If you received my newsletter or happened across my last post, you know that I got outside for the remembrance weekend of Memorial Day. I feel that it is important to pay homage to our history and those who served to create the freedoms we Americans cherish on a daily basis.
Prior to getting outdoors, I came down with some sort of cold or sinus thing. It really knocked me on my butt for a complete day. My entire body hurt — Yes, it even hurt to touch my skin. I was miserable, but I didn’t let that stop me from getting out and sharing the high country and horses with friends.
I’ll admit, the 11,000-foot elevation was probably a bad idea, but as you can imagine, I SURVIVED, and the family and their littles had a blast! Stay tuned because tomorrow I’ll tell you about the post-trip woes and how I’m working through them. For now, I want to share a piece of the present that pays homage to a bit of gun history.
As you know, I am a collector (not a hoarder) of guns. I have more guns than shoes to be sure. Yep. That does mean, just as with my shoes, there are several on the shelf that are never used. That is to say, they have a special place and will never be tossed out.
My dad first taught me firearm safety and how to shoot when I was about five-years-old. I remember firing my great uncle’s Uzi in the deserts of Nevada a year or so after that. What an amazing gun, that wasn’t as much fun to shoot when I tried it at the range during SHOT Show a few years back.
Regardless, it’s fun to remember guns and to try new ones — or new ones that resemble some of the older ones. That’s why when I saw these Retro guns by Brownell’s, at SHOT Show and then at NRA’s Annual Meetings, I needed to take a closer look. What do you think? Should I buy one or build one? Hint – Read through them all to find out which outrageous one I have my eyes on.
Brownell’s Retro Guns
The BRN-10 is as cosmetically close in copy to the original Cuban or Sudanese issue AR10 as possible. Chambered in .308 (which will be available for purchase this summer), this gun has a trigger-style charging handle in the top of the receiver. High-tower sights.
BRN10 – Available in brown or black at Brownells.com – MSRP: $1,599.99
Chambered in 5.56, this Eugene Stoner style Airforce 601 replica gun is currently available in green finish. It has a triangle shaped charging handle. It has a chrome bolt and carrier. The upper sides are slicked off with slab lowers.
There is no mag fence and for the ultimate in Retro experience, the front pivot pin will actually pull all the way out. This was deemed as a common design flaw in the original 601’s because troopers would pull the pins out and lose them. This is why captive pins were created for later models. To be true, this Retro gun has removable front pins.
The old guns had roll pins in the back of the receiver to hold the buffer tube, The Retro has that pin. It doesn’t do anything. It is there for aesthetic purposes only. and is a cosmetic touch to be true to the original look.
The stock matches the original 601. It has a little hole for the roll pin where the sling swivel attaches. All the green finish guns ship with steel waffle pattern magazines and waffle style grip.
BRN-601 .556 – Available in green at Brownells.com – MSRP: $1,299.99
This replica of the famous XM16E1 AR style rifle. It comes with black furniture. This is the replica of the first gun that was sent in large numbers to the US Army during the Vietnam War. The BRN-16E1, as with all in the Brownell’s series, is a Retro gun that tries to be true to the original.
It has a front roll-pin and small bar of magazine fence. It has a captive pin, standard charging handle and a three-prong flash-hider. Old Airforce 601’s have a duckbill flash hider. One of the changes made over time is the more beefy three-prong featured on this Retro gun.
XBRN16E1 – Available in black at Brownells.com – MSRP: $1,299.99
Brownell’s unveiled this brand new Retro gun at the NRA’s Annual Meetings in Dallas, Texas last month. They also revealed an M203 37MM grenade launcher that is just like the original, except smooth bore. It attaches to the Retro BRN16A1 and is true to the original design, minus the full-auto setting. I’m thinking that’s the one I need to add to my collection. What are your thoughts?
BRN-16A1 – Available in black at Brownells.com – MSRP: $1,299.99
M203 37MM – Grenade launcher available at Brownells.com – MSRP – $1,599.00
This is a “shortie” carbine that has a collapsable two-position stock and an optional moderator, which can be purchased separately. The original modified the sound signature a little. Due to NFA laws, this Retro look-alike item does not.
XM177E2 5.56MM – Available in black at Brownells.com – MSRP: $1,299.99
For all of the Retro series guns, you may purchase a fully built gun or you can build your own. The factory complete models come with 1:12 rifle twist like the original. If you want to shoot heavier, more modern ammunition, you can buy Retro profile barrels with a more modern 1:7 twist rate.
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