20-Inch AR-15

The rifle that preceded the M16 in combat in Vietnam was the Colt/Armalite-produced 601/601. Issued with a green Bakelite stocks, the 601 featured a hard-chromed bolt carrier group and prong-type flash suppressor. It lacked the forward assist that was added two generations later to the M16A1 series, and the case deflector that appeared on the M16A2. The case deflector has definite merit, which cannot be said of the forward assist. Left-handed law enforcement M16s need the addition of an add-on to protect the shooters’ faces from cartridge case burns.

Survival Guns: Advantages of the 20-Inch AR-15

Full-length 20-inch ARs with the original pencil-thin barrel profile are rather hard to find these days, but I’m here to tell you, this is the gun I would keep if I could keep only one for civil survival.