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"Military Specifications for metal finishing"


Q. Hi.
I work for a metal fabrication company in Commerce City, CO and my boss is trying to obtain government contract work. He has given me the job of deciphering this stuff. To understand the notes in the drawings they gave us for a particular job, I need to know where I can find a list of military specifications and exactly what they mean. Does such a list exist? If not, these are the particulars of my inquiry:
Mil-F-13926 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet], 3-125,
MIL-STD-8, CD 1015-1035M SOEC,
QQ-S-634 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet],
QQ-B-650 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet],
Mil-STD-171 [link is to free spec at Defense Logistics Agency, dla.mil],
21.3 OF MIL-STD-171M,
Mil-B-7883 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet],
Mil-H-46354 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet],
Mil-190 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet],
Mil-B-15894 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet],
QQ-S-763 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet].

I believe that's it. If anyone could possibly respond, even if they only know ONE of these specs, I would greatly appreciate it.

Dina Eledge
metal finishing and fabrication - Commerce City, Colorado


A. Try STINET, defense run website that lists and has available current MIL specs, FED specs, etc and also lets you know if any have been superseded and by what.

Brian Terry
Aerospace - Yeovil, Somerset, UK


A. Here is a link to the website maintained by the Dept. of Defense where you can download all the specs you want.

http://assist.daps.dla.mil/quicksearch/ ==> https://quicksearch.dla.mil

Type in the document that you want exactly as it appears (e.g. MIL-F-13926) in the Document ID box, OR type in the number of the document (13926) in the Document Number box. The second option will give you a list of all available versions of the mil-spec.

Good Luck!

Angelo Vangel
- St. Louis, Missouri


A. Well, since you asked nicely-

First, the web source for US military specifications is most easily found by typing "ASSIST QuickSearch" into Google, or I guess any other search engine. You'll get the ASSIST Quick Search webpage, and when you type the number into the "document number" box (pretty intuitive) you get a list of matching specifications. Clicking on the icon on the left gets you a pdf file of the specification. Some of the gibberish you listed is covered, but you'll still need a stiff dose of interpretation.

Mil-F-13926 is a general specification for Manufacture and inspection of fire control materiel. It was made inactive in '95, but the Department of Defense (DoD) still uses it for older programs. Here you'd want to read through the base specification, revision B, as well as amendment 5 (which incorporates amendments 1 through 4). Could the 3-125 be the tap size noted in Table III?

COLOR WHITE # 27875 OF FED-STD-595 refers to a color chip found in Federal Standard 595, which is a big book of paint chips. It's not available online, since monitors are so different. But all it does is define a color- if you want that color, buy it from your paint supplier. Yeah, you may have to call around to find a paint supplier who deals with govt specs, but it is possible.

MIL-STD-8 revision C dealt with Dimensioning and Tolerancing, and was superseded by ANSI/ASME Y14.5 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet]. Any machine shop should be familiar with Y14.5, and you can buy a copy of that from ANSI at www.ansi.org.

CD 1015-1035M SOEC,QQ-S634 refers to cold drawn 1015 or (through?) 1035 carbon steel bars per Federal Specification QQ-S-634. I'm not sure what the SOEC stands for- could that be some kind of misprint? Anyway, QQ-S-634 is cancelled- use ASTM A108 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] as the procurement specification.

QQ-B-650 covered BRAZING ALLOYS, COPPER, COPPER-ZINC, AND COPPER-PHOSPHORUS. It's cancelled, so use AWS A5.01 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] AND AWS A5.8 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet], the American Welding Society specifications for those.

MIL-STD-171 is a 63 page document on Finishing of metal and wood surfaces. Great bedtime reading- it's a real page-turner.

MIL-B-7883 was cancelled in 1996. The ASSIST website says "BRAZING OF STEELS, COPPER, COPPER ALLOYS, NICKEL ALLOYS, ALUMINUM AND ALUMINUM ALLOYS (FUTURE ACQUISITIONS SHOULD SPECIFY ONE AWS C3.4 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet], AWS C3.5 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet], AWS C3.6 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] AND AWS C3.7 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet] )"

MIL-H-46354 covers an optical instrument headrest. That's gotta be another real hoot

MIL-STD-190 covers identification marking of rubber products.

MIL-B-15894 was cancelled and superseded by ASTM B176 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet]. That specification covered brass die castings.

Finally, QQ-S-763 is a specification for stainless steel bar. It's been replaced by AMS-QQ-S-763 [affil. link to spec at Techstreet], but the replacement reads the same as the original. Also, you can still buy stainless steel bars certified to QQ-S-763.

Hope this helps- again, all of these Military Specifications are available for free from the ASSIST (Acquisition Streamlining and Standardization Information System) website. Good luck!

lee gearhart
Lee Gearhart
metallurgist - E. Aurora, New York

December 18, 2009

A. After thinking this over, you may really not want a MIL-SPEC, rather, you may want the QPL (Qualified Products List)

Thomas Scott
- Neptune Beach, Florida

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