SA Photos

Specialized Armament MK18 Operator being used by the Kent Police Department SWAT team in Washington. This weapon and several others have been in service for the past few years, carrying a multitude of agency installed options and accessories.
Day in, Day out.

Building 24 Colt/SA Suppressed Operator weapons for a SWAT team in Texas.  These select-fire 5.56mm Commandos will have custom Colt 10 inch barrels, LaRue Tactical 9.0 rail systems, plus other internal modifications and accessories.  The Colt gas system will be machined to fit inside the rail itself and the entire weapon is engineered around its custom barrel and threaded sound suppresor.

Master Sergeant Tony Yost, United States Army Special Forces, Team Sergeant for ODA-381, killed in action near Mosul, Iraq in November 2005. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on a cold, snowy day in December. Freezing tears were dripping off the faces of some very hard men. Tony will always be loved and deeply missed by those who knew him. My friend from Ft. Bragg.
Ken Elmore

This photo of Tony in Iraq shows him operating with a suppressed MK12 rifle. This particular weapon has a KAC rail system and covers along with an early 1960’s Colt AR-15 fixed buttstock and rear sling swivel. The MK12 SPR’s are truly “Franken-Rifles” since there are numerous versions, unit/operator modifications, individual accessories, and everything is pieced together in one way or another - many MK12's are built on old M16A1 lower receivers. Almost no two are exactly the same.

Dozens of COLT Class III weapons being extensively modified for Special Operations with their custom Colt/SA barrel assy's, integrated GEMTECH sound suppressors and other required components. This equipment will soon return to active duty at a police agency in central California.  (2013)

Lower receiver close-up. SA select-fire MK18, ready to Rock-n-Roll. These are many of the same weapons used for training in the M16 and Advanced M16 Armorer Courses.

Several Colt weapons and components being organized for Reliability Package upgrades, Operator production, and various custom work in one section of the old machine shop.  Specialized Armament, Chandler, Arizona (1993-2012)

"PLATOON" - (1986)   What's wrong with this picture? SSG Barnes' carbine is identified as a Vietnam era Colt 653. But this weapon has an early M16A2 forward assist and also appears to have an M16A2 ejection port cover. This is probably an early model Colt 723 which belongs to the Philippine Government.
Note the M16A1 flash suppressor, out of focus - Know your weapons & equipment in detail.
The SA M16 Advanced Armorer Course. Take-No-Prisoners training for the dedicated professionals.

El Paso County/Colorado Springs SWAT team carrying select-fire Colt MK18 Operators.  These weapons were engineered, designed and built at Specialized Armament.
An actual SA M4A1 LightWeight Operator: 14.5/16 inch Colt 1/7 chrome lined barrel, pinned/welded SA M16A2 compensator, Colt gas system machined to fit inside the LaRue Tactical 9.0 rail system, Troy reverse aperture M4 sights, KAC military rail covers, CTR buttstock assy and RP. All other components are Colt or SA. This carbine is from Ken's collection. We snatched it for photos when the vault was open. Don't say anything

San Diego County Sheriff's Department SWAT team (SED) training - armed with highly customized, select-fire Colt MK18 Operators.  This is the second generation of Colt weapons that SA built for special operations in San Diego County.

Some of the tooling required to build the 6940 Gen-II barrel wrenches which install/remove the heavy Krieger bbl assy's on our PR6940 project. This Gen-II wrench required major redesign and engineering. The 36 degree close tolerance teeth are cut on a Bison rotary indexer with Z=20 gearing, mounted on a vertical milling machine.

Three of the 6940 Gen-II wrench head assy's ready for TIG welding, heat treating, final machining and phosphate finish. These wrenches are made from high-quality tool steel, require hours of machine time, and are very expensive to fabricate.

The PR6940 - Is it a precision rifle or a long-range carbine. We have taken a Colt 6940 and integrated a custom 18 inch Krieger/SA barrel assy, our low-profile 6940 gas block, upgraded fire control and internal parts, RP work and other accessories, creating a high-performance, mid-size, precision shooting system. The Gen-II barrel wrench was originally designed for this project.

Machining proto-type gas blocks for the PR6940 at SA. Those are 4140 steel chips flying all over our beautiful, American-made Kurt D675 vise.  On another machine the gas tube roll pin hole is being carefully reamed according to print.  After a few more operations, the parts will be heat treated and ready for final machining and installation.

Here is a completed PR6940 gas block installed and taper-pinned to a Krieger/SA barrel assy.  Notice how the faceted angles on the gas block correspond to the angles and flats machined on the Colt upper reciever rails.

Torque-Rite pneumatic drawbar system with regulator assy and control unit. A recent upgrade to this three horsepower R8 vertical milling machine; one of three, used for proto-typing, engineering, and other specialty work. Although this quick change tool system comes as a kit, all mounting hardware has to be designed and fabricated by the end-user. The splined tool-steel drawbars also require final machining on site. For small machine shop guys, this system is worth the money and significant effort. High-quality, American-made product - works great. (2013)

Ken's Bridgeport milling machine with nearly every upgrade possible.  The Torque-Rite power drawbar kit presented some special challenges, since there is virtually no place to bolt any mounting hardware on the Bridgeport 2J head itself.  After much deliberation, this design was chosen.  The steel pieces were all fabricated on this machine, then TIG welded together and powder coated.  The custom mount, which holds both the controller unit and regulator/oiler assy, bolts securely to the top of the head using the two rear cap screws for the bearing cover.  (2017)

Direct from the factory. NIB: Full-auto, 10.3 inch barrel, Colt LE6946’s, for a SWAT Team in Oregon – At SA for several upgrades, custom machining, and Reliability Package mods (SS140). Completed and ready to go.

A three inch diameter section of 7075T6 aluminum bar stock being cut into a fixture for the 6940 Operator.  This complex geometry will allow us to machine the Colt front sight base into a precision gas block using a 10 inch rotary table. LE6944 Operator

The receiver trunnions for a standard M60 machine gun (GPMG) and a compact MK43/M60E6 in progress at SA.  All machining operations are completed and ready for markings, along with ATF registration (Form 2).

Then one of the trunnions magically turned itself into this standard M60 machine gun with tripod, T&E mechanism, and numerous belts of 7.62 x 51mm ammo. His little friend, the SOCOM MK43, is completed also. Rounds Out.

"TAPS" - (1981).  A young Tom Cruise wearing Vietnam era ERDL (green-dominant, "lowland") camouflaged "jungle fatigues," firing the M60 machine gun from an elevated, reinforced position.  His final words are, "IT'S BEAUTIFUL, MAN...," right before a US M48A5 Main Battle Tank opens fire at close range with 3 machine guns (a heavy Browning M2 .50 Cal. MG, along with two 7.62mm weapons) and devastating consequences!

Shop cart with 25 Colt upper receiver groups being machined and modified for suppressed application.  These special 10 inch police barrels will next have their threaded sound suppressors semi-permanently attached before heading to test-fire and final inspection.  In the background:  One of our 3 workhorse RML-1640 lathes with the cross slide covered in chips.  This is the 1640V with a 5 HP motor which is infinitely variable between 20-2500 RPM and an ER40 collet holder sticking out of its MT4 tailstock.  Our 1640G has a taper attachment installed and a production 5C quick-change collect system.  Our new 1640M is a special order machine with a metric DIN 103 trapezoidal thread lead screw for working in millimeters.  The only machine in the shop that can make left-hand metric threads correctly (like the FN P90).  Our original AT-1340 (visible in other photos) has been converted into a special purpose grinding machine after many years of hard use.  Put out to pasture in the lathe world, but still pulling duty like an old Sergeant.

Sunday morning in the machine shop.  The perfect time to work on individual projects when no one is on the clock - cars, motorcycles, ATV's, custom furniture, super-bbq's, private gear, etc, etc...  That is our RML-1640G in the foreground, with an 8 inch Bison 6-jaw chuck mounted.  All of the SA lathes have the precision Dorian Quadra Index Tool Post systems (QITP30N) with a huge amount ot standard, modified, and custom tooling.  Right behind the 1640G is the 1640V with a 10 inch South Bend 4-jaw chuck and a pile of work for someone.  Directly to the left sits our small horizontal band saw and the Dake/Johnson F-16 vertical band saw.  Further back you can see 2 of our 3 milling machines, a Sunex 20 ton press for various applications, and dozens of drawers full of support tooling:  mostly cutting tools, jigs, fixtures, workholding and measuring equipment.  This area takes up about 10% of the entire shop.

2300 Sunday 13 November 2016 – tragedy struck our SA family in a big way. Kona, our beloved Shop-Girl, was hit and killed by a car just outside of our industrial park. She survived the impact and we rushed her to the emergency animal hospital, but she died on the way. There was nothing they could do to save her. She was 8 years and 1 month old, by estimation. I got her from the Maricopa County Animal Shelter in January 2009. She was an everyday fixture in the machine shop, offices and outside yards from the time she was a puppy. Kona was also known as the Mini-Dingo, the Toy-Girl, the Truck-Dog, the Gun-Show-Set-Up-Dog, but above all else, SHE will always be remembered as THE BALL-DOG. Her absolute favorite thing in life, for hours on end. She had the best food, the best toys and the most love we could give her. Kona never stopped playing her own little games and broke the rules to the very end.  I will always love and miss my BIG SWEETIE.  May God care for her well.   Ken Elmore

January/February 2017 - Building a new materials rack at SA. That is Ken in his winter outfit and customized 3M helmet MIG welding a deck section on the BuildPro 78”x 38” modular welding table. This deck section is 10 ft x 4 ft and made out of 14 gauge 2”x 3” and 1”x 3” rectangular steel tubing. After grinding, this section will be welded to 2 other sections and a sub-frame standing 8 feet high, then bolted to the east wall of our building. Nearly all of our steel and aluminum bar stock will be stored on this monster welding project, composed of 94 separate steel pieces and over 400 individual welds. Most of the welding will be done with the new Miller 350P pulse MIG welder. The end caps were welded with our Miller Syncrowave 200 TIG machine visible in the background. There are always company and private projects in the welding area.

Final Assembly - This busy section is where nearly all shop work ends up.  Every aspect of a work order, custom build or SA project has to come together perfectly right here.  A great deal of specialty tooling has been designed and fabricated to support this area and various weapons systems.  These fine quality tools, fixtures, and gages allow us to focus on the precision craftsmanship that SA is known for.  The highlight of this area - it controls the shop stereo, volume and Sirius/XM station of choice!   Twin 1800W amps driving FOUR giant JBL club speakers. 

"HEAT" - (1995).  Robert De Niro taking a supported shot on FULL-AUTO with a Colt R0733 Commando, running through downtown Los Angeles, with a duffel bag full of cash.  This M16A2 series weapon has been modified to fire blank cartridges and is refitted with an M16A1 flash suppressor to provide a symmetrical flash pattern.  Unfortunately, with approximately a 900+ rd/min rate of fire, and spraying ammunition all over the place, this weapon would have been empty in less than TWO seconds. (2-3 long bursts - and OUT).  The real LAPD SWAT Team would have destroyed these 2 men before they got off the street.   The cool, high-speed antihero only survives in a Hollywood movie!