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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just started reading this month's American Rifleman magazine.

On page 46, Mark A. Keefe, IV has a column debunking the 'rumor' of Mattel making the M-16 saying that people swear they saw 'Mattel' on M-16s when they first came out but they were wrong.

Well, I'm here to tell you when I was issued an M-16 for the first time in July of 1969, the pistol grip said 'Mattel'!

I was making the comment to my buddies that these must be some sort of training rifle because they couldn't be real. After carrying a M-14 around Parris Island, the light weight M-16 seemed like a toy to me and I was convinced when I saw the "Mattel" name.

Obviously, the M-16 I was issued turned out to be real and I'm here to tell Mr. Keefe that "Mattel" was indeed written on it.


I think I remember reading somewhere that Mattel didn't make the rifle but they did make the pistol grips.

Does anyone else remember seeing Mattel?



Quote from article:

"Although some swear that they have seen Mattel written or stamped on the rifle they carried in Vietnam, Mattel never manufactured any parts for the M16-series rifle."

This statement is simply false - 'Mattel' was stamped on the rifle's grip.
 

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I think I remember reading somewhere that Mattel didn't make the rifle but they did make the pistol grips.

Does anyone else remember seeing Mattel?
Sorry I wasn't born until 1974 but I do recll mention that Mattel made the Pistol grips for the M16 and that some were in fact marked Mattel. It was a big joke to a lot of our guys like your self and the fact that early year M16s were pleagued with problems didn't help either.

Anyhow, I'm glad you made it out ok.
 

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Take me out to the black
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I'd be interested to see an actual mattel logo on any real M16 part...

So far I've never seen any proof of that other than "my buddies buddy knew a guy who said his third cousin swears his M16 had a Mattel logo on it" ...
 

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I had an HR made M-16 when I did my time in the 80's. It was a POS. The Sgt kept calling it Mattel crap. I believe the plastic covering the barrel was marked on the inside? I want to say it was Mattel but I honestly do not remember.
 

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Mine had Mattel on it. I remember it seeing distinctly, as one of the defining moments moments in my life. (I'm from the government and i am here to help you)

I had trained on the 14 and had this weapon with "Experimental" stamped as a prefix on the lower assembly handed to me.

I was a PL, and I spent the next two weeks trying to find a "real gun". Wound up trading beer for a Savage pump shotgun.
 

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SquiddusMaximus (Retired)
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I remember looking through some of my Uncles (ret. 1st Sgt, USMC) old cruise books from 'Nam and sure enough there was a picture of a Marine in the field looking at his M-16 and the caption said "Mine says made by Mattel" beneath the pic. Funny, I thought it was a joke pic.
 

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The Jed.
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I have never served, and am not old enough to have served back then, but it would make sense, during wartime re-tool a factory already set up to extrude and mold plastic parts and one that has been doing it for quite some time, have them make plastic parts foregrip, stock, pistol grip, anything plastic.
 

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I understood that since WW2 ALL factories of a certain size/capability had to be able to convert to wartime production upon demand, so makes sense...

I wonder if the gear people used in the Korean War said "Made right around the corner"
 

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11B20 - Status Inactive
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They probably made the pistol grips in turn for the licensing of being able to make the Marauder.

Remember that at the time plastics were relatively "newish" and Mattel was the leader in plastics ;)
 

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Take me out to the black
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They probably made the pistol grips in turn for the licensing of being able to make the Marauder.

Remember that at the time plastics were relatively "newish" and Mattel was the leader in plastics ;)
The only logical explanation I can think of.

Colt made the recievers, the one with the mattel lower is a fake. :thumb:
 

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Watchin tha world go by
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never saw it, but remember tha rumors when ah was issued one -- great I'm going inta combat w a rifle made by tha company that makes Barbies.

There were also rumors that tha M-551 Sheridan had a turret made by alcoa aluminum
(protected by reynolds wrap?) and a firing system made by singer sewing machine company.
 
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