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Recently bought one, put 110 rounds through it. Have to say I’m impressed with how the gun cycles and shoots so far. I’ve heard that the gun is mainly subcontracted, but I’m not sure about the legitimacy of this statement. Those who have this gun or know about it’s manufacturing, what’re your opinions?
 

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Hello and welcome to the Colt Forum from West Virginia. Got the same gun and love it. Best AR on the market IMHO. Zero issues with mine. Not sure how much of the rifle is subcontracted out. I do know that the rear sight and magazine are Magpul products. Still a very quality rifle to say the least. Believe me you got a good AR-15.
 

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Like most gun makers Colt doesn't make small parts like screws, springs, pins, magazines, and plastic stocks and hand guards.
Colt does make the critical key parts like the upper and lower, the bolt and bolt carrier, and the barrel.
Colt does subcontract the raw forgings of the upper and lower, and buys barrel blanks.

Visitors at the Colt factory report seeing raw forgings of the upper and lower, bar stock for the bolt and carrier, and the barrel blanks being fed into CNC machining centers to be made into finished parts.

In the past Colt has had AR series rifles made outside the factory by contractors, but those were not key core product models.
Some of these were a so called Target rifle and I think, the "Expanse" series of stripped down carbines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Like most gun makers Colt doesn't make small parts like screws, springs, pins, magazines, and plastic stocks and hand guards.
Colt does make the critical key parts like the upper and lower, the bolt and bolt carrier, and the barrel.
Colt does subcontract the raw forgings of the upper and lower, and buys barrel blanks.

Visitors at the Colt factory report seeing raw forgings of the upper and lower, bar stock for the bolt and carrier, and the barrel blanks being fed into CNC machining centers to be made into finished parts.

In the past Colt has had AR series rifles made outside the factory by contractors, but those were not key core product models.
Some of these were a so called Target rifle and I think, the "Expanse" series of stripped down carbines.
Awesome, so basically the major components are colt manufactured?
 

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Yep, seems same to me. Even some of the markings that were gone for a bit have returned (C mark on the BCG for example). BCGs and rifles with the CR-prefixed receivers seem the same as before. excellent quality in my sampling.
 

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Awesome, so basically the major components are colt manufactured?
Yes.
Most gun makers have core product models that they actually make. Some like Colt buy guns or parts from other makers and assemble them. An example was the 1960's Colt .25 Automatic that Colt had made in Spain, and the Sauer-Colt rifles.
Many AR rifle makers don't actually manufacture anything, they buy semi finished or fully finished components and just assemble them. There are companies that make semi or fully finished AR uppers and lowers and sell them to other companies.
These makers will put your company name on them so you too can be an AR rifle "maker".

Most gun makers don't make each and every part because it costs to much to buy the machinery, hire and train the workers, and devote factory floor space to make a small pin or spring that can be bought cheaper from a company that specializes in that.

In Colt's the M4 is a core product for which they buy raw forgings of the upper and lower and barrel blanks which they machine to finished parts and assemble with purchased small parts to build a finished rifle.
For the upper and lower what Colt receives is a lump of aluminum in the vague shape of a part. They do all the machining and finishing.

As an added bonus with a Colt M4, since it wouldn't be economical to run two totally separate production lines, one for a US government M4 and one or a commercial M4, Colt produces both on much the same machinery.
The only difference is that Colt machines one lower to accept full-auto trigger groups and other lowers that will only take semi-auto triggers.
They machine one barrel blank in 13 inch length for the government and a commercial barrel in 16 inch length.
All other parts are the same for both rifles, which meet the US Government contract standards.

No other AR rifle maker does this for commercial rifles. Other commercial makers don't have to meet any standards and can use parts from China if they want.
So, when you buy a Colt M4 you're getting the same rifle the police and military get except your's is not a full-auto rifle.
And if your local police don't issue full-auto rifles, they get the same rifle you do.

This is what's meant by Colt commercial rifles being "Mil-spec".
They aren't true military specification because they aren't full-auto, but they're made from the same parts that on military rifles have to meet the US government contract specifications.

This is based on the information I assume is still valid the last I heard.
 

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Some companies that build/assemble/sell AR-type rifles and carbines are using parts that are sometimes overruns, out of spec or blems from the vendors to first-class gunmakers. They assemble the parts into a nominally working gun or hopefully so and sell them for less than Colt or other makers. That doesn't necessarily mean the parts are substandard but they don't get the expensive testing done as Colt does to ensure they are quality. After the 2016 election some of the fly-by-night get rich quick companies exited the business once they made their money or simply failed due to the collapsing market with an excess of inventory.

I don't believe it would be uncommon to see a gun dealer at a store or gun show hawking these unknown brands and telling potential buyers "It's just as good as a Colt." If they had Colts in inventory they might be pushing them...but often the lesser expensive stuff has a bigger profit margin so they'd rather sell a lot of lesser quality but more profitable guns than an equal number of Colts.
 
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Yes.
Most gun makers have core product models that they actually make. Some like Colt buy guns or parts from other makers and assemble them. An example was the 1960's Colt .25 Automatic that Colt had made in Spain, and the Sauer-Colt rifles.
Many AR rifle makers don't actually manufacture anything, they buy semi finished or fully finished components and just assemble them. There are companies that make semi or fully finished AR uppers and lowers and sell them to other companies.
These makers will put your company name on them so you too can be an AR rifle "maker".

Most gun makers don't make each and every part because it costs to much to buy the machinery, hire and train the workers, and devote factory floor space to make a small pin or spring that can be bought cheaper from a company that specializes in that.

In Colt's the M4 is a core product for which they buy raw forgings of the upper and lower and barrel blanks which they machine to finished parts and assemble with purchased small parts to build a finished rifle.
For the upper and lower what Colt receives is a lump of aluminum in the vague shape of a part. They do all the machining and finishing.

As an added bonus with a Colt M4, since it wouldn't be economical to run two totally separate production lines, one for a US government M4 and one or a commercial M4, Colt produces both on much the same machinery.
The only difference is that Colt machines one lower to accept full-auto trigger groups and other lowers that will only take semi-auto triggers.
They machine one barrel blank in 13 inch length for the government and a commercial barrel in 16 inch length.
All other parts are the same for both rifles, which meet the US Government contract standards.

No other AR rifle maker does this for commercial rifles. Other commercial makers don't have to meet any standards and can use parts from China if they want.
So, when you buy a Colt M4 you're getting the same rifle the police and military get except your's is not a full-auto rifle.
And if your local police don't issue full-auto rifles, they get the same rifle you do.

This is what's meant by Colt commercial rifles being "Mil-spec".
They aren't true military specification because they aren't full-auto, but they're made from the same parts that on military rifles have to meet the US government contract specifications.

This is based on the information I assume is still valid the last I heard.
Let me clarify as the above information as it is well intended but not factual. Not going to go line by line however, it is much more involved. This is the short story.

The term Mil-Spec is the most abused term in the world of AR Type Rifles. There cannot be a commercial sale of an Mil-Spec rifle because that would require the rifle to be part of a Prime Contract deliverable albeit USG or FMS. Being a full auto has absolutely nothing to do with it as a police agency or even the USG or a FMS sale as either customer COULD purchase weapons as a "commercial item's" which fall under Completely Different Rules.

In short, the prime contract deliverable must be built and tested to the contract specifications AND inspected by the DCMA or its delegate. The only way DCMA will be delegated authority by the DCAA to inspect the deliverable is against a specific Prime Contract (this is where the specific detail of the process with a considerable amount of additional information in the cited documents therein especially the FAR's Delegate Surveillance (dcma.mil) ). What does this mean one might ask? Well in short....

In the instance of any Prime Contractor that produces a product that one version is an official Mil-Spec contract deliverable while the other is Not. Big difference let me try to explain in abbreviated terms. Colt does not make barrels they are bought btw along with most parts required to build the rifles. I have seen the lowers being machined on the "Military Side" of the factory which falls under CAS rules another area to be discussed later (Part 30 - Cost Accounting Standards Administration | Acquisition.GOV ). If a part shall we say that comes into the plant with a large shipment of component parts it contains certifications as to the origin, type to processes and the testing that was done to ensure that it is being delivered IAW contract specifications and the called out mil type process or other type of processes that are required in the quality requirements flowed down by by law by Colt contracts to the subcontractor to be in compliance with the Prime Contract.

Now there is no reason that in a parts shipment of say 20k pcs that was ordered to fulfil a Mil Spec Prime Contract, 500 could be taken out and used for a commercial product like the one being discussed here. The difference is the commercial product does not require as a condition of product acceptance the need for all of this to be verified by the DCMA because it cannot even be presented to the inspector for acceptance/buy off as there was no Prime Contract to charge the inspection task to. Very important.

Going one step further say there was something cosmetic that made one of the parts slated for the Mil Spec product to be "non conforming". This part meets the commercial production quality requirement as it is no different in form, fit or function however, to be used on the Mil Spec deliverable it would require a Deviation or to be reworked in order to become compliant. In this case, it is much easier to simply use that part on the commercial product because in our example the cost of rework is not economically feasible because rework cost is many time what the part is worth.

As you can see in short, which is what dfariswheel was attempting to point out, when you buy the rifle in question you are receiving virtually the same product that the USG or a FMS customer would. Yes it is not simple when you get into the detail however, this is my life 34 years working (officially hung it up in 2019, COVID killed the consulting so far) for the largest military contractor in Supply Chain Contracts and Program Management we have. ;)

I always feel it is better to point out the facts and let people draw their own conclusions when discussing "Mil Spec" anything because over the years 99% of what I have seen on firearms forums is not correct......
 

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Hello and welcome to the Colt Forum from West Virginia. Got the same gun and love it. Best AR on the market IMHO. Zero issues with mine. Not sure how much of the rifle is subcontracted out. I do know that the rear sight and magazine are Magpul products. Still a very quality rifle to say the least. Believe me you got a good AR-15.
Do you by chance know the barrel material on a Colt Cr6920?
 
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