The COLT LE901 Part III Shooting and Handling

Since I have already written about the 901’s accuracy and long range precision, I wanted to talk about how the rifle handles, how it feels in recoil and in rapid fire and how it works out while wearing gear.

The first thing is how the gun feels in rapid-fire drills and “running and gunning.”  The 901 is in .308 winchester, a round that does not let you control the gun like a 5.56 will.  The carbine does not come with a muzzle brake, and a lot of people seem to worry it will be hard to control without real effort. The 901s recoil to me, feels very close to a light weight 6.8 carbine or a 7.62×39 AK with a underfolder stock. It is not bad at all.

As you can see in the action shot above. The recoil of the gun is very light for a 308. The gun is still on target while a case is in the air. My stance is not any kind of aggressive combat stance in that picture since I was shooting casually to see how easy the recoil would be.

After a little warm up with the 901 to see how it felt I started out with some triple and double tap drills at 20 yards with the weapon using my T-1 red dot.  During rapid fire I was able to keep the majority of the double and triple tap shots in the  CNS area.  Notice the shots in the face and high chest area of the target above.  All shots fired were full-power M80 ball surplus. The gun was very easy to control.  If I had slowed down, the shots would obviously tighten. I have to say, a vertical fore grip does give even more control and allows for some very rapid handling of the 901 and improves follow-up shots. This is not a real revelation but the VFG has fallen out of favor lately.  The slightly increased recoil of the 901, while not serious, does make a VFG handy.

Fast and easy reloading is accomplished just like any other AR.  Thanks to the ambi controls of the 901, this is sped up nicely. Ambi controls, while not something you have to have, are a nice feature.  Looserounds believes ambi controls are going to eventually be standard on every serious fighting rifle.

The 901 balances very well. A lot of people will complain about the gun weighing 9 pounds and more with gear added but the balance of the gun is so nice you do not notice the weight. I worked with the gun all day while shooting several times and never felt tired or like the gun was dragging me down.

Others who have shot it feel the gun is very controllable and balanced. Most have been surprised by how smooth the recoil of the carbine is.

The Colt is very fast to the shoulder form low ready making fast hits on multiple targets as slick as satan’s lawyer. The vortex flash hider tames the muzzle blast just like you expect the well-respected FH to do.

I tested the Colt while wearing my plate carrier to see how everything felt. I did not expect any surprises or let downs and I was right. The 901 is like any 556.

Firing the slayer while wearing plate carrier in non-standard and standard positions was typically easy and handling was slick.  I swapped out the factory stock for a Magpul CTR to see if a lighter stock made felt recoil more noticeable but I could tell no change.

The lower with 556 uppers used was also something with no surprises. After firing multiple surefire 60 round mags and a variety of other magazines through the upper/lower I found the gun had heated to the point gloves were needed. The T-1 mount was too hot to the touch yet the gun worked just like it was intended.

After high round count shooting and testing the rifle with normal drills, I took the gun  for a little urban use to see how it handled indoors in a more cramped situation. Even while wearing your gear and making way through small rooms and  hall ways, the 901 did great. The 308 round  is not a great choice for home defense if you are worried about over-penetration but it has appeal to a lot of people when it comes to knocking through some types of walls and structures in a more violent urban environment.


As of this writing I have over 2200 rounds through the 901. I did not clean it when I  got it and I did not clean it between shooting for groups.  I did not even put lube on the BCG until it burned away. In all that time not one malfunction appeared. The gun did not run sluggish or gritty. The only thing I noticed was the sludge from carbon and oil ruined my Tshirt. I have taken the gun apart and noticed very little wear on the parts you expect to see wear on. This is not a big deal because most quality ARs will hold up this well, but this is a new system not yet as proven as the M4 or M16 series so I think it is important to take note of how reliable it has been. Even though I have gotten it hot enough to feel through gloves. After leaving the  lower as dirty as it was, the 556 uppers were tested and ran like a swiss watch. Most of the ammo fired through the gun was federal gold medal and M80 ball with other match ammo brands used. The federal and M80 being the most used by far. The only ammo not tried yet was the cheaper Russian brands.

After all of the harsh firing schedule abuse I could manage, the rifle still shot well enough for “recce” or DMR work and not break a sweat.

The 901 is showing itself to be one of the truly most versatile Ar type rifles we have seen in a long time. It is not a dedicated sniper or CQB gun, but if used in those roles it can be employed effectively.

In the next parts there will be some reports on how it is doing with a wider variety of optics and ammo while in Florida heat and humidity while Loosrerounds testes it further and if we are lucky we will try it out on wild hogs. Fingers crossed we can pull off a successful hog hunt.

An aside.

Four-Feet

I have done mostly what most men do,
And pushed it out of my mind;
But I can’t forget, if I wanted to,
Four-Feet trotting behind.

Day after day, the whole day through —
Wherever my road inclined —
Four-feet said, “I am coming with you!”
And trotted along behind.

Now I must go by some other round, —
Which I shall never find —
Somewhere that does not carry the sound
Of Four-Feet trotting behind.

Rudyard Kipling

Carrying is a great responsibility, live up to the challenge.

Duncan Larsen AKA FailureDrill-P099 submitted this article.

Carrying is a great responsibility, live up to the challenge.

During times of great tragedy there is an opportunity to reflect on yourself as a Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) holder or off Duty Law Enforcement Officer (LEO).  CCW is not just anyone carrying a firearm, it is a state of mind.  You must think about scenarios that might occur around you.  Whether you are an off duty LEO or a private citizen CCW holder, you must mentally prepare for an active shooter scenario.  When I was a LEO, I always carried off duty.  I was not required to do so but I made the decision that I could not live with myself if something happened and I was not armed.  As a CCW holder this has also stayed with me.   Even though you might carry everyday in your own personal capacity, you must ask yourself, am I ready to use deadly force?

I remember as a young officer having a recurrent dream.  This dream was the same for a long time.  I would get into a deadly force encounter and draw my firearm.  I would fire several rounds at my attacker but they would have no effect. The guy would just keep coming at me.  I found later that other officers had this same dream.  When I became a firearms instructor, the head of the firearms division advised me to read two books.  These books were On Killing and On Combat, both by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.   These books talked a-lot about mental preparation for armed conflict.  In fact I found that the books contained officers talking about the same ongoing dream I had.   This dream let you know that you were subconsciously not mentally or physically prepared for a deadly force encounter.  The solution for this preparation is more realistic training with your duty weapon, off duty weapon or CCW weapon. Training over and over builds muscle memory and things  become second nature.  There is a reason officers cannot remember the exact number of rounds they fired in a deadly force encounter.  Their subconscious took over from their thousands of hours of training and they reacted.  They stopped the threat and did not realize it until it was over. Their reaction became second nature.

As a private CCW holder nothing is different.  You must train, you must think about the what if’s and you must make the decision that you will use deadly force when needed.  If you do not challenge yourself mentally and physically you will fail, you will freeze up when it counts.  At the end of the day you must ask yourself, do I want to be a sheep or do I want to be a sheep dog?

Several years ago there was a shooting in Trolley Square, a popular shopping mall in Salt Lake City Utah.  An off duty officer from Ogden City Police Department was having dinner with his wife in Trolley Square. This day he was carrying an off duty weapon, when a young man came in to the mall and started shooting people.  The attacker killed several men, women and children.  The officer was prepared and ran towards the gunfire.  He engaged the attacker with the only magazine of ammunition he had.  These  rounds pinned the attacker in a shop until officers from SLC SWAT engaged and killed the suspect in a firefight.  How many lives were saved? Who knows, but the officer stopped the suspect from killing anyone else because he was prepared mentally as well as physically.  That day he was just a CCW holder, just like you, and lives were saved.  If you are going to carry your firearm, commit to it mentally and physically.

Duncan

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Q&A Session 1

This is the first session of LooseRounds.com Q&A.  If you have a firearms related question please email it to QA@LooseRounds.com. We will post the your questions anonymously and give you our answers.

1. Aimpoint vs. Eotech?

Howard:  Shawn and I advocate the Aimpoint.  While early Eotechs were a far superior optic to early Aimpoint, modern Aimpoints easily beat Eotechs.  Aimpoints like the PRO, T-1, and Comp M4 have superior battery life over the Eotechs.  An Aimpoint will run for years while an Eotech will run for a month on a single battery.  In a recent drop test by Andrew Tuohy of http://vuurwapenblog.com/ the Aimpoint beat the Eotech.  Eotech has also had issues with battery draining while the optic is off.  Lastly, for a home defense rifle you can leave an Aimpoint on at all times so your rifle is ready to go.  I would not want to have to turn on an optic in a hurry while in an adverse situation.

2.  Will the Colt 901 take any 5.56 upper?

Shawn:  The Colt 901 will accept any 5.56/6.5/6.8/300BLK/etc upper receiver that has a small front pivot pin hole(Sorry, no old SP1 uppers will work with out an adapter).  You will need to use a mag well adapter and change out the buffer and buffer spring.

3.  Aimpoint PRO vs. Eotech.

Howard:  Ignoring the vs. Eotech part that was previously covered, the Aimpoint PRO is an great economical choice for a AR15.  Running about $400 new, it comes as a complete package ready to mount onto an AR15.  At 3/4 max brightness it will run about 3 years continuously.  You can leave this on next to your bed, or in your patrol car and know that it will be ready to go when you need it.  You can quickly adjust the brightness to be appropriated for the ambient lighting condition.  While it runs off a less common battery, you get so much longer life out of each battery it would end up costing you less then if you use an AA battery model Eotech.

4.  What is the lightest bullet for the 1 in 7 twist.

Shawn:  You can go as low as a 40 grain ballistic tip as long as it is a .224 bullet and not .223 hornet diameter, because the hornet diameter bullets have a light jacket designed to explode at a lower velocity.  Hornet bullets will not stand up to the faster twist and higher velocity.  Any quality 40 grain load will shoot just as well as any quality 55 or 62 grain load accuracy wise.  These lightweight bullets are not over stabilized and will not blow apart in flight.  That myth is from the days where people used the older light jacket hornet bullets in the new higher capacity .22 caliber cases like the .223 and 22-250.