It’s the time of year that firearms enthusiasts’ collective hearts get a thumping. That is because the SHOT Show is just around the corner.
The Jan. 19-23 convention gathers the better part of the firearms industry together to show off their wares. It is an absolute playground to those who love guns, ammo and accessories. In particular, because much of what is showcased are the new pistols, rifles and shotguns that will line the walls and display cases of gun stores around the country the coming year.
Fans of one of the nation’s oldest gun manufacturers have a reason to keep their eyes peeled on the 2016 SHOT Show, with Colt releasing three new firearms just before the event. The Connecticut manufacturer has expanded its catalog to include two new 1911 pistols and an M4 rifle. Each is purpose built and check a number of boxes for certain shooters.
Colt Competition Pistol
Shooters aiming to add a race-ready pistol to their safe might not have to look any further than the Colt Competition Pistol. Loaded with a number of performance enhancing features, the 1911 has the potential to have competitors banging steel and silhouettes in record times.
One of the more notable aspects of the semi-automatic, available in .45 ACP or 9mm, is Colt’s Dual Spring Recoil System. Originally developed for the M45A1 — the 1911 used by U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command — the system dampens the pistol’s recoil. This aids in the overall accuracy of the Competition Pistol, reducing muzzle flip and keeping it on target.
The pistol’s other features include a 5-inch National Match Barrel, Novak adjustable rear sight and fiber optic front, undercut trigger guard and upswept beavertail grip safety for improved ergonomics and blue Colt logo G10 grips.
The pistol’s price tag also has the potential to get shooters racing for it with its present MSRP $899.
The Lightweight Commander has dotted the pages of Colt’s catalog before and is now back in production. The 4.25-inch barreled semi-automatic is available in .45 ACP and 9mm, and offers a number of refinements that should make it a choice concealed carry option.
Chief among these is the steel-framed pistol’s weight — 29.4 ounces. Relatively speaking, the pistol is at the heavy end of the scale of carry guns, especially compared to polymer options. But, it is more than a manageable heft for a 1911 destined to hang from a belt.
Like the Competition Pistol, the Lightweight Commander is outfitted with Colt’s Dual Spring Recoil System, to aid in accuracy and shootablity. The handgun’s other features include adjustable Novak rear sights, undercut trigger guard, upswept beavertail grip safety and black cherry Colt Logo G10 Grips.
Presently the company has placed the pistol's MSRP at $949.
The Expanse M4
Penny pinchers will be pleased to learn Colt has expanded its offering of economical AR-15 style rifles with the Expanse M4. With an MSRP of $699, it’s a good bet this rifle will be difficult for retailers to keep in stock.
The company has released precious few specs on this 5.56X45 NATO/.223 Rem. rifle, so it’s difficult to say exactly how — aside from price — it differs from other M4s. But the rifle has some obvious features, easily discernible from a quick perusal, such as: railed flattop reciver, GI-Style flash hider and adjustable buttstock.
The Expanse M4 has a16-inch barrel with a 1:7-inch twist rate, which should allow it to digest a heavier bullet selection. One aspect of the rifle, which could be a point of contention with some is its lack of a chrome lining in the barrel.
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