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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see that someone else is asking the same question, which prompted me to ask as well.

I am not too familiar with ARs, and I don't know what model I have. I bought it new around 1978-79. It has the 20" barrel with flash hider, triangular forearm, and no foreward assist device.

What is this thing called? (Watch your language, M1A fans!)
 

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It really depends!

What's the manufacturer? If it is Colt, it has a model number on the receiver. Post that here.

20" barrel, triangular front end, and no FA usually makes it a straight AR-15. We use M16 nomenclature to talk about the differences between types. A1 addedd the FA, I believe, and A2 was the new sighting system.

You might have an SP1. I'm not that familiar with the earlier Colts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry, I should have specified that it is a genuine Colt. Was anyone else make AR15 clones that early?
 

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Not sure if there were.

Do you have a model number (not serial!) off the lower receiver?

The AR15.com site is SO SLOW right now. A couple of years ago they had an "Identification" page for Colt AR's. Let me see if I can find it.
<later>

Couldn't find it there, but here is a link that may help you:

http://www.biggerhammer.net/ar15/variants/

Looks like an SP1, the original AR-15.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ooops. I looked and I'll be darned if it doesn't say SP-1 right on the side. It's a little hard to read and I never noticed it before. Thanks. I guess this the original, bare-bones model AR 15, no? I bought it from a friend who was desperate for money one day and offered me this thing for $325. This was, I thought, around 1978-79 and he'd had it for a year or so although it was still unfired in the carton when I got it. But according to Wilson's book, the serial number indicates a 1981 manufacture date.

Jeez, I just noticed that SP 1 is even in the serial number. That may be why I was confused on the date. The number appears to be SP1 and then it's in the 52,000 range. I may have thought it was SP and then 152,000.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I am still a little confused. I went to the site linked above and according to the info there the early SP 1 should have the three-pronged flash hider but mine is the birdcage type. The mystery continues.
 

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Eugene Stoner designed them. He was working for Armalite at the time. Colt bought the design. :sniper:
 

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Originally posted by SaxonPig
Well, I am still a little confused. I went to the site linked above and according to the info there the early SP 1 should have the three-pronged flash hider but mine is the birdcage type. The mystery continues.
It could easily have been changed along the way to the birdcage. In addition, don't put 100% weight behind that page. Your mileage may vary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bill- The gun came to me new in the box, so I know it has not been modified.

The serial number starts either SP 1 or just SP. Do you know which? I am curious because I can't figure out if the number is 52,000 or 152,000 (depends on whether the 1 is part of the model prefix).
 

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I'm no colt expert, but I'm pretty certain the 1 is part of the SP-1
 
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