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Differences between an AR-15 and M16?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by TheOtherOne, Mar 24, 2003.

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  1. TheOtherOne

    TheOtherOne Member

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    Forgive my ignorance, but what are the major differences and why is the government so opposed to anyone having an M16?

    I was told once that the AR-15 is just a civilian version of the M16 and the only difference is that it's not full-auto. If that's true then why would .gov care if we had an M16 that happened to be semi-auto?
     
  2. mark mcj

    mark mcj Member

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    You can have whatever you want as long as you pass the requirements and pay the taxes. ie. NFA regulations

    Some of the differences between the M16 and ar15 are;

    trigger group
    lower receiver{cut for disconnector}
    bolt carrier
    flash suppressor
    bay. lug

    There are many varities and specs. that can differ.
     
  3. Destructo6

    Destructo6 Member

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    "AR-15" is the original name for the .223 rifle that eventually became the M16. "AR-15" was also the name Colt used to market a semi-only version of that design.

    Over time, "AR-15" has come to mean an AR rifle that is semi-only. Conversely, "M16" has come to mean an AR rifle that is select fire.

    You can buy an M16 if you can find one you can afford, it's legal where you live, and you successfully complete the paperwork.

    Remember, in 1986, the registration of new automatic weapons was ceased. So, only what was registered by the cutoff date is available now as fully transferable.

    Or did you just want to know the mechanical differences?
     
  4. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    The parts of the M16 and AR-15 are the same with the exception of the hammer, trigger, disconnector, selector and bolt carrier.

    ATF recommends not having any of the M16 versions of these part installed in an AR-15 because this can result in you being charged with possession of an unregistered machinegun.

    As for owning a M16 with only semi-auto AR-15 parts installed, another decision by ATF is that once a machinegun, always a machinegun. Therefore, you cannot convert a M16 into an AR-15.

    Of course, ATF is not consistant. They also claim if a person owns a pre-ban AR-15 and that person removes all of the parts and sells the lower receiver only to another person, that person may not restore the receiver into a pre-ban configuration. They claim the lower is now post-ban.
     
  5. Kaylee

    Kaylee Moderator

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    Wow.. first I'd heard of that interpretation. Kinda pooches all the guys who bought "pre-ban" recievers, ne?
    When did this come out?


    -K
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Actually the regulation reads (paraphrase) that the rifle must have been originally built in pre-ban configuration. IOW, a "pre-ban" lower that was originally shipped and sold as a stripped lower is not allowed to have the naughty bits applied to it. However, if it was shipped and sold as a complete pre-ban, then you can then strip it and change it if you choose.
     
  7. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5570&highlight=BATF+opinion

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=6&t=74364&w=searchPop
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Hkmp5sd, thank you.
     
  9. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    One interesting thing, I think it was yankytrash that brought it up back on TFL, is that in 922, the AR-15 is listed by name as an assault weapon. The law lists all the requirements for a firearm to be classified as an AW in one section. Then it lists some firearms by name that are automatically assault weapons. Since ATF considers a receiever a gun, technically, any AR-15 stamped receiver legally owned on 9/13/94 is by definition a pre-ban assault weapon regardless of its configuration at that time or any time since.
     
  10. 444

    444 Member

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    If you can lay hands on a Bushmaster catalog, they show clear pictures of M16 parts vs. AR15 parts. The purpose is to alert you if you have any M16 parts in your AR15. Over the years, some companies have assembled semi-auto AR15s that contained some M16 parts. As I understand it, according to ATF, any machinegun parts are reasons to charge you with possesion of an unregistered machine gun. Bushmaster advises you to examine your rifle and replace any M16 parts.
    Some companies, Colt in particular, have manufactured their rifles so that you can not install full auto parts (easily).

    "why would .gov care if we had an M16 that happened to be semi-auto?"

    Because it would have an M16 lower receiver. Even though the gun is not full auto, it contains full auto parts which ATF considers the same as possessing a machine gun.
     
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