View Full Version : Rock Island Armory

July 24, 1999, 12:36 AM
Was Rock Island Armory associated with Rock Island Arsenal? Looking for history on Rock Island Armory and the M16's that were manufactured by them.

James K
July 24, 1999, 01:25 PM
Rock Island Arsenal was a Government facility; the last rifles made by them were the Model 1903s about 1919. I think there were a couple of commercial companies using the Rock Island name. I'll plead ignorance as to whether they made AR-15 types for the civilian market (sometimes it seems everybody did) but they did not make M16s.


Daniel Watters
July 24, 1999, 05:34 PM
If I remember correctly, Rock Island Armory was/is owned by the Reese family, the same folks that own Springfield Armory/Springfield Inc. RIA was their outlet for full-auto weapons like the M16 and M60.

James K
July 25, 1999, 01:53 PM
Hi folks,

I knew about the M60s, but I did not know that they made M16s. Was this under a Government contract? I have not seen them on any contrctor list.


Daniel Watters
July 25, 1999, 04:44 PM
I don't know whether Springfield/RIA made the M16 for a government contract. I only vaguely remember seeing a RIA ad for the M16. My suspicion would be that RIA made them solely for individual and police department sales.

July 27, 1999, 06:32 PM
Sorry Jim, but Rock Island was quite happy building '03 into WW II. Not sure if they ever made Garands. They may have been assembling, but they were active. I grew up across the river and when they were testing artillery (late '50's) you could hear it all over the area (fired cardboard canisters full of wet sand up the river or so I was told by boys whose fathers worked there). And in the fall when you went to enjoy the leaves changing colors, you had to watch out for tanks that crossed the roads only occassionally...