Redesigned in the mid ’60s to better withstand the conditions in the jungles of Vietnam, the M16A1 is an iconic weapon. Read on to learn about Colt’s reissue.

Colt recently reissued the classic M16A1.

This weapon was originally redesigned in the 1960s for the unique conditions of the Vietnam War. Now, the reissue brings a modern twist to this classic weapon – mostly by keeping it exactly the same!

What’s changed since the Vietnam version? We’ll take a look at how this weapon has been made different for the reissue, and what’s stayed the same.

What’s Changed About the M16A1 Reissue?

As it turns out, not much. Many things about this weapon reissue have stayed true to the original.

This classic rifle was issued to most American soldiers in the Vietnam War. It was such a success during combat that it has continued to be used in one form or another for many years since.

In fact, it became so popular that it’s now well-known among civilians. Even non-gun enthusiasts have heard of the M16 rifle.

However, most modern versions are quite different from the original Vietnam-era design. This reissue is great news for classic gun collectors who wanted more than a hint of authenticity.

To lend even more of a sense of authenticity, Colt is adding U.S. Government markings on each gun, just like what would be found on the originals. AUTO is marked on the fire selector, just like in the 60s. However, these new weapons are semi-automatic, marking a drastic difference from the originals.

What Else Has Stayed the Same?

The M16A1 Reissue is quite faithful to the classic design in many other ways.

It has the same triangular hand guard as the 1960s original. The 20-inch, chrome-lined barrel remains unchanged, as does the instantly recognizable gun carrying handle.

A teardrop-shaped forward assist provides a reminder of how the original was redesigned from the old M16, to fix reliability issues that plagued soldiers with older versions of the M16 in Vietnam. At times, fouling would prevent the bolt from locking forward completely. Soldiers could hit this forward assist to make sure a round would still get chambered.

The buttstock, grip, and sights remain true to the original design. With a weight of just over 6 pounds, this is an easy weapon to manage and a pleasure to shoot.

Colt has done their best to make this an extremely authentic replica. What’s changed since Vietnam? Not much, except that these guns are now collectors’ items instead of combat weapons.

History on Your Hands!

History and gun enthusiasts alike will find this gun a fascinating peek into American history. There are few chances to hold such an accurate replica of a historical gun, without getting the historical thing itself. This could make a great gift for Vietnam Veterans but also may stir up many emotions so be careful when selecting Vietnam Veteran gifts.

However, the authenticity of this weapon does come with a steep price tag. Colt is asking $2,499 for this reproduction, making it an item that only serious collectors are likely to invest in.

More interest might be piqued by the fact that this is a limited edition reproduction. For such a realistic piece of history that’s only available for a limited amount of time, collectors and gun enthusiasts may decide that the price isn’t so steep after all.

If this gun is a little out of your price range, there are many other ways to remember Vietnam vets. What matters is that the history is honored and never forgotten.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Book – Online Purchase Instructions

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Written by ruairborne