Today (Saturday) and tomorrow (Sunday) I am at the Missouri Valley Arms Collector Association show here in Kansas City helping at the Colt Collectors Association tables. I have the Colt CRM16A1 and Colt CRXM177E2 out for people to pick up and look at.
I also added 5 photos of the pistol grip assembly to the LE6920M section.
I recently had an opportunity to pick up one of the Colt CRM16A1 rifles from Colts “AR-15 Military Classics” collector series. The rifle is very well done and I was amazed at how close its finish was to an original 1979-80 SP1 that I happened to have on-hand. Below is a photo of the CRM16A1 sitting behind the SP1. I will be doing detailed photos and analysis soon.
One of the recent hot-topics in the Colt collecting community has been Colt eliminating some of their production marks on their AR-15 rifle components. The vague history of the different marks (forge marks on upper receivers, markings on the top of barrels, ‘F’ marks on front sight bases, etc) have had their roots in either DoD contract requirements or some other manufacturing necessity. Today, I am going to briefly touch on the most visible change of recent and that has been the elimination of the ‘F’ on the front sight base as seen in the photo below.
At one time Colt was producing flat top (picatinny rail on the top of the upper receiver for a detachable carry handle, optics, etc.) AR’s and AR’s with fixed carry handles at the same time. The specifications for a front sight base for a flat top rifle is different from a front sight base that is put on a rifle with a fixed carry handle. See illustration below. There is a .04 inch height difference. In order for the proper front sight base to get put on the correct rifles, Colt was marking front sight bases for flat top rifles with an ‘F’.
Now that Colt is no longer making rifles with fixed carry handles, there is no longer a need to put an ‘F’ on the front sight bases because only a single type (specification) of front sight base is being used in production. People don’t like the mark no longer being there but the reality is, that little ‘F’ mark no longer serves a purpose. Continuing to include the ‘F’ mark on front sight bases equal additional production cost and man hours. Colt has to continually streamline their operations to minimize cost and improve efficiency. As much as we hate to acknowledge it, maximizing profits is necessary for all successful businesses.
In short, I support what they are doing to modernize Colt production and keep the company successful. As with everything in life, things change. We may not like it but I would rather they modernize operations, remain profitable and keep producing rifles than close their doors. They cannot stay stuck in an old production model trying to keep a few of us happy that are not their primary income stream.
I tried to keep this simple and not bury people in a lot of details or technical speak. I will do posts about other discontinued marks in the near future. If you have additional information or comments, please join the discussion.
We have learned that the Colt “AR-15 Military Classics” series will continue past the current M16A1 and XM177E2 rifles that are currently offered at retail. The only information that we have learned so far is that one of the next rifles will be a Colt Model 02 (commonly known as the 602). We have added a section to the site for the Colt Model 02 and will update it as information is received. The graphic below was created by us to share what little we currently know.