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Old July 04, 2019, 22:25   #1
Combloc
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I Think I Have a Colt Addiction

AR's aren't my thing. They never have been and they never will be. They are fun enough at the range but they will never be my first pick. BUT.....I have to admit, there is something special to me about a Colt rifle. Maybe it's because they are American made or maybe it's the Colt mystique....I don't know. What I do know is that, every time I pick one up, I get the exact same feeling I get when I pick up an M1, M1 Carbine, Johnson 1941 or when I get in my 46 Jeep to go for a spin. I guess it's a sense of American History and Nostalgia. To me, these things represent everything right about American and being an American. They give me a sense of Pride.
Anywho, I was doing a little reorganizing and had some of my Colts out for a look see so I thought I'd take some pictures. The following is nothing scholarly or comprehensive but rather just a look at some differences and similarities between a small selection of Colt AR 15 rifles and carbines that I own. Let's get started.



Here are a few laid out with an FN thrown in for good measure:

I like collecting these things for several reasons. Number 1 I've already explained above. Second, they are relatively cheap at the moment; so cheap that I can afford to buy them as I see them if I like what I'm looking at. My criteria is simple. I want it original and generally unmessed with. There is some slight deviance in this point but whatever has been done has to make sense to me. If it has ANY aftermarket parts on it, I don't want it unless I can easily put it back into factory trim. Third, it's fun. Isn't that what all this is supposed to be about anyways? I think it is.



Let's get a closer look. We'll start with the carbines:

All three of these are police trade in jobbers. I've become smitten with these for some reason. Monetarily speaking, I think these are sleepers and will really increase in value over time. I also like the general wear they show; it's like History frozen in time. Somebody carried this around in their patrol unit and trusted their life to it. That means something to a sentimental fool like me. I buy every police trade in I can find if I have the cash available at the time. My only criteria for these is that they have the "Restricted" roll mark on the magazine well and that they be in the same configuration as when they were traded in.



We'll start with the newest one, shown at the bottom in the picture above:




This particular carbine was has a barrel date of April 2009 and it's the only one shown with the magazine it came with. That's because it's also the only one I have that has a magazine that has been marked by the department it was issued to. In this case, Pittsburg Pennsylvania:





Here's the left side of the receiver:

I love the fact that it's marked "COLT DEFENSE". Note that the magazine is dated May of 2009. Of course I know that this is most likely NOT the magazine that came with it from Colt but it IS a magazine that was used by the Pittsburgh PD so I will keep them together. While I have not shot some of the rifles I'll cover in this thread, I have had this one to the range and it was both accurate and fun! But then, aren't they all FUN?? Notice that the front take down pin is actually a pin. That is 100% normal for you younger guys but us older guy remember when thus front pin was not a pin at all but rather a screw. We'll see that in a bit. Also notice the various scratches. Yeah....that gets me going. I LOvE wear. Pristine is for pretty boys!


The upper is marked "M4":



Barrel marking:

As we look at these six rifles/carbines, notice that, while the format is the same on each one, the font and size changes. Things like this are why I just keep buying more. The variations absolutely fascinate me!


It has the standard M4 seven hole handguard with double heat shields:

Personally, I prefer the six hole that we'll see on the next carbine but then I'm not in combat either. Of course, neither was the officer this was issued to. But ultimately, it doesn't matter. This is how Colt built it so I love it for what it is!


The flash hider uses a crush washer as was standard when this carbine was made:
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Old July 04, 2019, 23:08   #2
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This next one has a barrel date of December 1998:




I do not know what department this one was issued to but it came from a local dealer who had bought a number of ex police carbines and this was on of them. The stock is most definitely NOT the one it left the factory with but it is the one that it came from the PD with so it will stay that way. Judging by the contours, it's still a stock supplied by Colt. Originally it would have had one of the "1N" marked "Fiberlite" stocks. We'll see that on the next one.



The left side of the receiver:

Notice that this one has a screw instead of a captive take down pin at the front of the lower receiver. That's how they were made back then. Also notice the different manufacturer's mark and the slightly different safety lever design. It still has some nice scratches in the finish!



Here is a close-up of the rear of the receiver showing the reinforcement done where the buffer tube threads in:



Compare this with the reinforcement done in that area on the previous carbine:

Very interesting...…


A detail shot showing the staking of the buffer tube:

I've never seen a Colt staked like this. We'll see a standard Colt stake mark on the next carbine. I can only assume that the PD this was issued to not only replaced the stock but also the buffer tube. That's just a guess though.


Barrel marking:




This one has a peel washer instead of a crush washer. This is consistent with a Colt from 1998:

While the flash hider flat shows some wear, I think this is due more to handling than removal.



Again, the upper is marked "M4":




This one has a six hole handguard with only one heat shield:

This is consistent with a non-military Colt of this era. It's round instead of the diamond shape of the M4 handguard and it also has only one heat shield. Also notice that it's a little more shiny than the M4 handguard of today.
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Old July 05, 2019, 20:33   #3
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Picking up where I left off, we'll look at the third carbine in this post:



I bought this from a Colt distributor who originally sold it to the Philadelphia PD and then took it back years later with a batch of others on trade for newer models. They let me look through them and pick the one I wanted. This one has a barrel date of May, 2000 which is just under a year and a half later than the last one we looked at. For all intents and purposes it's exactly the same as the previous carbine only the stock was never switched out. As far as I can tell, it's exactly as it left Colt.


Left side of the receiver:

So, assuming the barrel date is indicative of when the carbine was built, we can figure that Colt made about 2528 A3 Tactical Carbines from December of 1998 to May of 2000. That's not many when you think about it.


I didn't show it on the other two but here is a shot of the "Restricted" roll mark on the right ide of the magazine well:

The roll mark on the other two carbines is identical to my eyes.


It's interesting to note that this upper, although manufactured later than the last one we looked at, in not marked "M4":

It does have the M4 feed ramp cuts though. Maybe they just forgot to mark it. I don't know but this is just another example of why I keep buying these things.


Barrel marking:



The stock is correctly marked "1 N":



To my knowledge, ONLY Colt fiberlite stocks are marked this way and it has not been faked so far. Apparently Colt also used unmarked stocks too though so the waters are muddied when trying to verify whether or not the stock you are looking at is genuine. Absent the 1 N mark, experience is your only guide.


Proper stake mark on buffer tube nut:



Web in the rear of the receiver preventing the use of full auto parts:

The previous two carbines look identical.


That's it for this one. In the next post, we'll begin looking at the rifles. Thanks for your time!
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Old July 05, 2019, 20:41   #4
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Great run down and pics as usual Brian. Very nice ARs
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Old July 06, 2019, 23:28   #5
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Thank you sir.

Now we're moving on to the rifles. None of these are police trade-ins or anything special; just plain jane civilian rifles. Also, none of them have dated barrels because I don't think Colt started dong that until about 1996. The first one we're going to look at is also the newest of the three and probably dates to around 1992-93 but that's just a guess. Certainly it was made prior to the 1994 Clinton ban.



Notice that it has the "full fence" on the right side of the magazine well but it's not drilled for the front take down pin detent. That's because Colt was not making civilian rifles at this time with the pin. Instead there is a double sided screw installed. You can take it apart but you weren't supposed to.


Left side of the receiver:

This rifle is essentially an A2 HBAR but not marked as such. In the interest of it being seen as a purely sporting rifle, the "A2" designation was removed and it was remarked as a "Sporter Match". The serial number prefix is "MH" which stands for "Match HBAR" and the bayonet lug was removed. All of this was done because Colt could see the ban on the horizon and they were hoping to be excluded from it if they did enough neutering to the design. There were also other changes made but we're not going into all of that. Frankly, I'm not 100% sure of everything that was done. Still, we will see a couple more things that were done to permanently keep them semi-auto only as we move along.


Barrel marking:

Contrary to what you might read in some places, the "C" in front of "MP" stands for Colt, NOT Chrome or Chromed or Chrome Lined.


Muzzle showing the correct for this period peel washer:



Detail of the full-auto block:

Receivers of this era did not have the web we are accustomed to seeing in newer receivers in order to block the installation of full-auto parts. SO, Colt put this block in place and held it there by drilling a hole in the receiver and inserting a pin. On this rifle, that pin can be seen four pictures above on the right side of the receiver just above the safety axle. Note that the pin does not pass through the left side of the receiver, only the right.


A closeup of the small head forward assist still used today:




Moving back in time 21,792 rifles, we come to this jobber:



For all intents and purposes, it's the same rifle as we looked at above but it's nowhere near identical. The first obvious difference is the complete lack of a fence on the right side of the lower receiver. This is basically just an SP1 receiver only marked differently. By the way, what the hell is that phone doing in there???? Shoddy photographic skills!!


Left side of receiver:

It's very similar to the previous rifle but again, there are differences. For one, notice that the full auto block pin protrudes through to this side where it did not on the other rifle. Yu can see it above word "FIRE". Also notice the little circles to the left and right of the safety. On the previous rifle those areas were more tic-tac shaped. There is a technical word for those thingees but it escapes me. I'm no expert on AR-15's. There is also a difference in reinforcement at the rear of the receiver where the buffer tube mounts but we'll look at that in more detail on the next rifle.


Here is a closeup of the right rear of the lower receiver showing that the full-auto block pin passes through this side too:

I guess Colt eventually figured out that you could just drive this pin out so they changed it to a blind pin at some point as seen on the previous rifle.


Barrel marking:

Same information but a different font and size.


Again, a peel washer:



When I bought this rifle, it had a leather "Colt" marked sling on it. It also had a Colt cheek riser on the stock and a Colt marked scope rail attached to the carry handle. At one point they offered a "Delta" version of this rifle that had these parts and a cheepie scope for a few bucks more. Apparently, someone wanted a Delta but either couldn't find or couldn't afford one so they tried to make this one. I took the cheek riser and scope mount off but left the sling as it works well enough. Here is a detail of the mark on the sling:



The forward assist button is identical:



The receiver block:
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Old July 07, 2019, 13:52   #6
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A screen name like Combloc but addicted to Pony guns. Can't fault that at all. Have been addicted to Pony guns since before I had a drivers license and purchased my first Colt Trooper age 14, 1911 at age 15, Colt Diamondback age 15 and Colt AR 15 at age 17. Walked in local hardware store, put my mone on the counter and walked out. Owner always reminded me to have my mom or dad stop by next trip to town and fill out the paperwork but I don't think the did on a single purchase from him including some Smith wheel guns and Remington Turn bolts before I reached legal age. He is dead so doubt there is much chance of him being prosecuted 40ish years later.

While not Colts my dad did sign all the paperwork necessary to start a Trust in his name with me as beneficiary and Trustee so I was able to buy my pair of M11's and Ruger AC556 GB factory folder. All very small packages with a lot of firepower in short bursts. Sub two seconds to empty an M11 magazine and the short barrel of the AC556 with folding stock (think Rugers folding stock design may be one of the best as its trim folded and rock solid open) fitting in a small pack, tennis racket case or musical instrument case easily.

Still have my first two SP1's. First was a 16" CAR and second a 20" A1. Bought myself the A1 as my 18th birthday present. Some people, especially my wife's more liberal relatives freak out and ask why anyone would need even half a dozen firearms much less a half dozen firearms safes. If they could only see the hidden vaults and work vaults they would likely die of a stroke. When I was diagnosed with brain cancer after breakimg back and neck, started selling guns wholesale but didn't sell any Colts. Figured if lived would want them and if dies wife would have no trouble selling them. Now it's turned out that Colt Diamondbacks in 38 special are her favorite handgun to target shoot with and keeps one near all her regular places of leisure in the house.
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Old July 08, 2019, 11:22   #7
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you have a Great collection, A friend of mine sold me a preban SP1 has been a safe queen ever since.
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Old July 09, 2019, 22:54   #8
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In this post, we're going to look at the oldest of the six Colt's shown at the beginning of this article:



Of course, "old" is a relative term and I don't really see it as old. I'm old....but I digress.


Left side of receiver:

Notice that the serial number prefix is "SP" which stands for "Sport". This particular rifle was most likely made in 1986, the year the civilian HBAR was introduced and, while thare are a myriad of little differences between this rifle and the previous two, it's essentially just an earlier true "pre-ban" version of the other ones. Yes, they too are pre-ban rifles made in the early 90's but they had shades of what was coming. For example, this one is marked "AR-15 A2". That was eliminated around 1990 in an effort to make the rifles seem less military and more "sporting". Similarly, while the previous two have had the bayonet lug removed and a block added to the receiver, this one still has the lug and lacks a block. It's pretty much just a semi-auto only version of the rifle developed for the Marines. The lower receiver is the same one used on the SP-1 and I think it has the smaller diameter hammer and trigger pin holes too. I like it because it's marked for what it is instead of trying to hide behind the goofy "Match HBAR" title. I also really like that it's marked "COLT'S FIREARMS DIVISION".


A neat feature is the large round forward assist button:

This replaced the tear drop forward assist for just a very short time before being changed to the small button we are used to seeing today.
Here is a small button for comparison:



Notice that the rear of the lower receiver is much more svelte on these older jobbers:
A newer receiver for comparison:



The other side is also less reinforced:

Compared to a newer one:



Barrel marking:



Muzzle:

I'm pretty sure this should have a peel washer so that tells me some moron had the flash hider off at some point. I just don't get why people dicker with things. However, when we look at some old Colt catalogs in a bit, you'll see that it does look like some of the rifles do appear to have crush washers when we would expect a peel washer. That could be a trick of the lighting in the picture....I just don't know. If I've learned anything in my years of collecting, it's that you should always expect the unexpected. Still, I'm going with someone, at some point, had this flash hider off.


No block, no web. Pure pre-ban:

I miss those days.


A particularly nice feature of this particular rifle are the glossy handguards, shown below in the foreground:

And here, in the background:

Of course, Colt didn't make these but rather bought them from subcontractors. Apparently, some contractors made pretty shiny ones while others made more dull ones, presumably because of differences in polymer formulas. I assume it was luck of the draw. I like shiny!


The pistol grip on this rifle has a more polished look as well:



A comparison of this rifle (at top of frame) to the previous rifle:

Other than some rain drops on the receivers, they are nearly identical. The only obvious difference is the pin for the receiver block seen on the bottom rifle. But, if you look closely, you might notice the difference in trigger and hammer pin diameters.


Compared to a current spec. FN-15:

LOTS of little changes and some big ones too.
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Old July 10, 2019, 08:38   #9
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Great minds think alike ;

www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=421693
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Old July 10, 2019, 23:31   #10
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While we're here, we might as well look at some Colt catalogs. That's as good a way as any to wrap this up:

I'm not going to do a page by page on these catalogs. We're looking at AR-15's so guess what we're going to look at in the catalogs.....


This first one is from 1986:


The rifle page from the '86 catalog:

I don't really see the need to say much here as it kind of speaks for itself. Hopefully it's large enough that you can read it.


The 1989 catalog:


Rifle pages :

These sure look like crush washers but I'm assuming it was just a trick of the light when the picture was taken because they should be peel washers. I cant imagine they were using both at the same time:




The 1990 catalog:


The rifle pages:

Notice that Colt is going out of their way to portray them as nothing more than target rifles. This is the year they nixed the "AR-15" roll mark on the lower.

There is a .22 conversion kit advertised too on page 12:

Again, these are only for shooting at paper plates kids. Careful, or you'll shoot your eye out!


1991:


"AR-15" is absolutely nowhere to be found:

Please mr. big gubment...don't take my "sporting rifle" away from me!! I swear, we only shoot at paper plates and would never use it to defend ourselves from tyranny. We're good compliant little citizens!


I can't find a date on this one but I'd say it's somewhere from 1991-95:







This one isn't overtly dated either but it's from 1995 because there is a copyright date on the back:




Inside is a 1995 price list and a goofy Colt clothing catalog:



Even back then they were expensive. I was buying used HK's just a few years before this for just over half the price of a new Colt.


Unfortunately, there is a big gap here. Sorry about that. This next one is from 2005:








This last one is from 2010:
]










This catalog has quite a spread compared to the earlier ones.



And that's it for now. I hope you enjoyed this half as much as I did writing it! Until next time.....be safe, have fun and make sure you bring up how much you enjoy firearms in conversation every time you are around the libtards in your workplace because every time you piss one off, an angel gets his wings!
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Old July 11, 2019, 20:08   #11
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I think your addiction run's much deeper than mine ...lol...


Hell of a nice collection .
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Old July 11, 2019, 23:13   #12
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Thank you sir.
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