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Anybody remember back during the days when COLT and BUSHMASTER made the only two choices for ....

Discussion in 'Long Guns' started by nitesite, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. nitesite

    nitesite Average Guy Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    .... TOP QUALITY M16A2/M16A3 and civilian AR-15 firearms???

    Feel free to discuss.
  2. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

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    Actually, Olympic Arms has been making AR's almost as long as Colt and way before Bushmaster. Olympic even used to sell Bushmaster a lot of parts when they were first starting out to so they could make AR's. For a while, Bushmaster only made that AR180'ish style rifle before getting into AR's.

    Coincidentally, Olympic Arms was the first AR company to have made a flat top receiver and free floated forend, so common in todays market.

    Just sayin' ;)
    SHOOTER13 likes this.
  3. nitesite

    nitesite Average Guy Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    Thank You for the history lesson! I really appreciate it, John.

    Still, let's encourage discussion about early AR15/M16 makers and what they produced back then....
  4. LAZY EYED SNIPER

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Overwatch Staff Member Global Moderator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    The local shop had an early 70's model Colt SP1 "slab-side" on the wall for a while...

    [​IMG]

    This thing was pristine. Had never been fired, still had the factory dowel rod in the barrel, and had two original 20 round mags. It was super lightweight, no nonsense and oh so sexy. Weighed about half as much as the rest of the new model AR-15's on the wall. Was cash poor at the time or it would have come home with me...
    aksavanaman likes this.
  5. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

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    You're welcome. Just glad to be able to add a little something to the discussion.

    In the early days of commercial AR's, there was only the A1. Mostly in the form of Match SP1's. Before the Olympic rollmark came about, they used the SGW rollmark when they were located in Colorado before the move to Olympia Washington.

    There was also a few other small companies (*not much unlike today) that put out some AR's using parts they bought from the various companies who actually did make them.

    The slicksides were somewhat popular in the 70's but mostly the A1's were the big thing going up until about 1983 when the A2's came out. Then in '88 Olympic came out with the A3 Flat top.

    I actually have one of the old slickside bolt carriers that came out of a Rangers' duffle bag that he brought home from the steamy jungles of Vietnam. It doesn't have any of the notches in the side for the forward assist to catch on.


    [​IMG]
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  6. nitesite

    nitesite Average Guy Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    This is really interesting. I guess I'm showing my ignorance.

    Back when I was first an enlisted guy around 1985 and a rifleman for the mil.gov, ALL the M16 rifles I ever saw were Colts on the US Army side, and Colt and Bushmaster on the US Marines side.

    That's why I mentioned them both in the original thread title.

    Nice to know Olympic was really on the power curve back then regarding the M16/AR15 platform.
    SHOOTER13 likes this.
  7. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

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    Bushmaster (BFI) often converted Sendra receivers. There are many well documented samples of just that.

    Essential Arms from Louisianna was another manufacturer in that same time frame.

    PAWS (Police Automatic Weapons Service) was another, though they usually converted Olympic/SGW receivers

    Group Industries from Louisville KY was still making M16 receivers (and probably more well known for their Model A Uzi Imports)

    Another on topic post for the time frame about SGW/Olympic Arms, they also made the first ever Billett receivers, which were occasionally converted to M16 prior to 1986 ban.

    Here's a transferable billett SGW M16 I saw just last month. For those that don't know, Transferable means converted to machinegun prior to May 1986.

    And coincidentally, were among the first ever CNC production models that used a hole punched card program. More info about that here: http://oa2.org/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=15230

    sgw billet m16.jpg

    sgw billet m16 magwell.jpg

    sgw billet m16 fcg.jpg
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2014
  8. aksavanaman

    aksavanaman Work In Progress... Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    ...teach me folks, I'm young and impressionable!
  9. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    I remember seeing racks of $600 AR's and $99 SKS/WASR's at gun shows when they couldn't give them away.

    Had I known then how things would have played out.......
    ripjack13 likes this.
  10. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

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    I hear ya on the SKS and AK's. I would've bought several and a tractor trailer load of ammo to feed them when it was .79 cents a box.
  11. ripjack13

    ripjack13 Resident Sawdust Maker Staff Member Administrator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    Hind sight is always 20/20....

    I would have bought one instead of my saiga12.....
  12. Bobster

    Bobster .30-06 Supporter

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    There was a "like-new" safe queen 70s A1 for sale in the local gun "trader" website about a year ago. Seller was asking $800 and the gun sold within a day. There is something to be said about the sleekness of the older rifles compared to the stubby carbines so popular today...
  13. TomcatPC

    TomcatPC .270 WIN

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    I'm not "into" tactical rifles at all, but when I hear the term "AR-15" the rifles in the photos are what I think of. I never warmed up to the newer versions of the M-16 with the rear sights hacked off and a sniper scope installed and all the chingaderas hanging off the barrel LOL. I think of the classic M-16A1 from the 1960's when I hear people use the term AR-15.
    I have very little experience with the M-16. After my USN Service I did a stint in the Nat. Guard and qualed with the M-16A2. If I recall, the rifle I was issued was made by FN? Believe it or not...maybe memory is wrong on that?, it was 1997 when I last fired an M-16A2. What little I saw of the M-16A2, it was not a bad little rifle. For someone who did not get to qual. in Boot Camp and had one handed to me and qualed on the spot, I think I did alright with it? Had we actually had some live fire practice and had the prior instruction I'd have done better.
    We did not have the scopes that I see on the newer M-16s, but I never had a problem with the regular sights. I was in a Maint. Unit and if we needed to actually use our M-16A2s for their God given purpose....something horribly went wrong LOL!!!

    For someone who really has no legit use for a "tactical" rifle and someone who likes wood and blued steel, there are times when I think I'd like to have a civvie legal replica M-16A1. I say M-16A1, because I think that the USN was still suing them when I was in?, but I could be wrong? I just like the 60's era M-16s better for the way they look LOL. So, I've considered trying to find a AR-15 that looks like the M-16A1 and putting it on layaway one of these days.

    But knowing me...I will stumble into that Lee-Metford Mk.II from 1891 that I want so bad, or a Savage Model-99 and forget the M-16 Replica, but you never know?

    I hear people say "AR-15" and "AR"...is there a difference?
    That is enough rambling about something I know nothing about LOL.
    Mark
  14. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

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    Wouldn't be hard to build an A1 clone. Ive actually thought about it a few times. The one piece forged carry handle uppers are available, with a 20 inch rifle length gas system, about any lower, and an A2 stock and buffer assembly. Would make a good hunting rifle actually.
    TomcatPC likes this.
  15. LAZY EYED SNIPER

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Overwatch Staff Member Global Moderator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    You can still find vintage era civilian legal Colts for sale like the SP1 I posted above.

    ...or it wouldn't take much to build one up from an A1 receiver set and slap on a vintage triangle handguard. For the most part the actual parts and components themselves haven't changed much. There are just way more bells and whistles available these days...
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  16. John A.

    John A. Unconstitutional laws are not laws. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator

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    Here's a very interesting picture I have scanned from an old magazine when it comes to early AR's. It's likely the prototype Stoner rifle.

    I've shared it here before in other threads, but since it fits well in this topic, here it is again.

    [​IMG]
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  17. Deog

    Deog .30-06 BANNED

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    So riddle me this. What was the colt sporter ?
  18. TomcatPC

    TomcatPC .270 WIN

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    On the bright side...I have the M-7 Bayonet, M-1956 Field Equipment with the Ammo Cases, and one 30-round magazine already LOL. I might have to think about this more?
    Mark
  19. Bobster

    Bobster .30-06 Supporter

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    My brother had one. The one he had was "post-ban" meaning it came without the evil flash hider and bayonet lug. I think Colt called it "Sporter" to make it sound more innocuous.
  20. Bobster

    Bobster .30-06 Supporter

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    The "AR" is a tool, and not just used for "tactical" purposes but more for hunting and recreational shooting. They can be relatively inexpensive and highly customizable. With a minimum of tools, one can build or modify themselves an AR carbine, rifle or pistol.

    Remember that after the grabbers go for the "tactical", "evil-looking" guns and semi-auto pistols and shotguns, they are going to go after revolvers and your "sniper", I mean hunting rifle and probably repeating (ie: pump) shotguns as well. Then when they have all those, single-shot guns will be next...

    "AR" stands for "ARmalite" It does NOT stand for "assault rifle". Armalite first developed the AR-10 in 7.62 NATO (.308") and scaled it down and it became the AR-15 in .223/5.56 in the mid 50s. "AR-15" is a model number and the original AR-15 was select-fire. When adopted by the military it became the M16. Armalite offered the civilian semi-auto version as the AR-15 then Colt bought the rights to mfg it and use the name.

    Nowadays, AR or AR-15 are used to describe any of the type of rifles, carbines or pistols based on Eugene Stoner's AR-10 or AR-15 design. Just like "1911" refers to any of the semi-auto pistol designs based on the model developed by John Browning back in the early 1900s.
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