View Full Version : Colt AR15 Question

October 3, 2012, 09:33 PM
I'm considering getting a new AR15, specifically a COLT SP6920.

Is the SP6920 mil spec? I heard from some that Colt AR15's aren't mil spec. And are they high quality? Like, is it's reliability good, is it made of good materials and such?

If it's not mil spec, does Colt make any that are? Is Colt a good brand?

October 3, 2012, 09:59 PM
Colt is a good brand. Buy with confidence. A 6920 will serve you well.

October 3, 2012, 10:26 PM
They are great rifles. A lot of the parts are Mil-Spec. They are as Mil-Spec as any most other Tier 1 AR's on the market. No AR without a tax stamp is 100% Mil-Spec. The receivers, fire controls, etc, are just a little different (mainly the lower milled differently etc) than what the military uses.

October 4, 2012, 07:22 AM
The reason I ask if it's mil spec is because I've heard a couple of times that Colt doesn't sell "mil spec" ar's to civilians. That it has a "commercial spec" buffer tube and such. Is this true? Or will it be interchangeable with all the mil spec parts and stocks?

October 4, 2012, 07:57 AM
It is not true. With the exception of the barrel being 16'' vs 14.5'' and the FCG it's the same rifle.

October 4, 2012, 08:59 AM
Well and the actual lower receiver being milled to accept the different FCG.

But to answer your question, they have a mil-spec buffer tube. The parts that are not mil spec have to be that way under BATF regulations. They can not be easily and readily convertible. ALL of the parts that can be mil spec, are. It is as much mil spec as any other on the market.

October 4, 2012, 09:21 AM
I think the differences have all been mentioned.

The barrel will be longer. The receiver won't have the gizmo that catches and then releases the hammer in burst mode (so it doesn't just follow the bolt as it goes forward). It won't have the cams and whatever to fire three shots and stop. It won't have the third position for the selector switch to activate all the gizmos, cams and whatever to fire three round bursts.

The parts it does have will more than likely be made out of the same stuff to the same degree of accuracy as the military version.

One thing you might check is the rifling. The military rifles are one turn in 7 inches. Many manufacturers use one turn in 9. The combination of the longer barrel and 1:9 rifling means a higher muzzle velocity for any given ammunition. So don't count on using the military 25 m zeroing approach.

October 4, 2012, 10:16 AM
Exactly what Woody55 said. They are great rifles, if you get one, enjoy it.

October 4, 2012, 10:26 AM
You should not have any regrets with Colt.

p loader
October 4, 2012, 10:33 AM
This was posted in another section on the forum but will address your concerns.


To quote the article

Now according to this compilation of MilSpec with the Sloyer's data comparing commercial M4s component-by-component, Colt's 6920 is the only commercial AR-style rifle that hits all of the key indicators for military standards. What does this mean? Nothing really, only that the military's main supplier of MilSpec rifles is following all of the military standards for their
civilian rifles.

I like the fact that my 6920 says "M4" on the lower. It also says 1/7 on the barrel.

Not really saying it is better in any way than my S&W, but it is nice to own a Colt.

October 4, 2012, 12:43 PM
To the OP, read this. It describes the answer to your question. The only thing that has changed since it was written, is that Remington now has a contract also with Colt and FN to produce the AR's to the military. They are as good as any mass produced rifle. You can buy a rifle that has more time in fit and finish with closer tolerances, but they are more expensive.


Mr. James
October 4, 2012, 01:27 PM
As p loader suggests, the 6920 has 1:7 rifling.

When I was shopping for an AR, I had to familiarize myself with the various features, and which the cognoscenti considered good or not-so-good. The Colt rifles fared very well in that comparison.

I finally purchased a Colt, my single regret being that I bought it at close to peak price a few years back. The price was a steal at the time (from our very own WildAlaska), but since then some of the madness has abated, and prices have receded accordingly.

As an additional resource, you may want to go to ar15.com and click on the button for "AR15" to reach their forums. They have some very helpful information.

October 4, 2012, 09:28 PM
Colt says that since they re-introduced the AR-15 with all the "evil" features like collapsing stocks and threaded barrels, they decided that since there was really no difference between the Law Enforcement AR-15 and a civilian AR-15 of the same configuration, they would just sell the same rifles to both markets.

According to Colt Firearms, Colt Industries, maker of military and Police M16 and AR-15 rifles just "pass the rifles over the wall" to Colt Firearms seller of commercial guns.
In other words, all the M16 and AR-15 rifles made by Colt Defense are made to US Government standards, and a commercial buyer is getting the same semi-auto rifle a local police department gets, and it's made to US government specs.

Further, no matter where you buy a Colt rifle, it's the same rifle.
If you buy it as a police department, as an individual police officer on a department purchase, at a local gun shop, or at a Walmart store, you get the same mil-spec AR-15.

Crow Hunter
October 5, 2012, 07:33 AM
You need to define exactly what you want to do with it 1st.

If it is going to be used as a defensive or "duty" rifle, Colt 6920 is a very good choice (pretty much the minimum in my opinion).

If you are wanting something to use on a range from a bench trying put rounds into the same hole with a large magnification optic, you should get something different.

If you are wanting something to do Service Rifle competitions, you need something else yet again.

If you are wanting to use it as a walking coyote hunting rifle, you would probably be more satisfied with a different rifle still.

If you are wanting a rifle for medium game hunting, a different caliber would be much more suitable.

So define you use first, and get the rifle that has the features you need rather than getting a rifle that is not what you need and trying to adapt it.

This is, however, one of the great benefits of the AR family of rifles, they are highly adaptable.

October 5, 2012, 12:48 PM
I heard from some that Colt AR15's aren't mil spec. And are they high quality?
Until a few years ago, Colt ARs were quite a bit different than "Mil-Spec". They used hammer and trigger pins that were larger than the Mil-Spec (.154"). These are referred to as, "Large Pin Colts." They were top quality, but you had to buy specific trigger parts.

At one time, Colt put an uber-ugly sear block in their lower to prevent folks from installing a drop in auto sear (DIAS).

Bolt carriers had the lower-rear cut off completely, so that only the upper half would contact the buffer (no tripping of auto sears or Lightning Links).

At one time, Colt also used a hinge pin whose center was different than Mil-Spec, requiring the use of offset pins to use a standard upper on that lower.

None of these things were required by law or regulation. Colt was doing it for their own reasons. During this same time, Colt wouldn't sell the cool guns (CAR-15/Lite/etc) to the general public and this began well before the 1994 Assault Weapons ban.

Having said that, these were well-made, but you did have to keep the differences in mind when you bought parts. Somewhat irritating.

Since about 2009, Colt has had a change of heart and has switched to the Mil-Spec pin diameters for all guns, auto bolt carriers, cool configurations, etc. The quality is still top-notch, but they're selling their whole line to the general public.

A newer 6920 should be as mil-spec as it gets.

October 5, 2012, 03:38 PM
You cannot have (without a tax stamp) a lower that is mil-spec due to the milling that will allow it to accept a fully auto or tri burst FCG. It takes an extra hole in the lower. The 14.5" barrel was never mentioned by me because you can legally own one without a tax stamp as long as it is pinned or welded. Hence why I say it is not Mil-spec, it cannot accept the FCG without modification. They are made from the same materials. They are made with the same process accept the FCG(milling). This is by BATF regulations. Under their provisions it cannot accept the burst or fully auto group without modification. That was my only point. It isn't like the only difference is a DIAS, or a lightning link. But the materials are the same.

October 5, 2012, 09:53 PM
That's not really 100% correct...many "companys" have both high and low shelf lowers. No tax stamp needed for a low shelf, you just can't put ANY components of a burst or AUTO FCG in it.

that colt would be a decent choice... better could be had for the same (or a little more) money. But the colt wont do you wrong. Just don't buy one of the Wal Mart ones.

October 5, 2012, 11:44 PM
... Just don't buy one of the Wal Mart ones.

Why is that? Colt should be Colt. I believe it is a standard 6920, the one I inspected at my local Walmart sure looked the same.

October 6, 2012, 09:52 AM
Just don't buy one of the Wal Mart ones.

Maybe because it's Walmart? I would pay extra to support a local shop, a national chain that supports the sport, or even an online dealer that supports the sport before I'd buy Walmart.

About the only thing I regularly buy there is WWB 45acp 100 packs and orange Gatorade in the big tubs. Hard to find those locally sometimes.


p loader
October 6, 2012, 10:46 AM
I would pay extra to support a local shop, a national chain that supports the sport, or even an online dealer that supports the sport before I'd buy Walmart.

Agreed, but when does the "pay more to support local" argument become moot?

I bought my 6920 online and with the FFL transfer fee was still under $1100 total. I saw the same gun at a local gunshop for $1399, figure with tax you are looking at almost $1500.

No thanks.

October 6, 2012, 03:07 PM
Can tell you for sure what the exact difference is myself, but from all of the people I've talked to that bought one from Com-mart, say they are an cheapo version of the same rifle...the ones I've handled from wally world seem to have worse (for colt) finish quality and the KB rate on them seems very high...all but two of the seven seemed to regret buying from wal-mart over a gun shop or online very much. I'd check your LGS or Buds. I think Buds has them in stock for $1050

October 6, 2012, 06:41 PM
I've never heard of a 6920 KB. I know a lot of LEOs that have them and they are all happy. Doesn't matter where you buy them.

If a Colt or any other AR, for that matter, KBs I'll bet there is a reload involved. In fact I would like to see the pics otherwise this is just unsubstaniated Colt bashing.

October 6, 2012, 07:10 PM
I have not had my hands on one from WalMart, but I would expect them to be exactly the same as one from a LGS. Colt makes a Tier 1 AR period. There are others as good, some even better, but they are what the standard is. If you buy a Colt, know that unless you get a lemon(there are lemons in ALL brands) it is a great duty quality rifle. I doubt Colt will let a "lesser" quality rifle go out the doors, no matter to which company.

October 6, 2012, 09:32 PM
Google produces a boatload of results. They can blow up, colt isn't some untouchable force protected weapon. ANY AR can fail, just letting the OP know I've seen more than a few Colt KBs come up recently...Most of them were walmart guns. It's just the same as always, if a mid to low shelf AR blows up, it's a cheap piece of garbage. If a Colt blows up it's 210% undeniably ammo related without question..and when the Larue/LMT/Veskys keep shooting without issues...it's because they'er over priced safe queens that snobs shoot once every three months:rolleyes: Colt isn't the original, they bough out someone elses achievement.

6920-one of many

Factory ammunition used

As I said....I've HEARD about several KB, out of all the AR15 I've owned (and do own) and the thousands and thousands of 5.56 rounds that I've fired in my life (everything from military match grade to the nastiest steel cased) I personally have never had a KB. I've first hand witnessed a few (only one was reload related) and none caused serious injury to the shooter thank God.

Excluding the pre-ban HBAR A2 Target, I no longer (nor will I again in the future) have a Colt AR in my safe (much better out there for the money like BCM) That being said, I'm not colt bashing. Colts are not bad guns, but they arent the holy grail AR to end all that all others are judged by. They do go bang....look ugly as hell doing it, with very spotty quality control reguarding finish...but they go bang when you need it to. They are a serious working gun, not a beauty pagent winner. I just prefer mine to be both:D

p loader
October 6, 2012, 10:03 PM
That's a serious failure. If my COLT blew out like that I'd send it back and expect a replacement in 2 weeks.

Anything that is mechanical or made by humans can fail, hopefully COLT would make it right.

Father Time
October 6, 2012, 10:19 PM
It's just the same as always, if a mid to low shelf AR blows up, it's a cheap piece of garbage. If a Colt blows up it's 210% undeniably ammo related without question

And it most likely is the ammo. Ammo companies make mistakes too...
99% of the time KB's are ammo related.

I no longer (nor will I again in the future) have a Colt AR in my safe (much better out there for the money like BCM)What standards does BCM build to that Colt dosen't?

Colt, BCM, Daniel Defense, LMT etc.. your getting quality buy them with confidence.

October 7, 2012, 10:45 AM
Oldest doesn't mean best. I don't understand the Colt attitude.

OP wanted opinions and options. If you want all the snobbery and hype with a basic rifle that does indeed work...buy the colt. If it were me I would go with the LMT 16" patrol or RUC 16 for a little more...or the BCM 16" mid for the same/less.

I don't really do the Tacticool thing. Yes some add-ons are very useful and can be necessary depending on the role for the weapon. Don't really see the point in a heavy(er) metal quad-rail with several feet of combined mounting space to mount a flashlight to a range toy. FF with mounting space for a bipod and maybe a NV optic to a precision/hunting rifle...okay. None of mine have extra feet of rails to hold rail covers. But a LOT of people do. If I was going to do that, I wouldn't spend between 1K and $1200 on a rifle with basic "plinker" options with one of the most disliked and changed stocks. Once you change those thing (and most will) you have a $1400-$1600 rifle that is no better than any other one that you could of just got in the first place.

October 8, 2012, 06:18 PM
That being said, I'm not colt bashing. Colts are not bad guns, but they arent the holy grail AR to end all that all others are judged by. They do go bang....look ugly as hell doing it

but you're not bashing, remember :D

Respectfully, I believe that Colt is the measure of other AR 15 types. They are a standard. Some are better, some are worse. That's what the standard provides you with- a yardstick for measurement. I think you're mis-interpreting that as meaning that a standard is the "best". Think about it- if standard was the best, nothing would be above-standard. Just saying

October 8, 2012, 07:54 PM
No bashing...truth:D I've seen some pretty dang fugly colts lately. But like I also said they aint the miss america of the gun world, they be a work'n gun;)

The bren ten is one mugly uther...but they work:p

I'll also rephrase that other comment of mine about not having colts in my safe anymore (just talking ARs here and not including the pre ban I have)

I'll put it simple: why pay top price for "Meh" AR when you can pay good price for "Wow" AR

Also pertaining to the AR15 in simple terms: one do good, two do twice as good:) or in my case six:p

October 8, 2012, 11:28 PM
So Colt makes some bad quality rifles deliberately?

Are Colts more prone to failure than others? I really want to get a top of the line AR.

October 9, 2012, 06:02 AM
So Colt makes some bad quality rifles deliberately?

That statement well raise a litigation lawyer from the dead.

Are Colts more prone to failure than others? I really want to get a top of the line AR.

No, anyone that claims they are is just a Colt basher.

You can find AR's with a nicer finish than Colt's. You can also find AR's with more options available.

October 9, 2012, 06:56 AM
I will note: I have a lot of shooting buddies and a lot of us have Colts. Those of us who have ARs mine is the only one that A) hasn't had any failures B) very accurate C) VERY reliable and only jams if I use crappy ammo C) SAYS COLT on the side.

Buy a Colt, and buy the AR by which all are measured.

Crow Hunter
October 9, 2012, 07:14 AM
I have been an AR owner since 1998 time frame.

I owned in order:

- Colt Match HBAR
- Armalite M15A2 (with the muzzle brake)
- Bushmaster (A2 Stock, Carbine upper)
- Bushmaster Patrolman's Carbine 2 of them (I had to go through 3 different rifles to get 2 of these that worked:mad:)
- Colt 6920 (4 of them)
- Colt 6724

The Colts are the ONLY ones that I never have had a malfunction with or had to send back to the factory (Bushmasters) for some type of issue. I was almost ready to swear off AR-15 type weapons forever until I got my 1st pair of Colt 6920s.

That being said, if you are looking for a rifle that is more than just a basic combat rifle, you need to look for a different brand/options. BCM and DD have some nice rifles that meet the minimum requirements for a combat rifle but have functionality and accuracy enhancements.

If you are wanting a purely target rifle, a DPMS/Bushmaster/RRA/etc. will work great and won't set you back as much cash for the same or better accuracy performance, but may or may not be as durable under severe firing schedules.

Strafer Gott
October 9, 2012, 08:56 AM
Colt supplies the rifle. The snobbery and hype is wrought and brought by others. Let's not confuse the issue. Colt says milspec. The other bs is all internet, and always has been.

October 10, 2012, 05:35 AM
I've seen some pretty dang fugly colts lately
If the rifles were fugly, it isn't because of what Colt did to the gun.
But....perhaps I misunderstand. Since basic ARs all kinda look the same, what was it that made the guns fugly?
When you have a moment.