Colt CM16A1 Part 2.


Let us take a closer look at the Colt M16A1 “reissue”.

The lower is cut to A1 profile, lacking the reinforcements around the front pivot pin and back near the stock.

The A1 pistol grip feels a little different from the old ones I have laying around. I think it feels less slick. I don’t know if this is a material/mold change, or if it is just from a lack of wear.

Many newer AR15s, including the newer production Colt rifles are laser engraving the “roll marks”. While this makes more sense for production, I find I prefer the look of the old rolled marks.

Trigger pull is nice for a USGI style trigger, but it is nothing special.

The stock is an earlier style, with a hinged rear sling swivel and no trapdoor.

I’d never used this version of the stock before. Before I had the later A1 stocks with the trap door for storing a cleaning kit. I really like the very rounded and soft rubber of this stock. It is nice and grippy against your shoulder aiding in control when you shoot. I’m not sure, but this stock might be heavier than the later model stocks.

Now that we have looked at the lower, how the upper. I have a 1970 manufactured M16A1 upper that I will use to compare this one too. This M16A1 reissue is meant to mimic an earlier model than the 1970 upper, but this is what I have on hand.

Markings on the upper for the rear sight adjustments are a little smaller. The forward assist lever is a little thicker on the sides.

Markings on the Front Sight Bases (FSB) are slightly different.
Markings on the Front Sight Bases (FSB) are slightly different.
Markings on the Front Sight Bases (FSB) are slightly different.

My 1970 M16A1 upper has a chrome chamber, so it wears the markings C MP C. The CM16A1 has no such markings.

The repro handguards are more matte in color. A little less slick. Might just be a lack of wear.
Repro hand guards lack the “L” and “R” stampings that the originals had.

I’ve read on forums (I’m talking about you ARFCOM) and heard people say that they would never buy this rifle because it was anodized black, not grey like it is suppose to be. What a foolish and silly mistake that is. Well, when I slap on this 1970 upper on the CM16A1 lower, while it isn’t a perfect match, I’d say the color is rather close.

I think once my CM16A1 gets a little more honest wear, the 1970 upper would be a perfect match.

When I was a kid, you couldn’t give away Vietnam war surplus, and WWII surplus was still somewhat cheap. Now it is collectible. I remember when pretty much all AR15 has carry handles. Then we got to the point where you couldn’t sell a carry handle upper because no one wanted it. Now they are starting to get hard to find.

There is enough demand for Colt M16A1 uppers that fake Chinese knockoffs are being imported. Colt SP1s are being bought up and parted out for the collectors out there.

The Colt model “CM16A1” is built to be a limited edition collectible. It is priced as such. For some, it may not be worth it. They can build their own or buy a much cheaper Brownells’ gun. They can live with having a gun that doesn’t say “Colt” on the side and they can tell them selves what they have is just as good. I see some of the “collectors” get prickly because after all the time they spent hunting down parts, they don’t like someone being able to just buy a gun complete. People will find all sorts of reasons to complain about a product.

This reproduction gives me a gun that I have a great deal of pride owning, that I also won’t feel bad beating up and running hard. If you want one, I suggest buying it fast because once the current supplies dry up, they may end up being very hard find. If you would rather piece together a gun from original parts, hurry up and get them. They are not going to get any cheaper.


  1. I feel like the Colt ‘Military Classics’ series rifles are very well done. Everyone whines and cries about them not being made in Hartford. I think that it is ‘much to do about nothing’. They rifles are built to Colts blue print specifications. Are they 100% clones…no. But I think this rifle and the XM177E2 are excellent rifles for someone that wants a new production firearm.

    I did a post on my website very similar to yours where I compared the rifle to a 1980 SP1.

    Great post…I’m glad to see that someone out there besides me likes the rifles and support what Colt is doing with the program. Look for more coming out in the series.

  2. Looks great. Just wish they would stop doing these limited runs. Did the same with the 1903 (1908? I forgot) or at least do a larger limited run.

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