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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I would like to pick your brains regarding the
Colt M16A1 parts kits that are available from various distributors. I have to admit that I haven't had a great interest in M16's/AR15's until stumbling onto these kits, which appear to have been out for some time now. My interets have steadily progressed from the M1 Garand, to the M14/M1A, and now possibly the M16A1/AR15.

Has anyone used one of these kits for a build? Are they actually genuine Colt parts with correct forging stamps? Anyone know where the rifles/kits originated? With all the fakes and reproductions out there of various gun-realted items, I am just leary that these could be some new production parts marketed as genuine Colt. I would only be interested in doing a build if they were genuine.

Finally, any particular vendor that would be better to buy from? Should a person buy the kit with the barrel or buy the barrel separate?

Thanks for your patience in helping a newbie out.

Gator73
 

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The way I understand it, these kits are from as new M16A1 select fire rifles that were shipped to some country and never used. There is some regulation that bans importation of barrels with parts kits, so the barrels are recent manufactured American made barrels.

I plan on getting a kit from gunthings.com someday and building it into an M16A1 clone with a retro receiver from nodakspud. The kits from gunthings.com come with the barrels already parkerized and with the front sight base already mounted.

If you can find a Colt barrel then getting a kit without the barrel might be a better choice, otherwise just go with the kit that has the barrel.
 

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Has anyone used one of these kits for a build? Are they actually genuine Colt parts with correct forging stamps? Anyone know where the rifles/kits originated?

Finally, any particular vendor that would be better to buy from? Should a person buy the kit with the barrel or buy the barrel separate?
If you want to get as close to the real deal as possible without going Title II (NFA), get a Nodak Spud M16A1 retro lower (semi-auto only), a chromium plated 1:8 ROT 20 " A1 barrel from Green Mountain Rifle Barrel Co., and one of these Colt M16A1 parts kits. Note that you may receive the full auto fire control group parts. You need to send them back or otherwise get them away from you. Otherwise, you could be in constructive possession of an unregistered machine gun if you had a lower receiver and a parts kit. Stay out of trouble. So, you may need some semi-auto fire control parts, depends on what the vendor sends you.

Yes, these are real 1967 vintage Colt parts. The upper receiver and the bolt carrier group has the factory markings. The only other item you should get is a M16A1 pistol grip as these parts kits come with an A2 grip that is added in.

Where do they come from? According to Ron Cheney at Henderson Defense Industries, the Kingdom of Jordan bought a bunch of unissued M16A1 rifles from Colt in the late 1960s. The parts were legally imported into the United States in 2009. The rifles were never issued so the parts are in good condition.

I had one of these parts kits built into a rifle. I also bought three complete Century Arms C15A1 rifles built with these kits except for a new Continental Machine & Tool 7075 T6 alloy aluminum forged lower receiver and a new unlined Green Mountain 1:9 ROT 20 " A1 profile barrel. Unless you have to have a Nodak Spud retro lower receiver and a chromium plated barrel, you're better off to just buy the Century Arms C15A1 rifle. My local FFL sells them for $649.00 each.

I would jump on this opportunity if you're looking for a retro semi-auto M16A1. All four of my retro semi-auto M16A1 rifles work flawlessly.
 

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It depends on the vendor and also your experience with barreling an upper receiver. I have made alot of ar's over the years however I have never bought a stripped parts kit. one reason being you will have to by a barrel vise and a wrench. when you factor that into the equation(unless you already have those) it makes alot more sense to buy the upper factory assembeled. with all of my ar's I found it most economical to buy the stripped lower then the lower parts,stock ect. then buy the upper configuration of your choice. right now the market is so full of quality ar manufacture's its hard to choose which one to buy from, but its hard to go wrong unless you buy over seas stuff. just my 2 cents
 

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Not sure of the lineage but my first AR15 was in the SP1 configuration that I bought back in the late 70's. The lower is made by Palmetto, which I think was the early Olympic Arms. When I first shot it a pull of the trigger dumped the entire 30 round magazine.

Not really knowing much about the platform back then I took it to a buddy of mine who was an armorer for the WA State Guard (different from the National Guard). He pointed out that the lower internals were all stamped and mishapened. I replaced the internals with Colt AR15 parts and it shot fine. I believe that all the parts but the lower are Colt made. The barrel has a C-MP for Colt magnetic particle tested? Anyway the barrel is a 1/12 twist and will only stablize the lighter 55 grain bullets.
 

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chromium plated 1:8 ROT 20 " A1 barrel. Looks like Green Mountain is only offering an A2 configuration at this time. Darn.GI9
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the information guys. Different, does the front sight base have the bell and C markings (assuming the base is the later base as noted on retroblackrifle.com)? Also, were your handguards chipped and broken? Any good source for genuine USGI handguards and pistol grips?

Are these kits anywhere near drying up? I probably should buy one now and put it away just to be safe.
 

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I can remember these kits being advertised throughout the '90's.............................and there have been ads in SGN for years.
 

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chromium plated 1:8 ROT 20 " A1 barrel. Looks like Green Mountain is only offering an A2 configuration at this time. Darn.GI9
My bad, I stand corrected. If you want a chromium plated A1 profile barrel, you'll have to look elsewhere.
 

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Different, does the front sight base have the bell and C markings (assuming the base is the later base as noted on retroblackrifle.com)? Also, were your handguards chipped and broken? Any good source for genuine USGI handguards and pistol grips?
I don't see any manufacturer markings on the front sight base on each of the rifles I have. No, all parts were in great shape, a little dust, that's it. I bought a M16A1 grip for each rifle from individuals by posting WTB ads on various boards. HTH
 

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I can remember these kits being advertised throughout the '90's.............................and there have been ads in SGN for years.
I ran across two guys at the big gun show in Louisville about 3 years ago that had stacks of M16A1 uppers. All of them looked liked they had been used everyday since the 1960s and then finally retired. I just assumed that they were USGI surplus.
 

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They are a good deal, unfortunatly they do have 1:9 commercial barrels.
If you order from Gunthings.com the FSB will be drilled and pinned and parkerizied .Other vendors do not do this and FSB will need installed and barrels are in the white. They also ship a A1 grip
They will ship Auto lower parts but it is no big deal. You simple modifiy them to make them SP1 compliant.
All the Colt SP1 M16A1's have nuetured auto parts
 

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Hmmm, mine doesn't have a forward assist, but I think it's a Colt upper. I guess I need to dig it out and take another look at it.
 

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Hmmm, mine doesn't have a forward assist, but I think it's a Colt upper. I guess I need to dig it out and take another look at it.
You would have a 604 Air Force Colt upper
Top and bottom rifle in picture does not have forward assist ,top is a early 604 , bottom is a late 604

Colt stamps
 

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Hmmm, mine doesn't have a forward assist, but I think it's a Colt upper. I guess I need to dig it out and take another look at it.
The upper could be a 601, 602, 604, 606. castings and stamps on the receiver would tell the story. With the community of retro builders out there your gun could be worth more as parts if their the early ones.
Look at the rear sight windage drum. If there is an arrow cast into the handle it's a 604. If the arrow is engraved into the handle it's a 602. If the metal around the drum is plain its a 601.
 
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