Preban AR15 information is very valuable to shooters in states that maintain an ASSAULT WEAPON BAN. While I dont normally advocate borrowing content from other websites I feel this information is invaluable and needs to be protected, duplicated and shared for the greater good of the shooting community.
If anyone has more information and links please post them at the bottom and I will update the list. If you have a lower of from one of the lesser known brands and have managed to verify the date to the serial number please add your info to the comments and I will add it to the master list.
What does my serial number mean?
Q: What does my serial number mean?
A: Nothing is more frustrating than to know little or nothing about the firearm you own or are about to buy. Use the information in this page to help determine when your Olympic Arms firearm was produced. Please read all of the details on this page because there are many questions answered in the following paragraphs.
As many of you already know, on the 7th of June, 2000, Olympic Arms experienced a devastating fire that destroyed our sales offices. In those offices were housed our current as well as archival records with regards to manufacture, acquisition and distribution of firearms. The books that we, as well as all federally licensed firearms dealers are required to keep are commonly known as “Bound Books”, or “A&D” (acquisition & distribution) books.
These books, over 25 years of Olympic Arms history and data, were completely destroyed in that fire. All A& D book records prior to the 7th of June, 2000 are GONE. Period. This is an unfortunate situation that severely limits our ability to provide product information for any and all AR-15 lower receivers and/or complete guns manufactured prior to that date. As a result all that we can provide is what you see below, a date “range” in which your serial number was manufactured.
We CANNOT provide you with the date the serial number was shipped, we CANNOT provide you with information determining whether a particular serial number was a factory assembled firearm, and most importantly, we CANNOT determine whether or not your particular serial number is a legal grandfathered pre-ban firearm.
Many people and organizations have been critical of Olympic Arms for not securing a copy of these records elsewhere, or keeping an electronic file of this data as an emergency back up. If you’d like to read why this decision was made, please read the article in the About Us section titled “Pre-fire Bound Books”. Remember that Olympic Arms fully complied, and still does, with ATF regulations regarding A&D books.
Below you will see a list of serial numbers. At Olympic, we group our serial numbered lowers into “ranges”. If you’ll notice, all the serial number ranges have a letter prefix but one. The initial receivers made by Olympic Arms simply contain a 4 digit serial number, no letter prefix. Each subsequent serial number range (either beginning with 0001, or 1001) will show a 1 or 2 letter prefix.
Additionally, you will see several lines for serial numbers that begin with the same letter(s) prefix. These prefix series are divided by a date range to their right. These date ranges are the beginning and ending dates of the physical paper ledgers in which those numbers were recorded. In other words, the ledger books were not large enough to contain all of the numbers (0001-9999), in one book. For that reason, there is a beginning date and end date for each ledger. That is what you see below.
Match your receiver up with the letter prefixes on the chart below. Each line is separated into 5 columns.
Column 1: The serial number itself (including prefix).
Column 2: The beginning serial number in that book.
Column 3: The beginning date for that book. If there is only one date listed after the serial numbers in column 2 and/or 2, all of those numbers were manufactured on that same day.
Column 4: End date for that book.
Column 5: Comments regarding that range of serial numbers. The comments as listed would apply to all of the serial numbers with the prefix listed to the left.
|SN Range||1st Date||End Date||Special Notes|
|1000||8845||03/14/79||06/04/82||Cut from aluminum bar stock. Most were made for other manufacturers such as Palmetto Armory.|
|V0001||V0716||12/02/1986||10/01/1987||These receivers were manufactured
for Bushmaster. While all of these
are for BM, there were more.
|NAMV1||NAMV100||03/20/1985||08/28/1986||These were limited edition Vietnam War Commemoratives.|
|USMC1||USMC320||01/21/1986||04/05/1993||Limited Edition US Marine Corp Commemoratives|
|TBOR1791||TBOR1991||1991||1991||These receivers are made from Beryllium copper.|
|CIA0001||CIA3402||10/28/1996||07/14/1997||These receivers were made under contract with Century International Arms. These are NOT Olympic Arms firearms, are post ban and not supported by Olympic Arms.|
|SGW0001||SGW1045||02/15/2000||04/10/2001||All SGW receivers are CAST receivers, and sold stripped, or as “Plinker” Rifles only.|
|MX1001||CURRENT||These receivers are match-grade quality Maxhard® treated Aluminum forged receivers.|
|BT0001||BT1853||05/24/2002||01/20/2003||Series named after long time employee Bill Thrall. Thanks for your service Bill!|
|M0001||M0198||02/20/200203||04/01/2002||Series Stopped because of CNC change.|
|LP0001||LP0577||05/02/2001||02/19/2004||OA-98 Pistols only|
|SM0001||SM9999||01/30/2003||10/2005||Series names after Oly CNC programmer Steve Melby. Thanks for your service Steve!|
|TB0001||TB9999||10/2005||4/2007||Series named after long time employee Tim Butterfield. Thanks for your service Tim!|
|JF0001||JF9999||6/2008||9/2009||Series named after long time employee John Fischer. Thanks for your service John!|
|WZ0001||WZ5686||2/2009||Current||Series named after long time employee Walt Dziadyk. Thanks for your service Walt!|
|CH0001||CH6575||9/2009||Current||Series named after long time employee Chris Holeman. Thanks for your service Chris!|
The folks over at AR15.com have compiled the list below
Disclaimer: This list is correct to the best of my knowledge, however, I accept absolutely no responsibility for the accuracy of this information or for the consequences and/or damages occurring from any inaccuracies. I have compiled this list for the purposes of sharing information only. This is not intended to be used in any way except for personal entertainment. It is a compilation of both personal information and information submitted from others from the Internet. ALL SERIAL NUMBERS SHOULD BE VERIFIED FROM THE MANUFACTURER PRIOR TO ANY PURCHASE OR ASSEMBLY. It should be noted that it is a felony to possess a Post-Ban (newly assembled after Sept 13, 1994) assault weapon.
If any information presented here is found to be incorrect or you have additional information to contribute, please contact me via E-Mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will update and re-issue the list.
Note: All items marked with a single asterisk (*) are taken from http://home1.gte.net/bblakley/ban/index.htm. The year/serial numbers under Colt SP series was forwarded to me by an individual whose return address I no longer have. Double asterisk (**) under Bushmaster, a person on the internet e-mailed me that he had a lower that was shipped stripped (thus not a complete rifle) in 1991 from Bushmaster with serial #0327XX – ALWAYS CALL TO VERIFY.
No information – Apparently machined from bar stock aluminum, lowers are marked as M-15.
American Spirit Arms (Formerly “Sun Valley Traders”)
ALL lowers are Post-Ban. Began introduction of lowers and rifles in mid/late 1998. Noted as having good fit & finish. Also, reported to be manufactured by Lewis Machine & Tool.
Slightly over S/N 30,000 was the Pre-Ban cut-off, call to verify.* (Some Eagle lowers below the 30,000 range were determined to be POST ban by BATF – call to verify) Armalite sells Eagle lowers, but sells factory complete rifles with Armalite lowers.
Made stainless steel lowers, rumored to have also made AR-15 pistols. Lower marked M16-SA. This is NOT verifiable info as it came from the Internet. Out of Business.
Below L051000 – Assembled Pre-Ban Rifles and some pre-94 lowers.**
L051001-L063000 – Mixed Pre-Ban Assembled Rifles and Pre-Sept 94 Lowers (Call to verify)
L063001 and Up – Post-Ban
Lower marked CIA. All are Post-Ban. Made with Olympic Arms Receivers under contract.
CC001616 and Below – Pre-Ban
CH019500 and Below – Pre-Ban
GC018500 and Below – Pre-Ban
LH011326 and Below – Pre-Ban
MH086020 and Below – Pre-Ban
NL004800 and Below – Pre-Ban
SL027246 and Below – Pre-Ban
SP360200 and Below – Pre-Ban
ST038100 and Below – Pre-Ban
TA10100 and Below – Pre-Ban
BD000134 and Below – Pre-Ban (AR-15A3 Tactical Carbine – very rare model)
MT00001 and Above – Post-Ban
BK000001and Above – Post Ban (CAR-A3)
CST000001 and Above – Post-Ban (Began Late 1997 Production)
CMH000001 and Above – Post Ban
CCH010000 and Above – Post Ban MT6700, MT6700C and MT6700CH series, 1998 production
Dalphon (360) 427-6867
All are POST ban. Cast 356-T6 Aluminum, hardcoat anodized per mil-spec A-8625
Below 10300 – Pre-Ban.
Some or all lowers are cast. Black in color. Some lowers are Stainless Steel.
Eagle Arms 309-944-6939
Now called ArmaLite. They will not give out a list, but will look up on an individual basis. Lower receiver serial numbers DO NOT begin with EA.
All are Pre-Ban as they went out of business in 1993. (DPMS bought them prior to the Ban) Call DPMS Lower receiver serial numbers begin with EA. Some or all lowers are cast. Light gray coloring. It is rumored that Ruger investment casted the lowers for Essential Arms.
All are pre-ban. As rumor has it, Olympic Arms produced the lowers for Frankford Arsenal Call Olympic Arms and then Frankford assembled the weapon. A2 configuration lower. Frankford Arsenal went out of business in 1987. (Info from RudolphoS@aol.com)
All AR-15’s are post ban. Manufacturing began late 1997/early 1998.
J.L.M & Sons* (603) 425-1860
SC001 thru SC250 are Pre-Ban. All others are post ban.
Knights Armament Co.
All AR-15’s are post ban, very few AR-10’s are pre-ban. No further info at this time.
Military Manufacturing (M2) (FAX 702-263-7875)
All were military/law enforcement only. Full auto lowers were standard, semi were optional. Lowers were machined form raw bar stock with improvements incorporated – 18deg magazine angle and square mag release. (See: http://www.m2corp.com/HOME.htm)
See “Sendra” below.
Olympic Arms 360-459-7940
4-numbers only – very very old. Probably machined from bar stock.
1-letter and 4# – older receiver, but forgings. (Some are newer, POST ban castings – call to verify.)
2-letters & 4# – most receivers follow this pattern.
2#, 2 letters, 4# – the first two #’s are year of manufacture of the lower.
2 letters, 6# (separated 2 & 4 – e.g. SA 96 0000) – first 2 #’s are year of manufacture.
“ICR” marked lowers are an European customer’s overrun, has an unused additional hole – all ICR lowers are post ban.
Olympic Arms Manufacturer’s Notes:
1. There were some odd variations and some custom serial numbers mixed in thru the years also. And, some receivers manufactured after the ban have the year stamp after the model name, not in the serial #. And if you don’t see a year stamp on the receiver, it is not necessarily pre-ban.
2. Serial numbers that end in “D” were duplicates and one was changed using this letter.
3. Recently some serial numbers have left with one or two letters followed by FIVE numbers. The last numbers are either 5’s or 0’s. 99.9% of these are post-ban.
4. “Older” does not always mean pre-ban as per Corey Sattler.
5. “BL” serial number series lowers are transitional with some pre and some post ban. If you have a “BL” you’ll have to call to verify for certain.
All are post ban (including all of the pistols).
PWA (360) 438-3983
35222 and Below – Pre-Ban (Note:Some lowers are cast not forged. Out of business) Post-ban have a year prefix in the serial number. Rumored to have only sold lowers.
Rocky Mountain Arms
Producer of AR-15 type pistols.
Post-ban receivers have a circle milled into the side of the magwell. They were originally bead-blasted to a non-glare finish. All others are pre-ban. (This is unverified info…) Also, they used to be NESARD. Rumored to have been owned by Dick Drasen (currently M&A Parts) and produced lowers only out of Barrington, Illinois. No complete guns were sold (again, unverified info).
Colt Carbine R6521 – Is a rare Colt of which only a few hundred were made for export purposes. They are not marked Sporter, AR-15 or SP1. These are the only Colt AR15 type weapons allowed to be transferred among Connecticut citizens