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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 03-29-2019, 2:12 PM
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Default Colt M16a1 retro reissue Vietnam rifle.

This is part two. Part one was my mini review of the Colt xm177e2 retro reissue last month. First the disclaimers.

There unfortunately is no way to make this gun legal in Ca due to the roll marks. Iím sorry. Iím posting here mainly because I still have friends here who like interesting firearms.

Secondly, yes iím fully aware that this rifle is stupidly overpriced and Colt is taking advantage of Colt nerds like myself by making it limited production and selling at least twice what it should be.

Third, no this wonít do anything a PSA 20Ē a4 kit on a home routed out 80% lower wonít do, except be as close to an actual Vietnam era m16a1 you can get without buying a real one.

Ok, on to the gun. Like the xm I bought earlier, the fit finish and detail of this rifle is superb. Had it not been I wouldnít have accepted it and would have returned it. The grey park finish is spot on. Iíve been told the furniture is new old stock. It definitely is NOT like the repro a1 furniture iíve seen for sale other places.

The gun comes shipped with the first gen birdcage flash hider installed which is correct for this period of gun, late 60ís early 70ís. They are kind enough to include the earlier 3 prong which would also technically be correct on this rifle as there was a transitional period. They include a modern sling which went into my parts box and I installed the correct USGI nylon adjustable sling (seat belt).

The upper and lower receivers are exact a1 correct including marking on upper receiver, correct slip ring, correct a1 dust cover, correct a1 fsb with machined off casting marks on the sight tower.

Gun markings are roll marked like they used to be with the colt logo, AR15, m16a1, USG property marks, and the correct serial number range, just the addition of a v at the end.

Unfortunately the barrel is unmarked. Thatís the only thing on this firearm I can come up with that isnít clone correct. Barrel profile is pencil, chrome lined, 1/12 twist.

Selector markings are correct with safe, semi, auto. Colt rollmarks above selector are correct and done properly. The selector does not go to the auto position.

Trigger is typical single stage milspec gritty.

This is going to be a shooter for me. Even though it is limited production, i donít buy guns with the intention of my heirs possibly profiting from them. If they do great, if not I donít care. I buy things to shoot and enjoy.

If I wasnít able to get these Colts due to legality or cost, I would go with the Brownells. They are making phenomenal reproductions also. They are not as clone correct, as I can find a number of discrepancies, but they are close enough to be great shooters and enjoy the retro game with. They are also half the money of the Colts.
The Troys look to be outstanding. clones as well, more clone correct than the Brownells, but not quite up to the Colts, mostly due to markings which they canít use. Again they are about half the price of the Colts.

Hope you enjoy the pictures. If anyone has any specific questions or wants a better picture of a certain part ask and Iíll do my best. Grab a gun has good prices on these for my out of Ca friends if youíre interested. I feel itís an absolutely worthwhile addition to the reference collection. As a child of the Vietnam war, this rifle was on the television every evening in my house.
Enjoy!







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  #2  
Old 03-29-2019, 2:20 PM
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Sweet looking A1. Glad retro rifles are popular again.
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Old 03-29-2019, 2:26 PM
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Sweet looking A1. Glad retro rifles are popular again.


I am too. Competition in this area from different mfrs will likely produce better products from everyone. The modern sporting rifle M4
market has stagnated a bit in sales the last couple years. Mfrs might be smart to look at retro as a way to bolster sales imo. Please bring back a proper AR180 or Stoner too!!!!!! Somebody!!!!


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Old 03-29-2019, 2:40 PM
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Can a DIAS fit in the shelf? MY kid has been pestering me for one of these ever since I sold my transferable M16A2.
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Old 03-29-2019, 3:35 PM
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Default Colt M16a1 retro reissue Vietnam rifle.

Phil i donít think the shelf is deep enough on this one or the xm177e2 lower. Iím happy to take you some picks of inside the lower and get you some dimensions if youíd like.


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Old 03-29-2019, 5:02 PM
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Originally Posted by nitroxdiver View Post
I am too. Competition in this area from different mfrs will likely produce better products from everyone. The modern sporting rifle M4
market has stagnated a bit in sales the last couple years. Mfrs might be smart to look at retro as a way to bolster sales imo. Please bring back a proper AR180 or Stoner too!!!!!! Somebody!!!!


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Brownells already announced a "spirit of" AR-180 upper that fits on an AR lower.
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Old 03-29-2019, 5:08 PM
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Phil i donít think the shelf is deep enough on this one or the xm177e2 lower. Iím happy to take you some picks of inside the lower and get you some dimensions if youíd like.


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I'd appreciate pics and measurements.
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Old 03-29-2019, 5:24 PM
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Can a DIAS fit in the shelf? MY kid has been pestering me for one of these ever since I sold my transferable M16A2.
You really sold an A2? Oof.
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Old 03-29-2019, 6:26 PM
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I'd appreciate pics and measurements.


Will do buddy. Iíll quote you post and reply when i get it done for you.


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Old 03-29-2019, 8:51 PM
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did you watch the small arms solutions video on youtube? the rifles aren't worth the asking price IMHO. you can get a closer clone by getting an 80% from NDS, milling it out (and adding requisite SN info) and having it anodized. You can also get an SP1 barrel since they're the same as an A1.
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Old 03-29-2019, 8:56 PM
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Can a DIAS fit in the shelf? MY kid has been pestering me for one of these ever since I sold my transferable M16A2.
doubt it unless you mill out a lower shelf
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Old 03-29-2019, 9:06 PM
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did you watch the small arms solutions video on youtube? the rifles aren't worth the asking price IMHO. you can get a closer clone by getting an 80% from NDS, milling it out (and adding requisite SN info) and having it anodized. You can also get an SP1 barrel since they're the same as an A1.


Yes, read my disclaimer


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Old 03-29-2019, 9:14 PM
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Brownells already announced a "spirit of" AR-180 upper that fits on an AR lower.


Thank you Sir, saw that when it was announced. Unfortunately for me itís a modern take on the ar180. I prefer the original. Just gotta find the right used one since i doubt the original will ever be remade as a clone unfortunately.


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Old 03-29-2019, 9:26 PM
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This is one of the best deals for the retro clone game. If I couldnít get the Colts, I woulda gone this route.
https://www.brownells.com/rifle-part...aspx?rrec=true


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Old 03-29-2019, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by blind guardian View Post
did you watch the small arms solutions video on youtube? the rifles aren't worth the asking price IMHO. you can get a closer clone by getting an 80% from NDS, milling it out (and adding requisite SN info) and having it anodized. You can also get an SP1 barrel since they're the same as an A1.
Re-read the original post...you can get clones out your tail, but they're still not Colts.
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:59 PM
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This is one of the best deals for the retro clone game. If I couldnít get the Colts, I woulda gone this route.
https://www.brownells.com/rifle-part...aspx?rrec=true
Uh oh. I feel the need...the need to spend.

ó Michael
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Old 03-30-2019, 9:16 AM
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Uh oh. I feel the need...the need to spend.



ó Michael

That really is a good deal on what by all accounts is a fantastic clone upper. With the magazine ruling last night, go grab yourself some Colt branded 20 round grey mags to go with it!!

Please, if you do end up buying one and building an a1 clone, post her up when done.


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Old 03-30-2019, 9:27 AM
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I built my m16a1 into a dissipator clone

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Old 03-30-2019, 9:55 AM
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Default Colt M16a1 retro reissue Vietnam rifle.

Beautiful. Thank you for contributing Caliguy


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Old 03-30-2019, 2:34 PM
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Brownell's is now selling a Colt 605 replica.

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Old 03-30-2019, 5:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitroxdiver View Post
That really is a good deal on what by all accounts is a fantastic clone upper. With the magazine ruling last night, go grab yourself some Colt branded 20 round grey mags to go with it!!

Please, if you do end up buying one and building an a1 clone, post her up when done.
A day or 2 before the Y2K the-world-will-end follies, I found a surplus store in Fort Worth on that racist White Settlement Road, with 4-5 aluminum 20's in the display case. The store was asking $2/mag. I bought them, and asked if they had any more.

The manager went to the back of the store and rooted around for 5 minutes. He came back with another 40 or so. I asked how much, he said $1.50 if you buy all...which is what I did immediately. I've still got 'em. Half a dozen with the Colt logo, and the remainder with Simmons Precision marking. All used but not abused.

The work well with my XM clone...only deviation is that it has an Armalite lower.
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Last edited by -hanko; 03-30-2019 at 10:12 PM..
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Old 03-30-2019, 5:56 PM
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[QUOTE=-hanko;22825113]
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitroxdiver View Post
That really is a good deal on what by all accounts is a fantastic clone upper. With the magazine ruling last night, go grab yourself some Colt branded 20 round grey mags to go with it!!

Please, if you do end up buying one and building an a1 clone, post her up when done. [/,QUOTE]
A day or 2 before the Y2K the-world-will-end follies, I found a surplus store in Fort Worth on that racist White Settlement Road, with 4-5 aluminum 20's in the display case. The store was asking $2/mag. I had enough for the 4-5, bought them, and asked if they had any more.

The manager went to the back of the store and rooted around for 5 minutes. He came back with another 40 or so. I asked how much, he said $1.50 if you buy all...which is what I did immediately. I've still got 'em. Half a dozen with the Colt logo, and the remainder with Simmons Precision marking. All used but not abused.

The work well with my XM clone...only deviation is that it has an Armalite lower.


Score!!!! Hey i just found a bunch of cetme mags today in a little shop up past horseshoe bend. 10 bucks a piece. Donít have a cetme but i canít recall ever seeing any in a box on a shelf anywhere before in the last couple decades.


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Old 03-30-2019, 8:08 PM
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HK-91/CETME aluminum mags were imported by the shipping container load several years ago. They aren't $2 any more like they were then, but everyone is knee-deep in them. The steel ones are a different story.

If you wanna send me 10 bucks apiece, I'll sell you a bunch.
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Old 03-30-2019, 8:27 PM
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My Cali legal clone.
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Old 03-30-2019, 9:13 PM
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Fulton Armory also has A1s available for about $1,300.00

I just built a really nice one for about the same price. Original parts can be found if you look hard enough.
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Old 03-30-2019, 9:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitroxdiver View Post
That really is a good deal on what by all accounts is a fantastic clone upper. With the magazine ruling last night, go grab yourself some Colt branded 20 round grey mags to go with it!!

Please, if you do end up buying one and building an a1 clone, post her up when done.
Will do!

ó Michael
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojaveman View Post
Fulton Armory also has A1s available for about $1,300.00

I just built a really nice one for about the same price. Original parts can be found if you look hard enough.
It's the lower that's the trick. The kind with no mag release fence and the non-captive pivot pin (no horizontal bulge to hold the spring and detent) are nearly impossible to find. That's what makes the Brownell's clone so cool.



Link to Brownell's early AR retro line, including their new AR-10:
https://www.brownells.com/.aspx/bapi...age/retro-ar15

Last edited by sigstroker; 03-30-2019 at 10:10 PM..
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:30 PM
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Score!!!! Hey i just found a bunch of cetme mags today in a little shop up past horseshoe bend. 10 bucks a piece. Donít have a cetme but i canít recall ever seeing any in a box on a shelf anywhere before in the last couple decades.
Was it Ponderosa Sports & Mercantile...on your left a few miles out of Horseshoe Bend headed for Banks?

http://http://ponderosasports.com/Info.htm

If so, it's a bit of a bizarre shop. Amish quilts on the left as you walk in, guns galore, including Title II stuff, on your right. The place has been for sale off and on for almost forever.
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Old 03-31-2019, 1:27 AM
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Thank you Sir, saw that when it was announced. Unfortunately for me itís a modern take on the ar180. I prefer the original. Just gotta find the right used one since i doubt the original will ever be remade as a clone unfortunately.


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I had one, they aren't so great. Finding original magazines is extremely difficult, and sometimes they don't even work, depending on the gun. Cutting AR-15 mags is a dicey proposition. They also have a 1 in 12 twist and the stock is wobbly even when brand new. I bought mine new.

If you actually want to shoot it, you have to make sure it runs. I had a Sterling, which had a horrible reputation. I was extremely lucky because mine ran like a champ. I sold mine during a semi-auto scare in 1989 for twice what I paid for it, and bought a Daewoo, which had a similar design but much improved. It had a rock solid folding stock, a better piston gas system that was adjustable, and used AR-15 mags. If you want to look for an old gun that's not made any more, look for one of those.

I'm still looking for mine, which was stolen 10 years ago.
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Old 03-31-2019, 7:39 AM
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Originally Posted by -hanko View Post
Was it Ponderosa Sports & Mercantile...on your left a few miles out of Horseshoe Bend headed for Banks?



http://http://ponderosasports.com/Info.htm



If so, it's a bit of a bizarre shop. Amish quilts on the left as you walk in, guns galore, including Title II stuff, on your right. The place has been for sale off and on for almost forever.


It was indeed. Super nice older lady that owns the place, and an interesting and eclectic selection of stuff.


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Old 03-31-2019, 7:40 AM
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I had one, they aren't so great. Finding original magazines is extremely difficult, and sometimes they don't even work, depending on the gun. Cutting AR-15 mags is a dicey proposition. They also have a 1 in 12 twist and the stock is wobbly even when brand new. I bought mine new.



If you actually want to shoot it, you have to make sure it runs. I had a Sterling, which had a horrible reputation. I was extremely lucky because mine ran like a champ. I sold mine during a semi-auto scare in 1989 for twice what I paid for it, and bought a Daewoo, which had a similar design but much improved. It had a rock solid folding stock, a better piston gas system that was adjustable, and used AR-15 mags. If you want to look for an old gun that's not made any more, look for one of those.



I'm still looking for mine, which was stolen 10 years ago.


Great info thank you.


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Old 03-31-2019, 8:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
It's the lower that's the trick. The kind with no mag release fence and the non-captive pivot pin (no horizontal bulge to hold the spring and detent) are nearly impossible to find. That's what makes the Brownell's clone so cool.



Link to Brownell's early AR retro line, including their new AR-10:
https://www.brownells.com/.aspx/bapi...age/retro-ar15
There is a third variation of an M16 lower, the partial fence version. They were produced as the M16E1 and featured a raised portion to capture the new front push pin, but still didn't have a full fence around the magazine release.





Also note that the AR15 and M16E/A1 lower receivers have a different contour at the front upper portion of the magazine well and also at the rear of the receiver where the buffer tube threads in.

M16A1:


M16A2:
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:17 AM
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highpower,,,nice pics. Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2019, 2:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
It's the lower that's the trick. The kind with no mag release fence and the non-captive pivot pin (no horizontal bulge to hold the spring and detent) are nearly impossible to find. That's what makes the Brownell's clone so cool.



Link to Brownell's early AR retro line, including their new AR-10:
https://www.brownells.com/.aspx/bapi...age/retro-ar15
I have one that looks like this. A Colt SP-1 lower. It's funny though, I never thought this looks all that cool after getting my first look at the newer fenced lowers. I converted mine to the standard 1/4" pivot hole since I could not find a decent large-hole upper anywhere. Works out much better. Now I can use any upper I want with the SP-1 lower. And since it's relatively light weight, I appropriated it into a lightweight build.

But I can always throw on my ancient M16A1 upper that was on the rifle when I bought it from my brother several decades back.
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Old 03-31-2019, 5:53 PM
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I'm not crazy about them either, but the retro crowd is. Plus a Brownell's is probably going to be a lot cheaper than an SP-1 (if they're even legal in CA).
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  #36  
Old 04-01-2019, 7:31 AM
Ki6vsm Ki6vsm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
I'm not crazy about them either, but the retro crowd is. Plus a Brownell's is probably going to be a lot cheaper than an SP-1 (if they're even legal in CA).
Yep. The SP-1 Colts aren't "legal" to acquire anymore in CA. All had to be registered back in '89-91.

As I said, the upper that was on my Colt when I bought it was an M16A1 upper, not the original no-FA upper. Surplus. 1960-70 vintage, that my brother bought. Has an interesting brownish patina on the upper receiver. The barrel's pretty pitted out near the muzzle end, but it still shoots decent groups.

And don't care at all for the triangular hand guards. Don't like the feel or the taper. So I stashed them and installed the newer round A2 style on it. Huge improvement.

If someone was looking to build a super lightweight rifle, that "early" lower would be a good start.
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Old 04-01-2019, 7:38 AM
jarhead714 jarhead714 is offline
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The grip and stock length are the best parts of the A1. Some people dig the rear sight as well. I think the A2 was an improvement in most every conceivable way however.
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Old 04-01-2019, 8:05 AM
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223556 223556 is offline
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Awesome looking M16A1. Congrats on the purchase.
I just completed a M16A2/A4 build. There's something about it that just seems more proportionate then some of my other builds.
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Old 04-01-2019, 1:00 PM
Coolguy101 Coolguy101 is offline
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So I built one of those clones recently, and took it to the range on Sunday. I am left handed, and discovered that no shell deflector = shells to the face.

No bueno.
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Old 04-01-2019, 1:27 PM
audiophil2 audiophil2 is offline
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A Brownells M16A1 came into the shop today for Californication.

Drop in sear fits like a glove.

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