Today’s Colt ARs

Today’s Colt ARs
Colt LE6920MP.
Colt LE6920MP.

A look at the latest Colt ARs from an iconic American gun maker.

The Colt AR-15A4.
The Colt AR-15A4.

Today civilian-ready Colt AR-15s come in three types, offering rifles for personal defense, hunting and competition. During a factory tour a few years ago at Colt’s facility in Hartford, Conn., the shop floor contained cutting-edge robotic machinery with fast moving arms that spewed metal chips from aluminum forgings, all creating the monolithic upper receiver for the new 901 series.

The latest AR-15 variants are the M.A.R.C. 901 (Modular AR Carbine) family derived from the LE901-16S, which was initially developed to exceed the original SCAR requirements of a multi-caliber, single serial number modular rifle system back in 2012.

The M.A.R.C. 901 rifles are chambered in .308 Win./7.62x51mm NATO with free-floating barrels and one-piece monolithic upper receivers for exceptional accuracy.

Colt AR6951.
Colt AR6951.

The lowers feature ambidextrous operating controls and bolt carriers that enable the upper receiver group to be easily swapped out for any Colt Mil-Spec upper receiver chambered in .223 Rem./5.56x45mm NATO without the use of tools, and all in less than a minute. Colt M.A.R.C. 901 rifles come in 16- or 18-inch barrels as well as a variety of furniture and finishes.

The LE6940 series rifles are similar to the LE901-16S, featuring Colt’s proprietary one-piece monolithic upper receivers that free float the barrels for enhanced accuracy. All LE6940 series rifles showcase long, continuous Mil-Spec rails that run the length of the uppers. For each, a Magpul MBUIS Rear Gen 2 sight is used with Colt’s folding front sight.

The standard LE6940 and LE6940AE-3G uses the typical direct gas impingement system and is equipped with an extended rail system and ambidextrous magazine release, bolt catch and fire selector. The LE6940P features an articulating piston system that allows the bolt carrier to remain cool.

The monolithic design makes the upper more rigid and slightly heavier than military style carbines. LE6920 variants are similar to M4s, but with 16.1-inch chrome lined barrels and a 1:7 inch twist rate, coming standard with an A2-style front sight, folding rear sight and adjustable stock. The LE6920AE is similar, but with ambidextrous controls. A Troy rail and Magpul MOE furniture are featured on the LE6920MP-R carbine. The LE6920SOCOM has a heavy barrel, Troy rail and ambidextrous controls.

Colt LE901-16S.
Colt LE901-16S.

The LE9620MP-B is decked out in Magpul basic black. Flat Dark Earth Magpul furniture is outfitted on the LE6920MP-FDE, while the LE6920MP-OD uses Magpul’s OD (olive drab) green finish. All feature 16.1-inch barrels with the M4 contours. The AR6720 carbine features a light barrel with a 1:7 inch twist, while the AR6721 has a heavy contour barrel and a twist rate of 1:9 inches, which helps stabilize lighter 55- to 62-grain bullets.

The traditional looking AR15A4 series features longer 20-inch barrels with a 1:7 twist rate with A2-style features like the buttstock, round and grooved handguard, carry handle and front sight. The AR6951 is chambered in 9mm and takes a high-capacity 32-round stick magazine.

For long-range shooting, the standard CR6720 features a heavy stainless steel 20-inch barrel with 1:9 twist rate and a Colt scope mount with a free float handguard. For even more accuracy and muzzle velocity, the CR6724 uses a 24-inch heavy-duty stainless steel barrel at a 1:9 twist rate.
After 53 years of building combat ARs, the Colt bloodline runs deep.

The company is not content to simply be the originator, but rather an innovator in AR weapons, which is evidenced in the many tactical rifle offerings available from Colt today.

This story also appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of Modern Shooter Magazine.


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  1. Colt makes AR’s. They’ve been making AR’s for years and wil continue to do so because they work. There have been a long line of improvements along the way. Some have come form inside, but many have come from it’s fan base. If they were really that bad, why are so many companies making new ones? Kinda lke the 1911’s. If they are so bad, why are HK, SIG and other “pistol” companies finally getting around to it.

  2. I have used AR 15 guns in competition including the high grade Colt weapons which in my opinion are still the best of the breed. I have not found any of the gas impingement weapons reliable enough for combat and only marginally so in competition if they are babied with constant cleaning and drowning in high grade lubricants like LSA fluid or Break Free. The original .223 caliber also leaves a lot to be desired in combat although the long 75 grain bullets can be used with very fast twist barrels in competition or defense.

    When the chips are down I would take an M14 rifle any day over even the newer piston driven AR15’s which are a reverse engineered weapon and we all know about the problems weapons exhibit when ever they are reversed engineered from their original chambering’s such as the original Sig P220 re-chambered from the 9×19 to the .45acp or the Star Model B re-engineered from 9mm Largo to 9×19 or the .30 Mauser re-chambered to 9×19 just to name a few.

    And of course the AR-15’s old nemesis the AK-47 is superior to the AR in its original .223 chambering both in lethality and in reliability.

    The AR’s are for people caught up in the “herd mentality” which is understandable as most people today who sit behind computers all day long are about as mechanically inclined as a 3rd world hammer and chisel mechanic. Why else would the AR and the Glock be so popular when there are other weapons either more reliable or much safer to handle as in the Glock?

    • So cute when you come around acting like you know something about firearms. Keep it up, I look forward to laughing at your ignorance.

      • @bhp0- the AR is a reliable wpn. Reason I know this, I was in the Canadian army (combat arm’s)for 16yrs. I went through about 5 different wpns though out my career. We called the AR’s: C-7 & C-8 (C-8 was the sub) They were gas operated. Rarely jammed. As long as you keep your wpn clean, it will take care of you. And “NO” you don’t have to drown the AR in lube.

        Your talking about the M-14? That wpn was a piece of junk. With a capitol “J”. You had a better chance of hitting someone by throwing it at them.

        And why are you wasting your time writing about other wpns? This article is about AR’s. You also don’t know anything about AR’s. They have a twist barrel. And do you know why they are calibrated at .223? (NATO .556mm) Think about this, you have a high power wpn, (ex; 7.62mm) what does it do to your enemy? It goes right thru him. Dead? Maybe. A .223mm starts tumbling around 300yrds. So what does that tell you? More damage a pond impact. Plus its a cheaper round. Yes I would take a 7.62mm over a .223 any day. But if it comes down to the more popular round, I would take the .223.

        Now, that being said, if you don’t know anything about a certain wpn, then keep your mouth shut.

        Forgot to mention, I was also a wpn tech. (tested, repaired, built wpns from scratch)


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