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Thread: How does Law Enforcement manage to get by with M&P15s?

  1. #1
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    Question How does Law Enforcement manage to get by with M&P15s?

    I'm not trying to stir the pot here, I'm just legitimately curious... Folks around here are adamant that the bare minimum for a dependable, battle-ready rifle/carbine is a Colt 6920, which don't get me wrong, makes perfect sense considering that it's basically just a semiauto/16" bbl variant of the M4A1, but there are an awful lot of Law Enforcement Agencies equipped with various models of Smith & Wesson M&P15.

    To the best of my knowledge, no model in the M&P15 Series of rifles/carbines has ever been built to the same specifications as the Colt 6920, much less have they ever been built to higher specifications. So if the Colt 6920 is the bare minimum for a hard-use, duty-grade AR Pattern weapon, then how do so many PDs get away with equipping their sworn officers with an objectively inferior weapon?

    Honestly, do they just get such crazy good deals on them that they can afford to purchase replacement parts of higher quality on the side and upgrade them accordingly? Do they rely on S&W's Warranty to replace any broken parts as they occur? Do they simply not fire enough rounds in training within their average service life for it to be an issue?

    Enlighten me.

  2. #2
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    Just like these guys:

    It's hard to be a ACLU hating, philosophically Libertarian, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, scientifically grounded, agnostic, porn admiring gun owner who believes in self determination.

    Chuck, we miss ya man.

    كافر

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    Maybe because they are better that you are lead to believe?

  4. #4
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    I've seen contract rifles and carbines manufactured by Rock River Arms, Armalite, Smith & Wesson and Colt. I am not aware of any agency that replaces parts on contract rifles when they first receive them.

    I've performed maintenance on contract rifles with round counts of up to 10,000 and only saw one manufacturer that had issues early on. Bushmaster bolt carriers had rough machine marks on the inside, which caused premature gas ring failures. This was on one run of carbines manufactured in the 1980's. I've repaired a few Colts with teething problems as well. I don't post too much about issues I've seen with Colts on M4C, because people get their feelings hurt.

    Agencies will purchase from distributors with the lowest bid per unit. Many smaller agencies will reach out to larger agencies for recommendations and inquire about service and reliability issues. Some agencies will fire 1,000 -1,500 rounds at a carbine certification class, then maybe average 200-300 rounds per year for training and qualifications afterwards. It takes a while to reach a point where major components, like barrels, need to be replaced.
    Train 2 Win

  5. #5
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    Because admin, budget and common sense don't always see eye to eye...

    Plus you have the SW marketing team pushing that M&P nomenclature...the commercials and ads were decent

  6. #6
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    Not all departments shoot their armory on a regular basis. If they have to buy M&P ARs then they most likely are not sitting on a pallet of ammo. We have a dept of 200 and only shoot 20 rds through our Rock Rivers once a year. Way more pistol shooting as that is most likely what will be used during a shooting. The SWAT guys shoot theirs more but that only accounts for about 20 guns.

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    Cops are a pretty terrible baseline for determining a weapon's actual performance. Some agencies shoot a lot, others not so much. Some shooters are skilled, many more are pretty terrible.

    But, and it should be noted, that for most shooters, the differences between various AR models likely are inconsequential. If the rifle is in it's manufacturer's specs, it'll be fine for the average Joe.
    It's f*****g great, putting holes in people, all the time, and it just puts 'em down mate, they drop like sacks of s**t when they go down with this.
    --British veteran of the Ukraine War, discussing the FN SCAR H.

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    - Are the receivers 7075-T6? yes/no
    - Is the anodizing .0005 +/- .0002" thick? yes/no
    - Are the fire control parts good quality 8620 castings? yes/no
    - Are all the holes and features in the right places? yes/no
    - Is the barrel straight? yes/no
    - etc
    - etc

    If all the answers are "yes," does it matter what is on the side of the magazine well?

    There are two types of specifications - performance specifications and detailed specifications. Performance specifications are a set of performance requirements that must be met. Detailed specification are performance specification with additional requirements on how the parts are made, by whom they are made and where they are made. Needless to say, stuff made to detailed specifications are going to be much more expensive, but not necessarily higher in performance (assuming the "performance part of the spec does not change).

    Law enforcement is not going to go the detailed specification route due to the increased cost and lack of tangible benefit (to the agency). Therefore they will set their performance goals (of with cost is going to be one) and buy whatever fits those requirements. If I were a police chief, or sheriff, I would rather have enough less expensive rifles to give to all my officers, than one or two expensive ones for one or two officers. And as a taxpayer, I don't want a police budget of $20,000,000, if $10,000,000 will do.
    Last edited by lysander; 05-13-24 at 10:27.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pag23 View Post
    Because admin, budget and common sense don't always see eye to eye...
    Do you consider your property tax too low?

  10. #10
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    LE agencies arenít a good role model. They frequently make very poor decisions, though I donít think buying Smiff is one of them.

    Dealer pricing for Smiff is somewhere around $250 less than Colt for a complete rifle. Thatís rather significant when weíre talking about prices for a dept purchase, and fiscal responsibility means something different to a local Sheriff than it does for a personal purchase with expendable funds.

    Many departments are already on board with Smiff in their holsters, and have been for decades. LE distributors support that, and SW is happy to make those sales.

    I can personally purchase a SW for just over $600, an OEM2 for just over $700, or a 6920 for just over $900 right now. I can often grab a used 6920 for $700-800. I sometimes see them new for around $800.

    Most departments are going to shoot them very little. Even most SWAT/SRT dudes donít shoot as much as you might expect. Itís not unusual for them to shoot under 1k/yr.

    The price difference is smaller for a general consumer purchase. Just because I donít blindly recommend a gun I have little experience with and instead recommend one that I have ample professional experience with doesnít mean it canít make it through an annual qual or perforate a shitbird with a few rounds. A lot of these dudes wonít even be zeroed, or theyíll be ďzeroedĒ at like 25, so this has little bearing on the thread about shooting to 750 yards. Itís a secondary weapon for LE, pulled out for specific circumstances. Just like most other civilians.

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