At a class this past weekend, we had an incident that puts a glaring spotlight on the whole “Mil Spec” vs. “mil spec type” issue. While demonstrating a “bolt override” clearance drill with a student’s rifle,, the butt stock was slammed into the ground, and this happened
Although we were still able to clear the malfunction (still has a buffer tube to smack the ground with) the ability to be able to use the rifle effectively as a rifle was degraded without a buttstock. When I asked the owner what brand the stock was, he said he didn’t know but he had gotten a good deal on it. I started inspecting the stock, and you know what I found….NOTHING! No brand name, NSN, nothing.
This brings to light a problem I’ve seen in the “Tacticool” crowd. You want cool lookin’ stuff, but don’t want to pay for quality gear and equipment. If you’re just playin’ at the whole tactical training thing, or you’re an airsofter, fine, no problem. If your gear and equipment is for a life or death scenario, and you’re training with it for that, NOT FINE! I’m not alluding to a need for you to buy all the gear used by tier 1 “operators”, that costs you a hundred bucks more than a mil spec part or accessory, but you really need to ask yourself what your life is worth.
For the most part, quality gear manufacturers will put their name on it. Is all quality gear mil spec? No, but if your gear manufacturer says it’s “mil spec”, there is a minimum standard of durability that the piece in question will have been tested on. Airsoft gear need not apply, that stuff is usually crap, whether it’s a vest, that comes apart on your second “field problem” using it, or, in the case of the buttstock, comes apart with one slam on the ground completing a life or death clearance drill.
Two of the cheaper routes I’ve seen when it comes to gear, is Condor, and Tapco. Condor and Tapco have gotten a lot better over the years, and even though some of the more expensive gear out there is built sturdier, Condor and Tapco will suffice if your budget is extremely tight, and you’re just starting out. Get the best you can afford, you’re foolish if you don’t, simply because it’s a life and death event you’re preparing for, not a game, played by “wanna be” MW3 enthusiasts.
Be very wary of anything that says “mil spec type”. It’s usually crap, and/or won’t integrate with other mil spec accessories. Regardless of what brand you buy, TEST IT! Well known manufacturers have bad days, or bad runs too. The student whose stock was broken (fortunately he still had the original “Mil Spec” stock) came to me and asked if I was gonna write about this incident. I told him I was, so he handed me the stock, and said to put the word out. He was very thankful that he didn’t find out it was crap while he was in Nevada at the Bundy ranch.
If you’re gonna cut corners, Fine, get your damn latte from WAWA instead of Starbucks. You owe it to yourself, and those who you’re gonna protect to get the best you can afford.
American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE