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Posted: 10/31/2015 10:29:28 AM EST
Well the amount of information needed to absorb is ridiculous on these builds. I've come to the conclusion after several days that I would like to do 2 builds. First I would like to build a 601 and then later a


I feel the 601 would be the hardest to build due to finding parts. A BCG with no forward assist and then the butt plate with no storage compartment couldn't be easy to locate I wouldn't think, and that is just off the top of my uneducated head.


The second one I would like to build is a XM16E1 which by far I think would be the easiest to build.


The first snag I've come across is sticking it out for a NoDak receiver or modify an existing receiver such as here. http://www.ar15.com/mobile/topic.html?b=3&f=123&t=294264

Problem there is I would definitely have to send it off as I cannot do that type of work. Is there anyone you can send one to? The plus I would think is you could get a Colt lower with their roll mark and then you could possibly use the traditional roll pins. Not sure how this would mate up to a parts kit though.

The plus to the NoDak is obviously already done but with no Colt roll mark and then there is the unknown wait time.







Link Posted: 10/31/2015 10:42:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/31/2015 10:45:47 AM EST by jrs93accord]
Originally Posted By KCode98:
Well the amount of information needed to absorb is ridiculous on these builds. I've come to the conclusion after several days that I would like to do 2 builds. First I would like to build a 601 and then later a


I feel the 601 would be the hardest to build due to finding parts. A BCG with no forward assist and then the butt plate with no storage compartment couldn't be easy to locate I wouldn't think, and that is just off the top of my uneducated head.


The second one I would like to build is a XM16E1 which by far I think would be the easiest to build.


The first snag I've come across is sticking it out for a NoDak receiver or modify an existing receiver such as here. http://www.ar15.com/mobile/topic.html?b=3&f=123&t=294264

Problem there is I would definitely have to send it off as I cannot do that type of work. Is there anyone you can send one to? The plus I would think is you could get a Colt lower with their roll mark and then you could possibly use the traditional roll pins. Not sure how this would mate up to a parts kit though.

The plus to the NoDak is obviously already done but with no Colt roll mark and then there is the unknown wait time.
View Quote


As far as the easiest to build, the M16A1 is most likely the one due to the availability of kits these days. Building a correct XM16E1 is going to be more difficult. The hardest part being getting the right upper for it. The 601 will be very difficult unless you already have a line on many of the hard to find parts. John Thomas (Retro Arms Works) can duplicate the green finish on the furniture and many other things. He also has several 601 reproduction parts available. If you are wanting to build an authentic looking 601, your best bet is to buy a 80% lower, mill it out, and have someone re-profile it as well as engrave and re-anodize it. You will need to source the correct upper for it too. The 601 had a 1/14 twist barrel, but you can use a 1/12 twist barrel if you are not worried the twist rate. Also, the 601 used a cast FSB. JT may be able to re-profile a forged FSB to look like a cast version.

No matter how you look at it, a 601 will take time and money to do. As for the XM16E1, you will have to determine which version you want to do (early or late). Like I said, there are M16A1 parts kits still out there. All you have to buy is a barrel, lower receiver, and a couple small parts for the lower. It is probably the least expensive and least time consuming to build. You can buy a 80% A1 lower, a black or gray anodized A1 lower (depending on early of late version of the M16A1) from Nodak Spud. The main thing is to see what the availability of the parts will be before you jump into the builds. Research is really important. You do not want to get started and get derailed by the lack of the parts you will need.
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 10:44:48 AM EST
None of the current Colt's lowers on the market have the correct rollmark for an Retro build, anyway.

Up to you, but I think no rollmark is better than a wrong one.
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 10:47:00 AM EST
Thanks for the info

What makes the XM16E1 hard to build? I would want to build an early 3 prong. From what I can see the only difference between it and the M16A1 is the lower receiver and the FH. I'm sure I'm wrong though...
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 10:56:43 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Richard-ar15:
None of the current Colt's lowers on the market have the correct rollmark for an Retro build, anyway.

Up to you, but I think no rollmark is better than a wrong one.
View Quote


Absolutely good point
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 11:25:15 AM EST
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Originally Posted By KCode98:
Thanks for the info

What makes the XM16E1 hard to build? I would want to build an early 3 prong. From what I can see the only difference between it and the M16A1 is the lower receiver and the FH. I'm sure I'm wrong though...
View Quote


IMO, finding the correct upper (no forge code) and a chrome M16 BCG will be two of the hardest things. They are out there, but you have to look and be patient. If you are looking for a correct barrel, that too will be hard to find and costly. The duckbill FHs are out there. I went with the late version for my XM16E1 build which uses the phosphate M16 BCG and the A2 FH. I found an original Colt C MP C barrel for mine. I scored the upper from Indiana Army Surplus earlier on when they had them. I had to have it anodized. I sourced most of the original Colt parts from Indiana Army Surplus back when they had a really good inventory of them. I also built an early 1970s M16A1 clone using parts from them as well. It has an original Colt C MP B barrel. Both lowers are from Nodak Spud.

XM16E1





M16A1





Link Posted: 10/31/2015 11:30:46 AM EST
Due to the cost and scarceness of the 601 parts I might change it to a XM16E1 build and a M16A1 build.

Which out of all these were mostly seen in the Vietnam war? Just curious
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 11:31:25 AM EST
Oh and jrs93accord, great looking examples. I can only hope mine come out near that nicely done.
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 11:35:30 AM EST
I would first educate myself about the rifle and research the sometimes small insignificant details before trying to build noas arc.
Retroblackrifle.com
Read up then make a decision. Great thing about this hobby is you can go as far as you want with it, all original parts are almost all gone and that drives the price up. Truthfully some of the reproduction parts are so close to the originals most people can't tell anyway.


my 603 xxm16e1 reproduction


My 601 reproduction

I have built quite a few with the help and collective knowledge of this group of people, but I researched alot on my own before taking on all these projects.

Good luck!
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 11:35:41 AM EST
I thought you were talking about something like inserting the pivot pin detent - which can be a bitch if you're doing your first assembly and don't know a trick that makes it easier.
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 11:56:43 AM EST
Whats a good book for the details of the early M16 variations?
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 11:59:25 AM EST
"The Black Rifle" by R. Blake Stevens & Edwatd C. Ezell - hands down the best book on early AR's
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 12:04:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/31/2015 12:06:14 PM EST by jrs93accord]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KCode98:
Due to the cost and scarceness of the 601 parts I might change it to a XM16E1 build and a M16A1 build.

Which out of all these were mostly seen in the Vietnam war? Just curious
View Quote


In March 1965, the Army began to issue the XM16E1 to infantry units. They had to make a couple improvements to it. In February 1967, the improved XM16E1 was standardized as the M16A1. In 1969, the M16A1 officially replaced the M14 rifle to become the U.S. military's standard service rifle. This will give you an idea as to which one was more widely used in Vietnam. Just to add, the 604 was used by the Air Force during this time as well.
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 12:24:29 PM EST
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Originally Posted By jrs93accord:


In March 1965, the Army began to issue the XM16E1 to infantry units. They had to make a couple improvements to it. In February 1967, the improved XM16E1 was standardized as the M16A1. In 1969, the M16A1 officially replaced the M14 rifle to become the U.S. military's standard service rifle. This will give you an idea as to which one was more widely used in Vietnam. Just to add, the 604 was used by the Air Force during this time as well.
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Originally Posted By jrs93accord:
Originally Posted By KCode98:
Due to the cost and scarceness of the 601 parts I might change it to a XM16E1 build and a M16A1 build.

Which out of all these were mostly seen in the Vietnam war? Just curious


In March 1965, the Army began to issue the XM16E1 to infantry units. They had to make a couple improvements to it. In February 1967, the improved XM16E1 was standardized as the M16A1. In 1969, the M16A1 officially replaced the M14 rifle to become the U.S. military's standard service rifle. This will give you an idea as to which one was more widely used in Vietnam. Just to add, the 604 was used by the Air Force during this time as well.


Great information and exactly what I needed. XM16E1 and then a M16A1 for sure!
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 12:37:40 PM EST
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Originally Posted By eracer:
I thought you were talking about something like inserting the pivot pin detent - which can be a bitch if you're doing your first assembly and don't know a trick that makes it easier.
View Quote


That's why I add detents to orders.!1for the gun, 2 for the floor.
Link Posted: 10/31/2015 2:11:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/31/2015 2:55:39 PM EST by 37thguy]
I'm doing two builds concurrently, a 607 and a 603. The 603 is pretty straight forward, the 607.....not so much.

That being said, in about 1 week I have been able to pick up just about everything I needed believe it or not. My main source for small parts was Indiana Army Surplus. Slim's indispensable knowledge and PATIENCE was key. Thanks Slim!!! Found LPKs, 2 uppers in the white ( H&R for the 603, COLT for the 607) there as well. Lower 80%ers from Tactical Machining (buy three). Found an in the white FSB for my 603 at J&T.
Braceman
s my new hero, he's going to do my barrel work on the 607. Found a barrel group on GB for the 603. Still need plastic for the 603, but that should be easy to find. Livefornov is working on his 607 stocks, and got a rear handguard ring from Heatnbeat.
I probably have another $1k in labor & finishing still to go.
I'm not sayin this was cheap to do, as its a two rifle build, but all seems to be out there. I also realize the 601 is tougher than the 607. If you havent yet, contact John Thomas as your miracle man!

Hope this helps some, and good luck!
Link Posted: 11/2/2015 9:24:01 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/2/2015 9:25:58 AM EST by KYGun]
What I did for first retro was an m16a1, then xm16e1, xm177e2, and an SP1 carbine. Use 80s so you can have them engraved to match authentic style. The milling out is part of the fun of it.

After these, the prototype bug bit so now a number 4 is taking shape.
Link Posted: 11/2/2015 10:53:52 AM EST
For a 601, you'd have to source a lower from NoDak. That instructions to convert an A2 to an A1 is for the "full fence" or "partial fence" lower. The 601's would need to be "slab-side" and removing the other part of the reinforcement would also lose your detent for the front pivot pin.

I just finished my first retro build jut over a week ago. My entire planning and progress is in this thread here if you want to read about it. I'm not going to add pictures to this thread, but there are plenty of my progress there. Feel free to ask me any questions as I am more than happy to help out how I can.

Based on ease of getting correct parts, I'd suggest looking at an M16 / Colt 604 (the air force slick side without an FA), an XM16E1, or an M16A1. I think an A1 would be the easiest because it has the most prolific surplus parts.
The first thing I would do is pick one and then get an order in to NoDak Spud for the lower. My "Partial Fence" lower had a lead time of five months. Even with that wait, it would probably be cheaper than sending out a lower to be modified (and then reannodized). If you want to have a custom roll-mark done, then go for an 80%; again, Nodak would be easier and require less machining because it would already be the correct profile.
For an upper receiver, you can find the proper ones for M16A1's pretty easily. The slick-sides are a tad harder if I recall (I lucked out with this part). NoDak offers new-production versions of both should you not want to dig around and if new-production is ok with you.

Once you know what variant you are doing, plan out the parts you need. Are you going for visual correctness or does everything need to be all Colt parts? I started with the former but then wound up doing the latter and it is very satisfying to be able to tell people. If you don't want to go the all Colt route, you might save some time, money and effort. I think the barrel is the hardest thing to get if you go authentic. If you just want the right profile, there are several option. I've made a reference of them in the form of a Retro Barrel Source Spreadsheet. Depending on if you want the original 1:12 twist or something more modern, you can find assemblies with the front sight base already pinned.

Once you have your parts list it is just searching for what you need and making sure it is a reasonable and fair price.

I hope this helps you out!
Link Posted: 11/2/2015 12:48:24 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Bucket-Back:
1for the gun, 2 for the floor.
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Link Posted: 11/2/2015 4:31:24 PM EST
Many many great points. What you will soon find out the hardest part is "not starting another build before you finish the one your currently working on"
Link Posted: 11/2/2015 5:13:27 PM EST
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Originally Posted By getchasum:
Many many great points. What you will soon find out the hardest part is "not starting another build before you finish the one your currently working on"
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Very true. Last year, I made the decision to build an XM16E1 and since the parts were available, I decided to build another M16A1 clone as well. The A1 went together fairly quickly and the XM soon followed, but before I finished the XM, I got started on a 605 build. Now, I am twiddling my thumbs waiting to do another build of sort.
Link Posted: 11/2/2015 6:01:36 PM EST
You guys speak as if that's a problem...
Link Posted: 11/2/2015 6:44:24 PM EST
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Originally Posted By KCode98:
You guys speak as if that's a problem...
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Well.... once you realize you dumped close to $15k in old retro parts in just a few years and still can't quit cruising the for sale sections...
I guess it maybe best to call It a sickness, not a problem.
Link Posted: 11/2/2015 9:12:39 PM EST
AGREED, Im only shy of a couple retros. Not particularly interested in those models, but I wont discount rebuilding one that I have better than the first try. Once its over Its just a beginning because it never ends!

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Originally Posted By getchasum:


Well.... once you realize you dumped close to $15k in old retro parts in just a few years and still can't quit cruising the for sale sections...
I guess it maybe best to call It a sickness, not a problem.
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Originally Posted By getchasum:
Originally Posted By KCode98:
You guys speak as if that's a problem...


Well.... once you realize you dumped close to $15k in old retro parts in just a few years and still can't quit cruising the for sale sections...
I guess it maybe best to call It a sickness, not a problem.

Link Posted: 11/2/2015 9:26:40 PM EST
Funnest snag:finding detent pins after launching them across the garage.
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