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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may seem like a dumb question for most of you, but remember I have minimal experience with AR's. I have been eyeing a 20" FN-15, and was wondering, does anyone know if an old school Vietnam era/style M16 forearm will fit on it?

One like this
 

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As long as the front end cap behind the front sight is the triangle style, it should be but I have not seen the FN rifle in person.

Triangle end cap like this.


Carbine round style won't work as far as I recall.



M4 Carbine round style.
 
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The triangular and M4 round style will accept the triangular hand guards, the round style without the cutouts won't. Be warned though, the original style hand guards are a smidgen more fragile than the A2.
 

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Serious question: why?
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Yeah, just for looks mostly. I grew up in the 70's and 80's, and that was pretty much the flavor of the day. I watched movies on Saturday afternoons like The Green Beret's with John Wayne, and Missing in Action with Chuck Norris. I wanted one when I was a kid, and now that I can, I would like to indulge that want. Not sure when I will be able to do it. I just saw this nice looking FN-15 at a LGS and wondered if it could be done.

Also, they were usually the longer barrel back then too right? they look longer, I was just assuming the 20" barrel was the more common length, but I should know better than to assume, since I have been burned on that before.
 

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You would want to consider the 3 prong flashhider (instead of the A2 birdcage) and some 20 rnd GI mags as well then. Nothing you can do about the removeable handle though.
 

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I have been eyeing a 20" FN-15
I would make sure the FN15 20" comes with FN new 20" Hammer Forged Barrel. Otherwise you'll be sepending another $300.00 to upgrade.

FYI. In my option from a pure quality standpoint fit & finsh, which I have seen and used both the Colt AR15A4 is higher quality.

Both are fine rifles at the end of the day...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I would make sure the FN15 20" comes with FN new 20" Hammer Forged Barrel. Otherwise you'll be sepending another $300.00 to upgrade.
nah, No need to upgrade, its just going to be an iron sight shooter. if I want a upgraded one, I will just get another later on.
 

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Yeah, just for looks mostly. I grew up in the 70's and 80's, and that was pretty much the flavor of the day. I watched movies on Saturday afternoons like The Green Beret's with John Wayne, and Missing in Action with Chuck Norris. I wanted one when I was a kid, and now that I can, I would like to indulge that want. Not sure when I will be able to do it. I just saw this nice looking FN-15 at a LGS and wondered if it could be done.

Also, they were usually the longer barrel back then too right? they look longer, I was just assuming the 20" barrel was the more common length, but I should know better than to assume, since I have been burned on that before.
Those vintage rifles were M16 A1 and they did have 20" barrels.

They were 20" lightweight (Pencil barrels) profile.
A1 fixed carry handle with A1 flip rear sight only adjustable for windage. Earlier ones didn't even have the forward assist or shell deflector. (Slick Side) receiver.
Teardrop forward assist.
no M4 feed ramp.
Straight non tapered delta ring.
The triangle handguard.
Std hight front sight gas block assemble.
3 Prong flash hider
A1 (Duckbill) pistol grip and A1 length fixed butt stock.

Every now and then some old "kits" with everything except the lower receiver pop up at a good price, I'd look for one of those personally verses throwing the triangle handguard on the FN but I kinda get annual when it comes down to period correct builds. 15ICAM and I go back and forth egging each other on with those kinda builds. :mrgreen:
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, I have seen the kits around. Most of the time it says something like "Veteran" parts kit. and they usually look it too. I guess I have a lot to think about with this... I was hoping it was going to be a cut and dry type thing... yeah right. I was hoping I could just get a built rifle, and change out the hand guard. then I could get the A1 look with the A2 features? if I am using the correct nomenclature. The reason I said the FN rifle is because I can make payments on one that would fit my budget and is reasonably priced. It had the longer barrel which I don't see as often, and it made me think of the Green Beret's movie. The more I looked at it the more I became that kid again. It just needed the old style hand guard.

You may be right though Talhoffer. If I get it I will probably like it until I see a more correct one, then I will want that instead, so maybe I should just start from scratch, and find a kit like you have suggested. It would probably save me a lot of money in the long run.:lol:
 

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I like the look of the A1 fore end. Also holding it, it is more ergonomic.
 

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All I can say is that I had some of those old triangular handguards on a colt AR (I got the rifle from a friend and he put them on to remind him of his service days). Personally I hated those things. They were uncomfortable to hold compared to the newer designs.. I traded him for some normal handguards just this past year and I am happy again.

I do recall seeing them around gun shows 15 plus years ago, but I haven't seen any available at shows (that were not on a completed rifle) in the past 5 years.
 

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Most likely what will end up is you won't save money cause it will start an obsession like it has with both CAM and I. We start thinking about the next unique build before we even finish the current build :-D


The FN 20" could be a nice USMC A4 clone build for you, that was the latest build I did and it was all started because I traded for the correct ACOG. One stupid little piece and you'll find yourself with another gun :p

The Vietnam era M16 A1 is one rifle I have thought about doing to go with my Vietnam era AK and AR carbine clones but never got to before I sold off that AK and disassembled the AR, I think they are interesting versions.

I'd like to see what you decide to do. :?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks... I had no idea the can 0f worms I was opening! Like I said I thought I would keep it simple, but I guess that is not really an option. a couple of additional questions to go with my worms.

What is a fair price for a M16 A1 parts kit. I see two on GB, $400 plus. I think I remember seeing them somewhere not too long ago for less than that, but it could have been on the cheaper than dirt catalog... even though I have not bought anything from them in three years, they still send the catalog.... It makes good fire starter so what the heck.

Can you still get the A1 style receiver? at a reasonable price? or are there people that make clones? just curious if that may be an option.

Also if I go with a parts kit and get a more modern lower, will it mate up to the Upper in the parts kit? again I am pretty ignorant when it comes to AR's, so I guess I have a lot of reading to do huh?
 

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Yes, you can get M16A1 style receiver. I've seen it done before. Plenty of people out there building retro guns for reenactment and just for fooling around.
 

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Oh, you can go almost as far as your willing to spend. :-D

For a A1 type lower receiver you can pick up a retro lower.
These guys will be happy to fix you right up. NoDak Spud Retro Lowers


The NDS-601 "Retro" lower receiver
The NDS-XM16E1 "Retro" lower receiver


As for a A1 upper they will fit a newer std AR lower as long as you stay with milspec and not the big whole Colt parts. $400 for a "kit" would be depending on condition about my limit if it was me unless it was new old stock and in pristine condition then I might go up $550-600.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hah! that's funny... I have been to NDS website looking for AK receivers. I did not even think to look there for AR stuff...

Neither of those kits on GB look worth a crap. The one has 1 crappy pic. If they can't be bothered to take some good pictures, then I don't waste my time looking.

The other looks like one of the threaded pieces is boogered up pretty good. not sure what it is, but I don't like the look of stripped threads. I will keep looking... it's plenty to think about and research.
 
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