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Thread: Question for the experts: M16A1 fixed carry handle optic

  1. #1
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    Question for the experts: M16A1 fixed carry handle optic

    I was watching a video from last year on Mrgunsngear's Youtube channel about Brownell's Retro 4x carry handle scope. He mentioned that the US military used these type scopes to some extent for quite a few years. I had thought that these went out of use in around the late 1970's/early 1980's timeframe, but he indicated that he had personally seen them in use up through the early 2000's at least.

    Presumably Guard and/or Reserve units were still using them by that time. I usually think of these as an M16A1 accessory, but is it possible some were added to M16A2's? Being originally matched to the 55 grain round, would they be compatible with the M855's ballistics?

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    I was an Army grunt (not Ranger or SF mind you) for 4 years; see sigline. I never saw one of those carry handle scopes. Hell, if someone had dared to mount one I can just see the First Sergeant going "Who the fvck told you to put something up there? Get it off NOW!" Maybe "What the hell do you think this is, Hollywood?"
    11C2P '83-'87
    Airborne Infantry

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    I was in from 86 - 98 (POG) including a short stint in the NG, and never saw or heard of anyone using the Colt (or similar) optic.

    Andy
    Last edited by AndyLate; 06-23-21 at 19:02.

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    I used a knockoff I ordered from US Cav back in 05. Used it on an A2 then on the detachable carry handle of my M4. It worked well enough with 855 until I was issued an ACOG.

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    I've always thought the A.R.M.S. #39 A2 Plus mount was a cool setup on A1's and A2's.
    The simple fact of the matter is this, America has never not been great.
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    I was in the 82d in the late 90s and we had this one E-5 that came over after a tour in Korea who had a knock-off "colt" scope he liked to parade about with on his M4. It raised eyebrows but no one said anything because he had been made the Armorer.

    At this time optics (all early/proto M68s) were pretty rare outside of the infantry battalions as were the RIS/RAS rails. I think maybe the engineers and MPs had some, but in ADA and much of the rest of division, we all had nekkid M4s.

    That aside, they are fun little scopes. I wouldn't advocate for one over today's choices but I was pleasantly surprised by my experiences with some originals a friend of mine has. Naturally as I became interested in finding one prices started taking off. If I have to pay real money for one I'd rather just spend the extra for a mini acog.

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    Last edited by sgtrock82; 06-24-21 at 18:07.

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    I took the plunge and ordered one from Brownell's since they're on sale currently for $250. These supposedly have improved glass over the originals, although they should considering how long ago the originals were made.

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    When I was in Iraq from 2004-05 I saw lots of guys with A2 uppers that had optics mounted on the carry handle. Pretty sure they were all ACOG or some sort of Eotech/red dot. I was ADA, so not high speed.

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    Last edited by czgunner; 06-24-21 at 13:24.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slater View Post
    I took the plunge and ordered one from Brownell's since they're on sale currently for $250. These supposedly have improved glass over the originals, although they should considering how long ago the originals were made.
    I'd be really interested in hearing a review.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    I don't think these were ever a piece of military equipment. I believe the ACOG was the first unofficial, then SOPMOD, then Marine Corps, then Army scope for the M16 and M4.

    For a while in the 70s there were cheap Weaver or Tasco rimfire scopes on handle mounts for a SCOPES training system (before MILES) where you read a number on the other guy's helmet cover. One team had brown-out, the other green.



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