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Thread: Brownell's "Retro" series

  1. #1
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    Brownell's "Retro" series

    Watching a recent episode of "Forgotten Weapons", Ian McCollum talked with a Brownell's representative regarding their "Retro" series. Seems that the only guns that will be continued with are their M16A1, XM16E1, and XM177 models. The Model 601 (green furniture, "duckbill" flash suppressor, etc.) is discontinued. Seems that it was never that big of a seller. As was the Model 605. They are considering an M16A2 version, although that remains to be seen.

    Of course, guns can still be built from parts that Brownell's (or others) have in stock, although nowadays that may be problematic.

    I would have thought that the 601 was more popular, but I guess it appealed mostly to the history buffs and similar.

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    They would have sold more if the quality was higher.

    I wanted to buy one myself but I couldn't get past all of the negative reviews.

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    I didn’t know the AR-10 models were discontinued until I watched Ian’s other video with Paul. By the time I went their site the rifles were sold out. I really wanted one of those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron3 View Post
    They would have sold more if the quality was higher.

    I wanted to buy one myself but I couldn't get past all of the negative reviews.
    The first runs had the lime green furniture, IIRC. And some had a purplish hue to the anodizing.

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    The 601s are pretty neat. I still have a bunch of parts kicking around from when I was going to build my own 601 “clone” out of mostly Brownells components. I never ended up finishing it though, my Retro interests started hyper-specializing on the 80s and 90s era 700-series guns, and eventually with everything going on these days over the last several months I have kinda drifted away from Retro ARs in general in favor of my more practically-oriented ARs (and AKs now too thanks to the 5.56 situation).
    IIRC I bought the parts prior to Brownells releasing the actual complete BRN-601 rifle, because I think they were selling the parts prior to the whole rifle being offered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slater View Post
    The first runs had the lime green furniture, IIRC. And some had a purplish hue to the anodizing.
    The issues I saw were canted sights, front sight having to be buried or replaced, "chincy" furniture, and reliability issues.

    I had the "proto" in the cart more than once but it just sounded like a high chance I'd be sending the rifle back.

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    I'd settle for the XM177 retro upper. Unfortunately, the panic buyers scooped all of them up.

    If you have to put a compensator on a 9mm, maybe you should buy panties instead of briefs - Ken Hackathorn via Facebook live

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slater View Post
    Watching a recent episode of "Forgotten Weapons", Ian McCollum talked with a Brownell's representative regarding their "Retro" series. Seems that the only guns that will be continued with are their M16A1, XM16E1, and XM177 models. The Model 601 (green furniture, "duckbill" flash suppressor, etc.) is discontinued. Seems that it was never that big of a seller. As was the Model 605. They are considering an M16A2 version, although that remains to be seen.

    Of course, guns can still be built from parts that Brownell's (or others) have in stock, although nowadays that may be problematic.

    I would have thought that the 601 was more popular, but I guess it appealed mostly to the history buffs and similar.
    Glad I did the 605 when I did.

    I noticed early they were starting to discontinue certain parts such as a 20Ē plain barrel sold in both twist rates but without the gas block pinned. I bought one but cut it to 16Ē and installed a set-screw gas block sold by Fulton Armory to use as a mock-up and did a 605 before Brownells ever offered it themselves although they did offer the partial fence lower and an upper which I used. All other parts used were current production or surplus including the furniture.

    To be honest itís a very accurate carbine and Iíve run all bullet weights through it and it operates as well as any factory produced piece. Gas port is at .107 and itís a true Dissy.

    Too bad I missed the 601 as it was next.
    Last edited by GRA556; 01-02-21 at 12:10.
    Never forget every word you spoke when you took your oath of office.

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    Picked up the 16" 'dissy' upper at a gunshow, sans BCG, and popped it on my NoDak M16A1 lower.
    On my Colt BCG it ran great; not so much on another one. Really like the full length sight radius on a 16" gun. Shoots straight; busts claybirds on a 80yd berm from a sitting rest.
    Saw an AR10 clone at a local shop, trigger charging handle and all. Looked really great, tho' no desire for another caliber.
    Moon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron3 View Post
    The issues I saw were canted sights, front sight having to be buried or replaced, "chincy" furniture, and reliability issues.

    I had the "proto" in the cart more than once but it just sounded like a high chance I'd be sending the rifle back.
    Chintzy.

    Now you know. And knowing is half the battle. Yo....Joe!

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