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View Poll Results: Do you like this "featureless" retro A1 clone?
Yay 21 70.00%
Nay 8 26.67%
"Featureless" soy bacon, yum. 1 3.33%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 11-23-2019, 3:00 PM
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Default ***UPDATED** CA Legal "Featureless" Retro ARs. XM16E1 and late model Air Force 604

***UPDATE***

Rather than create a new thread I'll just update this one with the latest information.

I was so happy with the first Brownell's BRN-16A1 retro lower, that I bought a blemished XBRN-16E1 lower when they had them on sale for black friday. I had heard the anodizing could be anywhere from dark gray to a weird light green. Unfortunately the one I received was a sickly light green almost nickel. It looked like hell paired with my NDS XM gray upper. So after much research I decided to take a chance and hit it with some Aluma Hyde dark parkerizing. I'm pretty happy with the results.
XM16E1:






I also bought a Brownells BRN 601 upper that I originally planned to pair with the XBRN16E1 lower but the anodizing is super dark charcoal gray. So I ended up pairing it with the BRN16A1 lower for a late model Air Force "604" build.

Air Force late model M16 604:


Group photo:






***Original post***:
Who say's you can't build a decent looking "featureless" retro AR clone? How did I do?

I used a gray anodized Brownell's BRN-16A1 stripped lower receiver. The upper is from Nodak Spud in their "XM" gray. The Brownell's gray is a tad bit darker but should wear in nicely.

I only had to use two parts to make it CA compliant:

1. Strike simple featureless grip
2. Thread protector (fake flash hider)

Mag is riveted to 10rds.



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  #2  
Old 11-23-2019, 6:27 PM
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Looks good! If anything, I'd graft a clear see-through Lexan fin on a classic M16A1 grip.

I'm glad I registered my BRN6A1 lower in 2016. The Raddlock kind of detracts from the classic appearance, though.


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Old 11-23-2019, 8:04 PM
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Get a black A1 silent sling and you’re set.
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Old 11-23-2019, 8:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jarhead714 View Post
Get a black A1 silent sling and you’re set.
I think the OD sling looks better for late '60s.
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Old 11-23-2019, 8:36 PM
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Looks good to me!
I built an M16A2/4 clone and actually like it very much.
I’m intrigued by the clear fin grip.
OP I do have an Armalite (new production) black A1 grip if you interested!
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2019, 5:58 PM
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Looks good. Where did you get the thread protector as I also have a brownells A1 that is maglocked by FC hook and want to convert it featureless
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2019, 6:09 PM
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Looks good. Where did you get the thread protector as I also have a brownells A1 that is maglocked by FC hook and want to convert it featureless
Tacticool22
https://www.tacticool22.com/product/...ead-protector/
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2019, 7:31 PM
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Well done.


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  #9  
Old 12-04-2019, 8:07 PM
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I'd swap the thread protector for an AIM sports muzzle brake. $10, looks a little more correct (real slots) and works really well. Looks good though.
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Old 12-04-2019, 8:11 PM
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I'd swap the thread protector for an AIM sports muzzle brake. $10, looks a little more correct (real slots) and works really well.
I already got one of those but I dont want to use it because the end just looks a little to open for it not to be mistaken for a flashhider. Theres no debate with the thread protector.
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Old 12-04-2019, 8:14 PM
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I already got one of those but I dont want to use it because the end just looks a little to open for it not to be mistaken for a flashhider. Theres no debate with the thread protector.
True, I keep the card from AIM that says "not a flashider" tucked inside the grip for safety sake.
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Old 12-04-2019, 8:17 PM
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Looks nice but I would go with some type of hidden maglock so you run a real flash hider and a real retro grip. Would make it look more authentic.
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Old 12-04-2019, 8:21 PM
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Looks nice but I would go with some type of hidden maglock so you run a real flash hider and a real retro grip. Would make it look more authentic.
But the whole point was to build a "featureless" retro AR not a fixed mag AR.
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Old 12-04-2019, 8:43 PM
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But the whole point was to build a "featureless" retro AR not a fixed mag AR.
Ah ok. Well looks good.
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Old 12-04-2019, 8:57 PM
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What happened to the right side selector switch? How correct can the flash hider be in California? What about the forward assist, the A-1 didn't had one, did it?
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Old 12-04-2019, 9:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Unbekannt View Post
What happened to the right side selector switch? How correct can the flash hider be in California? What about the forward assist, the A-1 didn't had one, did it?
Depends on generation, some A1s also had a slabside.
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Old 12-04-2019, 9:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unbekannt View Post
What happened to the right side selector switch? How correct can the flash hider be in California? What about the forward assist, the A-1 didn't had one, did it?


The a1 did have a forward assist. It came about in the Colt XM16e1. The original select fire Stoner AR15 did not have one. There were many changes along the way, including the partial and full receiver fence. The original AR15 was devoid of any receiver fencing and is often called slab side.

One the safety, a right sided safety selector is definitely not clone correct, but in the OP’s example, i would assume it’s there to facilitate user functionality with a california featureless grip fin and a right handed shooter. The modern Colt M4a1 and M16a4 have Colt ambi safety selectors.

Clone correct flashhiders for the period would be the three prong or an a1 birdcage. In Ca. people do what they gotta do to stay out of jail. Either a thread protector or some form of faux flash hider or flash hider looking muzzle brake.


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Old 12-05-2019, 6:59 AM
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Originally Posted by nitroxdiver View Post
The a1 did have a forward assist. It came about in the Colt XM16e1. The original select fire Stoner AR15 did not have one. There were many changes along the way, including the partial and full receiver fence. The original AR15 was devoid of any receiver fencing and is often called slab side.

One the safety, a right sided safety selector is definitely not clone correct, but in the OP’s example, i would assume it’s there to facilitate user functionality with a california featureless grip fin and a right handed shooter. The modern Colt M4a1 and M16a4 have Colt ambi safety selectors.

Clone correct flashhiders for the period would be the three prong or an a1 birdcage. In Ca. people do what they gotta do to stay out of jail. Either a thread protector or some form of faux flash hider or flash hider looking muzzle brake.


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Yup, the safety is a Colt that is reversible. I put it on the right side to make it functional with the featureless grip. At least it is the "no tick" style. And as you already pointed out, the final iteration of the M16A1 had a forward assist and full mag release fence.
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Old 12-05-2019, 2:42 PM
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Yup, the safety is a Colt that is reversible. I put it on the right side to make it functional with the featureless grip. At least it is the "no tick" style. And as you already pointed out, the final iteration of the M16A1 had a forward assist and full mag release fence.


Yea you did good. So often people have tapered delta rings instead of the correct non tapered slipring and you have the correct teardrop forward assist. Enjoy it!


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Old 12-05-2019, 2:49 PM
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If you want a period correct .mil bipod for it, here ya go. They work well enough. Can also use it on an AK if you pull out the cleaning rod. Can even use it on an m4 carbine if you clamp it on the m203 cutout on the barrel.


https://www.sarcoinc.com/ar15-m16-bipod-with-pouch/


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Old 12-05-2019, 2:49 PM
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Yea you did good. So often people have tapered delta rings instead of the correct non tapered slipring and you have the correct teardrop forward assist. Enjoy it!


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Yeah I love it. But I should probably replace the stock with an A1 trapdoor at some point.
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Old 12-05-2019, 2:54 PM
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I really like it but I voted nay because I think A1 sights suck. I believe the A2 is the perfected service rifle in 5.56mm. I love A1 hand guards but there is a left and right and that’s bad. Barrel is too thin, stock length is nearly perfect but grip is slippery.
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Old 12-05-2019, 3:11 PM
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I really like it but I voted nay because I think A1 sights suck. I believe the A2 is the perfected service rifle in 5.56mm. I love A1 hand guards but there is a left and right and that’s bad. Barrel is too thin, stock length is nearly perfect but grip is slippery.
This one actually shoots really well with the A1 sights and thin barrel. I got featureless A2 and A4 clones as well.
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Old 12-05-2019, 3:34 PM
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looks ok to me i like the floopydooped safety

i made mine back in 1999 cause i had to hurry up and make one as cheap as possible coincidentally it was a sarco kit (sportsmans guide surplus furniture )and a dpms grey lower so somehow i ended up with a "retro" pretty much unintentionally (my only real gripe is during the crime bill era i had to chop off the bayonet lug and tacked on a thread protector
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Old 12-05-2019, 8:04 PM
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Yeah I love it. But I should probably replace the stock with an A1 trapdoor at some point.


A1 didn’t have a trap door so yours is correct for the period.


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Old 12-05-2019, 8:57 PM
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A1 didn’t have a trap door so yours is correct for the period.


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I think the final iteration did.
https://bpullignwolnet.dotster.com/r...Gde/603A1.html
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Old 12-05-2019, 9:35 PM
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If think you’re correct. The original m16a1, after the xm16e1, had the short a1 non trap door stock. Also the early ones were marked AR15 and m16a1, along with the US gov property marks. Im still deciding whether or not to swap my a1 flash hider out to a 3 prong. It’s fun tracking down the historical development of these. Here’s mine. It’s the Colt retro reissue m16a1. I have a Colt branded 4x carry handle sight on it, which is not period correct, and a colt bipod which is. A 3x Colt scope would be time period correct, but my 3x is on another retro rifle. These 4x scopes came out later. Same exact function as the 3’s, just one more “x”



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Old 12-06-2019, 5:59 AM
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Originally Posted by nitroxdiver View Post
If think you’re correct. The original m16a1, after the xm16e1, had the short a1 non trap door stock. Also the early ones were marked AR15 and m16a1, along with the US gov property marks. Im still deciding whether or not to swap my a1 flash hider out to a 3 prong. It’s fun tracking down the historical development of these. Here’s mine. It’s the Colt retro reissue m16a1. I have a Colt branded 4x carry handle sight on it, which is not period correct, and a colt bipod which is. A 3x Colt scope would be time period correct, but my 3x is on another retro rifle. These 4x scopes came out later. Same exact function as the 3’s, just one more “x”



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Thats a really nice setup you have. My uncle in OH has an original SP1 he picked up back when they first came out. He has one of the Colt scopes on it.

I've always been attracted to the classic M16 look. The Brownell's gray might not be accurate but it is a really handsome shade of gray, like a dark silver.
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Old 12-06-2019, 9:02 AM
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Thats a really nice setup you have. My uncle in OH has an original SP1 he picked up back when they first came out. He has one of the Colt scopes on it.



I've always been attracted to the classic M16 look. The Brownell's gray might not be accurate but it is a really handsome shade of gray, like a dark silver.


I’m still finding some nice sp1’s for sale here locally at gun shows, just haven’t pulled the trigger on one yet. Your brownells is fine. They did an excellent job getting people back into the retro game at a reasonable price. Colt bent me over on mine but the choice to buy was mine and I’d do it again.


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Old 01-14-2020, 5:26 PM
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Thread updated see first post. New retro build added with pics.
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