I am not exactly a collector of WW2 gear, but being a devoted worshiper of the Colt M1911, I have always had a love for the old nostalgic web belt, brown leather holster and accessories that came with the issuance of the 199 during the war. the belt was set up with what you needed to support the pistol in garrison or the field and more was added to it as needed via the 1910 wire hangers most of the gear used at the time.
The belt and pistol was a sign of authority and prestige, When you saw a soldier with the gun and belt, it was most likely an officer or a SGT; He was the guy who had the authority of command at least on some level. The set up was also used by anyone who could get it of course and was a huge comfort to men who had main weapons slow to deploy or useless at close range, like a mortar or bazooka. And of course every paratrooper could use one when their M1 was taken apart in a jump bag and they found themselves in the vulnerable moments after landing on the DZ.
While current products that fill the same role are better, the attraction I have for the old ” pistol belt and 45 automatic ” is still strong and I often will wear it with a plain Gov model M1911 when hiking or doing chores around the property just for the fun of it and the feeling of history it give me.
I have had this original J.A. Show belt since the 80s, Purchased from an old widow at an estate sell. The 1st aid kit is original as well. Recently I hit the jack pot with the WW1 era mint, never issued, 1918 magazine pouch. This pouch was widely used in WWII as well as the other model with a single push the dot snap often seen. While I have both, the 1918 model really is my pride, Being the Colt was adopted in 1911 and used shortly after in WW1. I like the idea of the canvas gear being as close to the guns birth in time. I can not put a finger on why, but I do.
The 1918 pouch was carefully stored in some government depot for who knows how long, and is mint. It has the snap to connect it to the pistol belt and keep it in place. The drab green/khaki color matches the belt nicely. the original US stamp is still sharp and clear on the belt as can be seen.
Above. the picture shows how the two 7 round GI issue mags set in the pouch along with makers mark, model and date stamp on the inside flap still bright and clear. The brass metal fittings still have the black finish that cuts down on the shine of the brass. It won’t be there for long since I use this stuff often. The combo of the items is classic and iconic in my mind, seen in hundreds of movies about killing nazi scum bags or commie north Korean human waves or older still, charging across no man;s land in France trying to make it to the krauts trench system.
I don’t have a lot of original WW1 gear as I said, but what I do gather has a lot of value to me and meaning.
This is my (very short) opinion on the Colt AR6720 Lightweight LE Carbine.
I constantly have people asking my opinion of what basic AR type rifle is best for them, to use for home defense and/or duty or patrol rifle use. ” Should I get a Colt M4 (LE6920/LR6940) or equivalent M4 type carbine?” Many who ask me these questions are my current coworkers, officers I have worked with in law enforcement and people I have trained or train with. One thing we can all agree on at Loose Rounds is Colt is the way to go when looking for a duty AR15 type carbine. Whether you want a plinker, a hard use training, home defense or duty carbine, the Colt AR15-A4 Lightweight LE Carbine is one of the best.
I have used several variants of the AR15 platform for duty use in semi auto and full auto versions. These range from; The standard Colt M4 14.5″ Carbine (LE6921/0933), LE 16″ Carbine (LE6920), 11.5″ Commando ( LE6933/0933) and Government Carbine (AR6520). When I look at an all around purpose carbine, that can fill multiple roles, I think of the Colt AR6720. The Colt AR6720 has been out since 2009 and was a request by a distributor to update the 6520 Government Carbine. It is basically a 6520 Gov. Carbine (LW Gov barrel) with a flat top upper.
The AR6720, in my opinion, is the best all around performer in the AR15 carbine patrol setting. You have the reliability, accuracy, and modularity you have come to expect from the AR15 platform. For me the AR6720 seams to handle just right. The handling and transitions in movement of the 6720 are awesome. The carbine seams to be a seamless extension of your arms and fingers. It is a joy to shoot. It is the most well balanced, fast and easy handling 16″ AR I have used. For me, handles like the familiar 11.5″ commando, just with a longer barrel. The stock weight comes in right at 6 lbs. With the 1/7 twist barrel, it will handle any ammo you want to put down range. If you choose the right accessories and enhancements, you will not add to much to the weight. I have owned numerous AR carbines and the 6720 is one of my favorites. It just might be my favorite.
I have chosen to set my 6720 up, in the following configuration, per my personal preferences. With a loaded 30 round magazine, I am still in the 6 lbs. range. This maximizes performance and handling of my patrol carbine needs out to 200 meters, although the Colt AR6720 is very capable of excellent performance well past 200m.
- GG&G MAD BUIS
- Tango Down Battle Grip
- Daniel Defense Omega 7 Rail
- Aimpoint Micro w/ADM mount
- Tactical Link Z-360 mount and Convertible Sling
- Lancer L5 Translucent AWM magazine
At current prices, you can find the AR6720 in the 700 to 800 dollar range. I feel there is no argument or justification you can make to buy another carbine at these prices. For a basic AR carbine, the Colt AR6720 is probably the best lightweight carbine purchase you can make. There are numerous articles on the accuracy of the 6720 and we have shown you how accurate a Colt carbine can be here on Loose Rounds. The 6720 is fast and smooth, and it will make the hits when it counts. If I was still patrolling on the street, the Colt AR6720 would be in my cruiser and it would be my go to patrol carbine.
I’m not a fan of Beretta, but I find this ad of theirs awesome.
When I enlisted in the USMC I was issued a M16A2. Other then when we occasionally added a PEQ-2 IR laser, a flashlight, or the issued M203 grenade launcher, we felt this gun did everything we needed it to do.
We didn’t know about things like quad rails and quick detach accessories. Those introduced a whole different mentality to how to use our weapons.
When the M16/M16A1 become the M16A2 it gained about a pound. From the M16A2 to the M16A4 it gained about another pound. Most of this comes from the Knights Armament Corp. (KAC) M5 RAS rail system. The KAC M5 RAS is a good rail system, but it has been surpassed by much lighter better free float rails.
That additional weight, combined with the weight of various lights, lasers, and optics along with the fixed stock not playing well with our body armor made using the M16A4 a great deal more awkward. There was a huge difference between just wearing ALICE gear and shooting a M16A2 verses wearing an Interceptor vest with plates and MOLLE II gear shooting a M16A4 with ACOG, PEQ-2, and a Surefire.
Since I got out of the military, I have owned several rifles similar to the M16A4. I had a Bushmaster, a BCM, Saber, and now a Colt AR15A4. Most of these guns I shot for a while then got rid of. The reason for that is that the M16A4 is not particularly special at anything.
I have often told people that the M4 is a jack of all trade, but master of none. Truthfully, the M4 really excels at many of the roles it is used in. The M16A4 type rifle falls into an odd place where it doesn’t particularly do any one thing significantly better than the M4, yet is inferior in handling and weight.
The M16A4 is not a precision rifle. While it is more than accurate enough for combat, it is not a sniper rifle. If your planning to shoot in Rifle Competition, you would be better off with a rifle with a fixed carry handle with match sights, and a free floating match barrel.
While the M16A4 isn’t overly large or heavy, it certainly is not as handy for shooting indoors or confined spaces. The M4 and smaller guns show distinct superiority in handling while in close quarters shooting conditions.
While I was in the Corps we were generally of the belief that the M16A2/A4 was a superior weapon system to the M4. Statements of increased accuracy, reliability, and lethality (due to increased muzzle velocity) were occasionally thrown around.
When using Iron sights, the longer sight radius of the M16 is clearly apparent over the carbine. However most of us no longer use iron sights as our primary way to aim, so this is a moot point. As for mechanical accuracy, the M4 doesn’t give anything up to the M16.
Around 2005-2008 or so I often recall reading on the major gun forums that the AR15 rifle is so very much more reliable than the Carbine. We do know that the rifle has lower gas port pressure and should be easier on components than the carbine. Still for most users they will not see a reliability benefit from the rifle. Not to mention the carbine is clearly reliable enough for groups like the SEALs, U.S. Army, and various foreign special forces groups. So back in 2006, the M4 was good enough for the US SEALs, but not a good enough weapon for the USMC infantry.
While I was in there was a push to give the Marine Infantry M4 carbines. This was considered foolish. Later after I was out there was a push to make a “Product Improved” M16A4 with features like a free floating rail, and a compressible stock. I have heard that from several sources that the USMC decided instead to just give infantry Marines M4 carbines. In 2007, shortly before I got out, one of the other unit got brand new M4 carbines. When I inquired why, I was told that one of John McCain’s son was in that unit. I don’t know if that is true, but it sure seems like the type of reason one unit would get superior equipment. Clearly the M4 is good enough for the USMC now.
I like the M16A4 configuration, but I own one more for plinking and nostalgia. I firmly believe that the majority of AR15 user would be better off with a good carbine than the M16A4 configuration.
A common complaint about the Trijicon SRS is a reflection of the circuitry that appears when the optic is turned towards the sun. We experienced this on a recent range trip and snapped a photo to give everyone an idea of what users are talking about when they reference the issue.
Very distracting and quite easy to lose the dot, which was indeed on in this pic.
Can’t say I’m a fan. I’ll be sticking with my Aimpoints.
This video shows an a feature of the AK-12 that is rather nifty. A bolt release has been integrated right next to the magazine catch. It looks far quicker and handier then most bolt catch arrangements that have been put on AKs.
Review of the new modular rail
As readers know, Colt Defense sent me the new 901 variant a few weeks ago called the Colt 901M.A.R.C.. The new gun is different than the first version in that it has a modular rail. The forearm is monolithic and free floating just like the LE901. but now gives you the ability to bolt sections of picatinny rail, where ever you like and its lighter.
The new fire arm is very nice and slim. I like the quad rail and have no problem with full railed guns at all. I like having it all on already. But, this does make for a handier sleeker rifle than the original model. The top is a solid rail for mounting optics or other sighting devices,as it should be in my opinion, not modular. The sides and bottom is where you get your ability to mix and match.
The fore arm is machines in a way that it matches into the bottom side of the rail sections, and the holes have the helicoil. The coils take any damage or cross threading instead of the aluminum fore arm and are easier to fix in case of an oopsie.
The gun has the same QD sling points in the same places the LE901 had. Of course you can also attach a rail section and add a sling point to the rail anywhere that may suit you. Also you can note the difference in the cooling slot on the rail.
Another difference form the LE901 is the way the bottom of the rail comes off. The older model came off just like the 6940 but also needing you to remove to screws on each side of the front of the rail. Another large screw has replaced the detent the older model and the 6940 used. While obviously this is not as fast, It locks up even more solid than the other system which was already super solid. You could trust this to hold a zero if you needed it to after you got it in place and screwed down. Obviously if you take it off, the zero will likely change, but that the way it is for anything if you take it apart after zeroing something on it.
Above is the front right side screw for the removal of the bottom of the monolith rail and the now familiar and excellent in my opinion, Colt folding and locking, front sight. Like the older 901, the front sight locks up unlike the older 6940s. You can also see a closer view of the large allen head bolts used to secure the rail sections in place. The test rifle came with four rails of three different lengths. I do not know at this time if this will be factory standard or the gun will come with or less when it hits the stores. The rail sections are made to the same quality and specs of the rest of the gun with the same milspec finish.
The lower is no different than the LE901. It has ambi controls and of course uses the conversion block that lets you use any upper or any caliber that will work on a lower meant for 5.56, or 6.8 etc. and use any magazine that will fit and work inside the mag well the 5.56 guns use. Now with the the modular rail and modular mag well/caliber conversion,, the 901 lends itself to even more user configuration.
For the accuracy testing of this new 901, I did things a little different this time around. Instead of using the stock trigger, I replaced it with the Geissele S3G trigger. I didn’t do this because the factory trigger was so bad, or I think it has to have some match trigger, but it was a 2 birds with 1 stone kind of thing. I will have more testing on the trigger as time goes by. I wanted to see how it worked out in a 762 gun and to make the long range shooting a little easier on myself since I had less time to shoot due to the weather.
As I am wont to do, I started out shooting the gun at 100 yards for groups in 5 shot strings, I used Federal match ammo in 175 and 168 grain bullets, The Federal 165 grain TSX solid copper hollow point made by Barnes for hunting ( I used this load to kill the deer), Black Hills 175 grain match and my own handloads.
I set the gun up with my trusty test mule Leupold 18X target scope and used a front rest and bags. I used a bench and the caldwell BR type front rest.
Going the extra effort this time, really allowed for better groups. The front rest and bags with the match trigger tightened things up a bit from the results from the first LE901 test gun.
I shot 5 rounds of each at 100 yards, then I fired a 20 round group at 200 yards with the Black Hills match with 175 grain bullet.
No surprises here I think., As usual the Black Hills 175 is the winner of the factory match ammo I used. My hand loads being tailored to the gun do maybe a tiny bit better, but that is normal. No factory load will ever be able to do better than a hand load you tailor to the gun. I fired just enough hand load to test the rifle since I get nervous with using hand loads in a writers demo. If something were to happen, I would not want to get the blame even if it was not my ammo that did it. had it been a gun I paid for. I would have given you more data from hand loads, I may still email Colt about using hand loads to make sure its not something they would rather I not do. So I may offer up a large variety of bullet performance at a later date.
The dots are all 1 inch dots for the 100 yard shooting, and the 200 yard dot is a little large than 2 inches. The 200 yard group was something I am pretty proud of. A milspec non-match barrel shooting a 20 round string and keeping that tight is pretty impressive. It did take me a little over 30 minutes to shoot that string, but shooting small groups is hard work, and its even harder when the string is long and things heat up and eye strain sets in. I do not think i could have done much better than this though without some major changes to the bench rest set up and ammo.
Last but not least for this part of the review is the 1,000 yard accuracy testing. I had a tough time with it this time around with the wind being strong at a certain point in the day, then dying off. I also had to fight sun then cloud cover, sun, then cloud cover. Sunlight and the lack of on a target is a huge hurtle to long range shooting few people talk about. But believe me, it makes a big difference when it is shifting.
I did have the help of my trusty steel gong to get me zeroed before I started my “record group” again this time.
Being able to shoot and get on the steel with instant feedback, is a giant help for trying to shoot a gun at 1,000 yard for accuracy in tests like this for me. It saves ammo, you get immediate feedback and you get to dope the wind before you start slinging expensive match ammo down range just to find out later you did not hit anything.
On a whim, I placed a NRA 50 yard bulls-eye target behind my normal “bad guy” target to see what the “score” might look like. I thought this my offer a different perspective than the normal bad guy photo. I then tacked those two against a card board Q target. I then placed a blob of bright orange dots on the chest of the bad guy to make it a little easier to see this time. The sun and clouds made it hard to see a dark target so I cheated a little and made it easier on myself.
As you can see from our notes, I fired 30 rounds, I got 16 hits on the paper itself, and then I had 10-11 hits on the body. I saw 10 to 11 because one hit the earlobe/cheek. I will leave it to you to decided to give me credit for that hit or not. Once again, the center hit is pure chance, or luck if you prefer, I did not call it as a center hit and I certainly did not aim for it and expect it, But sometimes, often actually, when you shoot a fairly long string at something this size, I find you will luck one in to look like a great hit,
Above in the NRA 50 yard pistol slow fire target tacked behind the bad guy target just for the fun of seeing how It would “score.” It may look good, but with 16 hits out of 30 rounds, maybe the score is not all that great, the wind was very strong the day the 1,000 yard test was conducted. Also keep in mind, it is a 16 inch Milspec barrel on a battle carbine, Not a sniper rifle and not a precision rifle. nor meant to be.
Finally the Q target the paper targets had been tacked to.
Testing for the 1,000 yards was also done with my 18X Leupold test scope and the S3G trigger was installed. I did not use the front rest shown. Because of the weather and wind conditions, I did not try shooting the new gun to 1,200 yards like I did the original LE901. I do intend to test this one to 1,200 as soon as I can see a day that the weather will allow it. This is not a sniper rifle as I said, so the 1,200 yards shooting needs as close to perfect weather as I can get. Otherwise it would just be a waste of time and ammo. I will update this post as soon as I do get the 1,200 yard test done as well as make a dedicated post as well as try to soot it even further.
My helpers for the day of long range testing remarked how they noticed the difference in how the gun handled and felt form the LE901 and its weight. It may not seem like a lot, but you do feel it. With the sleeker fore arm and lighter weight, you can handle this gun like a M4 with a heavy SOCOM barrel on it. It certainly was easy to hike up the mountains all day and then was lively in the hands when I settled in to make my 247 yard shot on the 8 point buck. It handles like the battle carbine it is but does not shy away from being used as a DMR if needed.
For those who see the carbine as only for fighting use, I did test some military ball ammo with the gun. The use of the gun as a fighting tool will be covered in the next post along with some Gopro footage of the gun being fired to show how little recoil it has and its ease of control. As a teaser and a fast little bit of info, I shot the 901 MARC with Lake City Ball at 450 yards at a Q target for a quick idea of how it might do, I aimed at a clear spot on the target and fired off a fast group from prone using bipods. Even with ball., the gun did very well at the middish range. I will be testing it to 500 to 800 with ball on the targets using a red dot and precision optics to work out how it will do on the longer shots in a combat role. The 450 yard group below.
To end this part of the review I would like to post a picture of the first T&E LE901 from early 2012 along with the 901MARC as a comparison to how it has evolved and changed for those new to the 901 model.
LE901 above. 901MARC below
In the past, I hadn’t ever paid a whole lot of attention to the Magpul MS series slings for a variety of reasons. I’m not a fan of single point slings so the MS 2/3’s 2 to 1 point convertibility was of no use to me, nor were the hooks/clips/rings that went along with the convertibility. I also never cared for the loop pull sling length adjuster as it always seemed to be a snag hazard. Combine that with a price slightly higher than your basic BlueForce Gear Vickers sling and the Magpul slings didn’t make my radar.
That changed recently while ordering some AR parts from one of my go to AR parts vendors. In need of another sling, I clicked on their sling page. Seeing they didn’t carry my standby BFG Vickers sling, but wanting to order everything from one place to save on shipping, I checked out the other slings available. That’s when I noticed Magpul had introduced another sling called the MS1. Upon seeing it was a dedicated 2 point sling lacking all the hooks/snaps/rings, the loop pull had been replaced by a plastic slider, and it was priced quite economically I thought what the hell, let’s try it out.
Upon receiving the sling I found it to be a fairly straightforward 2 point design featuring the sling strap, three tri sliders and the plastic length adjuster. It seems well made and the stitching looks good. A digital scale shows it to weigh 5.9 oz not counting the Magpul Paraclip I added. Also immediately apparent upon handling the MS1 is the strap is made of a much softer and more flexible material than the BFG Vickers sling.
At 1.5″ wide the MS1 is also slightly wider than the BFG Vickers, with its 1.25″ width.
I added the Magpul Paraclip as an interim way to attach the front of the sling to the rifle until I get around to putting a rail on it. As you can see I clip it to the factory front sling swivel. It’s a quick and dirty way to attach the sling with a side mount orientation and not too much rattle. It you’re ever in need of some type of hook or clip sling attachment I’d recommend trying them out.
I’ve been using the sling for over a month now and have been pleased with its performance. The sling material doesn’t seem to bind, catch, or twist when donning/doffing or adjusting the sling. The length adjuster slides very smoothly, to the point I questioned if it would always hold tension or if I would find the sling slowly lengthening itself under weight. So far this has not been the case and the sling length adjuster has always held tight no matter its position. I will update if this starts becoming an issue.
In summary while I wouldn’t necessarily say the MS1 is better than any other sling out there I would definitely say it is a solid choice and should be considered if you’re in the market for a sling. I plan on picking up a few more.