We’re no stranger to clone rifles (or the retro firearms trend in general) here at Bad Moon Armory. That’s prob’ly because we, too, dig that old-school guns and gear too – and not just the C7, XM177 upper, GAU-type, slick-side stuff either. We also have an unnatural fetish for stinky canvas TA50 web gear and fond memories of Tour of Duty*.

Don’t judge us.

Clone rifles are often built to functionally mimic this XM177 Colt Commando with attached XM148 grenade launcher.
Clone rifles are often built to functionally mimic this XM177 Colt Commando with an attached XM148 grenade launcher.

Clone Rifles and Retro Builds

Some of what we have here for your clone-building, nostalgic pleasure includes:

Colt 733 Options

XM177 Handguards

GAU 5 Upper Options

XM177 Upper(s)

M16A1 Upper(s)

And much more.

Click those links to find the retrorifle parts you’re looking for. OR, ruck up and go find everything you could possibly need for any clone build:

Retro uppers, retro lowers, old-school M16 parts, and more.

Parts to build clone rifles: recreating an XM177
This jovial fellow appears to have done some customizing. That would be an interesting clone rifle to build.

What is a Clone Rifle?

A clone rifle is a type of functional retro firearm. It’s a copy of a particular weapon, often from movies (Blackhawk Down, Blood Diamond), and frequently using original parts (when available). As Breach-Bang-Clear puts it, “… it means creating a copy of a very particular service weapon that is also period correct. It’s a niche community within the gun community; some are much more serious and committed to getting every single detail completely ‘clone correct’.

Here’s how Brownells describes the process of building out clone rifles:

“Cloning” a rifle is building a copy that looks like a particular original, typically a historic military rifle, though there’s no reason why you can’t clone hunting rifles. The clone uses replica or even original parts (if they’re still available), but it MUST be in compliance with all applicable laws and legal for the builder/cloner to own. Most cloners want an authentic-looking copy they can take to the range and enjoy shooting. Some cloners are very strict and insist that if the clone is built in any form not identical to the way the original left the factory, it’s not a genuine clone. This authenticity strictness seems more common with clones of older rifles like the M16A1, than with modern rifles that are commonly modified by individual users.

 

* The first season, anyway.

Parts to build clone rifles: confirming zero on a GAU or XM177 variant during Desert Storm.
Parts to build clone rifles: confirming zero on a GAU or XM177 variant during Desert Storm.