M16A1 / GAU-5 "Slick Side" Upper Receiver - DPMS - stripped - BLEM

when in stock, ships from our shop in 3 to 5 days (+/-)
Limited Availablility:
we get regular shipments, but not always in stock

M16A1 Slick Side Upper Receiver - stripped - BLEM

From DPMS, perfect for that early M16 or Air Force Vietnam retro build

Where do you find an M16-A1 upper?  Well, we know that the retro builds are becoming more popular, just about the same time that supply is down, so we reached out to our contacts and found some cosmetic blems from DPMS.  As you may know, the guys building DPMS these days are the same ones building H&R retro receivers, so this has to be good.

Highlights and Specifications

  • Forged M16A1 Slick Side Upper Receiver
  • No Forward Assist or Shell Deflector
  • 7075-T6 military grade anodize aluminum with a black Type 3 anodized finish
  • No dust cover included (stripped)
  • Expect minor cosmetic blems
  • A1 rear sight housing (sight parts not included)
  • Fits a mil-spec forged lower receiver (current size pins)

The slick-side upper receivers were some of the very first A1 upper receivers to be used on Vietnam era M16A1 rifles.  The U.S. Air Force was the first military service to acquire and adopt the M16. Personally championed by General Curtis LeMay, the first contract was issued to Colt Firearms in May, 1962 for the purchase of Armalite AR-15 Model 01 rifles. LeMay, like Eugene Stoner, did not see the need for the forward assist, so the USAF rifles had none.  The M16 rifles were issued to USAF Security Police, who would guard the aircraft at bases around the World.  As the Vietnam war followed, all rifle carrying Air Force personnel had the slick-side A1 rifles.

In addition to the Air Force, the AR-15 was adopted by Army Special Forces working with South Vietnamese forces for testing and evaluation. Along with pressure from LeMay and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who was also a fan of the AR-15, Special Forces reports praising the rifle’s performance eventually pushed the Army to replace the M14 with the AR-15 as the M16. In November 1963, Colt received a $13.5 million contract for 104,000 M16s, 19,000 of which were slated for the Air Force.

The U.S. Air Force M16 design was later modified and adopted for use by the U.S. Army as the XM16E1 in 1965, and Army added the forward assist.  The Air Force rifles for Commando use were the GAU-5 and its variants, which were very close to the XM16E1, but with the slick side upper.

Photos courtesy of DPMS, US Army, US Air Force and Guns & Ammo

Charlie's also carries the non-BLEM M16A1 Slick Side upper receiver stripped here