With the recent spike in interest in historic AR platforms, we’re seeing a number of manufactures show some love to the military ancestors of the world’s most versatile sporting rifle. LUTH-AR makes a number of parts and uppers that will appeal to the retro AR builder, including the A1 Rifle parts lineup.

LUTH Knows ARs

LUTH-AR is a precision manufacturing shop that earned just praise for its ergonomic, lightweight, minimalist and versatile rifle and carbine MBA (Modular Buttstock Assembly) product line. Randy Luth founded DPMS/Panther Arms in 1986, running the company until it sold in 2007. As such, Luth knows a few things about making AR parts.

LUTH-AR’s retro line includes an integral carry handle, forward assist, upper receivers for both the M16A1E1/C7 and the classic M16A2. The transitional M16A1E1 was the immediate predecessor of the M16A2.

The upper receiver of the former was simply an M16A1 upper with the now familiar case deflector bump. (Rock Island Arsenal developed the “Brunton Bump” to protect left-handed shooters from hot ejecting brass.) It retained the M16’s original two-position flip rear sight. This is also style of upper used by Colt and Diemaco on the early Canadian military C7 rifle and C8 carbine. The receiver was tested by the U.S. armed forces in the 1970s before the M16A2-style upper, with its versatile windage and elevation adjustable rear sight, was standardized in 1984.

The M16A2’s more precise sights and heavy barrel made it the rifleman’s M16. As such, the M16A2 served through the end of the Cold War and into the War On Terror. The M4 Carbine finally superseded the long run of the M16A2 as the American military’s primary weapon. The C7-style upper was also used on the Colt Model 753 carbine and 733 Commando. Both were predecessors of the M4 carbine, used by elite American military units into the early 1990s.

Both the C7 and M16A2 uppers feature 7075-T6 aluminum forgings, hard coat anodized black. Each uppers lacks cuts for M4 feed ramps, keeping with their authentic form. Uppers retail for $139 stripped or $169 assembled.

LUTH-AR M16 A1 Rifle Parts:

• Rear sight components: $22.99
• Complete, round A1 front sight post: $4.49
• Triangular handguard caps for the pencil and heavy barrels: $3.69-$4.29
• Triangular front handguard sets: $49.95
• Straight A1 delta ring: $14.95
• “T” charging handle: $19.95
• Early Colt Model 601 triangular grip charging handle: $25.99
• Tear drop forward assist: $14.75
• M16E1 style 3 prong flash hider: $11.95

American made, LUTH-AR parts meet and exceed the original military quality control standards. The retro AR builder who intends to use an improved aftermarket trigger will find the LUTH-AR Lower Receiver Parts Kit–AR15 Builder ($36.99) a practical purchase. This kit doesn’t have the pistol grip, grip screw, trigger, hammer or disconnector. That means you aren’t paying for parts don’t need for your retro build.

The main merit of the vintage triangular M16 handguards, probably their only merit, was that the swell on the bottom made the fore-end easier to hang onto in full-auto fire. To capture that feature for the builder who doesn’t want to go full-retro, LUTH-AR created its Palm Handguards. This free-float, extruded, hard coat black anodized, 6061-T6 aluminum handguard includes its own barrel nut. It comes as a sleek, solid fore-end or tactical-style with M1913 rail on the crest, key-mod cuts on the top faces, and lightening cutouts on the sides. It is available in 7”, 9” 13.5” and 15” lengths from $59.95 to $89.95.

For a closer look at LUTH-AR parts, visit

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