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Thread: AR clone history?

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    AR clone history?

    Any idea who manufactured the first clone after Colt lost their patent?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Txs View Post
    Any idea who manufactured the first clone after Colt lost their patent?
    Colt did not hold the patent, Fairchild Armalite did. Colt held manufacturing rights. Those rights were never exclusive. Colt did trademark the name, AR-15. During the Vietnam war other companies produced AR variants in the U.S. for the military and several other companies produced variants internationally under license.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Txs View Post
    Any idea who manufactured the first clone after Colt lost their patent?
    Core 15.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    Core 15.


    Core 15 is replacing the Colt and FN for the US Military - didn't you know?

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    Quote Originally Posted by djmorris View Post


    Core 15 is replacing the Colt and FN for the US Military - didn't you know?
    Oh it's already in the hands of Special Forces guys.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    Oh it's already in the hands of Special Forces guys.
    Mall of America Spec Ops is close to adopting the Core15 once the initial T&E is complete.

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    For clarification...

    Anyone know who produced the first complete rifle, AR clone available on the US commercial market?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Txs View Post
    For clarification...

    Anyone know who produced the first complete rifle, AR clone available on the US commercial market?
    There's guys on AR15.com who post in the "retro" forum who know all kinds of historical stuff about the AR. They might know.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    Either Palmetto Arms (not the current one) or SGW (now Olympic).
    My brother saw Deliverance and bought a Bow. I saw Deliverance and bought an AR-15.

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    GM Hydramatic and H&R both made M16A1s early on for military contract. I carried a GM as late as 1988 in the National Guard.

    The first civilian clone I saw was an Olympic, but I wasn't that in tune to look. Tis would have been 1991, in a gunshop in Washington State.
    Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans and must be that of every free state. - T. Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heavy Metal View Post
    Either Palmetto Arms (not the current one) or SGW (now Olympic).
    According to them, Olympic was started as SGW's AR production arm. I've never laid eyes on one, but they say their original receivers bore both SGW and Olympic logos.

    I'm looking for confirmation, but they claim the distinction of being the first commercially available clone rifle and say they manufactured the original Palmetto marked receivers.

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    I've got a lower around here someplace, assembled in the mid-1980s, with the SGW logo on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    There's guys on AR15.com who post in the "retro" forum who know all kinds of historical stuff about the AR. They might know.
    Mark recommending ARF. It's a new world!
    "Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master." Dwight D. Eisenhower

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    I thought Compaq produced the first Clone. Oh wait that was a PC clone!
    US Army 1966-69, VFW Life Member, Retired Geek

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    My uncle has a very early Olympic marked gun. Says he got it late 80's, early 90's. Pre-ban for sure. He SAYS its not a cast receiver gun and that its forged, but I didnt look closely enough at it to tell. He says when he got it they were as good of quality as Colt and hadnt headed downhill yet. I dont know the whole history of Olympic.

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    PWA (PAC west arms) may have been one. I was a company Carl Lewis was involved with before start LMT. PWA had ties to Olympic I believe.

    I have two of their lowers. One is very old and very low serial number, research I have done show it could be as old as very late 70s.
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    The first clones appeared sometime in the 70's.

    Essentially at first, they were ALL military contract parts except the lower.
    Last edited by Heavy Metal; 11-23-12 at 23:15.
    My brother saw Deliverance and bought a Bow. I saw Deliverance and bought an AR-15.

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    I have seen a Rock Island Armory (old school not new age) Sendra Corp AR15 that was purchased in the early 80's, well before 1985.
    I like franks & beans

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    80's isn't early. The first sale of AR-15's was to Malaysia in Dec of 1959. There had to be civilian versions somewhere out there in the 60's and 70's.

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    The first Civilian AR was sold by Colt in 1964. The first civilian clone seems to have appeared sometime around the mid-70's.
    My brother saw Deliverance and bought a Bow. I saw Deliverance and bought an AR-15.

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