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Early HK416 uppers, AF date code (?) questions....

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So from what I [think] I remember, the first HK416 upper receivers that made it into private hands were imported as loose uppers only and not complete rifles, is that correct?
That was right around the time the barrel ban was enforced so it changed pretty quick, IIRC.
Is there any way to distinguish between those early factory loose uppers and uppers that came off an assembled rifle?
I'm looking at my uppers, and the AF date code has the serial number on the bottom edge of the receiver, so that you can't see it when installed on the lower. I've only ever seen this on AF code, is that correct?
The AF code upper also 88-101XXX while the AG code one is 88-003XXX, so the later date code has a lower number???

I'm contemplating a big upper and barrel swap around for some projects and need to satisfy my OCD that the right stuff is going together.