Saturday, July 7, 2018

Armalite 14.5" M4 upper

I've had a few Colt LE6920 rifles in the past, but none of them had the LE6921 14.5" upper.  They all had the 16" barrel and if I wanted a 14.5" barrel, it would cost a lot more.  I did have a 14.5" Norinco at one time.  Actually, it was my first AR, but I sold it a long time ago.  Since then, it's always been in the back of my mind to get another 14.5" upper.  I guess it's just a nostalgia thing, because several times I've been temped to go out and buy another 14.5" Norinco, just to have a copy of my first rifle.


Instead, I decided to go Canada/US made.  I was shopping around for an LE6921 upper, and there are a few floating around for not over the top horrendous prices, but I'm just not in a position to blow that kind of money right now.  Instead, I sourced a relatively inexpensive 14.5" Armalite upper.  

A 14.5" Armalite Upper?  What sorcery is this you say?  I know, I couldn't find any information on this at all, anywhere on the interwebz.  Instead, I spoke to the AR guru Rebel Rouser of CGN/AR15.com.  He told me that John from Wolverine Supplies got Armalite to make some 14.5" barrels, somewhere around 100 barrels and 200 uppers, with a 1/9 twist.  It was a limited time run, back when you couldn't get a 14.5" AR in Canada, before TSE imported the non-crome-lined 14.5" DPMS ones.  Colt USA at the time didn't export anything under 16" during those days.


My upper was in decent shape, not a lot of wear, and the bore and rifling are bright, shiny and strong.  


The only markings on the barrel say 1-9.


No front sling loop, though I'm in the process of sourcing a side sling swivel as seen on some earlier M4 (to allow for the M203 grenade launcher).



The upper receiver is clearly Armalite as you can see from the forge marks.  The carry handle appears to be from Brass Aluminum Forging (offset square).



M4 feed ramps



The charging handle and BCG do not appear to be US made, however I could be wrong.  I think these might be Norinco, due to the rough finish.  It was hard to complain though considering the price I paid.


Pretty aggressive staking of the gas key though. 






The same week I bought the Armalite upper, I also picked up a High Standard BCG and charging handle for cheap (bottom).  The finish on the High Standard BCG and charging handle seem far nicer than the BCG and charging handle that came with the Armalite upper.  




Colt USA on the left, High Standard in the middle, and whatever brand that came with the Armalite on the right.


Colt USA on the left, High Standard in the middle, and whatever brand that came with the Armalite on the right.


Colt USA on the left, High Standard in the middle, and whatever brand that came with the Armalite on the right.


I slapped it onto one of my spare Colt Canada lowers.  Ideally, I'd like a US Colt with M4 markings, but then again, I'd ideally like to have an LE6921 upper.  But this will satisfy my craving for now.  




Lol, I essentially made a clone of my first AR, which was a Norinco of all brands:





I suppose I should at least try and get it close, by having the waffle stock on there instead of the Colt Canada unit.




So, now I have an M4A1 clone as well as an M16A4 clone, neither are really spec clones, and both could use Colt USA lowers, but for now, they sit on Colt Canada ones.


Since I had my M16A4 clone out, I snapped a pic with my C7A2 clone.


I actually swapped lowers once, but swapped back since the SA20 might have some collector value in it's original form.  I'm not sure why I care since I will probably never sell it.


All of my Colt Canada rifles so far.  That bottom one has a future, but I'm still waiting for a lot of parts for it.

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