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Thread: I Think I Have a Colt Addiction

  1. #51
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    Earlier, we looked at Colt's first marketing brochure for the AR-15 dating from 1960. In that really neato multi-fold gem, we saw the rifle with a scope mounted:

    In this post, we're going to take a quick look at one of those scopes:

    Commonly known in collector circles as the "Delft 3x25", this was a generic 3 power scope made by the optics division of the Dutch manufacturer Artillerie Inrichtingen. The factory was in the City of Delft, hence the name. I say generic because this scope was not purpose built for the AR-15 but rather was designed to be used on whatever design the end user saw fit. Rather then go into a long history lesson about it that I might screw up anyways, I'll just direct you to a concise little article written by the good folks at Small Arms Review. If you want to learn some of the back story about the design and use of this scope, the following link will provide that information:

    Let's get back to the scope at hand, serial number 338:

    Front is to the left so we're looking at the left side of the unit. The knurled knob at the front adjusts the windage and the one at the back adjusts the range. The logo is a stylized "AI" for "Artillerie Inrichtingen". If that name sounds familiar to you is because they also built some of the first AR-10's back in the 1950's. We might look at one of those in an upcoming post if I get around to it. Notice that the scope is just a round tube with the specialized part being the mount it's bolted to. As I said, this was not a purpose built scope and it could be adapted to various rifles. The mount is marked both Colt and Armalite. I like that it also says "Patent Pending". The knurled knob at the bottom of the mount is for tightening down on the rifle's carry handle.

    Right side view:

    Not much to see here. One thing of note is the little hole drilled into the windage ring in front of the knurled adjustment ring. This is for mounting the adjustment wrench which we'll see in just a bit.

    Bottom view:

    Front is to the left. The little holes in the securing knob are engaged by little detents to keep it tight. Both detents can be seen at the three and nine o'clock positions.

    Top view with front to the right:

    The elevation adjustment is only good for 1 and 2 hundred meters. If you ask me, that's a little limited. In the picture, it's set to 100 meters.

    Ocular lens:

    That's not delamination or clouding you're looking at but simple smudges. I should have cleaned it before taking the picture. Sorry about that. You can be sure, it's all cleaned up now. That's some very nice knurling on the adjustment ring, don't you think?

    Objective lens:

    The glass is cleaner but there's a fair amount of duct in the crevices. Maybe this thing should see some range time instead of sitting around collecting dust! In the background and out of focus, we see the adjustment wrench.

    Here's a better look at the adjustment wrench:

    And here it is mounted on the elevation graduation ring:

    The way this works is simple. First, you set the target out at either 100 or 200 meters. Next, you use the knurled windage and elevation tings to zero the scope. Once that's done, you hold each knurled ring fast with one hand while using the wrench in the other hand to move the graduated ring so that the "0" (windage) or 1/2 (elevation) lines up with the little arrow mark on the scope body. Presto zippo, you're done! Now, if the target is at 100 meters, you turn the elevation ring to "1". If it's at 200 meters, you turn it to "2". Beyond that.....well, I don't know what you do. If you ask me, this whole design is a little half baked. Regardless, now you've seen a real life example of the scope depicted in the 1960 marketing brochure. I hope you're happy because that's about all I have to say about it!

    Oh! I forgot to show you the reticle. It's REALLY complicated and chocked full of technical information:

    It doesn't get anymore bare bones than that! I guess it's better than nothing at all. Please ignore the reference books in the background. I don't need reference books because I'm omniscient. They are only there for show!!! If you believer that, you're a bigger moron than I am!

    See you next time when we'll look at a Colt marked 3x scope. Until then, long live the Empire!! All hail Caesar!!!!
    Last edited by Combloc; 09-13-2019 at 10:45 PM.

  2. #52
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    Next up is a Colt 3x20 carry handle mount scope. The 3x version was later replaced by a 4x version that looked almost identical. To my knowledge, all 4x versions were manufactured by Hakko in Japan. It could be that all 3x units were made in the United States but I think that the vast majority of 3x units were made by Hakko and only early ones (as shown here) were made in the United States. However, I'll be the first to tell you that I'm no expert so you might want to check me on that. I also think that some of the Hakko units came with lens covers and some did not but don't quote me on that one either. Again, I'm not much more than an imbecile. This one came with nothing other than an instruction manual. These were made for many years so expect variations in the box over the years too. Personally, I'd be afraid of what I was buying these days as there are MANY fake ones out there because values on these have risen significantly. I've been told these were excellent scopes in their day and if you want one for collection purposes, by all means, pay whatever you think is fair. But if you are buying one simply to use, don't spend stupid money to get one of these because, for the money these things bring in today's market, there are far more modern options out there.

    We'll start with the box top:

    It's a pleasant shade of red. I'm no expert on these things so I can't tell you when this one was made; only that it is an earlier one because it's a 3x.

    The bottom is plain carboard:

    Both long sides are identical:

    I like this older understated packaging. I wish they still did things this way.

    Both short sides are identical as well:

    Box top removed showing the goodies hidden within:

    Detail of scope packing:

    Quite sophisticated isn't it?

    Top view of scope:

    Notice how "Colt" is inscribed and that it's marked "MADE IN USA". As I stated earlier....BE CAREFUL OF FAKES!!!! This one is 100% guaranteed original and that's exactly why I'm posting it; so that it can serve as a point of reference and research. The top knob is for adjusting elevation. In just a bit, we'll be looking at the instructions so I'm not going to bother explaining how it works. Spoiler adjust just as you would expect.

    Right side:

    Left side:

    I like the "1 to2" marking on the elevation drum. It has style. I should have taken more comprehensive pictures of the adjustment knobs and their markings but I did not. zfor that, I apologize.

    Rear view:

    Front view:

    This thing could use a good dusting but it doesn't matter really as it's never going to see use.

    Ever so comprehensive reticle:

    A simpler instrument for a simpler time. I prefer simple.

    Page 1 of the instructions:

    A detail of the illustration on page 1:

    Pages 2 and 3:

    And the back page:

    That's it for this one. Sometimes short and sweet does the job.
    Last edited by Combloc; 09-14-2019 at 11:01 PM.

  3. #53
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    Sweet! I have always liked those but have never used one.
    14EH AIT Instructor-PATRIOT Fire Control Enhanced Operator/Maintainer

  4. #54
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    Up next is one of the last 6721's. In case all the various model numbers confuse you (they sure confuse me), the 6721 was the 16" heavy barreled semi-auto carbine. Production ceased sometime in 2017. If you look back to the beginning of this article, the first three we looked at were earlier versions of the 6721. Over time, these changed in many little ways ranging from quickly noticeable things such as stocks and handguards to barely noticeable things such as markings. At its core though, the 6721 stayed essentially the same; that is to say a collapsible stocked 16" heavy barreled carbine with M4 cut feed ramps. Let's take a quick look at this one.

    First up is the left side:

    And the right:

    Notice there is no carry handle. That's how it left the factory. By the time this carbine was made (probably in 2016), Colt had stopped supplying carry handles because most people were chucking it in favor of mounting optics on the picatinny rail anyways. So why not save a few bucks and delete it? Instead, you get a Magpul MBUS rear sight. It works just fine I guess but I prefer a carry handle. You have to remember, I'm old. An AR is supposed to have a carry handle.

    A closeup of the left side of the receiver:

    Note that the serial number is engraved instead of stamped. There is also an engrave Data Matrix thingee (Some folks call it a QR Code I think) behind the "COLT DEFENSE" mark. I guess it contains information such as the model number, serial number, nuclear missile codes and stuff like that. It's just gibberish to me.

    Right side:

    The "C" on the upper receiver is stamped. Earlier upper receives had the "C" cast into them so they were raised. Another detail that differentiates these later models is the front takedown pin is actually a moveable takedown pin instead of a screw as seen on earlier models. "FIRE" and "SAFE" are stamped and not engraved. You can also just make out the nice staking for the buffer tube castle nut.

    The stock is a typical late model Colt "waffle" stock. I say "late model" because, while this design dates back to 2002, the details changed over time. Earlier versions had no markings to speak of but late ones have both Cage Codes and a medallion blank spot. A what?? I'll show you in a second. First up are the Cage Code markings:

    We're looking at the right side of the stock where the length of pull adjustment lever is. the number in the front, 4U486, tells us that it was made by P&S Products Inc. in good ol' Lexington Kentucky. It's hard to make out but to the rear of the P&S Cage Code we see Colt's Cage Code, 13629. Soooo, we knw who this stock was made by and who it was made for. YaY!!! Knowledge!!

    Towards the far rear right side of the stock, we see a large circle molded into the stock:

    This is the medallion blank spot I was talking about. When you look at some AR-15's sold/made by other folks (Ruger Smith & Wesson, etc.), you'll see their logo in this spot. I assume P&S sells to other companies as well and will remove the blank circle from the mold and replace it with logo is required for that contract. Earlier waffle stocks lacked both this round blank and Cage Codes. I don't know exactly when these stock attributes started showing up but it can help determine whether or not your Colt carbine has had its stock replaced. I wish I could give you exact dates BUT Colt is pretty stingy about sharing information. All I can tell you is that earlier waffle stocks should lack these features. You just need to learn through experience.

    Here's a closeup of the Magpul rear sight:

    It's well enough made and it even has two sized of aperture but it's plastic (sorry....polymer) and I'm old school. All bias aside, it works just fine.

    Detail shot of the upper receiver markings:

    Remember, earlier carbines have a raised "C" while late ones have a stamped "C".

    he front sight is still "F" marked at this point:

    Judging by the M4A1 Socom and 6920HBPW models, the "F" mark has now gone the way of the Dodo. Since fixed carry handles are far in the rearview mirror at this point, why would you need it, right?

    Barrel marking:

    This marking seems to now be gone too as the latest barrels have Colt's Cage Code instead of the "C" mark.

    Typical A2 flash hider secured with a crush washer:

    "M4" mark at the front of the upper receiver:

    Standard "H" buffer:

    The bolt is still "C" stamp marked:

    This marking is now gone too. On the latest rifles, if it's present at all it's done by some sort of sloppy engraving method. Refer back to the US Property Marked M4A1 I posted and you'll se what I mean.

    The "MPC" mark on the bolt:

    Closeup of the markings on the right rear of the lower receiver:

    The space age barcode doohickey is clearly engraved. "FIRE" and "SAFE" are clearly stamped. I can't say about the manufacturer's mark but I think it's stamped/roll marked.

    Detail of the markings on the magazine well:

    The serial number is engraved but the rest is still an old fashioned roll mark/stamping.

    The barrel is dated April of 2016:

    Upper handguard removed showing the heavy barrel:

    You can clearly see the double lining in the "M4" handguard to help dissipate heat.

    Both handguards removed showing just how thick the barrel is on the 6721:

    I've not noticed this "W" mark before:

    It's on top of the barrel at the rear and just in front of the barrel nut.

    You ALWAYS have to be careful of what you read online. I've read again and again that ALL Colt M4 handguards should have the heat shields glued in place. Clearly, that is inaccurate as can be seen in the pictures below:

    After removing the inner heat shield, you come to the outer heat shield:

    All you need to do to remove the heat shields is to GENTLY squeeze them to remove them from their retaining slots. DO NOT gorilla squeeze them or you will bend them.

    Better yet, pay attention to what is stamped on them and DO NOT REMOVE:

    Just so you don't have to, I've done it for you. If you remove both heat shields, here's what you'll see:

    Pretty boring stuff. Just leave your heat shields alone and enjoy them as is.

    This one is marked "CAV 5", which tells us it came rom cavity 5 of the mold:

    A detail of the texture on a late model Cot M4 handguard:

    I post this because handguards are often switched out. Colt handguards, while not actually made by Colt, are specific to Colt. There are certain details that you will only see on Colt supplied hand guards. I advise you to do some research and you'll learn what to look for. Again, experience is the best way to tell what you are looking at.

    In the next post, we'll look at a 6920HBW. Why Colt made it, I don't know. What I DO know is Colt didn't make very many and they are pretty interesting. Check back for some pictures of that one. I think it's neat. But then, I think they are ALL neat. See you in a bit!
    Last edited by Combloc; 10-14-2019 at 12:35 AM.

  5. #55
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    This next Colt is the LE6920HBPW and it's something of an enigma. These started showing up sometime in 2017 and continued to be shipped out in very small numbers until (most likely) September of 2019. The weird thing is that, as far as I can tell, Colt never advertised them in any way. When we look at the box, we'll see that it is clearly it's own model but they seem to have been sent out to dealers mixed in with regular LE6920's. In other words, you couldn't call Colt and specifically order one of these. When you placed an order for a plain jane 6920 you would most likely get exactly that but you also might end up getting a 6920HBPW instead. Some guys were VERY happy to get one and some were upset. Personally, I wanted one from the time I was aware of them and sought one out.

    SO what's the big deal? Well, let's take a look at the box first:

    Our first clue that something is different is the model number suffix, "HBPW". It's assumed that this means "Heavy Barrel Pinned Welded". In essence, the barrel is a true military M4A1 14.5" barrel with an extended flash hider attached just as seen on the "US Property" marked M4A1 SOCOM model. In fact, as we'll see in a bit, the entire upper is a genuine M4A1 upper with standard M4 handguards and a Magpul rear sight.
    Also notice that the serial number prefix is "CR" and not "LE". So, both this model and the M4A1 SOCOM model share a common serial number "block" which complicates any effort to ascertain how many of either model were actually made. A standard 6920 uses the "LE" prefix.

    Next up is the left side of the carbine:

    Unlike the Magpul magazine shipped with a standard 6920, the HBPW ships with a Colt GI aluminum one. I much prefer that. Notice too that, instead of the usual front sight base mounted sling swivel, this model comes with a side mount swivel.

    The right side:

    A close up of the upper receiver markings:

    In addition to the forge mark, we see Colt's Cage Code 13629 clearly stamped. The rear sight is a polymer Magpul MBUS. While these work just fine and are by all accounts excellent sights, I would prefer the all metal MaTech. But hey, that's easy enough to switch out were one so inclined. I'm never shooting this so what do I care?

    Left side of the lower receiver:

    Excuse the smudges please. This was bought for collection purposes so I left it as it came from the factory. Selling at right around $1100, this model is an excellent alternative for someone who wants a shooter with the well known accuracy of the M4A1 barrel without the collector's price tag of the M4A1 SOCOM model. At its core, it's the exact same firearm other then the rear sight, handguards, ambidextrous safety, magazine well markings and a few other small details. BUT, if you're trying to build an M4A1 SOCOM clone, you might as well buy that model to begin with as you'll have as much invested in the end and you still won't have the "US PROPERTY" markings. Of course, with Colt not currently selling to the civilian market, who knows what prices will be tomorrow let alone a year from now. All I can tell you is buy it when you see it because prices are likely only going to go higher.

    Detail of the weld holding the extended flash hider in place:

    Some might not like that they didn't clean it up. As for me, I like it just the way it is.

    A side shot of the above:

    Here, I've put a glare on the left rear receiver markings to highlight them:

    The selector settings are clearly stamped but the UID code and manufacturer's mark look to be engraved.

    Magazine well markings:

    The serial number is engraved but the rest is the once ubiquitous roll mark. However, by now I would assume ALL markings are engraved because Colt said some time back that they were moving to completely engraved. Progress!!!!

    The selector markings on the right side of the receiver are stamped as well:

    Note no tick mark on the safety axle.

    The stock on this one, while almost definitely made by P&S Products, lacks any markings:

    I've also seen these with P&S Cage Coded stocks and blanked out roundel stocks so there is most assuredly variation. It wouldn't be a Colt if there weren't variations!

    These come standard with an "H" buffer instead of the "H2" supplied with the SOCOM model:

    For semi-auto firing, that'll work just fine.

    The bolt carrier is "C" marked:

    The bolt has the white paint mark:

    I have yet to see this on a SOCOM model but that doesn't mean they don't exist. In fact, I'd bet they do.

    MPC mark on bolt:

    Again, I've left the factory storage funk in place or I could have gotten a better picture. Sorry about that.

    I've removed the handguards in this picture to show you the barrel profile:

    This is not your standard 6920 pencil barrel but rather a genuine M4A1 SOCOM barrel complete with M203 cuts. Schweet!! I didn't post a picture of the marking on the front sight base but there is no "F" mark. Colt has stopped marking them because A2 fixed handle uppers are long gone at this point so there is no need to differentiate. All Colt front sight bases are to be considered "F" type now.

    Of course, the upper receiver is "M4" marked:

    Standard military barrel markings:

    This barrel is dated August of 2018:

    And that's it for this post. The HBPW is actually pretty rare and, while I haven't shot one, I'd be willing to bet it's a sweetheart at the range. If you manage to find one at a reasonable price ($1100-1200), my advice is to buy it because you might not see another. See you soon with yet another Colt!
    Last edited by Combloc; 11-02-2019 at 04:19 PM.

  6. #56
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    Next up is a pretty nifty specimen; a Colt Model 639:

    Developed in the mid 1960's as a 5.56MM "submachine gun" for the military, the design interested the government enough that small numbers were procured and the designation XM177E2 was adopted for field trials. Because of the extremely loud report resulting from the 11.5" barrel, Colt designed a special muzzle device that was a combination noise and flash suppressor. Measuring about 4.5" in length, it was NOT intended to be a suppressor as we think of that term today but rather a device for bringing the noise level down to that produced by the standard 20" barreled rifle. The contraption worked as intended but it could not be disassembled for cleaning and the rather intricate internal design tended to quickly clog up with carbon thus reducing the noise reduction capability to nil. But hey, you still had a cool looking flash suppressor! The Model 639 also featured a lightweight aluminum collapsible stock, making the design even more compact. Although the little "submachine gun" showed great promise and quickly became a favorite of special forces troops, the winding down of the war in Vietnam cooled government interest in the project and neither standardization nor further orders were forthcoming.
    Still, Colt had dumped a lot of time and money into the 639 and intended to continue production, hoping to attract export sales. Unfortunately, after some had been sold commercially on the US market, the BATF decided that the flash/noise suppressor qualified as an NFA item, meaning it had to be registered independently from the rest of the carbine (I'm calling it that from here on because, realistically speaking, that's what this thing is). For civilians, that meant a $200 tax stamp for the carbine and another $200 tax stamp for the muzzle device. Those who had previously purchased a 639 had to either retroactively register the suppressor, turn it in, or destroy it. Many chose option two or three effectively reducing the already very few produced to very, very few intact as they originally left the factory. The end of the Model 639 came when the Carter administration decided that suppressors could not be sold abroad meaning no export sales for the 639. At that point, Colt had finally had enough and ceased production.

    Okiedokie. Now that we know what we are looking at, lets take a closer look!
    Here's the left side of the receiver:

    And the right side:

    As we look at the details of this carbine, keep in mind that, at its core, its just a standard 1970's select fire AR-15. Other than the markings, the only significant differences between this and a standard 20" barreled rifle are the shortened barrel, the muzzle device and the carbine stock.

    A closeup of the magazine well markings:

    I'm not 100% sure but this might have been the second one made. Note the non-reinforced pivot pin area.

    Manufacturer stamp detail:

    I have no idea why there is what looks like paint spatter behind the bolt release and on the upper receiver. That's how it was bought so that's how it'll stay.

    Typical A1 reinforcing (or lack thereof depending on your perspective) at the rear of the receiver:

    A detail shot showing that this example has typical full fence lower receiver and the earlier style ejection port cover door:

    Colt and forge marks on the upper receiver:

    Standard A1 rear sight:

    Tear drop forward assist:

    Pivot pin detail:

    Again, this is all standard 70's era Colt.

    Castle nut staking:

    Colt usually (but not always!) does a really nice job with this detail and this is an specimen is an exemplary example of that.

    As can be seen on the bottom of the buffer tube, the stock has two positions; extended for use or non-extended for transport:

    The multi-position sliding stock would come much later.

    Left side of the stock:

    This thing is made of lightweight aluminum with an epoxy-like black coating. This stock seems to be highly sought after today and there are many reproductions and fakes floating about. This one is 100% guaranteed original so I'm posting these detail shots to help you figure out what you are looking at when you run across one for sale.

    Right side:

    The little bump below the lower sling slot is a blemish in either the coating or the metal underneath. Notice that the overall finish is ever so slightly orange-peely too. If it looks too perfect, it's probably fake. If it looks too shoddy, it's guaranteed fake.

    Inside showing zero finish, just bare aluminum:


    Looking at the hole in the middle of the stock you can see that the finish is glooped on pretty thick.

    And bottom:

    Notice that the inside of the adjuster lever is devoid of coating other than some spatter:

    The rear showing that the crosshatch pattern, while probably pretty finely rendered if seen bare, is looking pretty vague and diffused due to the thick coating:

    6 hole carbine handguards were standard on the 639:

    Notice the nicely finished front sight tower showing no sign of a forge line.

    Interior heat shield:

    Although I didn't capture it properly here, the front of the sight tower is as well dressed as the rear:

    Handguards removed showing the barrel profile and gas tube bend:

    The barrel is marked on the bottom just forward of the front sight:

    It has both a chrome plated bore and chamber. The twist rate is 1/12. As can clearly be seen, the bayonet lug has been removed form a standard front sight tower.

    Detail view of the front handguard retainer:

    Because the noise reduction device was deemed to be an NFA item, it was serialized to match the carbine serial number:

    A detail of the flash suppressor cuts:

    And the rear of the device:

    Other than having a carbine buffer, the internals are standard for the era:

    So that's it for the 639. It's an iconic Colt design that you don't encounter very often. The neato torpedo combination flash suppressor, ultra-operator short barrel and the two thumbs up aluminum stock made this jobber one of the coolest little carbines to ever come out of Hartford!

    Before I sign off, I want to share a few pictures of two upcoming rifles. One is made by Harrington & Richardson. No, it's not a Colt but it's close enough that we can include it here:

    The other is what at first glance just appears to be a plain ol' SP1:

    BUT, upon closer inspection of the serial number appears to be a head scratcher:

    Officially, SP1 production started in January of 1964 with serial number 00101 but this one is numbered 00018. How can that be?? I'll explain later. See you soon!
    Last edited by Combloc; 11-18-2019 at 11:52 PM.

  7. #57
    7.62guy's Avatar
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    AR's aren't my thing. I get it. It's a Colt thing. 1911"s aren't my thing,but most of the ones I have are Colts . Sorry to get off topic. I still enjoy your reviews and have learned much from this one. Keep up the good work and I look forward to what's next. I do have to say though, I think you might like an AR a little more than you say.
    For those who fought for it, freedom holds a flavor the protected will never know. Those who hammer their guns into plows-will plow for those who do not. Thomas Jefferson

  8. #58
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    Another great post! Thanks!

    Can't wait to find out about the "off" serial numbered SP1.
    14EH AIT Instructor-PATRIOT Fire Control Enhanced Operator/Maintainer

  9. #59
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    Next up are a couple M16's made by Harrington & Richardson (H&R). No, they aren't Colt's but I think they are germane to the discussion so I'm including them here. In order to temporarily supplement Colt's production for the war in Vietnam, both H&R and General Motors were contracted in 1968 to build complete rifles. While test samples were available in 1968, actual series production began in 1969. H&R serial numbers started at 2,000,000 while GM started at 3,000,000. I do not know the total number produced by either manufacturer. While both suppliers built rifles that were up to government standards, GM produced rifles are generally considered to be better built than a Colt while H&R is considered to be inferior.
    The only hands on experience I have with GM is one that I built some time ago from parts that I was told were removed from a complete previously unaltered (save for the handguards) rifle. I tend to believe that because the entire upper appears to have its original finish and all parts (other than the handguards) appear to be totally correct and never apart. Of all the AR's I have shot, it's the smoothest I've encountered. If you folks are interested, let me know and I'll post it at some point.
    Similarly, the only hands on experience I have with H&R is the two we're going to be looking at here. The later one rattles a little bit and the early one rattles a lot; so much so that it feels cheaply made. For the most part, both of these rifles are essentially the same except that the later one has the then new trapdoor stock. Still, there are a number of detail differences and I'll point out some of them in the text. But rather than compare each side by side, I'll cover the early one in some slight detail and then move on to the later one leaving the reader to mostly compare for himself. This will take several posts so bear with me. Okiedokie, let's get started.

    For the sake of brevity, The left and right side general pictures will show both rifles:

    The early example is at the top in both pictures. After this point, all pictures will be of the early rifle until I tell you otherwise.

    Receiver left side:

    Notice how much better struck the manufactures mark stamp is compared to the magazine well stamp.

    Right side:

    This is a typical Vietnam era M16.

    Magazine well markings:

    Note how shallow the roll mark is. It's much more defined on the other one. Also, please excuse the dust. These things spend almost all of their time in storage and are handled very little.

    Closeup of the ejection port:

    Compare this with the same picture of the later rifle we'll see in a little while and you'll see some interesting (well....interesting if you are a detail nut) differences.

    Yip-Yip windage adjustment wheel:

    The "R" is kind of blobby.

    Many of the flash lines on both the upper and lower receivers is typically left unground on H&R specimens:

    The chalky mark just north of the charging handle is a blemish in the finish. Being that both of these rifles most likely came from the H&R museum and were never issued, it's probably safe to say it left the factory like this.

    This last flash line does appear to have been at least minimally dressed:

    And the same shot with different lens settings:

    It's a little more washed out but it reveals more finish variation details along the flash line.

    This little nub at the front of the magazine well is another typical H&R feature:

    The buttstock is a typical late solid body unit and the stock screw does have a drain hole:

    The pistol grip is of the period standard fat variety:

    The rear sight leaf is typical:

    I didn't take a picture of the 0-200M aperture but it looks just like what you're used to seeing too.

    Left side of front sight:

    This mark on the left side of the barrel looks like nothing but it's a poorly struck and upside down "MP":

    The chrome chamber mark (remember, bores were not chrome yet) is also on the left side of the barrel and upside down:

    When we look at the later jobber, you'll notice that the markings on that one are on the right side and properly oriented.

    Right side of the front sight:

    The trigger group and buffer:

    Buffer removed:

    The other one is identical. I'm telling you that now because you won't see a picture of it later.

    Right side of bolt group:

    Left side of bolt group:

    Notice that there are no identifying marks. We only really know this came from H&R because it came out of an unissued H&R rifle.

    Bolt group parts minus the carrier:

    "MP" mark on bolt:

    Staking on key:

    The later one is quite different.

    Shot of carrier front showing machining details and internal chrome plating:

    The pivot pin lug on the upper is counterbored for the earlier removeable pin:

    This unnecessary detail was carried on long after the switch to a captive pin.

    Wedge shaped bevel on the rear lug to aid in upper to lower realignment during reassembly:

    Although it's out of focus, the tear drop forward assist is clearly visible.

    This last one is a view up into the chamber from below:

    If you didn't know, you would think this was a Colt.

    That's it for the 14911th series production H&R. Again, other than the stock and the most minute details, these rifles are identical. On the next one, we'll look under the handguards and at a few other things we didn't look at on this one simply for the sake of unnecessary redundancy. See you then.

  10. #60
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    Next up is the 227674th H&R made M16A1. It's the one on the bottom:

    Other than the later style trapdoor stock, it's very much the same rifle but there are little differences here and there.

    Left side of receiver:

    Right side of receiver:

    Magazine well markings:

    They are much better stamped on this one. In fact, everything on this rifle shows a little more attention to detail. It rattles less too and just feels better built than the earlier example.

    Front of carry handle:

    The unground flash line is signature H&R. Colt and GM removed it.

    Rear of carry handle:

    GM left this line unground as well but Colt did not.

    Butt plate:

    Trapdoor open showing the fill material inside:

    One of millions but still neato!

    The rear sight is typical:

    The rear sight adjustment markings on this one are much more defined compared to the earlier H&R:

    Right side of front sight:

    It's interesting that at this late date H&R is still using a roll pin to retain the front swivel.

    Standard birdcage flash hider:

    Top of front sight showing crude looking adjustment markings:

    Contrary to the earlier one we looked at, the markings on this barrel are right side up and on the right side. Here is the "C" mark telling us that only the chamber is chromed:

    Oblique view of the front sight base:

    Depending on my mood, I switch back and forth in preferring the early clean looking cast sight base and this more German late war looking forged one.

    Right side view:

    It's very faint to the point of taking my word for it but their is a right side up "MP" mark on the barrel directly below the gas tube retainer roll pin.

    Nah, you don't have to take my word for it. Here's a closeup of the mark under different lighting conditions:

    The rear of the sight base looks just like.....well, what you would see today:

    To be 100% honest, the only significant thing that really differentiates this rifle from the gadzillions of M16A1's of this era is the H&R roll mark. BUT, my job is to document, not to judge. Whatever the case, it's still a worthwhile artifact of US firearms History.

    A detail shot of the right side of the bolt with the ejection port door open:

    Compare the hole in the bolt for the firing pin retaining pin with the same hole on the earlier specimen and you'll see a difference.

    Action open showing the innards of the lower receiver:

    The face of the buffer is much better dressed than the other H&R. The rest of the buffer is identical down to the orange color of the bumper at its arse so please forgive me for not showing you a picture of it.

    Left side of the bolt group:

    It's completely devoid of markings so you'll just have to trust me that it's an actual H&R assembly.

    Right side of same:

    The stakings on the key are no joke!:

    The "MP" mark on the bolt head is a full on botched mess:

    Bolt face:

    How many rounds do you think this thing has seen? My guess is zero past the proof/factory test rounds.

    Another view of the bolt:

    Bottom of the bolt carrier:

    Firing pin:

    Again, the only way we know this is a H&R part is because I'm saying so. I might be lying to you.

    The firing pin, cam pin and firing pin retaining pin:

    Exciting, isn't it?

    Front of the bolt carrier showing the chrome plating spilling out of the bore and onto the front face:

    A bottom forward view of the breach:

    A look at the bevel cut on the rear retaining pin lug for no other reason then I took the picture:

    Even at this late date (1970ish), H&R is still inletting the front pivot pin lug on the upper receiver for the long since dropped removable front pin:

    We didn't take a look at the other one with the handguards removed so we'll take them off this one:

    Notice that they do nave the "drain holes" but the y are not marked for left (L) or right (R).

    As you would expect at this point in time, the gas tube is stainless steel and has the later bend to it:

    And that's it. We're done with the H&R M16's. In the next post, we'll move back to looking at Colts and we'll do so with an SP1. Until then, be a Patriot.....stand with Virginian Liberty! MOLON LABE!!!

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