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M16 Serial Number Question


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#1 drmustang66

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 07:37 PM

I have a Colt AR15 factory made select fire rifle. The serial number is 15,401. I cannot find any information of the date of manufacture. There is no property of US marking. Any help would be appreciated.


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#2 JJX

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 11:36 PM

1965 according to this site:

https://www.ar15.com.../-/123-241681/?
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#3 drmustang66

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 08:24 AM

Thanks for the reply. I read the same info but wonder why the serial numbers jump from 14,000 to 20,000 in 1963 and then resumed at 15,000 in 1965.


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#4 Mike Hammer

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 12:43 PM

I have a similar gun about 100 numbers off yours. These guns are likely early Colt 604's or 614's before Colt designated the model numbers. The fact that they are not marked U.S. Property tends to lean them to the very 1st police and civilian guns available. However I have heard that some of the early guns that went overseas to Vietnam advisers, the air force  and a few other countries were also not U.S.property marked so it may be impossible to know where the gun was first issued. I am by no means an expert on this subject as these guns are not my specialty. 

 

Here are a few pics of mine, I'm guessing that yours has similar characteristics. A 605 upper, 20" barrel with early 3 prong muzzle. Post some pictures of yours and we can compare, these are actually pretty rare guns, it would nice to see another one like mine.

Mike H.

 

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#5 drmustang66

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 06:34 PM

The person that sold me the rifle stated that very low 15,000 serial number guns were issued to the Air Force. I carried a M16 in Vietnam and wanted a gun from the late 60's.It is my understanding that US property marked rifles are almost impossible to buy. I paid $24,000 two month ago and from talking to various collectors that is the going price.  The model number is a 604 for 15,000 serial numbers.


Edited by drmustang66, 20 January 2019 - 06:39 PM.

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#6 Jpledger

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 10:18 AM

I'm working with a police department with some M-16 A-2 select fire rifles with serial numbers in the range 8114XXX, 8113XXX and 8108XXX.  I believe them to be circa 1986 manufacture, but can't find an authoritative source.


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#7 GaryKeim

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 04:45 PM

8,000,000 series
1980’s
In general these are 700 series commercial/export marked models of the M16A2.
 

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#8 DougStump

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 06:25 PM

Attached File  Doug M16.jpg   59.49K   19 downloadsAttached File  946044-R1-42-42.jpg   132.57K   21 downloads

 

Here is my best friend during Desert Shield/Storm, Colt M16 (not A1) serial # 313135.  Carried/lived with her for seven months and never chambered a round!  Note the luxurious USAF living accommodations.  31st Medical Group.

 

While over there I had in my hands (fondled) Colt serial # 00009.  It was assigned to the 1st Medical Group.


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#9 John in IN

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Posted 28 September 2019 - 10:43 AM

Here's a document I ran across a few years ago that covers the early serial number guns, in case you haven't seen it.  I'm in that group too with AR15 full auto serial #2014xx.

 

  John

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#10 Mike Hammer

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Posted 29 September 2019 - 08:56 PM

John, thanks for posting that document, I have never seen it before. Do you recall where it came from, I wonder how accurate it is? I don't believe that this document has ever surfaced on the AR15.com site as far as I know.

 

Mike Hammer


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#11 John in IN

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Posted 30 September 2019 - 09:30 AM

Mike,  I got that document a few years ago from a full auto AR15 for sale ad on Bowers board.  The seller had posted it as a way of explaining where these guns came from I guess.  The serial number on his gun was very close to mine.  I sent him a message about it but he never replied.  Although not a pristine copy of the document, what you can see of the letterhead at the top looks consistent with "Colt Industries" logo of the time period.  Cars are my other hobby and I remember seeing that same letterhead on Holley carb instruction sheets back in the day.  :)

Holley was part of Colt for a time back then.

 

John


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#12 Mike Hammer

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 01:51 PM

John, here is the 1st page of the AR15 serial numbers list that is usually encountered. The number ranges are about the same as your list but there is perhaps greater detail in the breakdown. It still is impossible to determine where my 15XXX serial numbered gun was first issued. Colt will not research this for me either as this is a class 3 firearm.

 

Mike Hammer

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#13 John in IN

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 02:21 PM

Mike,  yes I've seen that list before.  I just don't know if one list is more accurate than the other, or any other details on the sheet I listed.  On my list, my gun falls into the range of "British Contract" guns, but there is definitely no British markings like on the lend/lease Thompsons, and could easily be a commercial/export CAR-15 as indicated on the other list.  I think it would require Colt to chime in and help with this dilemma, but as you have found out, they won't assist with full-auto rifle research.

 

John


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#14 John in IN

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 02:41 PM

I also have this neat old operation manual about the AR-15 as a full auto rifle.  I found this about the same time I bought my gun.  It was on Vollmer's board (remember that)!    :)

 

John

 

 

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