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Posted: 12/4/2002 12:14:05 PM EDT
Here's the situation - I'm thinking of getting a Colt MT6700. However, I've heard from multiple sources that some parts of the weapon are not military spec, such as the trigger pins and the swivel pins. I've also heard that the sear (sp?) block that prevents conversion to full auto also makes it incompatible with certain kinds of custom triggers.

I don't want to be in a situation on down the road where I'll have to pay big prices for non-mil spec proprietary Colt parts, or be limited in options for upgrading. Are new Colts being made with non-mil spec parts? If so, just how difficult is it to get replacement parts, should the need arise?

I've also been told that Colt's customer service leaves a lot to be desired.

So, how much TRUTH is there to the advice/opinions I've been getting about Colt? Are these concerns overblown, or are they real deal-busters? I'm not rich - I can't afford to get multiple AR's (yet! lol). I don't want to spend money and get a lemon.

I need straight talk and honest opinions. If you think Colt is the wrong way for me to go, tell me and explain your opinion. What company would you suggest. Everyone I've talked to says go with Bushmaster. Thanks!
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 12:28:15 PM EDT
Colts are certainly very high quality firearms, but if you want to have an all milspec rifle, get a Bushmaster. Uness you like staring at a logo ingraved on the side or the receiver, or spending more money, or having milspec replacement parts not fit, you'll never notice the difference.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 12:30:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2002 12:45:00 PM EDT by 308wood]
trigger pins and the swivel pins.
so buy a spare set of pins. easy $5.00 fix

sear (sp?) block that prevents conversion to full auto also makes it incompatible with certain kinds of custom triggers.
it works with my JP single stage trigger.
granted it take's a little "worming" but not much.


I don't want to be in a situation on down the road where I'll have to pay big prices for non-mil spec proprietary Colt parts,or be limited in options for upgrading.
this won't happen.


Are new Colts being made with non-mil spec parts? If so, just how difficult is it to get replacement parts, should the need arise?
ideally you should have a little set of springs and parts ready anyway.


I've also been told that Colt's customer service leaves a lot to be desired.
I have never needed their service dept.


So, how much TRUTH is there to the advice/opinions I've been getting about Colt?
Are these concerns overblown, or are they real deal-busters?
I love my colt. everyone I know that has a colt is happy with it. every company put's out lemons. with mass production that's just the way it is.


I'm not rich - I can't afford to get multiple AR's (yet! lol). I don't want to spend money and get a lemon.
if your worried and you want a post ban rifle take a look at Armalite, Bush Master or if you want to go cheap a DPMS. in that order.

the only reason i have a colt is i wanted a preban rifle. the colts need special parts but no major headache. it sounds like you have talked yourself into a Bush master and that is a great rifle. it's the difference between a Ferrari and Viper. they both kick ass and do the same thing but you can't get Ferrari parts at the local auto parts store.

Link Posted: 12/4/2002 12:37:01 PM EDT
Colt's makes a nice rifle.

Having said that... I don't really think they are worth the extra money unless you a going for a preban. They don't shoot any differently from my armalite or my bushmaster. And frankly my armalite has a better finish than most Colt's i have seen.

The NON milspec stuff is a small issue that can be fixed pretty simply. Keep in mind NO ar15 is milspec. There are no "spec" parts for military semi-auto m16.


JMHO

mike
You are buying a name. That is about the only real difference.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 12:46:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 1:11:54 PM EDT
I love My Colt. It would be a fine first AR.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 1:13:32 PM EDT
I will give you an example of why I bought a Bushmaster...

I wanted the best trigger made for an AR15/M16. This is the 2 stage trigger made by Knight Armament. Knights only makes triggers for milspec trigger pins. There is no "Colt" version. Therefore I would be limited in what parts I can upgrade to. Bushmaster is closest to milspec and will let me install that DIAS in the future if I want. The Colt wont allow this.

With Bushmaster you can sometimes get people who will help you. At Colt you can rarely get anyone who knows anything.

That said Id reccomend a RRA or Bushmaster for a first time AR owner.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 1:15:16 PM EDT
I'm a bushmaster guy myself. But like the others said, if you follow the ABCD's (Armalight, Bushmaster, Colt, DPMS) you shouldn't have any problems. Hope you enjoy your ar.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 1:35:44 PM EDT
My first and only AR so far, is the same colt your buying. I called there customer service when I first bought it to ask about the scope mounting on the flattop, and if the front post would interfear with the scope. They told me No it wouldn't with a good quality scope and I haven't called them back since. Only problem I've ever had with my Colt is it won't cycle Wolf ammo. Other than that Haven't had a problem, and I've probably put 1000 rounds through it.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 6:26:02 PM EDT
Colt makes great AR's, period. Customer service is bad, but i seriously doubt if you need it. Bushmaster quality control seems questionable from all the posts here about excessive windage adjustments and purple rifles- but they do make it right. The only downside to Colt is some nonstandard parts, but they are available, not like your buying some no-name gun or something.

Buy whatever you want, but Colt makes a fine rifle. I own a MT6601 and have a MT6400 on the way if that tells you anything (yes, I know I need a preban).
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 6:29:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sparsky:
Only problem I've ever had with my Colt is it won't cycle Wolf ammo.



That's odd. My Colt has had almost 3000 rounds of Wolf through it with no problems at all. What problem is it specifically?
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 7:02:18 PM EDT
Got a 6700, love it. Bushies and Armalites are just as respectable, but I wanted a Colt. Plus, I think they might hold resale value a little better. I was also able to get mine for $849 before tax, which is much better than I've seen at most gun shops.

Sparky, I'm curious about your Wolf probs too. I've put about 2500 rnds or so of the 55 grain thru with no malfunctions. I think the Wolf stuff's a little underpowered, but good enough for plinking.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 7:04:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2002 7:17:14 PM EDT by Booth]
Here's my two bits... sorry if I provide more information than you want... I've owned over a dozen ARs over the years and here's my current opinion FWIW:

Bushmaster makes great guns. I use one for 200 and 300 yard competition and it certainly holds its own. They are a for-real GI contractor and their stuff is made "to spec." What that means in the AR world is parts manufactured to GI quality but legal for semi-auto. IOW, from a business perspective, if they're already making GI quality stuff, why would they set up a different, lower-quality line just for AR parts? Well, they wouldn't - it's easier to just make everything to the same standard. Bushmaster stuff is first rate. AR fire control parts are essentially the same as M16, only various bits are altered so that they won't fire full-auto under any circumstances (Bushmaster's catalog and website have illustrations of the differences). Their chambers are SAAMI compliant so they are compliant with both .223 and 5.56 NATO (not really a big difference in real life, but there is one). All the finishing is GI spec. You just can't go wrong with Bushmaster, all things being equal. Armalite is fine (Eagle Arms is the company that bought the rights to the Armalite name and makes good guns), and I have a carbine built on a DPMS lower but have found that non-OEM parts don't always fit perfectly like they do on a Bushie (most parts fit my Bushmaster, the DPMS lower is picky). I think Olympic makes good guns, too, but they're perhaps not as well known.

Now, to Colt. You can buy a post-ban Colt pretty reasonably, or a lower to "roll your own" and you can put any upper you want on it (AWB compliance is your call, and is a whole 'nother topic). But I think the best deal going on a pre-ban gun is to get a Colt SP-1, which is the first version made from ca. 1964- ca. 1985. It's the original, Vietnam-era gun. It doesn't have the "fence" around the mag release, but they only put that there to idiot proof it against standard-issue soldiers. (If you're not an idiot, you don't need it.) The original gun is very shootable and accurate (and lighter!) unless you're in really serious competition, with 55 GR ammo it works fine, and of course 55gr is what you typically find on the market as surplus or just shooting ammo like PMC or whatever. If you're varmint shooting or plinking the 1:12 twist is really better with the light JHP and ballistic tip ammo of 40 - 50 grains, it's hell on prarie dogs. The only catch there is that Colt made the take-down pin a little larger on the SP-1s so you couldn't use an M16 upper (do they still do that?). The good news is that this isn't an insurmountable problem. Any AR barrel made will "bolt up" to an early upper (which is pretty much what the AR-15A2 is, an M16A2 barrel on an M16A1 upper on an SP-1 lower), so unless you want A2 sights or a flat-top upper putting a heavy barrel on is pretty simple. Many companies make adaptors that let you put a small-hole upper on a large-hole lower, not real elegant but workable. The proper fix would be to just have the hole re-bored to fit the SP-1 lower. Come to think of it, you could pick up a "Blue Label" colt if you want a pre-ban gun: they have the mag well fence and reinforced lower receiver and are exactly the same as "Green Label" guns except for the bayonet lug, but for some reason sell for a lot less than the Green Label guns. Watch the auctions on Gunbroker.com and you'll see what's out there.

So, that's a long-winded way of saying that I think you should either get a Bushmaster if you want something new, or an SP-1 if you want a Colt. Hope some of that is useful to you, feel free to e-mail me with any questions.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 7:06:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Glock31:
Colt makes great AR's, period. Customer service is bad, but i seriously doubt if you need it. Bushmaster quality control seems questionable from all the posts here about excessive windage adjustments and purple rifles- but they do make it right.



It's been quite a while (a couple of years I think) since the batch of Bushmasters that had the problems with incorrectly indexed barrels that led to windage problems as well as the batch that had a slight purple sheen. Colt has also had quality problems in the past, so it's a wash.

Overall, the quality of new Bushmasters is easily as good as the quality of new Colts (as is Armalite). All three make fine rifles, and both make enough rifles that once in a while a lemon slips through. The difference is that you pay more for the name brand with Colt and for the illusion of a name brand with "Armalite"

Personally I've bought several Bushmasters because :
(1) There's no difference in quality
(2) The exact same Colt rifle costs more
(3) If you ever do need customer service, Bushmaster's is far superior.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 7:20:52 PM EDT
Oh, and one other thing, about customer service. These are essentially military rifles. Almost by definition, customer service on such a gun is a contradiction: if you need it, the gun isn't combat ready. I have never had to call an OEM about service on an AR-15. Not saying something won't come up, but it's really a minor consideration IMHO. I'd be MUCH more focused on things like overall quality and conformance to (accept) GI parts.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 7:23:48 PM EDT
You know, everybody keeps forgetting what a great deal SP-1s are. Not just Colt, but Colt from the era when they really made them nice. The Colts from the 1960s have fit-and-finish that nobody's been able to really equal since 1970. I have a couple of guns from 1964 (SN 006xx) and 1968, and they are finished like pre-war Garands. Really nice.
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 8:14:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DevL:
I will give you an example of why I bought a Bushmaster...

I wanted the best trigger made for an AR15/M16. This is the 2 stage trigger made by Knight Armament. Knights only makes triggers for milspec trigger pins. There is no "Colt" version. Therefore I would be limited in what parts I can upgrade to. Bushmaster is closest to milspec and will let me install that DIAS in the future if I want. The Colt wont allow this.

With Bushmaster you can sometimes get people who will help you. At Colt you can rarely get anyone who knows anything.

That said Id reccomend a RRA or Bushmaster for a first time AR owner.



So, are you saying that it would be impossible to upgrade the trigger of a new post-ban Colt? Or was it just that the Knight Armament trigger didn't fit a Colt?
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 8:18:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sparsky:
My first and only AR so far, is the same colt your buying. I called there customer service when I first bought it to ask about the scope mounting on the flattop, and if the front post would interfear with the scope. They told me No it wouldn't with a good quality scope and I haven't called them back since. Only problem I've ever had with my Colt is it won't cycle Wolf ammo. Other than that Haven't had a problem, and I've probably put 1000 rounds through it.



So you've never had a problem with the trigger or swivel pins wearing out or breaking somehow and having to replace them and not being able to find the parts because they're not mil spec (which seems to be another way of saying "industry standard")?
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 10:09:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2002 10:13:52 PM EDT by Sparsky]
The problem I was having with my AR when I was using Wolf ammo, was It was short stroking so bad I'd catch the next round a 1/4 inch from the rim and jam on the feeding ramp. I only tried one box (20rnds) through it, and that was probably when I only had 50rnds through the rifle. I was thinking maybe spring needed to be broken in a little more. I'll give it a try again this weekend and post the range report. As far as parts breaking on my AR. Hasn't happened yet. Nothing in the internals looks to have excessive wear or play.
Edited to add: I still have the same accuracy I had when I bought it, under 3/4 inch, but that's mostly me. I reload my own using 55grn Nosler Balistic Silver Tip projectiles.

I read this article when I bought my colt. Thought yall might want to see it also.

www.galleryofguns.com/Shootingtimes/Articles/DisplayArticles.asp?ID=1205
Link Posted: 12/4/2002 10:40:07 PM EDT
Some certain triggers (and the Knights is one of them) wont fit. You will never have the best trigger made in your gun if you own a Colt. That was reason enough for me to not get one. The Bushmaster costs less and I have never ever had a problem. Purchase from a reputable dealer or hand pick your Bushmaster like I did. I have had a Colt upper too and the fit and finish is identical. Youd be hard pressed to tell em apart if they were not stamped with the manufactures proofs. Why pay more only to gain nothing and lose something?
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 12:17:11 AM EDT
Once Colt went with sear blocks and oversized trigger group pins I had no use for them anymore.

If you decided to buy an earlier Colt then I say go for it.

If you can only afford the newer PC crap then I would go with Bushmaster for closest military spec and to Rock River Arms for best fit and finish.
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 9:21:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By David_Hineline:
Once Colt went with sear blocks and oversized trigger group pins I had no use for them anymore.

If you decided to buy an earlier Colt then I say go for it.

If you can only afford the newer PC crap then I would go with Bushmaster for closest military spec and to Rock River Arms for best fit and finish.



I agree 100%
That Trigger/ Pivot pin stuff pissed me off to no end when I first saw it,and to be honest It still does. The receiver block also bothered me but not as much as messing with the pivot pin. I know It was designed to help save Colt from lawsuits, but It made them appear to me and a lot of gun owners like they were the newest "Uncle Tom" of the Gun Industry. Instead of trying stand and fight to put out the best product It APPEARED (my opinion) they were going to bend over backward to appease all the anti-gunners that would never truly be satisfied any way. I know plenty of people who blindly love Colt, and will not accept hearing anything bad about them or buy anything else. So bear in mind I am not talking about Colt QUALITY issues, just Colt's company policies and Corporate decisions.


JerrY
Link Posted: 12/5/2002 9:54:15 AM EDT
I want to thank everyone who took the time to respond. Based on all the advice/opinions I've gotten, I think I've moved away from the idea of a Colt. It seems that I can get identical quality with Bushmaster or RRA or Armalite, while at the same time avoiding compatibility problems, making it easier to upgrade/replace parts. That's not to say that if someone dropped a Colt in my lap and said "here's one for $500" I wouldn't snatch it up. I'll let everyone know what my final decision is, and how it turns out. My very first AR is just around the corner! :)
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