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Thread: Retro M16A1 Build

  1. #1

    Default Retro M16A1 Build

    I am putting together a semiauto retro M16A1 (603). Using a lower that has the full fence. Upper is a Colt M16A1 with forward assist only. My question is which flash hider and stock set would be correct for the full fence. I have three prong and bird cage hiders. Also I have no trap (mottled) and early trap door stocks. The dates for change over are a bit illusive. Thanks for the help. I am aware of the forge code issues but am not concerned about this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    219

    Default

    I would imagine the bird-cage flash hider and the later style stock would be appropriate for an A1.

    Older series guns were updated during overhaul...and obsolete pieces were replaced with the upgraded pieces. The A1 should have a cleaning kit(trapdoor stock) forward assist..and every A1 I've seen had the birdcage flash-hider.

    There is an entire forum devoted to retro AR rifles at ar15.com...with lots of tacked pics and piles of retro building info. I'm an A2 guy myself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    64

    Default

    If you're doing a Vietnam A1 build it all depends upon time frame. For example, if your Colt upper is marked with a forge code of CK that would put an M-16A1 in the 1972 to 1974 production range. Regardless, an A1 in the field from 1969 on would have a birdcage flash hider and a butt stock w/o trap door.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Eastern Missouri
    Posts
    6,655

    Default

    I did a retro but couldn'r find the parts I needed to make it like 1967 time frame. Still it doesn't look to far off.

  5. #5

    Default

    So a no trap stock would be correct on a lower with a full fence. What year did the trap door stock begin. What year did the full fence lower show up. Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    205

    Default

    Full fence lowers started appearing after 1967. I recall reading somewhere that trap door stocks were adopted around 1971.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Guanacaste
    Posts
    651

    Default

    '67

    "Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries,
    know people. Let your memory be your travel bag."

    - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

  8. #8

    Default

    Great photo. Very helpful. Can you tell me what year it was taken. Thanks

  9. #9

    Default

    Sorry, I see the '67 now.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    1,469

    Default

    I don't know if this is helpful or not, but as late as 1973 - there were still a very few A1's with the open prong FS in my Armory on Okinawa. At that time, there was no order to upgrade every rifle to the birdcage. However, there WAS an order that any rifle found with a chromed bolt carrier group was to be immediately taken out of service until such time as the group was changed to parkerized. That order dated to before 1972 in the Corps, but I can't remember exactly what year.

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