Category name:Colt

Oct is time for another handgun! (rambling) Thoughts on the Beretta 92FS and other things…

Well, it is October and that means that I should buy another handgun. I know that should please Piers Anthony and Jim Carrey immensely. Oh well!

I was recently impressed with Beretta USA’s statement that they may move from restrictive Maryland. That ended up not coming to fruition, but they did state that any future expansion would be elsewhere. That is at least a start and is more than some other big East Coast gun companies. It is noteworthy to mention that Magpul & PTR have moved, Kahr & Ruger have moved some operations, and Colt has expanded in Florida.

But I digress. Why the Beretta 92FS/M9? This is prior to blogging but back in 1985-6 I was not a fan. I couldn’t believe that the venerable M1911A1 which had served for 75 years and was being replaced by a pistol with undesirable features (my list of cons at the time):

  • big
  • fat
  • 9mm
  • looong heavy double-action
  • slide mounted safety
  • integral front sight
  • open top design
  • complicated (# of parts) design
  • I wasn’t a big fan of the 9mm, but if I had to have a 9mm it should be a High Power. I still love the HP, but 9mm ammo has come a long away and a lot of my early criticisms are not a concern to me any longer.

    Well, almost 30 years later I have come to admire the pistol. One has to admit that despite the controversy and “problems” it has served the United States well. When I say problems I mean specifically the Italian metallurgy issues (that brought about the 92F to 92FS) and broken locking blocks. Both these issues appear to be very limited in scope. Compare to other folks recalls lately (hmm…that sounds like another blog post in itself).

    Other “issues” like the effectiveness of 9mm FMJ in combat or bad contract magazines can’t really be blamed on the pistol.

    What else changed my mind about the Beretta 92FS? Actually spending some range time with one! First time out with one I was able to qualify marksman with it. I was amazed at how straight shooting they are. The craftsmanship on this particular one was exemplary (it was a 90’s Italian if that makes any difference). The pistol operated liked butter – the trigger/hammer although ridiculously long and heavy were superb and everything about it was smooth without grittiness. Pull the action back on one, cock the hammer – no break in required!

    You may have noticed that I am not a big fan of the looong and heavy double-action trigger. At the time I was coming exclusively from the world of 1911s and HiPowers. I didn’t like any DA but the Beretta in particular was stood out as excessive. Since then I have a lot more shooting experience with DA pistols and well, have become more proficient with them.

    Ironically, DA-pistols once claimed the pistol thrown and were all the rage, are now out of vogue. In fact, try and find one. There are few made in the world of single-actions and strikers. Take a look at Ruger’s offering. Ruger pistols were once dominated with double-action pistols in just about any caliber. Now there are none. The P95 (under-rated IMO) was on there the last time I looked, but must have been recently removed.

    My, how times have changed. When the U.S. Military announced M9 adoption everyone rushed out to buy one – at inflated prices. Now, I called around to find one and the youngster who answered the phone at one shop didn’t even know what one was! Forced to looked it up he said that they were discontinued and that all I could get was a compact, INOX (which he had no idea meant stainless slide with silver frame), and M9A1. The 92FS is still in the Beretta catalog, so I hope that they are made. I was bummed that I did not see the Brigadier offered any longer. I don’t think the slide beefing up is needed any longer, but I don’t see it as a detriment.

    The Beretta 92 was designed in 1972 so it is not that old of a design, at least when compared to the 1911 or the HiPower (adopted in 1911 by the U.S. and 1935 by Belgium respectively). I pick these two pistols because they are were designed by John Browning and influenced almost all small arms pistols that have come since. If it has a tilt barrel, it is based on Browning’s designs. Did you know that one of the HiPowr prototypes was a striker pistol? The Beretta 92FS however is completely different and to me that makes it stand out.

    So, what about that list of negatives? Well, they are still there but keep in mind that it is a duty pistol. For me, it will be a range and a nightstand bump in the night pistol and will be perfect. I also suspect that its smooth functioning and non-existent recoil will make it a hit for training new shooters. I still wouldn’t considered it as a primary CCW pistol.

    Sometimes, things are worth taking a second look.

    Colt to return with 20″ Colt AR15 A4!

    Last year, before the mad rush, finances required that I let go my BushMaster Govt (profile) 20″ AR15A4. This was a pre-Cerebus rifle and beautifully finished. It went to a good home to someone who appreciates it. I had always intended on replacing it with a BCM. But then the hysteria hit. I also forgot that one of my first rifles (a while ago) was a Colt Sporter Match HBAR. Regret selling it, but at the time I never used it.

    BCMs are still impossible to get but I am happy to see that Colt will be returning to the market! You may have noticed that they have lacked a 20″ rifle, well, except for the neutered CA legal versions.

    Here is the listing from Clyde Armory: http://clydearmory.com/colt-ar15a4.html. Google them if you are not familiar. They are legit.

    For me this is a must have! In fact, I am going to put $ down tomorrow! :)

    Pic from Clyde Armory (click on pic to enlarge):


    Here is a pic of the roll marks from ARFCOM (thread).

    Click on pic to enlarge:

    Colt employees (500+-) take a field trip to their legislators

    Colt rocks!

    From: http://courantblogs.com/dan-haar/with-factory-precision-colts-workers-bring-a-message-to-lawmakers/

    With Factory Precision, Colt’s Workers Bring A Message To Lawmakers
    By Dan Haar On March 14, 2013 · 43 Comments

    You’d expect the 175-year-old gun manufacturer that invented mass production to pull off an orderly trip to the state Capitol and that’s exactly what Colt’s Manufacturing Co. did on Thursday, as 550 employees left a clear message, then returned to work.

    “Save our jobs.”

    They piled into ten full-size luxury buses, mostly from the Constitution Coach Co., making for an appropriately labeled convoy from the factory of Colt’s and sister company Colt Defense LLC on New Park Avenue, just over the West Hartford line.
    Nancy Reder on the bus to the state Capitol. Patrick Raycraft/The Hartford Courant

    Nancy Reder on the bus to the state Capitol. Patrick Raycraft/The Hartford Courant

    It was an action of the company, not the United Auto Workers union that represents 489 people at the firearms plant. The UAW, in fact, has been strangely silent on gun control at the state Capitol this year despite the threat to jobs.

    Click here for photos of the event

    Managers, top executives, union and nonunion staff, first-shifters on the company clock, second- and third-shift workers on their own time — they all traveled together for the 9-minute ride, were unified in chanting that slogan outside the Legislative Office Building, then stood vigil in neat lines on all five levels of the marble atrium, holding red-and-white placards as lawmakers convened yet another hearing on gun control.

    “I feel I make a difference,” said Nancy Reder, a buyer of maintenance products and services who has worked at Colt and Colt’s for 35 years. She was talking about both her job and her role in Thursday’s event.

    Reder, wearing jeans and a Colt-embroidered denim jacket, was struck by the beauty of the state Capitol in the sunlight as employees marched past the south entrance, under the office windows of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

    Malloy wants to ban the sale of AR-15 military style, semiautomatic rifles, one of the main products these workers make and sell. Colt’s has been the largest factory contingent to make a stand before lawmakers, but on Monday, Stag Arms closed production in New Britain and brought dozens of workers, and employees of O.F. Mossberg & Sons in North Haven have also made the trip.

    It’s not the same message delivered by the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups, which have brought thousands of people to the Capitol to drive home their points about personal freedom and the Second Amendment.

    No, at Colt and Colt’s, the message is about the community — 670 jobs between the two companies at the West Hartford facility, an unknowable number of which would be threatened by an outright ban on AR-15 rifles proposed by Malloy and some Democratic legislators.

    They were polite, they moved in and out of the building as one, and they were armed with written talking points: “We are your neighbors and we want a safer Connecticut too. A ban on our product will not make us safer. Keeping firearms out of the wrong hands will.”

    Kevin Parkinson, a 14-year security employee at Colt Defense, had a deeper connection to the Newtown tragedy than many, as his wife, Katrina Devona, grew up in that town and attended the Sandy hook Elementary School.

    “It hit pretty hard,” Parkinson said, but he, like everyone on these buses, holds steadfastly to the belief that his work is not making the world more dangerous.

    There is no wavering on that point, and it was hard to even find Colt employees who have had animated conversations with people who favor a ban on military-style rifles. “For the most part, my family and friends think the way I do,” said Deneen Silvers, a labor relations manager at Colt’s. As for lawmakers on the other side of the issue, she said, “We think we can work together.”

    One possible compromise is a full registration requirement, as already exists for handguns, for all firearms that have a pistol grip — or for all rifles. Many of the Colt and Colt’s workers said that wouldn’t be so bad, if it would avert a ban on the AR-15 rifle that’s such a big part of their livelihoods.

    Colt and Colt’s, which are separately, privately owned but operate under the same roof under joint agreements, have invested heavily in civilian versions of the AR-15 over the last five years, as sales of the military version, the M-4, have wound down. AR-15 sales in Connecticut are just a small part of revenues, of course, but the stakes of a ban are still perilously high for these workers.

    “Let’s say it passes,” Colt’s CEO Dennis Veilleux said. “Our customers are going to try to apply pressure to us by not buying our product. They’re going to come right out and tell us, ‘Get out of Connecticut.”

    “If we don’t stand up and fight,” Veilleux added, “they won’t buy our product, in fact they’ll boycott it.”

    That’s partly why the company does not officially favor any compromise measures, It’s too bad, but it’s political reality.

    Likewise, it’s possible that UAW Region 9A and Local 376 are silent because at the national level, the union is loyal to President Obama, who bailed out the automakers and fought hard to save union jobs. No one at UAW is talking, at any level, even to return my calls and issue a “no comment.”

    The regional and local UAW leaders issued a memo to members Wednesday, saying its workers “have a proud tradition of producing the finest forearms in the world…We are committed to keeping our communities safe and strong.”

    The memo had no word one way or another about the legislation.

    Mike Holmes, the shop chairman at Colt and Colt’s, was one of many employees who remembered a similar day 20 years ago, when hundreds of Colt’s employees filed into the Capitol complex at a time when lawmakers were considering a similar ban on so-called assault weapons. Then-Lt. Gov Eunice Groark broke an 18-18 tie in the Senate, and the 1993 beat a national ban by one year.

    “We filled the chambers,” Holmes recalled.

    That law, still in effect in Connecticut, leaves room for sale of modified versions of the AR-15, including the one used by the killer in Newtown, which was made by a different company, Bushmaster.

    This time, a ban could have no such wiggle room. Stricter background check measures and full licensing requirements for rifles with pistol grips might make sense and would keep Connecticut in the vanguard of gun control legislation.

    But bans on equipment make less sense, and no sense at all for individual states to pass. An estimated 8 million military-style rifles are in circulation in the United States and they do not respect state lines.

    In late morning, after the bus ride back, all the workers from all the shifts piled back into the 300,000-square-foot complex, with the blue, beveled roofs that identify large factories. The company served lunch for everyone. “They earned it,” Veilleux said as he shook hands and thanked workers, many by first name. “I was going to have it outside but it’s too cold.”

    Nancy Reder mused that work is piling up on her desk, and she was eager to jump back into it. “I feel lucky to have the job,” she said. “I don’t take it for granted.”

    Sources Report MARSOC to Purchase Colt 1911A1 Rail Guns – Soldier Systems

    We have been waiting to hear the results of this for a while! It is the replacement for the hand-fit Colt 1911s they currently have. They could not have gone wrong with the Springfield or Colt entry. However, congrats Colt!

    SOURCE: http://soldiersystems.net/2012/07/16/sources-report-marsoc-purchase-1000-colt-1911a1-rail-guns/

    The Colt Rail Gun: http://www.coltsmfg.com/Catalog/ColtPistols/ColtRailGun.aspx

    Colt 6920…pics or it didn’t happen

    I am excited about my 6920 and had the camera out today anyway. So, you get some pics :)

    This is a follow up to: Just picked up my Colt LE6920 “M4” – details and a little talk about the feedback I have been getting

    I know as a lot of people say…”Pics! Or it didn’t happen!” So, without further delay a March manufactured Colt LE6920. Click on the pic if you want to see the full size:

     

    Colt Defense roll mark

     

    New “M4 Carbine” roll mark

     

    Other side

     

     

    MPI stamped bolt

     

    Bottom of carrier

     

    Key staking

     

    H buffer and you can see the fit and finish of the lower

     

    Upper T Marks and also fit and finish

     

    Castle nut staking

     

    Roger’s Super Stock, note the Colt Defense Logo

     

    Removable buttpad with Colt logo

     

     

    Bottom (mag well)

     

    Barrel stamping

     

    F marked front site, also note the included and installed side sling swivel. A nice touch.

     

    The accessory pack packing. I included it because I thought it something you don’t see every day. Note the label which says “Suswuehanna Association for the blind.” It was included inside sling’s bag

     

    The included Colt accessory pack: sling, 2 20rd mags, manual, cleaning rod, 2 brushes and the rear sling swivel was a nice touch.

     

    The blue label from the side of the box. I find it uninteresting but I notice that other people’s threads have it, so I included it too. I think that not all of the older ones say “M4 Style Semi-Auto”:

     

    I am tired of reading about how Colt uses non-standard pins and you can’t attach non-Colt uppers/lowers. This was true on my R6600 back in the 90s and maybe true of the “Target” sporter line but NOT on the 6920s.

    Here is a Rock River Arms (RRA) upper with the Colt 6920 lower:

     

    Here is the Rock River Arms (RRA) lower with the Colt 6920 upper:

     

    There you go. One of the most regarded and argued about kings of the M4gery (civilian) world.

     

     

    Just picked up my Colt LE6920 “M4” – details and a little talk about the feedback I have been getting

    First of all, I ordered it from my local LGS after having waited a few hours to go in from their call  and missed their last batch (7). The price was $1029.99 + tax. That’s $70 less than WalMart sells them for (note: none of my local Seattle/Tacoma area WalMarts sell guns that I know of). That is also significantly less than any of the online sources I could find.

    Even an internet source at $995 (good luck finding one) + shipping + dealer fees + tax (yes, WA makes you pay sales tax for transfers) would have been more. My shop even apologized, apparently only a few months ago they were selling for $995+tax!

    Wait time, however, was about 6 weeks. I don’t know how many they got in, but they did have one up on the wall for sale.

    OK, I didn’t have time to snap pictures and it looks like everyone else’s.  This is what I got…

    • Blue label box that says LE6920
    • LE prefix SN
    • Colt Defense rollmark
    • M4 Carbine rollmark
    • Roger’s Super Stock
    • The bag it came in says it was made in March

    Fit and finish appear perfect. Definitely was test fired as their are brass marks on the deflector. Bolt closes perfectly when functioned slowly – something I haven noticed that other brands out of the box don’t do. Other brands also have that “new bolt” smell when you cycle them. The rifle is also pretty well lubricated, something other brands don’t always do. Staking (both) look great.

    The stock is interesting. It feels nice. The cam lock seems a little flimsy, but then again it doesn’t do much. I did notice that the fit on the extension tube is very tight. I couple of my old GI aluminum 30 rd mags were tight in the well. I will try them all out in a little while and see if it is just chance or consistent with a particular brand.

    On to the questions/comments…

    So, why didn’t I get brand x?
    Probably cost or availability. Colt’s quality bang for buck at a little over $1000 is very good. They are simply a work-horse.

    Yes there are better, but entry level LaRue or Noveske start at $1500. Enough of a difference for me to get the Colt and an EOTech or a lot of ammo/etc. Move up from entry level and you approach the cost of two 6920s!

    One brand I wanted to handle was BCM. They just were not available to see or even buy!

    LMT Defender was close. The standard version was noticeably more than the Colt and the SOPMOD brought it up even more. I wish they put their enhanced bolt in this rifle that would have made up a little more price difference. Also weird they don’t use an H buffer.

    Let’s face it, Colt is also brand recognition. Not that I anticipate selling it, but if I had to, or wanted to upgrade to something else it shouldn’t be too hard to sell the Colt. Especially since demand > supply

    You are paying for the Colt pony and kool-aide
    Well, this is true. But since the price is about $1000 it was in the sample ball park as other brands. Actually, well-priced considering that only a year or two ago they were going for $1200. Actually, if you can’t find one locally and don’t want to wait, I found more than a few vendors that were willing to sell you one today for $1200. Anyway, as the top instructors say: Colts consistently run (not that they don’t ever put out a dud) and as mentioned before are always in demand.

    A few folks recommended brands such as Rock River, Bushmaster, or to build my own
    I currently own a RRA, a Bushmaster, an Oly and have a few that I put together myself. I like them all. I wanted something out of the box that was “done” with high quality parts and could be considered a “fighting carbine.” I have hopes of taking some courses down the road. In fact, FAS (Firearms Academy of Seattle) is literally down the road (strangely, not in Seattle but Olympia area).

     That stock sucks. It is not even going to be issued to troops. It is a Magpul CTR ripoff, the sling swivel attachment is too low and top attachment needs to be cut off!
    It is designed and made by Bill Rogers so I am certain of its high quality and design. if you are unfamiliar please Google. Heard of Wilson Rogers products like the Wilson 47D magazine? Same person. Colt also claims that they modified it to make it more durable. Personally, I don’t really see the revolutionary nature of the old stock and don’t particularly care if it is issued or not–It either works or not.

    A CTR ripoff? Well, they do kind of look similar. Functionally no though. The AR parts world is ripe with similar products. Ask Vltor — they are/were suing Magpul over the ACS.

    The sling swivel attachment is too low? Perhaps if you are comparing it to Magpul products. The SOPMOD and Vltors have it pretty much the same low position. Cut the top one off if you like, but  it doesn’t bother me.

    And don’t get me wrong, I am a BIG Magpul fan including the stocks. I just don’t pooh a product because it isn’t an “M.” Again, it either works or doesn’t.

    Carbine length gas system destroys bolts and was designed for 14.5″ barrels. Mid-length has less recoil and isn’t as dirty. You should get a mid-length.
    Actually, conceptually I like the mid-length better. However, Colt has been building 16″-ers for a long time and have it tuned to a science. As I recall Colt’s first run was with 16″ and adopted 14.5″ later. I think it was in the “AR15 Sourcebook.” Somebody is going to make me look it up, aren’t they? :P

    Regardless, Colt bolts are very high quality, the system works and works well. Maybe a MOE pistol grip for a spare bolt.  I also have this crazy theory that it being slightly over gassed (vs mid-length) enhanced reliability, kind of like using a heavier recoil spring in a semi-auto pistol. Dirtier? Yes, I think so, but as for recoil I don’t really notice the difference. Now a 6.8SPC yes! I wouldn’t build it on a CAR length.

    What’s weird is that there are a lot of people endorsing piston rifles with CAR gas systems. These, to me, seem like the slam the bolt a lot harder and have more recoil. Maybe that is why Ruger went with a mid-length (equivalent) piston. Anyway, mid-length = nice, but not a necessity to me.

    If Colt built a mid-length people would be crying out that it isn’t “mil-spec” any more. Kind of like they are with the 6940.

    You need to have a monolithic rail and free float barrel
    No, I really don’t. I have both and yes there is a difference but not much. Especially not for the cost of a lot of systems. This is a “duty” rifle, it will see 100yds distance average– 200 yds max. For a rail, I will buy one of those little 2″ strips that attach into the stock hand guard holes to attach a SureFire flashlight.

    Hmm…I do need somewhere to put batteries. Maybe I will replace the stock afterall. :)

    You need to replace the sling
    The sling is very…..basic. I swear by Boonie Packer quick adjust cinchable 2point slings. They are tough, inexpensive ($25 shipped), and local.

    AKs are better, especially now that you can add 12′ of rail. Besides 30caliber cartridges are better.
    I don’t do Warsaw Pact rounds. Seriously. The most exotic (non-U.S.) round I own is a 303 Brit. As mentioned above I don’t do rail. I wouldn’t mind a quality AK like a Hungary or CZ, but they are not cheap any more. If you are going ‘bigger is better’ and there is certainly validity to that, in a non-AR platform (I am a big 6.8 fan) then I think I would just step up to a DSArms FAL or pony up the cash for a Springfield M1A. I am pretty heavily invested in the AR platform though, to make any type of switch.

    I do believe in the mystique of the big ‘.30’ rounds. In fact, I own a Marlin 3030 lever, an Inland M1Carbine, Enfield in 303 Brit, a 6.8 AR (.277 is close to .30)  and the king — a Springfield M1 Garand to meet the 30caliber criteria. :) Each round/platform meets a specific need.  However, 5.56 will do fine against zombies.

    Wholesale Sports/Sportsmans Warehouse has Magpul 30 rd PMAGS (non-window) on sale for $10!
    That is a good price! I tried the ones I have and they fit perfectly.

    My wife wants to know why for $1000 you only get a cardboard box instead of case
    I don’t know, but if it keeps the price down I am ok with it. Hazard4 is coming out with a sling bag that will hold an AR. Eberlestock also makes some nice backpacks with AR attachments. One of those will do the ticket. I do have cordura soft and hard rifle cases. But that’s no fun.

    But, $1100 (after tax) is still a chunk of change though (more than the replacement dryer I just had to buy) so  I probably won’t be buying anything too exciting for a bit. However, 223 ammo I have :)

    Thanks for reading and all of the comments/suggestions/questions!

     

     

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