Hartford gunmaker Colt’s Manufacturing has introduced a new carbine model at the 2017 Bahrain International Defence Exhibition & Conference (BIDEC). The weapon, called the M5 Enhanced Carbine, is an AR-15-style rifle fitted with Geissele Super Modular Rail handguards sporting low profile screw mounting points, an ambidextrous lower receiver, and a short-stroke gas piston and operating rod gas system. The website Army Recognition has posted an article on the new carbine, as well as what appears to be a segment of a press release from Colt:
Introducing the M5 Enhanced Carbine series of assault rifles for the modern war fighter and special weapons law enforcement professional when weight, comfort and adaptability are critical.
The Colt M5 Enhanced Carbine features a completely redesigned lower receiver with fully ambidextrous controls and a 6-posrtion receiver extension adaptable to any sized shooter and bilateral shooting style. With maximum performance and ergonomics at the forefront of the design considerations.
The Colt M5 Enhanced Carbine has a low profile gas block in a carbine length gas system and a free float modular rail system, maximizing rail real estate, comfort, weight and accuracy, while at the same time, maintaining the same lethality and accuracy expected from a Colt.
The Colt M5 uses a conventional short-stroke tappet piston where a two piece piston/ operating rod strikes the face of the bolt carrier group driving it rearward and the piston rod returns to its forward position by a spring.
The barrel itself has had some redesign work on it as well though still utilizing the standard M4 feed ramps on the barrel extension. There are modifications of the chamber area of the barrel and the changes further ventilate gas and helps with air circulation by drawing heat out of the receiver and out the handguards.
The M5 Enhanced Carbine is truly the next step in a long legacy of Colt high performance assault weapons.
Of interest is the fact that this is not the first rifle released by Colt under the name “M5 Carbine”. Preceding it was an earlier M5 Carbine, which was related to (but distinct from) the Colt LE1020 Advanced Law Enforcement Carbine, as well as the Colt P0923 Advanced Piston Carbine. However, unlike the monolithic receivers of the LE1020 and APC, the new M5 Enhanced Carbine uses a discrete, modular upper receiver like an M4 or the previous M5. The new M5 Enhanced Carbine’s ambidextrous lower receiver is possibly derived from Colt’s modified Advanced Piston Carbine which was submitted to the US Army’s Individual Carbine trials.
Oddly, the rifle is fitted with a variant of the screw-mount Super Modular Rail handguards from Geissele, rather than the increasingly standard M-LOK. This suggests that the screw mount SMR was requested by one customer or another, and that other Geissele handguards could be available in the future, including pure M-LOK models.