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Colt AR15, made in 1974


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I wanted an M16 clone but I didn't really like the various combinations using currently manufactured lowers and uppers. I looked at the Colts, and after some studying I decided to try to get an SP1, as I think they are as close to a Vietnam era M16 as you can get without spending $25 grand. I found a Colt SP1 upper at an estate sale last year and got it for a very good price. It included the Colt marked bolt carrier group (BGC) and the slab side upper, but instead of the pencil barrel with 1:12 twist, it had an A2 barrel with a 1:7 twist. Of course the disadvantage is that its thicker than the original 1:12 twist; the advantage is that the rifle can fire the heavier NATO ammunition currently available. Life is a series of compromised, so I looked for an SP1 lower. That proved harder than I thought, and the price of one was more than I wanted to spend. Then a month ago I sold an antique Webley handgun for a great price (more than I paid) and I used that money to get me an SP1 lower from Gunbroker. I added the short stock, an old nylon sling, and one of the early 20-round magazines. I have one of the early green handled M7s that the Air Force purchased in the early 1960s and a Colt bipod for the set. Here's the result:

 

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That's one nice looking rifle for sure.

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Specific areas of collecting and buying interest:

WWI/WWII 40th (Sunshine) Division, Camp Kearny, Camp Harry Jones, WWI/WWII 158th Infantry, USS Oklahoma, USS Swordfish (SS-193), Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Mexican Border (1916),

Norman Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Norman, OK, Tinker Field or AFB, Submariner Items, Knives, Bayonets, Sweetheart Jewelry, other unique

or odd items with interesting stories.

 

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I agree.

 

Thats a fine looking older AR.

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I have a complete military upper that was built in 1970. I've been thinking of building one up but can't find any lowers in stock anyplace that come close to looking correct.

HHC 3/39th Inf. Bn., 9th ID 76-79
IAFF L-726 - retired.

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The slick-sided upper and lower are more reminiscent of the early Colt 602 used by the USAF around 1962-1963 than the more common M16A1 (Colt 603.) Add a three-prong flash hider and a pinhole selector and I think you'd have a pretty passable copy of the 602. The M16A1 that was so common during the war was adopted around 1964 IIRC, and standardized by 1967. The first (XM16E1/early Colt 603) has a partial fence lower. By 1967 The M16A1 (also a Colt 603) has a full fence lower. Both used a teardrop forward assist and birdcage flash hider. Early 603s had a no-trap butt stock; later 603s (M16A1) had the trapdoor butt stock. In addition to Colt, H&R and Hydramatic were other U.S. military M16A1 contractors during the Vietnam War. And contrary to to popular belief, Mattel never made rifles for the military, U.S. or otherwise.

HTH

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The slick-sided upper and lower are more reminiscent of the early Colt 602 used by the USAF around 1962-1963 than the more common M16A1 (Colt 603.) Add a three-prong flash hider and a pinhole selector and I think you'd have a pretty passable copy of the 602. The M16A1 that was so common during the war was adopted around 1964 IIRC, and standardized by 1967. The first (XM16E1/early Colt 603) has a partial fence lower. By 1967 The M16A1 (also a Colt 603) has a full fence lower. Both used a teardrop forward assist and birdcage flash hider. Early 603s had a no-trap butt stock; later 603s (M16A1) had the trapdoor butt stock. In addition to Colt, H&R and Hydramatic were other U.S. military M16A1 contractors during the Vietnam War. And contrary to to popular belief, Mattel never made rifles for the military, U.S. or otherwise.

HTH

 

Thanks for all the great comments.

Bill,

You've put my thoughts in a much more concise way than I could. I may yet add the three prong flash hider to get closer to the Colt 602. If I ever find a set of green handguards, stock and grip I might go that route as well. It also seems to me that oldfireguy could follow your description to add a lower to his 1970 upper. It would appear that all he needs is a full-fence lower that matches the finish of his upper and an A1 stock. If he wants a partial fence lower I believe NoDakSpud (NDK) makes one, and if you send them your upper, they will match the finish.

In lieu of that, I'm just going to make believe that the AF up-graded their AR-15s to a more modern A2 barrel.

t6

 

 

 

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I love those early VN M16s w/o the Fwd assist. Really says its from 'Nam. I had a really nice one same era I sold a few years ago. Wish I still had it now.

 

Congrats on yours.

 

-M

Looking for for 37th Division

VietNam and earlier Special Forces &

USS Hemminger DE 746 items

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i like that Vietnam full stock look for sure.

 

I think these were the best series for the AR's. The triangle handguard works better than round ones because it has a flat bottom. The carry handle is a great feature too. I could be prejudiced because this is what I was trained on. I think the new A4's look like demented porcupine.

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That bayonet may be a rare bird. More so that your rifle.

 

Please post some close ups.

 

Early green handled bayonets are pretty scarce and occasionally faked.

 

Nice pea shooter. There are pencil barrels out there with the 1/7 and 1/9 twist. All of my flavors of Colt clones have the 1/9 twist so I can shoot 193 and 855.

"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."

 

George S. Patton

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That bayonet may be a rare bird. More so that your rifle.

 

Please post some close ups.

 

Early green handled bayonets are pretty scarce and occasionally faked.

 

Nice pea shooter. There are pencil barrels out there with the 1/7 and 1/9 twist. All of my flavors of Colt clones have the 1/9 twist so I can shoot 193 and 855.

 

Here's a thread in the Edged Weapons sub-forum where I discussed the bayonet. I picked it up for $20 at a flea market, and it's definately real.

 

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Here's a thread in the Edged Weapons sub-forum where I discussed the bayonet. I picked it up for $20 at a flea market, and it's definately real.

 

 

 

Am I blind or are you forgetful? ;)

 

Incredible find!

 

Here a link to the aforementioned pencil barrel in 1/9

 

Really not that hard to swap barrels and you could probably cut your cost in half by selling the Gub'ment Profile barrel.

 

http://shop.ar15sport.ihoststores.com/productinfo_v3.aspx?productid=BARREL-20LWT19

"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."

 

George S. Patton

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I wanted an M16 clone but I didn't really like the various combinations using currently manufactured lowers and uppers. I looked at the Colts, and after some studying I decided to try to get an SP1, as I think they are as close to a Vietnam era M16 as you can get without spending $25 grand. I found a Colt SP1 upper at an estate sale last year and got it for a very good price. It included the Colt marked bolt carrier group (BGC) and the slab side upper, but instead of the pencil barrel with 1:12 twist, it had an A2 barrel with a 1:7 twist. Of course the disadvantage is that its thicker than the original 1:12 twist; the advantage is that the rifle can fire the heavier NATO ammunition currently available. Life is a series of compromised, so I looked for an SP1 lower. That proved harder than I thought, and the price of one was more than I wanted to spend. Then a month ago I sold an antique Webley handgun for a great price (more than I paid) and I used that money to get me an SP1 lower from Gunbroker. I added the short stock, an old nylon sling, and one of the early 20-round magazines. I have one of the early green handled M7s that the Air Force purchased in the early 1960s and a Colt bipod for the set. Here's the result:

 

 

Thorin, your upper is not a SP1 upper.

 

it is actually a Colt SP-II upper. Colt internal model number R6400

 

after colt started making the M16A2. they upgraded the AR15 from the SP-1 AR15 to the SP2 AR15A2 s which is what you have

 

the uppers for civilian sales where at the start, the same SP-1 upper forging with the newer A2 barrel with A2 furniture , butt stock. handgaurds, grip etc. the lower was the same as the SP1 as well. but with the new roll marks

 

 

as they ran out of the old forgings they went to what they had next until the ran out then they went to true A2 upper son the SP-IIS

 

 

the next models of the SP-2 was the R6401 which was the same gun but with an A1 upper, then a model with a M16A1 upper with the case deflector ( C7 like the canadians used) then finally the R6500 which was the A2 upper.

 

 

 

that upper is kind of rare and was not put together by some one in a mix match. if you found the SP-II lower, you could restore it to a fairly rare-ish transitional model

 

I have a R6400 myself

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Thorin, your upper is not a SP1 upper.

 

it is actually a Colt SP-II upper. Colt internal model number R6400

 

 

 

This is not my cup of tea, but it piqued my curiosity since I have only heard people talking about 'SP1' Colt AR-15 rifles. A quick Google search on 'What is an SP2 Colt?' did not really come up with a solid description of the differences between an SP1 and SP2 model.

 

For the ignorant and uneducated (me), what makes Thorin's upper an SP2 version?

 

RC

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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