After several years of being undercut on the market by cheaper offerings from Smith & Wesson and others, Colt introduced early in 2016 a new addition to their lineup, the “Expanse” carbine, designed to cut the price tag of a Colt carbine by $200-300 versus the standard 6920. The new rifle was met with positive reviews and many felt very good about the opportunity to own a “real” Colt for significantly less than the cost of the 6920. However, is the Expanse really a Colt, or more specifically, how much of the Expanse is really Colt? Christopher Bartocci, former Colt technician, thinks the answer is “not much”. Bartocci explains why in the video embedded below:
Bartocci identifies several components that he believes are not produced by or assembled at Colt, including the following:
- Castle nut and endplate (at least not assembled at Colt)
- Forward assist plug
- Front sight block
Despite these components not evidently being Colt’s own, Bartocci does believe some elements of the Expanse are genuine Colt, including the lower receiver and possibly the hammer, which although a different pattern than used on the 6920 is the same as other Colt models.
Bartocci does not express an opinion as to whether the Expanse is therefore a good rifle or a bad one, and notes that everything does seem to be in order on it – notwithstanding the lack of dust cover or forward assist. However, for those looking for a real genuine Colt rifle at a good price, it may be better to save some more and get a real 6920, which besides being much closer in configuration to a military M4 is also a through-and-through Colt gun. The Expanse, however, does not seem to be.