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XM177 commando info needed

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Just received a XM177 commando marked with moderator can anyone help with info on this Machine Gun. I did see it came from Curtis Earl.

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Here is one of the sites I use for identification, a lot of "correct" info and Pics!

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Colt_AR-15_Identification_Guide#1st_Generation_Collapsible

 

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NFA Investments and www.investmentguns.com

FFL/SOT Class III (63) Dealer in Portland, OR. Since 2005 

Cell #’s 503-720-2280 or escheid@comcast.net

Heckler & Koch weapons, Colt M16’s and Pre 86 Dealer Sample weapons.

All items posted for sale, are in inventory and NFA items are on Form 3’s ready for transfer.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Mine is five digits earlier then yours. I did a FOIA request and I will double check but I believe it was registered in 1971 and the moderator registered in 1974. I heard Colt made them with the leftovers after the switch to the EX177E2. Certainly not a lot of them around.  

Edit to add:

I just checked mine was form 2 registered with a group of 20 Commandos in July 1972 and the moderator in 1975. I was off a year...

Buddy has pictures of this one in his picture collection.

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Edited by tgus
Add info
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I see your only 6 digits off mine

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Just curious... does your "moderator" have a serial number on it? Know that ATF classified the E2 moderator as a suppressor and required it to be registered as well. or removed, surrendered, and replaced with a standard flash suppressor.

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Mine is not a Commando, but I understand it to be the export version of the XM177E2. Moderator looks the same as yours, and is the reason I asked if it required a separate registration as a "silencer" like mine did.

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, BDMERC said:

Mine is not a Commando, but I understand it to be the export version of the XM177E2. Moderator looks the same as yours, and is the reason I asked if it required a separate registration as a "silencer" like mine did.imageproxy.php?img=&key=898bd455c4915183imageproxy.php?img=&key=898bd455c4915183imageproxy.php?img=&key=898bd455c4915183imageproxy.php?img=&key=898bd455c4915183imageproxy.php?img=&key=898bd455c4915183

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Here is how my 639 was shipped from Aeromarine back in the day:

I did some inter-web investigating, and the person who the box was originally sent to was the Sheriff if an east Texas county.  I found that very interesting.

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Edited by pstidan
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Cool stuff! Thanks for sharing!

Any idea on how many went into U.S. circulation, or how many kept their "silencer" (moderator)?

Not that I would be surprised by inconsistency with ATF Rulings, but isn't the XM 177 "moderator" just like the one on the MOD.639? Does it too require registration?

I wonder what value is attached to these guns currently?

Thanks again for your input!

 

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33 minutes ago, BDMERC said:

Cool stuff! Thanks for sharing!

Any idea on how many went into U.S. circulation, or how many kept their "silencer" (moderator)?

Not that I would be surprised by inconsistency with ATF Rulings, but isn't the XM 177 "moderator" just like the one on the MOD.639? Does it too require registration?

I wonder what value is attached to these guns currently?

Thanks again for your input!

 

The 639s where manufactured circa '72 for import.  All were made to XM177E2 specifications including the moderators.  They were released for domestic sale during one of the many Colt bankruptcies in the '70s/'80s when the need for cash became pressing.  I have heard two stories about them.  One story said they were made for the Shah of Iran and the other story said they were destined for some South or Central American country.  In either case, Uncle Sugar refused to allow Colt to export them.  They went back into Colt's inventory and forgotten about.   Here are my notes that I have scraped together over the years:

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FWIW, I have done some extensive research on 639s and I (personally) am convinced that there are at most about 100 guns that were ever roll-marked “MOD. 639” by Colt’s and that this is one of the last in the S/N range. You are free to read my rationale below and judge for yourself.

Regarding genuine 639s, here is what I know:

   •  I've identified 10 different guns that have sold or been advertised for sale or been publicized or for which owners have sent me details that are roll-marked "MOD. 639". ALL 10 are in the range 4,790,015 to 4,790,100.

   •  I’ve received confirmation regarding 3 additional guns that are "within that range", but for which the owners would not disclose the actual S/Ns.

   •  I’ve received confirmation of S/Ns for two skids of 639s (41 guns total) that were delivered to Aeromarine (Birmingham) in the early 70s, for commercial sale. ALL 41 are in the range 4,790,015 to 4,790,100. Only a few of these are known to be transferable (i.e. can be legally owned by a civilian).

   •  I’ve also identified a number of guns that have been advertised over the years as “639s” that were not roll-marked as such. Apparently, the sellers referred to their guns as “639s” because they had short barrels and XM177 moderators – without the gun being factory roll-marked “MOD. 639”. So, buyer beware of guns merely advertised as “Colt 639”. Maybe they came from the factory as true XM177s or maybe they simply had a short-barrel upper and XM177 moderator added later – it’s anyone’s guess.

In summary, 51 guns are “accounted for” (to my knowledge) as genuine 639s and all are in the S/N range 4,790,015 to 4,790,100 (a range of 86 guns). Statistically, that means that it is very unlikely that more than about 100 true 639s were ever made.

My personal belief is that Colt's made S/Ns 4,790,001 through 4,790,100 in 1972 (100 guns total). When 1975 came around and they still had dealers with unsold 639s and they also had to recall all the XM177 moderators, they decided not to make any more "MOD. 639" guns and just used spare parts from then on to make generic short-barreled M16s (for the commercial, non-military market), with no special roll-mark or special designation, and with a bird-cage flash hider instead of an XM177 moderator. That's purely conjecture on my part, though.

Here are a few pcis of mine with a Rick Keuhl .22lr upper show above it:

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BTW; Rick Keuhl made a dynamite .22lr conversion.  It runs like a champ.

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Thanks for the history! I knew that the model was a rarity since whenever you mention it people immediately think you are talking about the Colt SMG 9mm, Model 639 (Thanks Colt for adding confusion to the situation!) I guess the experience was such that Colt would rather forget about ever producing the original MOD.639. The most interesting part of the story is that ATF apparently first started "flexing their muscles" in the early '70's with this Moderator/Slencer controversy. Back then $200 was considered a bit more money than it is now, and being TOLD by a federal agency that what you paid for and had transferred to you by ATF, was "ex post facto"  now being determined to actually be a gun requiring two tax stamps since the "moderator" had been reclassified as a "silencer"! My gun (#56) was owned by an Alabama attorney who never paid the additional $200, and, as the story goes, had ATF pay for having the Moderator/ "silencer" professionally engraved. The original owner's son showed me the back and forth correspondence with ATF, but what I read seemed to indicate that ATF stood their ground. Leaves me wondering though, how many people gave up their moderators in exchange for a Colt bird cage flash hider, either because of cost or perceived Govt. intimidation, making a true configuration MOD.639 that more rare!

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Thanks for all the input

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