The Nostalgic M16A1 Rifle


With all of the models, versions, and clones of the AR-15 platform available today, it is curious that there is interest in bringing out a version of the original M16A1 rifle. That rifle of course was the initial rifle introduced via the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.  Thousands of soldiers trained and went into combat using this new concept rifle.  Now, you can have one of your own.

Among the new M16A1 rifles coming out, Brownell’s of Iowa has introduced its version being dubbed the BRN-16A1. The profile and configuration of this Vietnam War era rifle is just like the original.  The first clue is the carry handle atop the receiver that is a permanent fixture.  Inside the handle is where the rear open sight is mounted.  A hole drilled in the bottom of the handle is used for the single bolt swivel mount for the old style Colt optic.

The catalog specs on this Brownell’s M16 rifle includes a direct impingement action, a 20-inch barrel with a 20 round magazine +1 in the chamber as per usual. The rifle is chambered for the original 5.56mm NATO round.  The exterior is a black matte finish with a gray-anodized receiver.  The chamber and bore are hard chromed to facilitate cartridge feeding and extraction.

The M16A1 has an overall length of 40 inches with a muzzle flash hider of the classic A1 type design. The rear sight as mentioned inside the carry handle is the A1 type which will have a flip up aperture with a choice of two sight holes.  The front sight is a standard A1 configuration with a post that is adjustable up or down by using the bullet tip of a cartridge or a special tool that pushed down the indent button that holds the sight post in place.

The traditional black stock is made from a polymer material which led to the old moniker of “plastic rifle” laid on the rifle when it first came out. Sling attachment loops are built in front and rear for the standard nylon sling that was usually considered a huge pain to carry.  The weight of the M16A1 is 6.13 pounds.  This Brownell rifle retails for $1299.99 on line at ordered through an FFL licensed dealer.

So, if you have the desire for a standard type military issue M16, though not fully automatic of course, then get with your dealer and order one.

John J. Woods

Magnolia Outdoor Communications

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