Brownells 75th Anniversary - A Shooting Heritage

First Mass Issued AR-15

The Brownells XBRN16E1® Rifle replicates the design of the first AR-15 to be issued in mass numbers to US Army on the ground in Vietnam.

The XM16E1 was adopted by the US Army in 1963 and was issued to troops in 1965. It was the first rifle to feature the now prominent forward assist, and had other features that would lead to the M16A1. The XM16E1 was the first model also with the classic black triangle handguard, and prominently featured a 3 prong flash hider at the muzzle. This was also the last US issued AR-15 type rifle to include some variants with chrome bolt carrier groups.

Photograph of US Soldiers Crouching in Position

Model: XBRN16E1® Overview

The new Brownells XBRN16E1® is built from completely new production components, no surplus parts. The rifle also features a 3 prong duckbill flash hider and slick side chrome bolt carrier group.

  • XM16E1 Style Lower Receiver with partial “magazine fence”
  • XM16E1 Upper Receiver
  • Finished in Gray Cerakote
  • 20” 5.56x45mm NATO Barrel with 1-12 twist & chrome bore
  • Chrome, Bolt Carrier Group with forward assist serrations
  • 3 Prong Flash Hider
  • Black buttstock, pistol grip & handguard assembly
  • Includes:
    • One (1) 20rd Magazine
    • One (1) GI Operations Manual
    • One (1) Chamber Flag

Mirror an original XM16E1 with the Brownells XBRN16E1® today.

Rifle Details:

Action Type:

Direct Impingement

Barrel Length:


Twist Rate:



5.56 mm NATO


Gray Cerakote

Front Sight:




Magazine Included:

20rd Magazine


3 Prong Flash Hider

Rear Sight:


Stock Material:



6lbs 11oz

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Model: XBRN16E1® Details

Lower Receiver: Original XM16E1 profile (partial fence), Nodak Spud 7075-T6 aluminum forging, machined by Aero Precision and finished in gray Cerakote

Upper Receiver: Original style profile with forward assist, no shell deflector, gray Cerakote, Nodak Spud 7075-T6 aluminum forging, machined by Brownells

Note: First model with forward assist

Barrel: 20” M16 Lightweight Profile, Chrome Lined Bore & Chamber, 1-12 twist, button rifled, 4150 chrome moly steel, stress relieved, 5.56x45mm NATO chamber, ½-28 muzzle threads, magnetic particle inspected, test fired with 10 rounds of LC ammunition, with standard height front sight base installed

Handguard: Brownells M16A1 Black Triangle with aluminum heatshields

Bolt Carrier Group: M16 Chrome Assembly with forward assist serrations, 9310 tool steel bolt, magnetic particle inspected & test fired with 10 rounds of LC ammunition, 8620 steel carrier, gas key screws properly torqued & staked

Charging Handle: Includes model correct modern charging handle

Flash Hider: Original Style 3 Prong Flash Hider installed with proper split washer

Sights: M16A1 Rear Sight Assembly & A1 Front Sight Post

Pistol Grip: Brownells M16A1 Black

Buttstock: Brownells M16A1 Black Type “D” with sling swivel

Magazine: Brownells 1x 20 Round aluminum Magazine

Manual: Safety Manual + “The M16A1 Rifle: Operation & Preventative Maintenance” Army Manual - The U.S. Army teamed up with cartoonist and graphic artist Will Eisner to produce teaching tools for U.S. soldiers in a medium that they could easily understand. The M16A1 Rifle: Operation and Preventive Maintenance, first printed in 1969, features a female narrator who instructs GIs on the proper care of their M16A1 rifles.

Model: XBRN16E1® Aditional Images

brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Forward Right brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Backward Left brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Ejection Side brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Back Side brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 3 Prong Flash Hider brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Buttstock Type D brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Buttstock brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Ejection Side Detail brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Pistol Grip Detail brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Upper Reciever With Forward Assist brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Modern Charging Handle brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Back Side brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Takedown Pin brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Partial Fence Lower brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Handguard brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Handguard Heatshield brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Barrel Nut Detail brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Magazine Release Detail brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Retro Flat Slip Ring brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Rear Sight Detail brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Front Sight Detail

Click Image Above To Open Expanded View

brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Forward Right Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Backward Left Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Ejection Side Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Back Side Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 3 Prong Flash Hider Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Buttstock Type D Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Buttstock Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Ejection Side Detail Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Pistol Grip Detail Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Upper Reciever With Forward Assist Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Modern Charging Handle Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Back Side Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Takedown Pin Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Partial Fence Lower Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Handguard Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Handguard Heatshield Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Barrel Nut Detail Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Magazine Release Detail Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Retro Flat Slip Ring Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Rear Sight Detail Thumbnail
brownells-retro-rifle-line/xbrn16e1 Front Sight Detail Thumbnail
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