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View Full Version : How to identify an Armalite upper.


crazy
04-30-2010, 10:06 AM
I have an upper that I bought in the late 90's that has a hand written tag that says Armalite. The only marks that I can find are on the barrel. It says SS with 556 under it. I can't find anything on the upper receiver. Does anyone have any suggestions where I might look for any other markings?

djleisure
04-30-2010, 10:14 AM
From what I know, there should be a "circle and crosshair" on the upper w/ the letters "AR" - but I guess there could be some variation...

killshot44
04-30-2010, 10:50 AM
From what I know, there should be a "circle and crosshair" on the upper w/ the letters "AR" - but I guess there could be some variation...

The DJ has you covered. Look for the circle/crosshair.

Here's a link to forging marks: http://www.ar15armory.com/forums/FORGE-MARKS-Upper-Receiv-t52833.html

crazy
04-30-2010, 11:13 AM
I can find no markings on the upper. Maybe I got duped.

crazy
04-30-2010, 11:16 AM
I found this while looking on google. Mine looks just like this one.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=167482

djleisure
04-30-2010, 11:26 AM
They may not add those markings to their "Eagle Arms" branded rifles, since those rifles are their lower tier rifles (not that they're bad.)

allenst65
04-30-2010, 11:27 AM
From the time period you mentioned, the late 90's, you may not be able to tell. I think the AR and circle/crosshair come much later.

My Armalite bought complete ca. '98 has no markings on the upper. There were fewer AR makers floating around back then, so don't be so sure you got duped.

dieselpower
04-30-2010, 11:28 AM
I can find no markings on the upper. Maybe I got duped.

Maybe not. Armalite didn't mark the barrels like most others do. From what you said the barrel could very well be an armalite, but the upper itself may have been replaced.

I have an upper just like this, just a Cardinal Forged mark, but I know it has a Armalite barrel.

crazy
04-30-2010, 11:38 AM
I will put up detailed pics later.

vega
04-30-2010, 2:24 PM
I found this:
http://www.oa2.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=20196

crazy
04-30-2010, 8:07 PM
Here are the pics. I measured the barrel. It is 20".

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/4563/ar1uz.jpg

http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/8638/ar2i.jpg

http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/6249/ar3t.jpg

http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/8425/ar4h.jpg

http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/1619/ar5.jpg

http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/694/ar6m.jpg

crazy
04-30-2010, 8:08 PM
http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/137/ar7i.jpg

http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/8673/ar8.jpg

http://img704.imageshack.us/img704/7339/ar9s.jpg

http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/8692/ar10x.jpg

http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/310/ar11.jpg

!@#$
04-30-2010, 9:13 PM
you need to stake that gas key

crazy
04-30-2010, 9:19 PM
Is that where the two bolts are?

vega
04-30-2010, 9:23 PM
Is that where the two bolts are?
Yes.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v408/gotm4/staking/Colt2.jpg

crazy
04-30-2010, 9:47 PM
Thank you for pointing that out. So I guess they back out or that wouldn't be necessary. Did they stake them in the late 90's?

telcolineman
05-01-2010, 3:58 PM
Mine has the circle/crosshairs and AR on the upper

telcolineman
05-01-2010, 5:44 PM
My AR 10 upper has no markings on it though, Armalite's site shows my receiver without markings?? Wonder why

crazy
05-01-2010, 6:28 PM
There has got to be some old school guys that would know or point me in the right direction.

dieselpower
05-01-2010, 7:53 PM
Dont worry about the gas key screws, just make sure they are tight. DONT loosen them, but if you do make sure you loc-tite them in. I think they should be 55 inch pounds IIRC.

SS 556 google fu says its an Olympic Arms Barrel, Stainless Steel, chambered in NATO 5.56. You can safely fire .223 out of it.

Typical Colt Mil-Spec-type markings: C MP 5.56 NATO 1/7

Typical Bushmaster markings: B MP 5.56 NATO 1/9 HBAR

DPMS marks their barrels ".223", though they actually have 5.56 chambers.

Olympic Arms marks their barrels with "556", with some additionally marked "SS" or "SUM." This marking is used on all barrels, even older barrels that used .223 chambers and current target models that also use .223 chambers. Non-target barrels made since 2001 should have 5.56 chambers.

Armalite typically doesn't mark their barrels. A2 and A4 models had .223 chambers until mid-2001, and have used 5.56 chambers since. The (t) models use .223 match chambers.

Rock River Arms uses the Wylde chamber specs on most rifles, and does not mark their barrels.

Most other AR manufacturers' barrels are unmarked, and chamber dimensions are unknown.

What markings are on the front sight?
That second "S" is bugging me, might mean a Stainless chamber??? Need AR15Barrels to chime in.

Olympic Arms manufactures a lot of their own stuff, so the unmarked upper wouldnt be out of line with them.

Whats the inside of the hand guards look like? Any marking on the heat shields? How are the heat shields attached?

The muzzle device is of course aftermarket installed by someone.

crazy
05-01-2010, 8:46 PM
Thank you. I saw the link about Oly Arms. After doing several searches on google, I think I read on one that ss followed the 556.

The S is under the hand guard on the bottom of the barrel.

The front sight has no markings.

I will look at the heat shields. I think they say do not remove. Not sure how they are attached. I will post pictures after I look.

Yes I know the muzzle brake is goofy looking and not standard. I think dealers were using anything they could find at that time. Do the muzzle breaks have to be pinned?

telcolineman
05-01-2010, 9:20 PM
as long as you have a 16" or longer barrel the FH/brake does not have to be permanently attached

crazy
05-01-2010, 9:43 PM
as long as you have a 16" or longer barrel the FH/brake does not have to be permanently attached


Thanks. 20" barrel so I'm good to go.

telcolineman
05-01-2010, 10:37 PM
Yes you are, Both my 16 & 20 have A2 flash hiders on them

dieselpower
05-02-2010, 10:07 AM
Another thing on the muzzle device, I think you are limited to non-Featureless builds, Bullet button type builds. It appears to be a combination muzzle break & flash hider. How it is marketed to the public is the determining factor, NOT what you think it is.

If you are going with a magazine lock 10rd build you are ok, remove it and install a thread protector or an actual muzzle break if going with a MMG type.

dieselpower
05-02-2010, 10:30 AM
Just talked to a buddy.

Mil-spec calls gas key bolts to be sealed with a heat resistant gasket material and torqued to 50-60 INCH pounds, then staked.

He said for a semi-auto, just using a high temp, high grade thread adhesive and torquing to 55 inch lbs is over and above what is needed.

It is due to extreme heat and movement of auto fire where the threads will widen and the bolts will loosen. High temp thread adhesive and proper torque stops this. Never reuse gas key bolts, they are one time use only.

crazy
05-02-2010, 1:01 PM
I am not going to pretend to be an expert but I think it is a muzzle brake. There are three holes on each side pointed slightly to the rear and has slits on the top only. I will take and post pics when I can.

As far as the two bolts go, I will keep an eye on them after each cleaning.

dieselpower
05-02-2010, 1:33 PM
I am not going to pretend to be an expert but I think it is a muzzle brake. There are three holes on each side pointed slightly to the rear and has slits on the top only. I will take and post pics when I can.

As far as the two bolts go, I will keep an eye on them after each cleaning.


As I said...your opinion does matter in the law. Even muzzle breaks that are marketed as flash hiders are features identified on a Assault Weapon, so it doesnt matter what you think or what it does, it is how the manufacture lists the item.

This goes back to the 1994 AWB days when the BATFE, (then called ATF) identified a feature called a Flash Hider / Flash suppressor in legal terms. IICR, California has another take on it...If some company calls their product a "flash hider" it doesnt matter if it hides a flash or not...its still concidered an identifying feature of an AW.

I think the muzzle device on your upper was marketed as a Flash hider / Muzzle compensator combo, as is Bushmaster's Izzy break.

Their are two Izzy breaks made by BM, one is a flash hider muzzle break, one is a Flash hider. Both are identified as flash hiders, even though I owned a BM Carbon-15 Top loading AR15..which comes with a Izzy break and it didn't hide any flash...lol

crazy
05-02-2010, 1:44 PM
I will just remove it. I don't need any aggravation. It came with the upper so I don't know how it was marketed.

Another thing on the muzzle device, I think you are limited to Featureless builds, No Bullet button type builds. It appears to be a combination muzzle break & flash hider. How it is marketed to the public is the determining factor, NOT what you think it is.

If you are going with a magazine lock 10rd build, remove it and install a thread protector or an actual muzzle break.

Did you mean a Featureless Bullet Button build? I thought if you had a BB installed, evil features didn't matter.

telcolineman
05-02-2010, 2:19 PM
If you have a BB and 10 rd mag you can have all the evil features you want, Typically if it has slots it's a FH and holes it's a Brake. Hard to tell in your pics, are the holes all the way around it?

telcolineman
05-02-2010, 2:21 PM
If it was maunfactured in the early 90's that is a brake, Laws didn't allow FH's. Or so I have been told Google it, Also go to CG home page and look at the AR/AK memo for more info

crazy
05-02-2010, 6:02 PM
Here are some more pics of the S, the inside of the hand guard, the end of the barrel(not threaded), muzzle brake/whatever it is and the finished rifle.:jump:


http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/7799/ar12m.jpg

http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/7822/ar13.jpg

http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/323/ar14tn.jpg

http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/9215/ar15p.jpg

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/8358/ar16q.jpg

crazy
05-02-2010, 6:04 PM
I took it to the range after I took off the muzzle brake and drilled and bolted the stock. I put a few rounds down range. It went bang when I pulled the trigger. That hammerhead adapter works just fine. I can shoot with it.





http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/6407/ar17.jpg

http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/103/ar18.jpg

http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/1193/ar19i.jpg

http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/6425/ar20.jpg

ar15barrels
05-03-2010, 3:39 PM
http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/1619/ar5.jpg

That's an olympic barrel.

dieselpower
05-03-2010, 3:53 PM
You quoted my post about the featureless / bb thing, before I edited it. I was low on coffee and sugar...I edited my post after realizing I was an idiot banging on a keyboard...

I am with you on that appearing to be a muzzle break. But I stay away from set screw type muzzle devices. You will probably get better accuracy without it.

Glad that thang shot well, good job and it looks nice too.

crazy
05-03-2010, 4:34 PM
Thanks to everyone for their input. Much appreciated. So I have an Olympic barrel. How is the quality? Kinda sucks that it was misrepresented. That's the way it is at gun shows. Caveat emptor!