Originally Posted by mjkeat
Since you have a mole, so to speak, can you give me a rundown on the materials they use? What type of steel do they make thier bolts and carriers out of? Do they MPI/HPT each item or just batch test? Anything else would help too.
Got some more information. These are basically quotes from the guy we know who works there, I didn't record him or have a court reporter there, so these are my typed words based on his responses. Best I could do, but I hope it's good enough.
Currently Olympic is weak on any type of QA testing other than checking headspace and test firing for function. The weapons work when they leave the shop and we do get feedback on returns and what kinds of things are being seen. The weapons are assembled by cheap labor.
Olympic isn't paying top dollar for AR Masters to hand fit each piece, it's a gun production facility and we have a warranty in place for our customers in case something goes wrong, which is about the same for every other brand out there that is producing production style guns.
Keep in mind that many AR brands make nothing, they buy all the parts and put them together. This does not mean they are bad guns but it does mean that a lot of different brands are all the same parts.
As for MPI/HRT, mjkeat helped me with a link to explain some military specs which I showed our friend and this was basically his response:
I am cogizant of this document and it's contents but be advised that the few manufactures who sell to the government such as colt's defense line, sabre defence, FN, etc. do not perform these pressure tests and magnetic particle inspections on every barrel/bolt assembly
. A percentage of a production lot are tested and then stored as part of the record. If this test procedure were applied to every assembly you would be paying 3-4 times as much for it.
Be very careful about what you assume is taking place in the manufacturing world.
So there you have it. The best parts are in the bolt and carrier, which are very good. The assembly is being done by cheap labor, which is disappointing, but they have a warranty.
The receivers are still good if you can get a good price on them for a build, but it would appear that your money could be better spent IF you can't find a deal on a pre-assembled Olympic sitting on a shelf somewhere.
It's been a couple of years since I have been hands on with more than just my own Olympic weapons. Most of the clients now are buying full uppers and stripped lowers for us to "build", so my cross section of the market is a bit higher, but my hands on knowledge of complete weapons, like in the case of Olympic, has gone down because of it.
Hope that helps.