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Posted: 6/5/2002 7:21:58 PM EST
A fellow wanted to sell me a Colt AR-15 with the normal, deep stamp. The logo, and "Colt AR-15" look like my mid-70s AR15 SP1 in several respects. But there are major differences. First, it states Colt Patent Arms, which I think will give somebody a rough idea of manufacture date. Second, the stock has no compartment in the end for a cleaning kit. Third, it has a forward assist bolt. Fourth, it is full auto, select fire with bumps on the side of the receiver to keep the selector from rotating 360 degrees. The selector is clearly stamped safe, semi, and auto. Unlike the deep cut logo and Colt AR15 name, a finer stamped wording says, "Property of US Govt. M-16A1" I think the serial number was about 1,000,000 with no prefix or suffix. The sites and flash suppressor look just like my AR.

For you experts, what the heck is this? Is this a real M-16 or some kind of AR15 that somebody modified? It's legal for me to buy a Colt 1911 labeled "Property of US Govt" but what about a ar15/m16?

I can get the Class 3 permit but I don't want to get a gun that will direct me to the jail house. Also, what is a good book for researching these type questions?
Link Posted: 6/5/2002 7:25:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/5/2002 7:28:52 PM EST by shamayim]
I think the safest thing to do would be to assume that it's an early government M16, stolen at some point, AND STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM IT!!!!!!!!

If if is full auto, and not currently registered as such, I don't care what kind of license you get, you can't legally register it. There was an amnesty some years back when the thing could have been registered, but those days are long gone. If it's been illegal,it's going to stay illegal.
Link Posted: 6/5/2002 7:28:07 PM EST
I'm not really sure that a legitimate Colt-made M16A1 would have "AR-15" stamped on it. The only "AR-15s" I am aware of that would be full-auto military surplus weapons would have been the early batches supplied by Arma-Lite before the weapon was adopted officially and type certified...

Scott

Link Posted: 6/5/2002 7:30:46 PM EST
BTW, I am pretty sure the pre-XM16 AR-15s would have VERY low serial numbers and would be pretty much collectors items, if legally available....


Scott

(Also, the forward assist was adopted with the M16A1. An early trials gun would not have it, unless refitted with a new upper at some point.)


Link Posted: 6/5/2002 7:40:38 PM EST
A 1,000,000 series serial number does put it in the government M16 series so I'm guessing it was either stolen or was one of those listed as lost/destroyed during the Vietnam war . In 1984 my basic training weapon had the serial number 18XXXXX range (Still have hand receipt for it , talk about gun stuff we'll keep )
Link Posted: 6/5/2002 7:46:30 PM EST
about the 1911 I don't think u would get in trouble for having one marked US property because all of them for the military where marked like that and many where sold to the public through the marksmanship program.
Link Posted: 6/5/2002 8:07:23 PM EST
Look directly above the selector. Is there a pin holding an autosear in there? If so, you must find any paperwork associated with this gun. This gun is either worth a small fortune, or its extremely bad ju-ju.

The seller sould have a form 1 or 4 for the gun. It needs to be registered on the NFRTR (National Firearms Registry and Transfer Record). You cannot now register a machinegun, it had to be done prior to 1986 and there has to be a perfect transfer record for the weapon - no gaps or improper transfers (meaning not according to NFA regulations). Does the seller have a form 1 or 4 with an attached $200 tax stamp to prove legal ownership of the gun? If he has a form 1 or 4, you've got an expensive registered machinegun there, and you can do a proper transfer to yourself and eventualy take possession of the gun. If he has no such paperwork, walk away - you're looking at potentially two felonies and shelling out a small fortune in legal fees to keep your butt out of prison. Possession of an unregistered machinegun is a felony and you're also probably looking at stolen government property.
Link Posted: 6/6/2002 5:19:26 AM EST
All early M16's had the roll stamping "AR15" right next to the prancing pony. Very normal for a Colt M16. However whats wierd is why it would be labled an M16A1 with that early of a serial number. A million series serial number would be very early 60's and the M16A1 did not come out until late 60's. You did not say whether you are buying this weapon from a C3 dealer. Like shaggy stated it needs to be in the NFA registry for you to even consider it a possiblity.
Link Posted: 6/6/2002 6:18:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By gunrights:
A fellow wanted to sell me a Colt AR-15 with the normal, deep stamp. The logo, and "Colt AR-15" look like my mid-70s AR15 SP1 in several respects. But there are major differences. First, it states Colt Patent Arms, which I think will give somebody a rough idea of manufacture date. Second, the stock has no compartment in the end for a cleaning kit. Third, it has a forward assist bolt. Fourth, it is full auto, select fire with bumps on the side of the receiver to keep the selector from rotating 360 degrees. The selector is clearly stamped safe, semi, and auto. Unlike the deep cut logo and Colt AR15 name, a finer stamped wording says, "Property of US Govt. M-16A1" I think the serial number was about 1,000,000 with no prefix or suffix. The sites and flash suppressor look just like my AR.

For you experts, what the heck is this? Is this a real M-16 or some kind of AR15 that somebody modified? It's legal for me to buy a Colt 1911 labeled "Property of US Govt" but what about a ar15/m16?

I can get the Class 3 permit but I don't want to get a gun that will direct me to the jail house. Also, what is a good book for researching these type questions?



Maybe this is not the popular view but "I" would contact BATF with the Model and serial number.
Now some of us may have problems with some of the BAT Folks prior actions but let me tell you they do a fine job of tracking full auto weapons.

My paltry advice is to either walk away or contact BATF and get a professional answer.
Link Posted: 6/6/2002 6:22:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By shaggy:

This gun is either worth a small fortune, or its extremely bad ju-ju.

The seller sould have a form 1 or 4 for the gun.



Neither form = "extremely bad ju-ju !!"
Link Posted: 6/6/2002 3:42:50 PM EST
This is the first time I've used a bulletin board and it sounds like I saved myself some jail time by asking questions. Yes, Shaggy, it was pinned with the auto sear directly above the selector. The person I met did say it was a Viet Nam "sneak-back" which conforms with Mortechs knowledge. When I asked questions of this "friend of a friend of a friend," all co-operation disappeared and the potential deal disappeared. Shamayim's advice is apparently the most concise and appropriate. Thanks for the good advice.
Link Posted: 6/6/2002 8:16:27 PM EST
Well, another save for the good guys. This friend of a friend? Was he introduced to you by a "friend" with any kind of ongoing legal trouble? Could have been a BATF sting. Like with the Weaver case....

Scott

Link Posted: 6/7/2002 3:06:55 AM EST
Scott, Thanks for the concern. I've got just a few guns, no autos (yet) but I don't suspect a sting. This was that rare occassion that something gets dropped flat in your lap and totally out of the blue to the point you wonder if this is temptation or opportunity.That's why I wanted info quickly and somewhat quietly. I didn't want to think I was getting a Chihuahua and end up with a Doberman with a bad attitude.

I suspect it was a battle souvenir and the owner got into cash problems as many people do now. Judging from responses, I suspect the gun was an arsenal modified or updated AR15. I don't have any idea if the owner was the vet or a relative or what. Could have been a sting, but I doubt it since I'm parading my interest in guns. But, it definitely was an individual and not a dealer. May have been y'all saved me some serious problems.

Thanks
Link Posted: 6/7/2002 4:00:58 AM EST
Yeah, these things do happen. In 1963, right after I got out of the service and came to Atlanta, I was offered a M1918A2 BAR. At the time, I was young enough, and stupid enough, to have bought it. Fortunately, I was also poor enough to have not been able to afford it.

Strangely, nearly 30 years later I saw the same gun, now amnestied, at a gun show. I recognized it, because although it was a WW2 issue piece, it had been rebarreled with a WW1 Marlin, blued, barrel; so it was very distinctive. So I urge you and anyone else who gets this kind of offer to not make the same mistake I would have made 40 years ago if I hadn't had a wife, two kids, and one income. The feds I hear are even tougher on this stuff now than they were back then.

See, being poor does have some advantages. It keeps you from buying illegal stuff
Link Posted: 6/7/2002 6:56:27 AM EST
Very good advice guys. I would hate to see someone on this board go down for an unregistered machinegun. gunrights, you did the right thing by asking about the weapon here first, someone with only basic knowledge of AR15's/M16's and/or gun laws, could have easily made the fatal mistake. I also remember that all of my issued M16A1's had the AR15 stamp on the lower receiver. As far as new AR15's marked "Property of US Gov't" they are legal to buy and own and not just for LEOS/Military, but they are postban lowers.
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