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Thread: M16A1 color and dates

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    M16A1 color and dates

    I was in the Army from 83-87. Infantry. I recall the M16A1's I encountered and was issued as having a black anodizing on the upper and lower as opposed to the earlier gray-ish color.

    No doubt these weapons had been arsenal rebuilt and I wonder if the anodizing color specs had changed from the original 60's specs????????
    Last edited by ABNAK; 07-15-18 at 20:04.
    11C2P '83-'87
    Airborne Infantry

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    Renegade04 has answered it before but he says that colt wasn’t too particular about color variations and the Black tones came out in the early 80’s
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClassIIIGunsmith View Post
    Renegade04 has answered it before but he says that colt wasn’t too particular about color variations and the Black tones came out in the early 80’s
    Okay, that confirms that I'm not slipping mentally! (yet)

    I have an A1 clone and I have the aluminum parts done in Duracoat Flat Black. Anything steel I had done in Colt Gray, an excellent match for Parkerizing/phosphating. Among my modern "uber-AR's" it is my throwback version and I wanted to keep it as close to my era as possible. Of course the 1:7 twist barrel, Geissele G2S, and C7 upper (A1 with brass deflector, I'm a Southpaw) kinda blow it but oh well!

    I have to laugh that even with a 20" barrel the old A1 swings pretty handily and actually feels lighter than some of my M4geries, and I don't even have the NV or flashlights of today on them. Maybe an ACOG or Aimpoint but that's it!
    11C2P '83-'87
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    Lots of mismatched colors in the military.

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    The M16s made by Colt, H&R, and GM Hydra-Matic all had varying hues of gray all the way through production up until 1982. You will find black M16 uppers, mostly XM16E1 and M16A1, that have a black finish. This was applied through a re-arsenal process. Many of the barrels were changed out during that time as well. I have a XM16E1/early M16A1 upper assembly with a SAK replacement barrel that was a re-arsenal and it is black. You will not find any factory Colt, H&R, or GM Hydra-Matic M16s that are black. Even most of the M16A2s made were of a gray hue. It was slightly darker than the gray on the earlier M16s. Here is the rifle I built with the re-arsenaled XM16E1/early M16A1 upper assembly.

    Note: Early M16A1s (1967-1971) did not have forge codes. Forge codes appeared in 1972. The first forge codes (1972-73) were CK and a small number of CM forge codes. From 1974-82, they were CH.




    Note: that safety selector has been replaced with a correct M16 selector (modified to SP1 specs).

    Last edited by Renegade04; 10-08-18 at 15:13.
    "A Bad Day At The Range Is Better Than A Great Day Working"

    USMC Force Recon 1978-1984
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABNAK View Post

    I have to laugh that even with a 20" barrel the old A1 swings pretty handily and actually feels lighter than some of my M4geries, and I don't even have the NV or flashlights of today on them. Maybe an ACOG or Aimpoint but that's it!
    M16a1 is amazingly handy, for sure. It feels a lot shorter than it is.
    RLTW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade04 View Post
    Even most of the M16A2s made were of a gray hue.
    Being one of those Marines that carried a few of those early M16A2s, the 3rd was in the 6,200,000 range. Even had the D shaped FA. If they were gray, they were barely so. I even have a picture of me with the 3rd I was issued circa 1990-91 and the receivers match the stock, they were that dark.

    This is my A2 from 1988, it's the one with the dog tag riveted to the stock. Note the gray port cover.
    DocImage000000025 (2).jpg
    Last edited by Cerberus; 10-15-18 at 18:29.

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    Wow! Really rare)

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    This is the A2 I referred to in post 7. This picture was taken during prep for a ship to shore air landing somewhere near Lingayan Gulf, Philippines, Jan 1991

    37113476_1678964125553402_5169771242781147136_n (2).jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus View Post

    Feet in the photo...even back then.... lol

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