The problem isn't specific to Robinson Armament. It's industry wide. Most big name companies will take "seconds" and build rifles with them. Hell, many years back when I helped start up the Action Target Academy, we bought 6 rifles directly from Armalite, and none of them functioned right out of the box. It seems as though they put AR-10 buffer springs in rather than AR-15 A2 and M4 buffer springs.
The few parts that RobArms sends out to other milling companies are all QA'ed before they go into a rifle. A high percentage are not used, because they are out of spec. Other companies would slap the defective parts into a rifle and ship it, knowing that because it has XYZ brand stamped into the side of the receiver, people will buy it.
Right now, you can't get a short barrel for love nor money regardless of what platform. There are only a certain number of barrel makers in the industry, and a certain number of AR upper and lower receiver manufacturers. They swap parts back and forth depending on what they need to fill orders.
Alex is a fanatic about quality control, and he is dedicated to building the perfect rifle. He is actually in the process of trying to bring the manufacturing of the few parts he had sent out to other milling shops back into his shop so that he isn't held hostage by outside suppliers that don't hold QC standards and deliver parts very late.
You can care about quality and still provide great customer service.I really wish people would understand this instead of bashing someone who takes pride in a product. If you want McDonalds type service, buy a Bushmaster.
Thanks for the pdf. I learned a lot. Very well written.