AR15.Com Archives
 My new 601 Build
Flash66  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 4:02:26 PM
I just put it together today.

I will take better pictures later but this is what I have now.

The stock was done by John Thomas. John does great work. I have a green one done by John to put on it but this one looks cool. I understand they issued about 200 with the brown stocks so it is not incorrect to have one.

The barrel is an unmarked chrome lined barrel of unknown origins but probably Colt export to Israel in 1970s. I will get the cast FSB later hopefuly when Jarrell returns to doing this work.

Lower and charging handle Nodak 601. Engraved by Ident.

Upper is a real 601 refinished by US Anodizing.

Lower parts by Jerrell. Because I am an idiot I forgot to order a mag release button from him so I had to put a modern one on. Maybe I can correct that later. I also need to get the windage wheel with an arrow from him.

I do not have an Edgewater buffer simply because I can't find one. I will keep looking. I have a modern gas tube. I had a chance to buy a 601 gas tube but for $100 I deceided to let it go. Nobody will ever see it anyhow.

I took the John Thomas lead and used a port cover without a reenforcement because I think it looks cool and more retro although it is not correct. I have the right square one to put on.

Interesting thing is that this is the first 601 I ever handled. I was issued a 603 in Vietnam. I understand now why they made the improvements like in the charging handle and front pivot pin.

By the way, I started on this project in mid January and it took me until now to finish it.

I am not going to keep it. I made this rife for a fellow Vietnam veteran. We served together in 1968 and continued to be freinds over the years. He lives in the same county as me. He was wounded during the night of Tet and is on disability today. His 64th birthday is coming up and I will surprise him with this rifle. (he doesn't post on ARFCOM)

Like I said, I will get better pictures later.











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badhand1  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 4:15:09 PM
Beautiful weapon,I love it.
VAAR  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 4:16:21 PM
Nice build, and it's cool that you're gonna give it to your bud. Take some pics when you do!
MarkRSims  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 4:43:07 PM
That is nice.

Was this the anodizing you were waiting for?

If it was, it sure looks like it was worth the wait!

Edit: Yeah, one hell of a nice surprise for your buddy. He'll love it!
Hal143  [Member]
3/26/2011 5:11:02 PM
She's a beut !

jntmjt1  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 5:58:18 PM
Your 601 replica looks great! I can see you went the extra mile, and it paid off. Beyond the rifle... your intent of building it for an old friend says a lot for your character. I'm sure he'll appreciate the time you put into the rifle. It would be great to see a picture of you handing it off to him.

Thanks for sharing the pictures and details,
John Thomas
SPOTTEDFROG  [Member]
3/26/2011 6:15:21 PM
Haven't seen a new 601 build for awhile. I love it, And that's one NICE surprise!
Flash66  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 7:32:54 PM
Originally Posted By jntmjt1:
Your 601 replica looks great! I can see you went the extra mile, and it paid off. Beyond the rifle... your intent of building it for an old friend says a lot for your character. I'm sure he'll appreciate the time you put into the rifle. It would be great to see a picture of you handing it off to him.

Thanks for sharing the pictures and details,
John Thomas


Thanks for helping me out with it John.

My buddy was actually my Platoon Leader in Vietnam. We were both from the same Central Florida county. We both played baseball in High School with rival teams but did not really know each other.

He went to OCS and got his commission. He showed up in Vietnam in the fall of 1967 like me and we were both assigned to the same unit at Dak To. We went through that crap at Dak To together in November of 1967 and we both were transferred to Saigon in January 1968. He was wounded the night of Tet. I helped carry him to the Medivac. I honestly didn’t know if he made it or not because of all the crap that went on for a couple of weeks after Tet prevented me for being able to find out. I had heard that he made it but never was sure.

I lost touch with him but I came home in 1970 and started college. I was walking down the sidewalk in college one day and almost bumped into him. It was a joyous reunion. We were slapping each other on the back and we were hugging each other and crying. It was an emotional meet up. Our fellow students thought we were crazy. They had no idea.

We have been friends for over 45 years now. He has done OK but his disability kept him from being all he could have been. When I was a manager for Lockheed Martin I was able to hire him. Freedom is not free. There is a cost to war.

This will be a nice surprise for him.


madmanblake  [Member]
3/26/2011 8:06:52 PM
Thank you very much for your service, and pics of your awesome build! Well done!
YoungFrankenstien856  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 8:18:52 PM
Thank you, this thread made my whole day.
GulfCrow  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 8:34:05 PM
Flash,

I'm beyond appropriate words or accolades. What a totally awesome and heartwarming story! Day-um, it's dusty in here...

If you need someone to take the birthday day presentation pics, please LMK. I'd be more than honored to travel from Bradenton to be a shutterbug for ya'll.

Sure wish I had a part or two to 'retro upgrade' your gift.

Regardless, what a marvelous and beautiful tribute!
m1sniper  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 8:57:15 PM
Flash,I totally and completely agree with what Gulfcrow said above,except for one thing. I DO have a part I would like to send to you and your Buddy as a THANK YOU to you both for your service. I have a Heatnbeat horizontal line 601 type mag release button sitting here that I can pass on to you both and would be proud if you would accept this small token of appreciation for what you Guys did "over there" for us "over here".Please email me your addy and I'll send it out on Monday.
madmanblake  [Member]
3/26/2011 8:59:44 PM
Hey - is that an original 601 sling, too?
Flash66  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 9:01:20 PM
Originally Posted By GulfCrow:
Flash,

I'm beyond appropriate words or accolades. What a totally awesome and heartwarming story! Day-um, it's dusty in here...

If you need someone to take the birthday day presentation pics, please LMK. I'd be more than honored to travel from Bradenton to be a shutterbug for ya'll.

Sure wish I had a part or two to 'retro upgrade' your gift.

Regardless, what a marvelous and beautiful tribute!


I shoot at the Manatee range. I'll be taking it out next Thursday to test it out and get it zeroed in.

M1-Matt  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 9:02:03 PM
Originally Posted By Flash66:
Originally Posted By jntmjt1:
Your 601 replica looks great! I can see you went the extra mile, and it paid off. Beyond the rifle... your intent of building it for an old friend says a lot for your character. I'm sure he'll appreciate the time you put into the rifle. It would be great to see a picture of you handing it off to him.

Thanks for sharing the pictures and details,
John Thomas


Thanks for helping me out with it John.

My buddy was actually my Platoon Leader in Vietnam. We were both from the same Central Florida county. We both played baseball in High School with rival teams but did not really know each other.

He went to OCS and got his commission. He showed up in Vietnam in the fall of 1967 like me and we were both assigned to the same unit at Dak To. We went through that crap at Dak To together in November of 1967 and we both were transferred to Saigon in January 1968. He was wounded the night of Tet. I helped carry him to the Medivac. I honestly didn’t know if he made it or not because of all the crap that went on for a couple of weeks after Tet prevented me for being able to find out. I had heard that he made it but never was sure.

I lost touch with him but I came home in 1970 and started college. I was walking down the sidewalk in college one day and almost bumped into him. It was a joyous reunion. We were slapping each other on the back and we were hugging each other and crying. It was an emotional meet up. Our fellow students thought we were crazy. They had no idea.

We have been friends for over 45 years now. He has done OK but his disability kept him from being all he could have been. When I was a manager for Lockheed Martin I was able to hire him. Freedom is not free. There is a cost to war.

This will be a nice surprise for him.




It is dusty out here tonight.
Flash66  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 9:02:35 PM
Originally Posted By madmanblake:
Hey - is that an original 601 sling, too?


John Thomas modified a regular sling for me. John is good at this stuff.

cda97  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 9:12:45 PM
Beautiful looking rifle Sir! Your friend will be ecstatic to receive it. I want to thank both of you for your service, my Dad is a Vietnam Vet as well.

Flash66  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 9:20:26 PM
Originally Posted By m1sniper:
Flash,I totally and completely agree with what Gulfcrow said above,except for one thing. I DO have a part I would like to send to you and your Buddy as a THANK YOU to you both for your service. I have a Heatnbeat horizontal line 601 type mag release button sitting here that I can pass on to you both and would be proud if you would accept this small token of appreciation for what you Guys did "over there" for us "over here".Please email me your addy and I'll send it out on Monday.


Thanks for the thought we didn’t do anything for you. We were dumbass redneck kids from Polk County Florida that had no idea what we were getting ourselves into by volunteering for that war. We were in over our heads from Day One. Him as a LT and me as a buck sergeant.

I thank you for your offer but I will respectfully decline. Those things are hard to come by nowadays and I wouldn’t want to take yours. I’ll put a little grey paint on this one for now and when Jerrell gets his wife all well again (that we are all praying for) and starts up again I will get one. My friend will never know the difference.
Gone_Shootin  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 10:15:28 PM
Nice build & a great gesture.
Gone_Shootin  [Team Member]
3/26/2011 10:15:48 PM
Nice build & a great gesture.
Morg308  [Team Member]
3/27/2011 1:28:00 AM
Originally Posted By M1-Matt:
Originally Posted By Flash66:
Originally Posted By jntmjt1:
Your 601 replica looks great! I can see you went the extra mile, and it paid off. Beyond the rifle... your intent of building it for an old friend says a lot for your character. I'm sure he'll appreciate the time you put into the rifle. It would be great to see a picture of you handing it off to him.

Thanks for sharing the pictures and details,
John Thomas


Thanks for helping me out with it John.

My buddy was actually my Platoon Leader in Vietnam. We were both from the same Central Florida county. We both played baseball in High School with rival teams but did not really know each other.

He went to OCS and got his commission. He showed up in Vietnam in the fall of 1967 like me and we were both assigned to the same unit at Dak To. We went through that crap at Dak To together in November of 1967 and we both were transferred to Saigon in January 1968. He was wounded the night of Tet. I helped carry him to the Medivac. I honestly didn’t know if he made it or not because of all the crap that went on for a couple of weeks after Tet prevented me for being able to find out. I had heard that he made it but never was sure.

I lost touch with him but I came home in 1970 and started college. I was walking down the sidewalk in college one day and almost bumped into him. It was a joyous reunion. We were slapping each other on the back and we were hugging each other and crying. It was an emotional meet up. Our fellow students thought we were crazy. They had no idea.

We have been friends for over 45 years now. He has done OK but his disability kept him from being all he could have been. When I was a manager for Lockheed Martin I was able to hire him. Freedom is not free. There is a cost to war.

This will be a nice surprise for him.




It is dusty out here tonight.


+1 I think it's great what you're doing for him. Good friends are irreplaceble.

ETA: I think you should take m1sniper up on his offer of the mag button though. One of the beuatiful things about this forum is how people here take care of each other. Have you seen the 'Pay it forward' thread? It's inspiring, and I know from experience that MOST of the gifting that goes on here does so without posting in that thread, as amazing as that sounds. I have been both the recipient and giver of many small items - this forum is unusual that way. Accept his gift and pay it forward when you get a chance. I know you likely have a small part you don't need that someone could use.
GUTS  [Team Member]
3/27/2011 3:50:34 AM
Nice rifle and a great gesture! I hope he grins as hard as my Recon buddy Doc did when I gave him a commemorative version of the XM177 he had in Viet Nam.

2200610  [Member]
3/27/2011 10:34:37 AM
The rifle is such a piece of work but the best part of the story is that it is for your friend. Lots of good people left in this mean world.
yankee-V  [Team Member]
3/27/2011 1:07:27 PM
Originally Posted By 2200610:
The rifle is such a piece of work but the best part of the story is that it is for your friend. Lots of good people left in this mean world.


Hear, hear!
Cdenmark  [Member]
3/27/2011 8:35:52 PM
That turned out very nice. I'm sure your friend will cherish it. Hope it shoots as good as it looks. Mag buttom decision is yours to make but it was an exceptional offer and John Thomas parts look authentic in pics. Excellent job.
Flash66  [Team Member]
3/28/2011 7:50:54 PM
Originally Posted By Cdenmark:
That turned out very nice. I'm sure your friend will cherish it. Hope it shoots as good as it looks. Mag buttom decision is yours to make but it was an exceptional offer and John Thomas parts look authentic in pics. Excellent job.


I put aside my pride and took M1Sniper up on his offer. That was very generous and I thank him very much. That dark mag button stands out like a sore thumb. Because it scrapes up against metal I cant just paint it with Krylon.

I have two weeks to get it sighted in before the birthday.
m1sniper  [Team Member]
3/28/2011 8:52:21 PM
Button mailed today as promised.Delivery con number emailed to ya.Also need to add this,I speak with Heatnbeat almost once a week via fone,I've been fortunate to have come to know him pretty well.I know that if he had seen this post,he would have likely sent ya a button directly from his stash.I just expedited the process my friend.
Please be sure to have your camera on hand when you present this rifle to your Lt Buddy.We all salute you both!!!!!!! We Love or Vets here!
Flash66  [Team Member]
4/7/2011 2:44:20 PM
We have had rain the last couple of weeks on my day to go to the range so today was the first time I could get out.

I went out to zero it. One of the first times in my life a zero was good "right out of the box". I was getting 2.5 -3 inch groups at 100 yds with surplus ammo. That is the best I can do with iron sights at my age. Before somebody gets on their high horse about groups too much I am 63 years old and I wear trifocals so kiss my butt, that is the best I can do.

The rifle shot real smooth.

I am going to give it to my friend at his birthday party on Sunday. I may switch the brown stock with a green one because it is more correct. I may keep the brown stock for a future prototype build.


As I posted in another thread I am doing a 604 build for myself with a 603 also in the works. I am negotiating with somebody for another 601 upper and if I get it I will build another 601 for myself. This is one hell of a hobby and I am addicted.





imarangemaster  [Member]
4/7/2011 9:26:35 PM
After I got out of the Army in 1977, I ended up in the ANG/AF Reserve as an SP in the arms room. We had a green furnitured M16 (601, i think) with early 3 thin prong in the arms room. If I remember, it had a 1/14" barrel, but could be mistaken. I had a couple sets of green painted brown furniture during the late 80s when I did gunshows all the time as "US Armory." Wish I had a set now!
m1sniper  [Team Member]
4/7/2011 9:27:16 PM
Great stuff Flash,,thanks much for the follow up!!! And hey man,,2.5-3 in groups?? I hope for that with my builds! Center mass my friend....
GulfCrow  [Team Member]
4/7/2011 9:36:54 PM
Most of the time I respond "That's a beaut" or "Sweet". But in this case, that's one handsome AR!!!
Flash66  [Team Member]
4/7/2011 9:48:42 PM
Originally Posted By GulfCrow:
Most of the time I respond "That's a beaut" or "Sweet". But in this case, that's one handsome AR!!! http://warrifles.com/forums/images/smilies/thumb.gif


Darn, I forgot. I should have got in touch with you to meet me out there. I apologize. It slipped my mind.

m1sniper  [Team Member]
4/7/2011 9:54:14 PM
BTW Flash,,you are "sunk" now...You have 2 authored threads on the 1st pg of retro.We gocha now,the disease is flowing thru your veins.
Flash66  [Team Member]
4/7/2011 10:00:47 PM
Originally Posted By m1sniper:
BTW Flash,,you are "sunk" now...You have 2 authored threads on the 1st pg of retro.We gocha now,the disease is flowing thru your veins.


I have four projects going on now.

The 601 that I will give to my friend this weekend.

The 604 that will be finished as soon as I get my lower parts.

A 603 in the pipleline.

If I can get this 601 upper that I am trying to negotiate I will make a 601 for myself to replace the one I gave to my friend.

Yea, I am pretty well hooked.

My wife is wondering where our money is going.

GulfCrow  [Team Member]
4/7/2011 10:02:29 PM
No problem! Maybe we can meet up another time.

Besides, at least you didn't have to clean my off of it.
Cdenmark  [Member]
4/8/2011 12:15:16 AM
I went out to zero it. One of the first times in my life a zero was good "right out of the box".

I hate it when that happens. Early Colt quality was pretty darn good.

Sounds like you haven't forgot how to shoot and your eye perscription is up to date. 2-3" is usually about as good as it gets except on exceptional days and it does help to have a real nice support. Probably with a little bit of trigger work, some good ammo and practice. Sounds like your buddy is getting a good one. A-1 sights are also kinda hard to beat at 100 yds in my opinion. Go with what you know. Hope ya'll have a great time Sunday and glad you're gonna be staying around. Get your buddy involved also if he wants. Great bunch of people here. This place kinda restores faith in the degraded system. Good job!
Flash66  [Team Member]
4/10/2011 8:07:42 PM
I gave the repo 601 to my friend this afternoon on his 64th birthday. He was very appreciative.

I am not going to post pictures because he doesn’t want his picture on the internet.

There is a reason I made him a 601 instead of the 603 he carried. He is still affected by the war. After all he was shot point blank with an AK-47 and it is a miracle that he survived. I wanted to give him something that was not a direct reminder of his participation but yet was a connection. The 601 was the right project for him.

He is not a gun nut like everybody on this forum but he was pretty excited about getting the rifle. He had tears in his eyes. I doubt if he has shot a firearm since being in Vietnam. He was pretty well traumatized by the wound but I am hoping this rifle will help the healing process along a little bit.

Today he said no pictures but I am going try to get him out to the range to shoot the rifle soon and then maybe he will let me post a couple of pictures.

I did switch the brown stock with a green one prior to giving it to him because it is more correct. I have a 603 and a 604 build in the pipeline and I just purchased another 601 upper so I will probably use the brown stock on another rifle.

I want to thank M1 Sniper for the mag button, There were other people that offered a few other items that I didn’t accept and I also want to thank you. He enjoyed the rifle he got and thinks it is perfect.

We have a happy vet today and that is great.
86HMMWV  [Team Member]
4/10/2011 8:14:19 PM
Very happy to hear that!
jntmjt1  [Team Member]
4/10/2011 9:55:13 PM
It sounds like your gift went over very well. Kind of as you mentioned, I hope your friend gains more than just the rifle. It sounds like he had a rough extremely rough experience that would be hard to ever get over.

John Thomas
GulfCrow  [Team Member]
4/10/2011 10:10:00 PM
Ed,

You're a fine man. Salutes to you and your friend!
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