The 601 is the original Armalite designed but Colt mfg. model first sold to the Air Force & to the Army in small numbers & used in trials early in Viet Nam, Colt subsequently obtained the rights to the design & developed all the further models of M16. The rifle shown is built to represent a Model 601 used by the Army in the Agile program early in the VN war.
Album by willyp. Photos by willyp. 1 - 65 of 65 Total. 3138 Visits.
601 R w-bay small
601 R Rr Buttplate
601 Butt R
601 R actn
601 R action dr open
Right handguard This side is in pretty good shape (paint wise) just enough chips from use to show the brown underneath!
601 cast front sight base 601, 602, early 603's used the original smooth cast front sight bases which had raised markings by the sight as opposed to the later engraved/stamped markings of the forged sights, these sights also had no drain hole.
Barrel marking Right side of the barrel under front sight is a very small vp in a triangle, you can also see the slightly different "profile" on the edges of the cast front sight base as opposed the later forged ones.
Muzzle right side Original duckbill & lock washer, also note the steel parkerized sling swivel mounted w/a roll pin.
Muzzle w/early Colt bayonet This is the early original Colt bayonet for the 601, it is not an M7 bayonet although the blade/tang etc were basically the same & it used an M8/M8A1 type scabbard, it was developed from the M4 carbine bayonet, the M7 was in turn developed from this bayonet.
601 bayonet hilt The main difference between these bayonets & the standard M7 is the hilt, these bayonets used a plastic hilt w/serrations, they were brown underneath painted green, as was the furniture on the Colt 601 rifles.
601 bayonet blade marking These bayonets had Colt markings on the right side of the blades, there are a number of variants of the markings. When the M7 was adopted the very early contracts, Imperial & Milpar also had the Colt marking on the blades, they were dropped after that, later Eichkhorn Solingen in Germany mfg M7's which were also Colt marked on the blade but they were also marked "made in Germany" of "W Germany"
601 bayonet hilt left side The mounting for the bayonet is the same as the M7, this bayonet will fit any of the later M16 variants & vice versa.
601 bayonet pommel Slightly different method of attaching the pommel to the tang vs the standard M7
601 L w-bay mzzl
Left view of muzzle
Left handguard Here's a left view of the handguard on the completed upper, this side has much more 'chipping" revealing large areas of the original brown material.
601 L action
601 L recvr Rr
601 L buttstock
601 L w-bayonet
601 parts set Pic shows most 601 specific parts before assembly began, upper, barrel assembly, bolt group, bolt catch, gas tube, recvr extension tube, buffer, furniture, sling, leaf grenade sight, grenade ring, selector, disconnector, grip screw, port door, sling etc.
Butt, tube, waffle mag The buttstock is the typeA, brown fiberglass painted green, early profile, receiver extension (buffer tube) is early original, no wrench flats w/holes for tightening, waffle mag is stamped steel, very early mag replaced w/aluminum body non-waffle very early.
601 Lower parts
NDS lower R1
NDS Lower R detail
NDS Lower L
Upper disassembled Original 601 upper, triangular charging handle, early bolt/carrier group w/early lg head firing pin & machined firing pin retainer, 601 port door, late 1/14 twist barrel assembly w/cast front sight base & early gas tube & original duckbill flashhider.
Upper parts left side All parts are original Colt 601 in this pic w/the exception of the windage wheel on the rear sight which an exc repro by heatNbeat of ar15.com & the triangular CH which is another exc repro by WAtom of ar15.com.
Closer view of 601 upper The 601 has an angular cut at the rear where the charging handle sits opposed to the round profile of later models, it has the straight forge line in front of the port door, a small hole for the end of the port dr spring, no sight markings engraved or embossed on the upper & all flashing is cleaned on the 601. You can also see the early gas tube which is carbon steel & has a different bend than tubes used after 1968-9.
Small parts The repro CH is at top, assembled original 601 bolt/carrier group, original 601 port door (w/square buffer pad), original 601 disconnector (modified to semi config by removing the "tail"), original Colt hammer/trigger pins, original 601 bolt catch & selector (again modified to semi-only config) & an exc repro mag button/catch by heatNbeat.
Edgewater buffer & tube Another view of the original 1/14 601 barrel assembly & the original receiver extension (buffer tube) which had no wrench flats, there were 2 holes in the upper end to tighten it then a roll pin was inserted thru the lower & extension threads to lock it in place, also you can see the original, early Edgewater Buffer which was replaced by the current style starting in Dec 1966.
Original 601 handguards & grip The handguards & grip are a brown fiberglass type material, after the first 100 or so rifles the brown was overpainted in green.
Some accessorys & parts Here is an original 601 sling which has 1 adjuster only the sling goes thry the buckle & is sewn directly to itself. Also you can see the pop on-off sight leaf originally used for firing rifle grenades & under that the spring clip that was put on behind the hider to stabilize the base of the grenade on the rifle, the screw is the grip screw which has a small hole thru the head unlike most later models & the early buttstock screw which was short & had no drain hole.
Rear profile of 601 upper receiver Here you can see the angled profile at the rear of the receiver for the triangular charging handle, later models 602 on went to the current rounded profile in this area.
601 Rear sight wheel The 601 upper had no sight markings on the upper itself as opposed to the 602 (which were engraved/stamped) & all the later models which are raised in the forging. The 601 had the markings on the rear sight wheel, this one is an exc repro by heatNbeat,you can also see the smoothness under the handle, the 601's were smoothed of excess flash while later models were left rough.
Upper eceiver minor details Here you can see the straight forge profile in front of the ejection port (became rounded after about 1965-6) per Ekies exc article on ar15.om!, also the markings, C & VP in a square at the base of the handle in front & the small hole in the receiver under the ejection port for the port door spring, this was found on the 601 & early 602's only as far as I'm aware.
Early Colt chrome bolt Narrow band w/P etched on bolt.
Bolt & carrier group parts All chrome smooth side carrier (no forward assist on the 601/602), note the full round carrier key & single stake marks, large head original firing pin (replaced in the 603 due to slamfire problems) the machined firing pin retainer (replaced in the mid 60's by the current cotter pin style), & the cam pin, the only part of the early bolt groups that was parked.
Barrel chamber marking Hard to see but at the top of the chamber is a small c stamped on the edge.
Forend right side w/barrel/gas tube Here's a pic of the right side w/the barrel & early carbon steel gas tube mounted & the left handguard in place.
Assembled complete 601 upper The upper cmpletely assembled w/all original Colt 601 parts w/the exception of the rear sight wheel & the charging handle which are repros.
Completed upper left side This rifle is "planned" to represent one of the rifles provided to the US ARMY for operational evaluation of the AR15 in "Agile" program early in VietNam so the chipped furniture & used condition of the most of the original operating levers pins etc fits perfectly!
M29 rifle grenade & clip on sight This grenade, based on the Belgian "Energa" 75mm rifle grenade is a US mfg training grenade (M29), it's the same as the AT version but holds no explosives. Shown with the grenade is the "clip on" grenade sight leaf.
Front side of grenade sight leaf This leaf simply slides onto the front sight base (front part) by the 2 small clips on the sides in the larger square cutout at the base of the leaf, the long "tongue" just above has a small clip that then sits on the top of the base, the cutout at the very bottom of the leaf clips over the barrel.
Sight leaf marking, left side Here you can see the 3 clips that hold it to the front sight base & the markings on the left side "75mm Energa grenade"
Sight leaf markings left side Another closer view of the 3 clips & the markings on the left side of the leaf, Colt/Armalite w/part#.
Rear of sight leaf This side faces the firer when operating & has 2 range markings on the face.
601 with M29 grenade & sight leaf Here the grenade "ring" (actually a base stabilizer) is fitted on the barrel behind the muzzle compensator's lock washer.
Rifle fitted w/clip on sight & grenade The sight leaf simply slides down the front of the sight base & is held in place by 3 clips. the grenade simply slides over the compensator & over the grenade ring which has spring "tines" which hold the base of the grenade in place.
Front sight leaf in place You cans see the attaching clip at the right lower part of the front sight base & a new angle on the grenade ring/spring.