Colt and Armalite

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by rustygun, Oct 18, 2004.

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  1. I believe Armalite developed the AR10 / AR15 M-16 etc.

    But Colt makes the M-4, CAR-15 etc.

    Why is this? Are they part of the same family or something?

    Any gun-nuts out there know why?
  2. Colt was licensed to produce the Armalite rifles AR15/M16's in 1959, the C4's etc are just the latest development.

    Armalites of Note AR5, AR7 (survival rifles USAF, .22 Hornet & .22 RF), AR10 (7.62mm), AR15 (5.56mm) & the AR18/180 (5.56mm)

    hope this helps.
  3. I believe Armalite employed a designer called Eugene Stoner who designed most of their weapons (AR-7, AR-10, AR-15, AR-18 etc) but they didn't manufacture them themselves, just licensed production to other makers.
  4. thanks guys.... that explains it
  6. Sterling Armament Co (Makers of the Sten gun & L2A3 SMG In fact Sten stands for STerling-ENfield) also made Armalites under licence as the AR180B (for British)
    This weapon was in fact purchased by the british army in small quantities, most early 5.56mm rifles in british service however being the Colt M16A1 - 1,000 being purchased in 1968 mainly for jungle warefare.
  7. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    If we're going all anoraky and into rivet counting mde, here's the real deal.

    The Sten was developed by R.V. Shepperd and H.J. Turpin at Enfield , and it's name comes from the initial letters of their surnames and the first two of Enfield.
    They were mainly produced by BSA, (at Shirley then Tysely,) and by the Royal Ordnance Factory at Fazakerley. Many were also made in Canada.

    G.H. Lanchester designed the submachinegun which bore his name at the Sterling Engineering Company.
    Toward the end of WWII G.W. Patchett developed a new sub also at Dagenham. The Patchett was first issued in 1951 then modified in 1953 as the L2A1. With other mods came the L2A2 then the L2A3, from which sprang the L34A1 supressed weapon. And a jolly fine toy that is too ! :D

    The earliest 5.56 weapon in British Army use was the M16, the same weapon as the USAF bought some while after. The M16A1 with it's forward assist was adopted later by the US Army and USMC.
  8. My unit was equipped with the AR15 in Malaya 1965 we used them operationally in Sarawak. They were manufactured by Colt of Hartford Connecticut. We were not terribly impressed. I believe we were issued them before they became standard issue to the US armed forces.
  9. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    The AR15 was the Colt wpn designation back then - it first became M16 when the USAF got them.
    These days AR15 indicates the semi-auto versions.
    You're right, it was issued to the British Army before the septics had them.
  10. We got issued an M16A1 plus M203 at 3 per multiple in S. Armagh in 86. Don't quite know why, but it looked fecking warry 8)
  11. I stand corrected Cutaway. Basic fact that the British Army used 5.56 and M16's (or AR15) stands. and that Sterling indeed still made the later L2A3 SMG

    I'll get me anorak and go train spotting instead!
  12. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    My COP was issued all old M16 not even A1 models with the bolt assist. Only after being in province for a while did the A1 version turn up and then only 2 of them. Not bad since the A1 was out in the early 70s at latest and this was the mid 80's. We had an issue of 1 per 2 men and although we ended up in S Armagh we didnt get the M203, just the M79 1 per patrol. Mostly left behind as unneccessary. Ours were all colt made rifles and most had the blacking worn off by sweat and mossie rep, god only knows how old they were, probably the same rifles as in Borneo.
    Funny thing was the lads all called them 16s the ncos AR15s and the pamphlet rifle 5.56mm (AR 15)
    So what were the a1s called? never mind.
  13. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator

  14. It's interesting to have an SA-80A1 and an AR-18 open side by side - the gas parts and bolt group just about identical. It is also reported that the prototype SA-80 actually used a Sterling marked AR-18 bolt group.

    Aah, the Brits. The only people in the world who could take a mediocre but lightweight assault rifle and turn it into a dreadful, heavy bullpup :evil:
  15. I could be wrong but here goes:

    Eugene Stoner, a designer for Colt, created the AR series of weapons (AR stands for Automatic Rifle in the same way as an AK) starting with the AR-10 which was a 7.62 NATO rifle. It looks like an M16A1 does now but with a bigger, chunkier mag. When the spams decided they wanted 5.56mm they rechambered some and it won the competiton.

    At around the same time Armalite Ltd (based in Dagenham) developed the AR-18 for much the same reason but in the end the AR-15 won out. The USAF adopted the AR-15 and renamed it the M-16 but it was nowhere near as good as the AR-18. Because only a limited number of the USAF had them nobody really cared that they were sh*t but then the spams changed the policy and BAM, every American was getting one.

    Armalite, in conjuction with Colt, produced a design of the M-16 which used parts of the AR-18 and put this into the new competiton and it won. Colt were not that chuffed but got over it when the new rifle won. They used the design to equip the American armed forces and it became Colt/Armalite (just like Sig and Sauer have). Most of the ones we got were made in Dagenham, hence the nickname Armalite.

    I could have just waffled a load of bollox so please correct me if I am wrong. I'm willing to learn :D