Mil-Spec M16A1 Carry Handle Upper Receiver - Complete - Retro

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Mil-Spec A1 Upper Receiver, Complete


Nothing says M16, quite like the original A1 from the Vietnam period

Charlie's brings you a complete A1 upper receiver, anodized in Colt gray, from an Anchor Harvey forging, finished off with A1 sight and tear-drop forward assist and dust cover.

The M16A1 upper receivers are very hard to get, and Charlie was looking at providing a high quality upper, while also maintaining Colt gray anodizing and installing all the hardware. That adds up right now. Using correct forgings, correct anodizing and the cost of hardware and installation.

These uppers are machined from 7075-T6 forgings, specifically designed to have the correct profile of the original M16A1 Upper Receiver. Machine work is performed by true craftsmen with careful attention to detail.


  • Forged, military grade 7075 aluminum 
  • Type III hard coat anodizing, gray color
  • LuthAR rear A1 sights
  • tear drop forward assist (new retro construction)
  • dust cover installed
  • mil spec DFL (dry film lubricant), as used by Colt
  • no M4 feedramps (if you need them, Dremel is your friend)

This A1 upper receiver is great for M16A1 military correct clone rifles. 

Note on finishing: Getting gray anodizing is hard, and we, at Charlie's have noticed that receivers may have some spots that appear to have less dye than others. A little oil goes a long way. This upper was produced by Shark Arms, in cooperation with Potomac Armory and Charlie's. Shark has done a good job. It is not Colt quality, but it is good, and they tried hard to get the gray die working in the anodizing and went the extra mile with DFL.

Some models that used the A1 upper include:

  • M16A1
  • XM16E1
  • XM177E1 - Model 609
  • XM177E2 - Model 629
  • Model 619
  • Model 639
  • Model 651
  • Model 653

Photos are of actual upper receivers

So, what is Charlie's all about?

You may have found us by looking for an A1 upper receiver, and that is awesome. Charlie's specializes in military correct rifles, upper receiver groups and components for shooting enthusiasts, as well as for military and law enforcement. We are a small business based in Virginia, and our Potomac Armory is a licensed firearms manufacturer and registered DOD contractor and law enforcement dealer. In a few short years, our consumer brand, Charlie's Custom Clones, has grown to be the leading brand for shooting enthusiasts who are looking to increase their proficiency and their armament collection with military rifles and the hobby of clone building, which is just another way of saying that our customers want to buy or build a military correct rifle, largely as collectors, but also as active operators. The word, "Clone" in our name scares people that think we have fake products. We do not. Nothing can be further from the truth, as to have a clone rifle is to have as exact a copy of an actual military issued weapon as a civilian possibly can have. 

Our core specialty is weapons for special forces, like SOCOM and from the Global War on Terror, and specifically from the period 1995 to present. Our M4A1 and Mk18 uppers and riles for infantry and special forces are amongst the most popular offerings, along with sniper rifles like the Mk12, M40A3, Mk13 and M110.

Our technical knowledge is very strong in barrels and scopes, which are the essential ingredients to a great performing rifle. At times, we might seem like barrel nerds and scope snobs, and we are. LOL.

In addition to great combat rifles, like the military sniper community, that has led us to also serve the PRS and ELR shooter. So, we carry great names like AI and Cadex and others, and also the best optics that money can buy. For our customers buying full rifles, we offer some great combo discounts with many rifle scope and mount companies, as well as suppressor manufacturers.

Recently, we are starting to move backwards in time, slowly from the Mogadishu conflict in 1995 toward the Vietnam era, and thus we bring you products, like this M16A1 upper receiver. Our coverage of retro 1960s and 1970s rifles and components is spotty, but we are growing with time.

We have online chat during business hours, in addition, you can contact us with product questions on Instagram and Facebook at @charliesclones as well as email and phone support. Let us know how we can help you, and help to make your shooting sports ambitions come true. Thanks for stopping in.