Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Colt M16A1(Colt M603)/ M16A1 carbine (Colt M653s) Upgrades

Colt M16A1(Colt M603) and M16A1 carbine (Colt M653s) Upgrade to Special Operations Peculiar Modification (SOPMOD)

What featured on the page of this blog is a form of recommendations intended to inspire ideas for recycling Colt M16A1 and M16A1 Carbine stored in the inventory of the Royal Malaysian Armed Forces. No detailed studies have been done by me and the information I contribute is not suitable as main reference for the upgrade program. However, I believe by sharing this information will assist the parties’ concerned to find an appropriate way to use the resources which is already available.

The Colt Model 603 / XM16E1 was the first attempt at providing an improved M-16 for the US Army. The Colt Model 603 / US Army XM16E1 production ran from early 1964, and transitioned into the Colt Model 603 / US Army M16A1 in early 1967. It was the first model to incorporate the forward assist feature. This model was also one of the first to use the "Partial Fence" reinforced lower receiver. This was a "transitional" model and as such early and late models could have been found with varying component makeups.

In the early 1970s, Colt began development of an M16A1 carbine with a 14.5-inch long barrel. The 14.5-inch length was compatible with the existing carbine-length gas system and allowed for the mounting of a standard M16 bayonet. Despite having a longer barrel, it would not be less compact than the previous carbines. Only the Model 653 M16A1 carbine, with retractable buttstock and forward assist would be purchased in significant numbers by the U.S. military. The United States Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as the Malaysian Armed Forces, purchased Model 653s in small numbers for special operations forces or security forces.

Colt 653 / M16A1 Carbine similarity with Diemaco/Colt Canada C8

The C8 carbine is the carbine member of the C7 family, and is mechanically and aesthetically very similar to the Colt 653. Colt made the initial C8s for Canadian Forces as the Colt Model 725. The C8 has a 14.5-inch (368 mm) A1 profile barrel like the Colt Model 653 M16A1 carbine, but with a 1/7 rifling twist appropriate for the 5.56x45mm NATO C77 cartridge. The C8 incorporates the design improvements featured on C7 rifles.


Before we upgrade the system M16A1 / M16A1 Carbine, it is important for us to see the specific requirements of the operational use of firearms rather than just to upgrade the gun so that it equivalent to the M4A1 system. There are three main matters which are important and often discussed in the modification of the system M16A1 / M16A1 Carbine are barrel type and length, the kind of caliber and Gas-operated reloading systems of these weapons.

A large part of this is very subjective. The upgrades may have particular mission criteria or the operational needs for the M16 platforms to meet. The upgrades options are:
  • .50 Beowulf Alexander Arms / 12.7 x 42 mm Rb.
  • .7.62x39mm / 7.62 Russian Round
  • 6.8 mm Remington / SPC 6.8x43mm.
  • 6.5 Grendel Alexander Arms /
  • 5.56mm x 45mm cartridge.

Gas-operated reloading systems.
Short stroke piston system vs direct impingement systems

Barrel type and length

Colt M16A1(Colt M603) and M16A1 carbine (Colt M653s) Parts.

Mandatory Modifications.
To replaces the direct gas system of standard Colt M16A1 / M16A1 Carbine with short stroke gas piston system. The system runs coller than direct impingement systems, no powder residue will remain in the receiver. This help in reduces operator cleaning time and stress on critical components even after long shooting sessions. In result the short stroke gas piston system reduces malfunctions while increasing the life of parts.
To replaces the combination fixed carry handle / rear iron sight with a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail, allowing for the rifle to be equipped with a carry handle and/or most military and consumer scopes or sighting systems.
To replaces existing Colt M16A1 / M16A1 Carbine barrel with Colt M16A4 / M4 or any equivalent aftermarket barrel to resist bending in the field and to allow a longer period of sustained fire without overheating.

Option Modifications.
Option 1.
Upgrade existing Colt M16A1 / M16A1 Carbine to AR-57 system.

Option 2.
Upgrade existing Colt M16A1 / M16A1 Carbine to M4 SOPMOD capability.
SOPMOD Special Operations Peculiar Modification.

Reading Source:
Tactical Gun Review.Com
Federal Premium Ammunition.
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