One hundred and sixteen highly detailed, 1/3-scale 1964-era replica M16A1s were shipped to Vietnam veterans on Oct. 15—three weeks before their release tomorrow by GoatGuns. Winning recipients were nominated on the company’s website, selected randomly and, as a token of the company’s appreciation for those who served, received the display-grade collectibles free of charge.
“As a company owner, I have a deep love and respect for veterans,” GoatGuns owner Brad Lunt told American Rifleman. “I appreciate the Freedoms we have in America, and it is a brand goal to continually support and give back to those in service and those who have already served our great country.”
The finely crafted recreation of the primary arm issued to U.S. troops during the war in southeast Asia may not be a functioning firearm, but working the charging handle allows insertion of the included and equally scaled 5.56 NATO dummy rounds. The magazine drops, trigger squeezes, fire controls operate, and handguard and buttstock remove.
“Our models are made from authentic die cast metal,” Lunt explained. “The first reaction we get from most people that handle them is a surprise in the weight. They weigh 8 to 16 ounces per model. Our gun models are 1:3 scale—aside from the 1911, which is 1:2.5—which makes the size big enough to handle and play around with.”
Although the three-year-old company, based out of Utah, is relatively young, it’s already established a reputation for aiding worthwhile causes. “Me and my small staff here in Spanish Fork volunteered at the local food bank during summer months to help give back to the community,” Lunt said. “In times past, we have given to Operation Gratitude and later this year we will make more contributions to other nonprofits.”
GoatGuns offered an M16 model in 2019, but suspended production to create the replica M16A1. The company’s attention to detail requires a lead time of 12 to 18 months to introduce any of its products, although the latest project has proven to be a real challenge. “We are currently working on an M1 Garand, which is proving to be very meticulous and hard,” he said.