Gun Test: AR-15 Colt LE6920MP USA
By Dick Jones, Gun Digest
When Modern Shooter editor Doug Howlett asked if I wanted to do a review on a state-of-the-art Colt law enforcement carbine, I jumped at the chance.
The rifle we tested is the LE6920MP-USA series. The USA designation indicates a flag of the United States treatment on the stock, pistol grip and forend. It’s sort of Fourth of July camo, and I think it’s fitting since everything about this gun spells U.S.A.
The new Colt is a collaborative effort between two icons in the world of AR-15s. It’s a joint effort between Colt and Magpul, and includes some of Magpul’s most popular furniture for the AR-15 platform. The running gear is the same as the standard carbines, but the LE6920MP-USA sports Magpul MOE handguards, an MOE carbine stock, an MOE pistol grip, the MOE vertical grip and a Magpul back-up rear sight.
The gas system is the standard gas block with an integral front sight. My test gun had a special patriotic flag finish on the stock, pistol grip and forend, which makes it stand out no matter where it is. It is a sharp looking gun for sure.
Basic running gear is a 16.1-inch chrome-lined 1:7 twist barrel with a 5.56 chamber. Basically, there are three chamber choices for .223/5.56 rifles. The 5.56 chamber is the most forgiving of ammunition and will run almost anything. The .223 chamber is a tighter spec chamber meant for a closer tolerance to allow better accuracy. The 5.56 Wylde chamber in my CRP 18 is a compromise, it’s more forgiving of ammunition but still oriented towards match-level accuracy.
Choosing the 5.56 chamber for the LE6920 makes sense because it’s a multipurpose carbine, and the 5.56 chamber and 1:7 twist barrel will accurately shoot any ammunition you can feed it, from cheap steel case stuff to the best 77-grain match ammunition from companies like Hornady and Black Hills.
The gas system is the standard direct impingement system. This also makes sense because there’s little real need for a piston system, unless you’re shooting full auto and/or using a suppressor. Direct impingement is simple and a piston isn’t the answer to all questions. Our M14s had pistons, and they weren’t a totally trouble-free arrangement.
Fit and finish are quite good with only a slight amount of upper to lower receiver wobble. The controls on the LE6920 operated as they should. The trigger was an average service trigger with a little creep at the beginning and breaking at the standard service rifle level of about 51⁄2 pounds. Trigger reset was crisp and positive. With a 16.1 inch barrel and weighing just 6.9 pounds, this is a fast handling little carbine.
I broke it in at Mike Byrd’s tactical range at B&B Precision Machine Co. not far from my home. There were four shooters present from the level of a Master USPSA to me, and I mainly shoot tactical matches for the experience and to better write about them.
All the guys really liked the little Colt and were favorably impressed. While those guys make me look like a rookie with pistols, I do have a little experience with rifles, and I managed 10 consecutive hits on an 8-inch plate in fairly rapid fire standing with the Magpul flip-up rear and standard front sight.
Colt LE6920MP USA Review: Range Realities
At just 6.9 pounds, the author found the Colt to be a fast-handling carbine. Author Photo
Later, and back on my range, I mounted a Nikon 3-12 M.223 scope for accuracy testing. I didn’t expect spectacular accuracy, because chrome-lined barrels rarely shine in the accuracy department. Chrome lining is intended to enhance reliability, corrosion resistance and barrel life.
Still, the little Colt did an admirable job and stayed under two minutes of angle with the excellent Black Hills 55-grain Barnes TSX load. Certainly this is acceptable accuracy for any law enforcement or civilian carbine.
The AR-15/M16 platform of rifles represents the most successful firearms platform in history. Never before has a military firearm evolved so completely, and in so many directions. While you might not find the AR-15 rifle pretty, you simply can’t argue it doesn’t do everything well.
It is a National Championship level target rifle, a defensive rifle, a hunting rifle and, in the form of the M16 and M4, it’s arguably the best battle rifle ever designed. When I shot that original M16A1, I would have never guessed the platform would ever see the success it’s seen, and that later, I’d be a huge fan of the AR-15.
The patriotic red, white and blue finish on the LE6920MP-USA is fitting in that it represents what’s right with America in a time when many are talking about what’s wrong with America.
Colt is an American company, building sporting, law enforcement and military versions of a successful military rifle designed in America. We’re the only country in the world where the current military rifle, in widespread use around the world, could be adapted and accepted across all aspects of firearms use.
To me, the patriotic finish reminds me that without our precious Second Amendment, this could never happen. I’m sure there will be more collaboration between Colt and Magpul, and I’m excited to see the results.
Colt LE6920MP USA
Caliber 5.56 Nato
Action Type Semi-automatic
Barrel Chrome-lined, six-groove, 1:7 twist RH
Magazine 30-round Magpul
Trigger Single stage
Sights Magpul flip-up rear and standard gas block integral front
Stock Magpul MOE buttstock, Magpul MOE grip and vertical foregrip and MOE handguard
Weight 6.57 lbs.
Overall Length 35.5 in. extended
Source: Gun Digest
This article is an excerpt from the new magazine Modern Shooter Spring 2014 presented by Gun Digest. Be sure to take advantage of Gun Digest’s free downloads to learn all about Gun Values, AR-15 Optics, Glock Accessories and Concealed Carry Holsters.