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View Full Version : What's the big deal about Colt ARs?


shopkeep
03-13-2006, 11:26 AM
Could someone please enlighten me as to why Colt ARs are considered to be the "Ultimate" AR rifle? Many Colts won't take standard uppers and require Colt uppers as well as other specialized parts. There's also nothing I've seen that shows that they're superior in terms of performance to other rifles.

I've always thought that Armalite, Bushmaster, and the other big names are cool because not only are they well made/accurate but they can also take ANY upper or other milspec part.

Maybe there's something I'm missing here, please enlighten me.

DrjonesUSA
03-13-2006, 11:35 AM
Nope, you aren't missing anything. You are, however, saving a LOT of money if you don't buy Colt, though.

Some people just *have* to have that name and pretty little dancing pony, even if it means paying hundreds of dollars more for a product that is no different than the competition.

Colt sure does make fine quality stuff, no doubt, but the fact of the matter is that there is no objective justification for their premium prices.

I do have a Colt 1911 that I love and will probably get another, but I can't get a Colt lower in CA and won't waste my money on a Colt upper when I can get the exact same product from RRA, Bushmaster, etc. for hundreds less.

Mike Searson
03-13-2006, 11:41 AM
Some people just like the brand.

Colt Firearms has a real history tied to American history. From Sam Colt's blackpowder revolvers, through the Peacemaker, the 1911, and the M16.

They were also the only name on the M16A1's and A2's (aside from some Air Force Types with older Armalites in inventory) until Bushmaster was awarded a contract in the mid 1990's and then I believe FN.

That's a good 20-30 year span of Veterans wanting the civilian version of the rifle they were issued.

I, personally prefer other brands: RRA, Bushmaster, Armalite, etc. I sold my last Colt in the mid 90's and have owned just about every other flavor since.

Most Colt lowers require a large front pivot or some other adapter to use small pivot uppers...aside from this the only other gripe I have is the block they put in to prevent installation of an auto sear. The irony is it's much easier for someone to convert an off list lower to full auto than one of the rifles specifically banned by name, etc.

I don't know what other specialized parts you're talking about.

xenophobe
03-13-2006, 11:45 AM
Colt is the quality standard every milspec A1/A2 or M4 clone has to stand up against. They're the top dog. Sure there are companies that produce higher quality.... like JP, Wilson, KAC, etc... But none of the companies have the manufacturing capability and openended contracts with the US Government except for maybe FN, and with good reason.

The subject has been beaten to death beyond belief at arfcom. If you really want to know do some reading over there.

The most accurate AR I ever owned was a Colt AR-15A2 Match HBAR. IT shot 1/2 to 3/4 MOA consistently. It's the one AW that I seriously regret ever selling, and I've owned quite a bunch in my time.

DrjonesUSA
03-13-2006, 11:54 AM
Agreed about Colt's history.

That said, they seem to have a so-so record over the past few decades regarding civilian sales.

I haven't read too much about the issue but see it mentioned often.

Obviously that is a big negative about them.

bwiese
03-13-2006, 11:56 AM
I have a variety of uppers (mostly Bushy, along with 'generic' uppers with a Bushy barrel on them) and Colt uppers.

Invariably, the Colt uppers' action is more smooth & easygoing during charging (and when the bolt locks up again). Some of this may just relate to how the bolt fits in the barrel extension, and how smooth/precise the cutout for the bolt cam is in the bolt.

I've found my Colt chromed barrels to be very accurate, and producing a tad tighter groups than my Bushies (which ain't bad).

The unlined Colt barrels are phenomenal. I have a Match Target Comp HBarII upper conversion that deserves some match ammo, but it does awfully good with just plain M193!

If/when I build or change some more AR uppers, they'll definitely be getting Colt barrels (the 6920 M4 SOCOM bbl) and Colt bolt/carrier assy's. (Except for upcoming 6.8 build, of course.)

Fit & finish on Colt ARs seems overall pretty good though some other brands exceed (Armalite). I'm sure each brand has a few 'bad pickles' but overall Colt QC seems to be up there.

You don't see Colts w/overtorqued barrels and canted front sights. Nor do you see purple finish ;) I never hear of any gross accuracy complaints nor cycling issues. (Though many/most AR faults are usu due to poor lubrication crap ammo, and/or crap magazines.)

I didn't like it when Colt started using plastic triggerguards and plastic flex-hinge trap doors on their A2 stocks in the late 1990s for their postban Match Target rifles - but these are easy & cheap things to swap out. I also don't like the fact that civvy-commercial Colt lowers use oddball hammer/trigger pin sizes, but I can tolerate that. I also don't enjoy that their 1991 & up lowers generally don't have a detent pin for the front pivot pin, but again I solved that with a special KAC pivot pin. However, my Colt lowers and all the Colt uppers I have use the standard front pivot pin diameter so I don't need any "conversion pins" (some folks do).

shopkeep
03-13-2006, 12:03 PM
Fit & finish on Colt ARs seems overall pretty good though some other brands exceed (Armalite).

No kidding Bill, I love the finish on my STAG/Armalite build. Armalite builds a nice upper... I sure wish they built a flat-top with A2 front sight though :(!

6172crew
03-13-2006, 12:21 PM
CMT, LMT and a company with a name that starts w/ a D makes parts for Colt/FN.

Dismastics or somesh*t I cant remember.:rolleyes:

adamsreeftank
03-13-2006, 2:59 PM
I have heard that Colt has higher standards and requirements for parts than other manufacturers. This may be an urgan legend, but it came from a reliable source.

PIRATE14
03-13-2006, 3:26 PM
I have heard that Colt has higher standards and requirements for parts than other manufacturers. This may be an urgan legend, but it came from a reliable source.

This is not an urban legend there are a buch of things QC and others as proof loaded, metals checked for cracks, M4 rifle extensions.......etc

This stuff is fought over endlessly on ARFCOM......differences bwtn manufactures.

If u want something close to the real deal...get COLT, LMT, FN, or some specific items made by CMT/STAG.......

It's up to you.....most of these things ur average shooter will never use but it's your dollars.....get what u want or actually need.

Most of my rifles are COLT....not because they are the best but because they due hold their value.......

artherd
03-13-2006, 4:09 PM
Colt is the quality standard every milspec A1/A2 or M4 clone has to stand up against. They're the top dog. Sure there are companies that produce higher quality.... like JP, Wilson, KAC, etc... But none of the companies have the manufacturing capability and openended contracts with the US Government except for maybe FN, and with good reason.

I belive CMT OEMS for Colt. CMT also has an in-house brand, Stag Arms :D

The most accurate AR I ever owned was a Colt AR-15A2 Match HBAR. IT shot 1/2 to 3/4 MOA consistently. It's the one AW that I seriously regret ever selling, and I've owned quite a bunch in my time.
That's the upper talking, as I understand they do make quality uppers.