[SHOT 2016] Colt’s CK901 7.62×39 AR To Come To Civilian Market

In 2014, Colt announced a new variant of its CM901 line of convertible 7.62×51/5.56×45 AR-pattern rifles, the CK901. Designed for orders coming from the Middle East and other areas where AKs are plentiful, the CK901 feeds from existing surplus AK magazines, while – in the paraphrased words of the Colt representative I spoke to – “introducing that market to the AR platform without disturbing what they’re used to”.


At the 2015 SHOT Show, the CK901 was conspicuously absent, but this year the rifle was present at the Defense side of the Colt booth, opposite the Colt Canada products. Contrary to initial reports quoting a weight of 4.5 kg (9.92 lbs), the CK901 was listed at the 2016 SHOT Show as weighing 7.9lbs (3.58 kg), and after handling the rifle I wholeheartedly favor the latter figure as being the correct one.


The first order for the CK901 came from Yemen, and the gun present at the Show was serialized as a Yemeni contract item, but lacked any accessories besides sights. It’s likely that the 4.5kg figure was either a shipping weight, or the weight of the rifle plus contracted accessories.

During the 2015 SHOT Show, I ran an article on the newly announced CMMG Mutant – itself very similar to the CK901 in concept – discussing an essential feature the Mutant possesses that other non-AK rifles feeding from AK magazines do not: Proper magazine support. Does the CK901 have this feature, too?



Now for the real question: Will the CK901 come to the US market? The Colt representative I spoke to at the Show said “absolutely yes”. When and how, though, remains up in the air, as the company has more pressing concerns to attend to before that happens.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • Harrison Jones

    While I’ll be happy to see it come to the market it would’ve done better if they could have released it to the public before the CMMG Mutant

    • That’s kind of the background music for Colt all the time, isn’t it?

      • Harrison Jones

        Whatever happened to the cool update 6940 at shot a couple years ago. I’ve heard they’ve done R and D on tons of cool ideas but few(none) come to market. I guess that explains their financial situation.

        • I think the causality likely works the other way, rather.

    • Joshua

      Government contracts will always come before civilian sales. It doesn’t matter who the company is.

      • Frank

        Tell that to Ruger.

      • Harrison Jones

        Considering the slump in AR sales and the rumor I heard about the Yemeni contact being canceled I’d say that wasn’t the issue. I think they are just hesitant to act on a decision.

        • Colt’s rep mentioned nothing about the Yemeni contract being cancelled, and said the CK901 is in full production.

  • avconsumer2

    I imagine we will all cringe at the street price when / if it gets here.

  • Alexandru Ianu

    Does this thing have a proper thick bolt, or is it just the 5.56 bolt milled out?

    • Fred Johnson

      Good question. Anyone have a pic of the Colt bolt?

    • It’s a 901 bolt and carrier, so it’s like a Mutant in that respect.

      • snmp

        That’s sound like .308 CM901/LE901 bolt carrier and x39 bolt

  • Wolfgar

    I still think they should make this rifle in 6.5 Grendel and get Magpul to make a true 30 round magazine for it.. With available cheap steel ammo and the advantages and versatility of the Grendel cartridge I see no reason why it would fail. Why copy and re-hash the same old ideas?

    • Because Colt designed this rifle to sell to countries with a glut of AK mags and ammo.

      • Wolfgar

        How’s that market plan been working out for them?

        • All the Raindrops

          Who knows? It likely has very little to do with their financial issue.

          • Wolfgar

            Putting a new rifle design on the market without any financial consideration sounds about right for Colt.

          • Erm, regardless of what they are doing, Sciens will still be bleeding them dry…

          • Wolfgar

            So true!

  • dat bee tru

    a firearm manufacture in bankruptcy when firearm sales are at an all time high?

  • supergun

    Still like the 300 Blackout over the AK. But this is a beautiful idea also.

  • snmp

    7.62×39 AR are more base on .308/AR10 version than AR15/M16 like the AI AR10 Finland Contract Prototype, KAC SR47 and in some way the CMMG MK47 & the Rock River Arms LAR 47