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Posted: 12/9/2003 6:53:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2003 6:55:50 AM EDT by Pinned-Recessed]
Hey guys. I'm starting a new project and need some information.

I'm wanting a real early-type AR, and so I'm building up an upper. I could just buy one, but wanted to do it myself. I thought I was being original, but then I saw some threads here of people doing the exact same thing. Oh, well, at least I'm in good company.

My questions concern my upper I just bought. It's a stripped slickside (Pre-A1) upper. I bought it because it has the small pivot pin holes, not the huge Colt holes. I got it for 50 bucks, it appears unused. Is this a good price?

Next question. There are no markings on it anywhere, except two small rollmarks forward of the ejection port. They are very faint and kind of hard to see. One appears to be a C inside a circle (or a square, I can't recall right now). The other one is just below it and looks like a triangle pointing down but I can't tell what's inside it. Does this help nail down who made it?

Last question: What to do about a rough finish? I've handled some SP1s with slickside uppers and they are smooth and look well-finished. This one is rough. There are some rough areas on the exterior that would not affect operation, but it could look neater. The inside is perfect. Could it smooth out over time with use? Is there anything I can do to smooth it out without damaging the finish?

I'd hate to have to sell it and pay 3 times as much for a Fulton Armory one just becasue it looks better. I mean, 50 bucks for an upper is not bad, but I want it too look good.

Thanks for all the help.


P.S. I am building this for a Pre-Ban rifle, so no concerns about flash supressors and EEEEEVIL bayonet lugs, etc.

Also, what's the best source for the early-style chrome, unnotched SP1 carriers with the shrouded firing pin and other stuff? I guess I'll just have to hunt for that.

Link Posted: 12/9/2003 8:57:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2003 9:02:54 AM EDT by shamayim]
What you have, my friend, is a Colt M16 upper, probably Air Force surp; and if you only paid $50 for it, you got a really good deal. DO NOT SELL IT OFF, unless of course you want to sell it to me[:D] The early AR and M16 parts that Colt made were, in fact unmarked; because 1)Colt was only using one forge to turn out the blanks, and 2) no one else was making M16s, so there was no need to ID any parts. The tip off though, are the two Proof and inspection marks you describe just ahead of the ejection port. That's Colt all the way. Can't explain the roughness you describe in the finish, without seeing it. My own M16 upper was an smoothly finished as the A1 and SP1 uppers at my house; just a bit lighter, or greenish, in color. There are some unnotched carriers out there. DPMS makses on, I know. I actually lucked onto an original chromed, unnotched Colt assy on the for sale section of this site, and you might want to check it on a regular basis for the pieces you're after. Sooner or later almost everything you could possibly want shows up over there[:D]
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 9:36:41 AM EDT
Thanks! The finish is funny. Jet Black as opposed to Grey. If I could describe the texture, it would be.....OK, Imagine you are spray painting a metal surface, you know when you don't prep it right and there is tiny specks of dirt and sawdust under the paint? Kind of like that. Like they anodized it without making it smooth as silk. I see other uppers and they are silky smooth to the touch. This one is like a little dust got under paint, if that makes sense. I want to smooth it like other uppers, but don't want to have to get it refinished.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 6:51:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Pinned-Recessed: Thanks! The finish is funny. Jet Black as opposed to Grey. If I could describe the texture, it would be.....OK, Imagine you are spray painting a metal surface, you know when you don't prep it right and there is tiny specks of dirt and sawdust under the paint? Kind of like that. Like they anodized it without making it smooth as silk. I see other uppers and they are silky smooth to the touch. This one is like a little dust got under paint, if that makes sense. I want to smooth it like other uppers, but don't want to have to get it refinished.
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Hmmm. Sounds like the A1 upper I bought awhile back at a show. Looked like flat black paint; and when I put some paint remover on ot, I found that it was in fact, flat black paint. Expected it to have a worn finish under the paint, but instead found that the original anodised finish was about 99% still on it. Just a couple of small dings on the edges of the handle section. Makes me wonder if some Air Force armorer didn't try to match the early upper color with a later lower by spray painting it. Have you checked to make sure it isn't, in fact, a paint job? One thing is certain. If it is an early Air Force piece, it wasn't a black color to brgin with.
Link Posted: 12/9/2003 9:09:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2003 9:10:51 PM EDT by Pinned-Recessed]
I'll check it out. The thing is the inside of the receiver looks brand new-perfect, not like a Krylon job. It's black too though. I guess paint thinner will not damage anodizing. Which thinner did you use, and how did it work? If If go to strip it and it's not paint, just a poor anodizing job, I guess I'll have to see what a re-finish would cost. Or I could just shoot it and not worry about how it looks.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:07:46 AM EDT
I just use laquer thinner. You can determine if it is paint by soaking a Q tip in the thinner, and dabbing it an inconpicuous place. If the Q tip turns black, it's a paint job. I have to tell you, if you do go for paint removal get ready to coat, wipe, coat, wipe, coat and wipe a whole bunch of times. The paint they used on those things is really tough, and takes forever to get off, if you're not using an abrasive scrubber type thing. I don't.
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