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Blogging to you from the Northeastern Badlands of Lake County, Illinois; DEEP DEEP DEEP DEEP inside the heartland of the Socialist Banana Republic formerly known as the USA, WELCOME TO THE NEXT CHAPTER! WARNING! ALL FORMS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ARE ADDICTIVE; EXCESSIVE USE MAY LEAD TO MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS, REDUCED JOB PRODUCTIVITY, INSOMNIA, SOCIAL ALIENATION, GENITAL ULCERS, BLINDNESS, POLITICAL EROTICISM, AND / OR DEVIANT FUNAMBULISM. NOTICE: NO GUNS OR AMMUNITION ARE FOR SALE VIA THIS BLOG. (No, I will not trade my Colt Python for some lubricious adventures with your trophy wife and a future first-round draft pick.) CAVEAT: This blog is not suitable for viewing while at work, while inside a public library, while inside any public or private school, or while inside any public or private restroom. Do not view this blog while driving a motor vehicle or while piloting an aircraft. Viewing this blog may be illegal inside the EU, NYC, Chicago, Seattle, and other parts of the Third World. THIS BLOG CONTAINS (albeit often very childish) ADULT-CONTENT. DISCLAIMER: This blog is a hobby, it is not a livelihood. Even though much of what I blog about relates to firearms collecting and recreational shooting, I am not an expert (by any measure) on any facet of guns, shooting, hunting, or personal defense. Entries at this blog are akin to good old-fashioned campfire chats or post hunt bourbon-fueled barroom-bluster; I offer no opinion on what you should or should not purchase, or what you should be using or doing. What does or does not work for me could be rugged-country-miles away from your tastes and your needs. All products, places, and miscellany that I review for this blog are purchased / rented / leased at retail price by me. I do not accept payment, gifts, discounts, freebies, products on loan, distilled spirits, recreational pharmaceuticals, plea-bargains, probation, parole, Papal Blessings, Presidential Pardons, or sexual favors for doing any review or blog post. TRACKING COOKIES: Google et al stick tracking cookies on everybody. If you are online, you are being spied on via one method or another, for one reason or another; 'nuff said. You may be able to minimize your online DNA residue by using Tor and Duck Duck Go. Vive la liberté! Vive all y'all! Ante omnia armari. To each of you, thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The first Colt civilian version (the semi-auto Model SP1) of the M16 military (select fire full-auto / semi-auto) "assault rifle" sold to the public in 1963

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.  
Any questions?

Hat tip to:


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.   

The TOTAL of all guns are be estimated HERE.



Anonymous said...

I don't understand where the 8M number comes from. Given the way this rifle has been marketed for the last 20 years or so (I mean that in a good way) and looking at the number of manufacturers of it, and the kits that allow 80% builds, and $39 lowers, it "feels" like that number should really be in the 30M range.

"Zack" said...

Well, you do have a point, I did find a site that alleged 20 - 30 million rifles in the USA met some definition of being an "assault weapon." I have a > 125-year-old Winchester model 1873 that holds 14-rounds of .44-40 in the magazine; at one time it met a federal AW ban proposal and may still qualify as an AW in a few states. Are there 20 - 30 million semi-auto civilian versions of the AR, AK, M14, Ruger Minis etc etc? Your guess probably has as much merit as a guess from the "experts."

It was 1964 - 1965 when the military issued the M16 as a "jungle rifle" for use in Vietnam. It was not until around 1969 when the military made the M16 a general issue rifle. Part of the point I was trying to make (and vet) was the fact that the SP1 civilian version was issued at the same time that (and maybe a wee bit before) the M16 was issued in Vietnam and WELL BEFORE the time when the M16 became the standard issue for the military.

Thanks for your thoughts! They are very much appreciated.

(at the very end of the original post, I'll add a clickable link to the above wiki url)

Will said...

The Secret Service agents guarding JFK 11/22/63 Dallas TX, had at least one of these (XM-177?). There is at least one photo showing an agent in the following car holding it at port arms as the convoy races to the hospital.

One investigator concluded that the agent in the following car accidentally fired the shot that hit JFK in the head. He detailed his data in a book titled: Mortal Error. Totally engrossing read! Guy spent more than twenty years examining that death, and is the only one who is able to explain all the details that others ignored due to things not matching their agenda. I have loaned out two copies, and neither came back, sigh.

"Zack" said...

Hey there Will,

In all honesty, this was the first I ever heard of this. I did a few searches and did some reading ... interesting stuff.

Thanks man.



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