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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    Early Colt SP1 magazine

    I had the opportunity to take some photos of an original Colt AR-15 SP1 in the three digit serial number range. The 20rd magazine inside this rifle had the small letters/numbers, top magazine in photo. Also note the thin barrel profile

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    Advisory Panel Bill Ricca's Avatar
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    Nice Rifle!!!


    I am trying to determine when Colt added the spring which limits the magazines to 5 rounds, for hunting. Anybody know when?

    I know of late SP1's (late 1970's to mid 1980's) had the spring added.

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    SP1s came with the 5 shot mag from the beginning. From the original 1960s owner's manual, page 3: "1.1 The AR-15 Sporter is a caliber .223, air cooled, gas operated rifle. It is fed from a 5-round magazine." On page 10 are directions for removing the spring, called a "5-round spacer".

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    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    Colt magazine

    The top magazine in this photo came with the three digit SP1, this magazine still has the block inside so only five rounds can be loaded. Note the serial number of the SP1 in the Colt AR-15 manual is s/n 100, that rifle was in circulation in the 1970's in the mid west

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    Advisory Panel Bill Ricca's Avatar
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    Thank you guys. I appreciate the information. I have some Colt catalogs, but not until the early 1970's.

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    I have a 4 digit SP1 which puts it at 1967 I have 2 colt mags and niether has a block but since I am not the original owner I'm not sure if they are the ones that came with it

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    They had a way of getting removed.

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    They had a way of getting removed.
    Very true: Back in the 1980's those springs were all over the gun shows. The mistakes many of us made (including me) was replacing the upper receiver with a Military Forward Assist version and using the offset screw to attach it.

    By the mid 1970's the standard SP1 was targeted to be "upgraded with the military upper". Sort like taking the 30-40 dollar 03/03A3 in the 50's and 60's and sporterizing it for a few dollars more and not spending that big "$129-149" for a commercial rifle.

    How times change.

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    RCS, did magazines have 1/2 dia. white sticker at the bottom right sight. I have a friend that has a NIB low 4 digit SP1 and both mags blocked to 5 rounds and had that sticker on them. Nothing on the sticker. I have heard from others with early SP1s their magazine were also marked this way.
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    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    I bought a new four digit SP1 in the box from a dealer - I do not remember any white stickers - but they could have been on the magazines.

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