I was greeted at the range on Monday morning by my friend Dave V. who handed me a gun bag that contained the carbine that I was going to use throughout the course. I opened the bag and removed a brand spanking new Colt 6920. The last time I ran a Colt gun was when I in the Regiment back in Australia so I was really excited to shoot a one again. This gun was stock out of the box with a standard trigger, pistol grip, trigger guard and M4A1 butt-stock, A2 birdcage, LMT fixed rear sight on the flat top receiver with an Aimpoint Comp M2 to finish it off.
After we knocked out the mandatory power point lessons, we headed down to the range to zero the weapons. We had a full class with 21 shooters on the line and being a basic class there was plenty of coaching required to ensure that each shooter could meet the marksmanship standards for the course of a 1" group at 25m.
After a couple of trips back and forth to check targets and make bold adjustments to the sights, I was able to sneak in a quick group of own. I loaded a magazine containing 28 rounds of 55gr Federal LE BTHP's into the well lubricated 6920 with a 16" barrel. I dropped into the prone and tested and adjusted my position to ensure I had natural point of aim and loosed off 3 rounds down range. I checked safe, called the line cold and walked down to check my handy work with the class. I checked the zero target and saw the three holes grouped up a few inches from the intended point of impact. The group was pretty decent and measured less than a inch at the extreme spread. I made some quick adjustments to the M2 Aimpoint and went back to supervising the class. Once I was happy enough that the students were in the ball park at 25m, I moved them back to 50m to confirm that each shooter was point of aim/point of impact at 50m.
I snuck in another group, this time 10 rounds from 50m. One thing I really like about the 6920 was how soft it shoots. The 55gr bullets helped out a little too! I inspected the target at saw my group. Again another pretty good group that covered about 1.75". A few more trips down to targets and we were done with zeroing and moved onto more tactical applications of employing the weapons.
I ran the gun as hard as could during the course shooting loads of multiple round drills. The 6920 performed flawlessly without any malfunctions. I used the gun to demonstrate to the students methods to clear bolt override malfunctions. I saw the look on Dave's face as I collapsed the butt-stock and began to 'mortar' it into the earth. Luckily on this day the earth was soft and sandy, and even with plenty of dust dirt and debris the Colt still ran like a charm. I didn't oil it at all over the two days nor was it cleaned.
There is certainly something to be said about quality in this game of combat shooting. I truly believe in buying high quality brand name guns and quality ammunition. This combination will give you the best performance overall. During this course there were several students shooting NY compliant guns and others using LE guns. What I noticed was that the off brand guns and parts, cheap steel cased ammo and home built guns failed more than any other. There was even a POF that continued to malfunction due to a broken lug on the barrel extension causing continuous failures to feed.
One of the students had a stainless steel 'bull' barrel that gave him all sorts of problems too. In my opinion, a cold hammer forged barrel is the only way to go if you want to attend combat shooting courses. Stainless barrels may well have there application but not for combat shooting where you need to continually run magazines through it.
Overall, I was super happy with the Colt 6920. Even with the 7" RAS II on the front I didn't have any problems managing recoil during the 6 round cadence drills. I was easily able to shoot 6 rounds in 1.5 seconds from 7m inside a 7" circle.
If your looking to purchase a quality carbine that wont let you down on your next combat shooting course, you can't go past a Colt 6920.