Brownells RETRO M16A1 Build by Small Arms Solutions

    Earlier, we have reported about the Brownells’ launch of retro M16A1 build components. The recently released videos by Chris Bartocci of Small Arms Solution is a good followup to this subject. Let’s see what the former Colt employee and renown AR-15 expert thinks about these parts and how he builds the rifle.

    In the first video, Chris tells about the individual components of the M16A1 replica build. He talks about the similarities and differences of these parts compared to the original ones. For example, the barrel has an identical external shape except instead of the original 1:12 twist rate, the Brownells barrels have 1:7 twist rate. The advantage of the faster twist rate will, of course, be the possibility to stabilize a wider range of bullet weighs. Another difference is that the furniture is made of Zytel, which is not the polymer used back then. However, it looks identical to the original furniture, too.

    In the second video, Bartocci builds the lower receiver of the retro rifle. Although the Internet is flooded with videos teaching how to build an AR-15, it is interesting to see how Chris does it considering his experience in the field.

    And lastly, the third part shows how to assemble the upper receiver. At the end of the video, Chris takes the newly built rifle to the range and shoots it.

    As the times goes, it would be harder and harder to acquire original parts of the M16A1. In that sense, being able to build a replica from newly manufactured parts is a good opportunity for many of US military firearms and history enthusiasts.

    Hrachya H

    Managing Editor

    Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying the history and design of guns and ammunition. He also writes for and
    Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at [email protected]