K-Var Armory offers several variations on the Colt AR-15 rifle. While I have my favorites, any of the Colts will give long service in the harshest environments. It is like the old question, Do you know the difference between an elephant and an ant? An ant can ride an elephant. Many companies have done the AR-15, and some have done it well, but the Colt is still the one that all others are judged by. In fact, in my humble opinion, the Colt kicks most competitors in the teeth!
The same may be said in spades concerning the Colt 1911. The pistol has been first with the most since 1911. While there are high-grade handguns that are good examples of the maker’s art, those that cost less than the Colt are, well, cheaper guns.
My sons and I have had a number of discussions concerning Colts and quality. We seem to be living in or at the end times of high-quality precision steel (and aluminum) construction. Polymer frames and investment casings are all the rage. And they are effective for many uses.
You cannot halt progress. All we can do is take a hard look at the Colt and show the world how good our kids ain’t gonna have it.
I elected to go for a field test of these bellowing monsters. You have to get down and dirty sometimes. I appreciate my firearms, but they are workers. I also love my shiny near-new Jeep, but I took it across the Jeep Beach at the Outer Banks. That is what it is made for.
I have to fire these firearms—feel the loud-thumping, pupil-dilating blast—and perhaps we thump our chest a bit after a long haul with such a firearm. The 1911, as an example, is a great handgun. Perhaps some feel it is too heavy. I find the weight reassuring.
Some don’t like the .45; they say it kicks too much. I like the occasional +P load. After all, if you don’t get real, it is all just a video game.
The Colt LE6940 was good enough to cause me to retire my long-serving Colt HBAR. The carbine is about as accurate in practical terms as the longer rifle and carries much easier. I like it better. With a flat top, a CNC-machined 7075-T6 aluminum forging, and Colt quality, this is a winning combination.
A chrome-lined bore, four-position collapsible stock, and the classic flash-hider are all hallmarks of the Colt carbine. The Colt uses .0154-inch hammer and trigger pins, so be certain to specify this Colt when ordering an aftermarket trigger or parts. The chamber is 5.56mm NATO, and the barrel twist is one in seven inches. (1:7) This makes for excellent accuracy with bullet weights of 55 to 77 grains.
The barrel is .750 inch in diameter at the meeting of the gas block, slightly less the rest of its length. The trigger and safety are crisp in operation. One example is fitted with the XS Sights’ rear aperture that allows using the conventional sight picture at longer range while using the sight notch at 7 yards. The Paul Howe-designed CSAT makes for great utility for home defense use. The other sports a Redfield Battlezone optic.
In order to provide a basis for comparison and to re-evaluate the rifles, I engaged in a 100-round firing test with each. While this seems redundant, with the one rifle having fired over 10,000 cartridges and the other 3,000, well, you do not have to ask me to shoot twice!
I fired 80 rounds in each rifle, firing from 25 to 100 yards as quickly as I could regain the sight picture. The iron-sighted rifle was by no means hopeless at the longer range but very fast at close-combat range.
The scoped rifle is a joy to fire and use at longer range. Both rifles, using the PMAG magazine, were completely reliable. The rifles have been fired extensively, but this was the first outing with SIG Elite ammunition. The combination proved a happy one. I used the SIG 55-grain FMJ loading with good results. There were no function problems of any type.
The next step was firing for accuracy. I used the SIG Sauer Elite Match .223 Remington Open Tip Match (OTM) 77-grain E223M1-20 loading. This load has proven accurate in a number of rifles, and I thought now was a good time to qualify its performance in the Colt rifle.
I fired 20 cartridges in the open-sighted Colt first. While I am not quite as sharp as I was once with iron sights, I did well enough at a long 100 yards, placing three shots into groups of 1.7 to 3 inches. I suppose that is good enough for government work.
The other Colt, with its optical sight, made things much easier. This time I realized the full accuracy potential of the loading. At 100 yards, the Colt/SIG ammo combination posted an average group of .88 inch, measuring the group from the center of each of the most widely spaced holes in the target. That is good enough to ride with.
No rifles were cleaned during this test, and there were no malfunctions.
|Manufacturer||Colt Defense LLC|
|Caliber||5.56×45 mm NATO (.223 Rem.)|
|Action Type||Gas-operated semiautomatic centerfire rifle|
|Receiver||Upper and lower, forged 7075-T6 aluminum|
|Barrel||16.1 in., chrome-moly, button rifled, chrome lined|
|Rifling||Six-groove, 1:7-in. right-hand twist|
|Magazine||20- or 30-round box|
|Sights||Height-adjustable flip-up front post; rear sight adjustable for windage and elevation, with 0.069-in. flip-up aperture|
|Trigger||Single-stage; 7-lb., 4-oz. pull|
|Stock||Collapsible polymer: length of pull, 10 to 13.25 in.; drop at heel, .5 in.; drop at comb, .5 in.|
|Overall Length||35.25 in. (buttstock extended), 32 in. (buttstock folded)|
Colts have always been strong, but do they top your list of favored AR-15s? Share your top picks in the comment section.
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