Brownells continues to expand its lineup of classic AR-15 rifles in 2019, bringing its new BRN-605 Carbine into the collection. This new model is based on an experimental variant of the early M16s, the Colt 605A, which was designed to put a lighter, more-compact rifle into the hands of U.S. troops. Though the Colt 605A never saw military service, the innovative design led to later carbine variants of the AR-15 and M16, including the CAR-15, XM177 and the still-issued M4, making it an important part of U.S. military history.
“The Model 605 is a unique firearm that Retro enthusiasts have always been interested in due to its rarity and unique barrel configuration,” said Paul Levy, Brownells director of product management. “We’re excited the BRN-605 is the first commercially-available variant. It’s a pleasure to shoot, with its full-length gas system and light weight.“
Built on the same upper-and-lower receiver set as the XBRN16E1, the BRN-605 retains some similarities to this prior reproduction, retaining the full-length, Type D stock, carry-handle upper, triangular handguard and an A1 front-sight gas block. Consumers will immediately notice the stunted look of the BRN-605, though, as the barrel measures 4.5 inches shorter than the full-length rifle, coming in at 15.5 inches. The rifle-length gas system is retained, though, so the barrel ends just forward of the gas block. To avoid NFA regulation, a period-correct, three-prong flash hider is pinned and welded into place, bringing the overall barrel length above the 16-inch minimum length required.
Early variants of the Colt 605A suffered reliability issues related to the shorter dwell time caused by the cut-down barrel. Brownells addressed this issue on the modern BRN-605 by drilling a larger gas port for more-reliable operation. To gain the best-possible performance out of the carbine, the company recommends running 55-grain M193 ammunition. The 5.56 NATO-chambered barrel features a 1:12-inch rate of twist to optimize accuracy with modern-day 55-grain ammunition, and a 9310 carbon-steel bolt-carrier group is chrome-plated to provide enhanced lubricity and corrosion resistance.
Each Brownells BRN-605 measures 34 inches long, weighs 7.5 pounds, unloaded, and comes with an all-black finish. The guns are made in the USA and ship with a single 20-round magazine. The suggested retail price on the carbine is $1,299.99.