Please get over it, folks. Evil Black Rifles (EBRs) have been in the hands of civilians in the USA for over a half-century. I first saw one in the hands of a civilian around 1966. Currently there are estimates of between 5-million and 8-million of these modern sporting rifles in the hands of civilians in the USA. I dare say that the number of this type of rifle in civilian hands would likely be less than a million if it were not for the buying frenzies caused by the cyclic waves of politicians trying to ban them; for many years, relatively few gunnies paid much attention to civilian black rifles. Politics has provided free marketing for those selling EBRs and now black rifles are on the "must-have list" for the masses; they have become fashionable. One of our local gun stores (once again) reports being nearly sold out of this type of rifle and all related components. Oh well ...
CLICK HERE to see the Colt SP1 serial numbers from the year 1963 through the year 1982.
Hat tip to: retroblackrifle.com
CLICK HERE for the history of the M16 rifle.
NOTE: Over the years "AR-15" (AKA AR15) has become the common-usage name of the semi-auto civilian version of the M16. When Eugene Stoner of ArmaLite created the select-fire full-auto / semi-auto military rifle he designated it the AR-15. COLT bought the rights for the original AR-15 from ArmaLite and it was rebranded the M16 by the military. AR stands for ARMALITE; it does not stand for AUTOMATIC RIFLE. Colloquially, AR has taken on a patriotic connotation as standing for America's Rifle; so be it.
I believe Colt still owns the marketing rights of branding any rifle as an AR-15.
Mar 11, 2019 ADDENDUM: As of now, I still can find little information on how many AR15 style rifles are in the hands of American citizens.
Jan 31, 2020: CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
Nov 19, 2020: 20-Million according to ---> https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2020/11/19/20-million-modern-sporting-rifles/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=20-million-modern-sporting-rifles