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Cool Stuff: Brownell’s retro tribute to the M16

At the 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Roy Hill, Brownell’s Public Relations specialist understood when I told him his company’s newly announced “Retro” models would bring tears to the eyes of American Samoa’s Vietnam Era veterans.  [Photo: Barry Markowitz]

The new Brownell’s modern replica of the first famous M16, that featured no chrome barrel, no forward assist, and no cleaning kit, is very special.  

Fortunately the Brownell’s version works superbly as a civilian semi automatic AR (available to civilians in most US States) with the OD Green “furniture” and look of the M16 select fire.

Due to foolish US Government frugality, the compromised Eugene Stoner genius design resulted in lots of “failure to feed” ammunition, and failure to fire. Sadly lots of our young soldiers lost their lives to a few dollars saved.

Roy Hill shared with Cool Stuff US Army Veteran family member emotional moments in his recent experience launching this tribute.

American Samoa US Vets will have good and bad original M16 remembrances.

Prominent actor, TV Military Show host, R. Lee Ermy, told Cool Stuff, “I refused that original M16 and kept my old school M14.  I upset a lot of folks, but if I had foolishly kept the M16 and tossed my M14 I wouldn’t be here talking to you guys today.”

This working Brownell’s replica is a wonderful recognition of our Vietnam Vets that suffered in country, on return to America, with medical issues, and the American public’s lack of recognition of the Vets PTSD suffering.

We cannot deny the important historic symbolism, good and bad, of the M16.  We must never forget the significant heroism and brave contribution by American Samoa’s and ethnic US Stateside Samoan, Vietnam Veterans.