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  #1  
Old 01-08-2020, 01:23 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
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Bought my first classic AR!

Also ruined my new years resolution by buy another gun

It's a 70s era AR-15 A2 with a period correct scope and rail, from what I can see it is all original and in very nice shape. So how did I do? I am not an expert on these old guns but I think this one was a good buy.









The overall quality is surprisingly high, it's not at all like a modern colt.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:57 PM
The War Wagon The War Wagon is offline
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Question

If you don't mind us asking, how much did you give for it?
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  #3  
Old 01-08-2020, 03:08 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
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Originally Posted by The War Wagon View Post
If you don't mind us asking, how much did you give for it?
$1389 plus I got some free HSTs
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  #4  
Old 01-08-2020, 03:48 PM
Hawkeye fan Hawkeye fan is offline
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That’s pretty impressive. Very nice.
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  #5  
Old 01-08-2020, 05:04 PM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is offline
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I believe you are off about 10 years. I think that was a model 6400 made in the 1980's. Probably around 1983-84.Coincidentally that is also the time the Military adopted the M16A2 that also had round hand guards. The earliest civilian A2's had an A1 rear sight like yours, that was changed mid 1980's to the A2 rear. The last pre-bans were made around 1986 and ended with serial number SP360200. An SP from 1974 would have had triangle hand guards as well.
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  #6  
Old 01-08-2020, 06:01 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
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Originally Posted by M-Peltier View Post
I believe you are off about 10 years. I think that was a model 6400 made in the 1980's. Probably around 1983-84.Coincidentally that is also the time the Military adopted the M16A2 that also had round hand guards. The earliest civilian A2's had an A1 rear sight like yours, that was changed mid 1980's to the A2 rear. The last pre-bans were made around 1986 and ended with serial number SP360200. An SP from 1974 would have had triangle hand guards as well.
Ah I see, thanks for clarifying that.

Please tell me more about the pre ban thing. Does owning this gun give me any extra latitude in certain areas?
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  #7  
Old 01-09-2020, 06:50 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is offline
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Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
Ah I see, thanks for clarifying that.

Please tell me more about the pre ban thing. Does owning this gun give me any extra latitude in certain areas?
Some states still have bans based around the features removed for it. AR's made prior were grandfathered in some of those states. Pre-Ban AR's sometimes can bring a premium to those who live there. Lack of a bayonet lug and an unthreaded barrel were two of the most noticeable traits of the ban features.
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  #8  
Old 01-09-2020, 07:25 AM
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Faawrenchbender Faawrenchbender is offline
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Nice rifle, price you paid is more than reasonable, well done Sir

Here is a link with serial numbers that list pre-ban

http://www.biggerhammer.net/ar15/ar15serial.html
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  #9  
Old 01-09-2020, 07:32 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is offline
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Originally Posted by Faawrenchbender View Post
Nice rifle, price you paid is more than reasonable, well done Sir

Here is a link with serial numbers that list pre-ban

http://www.biggerhammer.net/ar15/ar15serial.html
That list is only marginally useful in his case. It is only specific up to 1978.
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  #10  
Old 01-09-2020, 08:42 PM
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Hickok45 has one of these that he did a video on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X20omh_UW-k

The 1980s civilian AR-15s were quite odd in that it took Colt several years to finally update all the features to A2 configuration. They also continued to make their commercial receivers proprietary and not allow mil-spec uppers to fit easily. Of course Colt was pretty much the only game in town until the late 1990s when Bushmaster began offering ARs with mil-spec receivers.
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  #11  
Old 01-10-2020, 09:38 AM
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Faawrenchbender Faawrenchbender is offline
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Originally Posted by M-Peltier View Post
That list is only marginally useful in his case. It is only specific up to 1978.
Good catch,....thanks for the correction.
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  #12  
Old 01-10-2020, 11:32 AM
FNHipowerluv FNHipowerluv is offline
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Vintage Colts are wierd because there are lots of inconsistencies and exceptions to them. As seen in OP's rifle, the reciever is marked A2, but the gun still has many features of the previous generation. Colt does not like to waste parts. Later variants had the updated features once the old parts were used up.

The most annoying thing about older Colts, is that they made made their rifles ban compliant 5 years before the ban even took effect. Pre '89 Colts are the most attractive Colts for this reason IMO.

Another thing to keep in mind is that until the introduction of the 6920, all Colts had proprietary fire control parts due to a different trigger pin size. They also need an adapter, if you wish to use a mil spec upper on them.

Last edited by FNHipowerluv; 01-10-2020 at 11:36 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-10-2020, 01:57 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
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So what exactly do I have? An A2 marked gun with a lot of A1 features?
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  #14  
Old 01-10-2020, 02:04 PM
FNHipowerluv FNHipowerluv is offline
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Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
So what exactly do I have? An A2 marked gun with a lot of A1 features?
I'd call it a "transitional" piece. The lower looks like an SP1 lower with a different rollmark. The upper is an M16A1 upper fitted with an A2 barrel. The only thing "A2" like about it, is the barrel and furniture. As I said earlier, Colt rarely let parts go to waste, so they would implement pieces of the previous generations into new generations. Later Colt A2 rifles will have the A2 style lower, and either an A2 or C7 style upper. In the '90s flat top uppers eventually came into production on these.

Last edited by FNHipowerluv; 01-10-2020 at 02:09 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-10-2020, 02:20 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
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Originally Posted by FNHipowerluv View Post
I'd call it a "transitional" piece. The lower looks like an SP1 lower with a different rollmark. The upper is an M16A1 upper fitted with an A2 barrel. The only thing "A2" like about it, is the barrel and furniture. As I said earlier, Colt rarely let parts go to waste, so they would implement pieces of the previous generations into new generations. Later Colt A2 rifles will have the A2 style lower, and either an A2 or C7 style upper. In the '90s flat top uppers eventually came into production on these.
Ah okay, would it be okay in my case to put A1 furniture on it? Since only the barrel would need to be changed to make it an A1?
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  #16  
Old 01-10-2020, 02:47 PM
FNHipowerluv FNHipowerluv is offline
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Ah okay, would it be okay in my case to put A1 furniture on it? Since only the barrel would need to be changed to make it an A1?
You'd make all the Colt purists cringe, but if you replaced the barrel, handguard retainer ring and furniture with A1 style parts, you'd have a very convincing A1 clone, aside from the rollmark being wrong.

Your rifle is quite collectable and valuable as it sits. You got a deal. I'd just leave it be and buy a SP1 to compliment it. You could also get a Brownells repro, if you don't want to pay SP1 prices.
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  #17  
Old 01-10-2020, 03:13 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
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Originally Posted by FNHipowerluv View Post
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Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
Ah okay, would it be okay in my case to put A1 furniture on it? Since only the barrel would need to be changed to make it an A1?
You'd make all the Colt purists cringe, but if you replaced the barrel, handguard retainer ring and furniture with A1 style parts, you'd have a very convincing A1 clone, aside from the rollmark being wrong.

Your rifle is quite collectable and valuable as it sits. You got a deal. I'd just leave it be and buy a SP1 to compliment it. You could also get a Brownells repro, if you don't want to pay SP1 prices.
Ah okay, I will leave it then. Sorry I thought you were implying my gun is mismatched and that I should fix it so that it has all the right stuff on it. Good to know it was a good price, I was kidna concerned I got taken for a ride hence why I came here to ask since I am not versed in collectable guns like this.
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:49 PM
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Faawrenchbender Faawrenchbender is offline
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Change the furniture to what ever suits you, just be sure to keep the original bits and pieces.

A nice rifle, great condition, and a very unique one at that.
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  #19  
Old 01-10-2020, 04:38 PM
FNHipowerluv FNHipowerluv is offline
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Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
Ah okay, I will leave it then. Sorry I thought you were implying my gun is mismatched and that I should fix it so that it has all the right stuff on it. Good to know it was a good price, I was kidna concerned I got taken for a ride hence why I came here to ask since I am not versed in collectable guns like this.
It is typically good to ask these questions before you purchase, but I'd say your impulse purchase skills are fantastic. I would've bought that without a second thought, had I been in your situation. You could probably sell it for a profit right now.
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Old 01-10-2020, 07:52 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
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Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
Ah okay, I will leave it then. Sorry I thought you were implying my gun is mismatched and that I should fix it so that it has all the right stuff on it. Good to know it was a good price, I was kidna concerned I got taken for a ride hence why I came here to ask since I am not versed in collectable guns like this.
It is typically good to ask these questions before you purchase, but I'd say your impulse purchase skills are fantastic. I would've bought that without a second thought, had I been in your situation. You could probably sell it for a profit right now.
That's exactly what occurred with this gun, the price seemed very unusual for what I figured it likely was. I have many guns that came to me like that actually, my supergrade was marked at $2000 as a "custom colt"
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  #21  
Old 01-10-2020, 09:30 PM
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When the A2 version was first shown in American Rifleman back in 1982 I wanted one really bad. Of course I was just a young pre-teen at the time so I had to wait awhile. When I finally came of age and could afford one I bought a Bushmaster 20" HBAR, and the thing was extremely accurate (one 100yd group I fired was less than an inch). Unfortunately I had one of many lapses of bone-headedness and sold it during the ban years. It wasn't until recent years that I had a hankering for another M16A2 clone, but by then virtually nobody still offered one. They were all the A3 version with a removable carry handle, which was close but not quite. So I ended up buying a Windham A3 20" Government rifle, swapped the upper receiver for an A2 type, and viola! I finally had an A2 again. It's not an HBAR and doesn't seem to be quite as accurate as my original Bushmaster was, but since I was merely trying to scratch that A2 itch again I'm not complaining.

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  #22  
Old 01-11-2020, 02:35 AM
19eleven84 19eleven84 is offline
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Congrats, I had one exactly like your rifle.

I bought mine new in 1984 and the model number is Colt R6401, like yours with the teardrop type forward assist, no shell deflector, A1 rear sight, A2 1/7 twist barrel, and A2 furniture.

The older variant of that rifle is the model R6400 which had no forward assist upper receiver like the SP1 model.

The next model variant after was the R6500 with the shell deflector and round forward assist, the early version still had the A1 no elevation adjustment rear sight but the later version had the true A2 rear sights with elevation adjustment.

If you need reference of these pre ban rifles get the book Black Rifle II: The M16 Into the 21st Century - 2004 by Christopher R Bartocci.
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  #23  
Old 01-11-2020, 09:23 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is offline
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As FN said, leave it as is. It is as Colt made it and is correct.

I ordered a brand new Colt HBAR in January 1989 as none were to be found in shops. The gun shop called me when it came in and it took a few days for me to get there. In those few days Colt had announced they were no longer selling those or any others pending a redesign (Neutering) in an attempt to appease the......well, you know who. It was many years before the official assault weapons ban, but it was following some high profile shooting that got the liberals panties in a wad. Anyway, when I picked it up the shop owner offered me my $600.00 back plus an additional $500.00. I had to think for a minute as in 1986 $1100.00 was a lot of money to me. But I declined. I sold it during the AWB and more than tripled my money. This was in Massachusetts Lol
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Last edited by M-Peltier; 01-11-2020 at 04:17 PM.
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  #24  
Old 01-11-2020, 10:25 AM
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I think you meant to say January 1989. It was the school shooting in Stockton, CA during that month that first caused the first big anti-gun frenzy over so-called "assault weapons", and within just days of the initial media and political uproar Colt announced that they were ending sales of AR-15s to civilians. What was strange as the fact that in that very month's issue of Guns & Ammo (which hit the stands in Dec 1988) James Baker of the NRA warned that 1989 was going to be the year the anti-gunners shifted their focus away from handguns for awhile and concentrate on banning semi-automatic rifles instead. Either he was unusually prophetic or the anti-gunners had planned it all along.
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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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  #25  
Old 01-11-2020, 10:42 AM
FNHipowerluv FNHipowerluv is offline
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I'll never fully understand Colt's logic behind changing to "neutered" guns in '89. They probably wanted the gun to look less black and scary to the morons, while at the same time pleasing the pro gun community, by still letting them have black rifles.

However the post '89 guns achieved neither goal. All that was achieved after the 1989 changes was a gun that still looked black and scary to a moron, and a gun that looked ugly and sad to a potential buyer.
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