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Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
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Posted: 2/13/2001 6:19:20 PM EDT
Hi guys, I have another FNG question.

I have a Colt SP-1 which I believe is an early one, but I was hoping that you guys could give me a pretty concrete date and value.

This rifle has the early triangular flash suppressor, not birdcage, no forward assist, the bolt carrier is not grooved for the forward assist either.  The bolt itself is hard chromed, but not the carrier.  The pin that holds the firing pin in is not a simple cotter pin, but it is an actual pin.

Serial # is SP0147*

The Rampant Colt on the left side of the receiver is prancing on a half globe if that makes any difference, and it is marked with "Colt's Patent Firearms, Hartford, CT. USA", also on the left hand side of the lower receiver.

I am pretty sure that Colt started production in the early 1960's for civillian AR's, and I was wondering if this was one of them.  It has an honest 75 rounds through it, but no box or papers and I rate it at an honest 99-98% gun.

Any help on manufacture date and a value?

Thanks in advance for helping out an AR FNG.
Link Posted: 2/13/2001 6:29:35 PM EDT
I'll jump in, although I don't know how HELPFUL this info will be.

It seems to me I read somewhere that the AR15 was dubbed the "Apache," "Comanche," or some other Indian-related name when Colt first sold the civilian versions.  But I don't know if it ever said this on the lower receiver.

Prong flash suppressor is definitely early.

I assume it has the non-trap buttstock too.

"Colt's Patent Firearms" became "Firearms Division, Colt Industries" in about 1978.

S/N is very interesting.  

I have never seen an AR with just a chrome bolt from the factory.  I thought the early ones chromed the carrier AND the bolt, then they just switched to both parts parked, with the interior of the bolt carrier chromed.  The AR18 has a chrome bolt and parked carrier.

How much of the carrier is altered from M16 configuration?  The later the rifle, the more alteration to the carrier.

A normal SP1 goes for between $1000 and $1200 today, to the right guy I would say your rifle could be worth $1500 or so.  But of course YMMV.

Where's Troy on this one?  He's pretty smart . . .
Link Posted: 2/13/2001 6:36:02 PM EDT
Thanks for the input.  You are correct about the butt stock, it does not have a trap for the cleaning rod, and it appears that the butt plate is actually a hard rubber.

The bolt carrier is parked/phosphated, and not redone, and it is only the bolt that is hard chromed.  I thought that was pretty interesting also.  As far as I know, the internals are all original.

I do not know how to tell the difference between an M16 and an AR-15 bolt carrier, I'm an extreme novice compared to many here on the AR, my strength lies in AK's, FAL's, and G3's.

Link Posted: 2/13/2001 7:22:57 PM EDT
According to your serial number it should have been manufactured in '64 or '65.  Writing to Colt could get you a more precise date.  

Link Posted: 2/13/2001 7:24:23 PM EDT
Hello Templar
I have an abbreviated serial list for you. Yours seems to be very early I would love to have it. If you are considering selling it e-mail me and let me know.
OK here go's
1963   SP00001-SP00023**
1964   SP00101
1965   SP02501
1966   SP05600
1967   SP08250
1968   SP10750
And so on, I found these on,
or something like that just go to google.com and search for COLT AR-15 serial numbers. lots or good info and sites
Link Posted: 2/13/2001 9:52:04 PM EDT
Thanks for the help guys.  I actually guessed that this thing was within the first year or two of production, but didn't know when they actually started building them.

Yard Dog, if I decide to sell it, I'll let you know, but for right now, I think I'll hold onto it.

Big thanks to everyone.
Link Posted: 2/14/2001 9:13:47 AM EDT
Templar, if you head over to the original AR15.com home page look at the menu in the left hand column. About the third item down is titled "legal (something or another)". Go here and then find the article, with pictures, 'AR15 vs. M16 parts'. It has good comparative photos.

Only the earliest AR15 parts will be close in configuration to the M16 parts.

If you are new to this board, and even if you aren't, that home page has a ton of usefull information. Check it out.

Oh. I would post a link to the above article, but, alas, I'm rather cyber-illerate and don't know how. [:I]
Link Posted: 2/14/2001 9:56:40 AM EDT
Okay let's see if I've figured it out.


Oh hot dog!!! That was too simple. Just have to be smarter than the machine. And sometimes that's asking alot. [:D] Especially of me. [:D]

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