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Thread: Thoughts on the "Original" AR-15, the Colt model (6)01

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    Really Senior Member imarangemaster's Avatar
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    Thoughts on the "Original" AR-15, the Colt model (6)01

    Some random thoughts on the illustrious Colt Model '01. It earned its wings in ARPA's Project AGILE, being used by MAC-V Advisors in the early 1960s in The Republic of Vietnam.

    First, let me preface it by saying that in 1979 to 1981 I was in a reserve Security Police outfit, and I had the good fortune to actually shoot a 601. It was in our USAF SP arms room. It was all original, complete with duckbill FH, and green painted brown furniture. We took it out occasionally on range days and let her rip.

    I thought it was actually lighter and handier than the M16A1 I had been issued in the active Army 1974-1977. It was "sleek" and someone else aptly said, it was "Tubular" designed and simple. When you consider the times where heavy steel and wood weapons had ruled the roost for 400 years, the aluminum and polymer ArmaLite platform was truly revolutionary. For the amount of lead it threw down range, it was incredibly easy to handle. Compared to other martial arms at the time, it was much lighter and easier to handle than anything except maybe the M2 carbine - which was more limited in application.

    BTW, I worked in the arms room, so I got to choose my weapon. Mostly it was GAU-5/A/A with a birdcage flash hider, then a GAU-5/P Franken Carbine on a 601 (or 602) lower, with a 14.5" 1/12 pencil barrel. Both were slick side uppers, and as I said my GAU-5/P was a slick side lower. Maybe that's why I am so found of "slick sides" and 601s in particular.















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    Last edited by imarangemaster; 10-12-2017 at 05:41 PM.

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    I see Pics # 1 & 3 have the original mags 4 & 5 have the new style mags so there was no forward assist with these there was a discussion recently about mainly the type of ammo powder fouling badly with these things basically choking the chamber causing jams without the forward assist whats the proc to get the weapon going again or is it the case of grabbing another off a G I that does not need his anymore. TIA

    Here is a pretty good article I found on the Colt AR-15-01;
    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&r...Cr409SgyDAfvXS
    Last edited by CINDERS; 10-12-2017 at 10:19 PM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I had a set of that furniture that came off an early rifle that I also had...it was fibrite brown and painted green followed by black...the rifle was so early it only had a "Test # 002" scratched into the flat side of the mag housing...and a well worn barrel, a groove worn down the center of the lands.
    Regards, Jim

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    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    The weak point would be the extractor so the case would be left in the chamber. That's why you see so much footage of GI's and Marines with cleaning rods taped to the weapon for knocking out the stuck cases. Even with the advent of chrome lining, the SOCOM mods incorporated in the last 20 years or so include a little rubber "D" or donut that surrounds the extractor spring and helps enhance extraction.

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    Member Cbinau's Avatar
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    I just came here for the pictures... carry on



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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cbinau View Post
    I just came here for the pictures
    That's good enough for us...
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member philb's Avatar
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    ground breaking design

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    We had the very first ones issued to the Commonwealth Forces that came to the Britishicon, Australians and NZers in Malaya. Lots of niggling troublesome little faults. Flash eliminator was a bundle of trouble in the ulu and broken handguards were a constant PITA as spares were hard to come by until we got spares from SVn. Until then we had to repair them with this two pack stuff that never worked. The plastic didn't like the Australianicon mossie repellent we were issued with either. The cleaning regime was never a problem with us because it's what we did as a matter of course anyway. Bulged barrels were a thing too. Couldn't get barrels either so for a year or so, one bulge was acceptable but a bit scary. The Major that conducted the acceptance trials and the acceptance trials for the L7/FN MAG58/GPMG died recently. He'd have been the man to speak to bless his heart. We had to go to a big base workshop in Singapore to do a course on the AR15 because they were going to replace our Owen and F1 SMG's - and the NZers Sterling SMG's. Because we'd had them for many months, we knew more about them than the instructor who was going to teach us the technicalities.

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    For sure the early ARs were a pain. By the time I had got to the Army Small Cal Lab I learned there had been like 550 "improvements" to the 16 and then the M16A1E1 came in that was adopted as M16A2.

    They were subjected to Technical Feasibility Testing at Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1982 when SS109 bullets were sent to Lake City for loading for that test. Lake City used the same ball propellant in them as they did the M193 ammo and the accuracy was right at rejection at 4800 rounds.

    A retest was done, same results. Also testing with M193 and then 100,000 rounds of FN ball and tracer arrived from Canadaicon and we had to hand delink it all and that was the finest ball ammo I ever shot. Barrels were still IN SPEC at 12,000 rounds. To be sure we only used the SS109 Ball and not the SS110 Tracer they came with.

    We conducted dispersion testing from 100 to 800 Meters and the SS109 was really nice.

    Oh by the way the Marine Corps Project Manager on the M16A1E1 was Maj Bruce Wincenten and he just passed a couple weeks back. I went up to Quantico for his funeral and he was just interred at Quantico Military Cemetery. Bruce was a member of the USMC Rifle Team Quantico for a number of years.

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    Contributing Member fjruple's Avatar
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    I always liked the early model AR15 series rifles. I found them to accurate, lightweight, and very manageable to shoot and work with. I had started with the M1 and M14icon rifle in the US military. After firing the M16 for the first time, I loved the weapon. While it did not have the range and durability of the M1 or M14 it had the "happy" switch to get you out of a sticky situation at close range.

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