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Thread: My Interesting 90's Colt kit.

  1. #1
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    My Interesting 90's Colt kit.

    So a couple weeks ago Arms Unlimited was advertising two LE trade-in M16A1 parts kits for sale.
    This is the picture from the listing


    it immediately piqued my interest as it definitely appeared to be more M16A2 than A1
    The A2 flash hider, peel washer, Gov't profile barrel, delta ring, round forward assist, and the furniture were all clearly A2 features. With no photo of the right side of the upper receiver, I couldn't tell if a "Brunton bump" brass deflector was present.
    My thought was that this might be an RO715 kit - basically an M16A2 with A1 style "field sights" and an S-1-F FCG - the rifle that the Canadian Diemaco C7 was based off.


    Well that struck me as pretty neat, particularly since I grew up in the 80's and 90's and the 700-series guns are my personal favorite Retro ARs. So I jumped on it and bought one of the two kits.
    However afterwards I started looking more closely at the LPK in the picture and realized there was a burst disconnector in there.
    Colt produced a variant of the RO715 called the RO719, which was basically the same gun but with an S-1-3 FCG. Well now I was really interested as this seemed like an even rarer bird than a 715.

    While I was waiting for the kit to arrive I was somewhat concerned that the photo in the listing was an error, or just some stock photo AU had used, and that what I would get would just be some run of the mill M16A1 kit - which technically still would have been cool, especially for what I paid for it, but at that point I was kind of looking forward to getting something a bit less "common". The reason for this is that i found it strange that AU would label it an M16A1 kit despite is not really looking like one.

    When the kit arrived the first thing I did was to confirm the presence of a brass deflector (I literally stuck my hand into the box to feel for it before even pulling the thing out all the way), which indicated I had something other than an A1 on my hands. So I was pretty excited at this point. Although I will at this point state that while I am happy with what I got the LPK had been poorly packaged and had spilled out all over the inside of the box. I ended up being short one detent. Originally I thought that the trigger guard and trigger guard roll pin had been lost as well, but the LPK in the picture AU showed on their site seems to be missing the trigger guard as well, so perhaps they didn't bother to remove them from the lowers (They can be sort of a pain in the ass sometimes). In any case I rebagged the LPK and snapped a pic.

    My kit isn't the one pictured in AUs listing, as that one appears to have a mounting stud for a bipod or sling swivel on the handguard, but it is otherwise the same.

    The upper is the vintage "Colt grey". No forge code on the upper, but does have proof marks in front of the ejection port.



    Bolt carrier has the Colt "C" mark. bolt is marked "MPUC" which wasn't a Colt marking I was familiar with, but apparently it is legit. Some info I read indicated the the "U" referred to April of 1997.
    Which would be more or less chronologically consistent with the "1/97" date on the barrel. 1997 seems somewhat late for a rifle of this configuration, but I'm far from an expert in this regard.


    Barrel date stamp, January of 1997


    There is an "O" mark toward the rear of the barrel which IIRC has something to do with the chrome lining but I forget exactly what.


    The barrel markings are a bit odd. Being marked "C P" instead of "C MP"


    FSB markings.


    The FCG parts, including the burst disconnector were all marked "CF" or "CS"


    Based on what little information that I could glean online, this is either an RO719 kit from a complete rifle, or something called an RO719DC or maybe DC719 "Deluxe Conversion" kit for M16A1 rifles. The "Deluxe" aspect perhaps refers to the fact that in addition to an upper, the kit came with an A2 stock and burst FCG. So some agency who wanted to upgrade their aging M16A1s could do so with this kit. The odd "C P" barrel markings are mentioned as being present on the barrel of a similar upper receiver someone in an old ARFcom thread had acquired, as is the April of '97 MPUC bolt marking.

    The configuration of the R0719 itself does also seems to be somewhat contentious however, with it being described as simply a S-1-3 version of the 715 in some cases, but in other instances having a lightweight profile barrel like the RO711, or even sometimes as having A2 pattern rear sights. It was also described as the RO719H, with "H" apparently referring to a contract for Holland.
    So I figured I was *probably* on the right track thinking that my upper was a 719, but I wasn't totally sure just because of some of the conflicting info I was seeing.
    Then I realized I had had a valuable tool at my disposal all along.
    I have several Colt M16A2 series manuals from the late '80s and early to mid '90s including CM102. I looked in the parts catalog appendix of my CM102 manual from 1991 and this seemed to confirm my suspicions. I realize that with the Colt 700 series guns that sometimes the only rule is that there are no rules, this seems to be as close to getting it "straight from the horse's mouth" as I'm going to get.
    If you look at these two pages from the CM102 replacement parts list, the 719 is listed as using A1 style sights (down at the bottom of the first page it shows it using the same windage drum as the RO711, 723, 733 etc.. and also, in the second photo as having burst FCG components, and the same barrel assembly as the 715 (A2 "government profile")



    So as far as I can tell, unless i just got a complete pile of frankengun parts, this upper is from an RO719 or 719 conversion kit.
    I emailed Arms Unlimited to see if they could tell me where they had gotten the kits, and they indicated the kits had come from the Council Bluffs Police Department in Iowa
    So while I'm still not sure if these were complete R0719s or just conversion kits that the department had purchased for some existing M16A1 rifles back in the late 90s, I'm leaning toward the latter. The reason is due mostly to AU's rather odd mislabeling of these kits in the original listing as "M16A1" kits. While the A2 features should be obvious enough to give someone pause, if these kits came into their possession as assembled rifles with old M16A1 lowers it would make sense that they might just go with the nomenclature on the lower receiver.

    The only grey lower receiver that I had available was this Brownells A1 style lower. Here is the upper receiver assembled on the Brownell's lower. The receiver extension/buffer/ spring from the kit are also installed on the lower, as well as the stock and pistol grip. None of the LPK components are installed however.


    With the entry for the very similar RO715 in one of my Colt manuals


    Ordinarily I'd say that an A2 lower would be more correct but if this was indeed sold as a "conversion kit" for a Council Bluffs PD M16A1, than an A1 style lower would be pretty faithful to how it was originally configured. Although that is still technically speculation on my part.

    So that's where i'm at with this thing. If I'm way off base here with my "detective work", and if any Colt experts want to set me straight with the facts, or just have any more information about 719 in general, I'm all ears.
    Last edited by Circle_10; 12-03-19 at 07:56.

  2. #2
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    Unless I am misremembering Colt lore, wasnít that variant for the Navy?

    ETA Maybe Iím thinking of the A3. Interesting to say the least
    Last edited by Firefly; 12-03-19 at 17:42.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    Unless I am misremembering Colt lore, wasn’t that variant for the Navy?

    ETA Maybe I’m thinking of the A3. Interesting to say the least
    Yeah despite "A3" being associated with flat top uppers on the civilian side of things the M16A3 was basically identical to a standard M16A2 but with an S-1-F FCG instead of three round burst. It saw limited use with the navy, athough I'm not sure if it was produced at the request of the Navy or if it was just one of the many derivatives that Colt produced as part of the M16A2 family of weapons and the navy just happened to procure some.

  4. #4
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    Awesome read!!!!
    Stick


    Board policy mandates I state that I shoot for BCM. I have also done work for 200 or so manufacturers within the firearm community. I am prior service, a full time LEO, firearm instructor, armorer, TL, martial arts instructor, and all around good guy.

    I also shoot and write for various publications. Let me know if you know cool secrets or have toys worthy of an article...


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  5. #5
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    I'm wondering if there's anyone at the Council Bluffs PD that I could contact who might have more info on the kits i.e. were they originally complete guns or just stuck on to some A1 lowers, when were they acquired, how often were they used etc...
    However I'm going past "gun nerd" here and getting into "gun autist" now. Firstly there would have to be someone who had been there long enough to know the history of the guns, and secondly, an inquiry from some rando in Maine asking questions about their guns is not likely to be well received.

    I actually tried this once before as early this year in Maine there was an article about a local police department looking to upgrade their rifles and based on the description and photo the department was at the time still using either some type of Pre-A1 M16s or perhaps Model 604s as the gun pictured was a slick side.
    In a moment of just insufferable nerdiness I emailed the department and inquired about the history of the rifles but unsurprisingly I never heard back. It was worth a try though.

  6. #6
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    Definitely worth a try. Every once in a while, the universe connects two gun nerds and amazing things are learned.

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