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Posted: 8/28/2002 6:38:15 PM EDT
Sorry for an already probably beat to death question, but here goes: Every show I go to (and the web auction sites) feature dealers selling what they purport to be "FN" A3, etc. military uppers with Wilson barrels in various flavors. I would like a flattop 16" upper so I can put an EOTech 552 and ARMS #40 sight setup on it. How do you tell FN milspec contract flattop uppers from something else? Who has original FN contract 16" A3 uppers at the best price? Thanks for the help.
C
Link Posted: 8/28/2002 7:14:37 PM EDT
THERE ARE NO GENUINE CERTIFIED FN RECEIVERS IN THE CIVILIAN MARKET PLACE UNLESS THE WERE STOLEN FROM UNCLE SAM!!!!!!!!!! BUYER BEWARE!!
JACK
Link Posted: 8/28/2002 7:30:28 PM EDT
Cleophis:

From what I've been able to gather, the receivers marketed as "FN" are more accurately termed "FN-contract" or "made by the people who make them for FN". So they aren't "certified genuine FN" as 3rdtk indicated, but the FN name is still used as a marketing ploy. I've built several AR's using these uppers, and they seem to be mil-spec and of good quality. I'd skip the chrome-moly Wilson or Shaw barrel that most of the "gun show special" kits have on 'em, though, and drop the extra $$ on a chrome-lined (mil-spec) Bushmaster or RRA.

Link Posted: 8/28/2002 8:38:35 PM EDT
THEY ARE NOT MIL-SPEC AND I CAN GUARANTEE THE THE FLAT TOP IS NOT THE CORRECT DISTANCE TO THE CENTER LINE OF THE BORE, AND THAT WHEN YOU PUT A FRONT/REAR SIGHT ON, THAT THE SIGHTS ARE OUT OF PROPER HT. ALIGNMENT, ETC>>>>>! IF THE FN MAKER GOT CAUGHT SELLING THEM TO THE PUBLIC, HE WOULD LOOSE HIS CONTRACT AND BE IN FED. COURT. YOU CAN'T EVEN BUY A PEEP SIGHT FROM FN, NEVER MIND THEM LETTING YOU BUY A LEGITIMATE FN MARKED RECEIVER FROM THEM!
IF YOU DON"T BELIEVE ME CALL FN AND ASK THEM< OR IF YOU HAVE ONE, TELL THEM WHERE YOU GOT IT. THEY HAVE ALSO HAVE A FEDERAL REGISTERED TRADE MARK (FN) THAT THEY HAVE TO PROTECT FROM BEING MIS-USED BY THESE TYPE COUNTERFEITERS OF JUNK! NO BS HERE!
JACK
Link Posted: 8/29/2002 4:07:48 AM EDT
Thanks much guys. I remember about a year ago reading the same thing, probably from 3rdtk, but didnt know if anything had changed since then. What flattop upper then guys? Colt I guess......
Link Posted: 8/29/2002 4:31:42 AM EDT
Not to disagree with 3rdtk, but I purchased a no name upper from J&T last year, and recently purchased a ARMS SIR, and it fit wonderfully. I also have a Colt M4 upper, and the SIR fit it perfectly as well. My understanding is that ARMS only guarantees the SIR to fit on Colt, Bushy or Armalite uppers. FWIW, the no name rail is in spec. YMMV!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 8/29/2002 5:48:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/29/2002 5:52:12 AM EDT by kc0hak]
My friend's got a FN upper - everything fits fine, and the the finish is good.

BTW, 3rdtk- Why did you hold shift while you typed the response? As an aside, I know tanneryshop always types in caps. Usually, caps are interpreted as yelling.
Link Posted: 8/29/2002 12:19:20 PM EDT
I'm with CAR-15 here. I put a DPMS stand-alone rear sight on my "no-name" or "FN contract" flat top upper and it works just fine with the standard front sight. My Aimpoint in an ARMS mount on this flat-top co-witnesses perfectly, too.

Further, JT Distributing goes so far as to use the FN(R) registered trademark in advertising its receivers... why hasn't FN nailed them for it?

Something's not adding up here...



Link Posted: 8/29/2002 2:15:28 PM EDT
The J&T site indeed advertises their flat top upper as FN. What's up with that?
Link Posted: 8/29/2002 2:31:13 PM EDT
There is no reason a sub-contractor for FN couldn't sell in the civilian market place.

They could be rejects or they could meet military standards. Best bet is to buy from an outfit that stands behind their products.

Link Posted: 8/29/2002 2:35:03 PM EDT
I bought an "FN" upper and barrel off ebay last year and when I got it, I checked the upper marking. It was an Olympic Arms. The thing is great. FN is usually used to say they have no idea what company made it.

Keving67
Link Posted: 8/29/2002 5:05:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By nvcdl:
There is no reason a sub-contractor for FN couldn't sell in the civilian market place.



Sure - all AR makers buy their stuff from the same subs, so would you feel cheated if they called it "Colt" instead? Or "Bushmaster"?
Link Posted: 8/29/2002 7:29:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Shooter521:

I'd skip the chrome-moly Wilson or Shaw barrel that most of the "gun show special" kits have on 'em, though, and drop the extra $$ on a chrome-lined (mil-spec) Bushmaster or RRA.




Correct me if I am wrong but I thought Bushmaster barrels are mil spec using 4150 chrome moly steel. RRA uses Wilson barrels using 4050 chrome moly steel, therefore NOT mil spec.
Link Posted: 8/29/2002 10:30:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2002 4:57:55 AM EDT by kc0hak]
All right.. I'm pretty new to the AR game here, so if I'm mistaken; please explain.

It doesn't seem to me that everythign HAS to be mil spec. Will having an off spec barrel draw the fury of the gods?

Honestly; I go to the range and shoot with ammunition that's not even labelled at gunshows, with a failure once every 200 rounds (once the crud has started building up). What are the chances that a clean gun will fail with the handful of high quality rounds used to stop a home invader?

Sure, failure rate increases as you use the gun more in a fight, but I don't recall having ever heard of a person becoming involved in a protracted gun battle in his home.

Seems to me, the need for mil-spec is tied to the need to be prepared for any conceivable situation, no matter how unlikely.

I would think that if you've got a rifle system that works well (and I can't believe the RRA and Wilson barrels are crap) , then the probability of experiencing failure in a simple home invasion is trivial. Negligible. All you gotta do is fire one shot and run off to your closet with the wife and kids.

The possibility of your rifle failing is there. Likewise, the possibility of TEOTWAWKI occuring tomorrow is there. Probability? It's *possible*. Worries? I've got none, and I don't think any reasonable person should either.

<breathe>

Edited to tone down potentially hostile phrasings.
Link Posted: 8/30/2002 6:10:48 AM EDT
Blaster:

You might have me there! What I meant to say was that a *chrome-lined* barrel is military spec... Rock River has recently started offering such barrels as an option, while the Wilson and Shaw barrels that come with most "bargain basement" kits are non-lined.

The grade of steel didn't enter my mind, but probably should have.

Link Posted: 8/30/2002 8:44:04 AM EDT
I think it was Tatjana who wrote once, "It's not about the odds, it's about the stakes." I thought that was a fantastic way to look at it.
Link Posted: 8/30/2002 2:18:42 PM EDT
I just bought a complete FN upper. It's an early slabside large hole un-sear cut marked: CM in the right rear of the carry handle and FN just above and in front of the ejection port. The barrel is an A2 goverment profile marked: FNMI MP C 5.56 NATO 1/7
Link Posted: 8/30/2002 2:36:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2002 2:38:19 PM EDT by CANADIAN_TACTICAL]

Originally Posted By Mouseomatic:
I just bought a complete FN upper. It's an early slabside large hole un-sear cut marked: CM in the right rear of the carry handle and FN just above and in front of the ejection port. The barrel is an A2 goverment profile marked: FNMI MP C 5.56 NATO 1/7



Barrel is STOLEN US Property - Sorry
Couldn't tell you about the upper - all of FN's stuff is sear relieved
Link Posted: 8/30/2002 2:46:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2002 2:53:25 PM EDT by Mouseomatic]
Well at least it's not marked like the Hydramatic lower I have thats says "property of USMC"
Link Posted: 8/30/2002 3:01:59 PM EDT
My M-4 kit from J&T has an FN upper and my RAS top rail is dead even with the top of the rail on the upper... BTW, I love my kit. The "crappy" Shaw barrel does 1.5" groups at 100 yards out of a 14.5" barrel. Sounds like garbage to me...
Link Posted: 8/30/2002 3:18:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2002 3:26:04 PM EDT by bwiese]
A few comments..


3rdtk wrote:
THEY ARE NOT MIL-SPEC AND I CAN GUARANTEE THE THE FLAT TOP IS NOT THE CORRECT DISTANCE TO THE CENTER LINE OF THE BORE, AND THAT WHEN YOU PUT A FRONT/REAR SIGHT ON, THAT THE SIGHTS ARE OUT
OF PROPER HT.



My J&T "FN" upper worked just fine with a std Bushy carry handle. Took 2-3 extra twists (more than I thought) of front sight elevation to get zeroed but within TM spec. (In fact, IIRC, J&T upper was shipped w/FS post screwed all the way in so that might be the reason: starting from bottom.)

Your comments about sight line may well be the case if a later *Colt* carry handle is mounted on an "FN" or Bushmaster flattop upper; this is a known issue documented on the Bushmaster website (their roubleshooting or FAQ webpage, IIRC.) I think a similar (if reversed) problem would happen with a Colt flattop upper and a non-Colt carry handle/sight.

I know I had an issue putting a Colt M4 barrel+front sight block on an old (surplus but new) Colt A1 upper.

For last 5 years I have seen MANY boxed FN barrels at MANY gunshows, and they are STILL advertised all over Shotgun News and Gun List. When you see a 20" chrome-lined 1/7" twist A2 barrel from a non-Colt/Bushy/Armalite vendor running for $150-$160 it's gotta be one of these FNs (whether the ad says so or not - but people pay lots more $$ just for saying "Colt".) These are true 1x7" twist chrome-lined FN barrels - marked "FNMI MP C 1/7".

I am sure if so many were stolen, the FBI and military CID groups would be looking right at gunshow vendors and Shotgun News ads. They're not that ineffecient - and they've had 5 or more years to do this. We left a sh*tload of stuff in Kuwait/Saudi during Desert Storm - prob cost more to ship lotsa items back then just pulling up and leaving stuff there.

CANADIAN_TACTICAL and 3rdtk: what real info do you have that these are stolen?? Is there some specific bulletin out there that says "Be on lookout for 5,000 FN M16 barrels"?

They can't be truly defective otherwise we'd hear some horror stories on both AR15-L mail list and AR15.COM about FN barrel accuracy or performance (chambering, feeding, explosion, etc.) Perhaps they were cosmetic rejects...


Bill Wiese
San Mateo, CA
Link Posted: 8/30/2002 4:26:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/31/2002 3:57:07 PM EDT
Answer to all your questions and more: buy a bushmaster, relax with a brew in front of some football.
Link Posted: 9/3/2002 8:40:02 PM EDT
OK,I have a upper that I bought at least 5 years ago.The guy had a ad in the Seattle paper.It is a Heavy bar/20" lug/hider/adj.rear sites,round FA.marked on bar.BCMP 5.56 NATO 1/9.The guy said it was FN???Damn nice dark finish w.bolt and Charging handle.Think I paid $375 for it.What I got??????I have not put it on a lower yet.Any ideas?
Link Posted: 9/3/2002 9:48:54 PM EDT
True that FN does not sell to anyone other than DoD. More specifically, the U.S. Army is the contracting agency for the M-16. They then provide them to government agencies as required and funding is transferred from the other agencies to the Army.

There are FN parts out there. Not sure where they came from. I believe some of them were sold as excess / surplus by some of the logistics depots. I had a new FN M-16A2 barrel I purchased at a Dallas gunshow for $90. Great bargain. It was beautiful quality. It was sealed in the foil wrapper and inside a cardboard box which was also taped and sealed on the ends. It had a label with the contract number, CAGE code (Contractor And Government Entity), part number, etc. The label was covered with a sealing material also. I looked the CAGE code up on the Defense Logistics Website and sure enough it was FN Military Industries. I have seen a lot of these barrels and I think they came from Red River Depot. One old guy I used to know in Texas bought a lot of A1 surplus stuff there. LM marked A1 upper receivers, .45 1911 parts, lots of other stuff. I never did figure why they were surplusing A2 parts. A lot of weird shit happened under Clinton. I still don't know the story on J&T advertising FN parts. They don't have any FN markings on them. I wouldn't think they could get away with saying they were FN if they weren't??
Link Posted: 9/5/2002 1:58:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By stretch:
OK,I have a upper that I bought at least 5 years ago.The guy had a ad in the Seattle paper.It is a Heavy bar/20" lug/hider/adj.rear sites,round FA.marked on bar.BCMP 5.56 NATO 1/9.The guy said it was FN???Damn nice dark finish w.bolt and Charging handle.Think I paid $375 for it.What I got??????I have not put it on a lower yet.Any ideas?



You have a Bushmaster barrel. What are the markings on the upper?
Link Posted: 9/5/2002 8:19:56 AM EDT
I have a no-name unmarked upper with a Wilson bbl that is purported to be an FN contract origin. Do I care? No. Does it work fine? Yes.

Could these uppers be made by the same contractor that makes them for FN but without stamping FN on them? Possibly. Do I care? No. Does my upper work after firing 800-900 rounds through it without a problem? Yes.
Link Posted: 9/5/2002 2:37:24 PM EDT
I can not find a single marking on it.Very nice finish and coating(dark grey)almost black.the fa is round with rings like a target.?? Any ideas.Thanks,Stretch
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