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"Mil Spec" is the dimensional, tolerance, finish, heat treatment and testing specifications for the rifle.
The dimensions and tolerances are specified to give parts interchageability needed so drop in replacements are easily handled at Company or Garrison levels.
Finish is to insure corrosion resistance.
Heat treatment is to insure strength.
Testing is to make sure it is accurate enough and the heat treatment was done properly.
WTS, the main issue is the bolt. Colt and FN are the only two makers that consistantly test the bolt to "Mil Spec". The testing involves placing the heat treated bolt in a test fixture, firing a "Proof Load" and then magnetic particle testing the bolt for stress cracks. The bolt is then marked "MP" meaning it has been magnetic particle (magnaflux) tested. All Colt bolts are magnetic particle tested. For a short time they deleted the "MP" marking on the bolts going into the civilian guns. They did so to save a few pennies (engraving MP on the already heat treated bolt was difficult and time consuming). They abandoned the cost saving measure when the customers complained the bolts were no longer magnetic particle tested. They were still properly tested, they were just not marked. Any bolt marked with a "C" for Colt IS magnetic particle tested.
None of the other makers test the bolts in this manner. This certainly does not mean the bolts are cracked and prone to failure. I have never seen a failed bolt, ever.
As far as the "Match" part of the Colt Match Target rifles. A friend has a Colt MT that will not shoot any better than 3" at 100 yards. He sent it back to Colt, they test fired it and said 3" is perfectly w/in their specs for a MT rifle. If they think 3" is "Match" I am disappointed.
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