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thmpr
11-10-2007, 7:31 PM
http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=101

This is a good right up on the differences between mil-spec vs non-MS and between mfgs.



Per writer:

Buffer Tube Basics

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I know, the correct name is receiver extension tube... so now that we got one of most common mistakes out of the way, let's look at some common questions about receiver extension tubes. I do not pretend to know everything about these rifles, so if you see anything that is wrong, let me know.

This info is for carbine/short/collapsable tubes - all rifle/long/standard tubes are the same (as far as dimensions go)

What is a Mil-Spec Tube? This has to be the most common question. A milspec tube is just as the name implies, made to the specifications of the technical data package (tdp). The biggest concern is the diameter of the tube, the milspec part has a diameter of 1.150, the thread diameter is 1.1875

So the threads are bigger, are they rolled in? The thread are cut in with a regular old lathe. The narrower body section of the tube is reduced by cutting with a concave shaped cutter that "shaves" the metal down, sort of like a plane.

So what are tubes that are not Mil-Spec? During the original cloning of the military AR, the first commercial receiver extension tubes were made from an extrusion, the threads lathe cut and the body was not reduced. The common size for this is 1.170 and that has became the de facto standard for after market tubes.

So commercial tubes are bigger, are they stronger? No, the problem with them is that the threaded section is also 1.170, so the threads are not cut to full "height" and do not fully engage the threads in the receiver. Nearly all of the tubes that I have seen fail in the field broke at the threads or pulled the threads out.

Are there any other concerns with after market tubes? Well, there is really no set standard for size, so they can vary by manufacturer and even from lot to lot -- you can get combinations of after market parts that are tight or loose. Some of them are made with extrusions with an end plug welded in, the quality of the welding can run from pretty solid to pretty poor.

Are those the only two sizes? No, some manufacturers have come out with systems that do not use either the milspec or the aftermarket tube size... The early Choate stock is one example of a proprietory tube.

So what fits what? Milspec tubes work with stocks from Colt, Vltor, CMT, LMT/Crane, etc.

After market tubes work with RRA, BM, DPMS, etc.

A larger, after market stock will fit on a milspec tube, but will be loose and rattle -- a milsec stock will usually not fit on an after market tube... without a hammer.

Hey! My new Mil-Spec tube is too long? Some newer tubes made for the "enhanced" M4 stock are a little longer and have a small taper to the back to match the profile of the stock butt. It should not effect the use of a Mil-Spec stock however.

ar15barrels
11-10-2007, 11:17 PM
Hey! My new Mil-Spec tube is too long? Some newer tubes made for the "enhanced" M4 stock are a little longer and have a small taper to the back to match the profile of the stock butt. It should not effect the use of a Mil-Spec stock however.

Any buffer tube with an angled back is NOT a mil-spec tube.
SOME commercial spec tubes have that angled back that corresponds to the angle of the stock, but military tubes are always square on the end.

Lon Moer
11-11-2007, 9:20 AM
Any buffer tube with an angled back is NOT a mil-spec tube.
SOME commercial spec tubes have that angled back that corresponds to the angle of the stock, but military tubes are always square on the end.
The 'angled back' tube's are for the new HK 416/"enhanced" stocks. ;)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v286/pioneerparts/Picture371351910.jpg

ar15barrels
11-11-2007, 11:29 PM
The 'angled back' tube's are for the new HK 416/"enhanced" stocks.

Are you trying to say that "angled back" tubes are a new thing?
They have been around for years on commercial-spec stocks.

Have you actually measured the HK buffer tube to see if it's commercial or mil-spec size?

I took some pictures of Rock River and Stag stocks and I can pretty much guarantee that the HK stock pictured above is made for them by CMT just like the Rock River (commercial spec) or Stag (Mil-Spec) stocks.

I don't have the photos cleaned up to post yet though as I am without photoshop right now.
There is a slight difference between commercial spec and mil-spec stocks near the front of the stock where it tapers down to the buffer tube.
Once I get the pictures up, it will be plain to see which size stock HK is using.