Buying a specific trophy / souvenir


July 25, 2011, 11:34 AM
I was in 'Nam from 1966 to 1968. I'd like to buy an M16 from that era, as identified by the serial number. Is there any chance of that happening? Thanks. DAO

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July 25, 2011, 02:34 PM
An actual "U.S. Property" marked M16? You'd be limited to a rewelded scrapped receiver, remanufactured and registered prior to May 19, 1986. The quality of the work varied. Some of these are floating around, but they're rare and pricey.

As far as I know, Colt wasn't releasing full-auto M16's to the civilian market in that time frame. They did later (in the 1970's and early 80's), but even those guns sell in the $18,000 - $20,000 range.

The most affordable full-auto M16's are conversions of aftermarket receivers (for example, an RIA conversion of a Sendra receiver). These are available for $12,000 - $15,000, but they wouldn't meet your criteria for serial number range, etc.

July 25, 2011, 03:33 PM
Wow, sorry for the thread drift, but my brain just reeled a bit.
One thing to picture rigging a jig and rewelding torch-cut steel receivers.

But, the jig a person would want for the aluminum lower, and then the welding necessary to rebuild a lower--that boggles my mind (not that huge a feat, though).

Does pose a germane question, though. Is the NFA Registry search-able?

July 25, 2011, 04:20 PM
Big discussion of this here:

The NFA Registry is a compendium of tax records, and as such is held in confidentiality. You can get information on guns that you yourself own.

July 25, 2011, 04:34 PM
Thanks for both of those. I almost feel smarter ('least until I look in a mirror<G>)

July 25, 2011, 08:54 PM
Just FYI, I have an XM16A1 marked U S Property that was welded back from two cut receivers and it works just fine. I've seen a few others like this, and yes, the quality of workmanship does vary considerably. Remember way back when we could do this, there wasn't the volume of information we have available today and it was pretty much cobble up a jig to weld the receiver and hope nothing bent or twisted during the welding. I've seen a few that were pretty much nightmares, and others, like mine, that looked pretty much like they did when they left the factory. However through the years mine has been shot, a lot, and much of the finish has been worn off it. But I like to shoot it and will continue to do so.

July 26, 2011, 12:28 PM
Is the NFA Registry search-able?
No. It is considered private tax information. If you own a particular firearm in the registry you can do a FOIA request on it and get some basic historical info, but a good bit is redacted out.

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