Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Black Rifle Aficianados . . . .

  1. #1

    Default Black Rifle Aficianados . . . .

    Hi Guys;
    I've been a serious collector of Colt 1911's and Browning HP's for a long time but my expertise with firearms pretty much ends there except for hunting with an old LC Smith and a customized 98 Mauser inherited from my father. I've been thinking about picking up an assault style rifle just for kicks (pun intended), but don't know diddly squat about where to start. Can any of you shootists give a beginner a crash course in what features, calibers, quality levels, etc. to look for. I've checked out a few of the related forums but, much like watches, there is so darned much to absorb that I don't know where to start. I would like to capture the general look and feel of a Vietnam era M16 in a simple, reasonably high quality gun and don't care too much about a lot of tacticool gizmos hanging on it.
    Best Regards,
    Tom

  2. #2
    Administrator ianp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    6,117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom in Athens View Post
    Hi Guys;
    I've been a serious collector of Colt 1911's and Browning HP's for a long time but my expertise with firearms pretty much ends there except for hunting with an old LC Smith and a customized 98 Mauser inherited from my father. I've been thinking about picking up an assault style rifle just for kicks (pun intended), but don't know diddly squat about where to start. Can any of you shootists give a beginner a crash course in what features, calibers, quality levels, etc. to look for. I've checked out a few of the related forums but, much like watches, there is so darned much to absorb that I don't know where to start. I would like to capture the general look and feel of a Vietnam era M16 in a simple, reasonably high quality gun and don't care too much about a lot of tacticool gizmos hanging on it.
    Best Regards,
    Tom
    If you are not already a member, I recommend joining AR15.com and partaking in their retro forum - http://www.ar15.com/forums/f_3/123_A...tro_Forum.html

    Calibre - get 5.56 as you can fire both 5.56 and .223 rounds.

    Buy a pre-built complete upper from a single manufacturer as it should have been tested at the factory.

    IAP
    Order of the Invisible Ethereal Electron with Crossed Wizard's Wands

  3. #3
    Member Jim C.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    A smoke filled room in a corner basement.
    Posts
    682

    Default

    Tom, your best (though probably not cheapest) option for a complete Vietnam era rifle is a Colt SP1. They made them from the early '60s to the early '80s, so there are plenty of them out there. They're available through online sites, but I'd suggest checking your local contacts, pawn & gun shops & sale forums so you can inspect it in person.

    The AR15.com forums can be a bit overwhelming, but I'd suggest taking a look at the AR-15 / M-16 Retro Forum as Ian suggested. Lots of knowledge without the BS affecting the rest of the site.

    "I'm tired of having to decide between stupid, evil and doesn't stand a chance."

  4. #4
    Member Jim C.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    A smoke filled room in a corner basement.
    Posts
    682

    Default

    And the SP1 carbines are pretty nice also. Here's mine, from 1980.

    "I'm tired of having to decide between stupid, evil and doesn't stand a chance."

  5. #5
    Senior Member lysander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    3,115

    Default

    Now's the time to buy....

    There is a glut in the 'Black Rifle' supply. If you what to go the custom build route, parts are getting cheap.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    3,044

    Default

    Lysander is right, the prices are down significantly. These weapons are so easy to work on and change that your options are endless. A barrel wrench and set of punches a small torque wrench and you are good to go. No headspace issues, chamber reaming, gigantic vises needed. I have a very old billet CNC machined lower, a 30 year old A2 upper (I like the easy to adjust sights on the A2) and use a Vietnam era 1-12" chrome lined Colt barrel with triangle handguards. It has the A2 buttstock as well (1" longer). I would buy a low priced fully assembled example from some guy and then make it what you want it to be. Once you have the lower, the rest is easy. You can buy a complete White Oak upper and shoot at Camp Perry, or just slap together what you want and still shoot 2" groups at 100 yds.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lysander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    3,115

    Default

    $80 bucks gets you a decent receiver.

    From there, your options are unlimited, piston/gas, shorty/SBR/long, fixed/collapsible, flattop/handle, good two-stage/crappy stock trigger, "tacti-cool"/competition/target...

    They're like Lego® or Tinker Toys® for big kids.

  8. #8

    Default

    Guys;
    Thanks for all the great info. I'll try to spend some time on the AR15 Retro forum and learn a little something before jumping into this. I'm intrigued by the Colt pictured, but would probably rather go new than used and find out the hard way what sort of tinkering a previous owner did. Yes - I've learned a few lessons as a 1911 guy! It sounds like I could go with a quality receiver and barrel of my choice and then outfit the rest with vintage looking stocks, etc.
    Thanks Again,
    Tom

  9. #9
    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    3,044

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom in Athens View Post
    Guys;
    Thanks for all the great info. I'll try to spend some time on the AR15 Retro forum and learn a little something before jumping into this. I'm intrigued by the Colt pictured, but would probably rather go new than used and find out the hard way what sort of tinkering a previous owner did. Yes - I've learned a few lessons as a 1911 guy! It sounds like I could go with a quality receiver and barrel of my choice and then outfit the rest with vintage looking stocks, etc.
    Thanks Again,
    Tom
    There are a few drawbacks with choosing a Colt. Some used different pins for the upper lower set up and I think that within that universe there are two types? You will also pay a premium for Colt and I'm not sure that it is worth the difference. Consider that GM Hydra-matic made a lot of M16s for the Vietnam war, they worked just as well as the Colts. All said and done a Rock River will probably shoot as good as a Colt and is a lot less. But then as Lysander says, building one is an absolute cinch and a lot cheaper. I have to admit that finding a new SP-1 Colt would be hard to pass up regardless of the price.
    D

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •