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Interest in "retro" AR15s.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by jagdpanzer347, May 28, 2006.

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  1. jagdpanzer347

    jagdpanzer347 Member

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    I was thinking about building up an M4-gery but seem to have been bitten by the SP1 bug. Maybe it was all of the SWAT episodes when I was a kid, but to me the original M16/AR15 was always the coolest looking gun ever. Sleek and simple with none of the "tacticool" stuff so prevalent today.

    I know ARs are highly popular with many of the members here, but how do you feel about the originals? I'm also curious about recent SP1 pricing in your area and whether any of you have built up earlier models from parts recently.
    If so, how hard was it to find the parts and how much did it cost?

    Lastly, please feel free to post pics of your early model beauties!

    -jagd
     
  2. DMK

    DMK Member

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    Mine's not accurate to any particular model. I just wanted a retro look after renting the old SWAT episodes from Netflix and watching "We Were Soldiers".


    I picked up the Colt M16A1 upper complete AR15.com Equipment Exchange. It came with an A1 FS (I swapped it for a three prong on the EE), chrome lined bore, chrome lined chamber and has a forward assist. It was like $250 IIRC and was in NIB condition. CDNN still has 'em for $370. The old style furniture is the original M16 type with no cleaning kit storage compartment (They didn't need to be cleaned, remember?). I got it off the EE, New Old Stock, still in the wrapper for like $40. The stripped DPMS lower receiver was purchased locally. The other parts (bolt/carrier, charging handle, lower receiver parts kit, NM trigger kit) are modern RRA from Brownells and ADCO. The sling is an M14 sling from CDNN. After quick and dirty tally, it looks like it cost me around $650 assembled one evening after work with a cold beer in my garage .

    I really like the looks, the feel, the simple sights and the lightweight barrel. It's accurate and handy. I just wish I could get that same barrel with a 1/9 or 1/7 twist since the 1/12 limits you to 55gr or lighter bullets. Other than that, I love the rifle.


    [​IMG]
     
  3. jagdpanzer347

    jagdpanzer347 Member

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    DMK, that's what I'm talking about. You built it yourself I presume? Nice looking weapon, how does it shoot?

    -jagd
     
  4. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

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    I put the round handguards on to sell her, but that is an actual A-1 upper. Ahhh the joys of buying a house.:banghead:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. DMK

    DMK Member

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    Thanks Jagd. It shoots great! In fact I keep meaning to bring it to the range with my A2 and compare them side by side for accuracy.

    Yea, I took my time patiently scouring the web and gunshows for deals, then assembled it myself once I collected all the parts.

    I edited my above post to include more details.


    45guy, that's a cool little SHTF kit you have there. :)
     
  6. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I just built mine about two months ago.
    It is based on the original Canadian C1 version of the M16 so I guess it qualifies as retro.
    I did elect to use the heavy barrel profile the Canadians origianally wanted but Colt refused to grant license for.
    Most of the parts are DPMS with a Bushmaster bolt and carrier, a Rock River two stage trigger assembly and I did manage to get ahold of an original Canadian .050" round post front sight, ( thanks Denny).
    Mine cost $675.00 for the parts with shipping. The Rock River trigger and the original sight post added about $90.00 to the total cost but the money was well spent in my eyes.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. BigG

    BigG Member

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    The SP1 Colt is my favorite type. Don't have a picture handy, but mine are the standard Colts.
     
  8. ABTOMAT

    ABTOMAT Member

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    I really like the look of the older AR's. Don't know why, but the round handguards take away the basic design's spare beauty for me. And I'm not much of a platic gun guy anyway.
     
  9. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    We just received M16A2 rifles shortly before I ETSed.
    Nobody was crazy for the round handguards then either but I have since come to realize that they are a whole lot more durable than the early triangles and you don't have to keep one of each side for replacements which simplifies the logistics of the thing.
     
  10. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    I think a Dissipator upper with the old style triangle handguards looks sweet (I seem to recall this coming up here a while back and someone posted a picture of their Dissipator set up this way).

    I like the feel of the old style handguards better than the round style ... however I've got a CAR so I'm stuck with the round.
     
  11. Detritus

    Detritus Member

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    go check out the Retro forum over at AR15.com, lots of stuff there.

    i built one for my wife and it groups well, but the Olympic "Plinker Plus 20" upper that i got was in SERIOUS need of re-indexing, rear sight full against the left stop is what brought POI and POA together!!:cuss:

    so right now my upper is in Olympia WA for repair, wife got to shoot it ONCE before we sent it back! (remainds me i need to call up and check on the progress of this, it's getting close to 4 weeks or more that it's been there and 5-6 was the estimate to get it back in my hands)
     
  12. Henry455

    Henry455 Member

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    This is my SP1, serial # 05X89 that was shipped from Colt in Oct., 1966. The other one is its brother serial # 05X90 that belongs to my cousin. My Dad bought these 2 ARs with their names factory engraved on the right magwells. He paid $214.00 apiece.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    Original Colt SP1 (top) and Colt M16A1 (bottom)

    [​IMG]
     
  14. DMK

    DMK Member

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    Hkmp5sd, a CAR-15 (Colt 60x whatever) or GAU-5 clone would be way cool on that NFA lower. :)
     
  15. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    Been considering an XMG upper....

    [​IMG]
     
  16. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    really old school is: No brass deflector, nor forward assist, three prong flash surpressor, triangle hand guards. doubt you will find one with no forward assist. The dude with the first pic looks very authentic. One thing though, the adjustment on that rear site, bites. the a2's were much improved.
     
  17. Detritus

    Detritus Member

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    the majority (90%+) of Colt SP1 uppers are slicksided, what's rare is to find an A1 type upper with the Foward Assist and no brass deflector that was produced for civilian sales, instead of being a surplused M16 upper.
     
  18. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Scroll to the bottom of this page, http://www.sarcoinc.com/m16.html, and you get a full surplus M16A1 parts kit. They say it has all parts less auto sear and lower reciever for $425, or $450 with original Colt upper & bbl.
     
  19. DMK

    DMK Member

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    And a shorter stock and no chrome bore. If fact, I believe the first M16s issued in Vietnam didn't even have chrome chambers which caused a bunch of problems in that environment (along with the type of powder they used and the fact that they didn't issue cleaning kits).

    Yea, that would be first generation M16s. Later M16A1s came with birdcage flash suppressors(three prongs got caught on brush in the jungle), chrome lining, the teardrop FA and a cleaning kit in the butt stock compartment.(for the reasons stated above). They still had triangle handguards and real full auto though (not that three round burst crap).

    Thank you. It's not really though. It's on an A2 lower and has an M16A1 upper. The hard part is getting the slabside lower. Those are pretty much non-existent these days unless they are attached to a Colt SP1 or a real M16.

    I actually have one of those uppers without the forward assist and a non-chrome bore which would be more authentic with the three prong FS and no compartment stock. I thought about using on the rifle above, but since I can't get the correct lower anyway, I ended up making a dedicated 22LR out of that one since the FA is superfluous with the 22 conversion kits.

    I actually prefer the old school rear sight mount and carry handle. It's simple, it's locked into adjustment, and there's less to break. I'm a big believer in battle zero the rifle at 50 yards and forget about it. The rounds pretty weak past 200 yards anyway. I will agree that the A2 arperture and front post is better though. I think the perfect medium is the XS sght systems Same Plane arperture on an M16/SP1/E1/A1 upper with an A2 front post.
     
  20. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    As you can see, mine has no forward assist. It does have a chromed barrel, however.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    I'm about to be issued a retro M16. Does that count? Triangle hand guards and A1 everything, baby.

    They're removing the fun switch, though. :cuss: ;)

    Mike
     
  22. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    I'm another person who believes that most of the A2 changes were unnecessary or undesirable. Most of what I would choose is A1/SP1, though I'd choose the A1 lower for the mag release "guard" and stronger pivot pin boss...the forward assist I could take or leave...don't need the A2 brass deflector wart. I have built and shot just about every possible permutation and prefer:

    A1 barrel - lighter and better balanced
    A1 rear sight - set and forget for a combat zero
    A1 buttstock - better length (the best are the A1 length made from A2 materials)

    A2 front sight post- square, not round = better sight picture
    A2 handguards - never warmed up to the A1 triangular guards (ymmv)
     
  23. DMK

    DMK Member

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    Only if you take a pic of it for us. ;)

    Coronach, will you get ammo issued, or do you get to choose your own? I'm just curious to see what those who use these old rifles professionally are using.
     
  24. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Will do. It will be a while before I get it; they're doing small groups at a time, and it will take them a while to get to my unit. We'll be issued some flavor of ball ammo (maybe even AP?) for penetration-specific situations, but the standard ammo used will be Hornady TAP.

    Mike
     
  25. kentucky_smith

    kentucky_smith Member

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    Mann Coulter :barf:


    I'm looking for triangle handguards, anyone know where to get a set?
     
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