Review of Colt AR15




I’ve owned quite a few AR15’s over the past 10 years or so.  Some, like this one, I’ve built with kits or with extra accumulated parts plus parts purchased for a particular project.  Other’s were purchased whole, but most have been modified to some degree while I had them.  I’m sure many can relate with modifying and ‘improving’ firearms, especially the AR platform.

This AR15 was built with the standard issue 20″ A3 in mind, what most of us grew up thinking of as ‘Army guns”.  I know, those were probably A1’s and A2’s with fixed carry handles, but the rifle before the dinky 14.5″ barreled M4 became the standard is what I had in mind.  Anyway this would have to be considered a ‘Parts Gun’, but this review is as much about the rifle as it is about the recent experience I had with it!

– The receivers are from Essential Arms, sold as a matched pair but I’ve found them to be a bit on the loose side yet very functional.

– The Colt BCG was purchased new at the Austin Gun Show a few years back and had been in my parts drawer since.

– The furniture and recoil buffer/spring was from my first 6.8 SPC rifle I purchased as a kit from Model 1 Sales in 2005 that was of course dressed up a bit so those parts also had been lying around for several years.  The Ergo grip was one I’d had for awhile as well.

– The Rock River Arms 2-stage trigger was purchased used from a friend in 2009.

– The 1/7 20″ Colt Government Profile barrel (pencil thin under the handguard and .750 from gas port forward) was the last major part purchased and was the one of the harder parts I’ve looked for and bought.  Finally found what I was looking for on Gunbroker from a dealer in Minnesota in February 2010, sold as new.

– The rest of the odds and ends parts (remaining lower parts, tac-latch charging handle, A2 flash-hider, and rifle length gas tube) were purchased from local sources as soon as the barrel was bought so I could assemble the rifle as soon as the barrel was delivered.

– The Trijicon 3×9 Accupoint with amber chevron was on another rifle I purchased about a year ago and seemed better suited to this AR15.  The LaRue Tactical 5/8 riser mount and rings were purchased directly from LaRue Tactical several years back.

– The ammo I’ve used almost entirely is a 1000 round batch of PPU (Prvi Partizan) 75gr HP BT .223 Remington Match that I got in a trade earlier this year.

I listed this rifle as Colt AR15 because the barrel, BCG and magazine pictured were manufactured by Colt and Essential Arms wasn’t listed.

Once assembled I did the initial site-in/break-in at Red’s Indoor Range in Pflugerville this past spring.  The next chance I had to shoot it was the following weekend at a good friends family ranch in Johnson City, TX.  By the end of the day when we moved waaay back from the steel target array we have setup there I was satifactorily pinging the 12″ steel plate at 100, 200 and even 300 yards and the 18×24 gong at 400yds.  Cool.

Fast-forward to this past weekend when I had the opportunity to join a friend (and one of the founders of this site!) at his lease just South of Seguin, TX.  I think if you do a quick search he’s written a little about the place.  I saw the middle slice of this 7000 acre spread and was very impressed.  Miles of jeep roads, incredible vistas over sections creatively dubbed “The Serengetti” (yeah, looks that big!) and a lot of dense forest.  Typical, yet cedar free, Central Texas low hill country.  But, where I’m used to seeing rocky terrain this is sandy mostly.  The kind of place any outdoors type would give up a pay-check to have to an opportunity to roam around on in a purposely modified old 4×4 and look if nothing else, but prepared if an opportunity should arise.  We got the impression not many people had been out and about in a few months during the heat of the summer so we kinda got to see things relatively untouched.  We were primarily looking for hogs, which are plentiful but that weekend were scarce.  I didn’t get an opportunity to put my finger on the trigger until early Saturday morning.

We left from the A/C’ed cabin we were in about sunrise and were on the main ‘Red’ road that cuts through the center of the ranch making our way slowly to check the places we had liberally spread corn while scouting around the previous night.  I spotted him on my left standing in the middle of an overgrown side road about 80 yards out.  Without a doubt a coyote.  I was sitting in one of the high seats in the back of the 4×4 leaning over the cab, quickly relayed what I had spotted and we quickly reversed as slowly and quietly as we could to get back to the spot, fortunately it was only a few feet. Surprisingly he was still standing there looking at us.  Well, I of course had my AR on the cab and was lined up when we stopped, found center mass on his left side he was presenting to me and squeezed the trigger.  I probably should have gone for the neck but I was expecting him to bolt so centered on the biggest part of him I saw in my scope.  After the shot he juked back the what he’d come and after a very short search we found him about 25 yards from the point of impact.  The shot was at the point of aim as I recall a little high of a typical heart shot but I guess he was slightly angled because it exited further back on his right side with a quarter sized wound.  So the HP BT 75gr projectile went through a good portion of his chest.

All in all it was a very fun trip I hope to get the privelege to have again.  I saw some incredible Texas country, got to hang out with some buds and met some interesting characters as well and got to down a varmint I’ve never dropped before.  Read and heard about coyote hunting before but this was my first.

Inexpensive as AR15’s go and built it as I wanted with spare parts and a few purchased parts for this project.  Very lightweight for a 20″ semi-auto rifle and very affective.

My only complaint is the fit of the ‘matched receiver set’.  I’ve put together completely separate upper/lower receivers that fit together very nicely.  But, even though it wiggles a little it doesn’t seem to affect the function of the rifle and I’ve seen plenty of other AR’s that are loose so it doesn’t concern me when it comes down to it.

Yes, I would build myself another AR15.

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Publisher of Tactical Gun Review. Managing partner of Coker Tactical. I love hunting for Texas whitetail deer, wild hogs, and high-volume Argentina dove. When not hunting you can find me fishing along the Texas Coast or on a wild Colorado river.

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