| ||An overview of the AR 15 family of weapons|
After a lot of back and forth, I decided to create an almost complete guide around the AR15 family of weapons.
Over time, the whole thing has degenerated quite a bit due to the fact that, along with the AK system, it is one of the most extensive weapon families in the world.
The guide is divided into the following sub-items:
1. AR15 model overview
2. Current special versions
3. Receiver overview
4. The SOPMOD kit
5. AR15 stuff
The whole thing should help with orientation in the Colt designation jungle (sooner or later everyone desperately;)).
AR15 model overview
First of all, you should be aware that the AR15 system is based on the AR10. But I did not list this one because it did not belong to this weapon family, but was a completely independent prototype from Stoner.
But you can already see the close relationship to the M16 in the locking system. The trigger-like loading lever is also reminiscent of the two-sided operation of the M16-typical T-lever, it was to be picked up again decades later by other developers (FAMAS).
In addition to the fire modes, one of the main or classification criteria is the upper receiver used (see below). But here and there it happened that Colt gradually updated various weapons based on the M16A1 with M16A2 receivers, without mentioning this in the product catalog. This makes classification and identification very difficult.
On the subject of export models: The term "export version" logically does not necessarily make it clear that these weapons are only intended for overseas. Many versions were also sold to authorities, etc. Here, too, it was said "the demand controls the supply", which is why these versions were most likely available in very different quantities or with M16A1, M16A2, M4A1 receivers. As with all export versions, Colt has unfortunately never (or only very incompletely) documented such changes, which leads to many misunderstandings.
Unless otherwise stated (see the attention on the M645), all weapons have the semi-automatic and full-automatic fire modes. With some models, however, it could (and was) often confused, ie. I clearly wrote it again for these. The table-like system is completely structured:
ColtNo - old. Designation (optional); Description; Run length (opt.); Year of development (opt.)
- M603K - M16A1; produced for Korea, identical to M603 but special serial number (K0000000); 1967
- M604 - M16; produces for Air Force without Fwd. Assist; 1962
Attention: It is not known whether the M604 is based on the M16 or the M16A1 in terms of system technology, but the markings contain M16, which is why the old one. Name and year of development.
- M605A - M16 Carbine / CAR-15; Carbine version of the M16A1 with solid buttstock; 15 "
Warning: It is not known exactly what this model looked like. However, I did find a picture that can document this model. However, this is equipped with an XM177 type Foregrip, which doubts the authenticity of the M605, it might be more possible that it is an M651. In addition, all of the following short and carbine versions (except for all M4 versions or XM177 versions) can be referred to as CAR-15. This is of course not wrong, but it is also confusing. Unless otherwise stated, all carbine versions do not have a bayonet lug.
- M605B - M16 carbine; identical to the M605A but without Fwd Assist and with 3rds Burst
Attention: It is also unknown whether an XM177 type Foregrip was also used with this model.
- M606 - HBAR Assault Rifle
- M606A - HBAR Assault Rifle with Fwd. Assist
- M606B - HBAR Assault Rifle with Fwd. Assist and 3rdBurst
Attention: It is not known for all M606 versions whether they are based on M16 or M16A1.
- M607 - is based on M16 in terms of system technology, but already with Fwd. Assist, reduced M16 foregrip, and lockable sliding stick by Robert E. Roy and XM177Type flashhider; 10 "; 1965
Attention: This cute looking model was completely developed for Colt by Robert E. Roy and was the decisive factor for the XM177 and the introduction of the foward assist. It was also often incorrectly called SubMachineGun (SMG), not to be confused with the other smaller 9mm variants.
- M608 - CAR15 "Survival Rifle"; With "fixed tubular buttstock", shortened grip and simple cylindrical foregrip; 10 "; 1965
Attention: This model is another exotic model that was probably developed parallel to the M607 and is therefore dimensionally identical to it. It was developed by Roy as a for the Air Force along with a few other prototypes, presumably as a back-up weapon for flight crews to replace the old .38 Rovolver. Only 10 of this specimen were built.
- M609 - XM177E1; Carbine based on M16A1 with a new type of foregrip and sliding stick for the Army; 10 "; 1967 or 68
- M610 - XM177E1; identical to M609, product for the Air Force ie. other markings; 10 "; 1967 or 68
- M610B - XM177E1; identical to M610 but with 3rds burst (also for AF); 10 "
- M611 - identical to M606 but export model ie. other markings
- M611P - identical to M606 but with extra markings as an export version for the Philippines ("Made by Elisco Tool for the Republic of The Phillipines")
- M613 - Export version of the M603 ie. other markings
- M614 - identical to M604 (M16A1 without Fwd. Assist) as an export model with different markings
- M614S - M614 licensed from Singapore, other markings
- M616 - Another export version of the HBar M606 with again different markings
- M619 - Export version of the M609, different markings
- M620 - Export version of the M610, different markings
- M621 - identical to M603 but with Heavy Barrel (HBAR)
- M629 - XM177E2; identical to M609 but with a slightly longer barrel and flashhider; 11.5 "
- M630 - identical to M609 but without Fwd. Assist developed for the USAF; 11.5 "
- M633 - RO633; a "thoroughbred" SMG in 9mm, based on M16A1 with numerous changes in technology and appearance (Foregrip), with Case Deflector and XM177Type Sliding Stock as well as with "Mechanical Buffer"; 178mm
Warning: I don't have what the "buffer" is, but it is probably part of the modified closure.
- M633HB - RO633; identical to M633 but with "Hydraulic Buffer"
Attention: As you can imagine, the abbreviation HB does not stand for Heavy Barrel but for "Hydraulic Buffer".
- M634 - identical to M633HB but with a longer barrel; 10.5 "
- M635 - RO635; 9mm SMG based on XM177 with technical modifications like M633, without Fwd. Assist; 10.5 "
- M639 - XM177E2; Export version of the M629, different markings; 11.5 "
- M640 - XM177E2; Export version of the M629 but without Fwd. Assist, other markings; 11.5 "
- M645 - M16A2; Basically M16A1 based, but with profound changes and adjustments: Modified receiver with new side adjustment and added height adjustment for the rear sight in the carrying handle, exchange of the FA mode for a 3rd burst limiter (which should prevent ammunition consumption through unrestricted continuous fire), improved Fwd . Assist, new barrel with adaptation to the improved M855 cartridge standardized by NATO as SS109, new bayonet nose and a new foregrip (based on the XM177). Better plastic materials were used for both the Buttstock and Forergrip and the Pistol Grip; 20 "; 1983
Attention: Even though a 600 catalog number was used for the M16A2 (due to its descent from the M16A1), Colt probably did not know what kind of wave it had triggered. Many of the carbine versions that have already been released for the M16A1 should now also be designed for the M16A2, which is why all versions that are basically derived from the M16A2 are designated with a 700 number. Furthermore, unless otherwise specified, all weapons based on the M16A2 are equipped with a bayonet nose and a new barrel profile for the M855 cartridge. Unless otherwise stated, all weapons based on the M16A2 have a 3rds burst limiter.
- M645E - M16A2 Enhanced; technically identical to the M645, but with a modified upper receiver with removable Carriyng handle on a low profile Picatinny M1913 (Weaver -) - rail and flip up front sight; 508mm
Attention: This is probably a kind of prototype on the basis of which the M16A3 was developed.
- M649 - "Submachine gun. For US Air Force, with 14" (356 mm) barrel and 1 in 12 "(1 in 305 mm) rifling."
Warning: I know by far the least about this model, despite a lot of research. Maybe it was just a prototype with a very limited number of pieces. The text is from Biggerhammer.net.
- M651 - M16A1 carbine; Export model, probably with different markings; 14.5 "
- M652 - M16A1 carbine; identical to M651 but without Fwd. Assist; 14.5 "
Attention: It is unclear to what extent these models are identical to the M605 versions, whether the barrel length is the same for both, I don't know either.
- M653 - M16A1 carbine; identical to M651 but with sliding stick; 14.5 "
- M653P - M16A1 carbine; identical to M653, licensed product of the Philippines with own markings; 14.5 "
- M654 - M16 carbine; identical to M653, export model without Fwd. Assist; 14.5 "
- M655 - M16A1 Sniper Rifle; Experimental rifle with "high profile" upper receiver
Attention: I also know very little about this model, but contrary to the description I have found some pictures, but I assume that it is more of the M651, as they are carbines with a solid buttstock.
- M656 - M16A1 Sniper Rifle; Experimental rifle with "low profile" upper receiver
Warning: I have never seen such a model in the designated version, although one should assume here that the people of Biggerhammer.net have a blunder in their table. Even they should know that a low profile M16A1 receiver probably (!) Does not exist.
- M701 - M16A3; Export version of the M16A2 with FA mode instead of 3rdBurst; 20 "
Attention: Now we are back to the confusing part of the M16A2, A3 and A4 story. But since several sources say that the M701 is a fully automatic M16A2, but was not used in the Army (would have been illogical) I stick with it.
- M702 - M16A2; Export model for the United Arab Emirates, fully automatic with M16A1 rear sight, own markings; 20 "
- M703 - M16A2; Export model for the United Arab Emirates, fully automatic with M16A1 running profile, own markings;
- M705 - M16A2E3; Export model based on the M645 but in Full Auto instead of 3rds Burst, other markings; 20 "
- M707 - M16A2; Export model with M16A1 running profile, other markings; 20 "
- M711 - M16A2; Export model with M16A1 barrel profile and rear sight, other markings; 20 "
- M715 - C7; Licensed production of the M16A2 from Canada (Diemaco) with M16A1 rear sight, own markings, fully automatic; 20 "
Attention: These models also often cause confusion, because several other versions similar to M4A1, M16A2E / M16A4 were also made of these without having been documented by Colt. These weapons are used by various other countries. It is also said that they are qualitatively better processed in some cases.
- M719 - M16A2; identical to M715 but Colt-manufactured with 3rds Burst Limiter.
- M720 - M16A2 carbine; Carbine version of the M16A2 with updated sliding stick; 14.5 ";
Warning: This weapon is in all likelihood the weapon used by the "Deltas" in the movie Blackhawk Down.
- M723 - M16A2 carbine; Produced for the US Army (Delta Force) and the United Arab Emirates, with M16A1 rear sight and FA mode instead of Burst; 370mm; (late) 80s
- M725 - C8; Canadian license production of the M720 from Diemaco with M16A1 rear sight and FA-Mode
- M725A -M16A2 carbine; identical to M725, export version from Colt for the United Arab Emirates with M16A1 barrel profile
- M725B - M16A2 carbine; Export version of Colt's M725
- M727 - M4 carbine; identical to M720 but fully automatic, produced for the Navy (SEALS) and others; 14.5 "
- M733 - M16A2 Commando; fully automatic carbine based on M16A2 with a very short barrel; 11.5 "
- M733A - M16A2 Commando; identical to M733 but with M16A1 rear sight; 11.5 "