SAR Identification Guide: Colt Flash Suppressors

By Dan Shea

SAR is continuing our new “Identification Guide” series. We believe that these guides need to be done. We have plans to cover the HK internals, the Models of the Colt M16 series (YES, we do mean ALL of them) and various magazine identification. This is a photographic series, and we appreciate your input on this- tell us what you want us to do a series on, or if we missed something, send in a photo and description.

What is “Correct”? Many times when people pick up a firearm, the first thing they want to know is if it is “Original”. One of the most bewildering series is the M16 / AR15 family. There have been many manufacturers, both military contract and aftermarket. Many times, the contract over runs or change periods did not denote the end of a marking, but a new designation was involved. An example would be the transitional M16A1 rifles that had all the features of the A1, but are marked “M16”. Colt was using up the receivers they had on the shelf, because there was no functional difference in the lower receiver on the M16 and M16A1.

In light of that, we are going to try to show the Colt series flash suppressors in a time sequence. In later editions of SAR, we will do the entire models of the AR15 / M16.

SAR would like to thank Mr. Reed Knight for his help on this section of the series.


This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V1N2 (November 1997)
and was posted online on January 26, 2018


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