Left Coast Hope from Colt to California

Left Coast Hope from Colt to California

Colt Magpul

Months of debate. Thousands of dollars in fundraising expended in lobbying. Direct mail. Phone calls. E-mails. Faxes. Petitions.

Heartache and heartbreak. Nastygrams.



It was 1999, and lefties ensconced in the California legislature were out to push our buttons. They were on a roll, too, with a brand-spankin' new gun ban. In the end, gun owners lost that battle, but today Colt has come back swinging — thanks to a nifty little button. And five new ARs.

Hope for California.

California Carbines

Recently, Colt announced the development and release of five AR-style rifles with California-compliant bullet buttons. What's a bullet button, you ask? It's a way to beat the inane, bureaucratic bumbling of Left Coast legislators with a little engineering ingenuity. Back to the drawing board, Sen. Perata.

Back in 1999, five years after passage of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, California gun-banners felt so inspired they rammed SB-23 into law, which outlawed additional configurations on guns. Because it was a state law, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expiration in 2004 didn't provide much relief for Californians living under that state's more stringent “Baby Assault Weapons” law.

Close-up of the "Cali-Button" as found on the new California-Compliant Colt ARs.
Close-up of the "Cali-Button" as found on the new California-Compliant Colt ARs.

The state-level gun ban swept up firearms with “detachable magazines.” But the commonly-accepted definition of a detachable magazine is one that can be removed without any tools. So a company called Prince Industries put out a device called the Bullet Button, which allowed you to detach the mag using a tool. Like the tip of a bullet on your cartridges, sort of tool.

A little awkward, and not as fast, but it works.

Colt's LE6920CA, three of Colt's Magpul-accessorized 6920s (the LE6920CMP-B, LE6920CMP-FDE and the LE6920CMP-O) and the LE6940CA will all be made available in California for 2012. There are no plans for cocktail parties celebrating this fact at the state capital.

With its lightweight design and potent firepower capability, the Colt 6920 Law Enforcement carbine is a popular choice for tactical deployment and traditional patrol. Weighing 6.95 pounds and measuring 35.5 inches with the stock extended, the 6920 is effectively mobile. The LE6920CA has a 16-inch barrel with a safe-semi rate of fire and an effective range distance of 600 meters.

The difference on this one: It has the button.

The Colt LE6940CA is another popular option for tactical operators. This M4 rifle weighs slightly less than the 6920 and offers a one-piece monolithic rail that extends from the rear of the upper receiver to the front sight. Other features of the LE6940CA include the A2 pistol grip, DCH rear sight, Colt flash suppressor and a nine-round magazine.

And the button.

Colt's LE6920CMP-B, LE6920CMP-FDE and LE6920CMP-O are the bullet button versions of Colt's newest rifle offering, the LE6920MP. Complimenting the black 6920 Colt M4 carbine are some of Magpul's most popular firearm accessories in either black, flat dark earth or olive drab. Magpul parts that come standard on these rifles include the MOE Vertical Grip (MVG), MOE Hand Guard, Generation 2 Rear Back-Up Sight (MBUS), MOE-K Hand Grip, MOE Trigger Guard, MOE Carbine Stock.

And … the button (available in black only).

One little button. One big step for Californians. And so much heartburn for gun-hating politicians. That's a return-on-investment that's hard to beat.

Until gun owners in that sorry state manage to reverse a 12-year-long injustice through political channels, there are California Carbines to be had by all, including five new Colts. And there is hope on the Left Coast.

Now it's our turn to push buttons.

To learn more, visit colt.com.

Recommended AR-15 Resources:

New! The Gun Digest Book of the AR-15 Vol. III

New! The Gun Digest Buyer's Guide to Tactical Rifles

The Gun Digest Book of the AR-15 Vol. I

The Gun Digest Book of the AR-15 Vol. II

Gunsmithing the AR-15, How to Maintain, Repair & Accessorize

Find more gun books, DVDs and downloads at gundigeststore.com.

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Corey Graff is the managing editor of the <i><a href="https://www.gundigeststore.com/product/2023-standard-catalog-of-firearms-33rd-edition-the-illustrated-collectors-price-and-reference-guide/">Standard Catalog of Firearms</a></i> and <i><a href="https://www.gundigeststore.com/product/gun-digest-2023-77th-edition/">Gun Digest</a></i> annual book. In addition, he is the author of <i>What's In Your Bug-Out Bag?</i> and <i>The Comprehensive Guide to Concealed Carry Holsters.</i> His personal interest in firearms includes handguns for hunting and self-defense as well as bolt-action rifles for western hunting.


  1. CA semi-auto firearms are subject to 3 separate laws:
    CA PC 12276 (Roberti-Roos Act) – Category I, where it defines illegal makes and models.

    CA PC 12276(e) – Category II, the AK / AR series list. This was permanently limited in the CA Supreme Court Harrott decision and CA AB2728 and is available as CCR 11 § 5499.

    CA PC 12276.1 (SB23 Evil Features Act) –
    (1) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
    (A) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
    (B) A thumbhole stock.
    (C) A folding or telescoping stock.
    (D) A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
    (E) A flash suppressor.
    (F) A forward pistol grip.
    (2) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
    (3) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.

    While the bullet button may be touted as ‘California-compliant,’ that compliance is entirely at the discretion of the FFL, who may or may not permit the transfer of the item.

    I agree with previous commenters, a total and utter boycott of CA is the only feasible means of destroying lib-tard policy.

  2. As a residence of the Peoples Republik of Kalifornia I feel all firearm manufactures should cease selling their product to and in this lead ( no longer Golden! ) state, especially to the various city and state law enforcement agencies. Also, why is it OK for law enforcement allowed to buy and carry firearms that do not pass the so-called safe gun test, if it is not safe for the ” ordinary ” citizen to own, why is it safe for law enforcement to own and carry for daily use??? If all the manufactures got together and denied sales to anyone in Kalifornia then just maybe they will come to their sinces???(probably not though.
    BTW I am moving out of this stinking state soon to a free state!!!!!

  3. If you want to make a difference in Commiefornia you need to make the state feel it. The NSSF needs to push for all gun dealers and distributors to refuse to sell firearms of any type to any police agency, police officer, security guard or body guard in the state of commiefornia. When they can’t buy new guns they might think twice about enacting or enforcing their communist laws.


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