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Discussion Starter #1
Help. Identifing original 1960\'s AR-15 magazines

I want to buy some original AR-15 20 round magazines for my 1965 Colt AR-15. I don't know what to look for to spot an original. Any pics would be helpful. Thanks a bunch.
 

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Re: Help. Identifing original 1960\'s AR-15 magazines

Here's what I've got:

All Colt-marked magazines were actually made by a sub contracter, Universal Industries, a division of Okay Industries. GI-Contract Colt 20s had alloy followers and are marked with a "UI" stamp (for Universal Industries) on the front narrow wall of the magazine. Tilted on it's side, the "UI" becomes a "CH" (Colt, Hartford). The US Military switched to 30-round magazines in the early 1970s, and Colt-marked 20s made after the switch had black plastic followers. Anodizing is generally gray or silver in color.

From:
http://magfaq.tripod.com/
 

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Re: Help. Identifing original 1960\'s AR-15 magazines

Look for 20-round magazines with ".223" as the cartridge designation rather than "5.56mm." I think (without looking) that the floorplates are silver instead of blue/black. The followers are metal.

My early magazines have a "1" in a circle on the lower left (I think) side. The two magazines that came with my three-digit gun have illegible stickers over the "1" in the circle. I do not know if the stickers are original or not. I have several others that do not have the stickers. What the circled "1" means, I do not know.
 

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Re: Help. Identifing original 1960\'s AR-15 magazines

With all due respect to the new member, Mr. Rawles' old summary does not apply much to the early commercial magazines Addicted seeks.
 

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Re: Help. Identifing original 1960\'s AR-15 magazines

I just wanted him to see how the 63-68 floorplates
were marked with the 223, I thought it was a good clear pic.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Help. Identifing original 1960\'s AR-15 magazines

[ QUOTE ]
Look for 20-round magazines with ".223" as the cartridge designation rather than "5.56mm." I think (without looking) that the floorplates are silver instead of blue/black. The followers are metal.

My early magazines have a "1" in a circle on the lower left (I think) side. The two magazines that came with my three-digit gun have illegible stickers over the "1" in the circle. I do not know if the stickers are original or not. I have several others that do not have the stickers. What the circled "1" means, I do not know.

[/ QUOTE ]

JC, Are these correct? I'm not sure the colors are correct.

Early AR Magazines
 

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Re: Help. Identifing original 1960\'s AR-15 magazines

YES, YES, YES! I am always amazed what comes up on these auction sites! I did not see those. I am constantly on the lookout for these "Circle 1" magazines and, after not seeing any for years, here are a bunch!

The pictured magazines are exactly like mine, except in worn condition. I think the colors are right.

In looking at these magazines, since the the "1" is upside down in the circle on the magazine if viewed as it would go in the rifle, it occurs to me that maybe the stamping it is not a "Circle 1" at all, but perhaps some kind of symbol, maybe a logo of the maker. Anyone care to speculate?

Until someone comes up with a better explanation, I am still going to call it a "Circle 1," but will now call it an "upside down Circle 1!"
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: Help. Identifing original 1960\'s AR-15 magazines

I've been soooo close to purchasing these thinking that they are correct. They've been up for auction for many weeks. One week at a time.

Anyone, What will be the going rate at the Tulsa Gun Show for mags just like these?
 

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Re: Help. Identifing original 1960\'s AR-15 magazines

THE PLOT THICKENS! After this discussion, I decided to check how many of these "Circle 1" magazines I have. Upon digging them out, I realize now that the "Circle 1" is NOT upside down on my magazines as it is on the linked magazines.

Why? Why? Why? What does it all mean?

I wish I knew. However, I know it means there are at least two versions of the "Circle 1" magazines, which floors me. If it is logo of some kind, normally a logo is represented only in one way. After all, Nike does not turn the "swoosh" over sometimes.

Could there be two more versions with the "1" turned to each side as well? Naw, it could not be.

Or could it?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: Help. Identifing original 1960\'s AR-15 magazines

Judge, Do you have any Armalite AR-15 Waffle Magazines? I'm going to be looking at Tulsa for these mags. BTW: The AR-15 mags are much harder to come by than the AR-10 and command 5 times more money. Very scarce and collectable, so I hear.
 

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Re: Help. Identifing original 1960\'s AR-15 magazines

Yes, I do have some "waffle" ArmaLite AR-15 magazines. It stands to reason that, because of the hundreds of thousands of AR-15 and successor rifles, and the many people interested in the "black rifle," coupled with the relatively few "waffle" magazines, that the price will be high.

On the other hand, the there were only a few thousand original A-I AR-10 rifles made, and far fewer available here as converted semi-automatics, but there were apparently many, many "waffle" AR-10 magazines made for each rifle. (There are two variations of those magazines as well!) That means demand is low because of the few rifles, and the supply is relatively high in relation to the number of potential buyers. However, Stoner AR-25 owners did suck up a great many of the surplus "waffle" AR-10 magazines, and the supply is now mostly gone. I bought a bunch in the early 1980s when the converted semi-automatic AR-10 rifles first appeared for less than $10 each as I remember.

Be sure and look for ArmaLite magazines without the "waffle" body as well. They look just like a regular 20-round magazine, but have an ArmaLite floorplate.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: Help. Identifing original 1960\'s AR-15 magazines

[ QUOTE ]
Be sure and look for ArmaLite magazines without the "waffle" body as well. They look just like a regular 20-round magazine, but have an ArmaLite floorplate.

[/ QUOTE ]

While seaching the net last evening I came across a ArmaLite magazines without the "waffle" body. I questioned if it was correct. The asking price was $379 as I recall.

"They look just like a regular 20-round magazine, but have an ArmaLite floorplate", don't both waffle body and without waffle body have Armalite on the floorplate?
 

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Re: Help. Identifing original 1960\'s AR-15 magazines

Without checking to be absolutely sure, I believe the "waffle" body and plain body ArmaLite magazines have the same floorplate.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: Help. Identifing original 1960\'s AR-15 magazines

[ QUOTE ]
THE PLOT THICKENS!

[/ QUOTE ]

Judge, The plot does indeed thicken. I have located some other mags. The 1 inside the circle is not sideways. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif These followers contain the early non-shiny followers. Not the shiny followers as those shown on the expired auction.
 
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