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Old January 23, 2010, 12:23 PM   #1
DBski
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VietNam era semi auto M16

Does any one know anything about this rifle? It looks just like the the one I carried with the 1st Infantry Division in Viet Nam. Depending on the cost andthe reliability of the gun, not to mention the sentimental value it would have for me sure would like to add it to my colection.

Centuryarms.com

C15A1 Semi-Auto Sporter, Cal. .223 & 5.56×45mm

November 10th, 2009 by admin Leave a reply » .

Century International Arms, Inc. is introducing the C15A1 Semi-Auto Sporter which is manufactured from original Colt parts with a new U.S. made receiver and barrel. It is based on the M16A1 and has the triangular “Vietnam era” handguards with short and long range peep sights. The chamber and bore twist allow for the use of both .223 and 5.56×45mm ammunition. Comes with two original Colt 30 rd. mags. Barrel Length: 20″ with a 1:9″ twist, Overall Length: 39.5”, Weight: 8.6 lbs.

Century International Arms, Inc. is one of North America’s largest importer/exporter of newly manufactured and surplus firearms, ammunition and accessories for over 45 years. They also manufacture semi-auto firearms for collectors and sportsmen who enjoy quality firearms at excellent prices. Contact Century at 1.800.527.1252 or 561.265.4530. www.centuryarms.com.

Contact your local firearms distributor on how to obtain the C15A1 Semi-Auto Sporter.
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Old January 23, 2010, 12:26 PM   #2
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I don't know anything about this particular rifle but I don't think much of Century Arms International. Also, I don't think we were using 1:9 twist barrels during the Vietnam conflict.
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Old January 23, 2010, 01:26 PM   #3
Chipperman
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Quote:
Centuryarms.com
Stop right there.

You can find "Retro" ARs from better manufacturers. Other option is to build one.

Probably the closest thing you can get to an old school Viet Nam era AR would be a new receiver with this kit:
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=588175

Last edited by Chipperman; January 23, 2010 at 01:30 PM. Reason: added link
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Old January 23, 2010, 03:22 PM   #4
DBski
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Can anyone name the manufactuers of Vietnam era m16's that are semi auto?
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Old January 23, 2010, 03:31 PM   #5
DMK
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You could buy a used Colt SP1.

... or build your own.


M16A1 clone with surplus NOS M16 barrel, upper receiver, and furniture, DPMS lower receiver, RRA Bolt/carrier, and RRA NM trigger.
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Old January 23, 2010, 04:26 PM   #6
ltdave
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Quote:
manufactuers of Vietnam era m16's that are semi auto
the only manufacturer of V-N era M-16s were Colt Industries...

they made semi-auto ARs, model SP1...
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Old January 23, 2010, 04:45 PM   #7
Chipperman
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Read this thread for info about making a Retro AR15:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.htm...f=123&t=263900
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Old January 23, 2010, 04:58 PM   #8
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Head on over to ar15.com and play with the search button and you'll be an expert in a few days in what you need to do. My advice is to build it yourself.
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Old January 23, 2010, 05:33 PM   #9
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Even though AR 15 rifles are easy to build, skip the Century built gun. I agree that you should do some research and build it yourself. Also, I'm not sure how important it is to you, but if you are looking for all or 95% Colt parts for your retro build, it will cost you a lot more money and time trying to find the parts.

I recommend using NoDak Spud receivers and the replica parts from manufacturers they linked to from their site. Everything is there for nearly all the retro AR rifles including the prototype models for you to get the 99% "correct" look.

One more thing, skip arf.com and go to m4carbine.net for your info, better people there.
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Old January 24, 2010, 07:43 AM   #10
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Century was selling a parts kit that could be used to build a retro rifle. I don't think I would buy a complete rifle from them. It's easy to build a retro, buy a 20" HBAR and change the furniture.

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Old January 24, 2010, 09:25 AM   #11
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You should check the retro forum on ar15.com and do a little reading.
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Old January 24, 2010, 09:35 AM   #12
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Honestly,I wouldn't buy anything with their name on it.I got one of those sorry excuse for a AK74 they imported and modified.It is a total Pile of junk.Early on they used Hess junk AR recievers and would blow up.Fit and finish suck on the newest ones on the market.THey are only a step above Hesse/Vulcan/whatever new name they go by.
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Old January 24, 2010, 10:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
the only manufacturer of V-N era M-16s were Colt Industries...
Most M16A1s I saw in Vietnam and used after were made by General Dynamics (I think thats the correct spelling). Rumor had it that Lady Byrd Johnson owned a huge chunk of stock in Gen Dyn. Don't know if that was true or if it mattered.

I think if one wanted a civilian version of the M16A1 he should look for the Colt SP1.

The M16/M16A1s and SP1s had the 1-12 twist barrel. You see tons of internet stories about the A1 being unrelieable, because someone told someone, that his great uncle twice removed had nothing but jams etc etc.

Based on my experience that wasnst the case but I'm gonna gonna get into that.

Years ago, the National Guard had the CNGB (Chief of the National Guard Bureau postal match). We use the M16a1s with sub cal devices. Since the 22 rim fire and the 223 are a bit differant in actual caliber, I came up with the ideal of sleaving a M16 with a 22 rim fire sleave and making it more accurate. It did in my case. When I took over the AKNG marksmanship unit I didnt shoot the CNGB matches so I rebarreled the gun with a 1-9 barrel. It shot good but not as good as the 1-12, but we were only useing the 55 grn bullets back them.

Meaning what????................nothing, just a litte useless Sunday morning memories.
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Old January 24, 2010, 11:33 AM   #14
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How much are you looking to spend?

My dad has one he has been thinking about getting rid of. Its a 77-80 era.
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Old January 25, 2010, 01:48 PM   #15
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Saw a 1974 Colt SP-1 at a local gun show over the weekend. $1800 firm, because of its age. It probably didn't even have 100 rounds through it. Very nice and very clean. Change to the three prong flash suppressor and at a distance no one would know. The $ seemed a bit steep though.
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Old January 25, 2010, 07:27 PM   #16
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For a retro AR the Retro Forum at AR.15.com is the best resources online; another valuable site in that regard is Retro Black Rifle.

You really will do better putting one together yourself.
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Old January 25, 2010, 08:42 PM   #17
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I've got one just like chuter just described. The only problem is you can't shoot anything heavier than 55s. Heavier bullets keyhole. Not enough twist. Still I like mine. Almost never shoot it. Just get it out and look at it.
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Old June 25, 2010, 10:54 PM   #18
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I have one & LOVE it! Bought it for my 50th b-day
It's built for Milspec 5.56 & civilian .223 Remington
I've been using all different ammo mfgs & my own reloads.
55 & 60 grain bullets. XM193s work great.

Shoots like a dream.

For fun, varmints & sentimentality I highly recommend it.

Bought mine from J & G Sales in Prescott, AZ $699

The only negative is, it HATES tula ammo.
But then just about any 223 hates tula.
Jams on almost every round, either stovepipes, FTEs or just won't cycle the bolt.
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Old June 26, 2010, 01:08 AM   #19
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I don't get how this is a good rifle if it created an infamous horrible reputation for jamming and ftf etc

What am I missing
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Old June 26, 2010, 02:18 AM   #20
ISC
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I see alot of Century bashing going on here, but Eith the exception of a MAS 49/56 rifle and MAS 36 that were poorly converted by them to .308, I haven't had any problems with their products.

I have a Century AR that is 100% reliable and looks great too. I have 30+ firearms that they imported that are just fine and another 20 or so that they manufactured/assembled/modified that haven't given me any problem.

Century has had a huge impact on the firear,s industry iun this country and don't get the gredit they deserve for importing as many guns and modifying the designs to military weapons that allow them to come into the hands of civilians.

That being said, if I wanted to add another Vietnam configuration AR to my collection I'd be looking at this one real hard:


Quote:
ASSEMBLED PRIMARILY FROM COLT M-16 A1 RIFLE KITS, THESE AR-15 SPORTERS ARE PROBABLY THE BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK OF ANY AR RIFLE WE CARRY. BASICALLY CENTURY ARMS TOOK EARLY VARIATION U.S. SURPLUS M-16 RIFLES AND REPLACED THE RECEIVERS WITH A NEW SEMI-AUTO RECEIVER TO MAKE THIS CIVILIAN LEGAL AR-15. 20" BARREL, BIRD CAGE FLASH HIDDER, BAYONET LUG, 2-30 RD AR MAGS
( THE ONES WE HAVE SEEN SO FAR HAVE ALL BEEN COLT )PLUS A 20 ROUND MAG THAT I FORGOT TO INCLUDE IN THE PHOTO, A MILITARY CLEANING KIT, AND A BLACK CANVAS SLING, THIS IS A WHOLE LOT OF STUFF ON A NICELY BUILT RIFLE, FOR NOT A WHOLE LOT OF DOUGH.
ITEM # AR15-C............................................$679.95
I'd question whether they have 1:9 barrels, it should be a 1:12 or even a 1:14 if they were very early barrels. 1:9 barrels only became common after the adoption of 62 gr ammo by NATO and were never nilitary spec or surplus.
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Old June 26, 2010, 02:52 AM   #21
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The first Colt semi-auto versions I remember, the lower receiver would not match up to an M16 upper with out an adapter pin. Better off with an after market lower. There were a couple of weird manufacturers for the M-16. H&R and GM Hydromatic Division come to mind. We reworked thousands of them to M16-A1s.
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Old June 26, 2010, 03:13 AM   #22
ISC
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I'm pretty sure they only started using the oddball pins in 1989 due to the first assault weapon legislation under H. W. Bush.

The problems with Vietnam Era M16s was primarily due to ammo. I still think that politicians should have gone to prison over the decision to change the specs on powder in order to use up old ball gun powder.

Secondary causes were:
1) They were designed to have chrome lined bores but were produced without them in order to save a couple dollars per rifle.

2) They were issued without cleaning kits.

3) They were described as "self cleaning and only required periodic maintenence

4) They had a full auto selecter and were issued to poorly trained draftees that too often relied on high volumes of suppressive fire.
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Old June 26, 2010, 09:15 AM   #23
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Just an FYI about powder (don't need thread drift): Stoner designed for a rate of fire of about 750 rounds/minute, and used IMR powder. The Olin Corporation successfully lobbied the Pentagon for ammo with ball powder. That raised the rate of fire to around 900 rounds/minute (I've no idea how/why; maybe more pressure at the port). I've heard, but don't know for sure, that the ball powder of that era was dirtier than the IMR, FWIW.

Back to your regularly scheduled program.
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Old June 26, 2010, 09:15 AM   #24
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Quote:
I don't get how this is a good rifle if it created an infamous horrible reputation for jamming and ftf etc

What am I missing
You are missing the fact that there is a differance between the M16 and the M16A1.

The M16A1 is a highly reliable firearm. Its just that internet warriors can't keep them seperated.
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Old June 26, 2010, 10:18 AM   #25
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The only question I would have is who Century procured the uppers and lowers from. If its a in spec. quality receiver set up I would have no issue at all with having one of the things. Even a blind monkey can have a issue trying to mess up the head spacing on a AR receiver. I have a Century L1A1 I got years ago that works just great as it has a Imbel receiver not the Hess out of spec. junk they put out later.
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