I've been working on this project on and off for the last 6 months or so, and finally did the final push this weekend to get in finished. It came out great - very happy with the results, and it shot a pretty damn good group for iron sights it's first time out.
Every single part is original colt except for the lower receiver - and the only reason being is colt never made a period correct late 603 A1 receiver style for civilians. I built this from a parts kit I purchased from MGS for $500.00 (Real big thanks to Steve at MGS for all his help on this one, I can't state that enough). I couldn't be happier with the build, and the Nodak A1 lower matches my upper perfectly, I've never seen a finish match as close as this on any of my AR's. I believe it will be one of my favorite rifles. I had been wanting to do a completely nostalgic build with none of the tacticool bullshit - straight Vietnam period correct build all the way. Shooting through iron sights I get a satisfaction you don't experience when looking through scopes or holographic sights.
Oh, and last time I checked MGS still has a couple M16A1 parts kits left.
Guess I'm not the only one to like the old school ones. In theory, this is in my cards/budget for next year. I have no real interest in the A3/M4 style for my personal gun. I can't sit in my bathroom and do proper DNC with it.
I maybe hitting you and propellerhead up next year or so on this if yall don't mind.