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Posted: 5/26/2003 3:22:23 PM EDT
I'm thinking it might be neat to get a preban AR set up as close to Vietnam-era issue as possible. So, what does that mean? My understanding is:

A1 stock
A1 sights
A1 grip
triangular handguards
birdcage flashhider

Is this about correct? Would an appropriately decked-out SP1 fill the bill?

Also, I've seen them with the 3-pronged flashhiders. Were these in use in Vietnam?

Any info appreciated. Thanks.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 3:33:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/26/2003 3:36:37 PM EDT by 5subslr5]
An early SP1 would fit the bill - nicely.

Edited to add: One of the 'possible' future AR15.com rifles is a Vietnam era AR-15.

Link Posted: 5/26/2003 3:53:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/26/2003 3:53:48 PM EDT by Lumpy196]
The three prong suppressor was common on the early M16's and M16E1's. By 1968 it was pretty much replaced with the M16A1 bird cage.

Early M16's looked like the Colt SP1. Most Vietnam era M16s that were fielded had the E1/A1's forward assist.

The E1 lacked the raised fence around the magazine, but had the bar below the ejection port that housed the front reciever pin detent, and usually had 3 prong suppressors and the tear drop forward assist.

M16A1s had the full fence around the magazine release, a birdcage suppressor and the tear drop assist. The A1 lower lacks the reinforcements at both reciever pins that the A2 has, as well as the straight delta ring vs. the angled A2 version.





SGW and Eagle made early A1 uppers and lowers for a while. So did Sendra, but they are very hard to find.


Link Posted: 5/26/2003 3:56:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/26/2003 3:58:46 PM EDT by gus]
The early SP1's were virtually identical to the first M16's, except no front pin (screw instead) and semi-auto. Add to your list, no forward assist, and yes a three prong flash hider would be correct since the bird cage came about on the A1's (I might be wrong about the time frame on this). It would look a little like this, except it would have a slab sided lower rather than the Oly A2 shown here:

Edited to add: Not sure, but the very early SP1's might have had a pivot pin and not a screw. Someone will correct me for sure though...




Link Posted: 5/26/2003 4:13:06 PM EDT


Link Posted: 5/26/2003 4:23:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
The three prong suppressor was common on the early M16's and M16E1's. By 1968 it was pretty much replaced with the M16A1 bird cage.

Early M16's looked like the Colt SP1. Most Vietnam era M16s that were fielded had the E1/A1's forward assist.

The E1 lacked the raised fence around the magazine, but had the bar below the ejection port that housed the front reciever pin detent, and usually had 3 prong suppressors and the tear drop forward assist.

M16A1s had the full fence around the magazine release, a birdcage suppressor and the tear drop assist. The A1 lower lacks the reinforcements at both reciever pins that the A2 has, as well as the straight delta ring vs. the angled A2 version.

dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/walk/gen55/dgca/images/M16A1/leftside.JPG
dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/walk/gen55/dgca/images/M16A1/teardrop.JPG
dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/walk/gen55/dgca/images/M16A1/rightside.JPG

SGW and Eagle made early A1 uppers and lowers for a while. So did Sendra, but they are very hard to find.





Damn did you just take me down memory lane, especially the no brass deflector. Thanks for the pics!

Tj
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 4:43:31 PM EDT
The M16 product improvement program went on for the life of the rifle from the very begining. Various features were incorporated resulting in over 200 changes from the very first model to be used by the military.

Considering the many years that we spent in Vietnam, many of these variations were seen there as that's where they were proven to be needed. The design was never "frozen", and if you think of from 1967-1973, there were many different models and variations that would be correct for a "Vietnam Era" rifle.

The above posts are all correct in the details. Just remember that because of the length of time we were there, there can be several variations.

Ross
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 4:51:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Ross:
The M16 product improvement program went on for the life of the rifle from the very begining. Various features were incorporated resulting in over 200 changes from the very first model to be used by the military.

Considering the many years that we spent in Vietnam, many of these variations were seen there as that's where they were proven to be needed. The design was never "frozen", and if you think of from 1967-1973, there were many different models and variations that would be correct for a "Vietnam Era" rifle.

The above posts are all correct in the details. Just remember that because of the length of time we were there, there can be several variations.

Ross



Yep !! And we also need a beginning time. When were the first AR-15's - M-16's in Vietnam ?? If anyone knows I sure like to know. I've worked ArmaLite history over the years harder than the average bear and still I can't find out when the rifle first went into Vietnam.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 5:02:10 PM EDT
Ive seen a B&W pic of a SF advisor in "duck hunter" camo with a VERY early SP1 AR15 style M16 dated 1963...but thats far from an official confirmation of anything.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 5:04:20 PM EDT

When were the first AR-15's - M-16's in Vietnam ?? If anyone knows I sure like to know.

The 1st Air Cav was using them in 1965 and I'm pretty sure the SF "advisers" were using them in limited numbers as early as 1963.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 5:09:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
Ive seen a B&W pic of a SF advisor in "duck hunter" camo with a VERY early SP1 AR15 style M16 dated 1963...but thats far from an official confirmation of anything.



lumpy, I don't think we're going to get any official confirmation of the date and that's the problem. I BELIVE the McDonald brothers (big time arms merchants in that era) may have gone around the military and sold to/gave to the SF some AR-15's. Wouldn't nearly be the first time SF had gone outside military channels. If true, that would make your 1963 time frame (or maybe even a little earlier) possible.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 7:08:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/26/2003 7:11:21 PM EDT by RiffRandall]
Like Ross said, the "A1" evolved over time rather than just appeared as is. As improvements came along they wound their way thru the supply line. Even the original solid rubber buttplate M16 stock would be correct if you're going for an early issue look. A slick sided upper would be fine if you're recreating an Air Force issued rifle.

BTW, Lumpy, is that guy in your 2nd pic you or somebody you know, or just a VN era pic you found online?
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 7:29:28 PM EDT
Just a pic off line
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 9:03:44 PM EDT
OK you black rifle-aholics,

What features did the early SP1's have/not have compared to it's predocessor, the Commanche?? How did the features of the Commanche compare to the earliest M16's??

____________________________________
The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you are already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function, without mercy, without compassion, without remorse.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 9:07:42 PM EDT
"Comanche" has one "M."
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 11:44:51 PM EDT
This late at night it looks good either way!

So I take it that's all you know about the Comanche??

____________________________________
The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you are already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function, without mercy, without compassion, without remorse.
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 12:24:02 AM EDT
In case you guys don't know, I have a 1972 Sp1 for sale on the EE boards, all original. Price is negotiable. Maybe the pics will help if nothing else.

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=7&f=21&t=163870
Link Posted: 7/6/2003 3:11:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
One of the 'possible' future AR15.com rifles is a Vietnam era AR-15.




Yeah, I was hoping for this year. I am holding off building another until a Vietnam Era AR comes along. Damn, if any configuration needs to be sold it is this one!

Link Posted: 7/6/2003 3:43:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
One of the 'possible' future AR15.com rifles is a Vietnam era AR-15.




If we wait another year, it can hopefully have the correct flash hider and bayo lug...


BTW, 5subslr5, I was talking to my dad last week and he was telling me about how the very first rifles made their way to Vietnam. It was 1963, and it was in the hands of SF "advisors" as well as some Vietnamese soldiers. I'll ask him to relate the story again next time I'm down there since I didn't catch details to get you an accurate rendition of his memory. The first ones that got sent over had been "MacNamarafied" (his word) and he wasn't happy about it.
Link Posted: 7/6/2003 6:59:31 PM EDT
Some more good ones Ive found:









Link Posted: 7/7/2003 4:55:44 PM EDT
Thanks Lumpy.

Keep hope alive.



Link Posted: 7/7/2003 5:46:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gus:

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
One of the 'possible' future AR15.com rifles is a Vietnam era AR-15.




If we wait another year, it can hopefully have the correct flash hider and bayo lug...


BTW, 5subslr5, I was talking to my dad last week and he was telling me about how the very first rifles made their way to Vietnam. It was 1963, and it was in the hands of SF "advisors" as well as some Vietnamese soldiers. I'll ask him to relate the story again next time I'm down there since I didn't catch details to get you an accurate rendition of his memory. The first ones that got sent over had been "MacNamarafied" (his word) and he wasn't happy about it.



gus,
first of all thanks for remembering my interest in this subject.

I'm 'guessing' that one of the main things your Dad was thinking when he said "McNamarafied" was the lack of a chrome chamber as that feature was missing in the very early rifles. Some where I have a quote that was either from McNamara or one of his henchman that went something like this "If the M-16 had needed a chrome chamber Stoner would have chromed it." Well the AR-15/M-16 did need a chrome chamber.
Link Posted: 7/8/2003 2:34:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:

Originally Posted By gus:

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
One of the 'possible' future AR15.com rifles is a Vietnam era AR-15.




If we wait another year, it can hopefully have the correct flash hider and bayo lug...


BTW, 5subslr5, I was talking to my dad last week and he was telling me about how the very first rifles made their way to Vietnam. It was 1963, and it was in the hands of SF "advisors" as well as some Vietnamese soldiers. I'll ask him to relate the story again next time I'm down there since I didn't catch details to get you an accurate rendition of his memory. The first ones that got sent over had been "MacNamarafied" (his word) and he wasn't happy about it.



gus,
first of all thanks for remembering my interest in this subject.

I'm 'guessing' that one of the main things your Dad was thinking when he said "McNamarafied" was the lack of a chrome chamber as that feature was missing in the very early rifles. Some where I have a quote that was either from McNamara or one of his henchman that went something like this "If the M-16 had needed a chrome chamber Stoner would have chromed it." Well the AR-15/M-16 did need a chrome chamber.



His boys also were responsible for changing the powder in an effort to increase effective range, and for not providing for training and cleaning kits. NEVER let non-gun people make engineering decisions about your guns!
Link Posted: 7/8/2003 2:44:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
An early SP1 would fit the bill - nicely.

Edited to add: One of the 'possible' future AR15.com rifles is a Vietnam era AR-15.




Now we're cookin' with gas! I like it!
Link Posted: 7/8/2003 12:22:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/8/2003 12:47:45 PM EDT by captainpooby]
Here's a couple I built. They arent exact replicas but pretty close. One was built with an SP1 upper and the other with no FA was assembled with a gunshow barrel and a surplus upper. The flash hiders are A1 fakes and the bayo lugs are neutered.
Dont bust me on the grips, I know they're A2. I have the proper grips they just werent installed at the time.


From the book "The Black Rifle":
"The first shipment was recieved on 27 January 1962 and subsequent increments arrived every three weeks until the contract was fulfilled on 15 May 1962. Operational evaluation and testing began on 1 February and terminated on 15 July 1962."
According to the book that was the first shipment of 1000 rifles to RVN for testing. That quote is from a procurement program document. So according to that Feb 1st 1962 they were deployed for the first time.
Link Posted: 7/8/2003 12:45:31 PM EDT
I had a friend, colt-653, build one for me. It's a preban built on a Colt SP1 lower. I plan to swap out the birdcage for a 3-prong at some point.

Link Posted: 7/9/2003 3:58:20 AM EDT
If you go with the 3-prong make sure you have the non-trapdoor buttstock to go with it.
Link Posted: 7/10/2003 11:25:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By marvl:
I had a friend, colt-653, build one for me. It's a preban built on a Colt SP1 lower. I plan to swap out the birdcage for a 3-prong at some point.

www.dimensional.com/~mwluse/vietnam-1.jpg



Looks good, but it would look better with a 20rnd mag
Link Posted: 7/11/2003 4:55:09 AM EDT
Something like this?

Link Posted: 7/11/2003 5:41:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Something like this?

members.aol.com/kenmays/mysp1.jpg



Now THAT'S an antique.
Link Posted: 7/11/2003 11:23:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By marvl:

Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Something like this?

members.aol.com/kenmays/mysp1.jpg



Now THAT'S an antique.



Well not exactly. The lower is a Tannery 80% that I built up about 6 months ago. The upper actually is pretty old though.
Link Posted: 7/11/2003 1:55:57 PM EDT
I wuz going by the upper: no F.A. or deflector.
Link Posted: 7/11/2003 3:19:33 PM EDT
Ever get your butt chewed out for busting off the prongs on the flash supressor opening up cases of C rations?

rk
Link Posted: 7/12/2003 9:36:59 AM EDT
I have a complete 1964 I could e-mail the pics if someone wants to post them.
Kev
Link Posted: 7/12/2003 12:00:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kevf7:
I have a complete 1964 I could e-mail the pics if someone wants to post them.
Kev



email them to me and I'll post them.

Link Posted: 7/12/2003 12:55:24 PM EDT
Pic.s just sent to Marv.
Kev
Link Posted: 7/12/2003 1:20:56 PM EDT
Here's 2 pics of Kev's 1964 AR.




Link Posted: 7/12/2003 2:55:29 PM EDT
Who's got that pic of Al Gore in Nam?
Link Posted: 7/12/2003 4:00:16 PM EDT
Sweeeeeeeetttttt!!!!!

Is it all original??

____________________________________
The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you are already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function, without mercy, without compassion, without remorse.
Link Posted: 7/12/2003 4:11:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/12/2003 4:11:48 PM EDT by Lumpy196]
Link Posted: 7/12/2003 5:17:35 PM EDT
damn kevf7, that's one sweet AR!!!!!!!!!!!! When do I get to fondle it???? Is that the colt scope you picked up in Medina????.I need to stop looking at it, I'm having a flashback...
Link Posted: 7/12/2003 6:09:29 PM EDT
ColtShorty, Yep except for the scope she's all original right down to the sling!

mmsig229,That's the scope I picked up when we went to Medina. When you stop over you can fondle her. (the rifle that is)
Link Posted: 7/12/2003 6:31:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kevf7:
ColtShorty, Yep except for the scope she's all original right down to the sling!

mmsig229,That's the scope I picked up when we went to Medina. When you stop over you can fondle her. (the rifle that is)



Kevin, make sure to bring that fine AR to the next Grand River shoot, so I can shoot it
Link Posted: 7/13/2003 12:23:48 AM EDT
Negative bro capitalist. We at ar15.com took a poll last week and it was decided that kev is forbidden to shoot that virginal AR!!! don't feel bad for him, he has plenty of other toys.....
Link Posted: 7/13/2003 7:04:47 PM EDT
Anyone that want's pre or postban A1 parts or XM177 kits let me know. I have a few of each avialable in the EE.
Link Posted: 7/13/2003 8:07:21 PM EDT
I'd have to dig arround, but I could probably come up with somethin'
Kev
Link Posted: 7/13/2003 8:33:21 PM EDT
It sure looks mint to me, is it still a virgin??

____________________________________
The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you are already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function, without mercy, without compassion, without remorse.
Link Posted: 7/13/2003 9:15:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/14/2003 8:36:25 AM EDT
Cant verify she's virgin. In all respects it appears to be. Still had the cardboard sleeve in the barrel too.
Link Posted: 7/14/2003 11:05:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
www.warroom.com/images/goreinnam.jpg

www.warroom.com/goreinnam.htm



God dammit, if only some freak misfire had occurred.
Link Posted: 7/14/2003 8:42:27 PM EDT
I don't suppose you would be interested in selling it??

Here's a real treat for you guys, a 1959 M16, I didn't realise they were made that early. If only I had ALOT of spare $$$$ laying around!!

I want this!!

____________________________________
The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you are already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function, without mercy, without compassion, without remorse.
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