A “new old” rifle from Springfield Armory: the SA-16A2

The AR-15 family is not just one of the most popular rifle series, but also one of the most long lived too, spanning with its different iterations several decades since its introduction in the late 1950s-early 1960s. It's no wonder then that along the most modern up-do-date versions, a lively market for so-called “retro rifles” mimicking older models' features and look, developed with many manufacturers offering both complete guns and parts. 

Springfield Armory SA-16A2: all the details and features of the original  M16A2 are replicated, starting from the fixed carry handle, the thick barrel, up to the round ribbed handguard.

First came the “retro” versions of the M16s and M16A1 service rifles as used during the Vietnam War and up to the 1980s, including the various “Commando” and “Carbine” shorter derivatives. Now Springfield Armory is coming up with the later M16A2 version – that is, the service rifle adopted by the U.S. the Department of Defense in the early 1980s.

Video introduction: Springfield Armory SA-16A2

Springfield Armory SA-16A2, a “nostalgia gun”

The “Government Property” markings, as well as a non-functional “burst” selector marking are also replicated on the Springfield Armory SA-16A2.

The SA-16A2 from Springfield Armory is a quite faithful recreation of the M16A2 service rifle and, as such, includes a lot of “old style” details, starting with the classic fixed carry-handle. The original M16A2 was intended as an improvement over the M16 and M16A1: among the enhanced features – all of which are carefully replicated on Springfield Armory's SA-16A2  – a thicker barrel (to reduce overheating during sustained fire) 20”/508 mm long and with a faster 1:7 (178 mm) twist rate, case deflector, fixed, A2-style front sight tower pinned and designed to work with the adjustable A2-pattern rear sight assembly, new-pattern pistol grip with middle finger notch and grip-enhancing texturing, round ribbed handguard, and A2-pattern flash hider with a closed bottom design with no slots at the 6 o’clock position to avoid kicking up dirt or snow when firing from the prone position.

Just like the original service rifle, the fixed buttstock of the Springfield Armory SA-16A2 provides a trapdoor storage compartment in the buttplate.

The SA-16A2 also features an M16-pattern bolt carrier group, with a Carpenter 158 steel bolt and staked gas key for enhanced strength and performance. The phosphate exterior and hard chrome lined interior provide protection for a lifetime of service.

Other typical military details include the integral bayonet lug located at the base of the front sight assembly and the dual sling swivels located on the buttstock assembly and forend. Stock is fixed, of course, with a trapdoor storage compartment in the buttplate. “Government Property” markings, as well as a non-functional “burst” selector marking – Inspired by the three-shot burst modification of the M16A2 rifle – are also there. As for the chambering – do we really need to say it? – it's in 5.56x45mm NATO (.223 REM).

Priced in the U.S. at $1,249 (MSRP), the “new old” Springfield Armory SA-16A2  comes with a 30-round magazine featuring an aluminum body and plastic follower, a heavy-duty rifle bag with padded foam shell and adjustable interior Velcro straps, and a muzzle protector.

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