Which Bond Villain’s M16A1 Is This?

We give you, an H&R M16A1.


This rifle was:

A. Property of Auric Goldfinger
B. Property of Francisco Scaramanga
C. Property of Uday and/or Qusay Hussein
D. Property of George Soros
E. Just some dude’s retro build, with a twist.
F. Shiny! (Gratuitous reference).

If you guessed any of those, you probably had a plausible reason, but the correct answer is E above. Here’s the Bond-Villain’s-Eye view:


We found this in the treasure trove that is the ARFCOM Retro Forum. The builder of this exotically-finished M16A1 clone, whose user name is “redbaby,” had this to say (lightly edited for spelling and punctuation):

I saw some historic retro that was actually gold plated so I decided to try this out. My favorite was the H and R so thats how I went. I really had fun building this one from an 80 percent receiver. It doesn’t hide well but it’s fun to have. 24 K gold plate. Hope you enjoy the photos.



I did the plate myself as its hard to get locals to do it because of the FFL issue. Nickel plate is needed, then gold. If you have a fine control power source its not super expensive to do. If you have to buy the rectifier it gets cost prohibitive. I learned a ton doing this. It puts a lot of smiles on faces when they hold it. It’s been worth it.


The only one I have seen is H and R . Was through a glass case at a gun show It was a transferable M16A1 and way out of my ability to own. Mine, alas, is mere semi auto, new manufacture look-alike. I plated all parts except the hammer and disconnector. Everything else is plated. I am thinking I will nickel plate another maybe a 1911. I had way too much fun to stop now.


He isn’t the only forum member to bling out an AR. Another, HKILLER, replied:

I like it. Im working on a GM CHROME one.

The thread is brief, but interesting. The Retro Forum is a great place for fans of early ARs to hang out. And it’s the global armory of international megalomaniacs of mystery.

11 thoughts on “Which Bond Villain’s M16A1 Is This?

  1. James

    Hey folks to all active and retired folks,Happy Veterans Day!

    This guy did a nice job it seems on the plating,definitely a one off project but seems to be well done and unique to say the least!

  2. Tim, '80s Mech Guy

    My first issue A1 was an H&R, still remember the serial number. Got a plan, on a way back burner, to get a replica of that one made up. No plans to gild it though, leaning toward that “thrown down the driveway ” look.

    Happy Veterans Day!

      1. Tim, '80s Mech Guy

        I placed very high in the “Pushing Down Georgia” stats for the third quarter of ’85 thank you.

  3. looserounds.com

    I saw that over there the other day. He did a good job.

    You know colt has done stuff like this before., They have plated them in all kinds of stuff. In the 80s there was even an A2 semi auto, in a kind of tiger stripe looking camo pattern

    Colt even had some different finishes as early as the Sp1s

    1. Hognose Post author

      I’ve featured a plated colt that’s in the Springfield armory collection before. It was a production milestone (I’m in an airport on the phone).

  4. Quill_&_Blade

    In this case, the plating is probably much more durable, but if someone had a piece that was display only, I could tell you the process for 23K gold leaf.

  5. James B.

    I generally dislike gold plated guns.. but I must admit this is really attractive..
    It seems American rifles retain their dignity much better in gold than do Russian ones…

    1. Paul Rain

      Saw a picture of a nickelplated FAL once.. looked alright.

      Suspect that the Sturmgewehrs might look even worse than AK’s in a high-visibility finish. Corrugations are not exactly something one should want to show off.

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