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Colt XM16 Found In Cambodia Still In Service

We all hear or read the second hand stories of AKs turning up all over the world still in use. But often the stories of  M16s from long ago are not talked about as much.  That does not mean it does not happen.  Recently some one shared on facebook a picture of a XM16 Colt still being used in Cambodia.

Left there during the war, it still serving its owner all these years later. A  bit rougher than it left the US, but still working. And with some customizations!  Apparently even in Cambodia  the urge to customize the AR15  is hard to resist.

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The Birth of the Pistol as a PDW

The last decade has been a wild ride for the AR15. The technology rush that shaped the basic rifle of the AWB era has given way to a technology rich rifle platform made to promote quick hits, at any distance, with ergonomic excellence and a user centric design.

It was only a matter of time before the technology march reached into the territory of the sidearm.

A PDW is a Personal Defense Weapon. It’s that weapon you would give tanker crews and other non combat troops which packs more punch than a pistol, but less than a rifle. It’s an in-between to shoot back at your assailant and get out of dodge. Here too, technology has tricked down to miniaturize existing designs such as the AR15 and equip it with high performance accessories. The civilian marketplace has made great strides in pushing technology and the design of the AR to the peak of its performance.

Now here we are… it’s 2015 and now the technology is transitioning to the pistol. As miniature red dots make their way onto thousands more pistols this summer, we have to take another look at the pistol and examine the direction it will take in the future. My thoughts?

We are turning pistols into the equivalent of a civilian PDW:

GLock Scorpion

As we install micro red dots and then install compensators to keep the muzzle down and make that fancy dot easier to track, we can see that modern defensive pistols are slowly following the same path as the AR. As race gun technology trickled down into the military world, we forged the utility of the fighting rifle together with the practicality of the race gun to give our soldiers one of the best fighting rifles in the world.

Now we will see the same transformation of the pistol. It will be the melding of a traditional defensive handgun with the miniaturized features of the race pistol. We see manufacturers offering micro red dot mounting systems right from the factory. We see well known trainers equipping their pieces with +5 or +6 magazine extensions. I saw several “non race-gun” CCW pieces equipped with slide mounted red dots competing in a USPSA event.

So do we need to go this route? Does a defensive pistol need this junk?

Glock 17 P90

We likely will not be in the next Kenya Mall style attack. The chance is infinitesimal… but as red dots and control accessories become more commonplace in the CCW pistol, who wouldn’t want a pistol that runs at the cutting edge of speed and performance? I don’t intend to stick around and play hero in any mass shooting, but if an assailant gets between my family and the exit I want to lay down lead so heavy the coroner would believe he was hit by a shotgun. We got *lucky* in Garland, Texas.

I purchased the G17 you see above to specifically to test out the latest in drop in, non custom performance accessories. My intent is to run this gun in USPSA open division as soon as I get all the accessories I need. I want a RDS, Light, and a Compensator. I will carry it in winter time under my coat as my CCW and if I can figure out a way to conceal it in the summer, game on. I figure… why not.

It’s going to be my PDW after all.

-The New Rifleman

Now may be a good time to buy

Colt Larue Aimpoint Surefire

With the new Aimpoint T-2s coming out and the super saturated AR market there are some awesome deals to be had on used Aimpoints. I purchased this T-1 used with the LaRue mount and IO cover for $425 off the AR15.com Equipment Exchange. I have seen several other good deals there on used T-1 Aimpoints. If money is tight and your looking for a top of the line optic, consider looking at used Aimpoints on the gun forums. Currently it is a buyers market.

Colt SP-1, AR15

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Above is my SP1 Colt AR15 with friend’s Colt SP1 AR15 carbine

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Above, SP1 and Colt M16A1 upper on Colt retro preban lower.  A beautiful pair indeed and not a supermodel anywhere in sight!

Aimpoint T-1 & T-2

The new Aimpoint T-2 is making making its way to the market. TheFirearmBlog posted up a video made by Jonathan Owen comparing the T-1 & T-2.

The T-2 looks like it has some nice little incremental improvements over the T-1, and but at this time I wouldn’t recommend throwing out your T-1 for a T-2. I really like the Aimpoint T-1 and highly recommend it.

The T-1 and T-2 cost more then some may want to pay. Then if your going to use one on an AR15 you generally have to drop about another $100 on a taller mount. If money is tight, look at the Aimpoint PRO. The PRO can be had for under $400, and has all the good features of the more expensive Aimpoints.