Potentially Rare Colt AR-15 Rifles Found At A Gun Show

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I think that we have all been in the position where we see something at a gun show that stands out as really rare or interesting, but just don’t have enough information to act on it. Even the internet can fall flat sometimes, this was one of those cases. I don’t know if I would come off of $15,000 for a non NFA AR-15 with nothing more than a promised letter from Colt to verify the rifle’s legitimacy. I am sure that the seller is an upstanding guy and I understand that Colt is currently working on those letters, so verification is coming.

When I called the Colt archives they were not willing to make any statement other than “those serial numbers sound like how we would serialize”. I guess verbal verification of whether or not a rifle left the factory in that condition is not allowed by archive employees.

The photos do a great job of outlining what each rifle is, and its price at the gun show. I am nowhere near a Colt expert but I am sure that someone that reads the blog might be. If you happen to be that expert that can tell us more about the rifles, please let us know.

Hat tip to Vhyrus for the photos.  

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Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and works in the shooting sports industry. He is an avid recreational shooter and a verified gun nerd. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially handguns and the AR-15 platform. Patrick may be contacted at tfbpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Harry’s Holsters

    Cool Guns but I’d have to have a $100,000 a year firearm only budget to justify one of these.

  • Twilight sparkle

    It seems like at least one of those guns should have an a1 pistol grip

  • Swarf

    That’s a whole lot of “letter on order” to put your trust in.

  • Rick O’Shay

    I’m digging that wood thumbhole stock, actually. Seems like that would be a fun woodworking project.

  • thedonn007

    Patrick, to your point, I would rather have a NFA firearm for that kind of money.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    If I have 10K laying around im blowing it on something cool like an MG or new suppressors.

  • AmmoMFG (Drew)

    So you had the presence of mind to put a really high price tag on a gun, and a little story to justify the price, but you couldn’t get the letters of authenticity in line in time?

    TBH, I get that Colt has a great name, and a high american pedigree, but they haven’t produced a gun that lived up to the hype since maybe the mid 70’s.

    • Eric

      I call BULL$HIT on these flipping prices. . . . .

  • Xtorin O’hern

    I LOVE THAT THUMBHOLE STOCK

    • Giolli Joker

      Me too.
      It needs to be an aftermarket part.
      Wouldn’t it be CA legal as well?

      • Ken

        Not with the bayonet lug and presumably the flash hider under that muzzle cap (and threaded muzzle).

        • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

          California does not regulate bayonet lugs in any way, on any firearm and they do not regulate threaded muzzles on any long gun.

      • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

        CA actually considers a thumbhole stock to be the same as a pistol grip, so that would make it an assault weapon. The flash hider is a problem as well.

      • Kelly Jackson

        No, California considers a thumbhole stock to be the same thing as a tactical nuclear weapon.

  • Odie Tucker

    This is a quality post.

  • Or…. you could buy an FG42 and a Motorcycle.

    • Justo Talkalottashit

      or a Veterossa!

  • HH

    sheeesh….I’d buy a MG (a low end one these days with their costs!) instead of one of these rare wall hangers. But to each his own.

  • stephenfshaw

    I’ll see your “Colt letter on order” and raise you “My check’s in the mail.” Both expected to arrive around the same time. Nice doing business with you, brother!

    • Eric

      hahahaha no $hit my brother from another mother.

  • salty

    imho, everything colt did for awhle was “rare”. they just willy nilly slap parts together and then some gun show re-seller tries to cash in cause something is different. well, like i said, everything they do is different, so it reeally means nothing. if a colt collector, who should know how colt operates, decides he cant live without your “rare” gun, then boom, payday, until then, ill stick with the cheaper stuff…

  • John L.

    I might be interested if I were into buying historical firearms.

    But, I’m more interested in collecting exemplars representing historically important actions etc. That means I want rifles with lever-action, AK, and AR actions in my collection, so I can learn hands-on how they work. But I’m perfectly happy doing that with (say) a late-model Rossi, Arsenal, and PWS “Modern Musket” respectively.

    I know that for a true collector that’s crazy talk; but for me, it lets me learn what I’m interested in on a far smaller budget. And I never have to worry about provenance, or sweat about the depreciation each time I take one to the range.

  • delrin

    why is no one mentioning that three of these rifles have auto sear pins and therefore are nfa items/ machine guns. surely this seller was not selling full auto lowers with no mention?!?!?!?!

    • Ken

      They’re Colt sear blocks, not auto sear pin holes.

  • notalima

    That lightweight sporter, SL000023: I’ve got one with a SN just over the 2K mark (SL0020XX range). Something doesn’t smell right there. Or that low of a SN really makes that big a difference?

    • Mystick

      It might if only 100 were made.

  • Big Daddy

    I have read in the past that in fact Colt’s paper work and record keeping has been very poor. If that is true those letters are never coming.

  • Steve

    I’d gamble that the claims are at least partially legit. I’ve seen one or two tables like this at gun shows that were clearly a family selling a late family members collection off. In one case, it was every H&K (and B&T) gun you could possibly think of (within reason) that was commercially sold in the USA. In both the case of the article and the H&K collection, the friends or family appeared to be well-aware of the value. Nice find if you have deep pockets…

  • Complete fraud. Utter bullshit.

  • Burst

    I can’t see myself spending that kinda $$$ on an AR-derivative.

    That said, imagine the wood stock with the Coltguard finish.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    lol at the prices and no sear holes.

  • Mystick

    I would much prefer “letter in box”… not too hard to have them there already for pieces like this if you are claiming they are legit one-offs and extreme rarities.

    • colt rifles

      Because of the source of the rifles. Some of them are addressed to the member of Colt stated and were set directly to him.

      • Mystick

        But you can’t claim a lineage without proof. It’s just word of mouth hearsay and extravagant claims without proof.

        • colt rifles

          I bought them directly from the employee and there are boxes with his address and name on them. Cant get anymore exact from that. Again, never wanted them to be out on the internet without the letters to insure 100% authentic to everyone else.

  • kingghidorah

    Collectors of transitional, unusually marked Colt AR15 are actually rarer than these guns.

  • Vitsaus

    Aside from that wood stocked one, none look like anything special. If they weren’t Colts, most would not get a second glance.

  • Bubba Gump

    And the check is in the mail! To many scammers out there looking to make a quick buck on about anything that they can. I would have to see the letter and envelope with the postal marks and then I would have serious doubts.

    • Sulaco

      What he said.

  • Coltman15

    These guns are 100% real. These guns came from an individual who was behind the scenes when colt went bankrupt multiple times. I’ve seen some tool room prototypes and very bizarre variations. Colt would build anything if you had connections.

  • Coltman15

    I have first hand experience on these guns and many like it. These are 100% real. Colt made quite a few bizarre variation and tool room prototypes and the gentleman who owned them had a lot of influence in colt after they when bankrupt. There will be more of these guns hitting the market.

    • colt rifles

      Do you by chance have the auction house that sold about 7 colt protoypes with x serial numbers around 2013? havent been able to track it down but know of the rifles that were sold there

  • Billy Jack

    While we’re talking about ARs, no article on the 80% and home made ban/registration in Commifornia?

    • Jwedel1231

      “The Firearms Blog. Firearms, not Polotics.” It’s at the top of every page.

      • Billy Jack

        Laws and legal issues regarding firearms are discussed here all the time.

      • Rock or Something

        It’s news if the website merely reports it. It becomes politics if the author adds commentary to it.

        Besides, no offense to the site, but that motto has been breached numerous times already.

  • Coltman15

    I have first hand experience on these guns. These guns are 100% correct. These and other rare and experimental variation do exist and came out of a individual who had influence on colt during their bankrupt period.

  • Vhyrus

    I took these pics. They were at the Phoenix gun show in July. The man selling them claimed he got them off of some kind of estate sale from a former colt executive. Hope this helps.

    • colt rifles

      Hey these are my rifles and the pictures posted were not given permission to post. I appreciate you stepping up to let me know who took pictures at the show but now they need to be taken down.

      • Vhyrus

        I specifically asked and was granted permission to take these pictures. Since they are not being sold, and since your name and face are not shown in the pictures it is my discretion what I do with my pictures. I will let the owners of this website decide what to do with this information.

        • colt rifles

          As far as i know, there was no consent given to have pictures taken and posted. They are not going on the internet yet due to the lack of letters and people posting comments like alot that has been shown here. Paul in the archives just mentioned on Thursday that the letters are complete and being put together and sent to the owner.

          Once the letters are received, they will most likely be given more publicity but local shows give alot of info about some rare stuff that are sitting on tables. As you can see, there are already a couple people mentioning the guns are legit on this forum.

          Do not spread rumors on stuff you do not know.

          • Vhyrus

            I’m not spreading rumors about anything. If I thought they were fake I wouldn’t have even submitted the pics. Once you get the letters send them to TFB I am sure they would add them to the post along with any other info you have. I sent these in because I found the rifles interesting and newsworthy. If you want them taken down it’s out of my hands, but I did ask you (assuming you are in fact the person that was at the show) if I was allowed to takes pictures of them and you said (and I quote) “yeah, sure!” and watched me take pics of every gun and every tag.

          • colt rifles

            I will have to do that now. Did not went them posted yet but I figure it was only a matter of time before some one did this. And sorry didnt mean to jump down at you. I am just irritated that there is incomplete information on these now that I have to keep an eye on to correct.

            The letters are complete and they did come from an employee who went through 2 bankruptcies from Colt. Colt couldnt pay him so they gave him rifles. FYI thats how Reed Knight got all of his rifles. From 2 bankruptcies from Colt and Armalite.

            No I have not seen the letters yet so I do not know what they came back as. The tags were made about 1 1/2 years ago so contain misinformation and outdated information. A few rifles have been sold in collection and 1 sold at that show.

            I will work on making tags right. The show is a great place for the rifles since a ton of people see them and information is passed along.

      • Marcus D.

        If you present the rifles in public, no one needs your consent to post them. Nor does anyone need your consent to photograph them. You do not have any recognizable right of privacy in anything you place on public view. So stop being a jerk, lest people think less of you.

        • colt rifles

          This is what is irritating about people online. They say stuff like this that is in no way helpful to the conversation just to make themselves feel better. What I said was as respectful and polite that I could post.

          I am in no way being a jerk. Trying to actually help the thread not hurt it.

          • Marcus D.

            So I am irritating, eh? No way helpful to the conversation? These are called ad hominems, and they are indeed irritating. What they hide is an absolute failure to provide a substantive response to my post. The fact is that you were making threats that have no legal basis, and, friend, now you’ve doubled down. You have now scraped the bottom of the barrel, and your credibility is nonexistent.

          • Coltcollector

            Seeing as this is your only post on this thread…

            As far as threats, none were made. I asked that they be taken down. I was hopeful that that would be honored but I was mistaken as this has really taken hold.

            If you see the below posts, before you commented, this was already resolved and I have owned it. Again, I apologized to the original person for how I came across, as you can see.

            I am owning the collection now and giving as much info as I have. Im sorry you saw a very brief section in the 2 years ive had the collection but yes, it is irritating how people jump on who know nothing. You know nothing of the collection or of me. I am trying to make a legit blog going on the extent of the collection so people can see them and exchange helpful hints about them. As far as I know, you have no credibility either.

            Now, I would like to move on with this and actually have constructive posts if possible. I have tried to answer to the posts and have made an account so I can freely post now and will keep up with it as much as I can. I hope this is an adequate “response” to your post and would be happy to answer any other questions if I know the answer.

            To Vhyrus, I appreciate the help and I dont know if you were given the extent info of the collection as this is a small part and there are alot more rifles to come. I am working with I believe the member listed at the top of the page to make a extensive post.

  • Mike Crognale

    Bull. That’s the same mindset that gave us the $30000 M16s

  • Pilot

    Anyone see the AR that is near the end of the table? Looks like the upper receiver and the handguard are all one piece? Can anyone else see that and verify or am I crazy? Looks cool, would like it. But not for as much money as the seller is probably asking.

    • Cymond

      I zoomed in on the picture, it appears to be a solid top rail, but the handguard itself seems to be separate.

      • Pilot

        Yea I just looked again. I think you’re right. That’s a pretty neat setup either way. I wonder if the barrel is free float or how they got that secured in there since the rail is continuous like that. Looks like the handguards just attach on somewhere simple like how 1911 grips attach to a frame.

        • Cymond

          Almost definitely would need to be free-floating, unless the gas block is part of the rail, too, but that would make assembly even harder. My

          I think it’s secured by a fairly ordinary barrel nut, under the handguard, since like 80% of the handguard seems to come off.
          I imagine it’s similar to the MP-X handguard, but I can’t find a good pic of the MP-X disassembled.

    • Kiwishooter

      It’s a Colt 6940, upper is a one piece ‘monolithic’ design and is free floated. The lower part of the hadguard slides out to allow for mounting of an under barrel grenade launcher or other devices. They use a standard M4 profile barrel but have a proprietary barrel extension fitted. I have one and they are very accurate and lighter than an M4 type setup with quad rail.

      • Pilot

        Awesome! Thanks for the info! Never heard of or seen one like it before. Are they rare?

    • Vhyrus

      That’s the only one that didn’t have a little story tag to go with it. It was listed at 3000.

    • JoshCalle

      You’re not crazy, it’s called a monolithic upper, it’s all one piece. A lot of the newer colts actually have them now.

  • Kelly Jackson

    Anyone watch Yukon Men? Most of the people are kind of douchebaggy but one of the guys has an old A1 style AR15 with no forward assist.

  • Mike

    So I’m curious – the wood forearm – it appears to completely enclose the barrel and gas tube. If someone were to copy this design (i.e.,ME) what do you think the heat would do to the wood over time? It doesn’t appear to ventilate at all?

    • colt rifles

      they are solid wood with no ventilation. Not a very good design but it was not meant to shoot all the time

  • 22winmag

    Sorry folks, I just puked in my mouth a little bit. I’m recovering nicely.

  • colt rifles

    The rifles are original from an employee who has went through 2 bankruptcies with Colt. They were his payment during those times as they were unable to pay him. I have alot more from the collection that are non rifle based but all ar15 Colt related.

    The letters I was told were completed on Thursday 7/21 and are being made and sent out hopefully this week. I do not know what the rifles will come back as but a couple of the rifles were shipped with his name and address on the box so really cant argue that.

    I am not willing to disclose the name yet as I do not know what the letters will say.

    There were 7 prototype rifles that sold back in 2013 through an auction house but I am unable to track them down at this time.

    The info on the cards is about 1 1/2 years old and outdated/incorrect. The cards were made a basic info and leave alot of holes. The reason they go to the shows is to gain info on them. Alot of info has been shared about the collection from people walking the shows and knowing what they are. There was another post here, that is now deleted, of someone knowing the rifles so that answers some questions of authenticity.

    Paul in the archives of Colt cannot give any answers to what the rifles are as they do not fully know. As mentioned, Colt didn’t keep good records. I am working on getting some original scans of paperwork to back them, not looking good at the moment but I was told I would have at least a couple pieces.

    I have sold 3 rifles from the collection over the past year, including one at the show pictures, without any letters but as soon as I get them, they will go to the owners.

    Yes this is all hearsay at this time, but info is being collected and I will post on this site now that they are posted so this is the first site that they are posted on.

    I made a separate email for this collection as to keep them separate. I was upset that they made it to this site without all the information on them but as they are here now, I will own them. Comments are being made here about authenticity and I can say to that is do not state facts you do not know.

    Alot of people make themselves feel better for talking smack. If that’s what makes you happy then so be it. I do appreciate the useful comments though. This is my first time on this blog so should be fun! Thanks!

    • Patrick R. – Staff Writer

      You have had Colt letters on order for a year and a half?

      • colt rifles

        Since December.

      • colt rifles

        The 1 1/2 years was the time the cards were made. They were originally made as a document sent to another member but were tweaked to make into cards. When the letters come in here pretty soon, they will be updated with current info. Again, they were never meant to be posted on the internet as they were not 100% guaranteed authentic info. The only reason they are at the shows is because people are face to face and I can elaborate on the info.

    • Justo Talkalottashit

      I was born into talking smack

  • Broz

    My wife bought a Peace River AR (Glenwood) from an estate back in ’08….those things are rarer than the Colts (but not quite as collectible…at present)…I’d buy one of those before I bought any of these on the word of an unknown seller based on his unsubstantiated claims….bet he didn’t sell a one (at least not to any knowledgeable collector

  • Someone must have died for those to come out of storage.

  • Wood furniture ARs are already Classy +10, but that thumbhole stock is just amazing. That is totally what the Ape armies in the Planet Of The Apes remakes should have been using.

  • iksnilol

    That stock is nice, would especially go well with a 26″ barrel.

  • Bonzaipilot

    The thumb hole stock was made by a very good friends father. He worked for Colt for years. I watched him cut it and fit it over a month or so when I was a kid. It was made for one of the Vice Presidents and he paid more for the stock then the rifle. I have always wanted one but the cost is over the top and the man who made it has now passed.

    • colt rifles

      Never knew who it was made for! Do you know more about when it was made?

  • Coltcollector

    So would it be worth it for me to make a separate article and page with the whole collection for information and ideas about them? Will include the letters with the page as well so they can be seen. I’m wondering if, since this was posted without all the info, the collection is already ruined on this site? I’d love to have some input but I’m not going to put a ton of effort in them if all that is said is negative. And no I won’t include prices since not all of them are for sale! But I would love to get input on them.

    • Eric

      Well is it out there dog boy? Did, did you get it?

      • Coltcollector

        How old are you? Sound like a 12 year old on Facebook.

  • Rapier

    I’ve got an early ’70’s a1 that is in very good condition. What are those guns bringing these days? I wouldn’t mind selling it to buy a bigger safe.

    • Coltcollector

      Is it an M16A1 or a Colt SP1?

      • Rapier

        It is a Colt SP1, I believe.

        • Coltcollector

          If its all original early 70’s then about $1500-$2000 depending on what it comes with and condition maybe more if you find the right person.

  • Eric

    God damned RIDICULOUS prices any which way jesus h and mary…

  • Coltcollector

    Never mind. I’m not going to waste my time. This is insane. I tried to explain what the rifles were and only a couple people were actually curious but the vast majority are just flat out ignorant. Thanks to you who were actually helpful! I really do appreciate it!

  • willbo

    Seems a lot like having an ultra-rare 1994 Chevrolet Camaro. As rare as it is… it’s still just an AR15.

    Come find me when they discover some ultra-rare M1 Garands, or a crate of Pederson-designed automatic 1903 Springfields…

  • DChrls

    They must be looking for the same buyer as the person on eBay that wants 25K for an original still in the box Nintendo system….good luck with that.

  • spike1984

    It seems the Sporter-Lightweight-9mm was used as the prototype for building the AR-15 sub-machine-gun that Colt used to enter the 9mm market dominated by the Heckler-Koch MP5 series.

  • Justo Talkalottashit

    lol someone needs to go to his mailbox. but then again that mac-90/ar-15 looks swwwwwweeeet.

  • AHill

    Really wanting to do my next AR up like the “Colt lightweight 223” with an A1 stock wishing this style was more common on the commercial market… that or getting an SA20 and completing my Colt Canada SA series set.

  • wjkuleck

    If there are Colt Model Numbers on the box, those numbers could be illuminating.

    • Coltcollector

      Out of the 30 guns, 28 have boxes and 24 have matching serial boxes. The other 4 boxes are colt boxes with hand written serial numbers on them or simple stamped stickers.

  • Wally

    Note the manufacturer marking on the receivers. They are the late style ending with the last line ” — USA — “. Colt didn’t use that marking until well after these rifles should have been made. Rumor has it they are legit guns built with pieces, and may have been done in the factory – or in an employee’s basement – but were not official colt production.

    • Coltcollector

      Actually they are Colt made guns. As far as your “rumor”, if you say something, it needs to be based on fact not fiction you decided to come up with. Paul in the archives of Colt mentioned they are legit guns, and they are being lettered as such. Do you think Colt would put their stamp of approval on something that was not theirs? Probably not so get your facts straight. Thanks

      • Wally

        Here’s a fact. The Rollmark is more than a decade too late for a Coltguard finish or a prototype 9mm.

        • Coltcollector

          Yes the coltguard was originally on the sp1 in 1982. This is one of the few tests they did on the a2 style. The lower itself is stamped with a Z near the corner confirming it is a ‘Salesmans sample’ as Colt calls them.
          The 9mm is not ‘THE’ prototype for all 9mms. It is a version. Just like all the other protoypes are for versions of the 5.56, not the original from 1959 Armalites