Sub-600 Serial Colt 601 For Auction At GunBroker

Nathaniel F
by Nathaniel F

Have you ever wanted a major piece of Armalite/Colt history? Then the rifle for you is up for auction at GunBroker: A low serial Colt 601, the first AR-15 variant manufactured at Colt.

Still marked “Armalite”, this rifle’s serial number is 00059X:

Serial number highlighted by author.
The Colt 601 still retained Armalite roll marks, and "patents pending".
Note the early duckbill flash hider, indicative of the 601. Also visible is a small remnant of green paint on the forearm.
Note the early triangular charging handle, changed with the Colt 603.
The Colt 601's early chromed bolt carrier group; these were replaced with phosphated units in the middle of 602 production.

The 601 was the first production variant of the AR-15, and the beginning of Colt’s long legacy producing AR-15s for military and civilian customers. Aside from unattainable prototype rifles, this is the granddady of the modern .22 bore AR.

Buy It Now on the rifle is $25,000, so it’s an auction not for the faint of heart – or light of wallet.

Nathaniel F
Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at

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  • Core Core on Jul 19, 2015

    Stoner recommended the gas key to be staked on at least two locations on each bolt. Colt fail. I cant see the cam pin in the photo, maybe its the lighting? Otherwise don't fire unless you want a catstrophic failure.

  • J.T. J.T. on Jul 20, 2015

    Buy It Now on the rifle is $25,000, so it’s an auction not for the faint of heart – or light of wallet.

    That's actually about half of what I was expecting.