Feature Report: Colt's Military M4

Colt brings M4s to California

BY STEVE COMUS/Cal. Guns & Hunting Guns EditorPublished: Dec 07, 2011

Colt is making big news

colt-colt's military
COLT’S MILITARY spec M4 is not only fun to shoot, but has that “Colt feel” when shot. It comes onto the California scene with several new and exciting AR models.


Colt is making big news by offering five different AR rifle variants on the California market. This is significant, because their AR models offer premium performance at market prices. We’re talking good deals and mega-bang for the buck here.


Actually, Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC is also making news all over Gundom in that following a number of years when most production was for military use in the various war zones, Colt is now refocusing on the commercial market. Welcome back.


Models available in California are:


LE6920CA — This civilian version of the M4 is the bread and butter patrol rifle for law enforcement. It is 100% mil spec (military specification).


LE6940CA — The difference between this model and the LE6920CA is that this model has a monolithic upper receiver.


CR6724CA — This is one of Colt’s accurized rifles. It features a heavy barrel with 1 turn in 8 inches twist and can deliver ¼- to ½-inch groups at 100 yards. It is a fantastic rifle for marksmanship, varmint hunting, etc. where best accuracy possible is desired.


6920CMP-B — This is the same as the patrol rifle, but with Magpul furniture on it. By having Colt bundling the goodies, shooters save money, compared to aftermarket prices.


One thing that sets Colt AR rifles from some of the others is that at Colt, every rifle is test fired 30 rounds at factory.


Although the heavy barrel guns come without sights, the sights that are on the other rifles are all tested for function and sighted-in. This means that each and every rifle has been tested to make sure that it works — all of it, right down to the sights.


“We’ve been making that platform for 50 years-plus, explained Colt’s Douglas Campbell. “All of the tolerances and engineering specs have belonged to Colt all along. Colt owns the engineering drawings. We’ve made millions of them (AR rifles).”


Literally, Colt has been there, from Vietnam to Afghanistan and all of the other places in between.


To have a mil spec item, which the Colt rifles are, they have gone through a process that ties the military contract that is monitored by government inspectors, quality control and testing standards. This makes sure it does what it is supposed to do.


Of the models being offered in California, all of the ones with CR designations are accurized guns that are more of a sporting type or hunting type rifle. The other three share the same components as for Dept. of Defense.


The barrel, chamber, bolt carrier group — all of those on the Colt are very robust and mil spec. All Colt chambers are 5.56mm NATO.


There is a magnetic particle inspection test done on all Colt rifles. After a rifle passes the MP (Magnetic Particle) test, MP is stamped on the bolt and barrel, as is C for Colt and MP on barrel. To pass, every single barrel and bolt goes through an over pressure test of 70,000 psi to make sure it can handle high pressure. Colt then takes rifle barrel and bolt and does a magnetic particle test on them. Barrels on mil spec barrels are chrome lined. Accurized barrels are not chrome lined.


Colt has been pretty much absent from the commercial market for the past 14 years or so, making M4s for the military. But now Colt can share all of the technology, etc. This means that now Colt can deliver within 60 days of when orders come in. And there will be more models in the coming years.


Indeed, Colt is coming back to the commercial market in a big way — and it literally is part of the corporate strategy.


“Out of the box, nothing runs better than a brand new Colt,” Campbell said. “It doesn’t take any break-in, either.”


Okay, how do the California compliant Colt AR rifles work?


I took one LE6920CA (civilian version of the M4) and one CR6724CA (24-inch heavy stainless steel barrel — accurized) to the range for a ride.


Quickly it became apparent that the accurized rifle truly could deliver ¼- to ½-inch groups at 100 yards. In fact, I found myself testing the ammo more than the rifle, because the better the loads, the smaller the groups.


In such situations where extreme accuracy is evident, I sometimes do some shortcuts so I can see what is happening with a wider variety of loads, etc. One of these is to do two-shot double-taps rather than having to discard very many groups because of pilot error. I don’t do this on just okay rifles, but when a rig is really accurate, it can deliver all day long.

With good ammo, I got 100-yard double-taps that measured 0.061, 0.206, 0.126 and 0.126. Then I shot what turned out to be a mediocre three-shot 0.433 group, and then back to a three-shot 0.296 group followed by a 0.221 group.


It became obvious that the determining factor was the pilot’s inconsistencies. Put bluntly, this Colt AR is so accurate that it can be valid for any size target as far as the .223/5.56 is valid. Prairie dogs at several hundred yards would be easy.


The LE6920CA was a much different experience. It came with the fixed front sight and Picatinny rail atop the receiver. I put the standard carry handle/aperture sight on the rail and sighted it in.


At 25 yards, the rifle responded quickly to front and rear sight adjustments, so much so that I adjusted, shot, adjusted, shot, etc. and deliberately did a vertical stitch from bottom to top of the 6-inch bullseye.


At 100 yards, I fired one quick shot, made what I thought would be about the right adjustment to the right and then fired again — right in the bull. Okay, it’s a shooter.

For me, AR rifles are simply addicting. I can’t help shooting and shooting and shooting. And that is where I really began to appreciate what an incredibly superb all-around AR the M4 really is.


It felt right and it shot right. Indeed, Colts have a “feel,” and it feels good. That feel can’t be isolated to one thing or another. It is the entire ensemble, all in tune with itself. Which makes it easier for the operator to be in tune with the rifle. Amazing how that works.


I shy away from using superlatives liberally (come to think of it, I don’t do anything liberally, but that’s another story). Anyway, I don’t hesitate to tell the world that these Colt rifles are really something special.


It is simply amazing that a factory can turn out such performance at competitive prices.


colt-the author shoots

THE AUTHOR shoots the Colt M4 with 24-inch heavy barrel. This rifle proved to be extremely accurate.

colt-tight groups

TIGHT GROUPS come easy with the heavy barrel Colt AR, as shown here with sub-half-inch groups at 100 yards on the Champion colorful target.

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