Yeah, the AR15 is Now Becoming C&R Eligible

Given the status of the AR15 as the preeminent military rifle still today, it comes as a surprise to many people to learn just how old the gun really is. Civilian production of the SP-1 model by Colt actually began in 1964, which means that early SP-1 rifles started becoming Curio & Relic qualified back in 2014. Right now in 2017, more than 10,000 C&R AR15s exist – and this is one of them.


    • True, but the Colt SP-1 was a semi-automatic only civilian version of the Armalite. As such, it falls under the C&R category once it passes 50 years of age.

      The Armalite AR-180s will begin to reach that status this year, as the first production run was in late 1967. The Ruger Mini-14 early models will qualify in 2023.

      Most of the Universal, Plainfield, and Iver Johnson M-1 Carbine clones will be C&R eligible within the next five years as production of them ran from the early 1960s to the mid-1970s for the most part.

      I believe the commercial semi-auto only Beretta BM-59 series already qualifies, as production of those lasted only from 1961 to 1965. Early civilian CETME rifles (Spanish version of the H&K 91 series) also should already qualify, as they were produced from late 1959 to mid-1967.



      • Sadly for us intellectuals who happen to have interests in the firearms of half a century past, naïve gun-control advocates seem to believe that just having any gun will allow a person to turn into some super crazy serial killer who will litter the floor with bloodied police badges and severed heads. And thus, those idiots will think that EVERY member of the AR family was likely made “EXTREMELY RECENTLY” if only because the stock is plastic and refuse to believe that any AR-15 (no matter how old) could possibly qualify as a curio/relic piece.

        Did I mess up?

        • “stock is plastic”
          Which, BTW, was introduced first in sporting fire-arms, namely Tenite was used in 1940s, for example in Stevens 22-410, it was non-automatic non-magazine fire-arm featuring two barrels (one for .22 rim-fire other for .410 shot-shell as name implies) and later used in Remington Nylon 66 – .22 rim-fire self-loading rifle.

  1. Well, becoming eligible and treated as eligible are two different things. I just bought a 93 Mauser made in 1896 (clearly marked on the receiver) that a seller would only send to an FFL and the dealer made me fill out a 4473. “Oh look a squirrel”…what I write now when I get off subject on a thread. I want to restore a Spanish Crest onto this 93 as I am “restoring it” to Spanish American War configuration so it will inspire me to kick a friends butt who has piece of crap Krag in our own Ian inspired little Spanish American War challenge (not going to film it, don’t have the talent or equipment for that). Know anyone who does this sort of work, maybe with etching (if I can’t find anyone I will do the etching myself methinks-can’t hurt it). I need a rubbing of the crest though to get the detail and the scale correct (Can anyone help me out on that?). Photos so far are not sufficiently detailed. I am not trying to make a perfect crest but something I won’t be embarrassed about either.

  2. If I recall correctly the screw front pin is two-fold. First it makes it (a little) harder to put an M16 upper on an SP1 lower; second the no-fence lower’s pin was non-captive and needs an counterbore operation on the front lug.

    The rifle shown is such a mix-master!

  3. This gun was and still is very advanced for its age; given particular design intent (such as small bore-high velocity projectile introduction). It was not particularly light when compared with other rifles, but it was lighter than previous model in service and that was selling point. Its conception was setup with preference of use of forgings (which made it labour intensive) but hey, this was America.

    I admit that I was, technically speaking, very excited when I first read about this rifle while still over in Europe and even continued to praise it while in military service. Later I realized how potentially dangerous it was – praising enemy’s weapon. Ironically, bit later on I had the chance to actually work with it. One’s future is unpredictable…. isn’t it.

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