On Wednesday 24 November 2021, Arms Unlimited sent out a promotional sales email that advertised used Colt 7.62x51mm LE901 modular carbines for sale. The listing quickly indicated ‘out of stock’ as all available examples sold out in about five minutes. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to get one of the carbines. I paid $1595 for my example with no sales tax applied and I received free shipping.
In the days that followed, I constantly reminded myself how lucky I was to have been able to buy one of these carbines at such a great price. The Colt LE901-16S had been selling on Gun Broker for anywhere from $2200 to $3000 for a used, incomplete example. I learned later on that only five of these carbines were made available for sale. Additionally, I began research on these carbines to try to learn more about where they came from and their operational history.
The first bit of information that I was able to learn was that these LE901-16S carbines were traded in by the San Bernardino, California Police Department.
Multiple searches in Google led me to two images of these carbines in use. The first image is from a December 5th, 2015, article in the Los Angeles Times that showed a San Bernardino SWAT display at a parade that is occurring three days after the infamous December 2nd, 2015, terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California. In the foreground of one of the article images, you can see one of the Colt LE901-16S sitting on a table resting on its bipod. A unique detail readily visible on the carbine is the flat top of the carbine gas block where the folding front sight had been removed.
The second image that I found shows one of the two SBPD SWAT officers (Paul Spriggs & Jason Stack) holding their Colt LE901-16S during the 2017 International Sniper Competition. The four images of the San Bernardino team shown below are from the photography website of Josaphat Orozco and can be seen at his website http://www.josaphatorozco.com/m/home
As a retired Army soldier, I have to take a minute and recognize Paul Spriggs and Jason Stack for their performance in the competition. These men outperformed some of the best military teams in the world and finished the competition in 10th place out of 30 starting teams. One of their most amazing accomplishments was finishing first in the ‘Stalking’ event. To come into a competition like this, as urban police department SWAT personnel, and beat career Special Forces, Airborne and Infantry personnel is testament to their skill and performance. Saying “Congratulations!” and “Well done!” just isn’t enough.
Besides the unique service history with the San Bernardino Police Department SWAT, there are two modifications that make these carbines unique. Those two modifications are:
- The installation of a Magpul Generation 1 PRS stock
- Removal of the folding front sight to eliminate conflict with optics.
Here are two images of the Magpul Generation 1 PRS stock
To illustrate the significance of the modified front sight, this image below shows the SBPD SWAT LE901-16S (top) with a prototype LE901 upper receiver that has the original folding sight intact.
The modification to the front sights was done at the Colt factory. The front sight/gas block used on the Colt LE901 is the same type as used on the Colt LE6940 series of carbines.
With one of these San Bernardino Police Department SWAT carbines in my collection now, I decided it was most fitting to try and return the carbine to its San Bernardino SWAT service configuration. I was lucky enough to be able to find out what components were used to outfit the carbine as shown in the Los Angeles Times article mentioned previously. The additional components used on the carbine are:
- Magpul MS1 QDM Sling Part # MAG939 (coyote)
- GG&G XDS-2 Tactical bipod part # GGG1527
- GG&G FLT scope mount with 30mm rings part # GGG1384
- Leupold Mark 4 Long Range/Tactical 4.5-14×50 Mil Dot Illuminated part #67960
I have the sling, the bipod and the scope mount ordered. I am looking for the scope. The Leupold MK.4 model #67960 has been out of production for some time so the search is on to find one.
I have also ordered a letter for my carbine from Colt Archives at https://coltarchives.com/
Of the five SBPD carbines known to have been traded in, I have identified three so far. Here is an image of each one.
I am going to add three separate pages for each of the trade-in carbines shown above. In those pages I will post photos and information for each example.
I hope you have found this website entry interesting. I will be updating some information on this page with photos of the carbine components and any other new information that I get in.
If you have any comments or additional information, please let me know. Thank you.