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 Colt M653 Carbine... "Barnes' Carbine"

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Cerwyn
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PostSubject: Colt M653 Carbine... "Barnes' Carbine"   Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:21 pm

Post by Madmike

Barnes´ Carbine

Some time ago I couldn´t sleep so I decided to watch a DVD. My all-time favourite Vietnam war movie is “Platoon”. The great thing about this movie is that you can watch it again and again and you can still find some new details. For example check out the graffiti Lt. Wolfe is wearing on the back of his flak jacket. There is a drawing of Alfred E. Neuman (MAD Magazine) and the famous qoute “What, me worry?”. Just great.

Regarding the weapons used in Platoon, most grunts use the standard M16A1 Colt rifle. There are also the M60 (“The Pig”) machine gun and and a 12gauge shotgun, not to forget the M79 (“Blooper” or “Thumper”) grenade launcher. As a side arm the Colt .45 1911 is used. Nothing to complain about that regarding authenticity.
But Lt. Wolfe, SSG Barnes and Sgt Elias are using a shortend M16 with collapsible buttstock. Such carbines were used during the Vietnam war, but were always in short supply and thus seldom used by regular line units. They could be seen with dog handlers, high ranking officers, medics, radio telephone operators or Special Forces, including LRRP long range recon patrols, SEALs and the highly cryptically MACV-SOG.
But the type of carbine they are using in the movie is not correct. It is the M16A1 Carbine with the standard M16A1 flash hider and 14,5 inch barrel, the M653. This weapon was not produced before the early 70s and thus came too late to see service with US troops in Vietnam. In fact the carbine used in the movie is the M653P version which was made under license in the Philippines. (Looking closely you can see the additional markings “MADE ... UNDER LICENSE ... COLT ...” on the right side of the lower receiver when Sgt. Elias changes his magazine – approx. 1:12 running time of the movie). This may have its reason in the fact that the movie was made there in 1986, and the Army of the Philippines was using localy produced M16A1 and M653 rifles.
The carbine used during the Vietnam war was generally called CAR-15 by the troops, but there were actually three (or even more) types. The early 1965 CAR-15 looked like a cut-off M16, with shortend, extractable M16-style plastic stock and shortend, triangular handguards (M607). The later versions featured tubular handguards and a new, retractable buttstock (similar to the current retractable plastic stock, but made of aluminum). There was the XM177E1 M609 with 10 inch barrel and new, long flash hider to supress the great muzzle flash due to the short barrel. The flash hider was located right behind the frontsight, the carbine had the standard A1 handguard retaining ring. The latest version was the XM177E2 M629 with 11,5 inch barrel and new “Delta” handguard retaining ring.

After watching the movie I decided I´d like to have such a M653 Carbine as a modelgun. This is no problem as Marushin produces all you will need with their M655 (Marushin is wrong with this nomenclature as a 14,5 inch short barreled M16A1 with fixed stock is a M651; the M655 was most likely an experimental sniper rifle) and XM177E2 kits. Just make sure it has the retractable XM buttstock, the standard A1 handguard retaining ring, the A1 front sight with bayonet lug and the longer A1 barrel with A1 flash hider. Regarding the markings on the receiver I´d say that the M16A1 markings are more realistic. The colour of the M653P receiver however is dark grey, not black. As it should be SSG Barnes´ rifle, I taped two 20 rd magazines together and put two inert dummy 5,56 mm rounds into the lower one as this looks more realistic as the plug fire carts.

No special or hard to do modification at all, but I like my M653 Carbine.

All parts I needed came from MGCUK. When I started to collect modelguns I could not get spares, carts and caps here in Germany. Further more, I had trouble assembling the Marushin kit. They were always very helpful and friendly despite I didn´t buy the gun there. Great customer service. What I like most about them is that they are true modelgun enthusiasts theirself. They exactly know what they are talking about. R22Master experienced the same, so check his excellent review of the XM177E2 if you want to read about everything regarding the Marushin M16 series.





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Cerwyn
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PostSubject: Re: Colt M653 Carbine... "Barnes' Carbine"   Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:23 pm

Post by Claymore

Great info there MadMike, i must admit i know nothing about the different types of m16 made over the yrs or the history behind it so thanks for the info. great looking model by the way
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PostSubject: Re: Colt M653 Carbine... "Barnes' Carbine"   Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:23 pm

Post by Mark

Lookin' great Mad Mike!

It's great that you know so much about the M16 series. I tend to forget more than I know about them! I haven't seen Platoon for many years so I tend to forget many parts from that movie but, your depiction of Sgt. Barnes M16 looks great and it looks very real at that. I will have to watch that movie again..
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PostSubject: Re: Colt M653 Carbine... "Barnes' Carbine"   Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:25 pm

Post by Spencerman


Ok, it is challenge Mike time. As you seem to be the expert in the field when it comes to M16 variations, I shall bow down to your knowledge here and admit that I need help to identify a gun. Heat was shown on tv the other night, I missed it, but have it on dvd so I decided to watch it anyway, as it is a cracking good film, with possibly THE best shoot out sequence ever filmed in history in it. I always thought that the bad guys (Kilmer and DeNero) used XM177's, however, upon watching the other day, I noticed much to my horror, that I was wrong. I still believe that Val Kilmers bad guy used the XM177 E2, but De Niro's bad guy definately doesn't. It has a different flash surpressor on it. I know that there is always the possibility that it could just be a custom, hell, I have changed flash surpressors in my time on rifles, but what do you think? Also while I am challenge Mike'ing, why is the magazine a different colour on the XM177 (grey)?
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PostSubject: Re: Colt M653 Carbine... "Barnes' Carbine"   Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:26 pm

Hiya Spencerman,

I will no doubt be corrected here but I think the 30rd mags used are made of aluminium rather than steel. I assume the steel 20rd mags are painted to stop rust but the aluminium ones wouldn't need any treating?

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PostSubject: Re: Colt M653 Carbine... "Barnes' Carbine"   Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:26 pm

Post by Madmike

Hiya!

I´ll have to watch the movie again, but if memory serves me right Kilmer is using the Colt M733, short barrel with standard A2 flash hider, fixed carry handle and collapsible stock.
Pacino has the FN FNC assault rifle with folding stock, and one of the bad guys taking the child hostage has a Galil. As mentioned in another thread it is a great shoot out scene.

There are 30 rd mags available from many manufacturers, and their colour vary from light to really dark grey as well as rather shiny light grey. There are also black ones available, but these are not mil spec as far as I know.
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PostSubject: Re: Colt M653 Carbine... "Barnes' Carbine"   Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:27 pm

Post by gavin

i just watched the movie yesterday thats an amazing job you have done where did you get the pistol grip is it a real one if not its an exact replica of an original vietnam grip
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PostSubject: Re: Colt M653 Carbine... "Barnes' Carbine"   Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:28 pm

Post by MadMike

This is still the Marushin A1 grip which is a detailed copy of a real one. But with minor modifications a real grip should fit too.
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