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When the A2 version was first shown in American Rifleman back in 1982 I wanted one really bad. Of course I was just a young pre-teen at the time so I had to wait awhile. When I finally came of age and could afford one I bought a Bushmaster 20" HBAR, and the thing was extremely accurate (one 100yd group I fired was less than an inch). Unfortunately I had one of many lapses of bone-headedness and sold it during the ban years. It wasn't until recent years that I had a hankering for another M16A2 clone, but by then virtually nobody still offered one. They were all the A3 version with a removable carry handle, which was close but not quite. So I ended up buying a Windham A3 20" Government rifle, swapped the upper receiver for an A2 type, and viola! I finally had an A2 again. It's not an HBAR and doesn't seem to be quite as accurate as my original Bushmaster was, but since I was merely trying to scratch that A2 itch again I'm not complaining.

 

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Congrats, I had one exactly like your rifle.

I bought mine new in 1984 and the model number is Colt R6401, like yours with the teardrop type forward assist, no shell deflector, A1 rear sight, A2 1/7 twist barrel, and A2 furniture.

The older variant of that rifle is the model R6400 which had no forward assist upper receiver like the SP1 model.

The next model variant after was the R6500 with the shell deflector and round forward assist, the early version still had the A1 no elevation adjustment rear sight but the later version had the true A2 rear sights with elevation adjustment.

If you need reference of these pre ban rifles get the book Black Rifle II: The M16 Into the 21st Century - 2004 by Christopher R Bartocci.
 

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As FN said, leave it as is. It is as Colt made it and is correct.

I ordered a brand new Colt HBAR in January 1989 as none were to be found in shops. The gun shop called me when it came in and it took a few days for me to get there. In those few days Colt had announced they were no longer selling those or any others pending a redesign (Neutering) in an attempt to appease the......well, you know who. It was many years before the official assault weapons ban, but it was following some high profile shooting that got the liberals panties in a wad. Anyway, when I picked it up the shop owner offered me my $600.00 back plus an additional $500.00. I had to think for a minute as in 1986 $1100.00 was a lot of money to me. But I declined. I sold it during the AWB and more than tripled my money. This was in Massachusetts Lol
 

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I think you meant to say January 1989. It was the school shooting in Stockton, CA during that month that first caused the first big anti-gun frenzy over so-called "assault weapons", and within just days of the initial media and political uproar Colt announced that they were ending sales of AR-15s to civilians. What was strange as the fact that in that very month's issue of Guns & Ammo (which hit the stands in Dec 1988) James Baker of the NRA warned that 1989 was going to be the year the anti-gunners shifted their focus away from handguns for awhile and concentrate on banning semi-automatic rifles instead. Either he was unusually prophetic or the anti-gunners had planned it all along.
 

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I'll never fully understand Colt's logic behind changing to "neutered" guns in '89. They probably wanted the gun to look less black and scary to the morons, while at the same time pleasing the pro gun community, by still letting them have black rifles.

However the post '89 guns achieved neither goal. All that was achieved after the 1989 changes was a gun that still looked black and scary to a moron, and a gun that looked ugly and sad to a potential buyer.
 

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I think you meant to say January 1989. It was the school shooting in Stockton, CA during that month that first caused the first big anti-gun frenzy over so-called "assault weapons", and within just days of the initial media and political uproar Colt announced that they were ending sales of AR-15s to civilians. What was strange as the fact that in that very month's issue of Guns & Ammo (which hit the stands in Dec 1988) James Baker of the NRA warned that 1989 was going to be the year the anti-gunners shifted their focus away from handguns for awhile and concentrate on banning semi-automatic rifles instead. Either he was unusually prophetic or the anti-gunners had planned it all along.
Your right. Good catch. Im big on proof reading, but missed it. Corrected now.
 

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I'll never fully understand Colt's logic behind changing to "neutered" guns in '89. They probably wanted the gun to look less black and scary to the morons, while at the same time pleasing the pro gun community, by still letting them have black rifles.

However the post '89 guns achieved neither goal. All that was achieved after the 1989 changes was a gun that still looked black and scary to a moron, and a gun that looked ugly and sad to a potential buyer.
Colt at first pulled them from the market completely, but then quietly tip-toed back in a year or two later with the Sporter line of rifles. Besides the removal of the bayonet lug they also had the large pinned-in sear block that made installation of an auto sear impossible, and the rifles only sold with 5-round magazines. They falsely believed that by pre-empting the gun control folks with these changes they'd avoid ending up dealing with a complete ban on AR rifles. Instead it made no difference to the anti-gunners, because they were after anything that was semi-auto, not just rifles that could be easily converted to full auto. And like you said it pissed off the pro-2A crowd as well as it neutered the rifles and was clearly a cave-in to the gun haters.
 
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