercial tube when its screwed all the way in. The reason is because the threads don't fill in. When you screw in a mil-spec its tight.

Have you even screwed a bolt into a nut and then felt it wiggle...that told you the bolt was the wrong size. You then grab the right size and there is no wiggle. Its the same thing.

DK9mm
09-04-2010, 9:32 PM
I bought a MAGPUL CTR kit, commercial spec. Are all commercial tubes inferior?

CHS
09-04-2010, 9:37 PM
Are all commercial tubes inferior?

Yes.

Otherwise they would cost the same as milspec.

If they cost the same as milspec then no one would buy them because they would just buy milspec.

destro360
09-05-2010, 2:37 AM
Agree. The worst kits are the UTG $40 ones. I have always said if LaRue or Spikes made a Commercial tube it would be higher quality then the chinese ones. I just see the made in china ones all over.



Yup. The UTG tubes threads only enter about 50% of the receivers threads. If the nut is loose, you can wiggle the tube a lot. Add in some rearward force and you will pull it out by "jumping" threads...and ripping some.

Heres the deal. A Commercial tubes threads are not the same as a mil-spec. They both fit, but the commercial isn't as tight in as a mil-spec. You can wiggle a commercial tube when its screwed all the way in. The reason is because the threads don't fill in. When you screw in a mil-spec its tight.

Have you even screwed a bolt into a nut and then felt it wiggle...that told you the bolt was the wrong size. You then grab the right size and there is no wiggle. Its the same thing.
believe me im with you on mil-spec being better and the reasons why.

immaculate
09-05-2010, 2:56 AM
without going into other details that other cg'ers have pointed out re: why mil is better than commercial, i'll just point out that you have a lot more stock options when you go with a mil-spec buffer tube =]

aaron

RONIN.
10-18-2010, 11:12 AM
i always run a mil-spec tube.. for the simple fact that all my ar's can inter-change the stocks if need be..