What can you tell me about this Colt AR15 I'm buying?

A guy I know is in a tight spot, and I've tentatively agreed to buy his Colt AR15 to help him out. It's a fair enough deal that it doesn't really matter what it is as long as it is in fact a Colt AR15, but now I'm curious! I don't know much about it or these older Colt's. The owner bought this new in either 1973 or 1977, he says it has a few hundred rounds through it at most. One thing I found concerning in the photos is the mismatched photos on the upper and lower. Did they come like this from the factory? How do I know it is in fact a Colt upper? Any other info would be appreciated :)

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Well I am no expert, but I don't think that upper is 73 or 77. It has A2 sights and a M4 barrel notch. That is not what I think of for a Commando carbine

Like I said though I am not a good source, I know just enough to get in trouble
Ah good catch! Looks like it might be a Colt A2 Carbine, also known as a "727"?

Show me some 727's - Page 1 - AR15.COM
 
The upper configuration dose look too new.

The barrel markings should tell you if it's a colt barrel.
And newer Colt uppers have a Key forge marked upper. And are stamped C.
Where are the markings located? If there's a C on the barrel does that mean it's certainly a Colt barrel?

View attachment 348233

This is what I think of as a late 70's carbine
Yeah that looks much older than this.
 
Hmm, looking at the third photo it doesn't look like there's anything above the forward assist.
 
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Open it up and see if it is.....
Is there enough room for a drop in auto sear setup. This will at least proof out the lower.
 
They were for an A1. The A2 carbines had the shorter handguards. I agree that upper does not appear to be right for the age and the finishes are definitely different. The older Colts I've seen match up pretty well.
 
And it might be the photos but that birdcage looks out of place somehow. The finish doesn't match and it looks longer than a mil-spec cage. Am I wrong here?
 
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Looks a little mysterious.
As mentioned, I think I see an A2 upper receiver (integral handguard)
This would usually be issued with a rifle barrel, so no M4 cuts
The barrel however, looks like a "civvy M4" (16" w/M203 cut-out)

If you have M4 ramps on the barrel extension and no M4 cuts (to match) on the upper receiver, that would be odd.
A "civvy M4" barrel is usually found on an A4 flat top receiver. Like the LE69xx series.

Also looks like a Hogue grip.

Is the receiver extension milspec ? (rolled threads, not cut threads)

Colt has produced a bunch of different models and it takes an expert to decipher the code sometimes.
Far from an expert, but it doesn't look to be the advertised vintage and may even be a Franken built on a Colt lower.

AR15.com has a bunch of info in their Retro sub-forum.
(pics with casting marks, proof marks etc)
 
The owner has obviously done work to it as the hogue grip did NOT come on it. I wouldn't be surprised if that was a different upper. The M4 cuts was a good observation and back in 73-74 Colt wasn't sending them out that way.
 

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