After pausing production of commercial AR-15 rifles in late 2019 to reduce excess commercial inventory and to focus production capacity on an enormous backlog of law enforcement and military contracts, Colt resumed commercial market AR-15 distribution around September of 2020. During the almost one-year gap between the manufacturing pause and continuation of distribution, Colt rebranded their AR-15 rifle product line and implemented a new design on the lower receiver.
The first rifle released in the revised product line was the CR6920. The CR6920 is essentially the legacy LE6920 carbine with a revised rollmark on the lower receiver. The ‘CR’ used in the new product line represents ‘Colt Rifle’ and not ‘civilian rifle’ as has been claimed on some internet sites.
I was able to get my CR6920 from my FFL in December of 2020. My family commitments during the holidays and my work schedule greatly delayed getting this article put together.
The item description provided to sellers of the new CR6920 says the following:
“For 2020, Colt has consolidated all commercial & LE rifle rollmarks under one common model naming nomenclature, “Colt Carbine”. The change allows for consistency in manufacturing across current and future rifle builds. Features on this model are identical to the prior LE6920 platform, with the exception of the changed rollmark.
Features include a chrome-lined, 16.1″ barrel with 1:7″ twist. The barrel utilizes a direct impingement gas system and a 5.56 chamber. Includes a 4-position collapsible stock, Magpul rear sight, A2 front sight base and 7075-T6 aluminum receivers.”
Specifications for the CR6920 are as follows:
- Action: Gas Operated Semi-Auto
- Caliber: 223 Remington/5.56 NATO
- Barrel Length: 16.1 inches
- Capacity: 30+1
- Trigger: Standard
- Safety: Reversible Safety Selector
- Over All Length (OAL): 35.5 inches
- Weight: 6.95 lbs
- Stock: Black 4-Position Collapsible
- Metal Finish: Black
- Muzzle: A2 Flash Hider
- Receiver Material: 7075-T6 Aluminum
- Sights: A2 Front, Magpul Rear
- Barrel Description: Chrome-Lined Twist: 1:7 inches
- Purpose: Duty \ Range
- Overall Length: 32 inches to 35 inches
- Features: Front Barrel Lug/ Ejection Port Cover
The Colt CR6920 ships in Colts standard compartmented cardboard box (40.5” x 8.5” x 3”) with clamshell type lid. One end of the box has the Colt factory product label that shows the following information:
- Barrel length
- Model Number
- Serial Number
- QR Code
The carbine is contained inside an inner cardboard compartment. On the outside of the inner compartment is a QR code label. The use of QR codes through the manufacturing process gives Colt detailed item tracking from the beginning of manufacturing, through all phases of assembly and final disposition at shipping. The QR code contains the date the firearm began production, the model number and serial number. The carbine is protected during shipment by a clear polyethylene bag that meets military specification MIL-DTL-117, Type 3-Class B Style 2.
The military specification dictates material, manufacturing and testing requirements for the polyethylene bags. As shown on the bag, the manufacturer is Edco Supply Corporation and the product date is July 2020. The bag is 44” long and 13.75” wide.
Contained in the open space of the box interior is the accessory package. The accessories are contained in a small (12” x 6”) polyethylene, heat-sealed bag manufactured by Edco Supply Corporation in accordance with the same military specifications as the previously mentioned rifle bag. My accessory bag is dated December 2019. Some people complain that the CR6920’s do not come with many accessories. The CR6920 was intended as an entry level Colt rifle with the expectation that most buyers would change out sights, stocks, grips, etc. With that in mind, there is no point in Colt including accessories that the customer will have to pay for if market evaluation determined that the accessories probably would not be used by the buyer. The more expensive, higher level rifles (CR6920-EPR and CR6940) carbines have additional items included with the rifle with the expectation that much less customization will be done to the rifles by the buyer.
The accessory bag contains the following:
- Colt safety and instruction manual- Part No. 96101 Rev. D Sept 03
- Magpul PMAG 30 AR/M4 GEN M2 magazine
- Colt branded firearm safety lock
The rifle ships with a chamber block installed. This chamber block leaves the bolt retracted several inches. To remove the chamber block, you simply pull back on the charging handle while pulling back and out on the chamber block.
BUTTSTOCK, RECEIVER EXTENSION and BUFFER
The rifle has a standard 4-position, adjustable buttstock and receiver extension on it. The buttstock is matte black. On the right side of the buttstock behind the locking lever is the Colt CAGE code (13629) and the P&S Products CAGE code (4U486). There is a standard sling loop mounted on the bottom of the stock assembly. It is held in place by a mil-spec screw (identifiable by the pointed end). P&S Products is the manufacturer of this buttstock provides carbine stocks to the DoD in addition to Colt.
The receiver end plate and castle nut are standard with no noticeable variances. The castle nut and end plate are properly staked. The lower receiver is a standard Colt lower receiver. On the left side, the lever stops are milled off as is done on all civilian rifles. Selector lever markings (SAFE and FIRE) are on both sides of the lower receiver so that the owner can change the side the selector lever is on. The SAFE and FIRE markings appear to be laser engraved. They are clean and uniform in appearance. There is a ‘o’ and an ‘S’ on the selector lever indicating that the manufacturer is Schmid Tool.
There is a small QR code on the magazine well in line with the relief for the magazine catch. Just forward of the QR code/magazine catch is the rollmark that consists of the Rampant Colt logo and the text CARBINE CAL. 5.56MM. The serial number is etched at the bottom of the rollmark. The rollmark and serial number appear to be laser engraved due to their uniform width and consistent depth of alpha-numeric characters and image outline.
One thing that stands out with the CR6920 from the LE6920 is the use of laser engraving. On this carbine, there is a font depth and width difference between the safety selector marks, rollmark on the magazine well, and the Colt Defense markings above the trigger. One thing I do like about the laser engraving is that you get consistent depth and width of the alpha-numeric characters and images (rampant colt in this case). It is a very ‘clean’ look compared to the variance of depth and width of alpha-numeric characters seen when using traditional roll dies.
The pistol grip is a standard A2 pistol grip. It has ‘F1’ stamped inside the grip. The trigger assembly consists of Colt’s standard military specification trigger assembly. One change with the CR6920 that has been noticed by the AR-15 crowd is the transition from a ‘notched’ hammer to a rounded design. The hammer has Colt’s CAGE code present on the left side along with an ‘S’, an second ‘S’ and a ‘1’ on the right side.
The upper receiver is a standard Colt ‘M4’ marked upper receiver. There are white ‘T’ marks in the even numbered STD-1913 rail positions. The ‘T’ marks on this rifle are of a different font than what I have seen in my other rifles. The white color fill of the alpha-numeric characters is clean and even.
On the right side of the upper receiver is the ‘square’ forge mark that indicates the forging is produced by Brass Aluminum Forging Enterprises of Ferndale, Michigan. The ‘square’ forge is recognized amongst many AR-15 manufacturers and is an industry leader. Just behind the square forge mark is the Colt CAGE code. We see selector marks (safe, fire) on this side. Although the selector lever is installed on the left side of the receiver, it can be changed to the right side. The ejection port cover is standard and uses a black colored spring that blends in with the firearm finish.
The rear sight provided on the CR6920 is a folding MAGPUL MBUS dual-aperature injection molded sight. The sight locks down in a flat position when not being used. With a slight push on a locking lever the sight body pops up due to being under spring tension. The MAGPUL MBUS sight is adjustable for windage only. If properly installed, the sight mounting hardware aligns with the top rail position T2.
The CR6920 has a standard M4 profile, chrome-lined barrel. The markings on it are “13629 MP 5.56 NATO 1/7”. The barrel extension has a ‘o’ on the left side and a ‘4’ on the right side which indicates it is a Colt barrel extension. There is an ‘R’ stamped on the outside of the barrel indicating it is made by Rosco. There is not a barrel date present on this carbine. The carbine has a standard A2 flash hider.
The handguards consist of two halves (top & bottom) which are standard 7-hole, double heat shield handguards.
The front sight base/gas block is a standard fixed front sight base/gas block assembly. Some people still ask about why an ‘F’ is no longer put on the front sight base. An ‘F’ is no longer used because there is only one height of front sight base/gas block in use so there is no need to differentiate height variants anymore. My barrel still has a yellow dot present from the quality inspection process that validates gas flow/solvent flow through the gas system. The forge code on the front sight base is very rough. Probably the roughest that I have seen. I am able to tell that it is <B>2. It was extremely hard to photograph. The front sight post is a standard four-sided post adjustable for elevation only. There is a standard sling swivel installed on the bottom of the front sight base/gas block.
The bolt carrier group is a standard Colt full-auto bolt carrier group. A faint ‘C’ has been dot-peened on the left side of the bolt carrier. It is very small and only noticeable under sufficient light and viewed at an angle. The bolt has a faint ‘MPC’ stamped on it. Additionally, there is an ‘A’ stamped on the bolt below the ‘MPC’ which is an indicator for a sub-contractor making the bolts. The staking of the gas key is not as aggressive as I have seen on some of my other Colt rifles but it still meets specifications. The extractor assembly features a copper-colored spring and black insert. The charging handle is standard charging handle with the Colt CAGE code on the bottom.
Overall, the fit and finish of the CR6920 Carbine is truly flawless. The matte black color of the finish is consistent and uniform across applicable rifle components. The only finish deficiency that I noticed on the rifle was with the bolt cam pin which has a very faint finish. Some people complain about the visible gap between upper and lower receivers on AR-15’s. The gap between the upper and lower receiver on the Colt CR6920 is minimal. I really don’t see that there would be anyway to make it fit tighter short of starting a hand-fit process of some type. The only wiggle of parts is with the handguards. They shift and rattle just a little bit if you try to move them left or right. When I compare this CR6920 to my LE6920, the CR6920 is a better rifle when comparing fit and finish. Due the current ammunition shortage, I haven’t decided if I am going to dip into my stash for range session with this rifle yet.
With the MSRP of the Colt CR6920 being only $1099.99, I feel like it is a great rifle to for both the new rifle owner and professional user alike. Colt is famous for their rock solid construction and combat history. And of course, collectors like myself are excited to see a new product out in stores.
At the time of this writing, Colt has released the following carbines in their revised CR series of firearms:
- CR6920 Carbine
- CR6920MPS-B (CR6920 with Magpul Stock-Black)
- CR6920- EPR Enhanced Patrol Rifle
- CR6940 monolithic Carbine
- CR6700A4 This is essentially the AR-15A4 rebranded under a new product designation
Distributor websites show the pending release of the following firearms in the CR series:
- CR6960 This is the legacy LE6960 CCU that was a TALO exclusive previously and market as part of the Colt Combat Unit series.
I hope to get ahold of a couple of more rifles in this new CR product line. If sellers keep the prices reasonable I will get another Colt real soon. But, the CR6920’s (MSRP $1099) are already pushing $1500 to $1700 on Gun Broker due to the panic in the market. The CR6940’s (MSRP $1499) are running in the $1600 to $1900 range. If there is a Colt in the CR series that you want and you get a chance to get it at a reasonable price, don’t hesitate.
Thank you for reading.