PreBan Colt SP1 SP-1 AR-15 5.56/.223 20” Semi-Auto Rifle MFD 1974 w/ Sling

SOLD FOR: $2,080

WOA#: WY231118RM002

Make: Colt

Model: AR-15 SP1

Serial Number: SP36782

Year of Manufacture: Pre-1994, 1974

Caliber: .223 / 5.56

Action Type:  Semi-Automatic, Direct Impingement

Markings:  Left side of receiver marked “COLT / AR-15 / CAL. .223 / MODEL SP1 / SER. SP36782” with the Rampant Colt logo.  Marked on left side receiver behind bolt catch “COLT’S PATENT FIREARMS / HARTFORD,CONN./U.S.A. MFG.CO.” with “SAFE” and “FIRE” for the selection options.  The side of the carrier is marked “C”.  The neck of the bolt head is marked “MPC”.  The barrel is marked “C MP CHROME BORE”.   The barrel is marked “C MP B”.

Barrel Length: 20”.  Pencil Profile. 21” with birdcage A1 flash hider.

Sights / Optics:  The front sight is an adjustable A1 post iron sight and the rear has a dual aperture peep sight. A1 sights.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The buttstock is an A1 style fixed stock with sling ring and checkered buttplate with storage compartment.  The pistol grip is an A1 grip with lanyard loop.  The handguard is an A1 rifle length triangular handguard.  The LOP measures 13.1” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in Very Good overall condition.  There are no chips or cracks.  There is mild handling wear on the grip.  There are some light scratches and scuffs.

Magazine Quantity & Condition: One DSL Pre-Ban 30rd 5.56 aluminum magazine in Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Anodized

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no visible erosion.  In this writer’s opinion the bore rates 9/10 especially given its age.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 90% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows some light wear at the rear of the ejection port.  There are some light scratches on the receivers. The bottom of the barrel near the muzzle has some some finish missing.  There is some corrosion in the flash hider. The screw heads are sharp, and the markings are clear. The pins are unmarred.  Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This rifle comes with a correct era Nylon Sling with aluminum fittings for post WWII M14 rifle and a pre ban magazine. The sling is in Very Good condition with no rip tears.

Our Assessment:  The Colt SP1 holds a distinguished place in the history of modern firearms, particularly as an early civilian version of the iconic M16 rifle. Introduced in 1963, the SP1 was Colt’s first commercial semi-automatic rifle based on the AR-15 platform, bridging the gap between military and civilian firearm markets. This rifle, chambered in the high-velocity 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge, mirrored the M16’s design and operation, offering the civilian shooter a taste of the military experience.

The SP1’s design is a window into the early era of AR-15 development. It features several distinctive characteristics reminiscent of the original M16, such as the absence of a forward assist, and a simpler bolt carrier group compared to later models. The rifle’s lightweight, sleek profile, and direct impingement gas system – hallmarks of Eugene Stoner’s design – contribute to its ease of handling and reliable performance. These aspects make the SP1 not only a functional firearm but also a piece of engineering artistry.

Collectors and historians cherish the Colt SP1 for its historical significance, pre-ban status, and its role in popularizing the AR-15 platform among civilian shooters. Owning an SP1 is akin to possessing a piece of firearm history, reflecting the evolution of the AR-15/M16 family and the broader context of American gun culture. Its legacy endures as a classic representation of Colt’s craftsmanship and innovation, and as a symbol of the merging paths of military and civilian firearm technologies.  Please see our photos and good luck on your bid! – L.S.

PreBan Colt SP1 SP-1 AR-15 5.56/.223 20” Semi-Auto Rifle MFD 1974 w/ Sling
PreBan Colt SP1 SP-1 AR-15 5.56/.223 20” Semi-Auto Rifle MFD 1974 w/ Sling