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  #1  
Old 08-05-2020, 08:48 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Lights, lasers, optics need not apply! (photo thread)

This sub-forum has been pretty quiet for quite awhile. I thought maybe we can make things interesting again by posting photos of our retro ARs. By "retro" I mean anything that is purely old-school or a military clone before "force multipliers" like red dots, rails, lights, lasers, and such became a thing. Good old iron sights and Kentucky windage.

I have three: An M16A1 replica built using a Sendra lower and mostly USGI upper and furniture, an M16A2 replica made using a Windham 20" rifle and a DPMS A2 upper receiver, and an early Colt SP6920 bone-stock with the carry handle, 16" M4 barrel and fat double-insulated handguards.

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  #2  
Old 08-05-2020, 09:33 PM
7.62Kolectr 7.62Kolectr is offline
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Those were the days. I had a few Colts and one Bushmaster that looked like the middle gun. Late 80s I was into the Colt HBars. Now I’m into SBRs. Go figure...
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  #3  
Old 08-06-2020, 12:14 AM
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20" AR rifles just aren't as popular with civilians anymore because few rely on a 5.56mm for any sort of long-range shooting. If you want to reach out and touch something you use a 7.62 instead. ARs set up for CQB are where it's at now. At first that meant 16" M4-profile carbines, and in fact during the AWB years a lot of guys tore down their 20" pre-ban rifles and rebuilt them into so-called M4geries. Now it's all about even shorter ARs such as arm-braced pistols and registered SBRs. However retro 20" ARs are making a minor comeback thanks to nostalgia for the old days*, plus the fact that the market for fully-kitted tactical carbines and SBRs is kinda saturated right now.

*Hard to believe there are people who look back at the Vietnam era with feelings of nostalgia, but stranger things have happened.
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  #4  
Old 08-06-2020, 01:38 AM
Flight Medic Flight Medic is online now
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My nostalgia for a 20" M16A1 has nothing to do with Vietnam and everything to do with the fact that it was the rifle I was issued in USMC bootcamp and the first semi-automatic rifle I ever fired.

I had considered going with a retro build when I was wanting to build my own but, even before all this madness, retro parts were scarce. I thought about buying one of the Brownells M16A1 Retros, but they were kinda pricey (and simply buying a completed retro would have defeated the whole purpose of wanting to build something). Since I still wanted something with no optics I opted to go ultra-cheap and get this 16" PSA Freedom rifle for $349 and add the Brownells bolt-on carry handle for another $90.




Thought it would make a good back-up rifle or something to let visiting guests shoot without worrying about them mucking up my expensive AR's. I havent shot it, its still just sitting in the box waiting for a purpose. Then again, I rarely ever shoot my ARs since I lost privleges to my hog-hunting property.

I may still try to buy a retro rifle...if they ever come back in stock. The .308's are on sale, but think I want to stay with 5.56
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Old 08-06-2020, 04:13 PM
fnfalman fnfalman is offline
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  #6  
Old 08-06-2020, 04:46 PM
VoceNoctum VoceNoctum is offline
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I do love an A1 upper, but I don't really do a full retro thing. Just functionally, the A1 & carry handle make for a handier rifle.

I was going for a retro-ish 20", with some ar10 circle handguards, but can't get the stupid pins out of the front sight base to swap to the different handguard cap!
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Old 08-06-2020, 08:45 PM
fnfalman fnfalman is offline
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Old 08-06-2020, 09:16 PM
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Nice iron-sighted rifles guys, but I'm still seeing accessory rails here. I'm talking about ooooooldd school. You know, back when if you wanted a flashlight on your rifle you had to use duck tape!
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2020, 09:29 PM
19eleven84 19eleven84 is offline
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My first AR build way back in 2005 unissued USGI Colt M-16A2 upper half with Colt M-16 auto bolt carrier group on Colt Match Target lower half. The lower I got as a stripped like new lower receiver, installed genuine Colt semi auto parts and Colt M-16 A2 buttstock group.





Colt SP6920 exactly same as LE6920 except roll marked Sporter M4 Carbine (no caliber marking) just out of the factory box with preservative lube back in 2011.
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Colt AR-15 carbine X4, Colt MT6601 with USGI M16A2 Colt upper half 20" rifle, RRA A4 9mm 16" carbine, Steyr AUG A1 16" carbine, IMI Galil AR 16" carbine, PolyTech AKS-762 X3, Chinese SKS and USGI DCM M1 Garand, Colt 1911 Gov't Model X3, Colt Officers Lightweight, HK USP full, Sig P220 .45, Sig P226 9mm & Glock 19
NRA Life Member since 1970 * AR-15 owner since 1971
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  #10  
Old 08-06-2020, 10:11 PM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsk View Post
Nice iron-sighted rifles guys, but I'm still seeing accessory rails here. I'm talking about ooooooldd school. You know, back when if you wanted a flashlight on your rifle you had to use duck tape!
Hose clamps!
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  #11  
Old 08-06-2020, 10:29 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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My only contender for this category.

Would have to be my NIB Colt HBAR match. Bought it back in 1993 during the repressive Klinton regime. Did not really have much use for it at the time. So I have never even fired it. Maybe someday I will.
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  #12  
Old 08-07-2020, 10:37 AM
fnfalman fnfalman is offline
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Originally Posted by dsk View Post
Nice iron-sighted rifles guys, but I'm still seeing accessory rails here. I'm talking about ooooooldd school. You know, back when if you wanted a flashlight on your rifle you had to use duck tape!
I bought my HBAR used and it came with the rails. Itís fine the way it is and Iím not going to bother with finding an M16A2 style hand guard for it.
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  #13  
Old 08-07-2020, 11:51 AM
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I was just giving you a hard time about it. Yours is more accurately an M16A4 configuration and as such the rail handguard is correct for it. BTW does it really have an HBAR barrel? My first AR was a Bushmaster A2 HBAR that I bought right at the start of the Clinton AWB for a pretty penny. Turns out it was phenomenally accurate, easily shooting quarter-sized groups at 100 yards. For some reason or another I sold it years later, and I still regret it to this day. My Windham A2 above was an attempt to re-create that rifle, but it's not an HBAR and it's nowhere near as accurate. Part of it was due to the fact that the trigger absolutely sucked, but I fixed that and now I'm waiting for a chance to test it out again.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #14  
Old 08-07-2020, 03:02 PM
VoceNoctum VoceNoctum is offline
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Originally Posted by dsk View Post
Nice iron-sighted rifles guys, but I'm still seeing accessory rails here. I'm talking about ooooooldd school. You know, back when if you wanted a flashlight on your rifle you had to use duck tape!
Back when your laser was the size of a rifle scope?

I did like those old Colt scopes though, but can't justify the price the repro's go for even.
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:06 PM
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Yeah, I was lucky enough to get one of those old Colt 4x scopes in a trade. They drop through the hole in the carry handle and are secured with a locking lever. Unfortunately it didn't seem to help my Windham the last time I shot it for group size.

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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #16  
Old 08-07-2020, 07:06 PM
Bowdrie Bowdrie is offline
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I'm quite satisfied with my basic Windham M4 HB, no plans to ever use any optics, the A2 front with the carry handle rear are all I need.
The old SP-1 certainly didn't do any better when my eyes were younger.
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  #17  
Old 08-09-2020, 10:38 AM
HarryO45 HarryO45 is offline
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Where are all the DISSIPATORs? Seems like the holy grail of Iron Sighted ARs?
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  #18  
Old 08-09-2020, 01:50 PM
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I suspect the Dissipators suffered the same fate as the 20" rifles... people tore them down and made tactical carbines or SBRs out of them. Given the tepid response to this thread I suspect not a lot of people have old-school iron-sighted AR rifles in their collections anymore.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #19  
Old 08-09-2020, 02:27 PM
HarryO45 HarryO45 is offline
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Originally Posted by dsk View Post
... Given the tepid response to this thread I suspect not a lot of people have old-school iron-sighted AR rifles in their collections anymore.
I was expecting more too? but I kinda ďupgradedĒ all my ARs too. I still have a Bushmaster M4 - Clinton era... no bayonet lug, it had a fake collapsing stock, ha!
It did come with a pretty nice welded on brake. Of course now the carry handle is in a box, and it wears a nice variable optic with a old school surplus cheese grater / four sided. I donít think I have shot it in years. Very reliable and accurate. Very well made.
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  #20  
Old 08-09-2020, 02:59 PM
US1911 US1911 is offline
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Love the retro M16/AR15s. I bought an AR15A4 four years ago, while not necessarily retro in the sense of being 60ís-70ís period correct, itís quite retro looking compared to whatís popular today.

Itís the only AR that I keep bone stock. Itís well made, accurate, shoots great, feels comfortable and is well suited for just about any role imaginable.
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  #21  
Old 08-09-2020, 04:08 PM
HarryO45 HarryO45 is offline
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I like the bayonet... i think any picture of a "Retro" AR should include bayonet attached. very good US1911
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  #22  
Old 08-09-2020, 08:26 PM
VoceNoctum VoceNoctum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsk View Post
I suspect the Dissipators suffered the same fate as the 20" rifles... people tore them down and made tactical carbines or SBRs out of them. Given the tepid response to this thread I suspect not a lot of people have old-school iron-sighted AR rifles in their collections anymore.
As I mentioned, I like some features of the old style, but I can't see ever putting triangle handguards on a rifle...
So all my classics are a mix of old and new.

Dissipaters were always talked about a lot back in the day, but no one ever bought one when I worked at a shop. I don't think they were ever actually popular. It's like the commander slide/ officers frame CCO stuff, everyone asked about them but they were never big sellers back then.
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  #23  
Old 08-09-2020, 08:47 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Originally Posted by US1911 View Post
Love the retro M16/AR15s. I bought an AR15A4 four years ago, while not necessarily retro in the sense of being 60’s-70’s period correct, it’s quite retro looking compared to what’s popular today.

It’s the only AR that I keep bone stock. It’s well made, accurate, shoots great, feels comfortable and is well suited for just about any role imaginable.
Nice AR-15A4. I actually wanted one of those, but I gave up looking for one after months of searching and decided to just get the Windham instead.

And of course... a couple weeks after I bought it the same LGS finally brought in a Colt AR-15A4.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #24  
Old 08-09-2020, 11:36 PM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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No pics, but I have a Sendra based AR built with surplus M-16 parts and a 6601 AR-15A2 HBAR. Both remain old school with factory sights, etc.
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Old 08-09-2020, 11:50 PM
Amos Iron Wolf Amos Iron Wolf is offline
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Originally Posted by HarryO45 View Post
Where are all the DISSIPATORs? Seems like the holy grail of Iron Sighted ARs?
An older photo. It wears a Streamlight now using a mount that mounts into the handguard. Even though I have a DD M4V5, this is the one that lives in the top drawer of the chest of drawers in the bedroom with the 0-200 aperture up. With that stock I can leave it fully closed and it puts my nose just off the charging handle.

I have a semi-auto only lower that is marked M16A2 waiting for me to build it. That's getting a rifle stock. I have an A3 type upper waiting to go with it. When I do the carry handle will go on the rifle. I'll probably go with a red dot and backup sight on the Diss at that time.
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