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Thread: I Think I Have a Colt Addiction

  1. #51
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    Earlier, we looked at Colt's first marketing brochure for the AR-15 dating from 1960. In that really neato multi-fold gem, we saw the rifle with a scope mounted:




    In this post, we're going to take a quick look at one of those scopes:

    Commonly known in collector circles as the "Delft 3x25", this was a generic 3 power scope made by the optics division of the Dutch manufacturer Artillerie Inrichtingen. The factory was in the City of Delft, hence the name. I say generic because this scope was not purpose built for the AR-15 but rather was designed to be used on whatever design the end user saw fit. Rather then go into a long history lesson about it that I might screw up anyways, I'll just direct you to a concise little article written by the good folks at Small Arms Review. If you want to learn some of the back story about the design and use of this scope, the following link will provide that information:
    https://www.smallarmsreview.com/disp...darticles=3708


    Let's get back to the scope at hand, serial number 338:

    Front is to the left so we're looking at the left side of the unit. The knurled knob at the front adjusts the windage and the one at the back adjusts the range. The logo is a stylized "AI" for "Artillerie Inrichtingen". If that name sounds familiar to you is because they also built some of the first AR-10's back in the 1950's. We might look at one of those in an upcoming post if I get around to it. Notice that the scope is just a round tube with the specialized part being the mount it's bolted to. As I said, this was not a purpose built scope and it could be adapted to various rifles. The mount is marked both Colt and Armalite. I like that it also says "Patent Pending". The knurled knob at the bottom of the mount is for tightening down on the rifle's carry handle.


    Right side view:

    Not much to see here. One thing of note is the little hole drilled into the windage ring in front of the knurled adjustment ring. This is for mounting the adjustment wrench which we'll see in just a bit.


    Bottom view:

    Front is to the left. The little holes in the securing knob are engaged by little detents to keep it tight. Both detents can be seen at the three and nine o'clock positions.


    Top view with front to the right:

    The elevation adjustment is only good for 1 and 2 hundred meters. If you ask me, that's a little limited. In the picture, it's set to 100 meters.


    Ocular lens:

    That's not delamination or clouding you're looking at but simple smudges. I should have cleaned it before taking the picture. Sorry about that. You can be sure, it's all cleaned up now. That's some very nice knurling on the adjustment ring, don't you think?


    Objective lens:

    The glass is cleaner but there's a fair amount of duct in the crevices. Maybe this thing should see some range time instead of sitting around collecting dust! In the background and out of focus, we see the adjustment wrench.


    Here's a better look at the adjustment wrench:



    And here it is mounted on the elevation graduation ring:

    The way this works is simple. First, you set the target out at either 100 or 200 meters. Next, you use the knurled windage and elevation tings to zero the scope. Once that's done, you hold each knurled ring fast with one hand while using the wrench in the other hand to move the graduated ring so that the "0" (windage) or 1/2 (elevation) lines up with the little arrow mark on the scope body. Presto zippo, you're done! Now, if the target is at 100 meters, you turn the elevation ring to "1". If it's at 200 meters, you turn it to "2". Beyond that.....well, I don't know what you do. If you ask me, this whole design is a little half baked. Regardless, now you've seen a real life example of the scope depicted in the 1960 marketing brochure. I hope you're happy because that's about all I have to say about it!






    Oh! I forgot to show you the reticle. It's REALLY complicated and chocked full of technical information:

    It doesn't get anymore bare bones than that! I guess it's better than nothing at all. Please ignore the reference books in the background. I don't need reference books because I'm omniscient. They are only there for show!!! If you believer that, you're a bigger moron than I am!


    See you next time when we'll look at a Colt marked 3x scope. Until then, long live the Empire!! All hail Caesar!!!!
    Last edited by Combloc; 09-13-2019 at 11:45 PM.

  2. #52
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    Next up is a Colt 3x20 carry handle mount scope. The 3x version was later replaced by a 4x version that looked almost identical. To my knowledge, all 4x versions were manufactured by Hakko in Japan. It could be that all 3x units were made in the United States but I think that the vast majority of 3x units were made by Hakko and only early ones (as shown here) were made in the United States. However, I'll be the first to tell you that I'm no expert so you might want to check me on that. I also think that some of the Hakko units came with lens covers and some did not but don't quote me on that one either. Again, I'm not much more than an imbecile. This one came with nothing other than an instruction manual. These were made for many years so expect variations in the box over the years too. Personally, I'd be afraid of what I was buying these days as there are MANY fake ones out there because values on these have risen significantly. I've been told these were excellent scopes in their day and if you want one for collection purposes, by all means, pay whatever you think is fair. But if you are buying one simply to use, don't spend stupid money to get one of these because, for the money these things bring in today's market, there are far more modern options out there.



    We'll start with the box top:

    It's a pleasant shade of red. I'm no expert on these things so I can't tell you when this one was made; only that it is an earlier one because it's a 3x.


    The bottom is plain carboard:



    Both long sides are identical:



    I like this older understated packaging. I wish they still did things this way.


    Both short sides are identical as well:





    Box top removed showing the goodies hidden within:





    Detail of scope packing:

    Quite sophisticated isn't it?


    Top view of scope:

    Notice how "Colt" is inscribed and that it's marked "MADE IN USA". As I stated earlier....BE CAREFUL OF FAKES!!!! This one is 100% guaranteed original and that's exactly why I'm posting it; so that it can serve as a point of reference and research. The top knob is for adjusting elevation. In just a bit, we'll be looking at the instructions so I'm not going to bother explaining how it works. Spoiler alert......it adjust just as you would expect.


    Right side:



    Left side:

    I like the "1 to2" marking on the elevation drum. It has style. I should have taken more comprehensive pictures of the adjustment knobs and their markings but I did not. zfor that, I apologize.


    Rear view:



    Front view:

    This thing could use a good dusting but it doesn't matter really as it's never going to see use.


    Ever so comprehensive reticle:

    A simpler instrument for a simpler time. I prefer simple.


    Page 1 of the instructions:



    A detail of the illustration on page 1:



    Pages 2 and 3:



    And the back page:



    That's it for this one. Sometimes short and sweet does the job.
    Last edited by Combloc; 09-15-2019 at 12:01 AM.

  3. #53
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    Sweet! I have always liked those but have never used one.
    14EH AIT Instructor-PATRIOT Fire Control Enhanced Operator/Maintainer

  4. #54
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    Up next is one of the last 6721's. In case all the various model numbers confuse you (they sure confuse me), the 6721 was the 16" heavy barreled semi-auto carbine. Production ceased sometime in 2017. If you look back to the beginning of this article, the first three we looked at were earlier versions of the 6721. Over time, these changed in many little ways ranging from quickly noticeable things such as stocks and handguards to barely noticeable things such as markings. At its core though, the 6721 stayed essentially the same; that is to say a collapsible stocked 16" heavy barreled carbine with M4 cut feed ramps. Let's take a quick look at this one.

    First up is the left side:



    And the right:

    Notice there is no carry handle. That's how it left the factory. By the time this carbine was made (probably in 2016), Colt had stopped supplying carry handles because most people were chucking it in favor of mounting optics on the picatinny rail anyways. So why not save a few bucks and delete it? Instead, you get a Magpul MBUS rear sight. It works just fine I guess but I prefer a carry handle. You have to remember, I'm old. An AR is supposed to have a carry handle.


    A closeup of the left side of the receiver:

    Note that the serial number is engraved instead of stamped. There is also an engrave Data Matrix thingee (Some folks call it a QR Code I think) behind the "COLT DEFENSE" mark. I guess it contains information such as the model number, serial number, nuclear missile codes and stuff like that. It's just gibberish to me.


    Right side:

    The "C" on the upper receiver is stamped. Earlier upper receives had the "C" cast into them so they were raised. Another detail that differentiates these later models is the front takedown pin is actually a moveable takedown pin instead of a screw as seen on earlier models. "FIRE" and "SAFE" are stamped and not engraved. You can also just make out the nice staking for the buffer tube castle nut.


    The stock is a typical late model Colt "waffle" stock. I say "late model" because, while this design dates back to 2002, the details changed over time. Earlier versions had no markings to speak of but late ones have both Cage Codes and a medallion blank spot. A what?? I'll show you in a second. First up are the Cage Code markings:

    We're looking at the right side of the stock where the length of pull adjustment lever is. the number in the front, 4U486, tells us that it was made by P&S Products Inc. in good ol' Lexington Kentucky. It's hard to make out but to the rear of the P&S Cage Code we see Colt's Cage Code, 13629. Soooo, we knw who this stock was made by and who it was made for. YaY!!! Knowledge!!


    Towards the far rear right side of the stock, we see a large circle molded into the stock:

    This is the medallion blank spot I was talking about. When you look at some AR-15's sold/made by other folks (Ruger Smith & Wesson, etc.), you'll see their logo in this spot. I assume P&S sells to other companies as well and will remove the blank circle from the mold and replace it with logo is required for that contract. Earlier waffle stocks lacked both this round blank and Cage Codes. I don't know exactly when these stock attributes started showing up but it can help determine whether or not your Colt carbine has had its stock replaced. I wish I could give you exact dates BUT Colt is pretty stingy about sharing information. All I can tell you is that earlier waffle stocks should lack these features. You just need to learn through experience.


    Here's a closeup of the Magpul rear sight:

    It's well enough made and it even has two sized of aperture but it's plastic (sorry....polymer) and I'm old school. All bias aside, it works just fine.


    Detail shot of the upper receiver markings:

    Remember, earlier carbines have a raised "C" while late ones have a stamped "C".


    he front sight is still "F" marked at this point:

    Judging by the M4A1 Socom and 6920HBPW models, the "F" mark has now gone the way of the Dodo. Since fixed carry handles are far in the rearview mirror at this point, why would you need it, right?


    Barrel marking:

    This marking seems to now be gone too as the latest barrels have Colt's Cage Code instead of the "C" mark.


    Typical A2 flash hider secured with a crush washer:



    "M4" mark at the front of the upper receiver:



    Standard "H" buffer:



    The bolt is still "C" stamp marked:

    This marking is now gone too. On the latest rifles, if it's present at all it's done by some sort of sloppy engraving method. Refer back to the US Property Marked M4A1 I posted and you'll se what I mean.


    The "MPC" mark on the bolt:



    Closeup of the markings on the right rear of the lower receiver:

    The space age barcode doohickey is clearly engraved. "FIRE" and "SAFE" are clearly stamped. I can't say about the manufacturer's mark but I think it's stamped/roll marked.


    Detail of the markings on the magazine well:

    The serial number is engraved but the rest is still an old fashioned roll mark/stamping.


    The barrel is dated April of 2016:



    Upper handguard removed showing the heavy barrel:

    You can clearly see the double lining in the "M4" handguard to help dissipate heat.


    Both handguards removed showing just how thick the barrel is on the 6721:



    I've not noticed this "W" mark before:

    It's on top of the barrel at the rear and just in front of the barrel nut.


    You ALWAYS have to be careful of what you read online. I've read again and again that ALL Colt M4 handguards should have the heat shields glued in place. Clearly, that is inaccurate as can be seen in the pictures below:



    After removing the inner heat shield, you come to the outer heat shield:

    All you need to do to remove the heat shields is to GENTLY squeeze them to remove them from their retaining slots. DO NOT gorilla squeeze them or you will bend them.


    Better yet, pay attention to what is stamped on them and DO NOT REMOVE:



    Just so you don't have to, I've done it for you. If you remove both heat shields, here's what you'll see:

    Pretty boring stuff. Just leave your heat shields alone and enjoy them as is.


    This one is marked "CAV 5", which tells us it came rom cavity 5 of the mold:



    A detail of the texture on a late model Cot M4 handguard:

    I post this because handguards are often switched out. Colt handguards, while not actually made by Colt, are specific to Colt. There are certain details that you will only see on Colt supplied hand guards. I advise you to do some research and you'll learn what to look for. Again, experience is the best way to tell what you are looking at.


    In the next post, we'll look at a 6920HBW. Why Colt made it, I don't know. What I DO know is Colt didn't make very many and they are pretty interesting. Check back for some pictures of that one. I think it's neat. But then, I think they are ALL neat. See you in a bit!
    Last edited by Combloc; 10-14-2019 at 01:35 AM.

  5. #55
    Senior Veteran Combloc's Avatar
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    This next Colt is the LE6920HBPW and it's something of an enigma. These started showing up sometime in 2017 and continued to be shipped out in very small numbers until (most likely) September of 2019. The weird thing is that, as far as I can tell, Colt never advertised them in any way. When we look at the box, we'll see that it is clearly it's own model but they seem to have been sent out to dealers mixed in with regular LE6920's. In other words, you couldn't call Colt and specifically order one of these. When you placed an order for a plain jane 6920 you would most likely get exactly that but you also might end up getting a 6920HBPW instead. Some guys were VERY happy to get one and some were upset. Personally, I wanted one from the time I was aware of them and sought one out.

    SO what's the big deal? Well, let's take a look at the box first:

    Our first clue that something is different is the model number suffix, "HBPW". It's assumed that this means "Heavy Barrel Pinned Welded". In essence, the barrel is a true military M4A1 14.5" barrel with an extended flash hider attached just as seen on the "US Property" marked M4A1 SOCOM model. In fact, as we'll see in a bit, the entire upper is a genuine M4A1 upper with standard M4 handguards and a Magpul rear sight.
    Also notice that the serial number prefix is "CR" and not "LE". So, both this model and the M4A1 SOCOM model share a common serial number "block" which complicates any effort to ascertain how many of either model were actually made. A standard 6920 uses the "LE" prefix.


    Next up is the left side of the carbine:

    Unlike the Magpul magazine shipped with a standard 6920, the HBPW ships with a Colt GI aluminum one. I much prefer that. Notice too that, instead of the usual front sight base mounted sling swivel, this model comes with a side mount swivel.


    The right side:



    A close up of the upper receiver markings:

    In addition to the forge mark, we see Colt's Cage Code 13629 clearly stamped. The rear sight is a polymer Magpul MBUS. While these work just fine and are by all accounts excellent sights, I would prefer the all metal MaTech. But hey, that's easy enough to switch out were one so inclined. I'm never shooting this so what do I care?


    Left side of the lower receiver:

    Excuse the smudges please. This was bought for collection purposes so I left it as it came from the factory. Selling at right around $1100, this model is an excellent alternative for someone who wants a shooter with the well known accuracy of the M4A1 barrel without the collector's price tag of the M4A1 SOCOM model. At its core, it's the exact same firearm other then the rear sight, handguards, ambidextrous safety, magazine well markings and a few other small details. BUT, if you're trying to build an M4A1 SOCOM clone, you might as well buy that model to begin with as you'll have as much invested in the end and you still won't have the "US PROPERTY" markings. Of course, with Colt not currently selling to the civilian market, who knows what prices will be tomorrow let alone a year from now. All I can tell you is buy it when you see it because prices are likely only going to go higher.


    Detail of the weld holding the extended flash hider in place:

    Some might not like that they didn't clean it up. As for me, I like it just the way it is.


    A side shot of the above:



    Here, I've put a glare on the left rear receiver markings to highlight them:

    The selector settings are clearly stamped but the UID code and manufacturer's mark look to be engraved.


    Magazine well markings:

    The serial number is engraved but the rest is the once ubiquitous roll mark. However, by now I would assume ALL markings are engraved because Colt said some time back that they were moving to completely engraved. Progress!!!......sucks!


    The selector markings on the right side of the receiver are stamped as well:

    Note no tick mark on the safety axle.


    The stock on this one, while almost definitely made by P&S Products, lacks any markings:

    I've also seen these with P&S Cage Coded stocks and blanked out roundel stocks so there is most assuredly variation. It wouldn't be a Colt if there weren't variations!


    These come standard with an "H" buffer instead of the "H2" supplied with the SOCOM model:

    For semi-auto firing, that'll work just fine.


    The bolt carrier is "C" marked:



    The bolt has the white paint mark:

    I have yet to see this on a SOCOM model but that doesn't mean they don't exist. In fact, I'd bet they do.


    MPC mark on bolt:

    Again, I've left the factory storage funk in place or I could have gotten a better picture. Sorry about that.


    I've removed the handguards in this picture to show you the barrel profile:

    This is not your standard 6920 pencil barrel but rather a genuine M4A1 SOCOM barrel complete with M203 cuts. Schweet!! I didn't post a picture of the marking on the front sight base but there is no "F" mark. Colt has stopped marking them because A2 fixed handle uppers are long gone at this point so there is no need to differentiate. All Colt front sight bases are to be considered "F" type now.


    Of course, the upper receiver is "M4" marked:



    Standard military barrel markings:



    This barrel is dated August of 2018:



    And that's it for this post. The HBPW is actually pretty rare and, while I haven't shot one, I'd be willing to bet it's a sweetheart at the range. If you manage to find one at a reasonable price ($1100-1200), my advice is to buy it because you might not see another. See you soon with yet another Colt!
    Last edited by Combloc; 11-02-2019 at 05:19 PM.

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