For the first time in Brownells history, the company is manufacturing complete guns of its own in addition to selling tools, components and firearms made by other companies. It should come as no surprise that the new rifle line-up is composed of AR-15s and AR-10s considering the company's long standing relationship with these platforms. However, the Brownells choice to offer carefully researched "retro" reproductions of historically significant models is certainly a refreshing one for enthusiasts and collectors alike.
The first four Retro AR-15s are chambered for .223 Rem./5.56 NATO. The BRN-16A1 is a semi-automatic version of the iconic M16A1 first fielded in the 1960s with matte gray anodized receivers, properly contoured black polymer furniture and a lightweight 20” M16A1 chrome-lined barrel. The BRN-601 is based on the original USAF contract rifle with green furniture, a slabside lower receiver and a triangular 601 charging handle. The XBRN16E1 reflects the transitional rifle in between 601 and M16A1, with features of both. The XBRN-177E2 is an authentic reproduction of an early Special Forces carbine featuring a period-correct flash hider with grenade ring, a full-fence M16A1 lower receiver and a collapsible stock.
The two variants of the BRN-10 rifle, based on the AR-10, are chambered in .308 Win./7.62 NATO. These models have the “trigger style” charging handle located on the top of the receiver inside the carry handle along with the same lines and contours as the first production AR-10s from the 1950s. With receiver sets designed in conjunction with FM-Products, these rifles are compatible with standard DPMS/SR25 components including triggers, magazines, barrels, bolt carrier groups and furniture sets. The BRN-10A (shown) has the same brown furniture found on early rifles, like the models issued by the Netherlands, while the BRN-10B is based on later models adopted by Cuba and other nations.
Brownells is taking pre-orders for Retro rifles now with shipping dates slated for the Spring of 2018.