I'm really into the idea of putting together a retro build and am looking for a bit of advice.
My first question was, is there any difference between a Colt 603/M16A1 front sight and the standard A2 sight, either functionally or cosmetically?
My second question is if no difference, would I be better off to find a barrel with the A2 front sight already attached? I want to go as close to correct as possible without too much headache. I realize that AR parts are a bit difficult to come by right now but I can't even find a listing for a pencil 20" barrel with the sight attached. Anybody have any tips, thoughts or suggestions?
Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid. - John Wayne
no. the barrel profile and handguards are the only diff between A1 and A2 barrel assemblies. the A1 can have one of three different flash hiders as well. the A2 only has the half birdcage (best all purpose flash hider for the AR15)
"Gun control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound." L. Neil Smith
The problem with being stupid is you cannot simply decide to stop doing dumb things...
Apart from forging marks (markings varied over time and according to the supplier of the forging), machining the flash from the forging (only done on A1 FSB's), and a different diameter hole for a different diameter barrel (.625" vs .75"), I can't recall any other major differences between A1 and A2 FSB's. There may be some minor geometry differences that I can't recall.
Functionally, there is no difference between the M16A1 and M16A2 front sight blocks. Both have a sight tower that accepts the same pin, both have a bayonet lug on the front, and both have a sling swivel mount on the rear.