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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.

CLICK HERE to see the Colt SP1 serial numbers from the year 1963 through the year 1982.  Any questions?

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 ...

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.


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.

James Zachary 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)