Colt Tactical carbines

The Colt Defense Tactical line is, or was, supposed to be Colt’s triumphant return to the commercial market. I held off for months from blogging about the Colt Defense’s Tactical line of rifles until more information came to light. Nearly six months later no new information has been unveiled and the website is still offline. I have decided to publish what I know but keep in mind that the specs probably will have changed by the time they make it to market.

The philosophy of Colt Tactical’s line is to be an out-of-the-box optics-ready AR-15 built to the same standards as the Colt M4 rifles built for the military.

The Colt Tactical display.

Three models will be offered based on the 6940, 6920 and 6520.

Colt Tactical 6940. Photo © SMGLee

The 6940-based carbine features a Vltor Gen-2 flip up front sight, a KAC 600m micro rear sight and a Vltor iMOD stock.

Colt Tactical 6920 and 6520. Photo © SMGLee

The 6920 and 6520 feature a Centurion Arms free float rail system, KAC 300m micro BUIS and Vltor iMOD stock.

David Crane has written about the new line at DefenseReview.

[ Many thanks to SMGLee for info and photos. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • iMick

    Stupid Question: Not that it really matters, but why do manufacturers persist with selling M4 profile barrels with the M203 cutout on civilian only ARs? Surely a straight or tapered barrel will have superior harmonics/accuracy/blah etc? Do you get laughed at at the range when you unbag an M4 and it doesn’t have the cutout? Are there M4 elitists? Don’t know why but its always bugged me. Curious! 🙂

  • greasyjohn

    Man, wouldn’t it be crazy if Colt made double action revolvers?

  • Vak

    iMick : a lot of people bolt about 10 pounds of magpul stuff on their range queen AR or duracoat it. Do they “need” it ? No, of course not, they most likely never have to fight against 50 terrorists in their cozy suburbia, but it’s always cool to have it, I guess. Well, the grenade cutout is the same thing.

    (as for me I don’t care, I prefer handguns, so whatever)

  • AK™

    Oh look..ANOTHER AR-15 rifle.
    I get more excited seeing a “new” 1911 clone..

  • Bill Lester


    I agree with you about the M203 cutout. I think it’s proof positive that for much of the AR community, form is more important than function. Ya gotta look tacticool!

  • subase

    It’s cheaper I guess.

  • Rich B

    @iMick: Wouldn’t it be obvious that it is cheaper to manufacture one barrel over and over in mass quantity? Since they are manufacturing the same barrel for all uses, it would make sense to me that they wouldn’t bother with having a ‘civilian’ barrel and a ‘military’ barrel.

  • drewogatory

    It’s odd that customers purchase/manufacturers offer so many high end variants of a platform whose main selling point is customization. No matter how a rifle is set up from the factory, most end users will end up replacing various components anyway, so why anyone would buy an off the shelf gun over bare uppers and lowers or the most basic variant offered is beyond me.

  • Burst

    It’s all statistics. There’s a few of these rifles that’ll be modded into movie/prop guns, and therefore WOULD have the cutout.
    There are also people who’ll buy a version identical to the milspec one
    that have problems with ANY civilian-only features, no matter how practical.
    and there ARE a few legal flare launchers made in M203 configuration…

  • Hey, they finally made a 6520 with a flat-top! Now, someone talk them into making one with a mid-length gas system.

  • charles222

    I’ve always liked the look of the M4 barrel with the 203 cutout. And it’s still a plenty accurate rifle for what it’s supposed to do.

  • Tod

    It is what customers want when they want an “M4” since that is what the “real ones” look like. Remember, right or wrong, a lot of people buy stuff because it is or looks like what the military uses, whether or not the reasons the military chose it apply to their individual circumstances.

  • Lance

    Will these lower receivers on Colts be same Mil spec as other companies or will it be like other 1990s vintage Bigger hole cut receivers?

  • Joe

    ARs with 16in M4 profile barrels sell like crazy because they look like what the military uses. Everyone wants an M4, not an A1 or A2 Carbine.

  • W

    imick, wide availability of barrels 🙂

    and yeah, colt “tactical carbines”. save your money can acquire a noveske.

  • Alex

    In a chrome lined barrel, the limiting factor to accuracy is the consistency of the bore, chamber and chrome, not the stiffness or profile of the barrel. M4 profile also saves weight.

  • jdun1911

    No iMick, I don’t even care and I bet the majority of AR don’t care either.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Better yet why do thy even put 16″ barrels on carbine length gas systems?

    It’s all about the look.

  • JoeB

    Maybe they realized that there are so many AR’s out there that this wouldnt really make much of an impact in the market. I think the whole out of the box, optic ready thing is pretty cool. Other than that, I dont think this will make much of a difference. Well, besides the “Hey, I have a COLT M4!” thing. You know, the H&K disease many have

  • Bob

    Will they have a piston AR? Estimated cost?

  • Vitor

    Bob, Colt has designed a piston AR that they called M5. But I dont think they intend to sell it, since it would appear that Colt would be admiting the alleged supperiority of piston over DI after Cold defended their DI guns many and many times already.

  • Martin

    I like ARs of all makes. I cheer every time another company decides to start selling them. More competition means lower prices for us, and it satisfies those that are brand loyal.

  • JD

    Vakon 23 Jul 2010 at 9:58 pm link comment
    iMick : a lot of people bolt about 10 pounds of magpul stuff on their range queen AR or duracoat it. Do they “need” it ? No, of course not,

    It’s called the “Bill of rights” not the “bill of needs”.

  • JD

    AK™on 23 Jul 2010 at 10:04 pm link comment
    Oh look..ANOTHER AR-15 rifle.

    The more AR’s the better.

  • Tom

    Nothing special.. same old rifles with added after market accessories.. Personally.. i have never been impressed with Colt quality.. other manufactures are doing a much better job at that.. Colt is only relying on there name to sell products..

  • anonymous

    Until they bring back the king cobra and anaconda, Colt can stand on its head and whistle dixie for all I care.
    Another AR15? Yawn.

  • Bill Lester


    I’ll second the Anaconda but would hope Colt announced a modernized Detective Special using the Magnum Carry lock work before the King Cobra.

  • jdun1911

    Colt developed piston AR in the early 70’s. Piston AR isn’t new, it been with us for a while. The difference is the marketing and internet fanboys.

    Here what a former piston fanboy had to said about his LWRC piston AR after firing tens of thousand of rounds.

    Piston AR Carrier Tilt

    And than there is the extra weight.

  • W

    yeah, the “carrier tilt issue” is basically a non issue and blown way out of proportion. Perhaps many forget testing done by the US Army and SOCOM when comparing DI impingement to gas piston designs?

    Direct impingement works fine as long as there is proper maintenance. Gas piston has been used since the days of john browning so i dont see any reason to not use it.