Colt M16A1 , model 603 (1967-1983)

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$947.00 - $1,057.00

In 1967 the Colt 603 XM16E1 officially became the Colt 603 M16A1, and remained so until the mid-1980's... though seen all the way up into the first Gulf War in some units.

The reason it took so long to "officially" adopt this rifle was the delay caused by infighting between the Army and Air Force over the Forward Assist (FA). The compromise reached was the Army would get the FA and the Air Force would not (M16 is the Air Force version).

Also used extensively by the British SAS from the jungles of Borneo to the Falklands War; as well as numerous other foreign Special Forces.


 Changes made on the 603 / M16A1:

  • Forward Assist became standard for the US Army
  • Flash Hider changed to closed end "Birdcage" configuration
  • Phosphate BCG became standard


This is a highly authentic reproduction Colt 603 M16A1 with Charging Handle. Available with or without BCG.


Special Features:

  • Genuine Colt M16A1 Fiberglass Handguards (not polymer)
  • M16A1 Receiver with Tear Drop Forward Assist (C7 optional)
  • Original 1:12 twist Barrel (1:7 optional), Chrome Lined


* Notes on Options


  • A1 with Tear Drop Forward Assist is historically correct. This is a NoDak upper.
  • C7 is an A1 receiver with an Shell Deflector.. best choice for Left Hand Shooters, not a NoDak (1983-1995)

* Note: C7's were never official Army issue. Only Special Forces and the Canadians (C7/C8) used this transitional receiver style. Walks and talks like an A1 but doesn't hit you in the face when shooting southpaw.



Twist Rates:

  • 1:12 is the only twist rate used on all Colt models from 1963-1983. The choice if you want the closest possible to the real thing and will only shoot 55gr bullets.
  • 1:7 can shoot anything you can buy, including 77gr heavies (mk262), 75gr TAP and Tracers (1983 - current). Finish is Nitride, which is significantly more rugged/durable than the original Phosphate finish.



From 1960-1965 all M16 variants were delivered with Chrome BCG's. From 1968 on-wards the finish was changed to Mag Phosphate, as it is to this day. So it's entirely possible either was used, in anything, after 1967. Choose Chrome or Phosphate - no cost difference.. or get it without a BCG if you don't need one.




  • Receivers, 7075, Mil Spec Type III Anodizing (will match black lower)
    • M16A1 "NDS" code (NoDak)
    • C7 "A" code
  • Barrel options 1:7 or 1:12
    • 1:7   - 20" "Pencil" profile barrel, Nitride fisih (Out of stock)
    • 1: 12  -20" "Pencil" profile barrel, Chrome Lined, Phosphate finished
  • Genuine Colt M16 Triangular Fiberglass Handguards (used, good condition)
  • Tear Drop Forward Assist
  • Chrome or Phosphate M16 BCG, MP tested - same cost
  • Front Sight Base (FSB) Tapper Pinned
  • Flat Style Straight Slip Ring (not Delta), Original Colt
  • M16A1 Round Front Sight Post
  • M16A1 Rear Sight Assembly, Original Colt
  • M16A1 Birdcage Flash Hider
  • Charging Handle, 7075 Made in USA
  • Sling Swivel
  • 100% USA parts, custom built by Retro Rifles

CURRENTLY ON BACK ORDER - No Estimated Time frame for in stock.