This is a discussion on CMT and Colt - What's the relationship? within the M16 AR15 forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; All,
Based off the recent Stag thread, I have a lot of curiousity on the issue of CMT providing Colt Defense with parts.
Please understand ...
Unlike M14s, the receiver (upper or lower) isn't usually drama filled on any decent AR. ARs live or die on assembly QC. Then in second place (for most civilian users) are material specs. Given the same features, that's where the cost variations arise.
It's easier to quantify 7075 versus 6061(receivers) or CMV versus CM versus SS(barrels) than proof testing or Magnetic Particle inspections, or whether each and every rifle is tested fired, but AR folk can nit pick with the best of 'em. And good thing too.
Drunk monkeys can build ARs that work reasonably well. Not so much the beauty that John Garand created.
If CMT provides any parts to Colt, they will have to meet the specs contained in the Technical Data Package - just like EVERYONE ELSE. Colt has built over 8 Million AR15/M16s, and they developed the TDP for the M16 family. Substandard parts don't make the cut.
For suppliers, Colt's on site Laboratory even tests samples of the raw material to be used by that vendor before production can begin, then tests the finished parts that are delivered to make sure they are up to snuff - no matter who makes them, it's the same requirement. Can't meet it? - Then sell to Bushy, DPMS or Remington, etc.
So it really doesn't matter who the vendor is - the quality must meet the print at Colt's.
Personally I've never been a big Colt fan. They make nice rifles, but I've never seen the extra quality for the extra price of the pony on the side. Stag/CMT parts have always been top quality parts which is why I keep using them. I can see why Colt would use them.
Here is a partial list (I stole this off of someone else who stole it ...) of Companies:
Splintered A is: Anchor Harvey
Key Hole is: Cerro Forge
F keyhole is: FNMI / Cerro Forge
Offset Square is: Brass Aluminum Forging
LMT is: No Forge Marks, but marked LMT or L is: LMT
AF is: Alcoa Forge
C AF is: Colt Alco Forge
C MB is: Colt / Mueller Brass
? is: Cardinal Forge "Not sure what their design is?
CH is: Colt Harvey Aluminum
Crosshairs w/"AR" is: ArmaLite
CK is: Colt / Kaiser Aluminum
CM is: Colt / Martin Marietta
D is: Diemaco
DK is: Diemaco / Kaiser Aluminum
E is: Emco
EK is: EMCO/Kaiser
E MB is: EMCO/Mueller Brass
FA is: FNMI / Anchor Harvey
FK is: FNMI / Kaiser Aluminum
FM is: FN/Martin Marietta
FMB is: FNMI / Mueller Brass
K is: Kaiser Aluminum
LK is: LAR / Kaiser Aluminum
LM is: LAR / Martin Marietta
M "diamond" is: Mueller Industries
PA is: Capco / Anchor Harvey
PM is: Capco / Martin Marietta
I think it would be counter-productive for me to reproduce the arguments people make to rationalize what they buy. We are all human and we get invested in our decisions and, in this instance, the firearms we purchase.
The Chart is just that, a chart, to guide the perplexed (excuse the allusion to Moses Maimonides the Jewish philosopher (who wrote a Guide to the Perplexed - in Arabic), or as the Arabs called him, Musa al-Maimun).
One last interjection. Colt is the original manufacturer of the AR15/M16 weapon system. They have a large, modern, ISO Factory in Connecticut, and they build the weapon there. They almost certainly subcontract certain small parts to vendors who do that best and cheapest, but the important parts of the rifle are built by Colt.
They did all the R&D and WROTE the Technical Data Package - the Book - on the AR. Forty years and 8 Million guns later, they are still the preeminent AR maker.
The idea that CMT supplies Colt all the parts and they just put them togther is somewhat silly, and I'm not sure where you got it. Colt is a MANUFACTURER - not a little shop like Daniel Defense. DD does NOT have a factory to rival Colt's - and I'm sure they subcontract most of their parts - and assemble them. CC