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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys.

I haven't really been on the board in a bit as I've just been focusing on life in general. I did however want to ask you guys about something and feel free to comment.
I have been sitting on a 3rd Rhodesian FAL kit....While it's got nice cammo it's a mixmaster of parts. A guy I have been talking to has some M16A1 Colt complete upper assemblies and I took a shot in the dark and asked him if he was wanting to trade and sure enough he is. The only thing was the codes on the uppers are early 70's

I had a M16A1 clone not too long ago but the fact it was just a stainless steel aftermarket barrel bothered the crap out of me and it went at the height of the panic. Now my dad served from 65 to 70 and depending on the date code (CH CM etc) that could put some of these uppers perhaps at the end of when he served. This time I wanna do it right and after speaking with Harlan at NDS Ill have quite a bit of time to get the rest of the parts for the build.

What I wanted to ask is
A. is this a fair trade
B.Is the M16 from the early 70's any different than what my dad carried in Vietnam(67-68)

It's more of a memorial to him and the plan is to have it built by October so me, my mom and others in the family can go and have a range day to remember my ole man.
 

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I'm not an expert but I would say an M16A1 is an M16A1 no matter what year it was built.
 

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'65 is a little early for most of the kits that came in. Those were all late model 603's. Like you, I wanted to build up a rifle for my father (in law in my case). He was in VN towards the tail end of war so I built up a pair that would have been correct for about 1971:



There are very specific differences depending upon what year you want to hit, particularly if you want to have the lower engraved with all of the correct era markings. The barrel markings and upper are all specific to particular years of manufacture. The style of lower (partial fence, etc) is also important. And there's lots of little difference in various parts that collectors would notice (but your dad probably won't :).

Prior to about '68, you might want to build a XM16E1 clone, which was the prototype for what became the M16A1 / Model 603.

If you're looking at complete uppers, see if you can find one with a barrel marked C MP B. That would be correct for the era you're interested in.

Start here and you should be able to figure it all out:

http://www.retroblackrifle.com/

-Thirtycal
 

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thirtycal Those are very nice....
Chris you should of just kept that Viet retro one you bought in January if you ask me, it looked good and IIRC you got a good deal on it but's it's you time and money...
 

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I would love to have one of these!
I can't believe there are no builders specializing in Retro models with all the parts kits and receivers availability!
 

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For most veterans, an M16A1 is an M16A1 is an...
While there many minor variations like thirtycal mentioned, most people will take anything with triangular handguards and a skinny barrel, and simple sights as an A1. Makes collectors cringe, but it is what it is.
A1ish replicas are great, handy rifles. When I built a sort of retro A1 type a few years ago, I went with an A1 upper that had a brass deflector, as I'm a lefty and think brass down my collar is not fun, no matter how authentic it may be. Was it "correct?" No, and I didn't care.
Your Dad will probably love whatever reasonably accurate clone you give him.
 

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bishopm14 said:
For most veterans, an M16A1 is an M16A1 is an...
While there many minor variations like thirtycal mentioned, most people will take anything with triangular handguards and a skinny barrel, and simple sights as an A1. Makes collectors cringe, but it is what it is.
A1ish replicas are great, handy rifles. When I built a sort of retro A1 type a few years ago, I went with an A1 upper that had a brass deflector, as I'm a lefty and think brass down my collar is not fun, no matter how authentic it may be. Was it "correct?" No, and I didn't care.
Your Dad will probably love whatever reasonably accurate clone you give him.
+1 on that.

I can say that when I gave my father-in-law one of those M16A1's, he didn't give much of a crap about the care I took for the sake of authenticity. He just liked that it looked like what he remembered, and that it shot nicely.

But of course, I gave a crap, and it made me happy knowing that if he ever shows it to somebody who really knows these retro rifles, there wouldnt' be much to pick apart :grin:. He did end up showing it off to his VN buddies at his last gathering, which I was happy to hear.

-Thirtycal
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Glock Holiday said:

thirtycal Those are very nice....
Chris you should of just kept that Viet retro one you bought in January if you ask me, it looked good and IIRC you got a good deal on it but's it's you time and money...
Glock the issue was the aftermarket barrel. If it had a cmp barrel I would have kept it. It was advertised as one but found out later it wasn't
 

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I built one earlier this year, thinking my Dad who carried one in Vietnam might appreciate some of the subtle differences between the one I built and the one he carried. Nope. He thought cool but, after 45 years, he could barely remember how to release the mag and cycle the charging handle. My guess is your Dad probably would have been the same way, and nobody will notice the small details, and it will make a nice tribute even if it isn't an exact visual copy.

If you do decide to nail it down, try the retro forum on AR15.com, there are sticky variation guides you can use as a reference, and joining the forum isn't necessary to access and read them.

Value wise, a complete assembled upper with a barrel and bcg is about a 500 - 600 dollar item if its in nice shape. If your kit is worth that then go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
DaFixer said:
Are there still kits floating around? (sorry 'bout the hijack!)
Yes although they are barrel less.
 

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The guns used by the military varied and most would not remember the minor details.....what I do remember that was weird was that while in boot camp (USMC MCRD San Diego 1984) the rifles we used were A1 but the lower was marked Colt AR-15 Property of US Government not M-16A1 but they had the auto sear hole but no auto sear installed...struck me as very strange back then...
 

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saigaman972 said:
DaFixer said:
Are there still kits floating around? (sorry 'bout the hijack!)
Yes although they are barrel less.
There are a couple of places that make 1x12" twist A1 profile barrels, to complete these kits. Green Mountain makes a nice one, but it doesn't come with the FSB taper pin holes/channels cut.
 

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DaFixer said:
Who's got the best kits right now?
They are all about the same, all from guns that were sold to foreign entities and have been reimported after demilling. All our A1's (and everything else) get crunched as they come out of service. Here is an example, you may want to shop for a better deal:

http://www.e-sarcoinc.com/originalcoltg ... kit-1.aspx

And why original US Milsurp gun parts draw a premium, and why we don't have 150 dollar 1911's anymore - not for the sqeamish, another legacy of the Clinton years:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWvVMt0rRsU
 
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