Colt Introduces New Reproduction Vietnam-Era AR-15s at NRA 2016

    Colt’s Manufacturing Co., LLC, announced at the 2016 National Rifle Association Annual meeting that they would be introducing new semi automatic reproductions of their previous military AR-15 and CAR-15 offerings to the civilian market. According to representatives, the company hopes to release 1500 each of every model of AR-15 made during the Vietnam era (which I assume means 600 series rifles only). If the company lives up to this promise, it means the chance to own everything from the first Colt AR-15, the classic 601, to the rare 605 carbine that was the first rifle in the series of short Colts that eventually led to today’s M4 Carbine. Hopefully, all variants through the special low profile 656 sniper will be made available, although I cannot confirm what variants will actually be produced. When I asked Colt’s representative, he simply said “we plan to make everything”.


    At the show, two reproductions were present, and they were good enough clones that at first I was sure they were originals. The rifles were displayed on their left side, but they were marked “XM177E2” and “XM16E1”, respectively.


    Colt representatives were very proud of the exactness with which they recreated the aluminum CAR-15 sliding stock.

    Colt’s representatives were fairly tight-lipped about the project, but their excitement was palpable. The AR-15 effort represents the second Colt reproduction series to hit the market, after some new production Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless pistols made it to the market earlier this year.

    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 [email protected]