The Colt, SP-1 is a classic. It has certainly become more desirable as time has went by and no doubt will continue to. I acquired the AR15 shown for my Dad who carried the Colt 602 version of the M16 in Vietnam and the SP1 is nearly the same gun. I am not much into “clones” nor do I much want an AR15 that is not a Colt or have at the least, a majoirty of Colt parts. So the SP1 really hits the nail on the head for me.
With the help of some very good friends over the years, I have managed to gather all the extras that came with various SP1s during their time of production. The last pieces I found was this MINT Colt Japanese made 3X scope. It has the regular duplex crosshairs and was never used.
Another friend was kind enough to give me a brand new never used Colt M16 Bayonet with scabbard. The bayonet is mint as well and in perfect condition. The same friend also gifted me the M16 spring loaded bipod also mint and Colt marked. Both items very hard to get in mint, unused shape and with the colt factory markings.
Lastly, my personal favorite detail of the AR15 is the chrome slick side Colt bolt carrier group. The BCG in the earlier guns were chrome plated and since the SP1 does not have a forward assist, the carrier is slick on the side with no grove cuts for a forward assist to even bare against. The majority of SP1s had the more common and now standard BCG with cuts for the FA and with the standard Milspec finish seen every where today. It was hard to track one down at the time but eventually the effort paid off. Pictured above is a set of new condition original 1956 web gear . the type used in the Vietnam war.
The SP1 has a chromed lined barrel with 1/12 twist, which fired the M193 FMJ round. This rifle will shoot groups around 1.5 MOA with quality handloads. I load the excellent 53 and 55 grain Barnes TSX solid copper hollow points for it in case my Dad or I ever want to use it for something more serious than paper. I have used it a few times for hunting and plan to try the combo of gun, scope and TSX ammo on a deer later this year unless something more exotic is put in my hands for review purposes. The lighter bullets will kill deer sized game just fine. Many threads are on AR15.com showing deer and hog kills using 55 weight range bullets and several deer kill threads. At one time I recall a retro AR15 thread about taking deer with the older guns. So if you have one. or a clone of a M16A1 etc, take that beauty out and let it do what it was meant to do. They are still fine rifles that will serve well.
One last thought before the end. As good as these are, and they are good and still effective. Do not fall into the trap of nostalgia over common sense or the idiotic “KISS rifle” concepts. Those guns will work. But the force multipliers and tools on modern guns out class them for serious practical purposes by light years. So don’t wax all nostalgic and try to use one for very serious work just for the sake of being different or cool. You can if you have to. but it would not be wise. Have fun with it, hunt with it. admire it. It is still deadly effective and just as reliable. But it is not going to beat a handy carbine with a red dot and weapon light.
Above is my SP1 Colt AR15 with friend’s Colt SP1 AR15 carbine
Above, SP1 and Colt M16A1 upper on Colt retro preban lower. A beautiful pair indeed and not a supermodel anywhere in sight!