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Posted: 9/19/2012 12:40:23 PM EDT
Alright my retro brothers (and sisters, if they're around), I've been working on this for quite awhile. I didn't want to "let the cat out of the bag" before I was a bit further along but, I've sort of gotten as far as I can go without a little help.

A few months ago I stumbled across a photocopy of the original Draft Copy of the manual from 1967. The quality... well, it just wasn't very good. So, I set out to recreate it using what few skills I may or may not possess. After a combined 40+ hours, several months, and some back and forth between members here, I've knocked out about 19 of the 24 pages. All in fairly high resolution or re-sizable vector imaging.

Now, to show that I'm not just blowing smoke, I compiled some before and after shots to show what I have managed to do so far.

This, is the cover, redone in large scale and vector so that it prints out sharp and crisp. The original is on the left, and my remake is on the right.



This, is page 2. The original is on top here. For the reproduction, I printed out a large version of the original scan and redrew over top with a variety of pencils. I scanned that back into the computer and added a few photoshop effects to get that, airbrushed over, vintage photo look that the M16 manuals all have.



Lastly, this page wasn't so bad but, I still wasn't happy with it. I redrew every line on the computer in large scale to get as crisp of a final print as possible. The original is on the left again in this example. The remake again, on the right.




A big point of this project, is to not step on anyone else's toes. I don't want to devalue any originals, or get into anyone's market or anything like that. But, I do want to have something that is "special" and doesn't cause eye trauma when viewed. So, having said that, any further information on, or sources for, a real '67 copy would be greatly appreciated.

Link Posted: 9/19/2012 1:13:06 PM EDT
[#1]
There were some on the ee (not mine) awhile back. I snagged one and would be happy to scan it. I'm sure others will be chiming in about it shortly.

I paid for a reproduction SP1 manual on eBay, high resolution scans , blah blah blah, and got printed out scans of the pages. Imagine my disappointment. This is a great project for the ones who can't get their own copy, and way better than printed pages stapled together of of eBay. I do want to rescan those and print them out into regular manual form, unless there's repros available that I don't know about. I have an M16a1 armorers manual  also I'd be happy to scan. I'll take inventory when I get home and see what I have.

Also, whoever did the weapons room cards awhile back, big thank you to you. I found my PDF on my thumbdrive.not too long ago and made cards for my retro stuff. I showed it to a co worker on night shift who was an Air Force vet, and he showed me his weapons cards he kept from the 70's. He had one for an M16, S&W 38, and an M60.
Link Posted: 9/19/2012 2:29:56 PM EDT
[#2]
Check your messages.

Riggs
Link Posted: 9/21/2012 6:25:09 AM EDT
[#3]
Thanks again Riggs, your a life saver.

I'm going to have to go back and redo page 2 now. My OCD will get the better of me if I don't.

Link Posted: 9/21/2012 7:57:51 AM EDT
[#4]
That looks good, I just found a vintage May 1972 M203/M79 Operators/Maint TM now is I could only scan it I would share with the rest of you all. I has soome really good pics in it.
Link Posted: 9/21/2012 12:14:33 PM EDT
[#5]
That is great work.  What was the reasoning again as to why it was type-classified as a SMG, rather than a carbine?  I've read it before years ago, maybe in TBR, but I've always had a problem with that designation because every SMG I can think of uses pistol ammunition.
Link Posted: 9/21/2012 12:58:44 PM EDT
[#6]
Looks nice. Did you do that on a CAD program. I am taking a CAD class right now and I have to do somekind of drawing for a project.

I briefly thought about something gun related and I know that would freak out all the Liberal wackos!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 9/21/2012 1:47:48 PM EDT
[#7]
Quoted:
Looks nice. Did you do that on a CAD program. I am taking a CAD class right now and I have to do somekind of drawing for a project.

I briefly thought about something gun related and I know that would freak out all the Liberal wackos!!!!!!!


And?  
Link Posted: 9/21/2012 5:44:15 PM EDT
[#8]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Looks nice. Did you do that on a CAD program. I am taking a CAD class right now and I have to do somekind of drawing for a project.

I briefly thought about something gun related and I know that would freak out all the Liberal wackos!!!!!!!


And?  





Seriously though, this project peaks my interest indeed.

Link Posted: 9/21/2012 11:45:30 PM EDT
[#9]
Are you joking? Make them EXACTLY like the originals and they will sell like hotcakes! Just put a note on the inside cover that this is a replica.
Link Posted: 9/22/2012 5:13:28 AM EDT
[#10]
Quoted:
Are you joking? Make them EXACTLY like the originals and they will sell like hotcakes! Just put a note on the inside cover that this is a replica.


+1

WOOD love to purchase one.

I like the submachine classification.

I hate the blanket nomenclature from by the powers that be stating that it has to be a pistol caliber to be a submachinegun.

Did anyone ever make a manual for the 607???
Link Posted: 9/22/2012 6:18:32 AM EDT
[#11]
Thanks for all the compliments guys. Art is one of those things I am somewhat good at so, I figured something like this would be a neat way to incorporate that into my RBRD.

Quoted:
Looks nice. Did you do that on a CAD program. I am taking a CAD class right now and I have to do somekind of drawing for a project.

I briefly thought about something gun related and I know that would freak out all the Liberal wackos!!!!!!!


No, I used Photoshop's line and pencil tools to trace over the existing image in high resolution. I'm sure a CAD program could do it much better. Since I made it as a large file, when it prints out at the smaller scale, it looks very clean and crisp. If you look really really close, you can see a few stray pixels but, it's exponentially better than the original I had to work with.  

Quoted:
Are you joking? Make them EXACTLY like the originals and they will sell like hotcakes! Just put a note on the inside cover that this is a replica.


I'm working toward doing just that. Every copy I've seen looks to be a subsequent generation of another copy. The images display the characteristics of the old M16 manuals which seem to be air and paint brushed over black and white photos but, with some clarity lost to the copying process. I'm trying to "restore" them to that original look.

I think member Tgus has an original green cover copy from '67, the same I discovered in an old eBay ad actually. The photos are very small but, seem to show much more detail and color. Only he, or another owner of an original could confirm though.  


Quoted:
Did anyone ever make a manual for the 607???


To my knowledge, Colt only ever produced a brochure. I do have a "what if" type of manual on my "drawing board".
Link Posted: 9/22/2012 6:41:34 AM EDT
[#12]
I'm in for one when yer all done!
Link Posted: 10/13/2012 7:51:20 AM EDT
[#13]
Okay so, even though I have some pretty darn good material to work with now, it's just not enough. I tried various methods of reworking the pictures but, I just wasn't satisfied with any of the attempts.

At a loss, I drifted away from the project until I stumbled across an old WECOM AK-47 manual from the same time frame. It showed the same type of pictures. Basically, a photograph blown up, and painted on by hand, to accentuate certain elements. So, I decided to take that approach.

I've been slowly gathering vintage accessories together as pictured in the manual. Punches, a flat beam torque wrench, an AR combination wrench, etc. I just have a few more parts to gather up before I can get the process underway.

Namely: An 11.5 inch barrel, moderator, spanner wrench, BAR sling, milspec buffer tube, and a carbine lock ring.

I've got a line on a wrench (an Armstrong from Sears fits the profile). I can find barrels, Brick still has moderators and NDS have buffer tubes.

No idea on the BAR sling or lock ring though.  

It's certainly not a priority at the moment. It's evolved beyond "simple" and is becoming more of an investment in time and money than I had planned.

That all said, it's still in progress, it will happen, and it will be good.
Link Posted: 10/13/2012 12:35:37 PM EDT
[#14]
SWEEEEEEEET!
Link Posted: 10/13/2012 8:03:01 PM EDT
[#15]
Bill Ricca has the BAR slings,new old stock with late 50s date.
Link Posted: 10/13/2012 8:42:55 PM EDT
[#16]
Quoted:
Bill Ricca has the BAR slings,new old stock with late 50s date.


Bill R is the stuff. I have slings for WWII M1 Carbine and 601 from him. A good guy.

Link Posted: 10/14/2012 5:01:53 AM EDT
[#17]
I don't see them listed, should I just send him an e-mail?

Also, are there any places that carry the old style carbine stock lock rings? I've got some kind of transitional castle nut at the moment.
Link Posted: 10/14/2012 7:24:48 AM EDT
[#18]
I have an original manual dated July 1967 for the "Submachine Gun, 5.56 - MM, XM-177E2"
Funny I saw your thread today. I dropped my original off yesterday to have a copy made at a print shop for a friend who lives in Maine

The print shop guy explained they scan the original doc. first then make copies from the scan. He sent me a copy of the scan via my email address for free, He explained they usually charge for that.

I'll be picking up my friend's new copy and my original manual on Mon.
Contact me if a scan via an Adobe file will do you any good and I'll send it to you.

I wonder what my original is worth nowadays? I've had it so long I can't remember what I paid for it or what it's currently worth. I'm not selling it, gents, I'm just curious.
My guess is it's worth about $30.
What say you?

Link Posted: 10/14/2012 8:41:06 AM EDT
[#19]
IM sent.

I'd wager, that if it's an original with green/blue/any color front and back covers it'd probably fetch more than that. I've only ever seen 1 online. They seem to be extremely rare. Even copies seem to be fairly hard to come by.
Link Posted: 10/14/2012 8:43:46 AM EDT
[#20]
Quoted:
IM sent.

I'd wager, that if it's an original with green/blue/any color front and back covers it'd probably fetch more than that. I've only ever seen 1 online. They seem to be extremely rare. Even copies seem to be fairly hard to come by.


Yup, The covers have faded out but they are a light blue/green.
After thinking about it for awhile, I think I paid about $25 for it mabye 10 years ago. I would think it's worth more now.

Link Posted: 10/14/2012 9:01:24 AM EDT
[#21]
Quoted:
I don't see them listed, should I just send him an e-mail?

Also, are there any places that carry the old style carbine stock lock rings? I've got some kind of transitional castle nut at the moment.


Just saw one in the EE yesterday or the day before FWIW.
Link Posted: 12/1/2012 11:36:11 AM EDT
[#22]
I managed to get my hands on the 1980 version of the manual. It's genuine and it confirms my previous suspicion. Pretty much every copy of the manual available is a recopy of the original. I don't however, know which original it is. It's possible that the pictures may have been sourced from the '66 dated CAR-15 manual, or they may be from the slightly later '67 dated E2 manual. Regardless, the military seems to have produced photocopy duplicates of the '67 manual for distribution, and then, used those copies again in 1980, reworking them into the smaller manual.

I'm still collecting parts but, I've sort of decided to just work with what I have and at the moment, am not going to attempt to rephotograph anything. Instead my intention is to recreate them to the best of my abilities, as true to the original works as possible. The photos will be for the CAR-15 version.

Stay tuned, I may have more to show in the near future.
Link Posted: 12/1/2012 11:49:32 AM EDT
[#23]
Quoted:
I managed to get my hands on the 1980 version of the manual. It's genuine and it confirms my previous suspicion. Pretty much every copy of the manual available is a recopy of the original. I don't however, know which original it is. It's possible that the pictures may have been sourced from the '66 dated CAR-15 manual, or they may be from the slightly later '67 dated E2 manual. Regardless, the military seems to have produced photocopy duplicates of the '67 manual for distribution, and then, used those copies again in 1980, reworking them into the smaller manual.

I'm still collecting parts but, I've sort of decided to just work with what I have and at the moment, am not going to attempt to rephotograph anything. Instead my intention is to recreate them to the best of my abilities, as true to the original works as possible. The photos will be for the CAR-15 version.

Stay tuned, I may have more to show in the near future.









Link Posted: 12/1/2012 12:11:22 PM EDT
[#24]
Quoted:
I managed to get my hands on the 1980 version of the manual. It's genuine and it confirms my previous suspicion. Pretty much every copy of the manual available is a recopy of the original. I don't however, know which original it is. It's possible that the pictures may have been sourced from the '66 dated CAR-15 manual, or they may be from the slightly later '67 dated E2 manual. Regardless, the military seems to have produced photocopy duplicates of the '67 manual for distribution, and then, used those copies again in 1980, reworking them into the smaller manual.

I'm still collecting parts but, I've sort of decided to just work with what I have and at the moment, am not going to attempt to rephotograph anything. Instead my intention is to recreate them to the best of my abilities, as true to the original works as possible. The photos will be for the CAR-15 version.

Stay tuned, I may have more to show in the near future.


Sorry I was so dense when I sent you a PDF copy of my 1967 Manual (or copy, if you will).
Of course the vast majority of these are copies. But that doesn't mean that some aren't copies made by the military for the military.
The papers have visible left side margin binder punch holes shown as slightly darker spots on newer copies without any holes. which are clear evidence that they were copied from specimens that had binder holes punched in them. The real trick is judging by the thickness of the front and back covers and the pages how old these copies are and if they were used by the military.
Uncle G wasn't going to fresh print new issues of these manuals when they could just take the binders apart and run the pages through a copier. I have never seen an original with the holes punched through. The holes can be punched on a copy, too, so it makes it harder to tell what one has.
I believe that specimens with very thick, obviously old, blue paper covers and heavy thick pages are "original" military issue copies of the "mothership" first printings.

It would be nice if some member who was a LRRP, Ranger, SEAL, or MAC/SOG and was issued an original manual could tell us his recollections about them.
Link Posted: 12/1/2012 12:35:11 PM EDT
[#25]
I do think someone on the site owns one.

I believe this image from worthpoint (an ebay pricing site) shows an original.
It's stamped with military jargon and has holes punched in it. It's possible someone else could have punched the holes but, I find it hard to believe the military would have taken the time to punch the holes into a copy so exactingly as to cover the copied holes.

I'm fairly certain member tgus owns that manual.
Link Posted: 12/1/2012 12:45:54 PM EDT
[#26]
Quoted:
I do think someone on the site owns one.

I believe this image from worthpoint (an ebay pricing site) shows an original.
It's stamped with military jargon and has holes punched in it. It's possible someone else could have punched the holes but, I find it hard to believe the military would have taken the time to punch the holes into a copy so exactingly as to cover the copied holes.

I'm fairly certain member tgus owns that manual.


The link doesn't work.

Link Posted: 12/1/2012 12:50:42 PM EDT
[#27]
Odd, it works for me.

Here's the main page. Maybe the don't allow direct links.

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1967-manual-5-56-mm-xm177e2-submachine-gun

Link Posted: 12/1/2012 1:46:11 PM EDT
[#28]
Quoted:
Odd, it works for me.

Here's the main page. Maybe the don't allow direct links.

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1967-manual-5-56-mm-xm177e2-submachine-gun



It's identical to mine, even down to the cover paper and color.
I guess I'll go punch binder holes in it tonight.......

Link Posted: 12/1/2012 3:35:18 PM EDT
[#29]
Quoted:
Quoted:
I do think someone on the site owns one.

I believe this image from worthpoint (an ebay pricing site) shows an original.
It's stamped with military jargon and has holes punched in it. It's possible someone else could have punched the holes but, I find it hard to believe the military would have taken the time to punch the holes into a copy so exactingly as to cover the copied holes.

I'm fairly certain member tgus owns that manual.


The link doesn't work.



Nope, It says the wesite requires you to sign in:

"The website declined to show this webpage
HTTP 403  
  Most likely causes:
•This website requires you to log in."


Link Posted: 12/1/2012 4:20:14 PM EDT
[#30]
Quoted:
Basically, a photograph blown up, and painted on by hand, to accentuate certain elements.


That's more or less the technique from back in the day.  Drafters who were good enough to specialize in that kinda work used to be quite sought after for techincal presentations and publications and such.

Video Digital killed the radio drafting star.  Young drafters today think graphite is something you lubricate a lock with.  Hell of a good thing, in my opinion.
Link Posted: 12/12/2012 7:35:50 PM EDT
[#31]
Well, I'll let the hive judge this one.

Original on the left, reproduction on the right.





Same process, just with a bit more care and refinement. I put together a composite of the best available images and print out a large version in a very light gray print. I print it dark enough to "trace" but, light enough to not show through the the graphite. With that paper copy, I'll use a fine point mechanical pencil to get a solid outline, then I'll use a combination of softer pencils and graphite sticks to shade and use a paper blender to smooth it all out as best as possible. I'll go back over that with pencil to darken the lines and crisp up some of the finer details and then use an eraser and eraser shield to clean up the highlights and edges. After that, I scan it in and upload it to Photoshop, split it into several layers and apply various filters and transparencies to get the desired look. All text has been quite painstakingly reproduced with period correct font.

Most of the images are finished, with the exception of one, and I'm currently printing up a first draft with blue cover paper.
Link Posted: 12/12/2012 7:37:23 PM EDT
[#32]


Looking good!




Link Posted: 12/12/2012 7:55:27 PM EDT
[#33]
Excellent enhancement.
Link Posted: 1/1/2013 6:48:54 AM EDT
[#34]
I'm the one selling reprints of a 1980s version of the XM`177E2 manual on EE. I thought about retaking the photos using my NDS retro gun. I was suprised to find the maual dated 1980 as I didn't think the guns were still in the Army inventory.

Nice work on clearing up the photos. Even the original manual I have has crappy photos. Probably just reprinted from your earlier manual.
Link Posted: 1/1/2013 10:07:30 AM EDT
[#35]
I think even the original is reprinted to some degree. They likely made a "master" and instead of going into full production just stuck it in the photo copier whenever they needed to distribute a few.

Once I get done with this I'm going to try and have a go at the earlier XM177 manual. Trouble is, now that I've had my XM lower milled and drilled for a 607 stock, I'll need a new lower to SBR for the XM's.

Also, I'm not quite sold on my artwork for the disassembly/assembly section. I may seek a guinea pig or two for some "expert" opinions. Please don't IM me though. It'll be a bit before I'm "finished" enough to staple one together.
Link Posted: 1/1/2013 4:53:45 PM EDT
[#36]
Quoted:
I think even the original is reprinted to some degree. They likely made a "master" and instead of going into full production just stuck it in the photo copier whenever they needed to distribute a few.

Once I get done with this I'm going to try and have a go at the earlier XM177 manual. Trouble is, now that I've had my XM lower milled and drilled for a 607 stock, I'll need a new lower to SBR for the XM's.

Also, I'm not quite sold on my artwork for the disassembly/assembly section. I may seek a guinea pig or two for some "expert" opinions. Please don't IM me though. It'll be a bit before I'm "finished" enough to staple one together.


I can't wait to see the finished product, then order a few!



Link Posted: 2/16/2013 5:13:29 PM EDT
[#37]
Okay so, I'm a bit of a perfectionist. I could probably work on these pages forever before I'm 100% satisfied but, I have to let go at some point. I picked up a Wacom Intuos5 tablet awhile ago and set out to fix the "problems" I had with some of the images. I think I'm finally on the right track. I keep nitpicking little things though but, that's the nature of trying to re-draw something by hand, especially on a computer where you don't have the same hand-eye coordination as you do with a pen and paper.

I believe I outlined the process above but, I'll run through it again. Basically, I take a composition of the best images I can find and print them out in a very light grey. Just dark enough to trace and color with pencil and graphite. I take that image and scan it into the computer and then add various filters in Photoshop. I've then taken those images, retraced the lines, and added various highlights and airbrush effects. Then I'll add some film grain to give it a bit more natural look and rework the text.

The result, is what you see below on the right. The left, is one of the not-so-great images that's inspired this project.



I have a print out here at home with a few "flaws" circled already. It's fairly close to be "finished" though. I have two more of these style pages to finish, 2 more pages I haven't started, and a few to clean up a bit.
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 4:57:46 PM EDT
[#38]
I don't know if anyone still cares but, I'm pretty much "done" now.

All images accounted for. Still a small bit of cleanup work to do but, I'm happy with it for the most part.
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 5:14:44 PM EDT
[#39]
Quoted:
I don't know if anyone still cares but, I'm pretty much "done" now.

All images accounted for. Still a small bit of cleanup work to do but, I'm happy with it for the most part.


cool.  looking good.  not to thread hijack but does this look like an original?

light blue front and rear, slight yellowing around cover indicates age.  from the rear cover, the bottom hole punch was offset and repunched.  the pages are a little thin as you can see the picture on the back bleed through to the front.



Link Posted: 3/18/2013 5:56:50 PM EDT
[#40]
Seems like it could be an original to me.

Oddly enough, most of the genuine ones I've seen, appear to have been copied from another source. Almost like the military had 1 good copy, and photocopied all the rest from that. Even the later 80's dated manual appears to have been photocopied.

Link Posted: 3/18/2013 6:15:00 PM EDT
[#41]
Quoted:
Seems like it could be an original to me.

Oddly enough, most of the genuine ones I've seen, appear to have been copied from another source. Almost like the military had 1 good copy, and photocopied all the rest from that. Even the later 80's dated manual appears to have been photocopied.



yeah i guess it didn't get the same treatment like the TM manuals.
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 6:31:11 PM EDT
[#42]
Quoted:
I don't know if anyone still cares but, I'm pretty much "done" now.

All images accounted for. Still a small bit of cleanup work to do but, I'm happy with it for the most part.


Yeah - Someone still cares.  I mean, not me but I am sure someone!  

Kidding - It is looking like a great restoration and hopefully you got enjoyment out of doing it.  
Nicely done.
Mike
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 9:03:45 PM EDT
[#43]
I suppose I should post some more current shots. It looks a lot better (in my opinion anyway) than what I've posted so far.
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 9:36:42 PM EDT
[#44]
Wow, nice work!
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 11:55:57 PM EDT
[#45]
I only have two questions.

How much?

And:

Give it to me!
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 7:10:55 AM EDT
[#46]
I have one of the original Colt red cover CM104 manuals covering the E2, the army manual appears to be direct copy of this manual if memory serves.

Nice work on this repro looks Great!
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 10:08:35 AM EDT
[#47]
Do you have any pictures of that? I (and I'm sure others) would love to see it.
Link Posted: 3/20/2013 4:16:06 PM EDT
[#48]
I will get some pictures of it and post them, it may be a few weeks as I am on the road...
Link Posted: 3/28/2013 6:40:52 PM EDT
[#49]
I printed up a copy for "evaluation". I've been printing out pages here and there and even a "prototype" but, this is the first "finished" copy so to speak. I used a manila colored paper for the pages and blue cover stock for the front and back. All of the images are printed in genuine black and white (I removed the color ink cartridge from my printer) so that I'd get a true representation of the finished product.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with it. I may make a few more slight alterations before I look into getting some real copies made.



Here's a few shots from the inside.







Here's a shot of my 1968 dated M16 manual alongside my 1980's XM177E2 manual and my reproduction '67.



I think the page color matches nicely and all of the images appear fairly similar.

Group shot of all 3 manuals. Lookin' mighty fine if I say so myself.



I'll also throw in some comparison shots of the photocopies I had to work with and my "finished" restoration work.





Link Posted: 3/28/2013 6:49:43 PM EDT
[#50]


truly a labor of love with excellent results.
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