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July 21st, 2013

Colt Defense LLC and New Colt Holding Corp. Merge

Colt Defense Colt's Manufacturing MergerIn 2003, the venerable Colt business enterprise, was divided into different entities, Colt Defense LLC and Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC. Now those two business are being combined back into one company again. Colt Defense LLC has acquired New Colt Holding Corp., the parent company of Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC, which makes firearms for the civilian and sporting markets. Now, for the first time since the separation a decade ago, a single Colt company will develop, manufacture and sell firearms under the Colt name for all markets.

About Colt: Colt is one of the world’s leading designers, developers and manufacturers of firearms. The company has supplied military, law enforcement and individual customers in the United States and throughout the world for more than 175 years. Colt’s subsidiary, Colt Canada Corporation, is the Canadian government’s source for small arms and is the Canadian military’s sole supplier of the C7 rifle and C8 carbine. Colt operates its manufacturing facilities in West Hartford, Connecticut and Kitchener, Ontario. For more information on Colt and its subsidiaries, please visit www.colt.com, www.coltsmfg.com, and www.coltcanada.com.

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader Submissions.
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June 26th, 2013

Impossible Shots TV Features Late, Great Bob Munden

Bob Munden Impossible ShotsBob Munden, one of the greatest trick shooters ever, passed away in December of last year. If you never had a chance to see Bob work his magic with a six-gun (or other firearm), here’s your chance. Tonight’s edition of Shooting USA’s Impossible Shots, features some of Bob Munden’s “greatest hits” from over the years. Before his passing, Bob was a regular on the Impossible Shots TV show.

On tonight’s episode, Munden flicks coins with his Peacemaker, making them spin like a top. Bob was famous for this and other tricks — like splitting playing cards in mid-air, and shooting the fletching off an arrow. Munden was famous both as a trick shooter and as a speed-draw specialist, with fast-draw records listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Air times for the Bob Munden episode on Shooting USA’s Impossible Shots are listed below. The show airs Wednesday Nights on the Outdoor Channel, and is repeated late Friday/Saturday:

Impossible Shots Wednesday:
Eastern Time: 2:30 PM, 7:00 PM
Central Time: 1:30 PM, 6:00 PM
Mountain Time: 12:30 PM, 5:00 PM
Pacific Time: 11:30 AM, 4:00 PM
Impossible Shots Friday/Saturday:
Eastern Time: 1:00 AM SAT
Central Time: 12:00 AM Midnight
Mountain Time: 11:00 PM
Pacific Time: 10:00 PM

Bob Munden Impossible Shots

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June 24th, 2013

New Colt “Hunting and Defense Match” Ammo from Black Hills

Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC (Colt) is introducing a line of ammunition for Colt tactical and competition rifles. This new Colt-branded “Hunting and Defence Match” ammo will be manufactured by Black Hills Ammunition. The initial offerings are designed for rifles chambered for 5.56×45 NATO and will feature 55gr and 77gr Sierra match bullets. According to the Guns.com Blog: “The 77-grain cartridge may strike a few people as somewhat familiar. It is for most purposes Black Hills MK 262 77-grain ammo… considered by many to be the best factory-loaded 5.56 NATO ammunition on the market.”

accurateshooter.com Colt Black Hills ammunition 5.56 Triple Nickel .223 Rem

Colt Claims Ammo Will Shoot 1-MOA Groups at 500 Yards
Colt says its ammunition will deliver long-range accuracy. During the development process, this line of Colt ammo was ballistically tested in Colt rifles with a requirement of consistent five-shot, one-MOA (5″) groups at 500 yards. Colt calls this the “triple-nickel” standard (5 shots, 5″, 500 yards). Colt claims that the “Triple Nickel” capability of its ammo “assures the experienced shooter incredible performance right out of the box, with no need for load development or experimentation.”

Holding 1-MOA at 100 yards is not that exceptional. But maintaining 1-MOA groups at 500 yards would be impressive indeed. This would require consistent powder charges and tight bullet-seating length tolerances to keep vertical dispersion to a minimum. It will be interesting to test the Colt-branded ammo when it hits the market and see if it works as well as claimed.

“We’re very proud of the ‘Triple Nickel’ requirement of this ammunition,” said said Joyce Rubino, Vice President of Marketing for Colt’s Manufacturing: “Our goal with Black Hills was to bring to market a superior line of ammunition for sport shooters to use in Colt rifles, and we feel we have achieved this through the partnership with Black Hills.”

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February 27th, 2013

Connecticut Firearms Manufacturers and Employees Speak Up

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has produced a video in which management and employees of three Connecticut-based companies, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Stag Arms, and Ammunition Storage Components, talk about the importance of their jobs and how their companies contribute to the Constitution State’s economy.

This video was produced in response to Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s recent call for severe new gun control laws. An NSSF statement noted: “We are troubled by the Governor’s apparent change in attitude[.] We do not believe a rush to quick-fix legislation is likely to produce real public safety solutions, while it holds the clear potential to hurt good-paying manufacturing jobs in our state.”

NSSF and member companies based in Connecticut and western Massachusetts have been working for several weeks to help educate legislators, the media and the public not only about the economic impact of the firearms industry in the Constitution State, but also what measures are most effective at keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals and unauthorized individuals. To that end, NSSF President Steve Sanetti authored an op-ed in The Hartford Courant, entitled “Focus on Gun Access, Not Gun Ban”.

Connecticut has a long tradition of arms-making. In 1848, on a site overlooking the Connecticut River in Hartford, Samuel Colt built the Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company factory. A larger factory, called the Colt Armory, was added in 1855. The 1850s were a decade of phenomenal success for Colt’s Connecticut-based enterprise.

Colt’s Mfg. was the first to widely commercialize the total use of interchangeable parts throughout a product. A leader in assembly line practice, the company was a major innovator and training ground in manufacturing technology. Colt’s armories in Hartford trained several generations of toolmakers and machinists, who had great influence in American manufacturing. Prominent examples included F. Pratt and A. Whitney, and Henry Leland (who would end up at Cadillac and Lincoln).

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November 4th, 2012

Colt 175th Anniv. Single Action Army at NRA Firearms Museum

Report based on story by Lars Dalseide for NRAblog
Colt Manufacturing’s 175th Anniversary Single Action Army revolver is now on loan at the NRA National Firearms Museum. The one-of-a-kind gun (serial number 175) was crafted by the Colt’s Custom Shop and engraved by Master Engravers Steve Kamyk and George Spring. It was created “to commemorate the 175th Anniversary of Colt Firearms”, notes Timothy Looney, Custom Shop Manager.

Colt SAA 175 Anniversary Revolver

The firearm is based on the Colt Single Action Army with a black powder-style frame finished in color case hardening. The barrel, cylinder, trigger guard, and backstrap are finished in Carbonia Blue and the balance of small parts are fire-blued. The firearm has been scroll-engraved with C+ coverage and is accented by full gold frame borders including raised running leaf on both sides of the recoil shield. The left recoil shield exhibits “175” in high-relief gold over raised-relief scroll.

CLICK image squares to see larger photos.

The non-fluted cylinder is highlighted by the Colt dome comprised of gold and silver raised relief and the the opposing side displays the serpentine Colt in raised gold. Hand inlaid gold bands accent the barrel and the cylinder. The backstrap has been engraved and gold inlaid with Sam Colt’s signature. The elephant ivory grips are scrimshawed with a portrait of Sam Colt on the left side and the Rampant Colt on the right side.

“The 150th Anniversary pistol was auctioned off and sold for $150,000,” explained Looney. “This one is valued at $175,000. We wanted it … where people could see it because we’re very proud of our master engravers and we like their work to be shown.” The Single Action Army Revolver will be on display at the NRA National Firearms Museum through October of 2013.

Photos courtesy NRABlog and Colt Manufacturing
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July 14th, 2012

Bonnie and Clyde’s Colt Handguns to Be Auctioned in September

Bonnie Clyde gun auctionWould you like to own guns carried by America’s most infamous criminal couple? Well here’s your chance — the personal handguns of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker (Bonnie and Clyde), go up for auction in September, along with other personal memorabilia. Bonnie’s personal Colt .38 SPL Detective Special will be auctioned, along with Clyde’s favored Colt .45 ACP Government Model 1911. Bonnie’s revolver was recovered from her bullet-ridden body after the famous 1934 Louisiana roadside ambush which brought a bloody end to Bonnie and Clyde’s notorious crime spree. The snubnose was found strapped to Bonnie’s inner thigh with medical tape. Clyde’s 1911 was found tucked in his waistband.

Both guns have been thoroughly authenticated and carry a rock-solid provenance. Experts predict each handgun will bring $100,000 to $200,000 at auction. Along with the guns, there will be other Bonnie and Clyde possessions up for bid, including Clyde Barrow’s gold pocket watch and Bonnie Parker’s cosmetic case. In addition there’s a letter from Clyde to his brother L.C. Barrow signed “Bud” (the name Clyde used when running from the law). The auction, conducted by RR Auction, will be held September 30, 2012 in Amherst, New Hampshire.

Bonnie Clyde gun auction

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April 28th, 2012

Colt’s New M2012-CLR Competition Bolt Gun with Cooper Action

At the NRA Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Colt Firearms introduced a new bolt-action “Competition Rifle”, the M2012-CLR. Assembled by Cooper Firearms for Colt, the M2012 features a Colt metal chassis with tubular forearm, and a Cooper Arms repeater action. The M2012 rifles on display were chambered in .308 Winchester with fluted 1:10″ twist stainless barrels fitted with Surefire muzzle brakes. The bolt is a three-lug design with a Sako-style extractor. Trigger is a Timney set at 3 pounds — pretty high for a “competition” rifle. Though the barrel is only 22″, the M2012 is fairly heavy. Weight without optics is 13.2 pounds. Given the weight and short barrel, we think Colt is marketing this more for tactical shooters, rather than actual High Power or F-TR competitors.

Colt M2012 CLR rifle
Photo by Nick Leghorn, courtesy Nick Leghorn and TheTruthAboutGuns.com.

MORE PHOTOS — Large Size
Large photo showing two M2012 rifles (full view) (From Military Arms Channel Blog.)

Large photo showing right side of receiver (close-up) (From Military Arms Channel Blog.)

Large photo showing left side of Receiver with Colt and Cooper Firearms markings (close-up)

According to the GDI Engineering website, Colt’s M2012 “appear[s] to have been built on Cooper’s Model 54 action, which features a two-position safety to the right of the bolt. [Features] include an integral 25-MOA Picatinny base and the Colt-specific chassis and stock. The single-stack detachable magazines are from Accuracy International.”

Hefty Price for Colt’s M2012-CLR
MSRP for the new M2012-CLR is $3799.00. Colt’s asking price is approximately $1300.00 more than the price of an Eliseo RTS Tubegun Chassis ($1020.00) with a Rem-clone custom action ($900.00) and a Krieger barrel ($550.00 chambered). The RTS features a 5-way adjustable buttstock, easily removed without tools. The Colt M2012 offers adjustable Length of Pull (LOP) and adjustable cheekpiece height. The M2012’s skeleton buttstock is bolted to the main chassis, requiring an Allen wrench to remove.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 9 Comments »
April 9th, 2012

Colt Releases New Gas Piston AR Platform Rifle — LE6940P

Six decades after the introduction of the M16, Colt has added a gas piston system to the venerable AR15. Colt put a gas piston in this new AR-platform rifle in order to improve reliability and reduce fouling. The new gas-piston Colt AR, designated the LE6940P, will be sold to both civilians and law enforcement agencies. In selling a gas-piston AR, Colt is following the lead of Heckler & Koch (HK 416) and other manufacturers who have found a market among buyers seeking a lower-maintenance AR with significantly less internal powder fouling than the original direct-gas-impingement AR design.

Colt LE6940p

Colt’s product press release declares: “Colt Defense LLC … has advanced its one-piece monolithic upper receiver to introduce the LE6940P. This modular carbine has an articulating link piston (ALP) operating system and offers shooters a highly accurate, lightweight and easy-to-clean AR-platform rifle with an extended lifespan. The advanced piston carbine (APC) is a lightweight, highly accurate alternative to the traditional direct gas impingement system found in most ARs. The LE6940P utilizes a unique articulating link piston (ALP) operating system, which reduces inherent stress in the piston stroke by allowing for deflection and thermal expansion. As a result, shooters are offered a highly accurate firing experience and the weapon’s lifespan is extended.”

Piston Design Developed for U.S. Military
Colt LE6940p“The new LE6940P puts to use a new, improved version of a piston system that Colt originally pioneered for the U.S. Army,” said David Ridley, Vice President of Colt Defense LLC. Ridley added: “Colt was the first to put a piston system in an AR, and we have continued to improve on that system since. Now, any civilian shooter or law enforcement professional has the opportunity to shoot using this superior piston-operated AR.”

Monolithic Upper with Extended Rail
The LE6940P weighs just over 6.5 pounds, and measures 35 inches with stock extended. The rifle is chambered in .223 Rem (5.56×45 NATO) and uses standard AR15 magazines. Colt delivers the LE6940P with a full-length rail running from the rear of the upper receiver to the front sight. This allows many mounting options for sights and accessories. Colt has also includes a back-up iron sight (BUIS) and a folding front sight. The lower receiver is marked “Piston Carbine” and comes with a Colt/Rogers Super-Stoc M4 H-buffer stock kit with cam-lock lever, push-button QD swivel, and accessory kit. The standard barrel is a 16.5″-long M4-type contour with flash-hider. CLICK HERE for large photos of the internals, plus close-ups of the folding sights.

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January 17th, 2012

SHOT Show Media Day — Firing Off the Bulldog 1877 Gatling Gun

Our 2012 SHOT Show Media day adventure kicked off with some serious firepower. After arriving at the Boulder City Rifle range and signing the obligatory legal release forms, Jason Baney and I made a beeline for the Colt shooting bay where an amazing Bulldog 1877 repro Gatling Gun was on display. These fully-functional, authentic replicas are crafted by the Bulldog company for Colt. You can buy one if you have a cool $50,000.00 to spend. You heard it right — fifty thousand dollars.

Jason is friends with Gatling project director John Buhay, who let both of us send some 45-70 rounds downrange. While the Bulldog Gatling can dispense a prodigious amount of lead in a few seconds (rate of fire determined by how fast the operator cranks), this firearm is not considered an NFA machine gun. Because an advancement of the crank is required for each shot to be fired, this Gatling is not subject to the severe restrictions imposed on Class III arms. You can purchase a Bulldog Gatling, so long as you would otherwise qualify to legally own a long gun.

Three things surprised me about this Gatling. First was the stunning appearance of the unit. It is beautifully machined and every polished metal component shown like gold in the morning sun. The stability of the unit was also surprising. Because the Bulldog is so big and heavy, it barely bobbles as it sends round after round through its five barrels. And surprisingly little force is required to work those barrels. The crank spins easily. I could see how a trained team of Gatling operators could, back in the 19th century, burn through thousands of rounds of ammunition in a few minutes.

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December 29th, 2011

Spectacular Arms on Display in NRA’s Petersen Gallery

In late 2010, the NRA’s National Firearms Museum opened its Robert E. Petersen Gallery, which now showcases 400 of the finest and most valuable firearms from the publishing magnate’s world-renowned collection. We know most of you haven’t yet visited the Petersen Gallery, so we’re presenting some “eye candy” from the Gallery to give you an idea of the quality of the collection.

Petersen Gallery

If you can’t make it to Fairfax, VA to view the collection first-hand, you can view a “virtual gallery” on NRAMuseum.com. The flash-based web gallery features hundreds of pro-quality “glamour shots” of the most notable arms in Petersen’s collection, including spectacular double guns and historic Gatlings. Controls allow you to rotate and zoom the images. Below are some representative samples from the Petersen Collection online gallery. CLICK HERE to view dozens more.

Petersen Gallery

Petersen Gallery

Petersen Gallery

All images copyright © NRA Museum, used with permission.
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December 14th, 2011

Colt Opens New Factory in Florida and Sells ARs in California

Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC (“Colt”) announced that it will open a new firearms production facility in Kissimmee, Florida. Colt’s announcement did not discuss plant closures elsewhere, but we expect that some of Colt’s production (and jobs) will be moved from New England to Florida. Colt’s press release states: “The new 16,000-square foot facility will allow Colt’s Manufacturing Company to expand into new markets and business lines in parallel with the company’s existing 100,000-square-foot facility in Connecticut. Specific information on facility renovations and employee requirements will be determined over the course of the next several months.”

Colt Florida

Colt Introduces New California-Compliant ARs
In related news, Colt has introduced a series of California-compliant AR15s. This is good for “black rifle” fans in the Golden State. Colt’s CA-legal ARs include: a 16″ barrel M4 Clone (LE6920CA) with adjustable stock; an Accurized rifle with 24″, 1:8″ twist heavy barrel (CR6724CA), and a “Patrol Rifle” that features Magpul furniture (6920CMP-B). All of Colt’s new California-compliant rifles are test-fired at the factory, and they all have mil-spec barrel, chamber, and bolt carrier group. In addition, Colt’s ARs receive special metal testing. Steve Comus, who reviewed Colt’s new ARs for Western Outdoor News, explains: “There is a magnetic particle inspection test done on all Colt rifles. After a rifle passes the MP (Magnetic Particle) test, MP is stamped on the bolt and barrel, as is C for Colt and MP on barrel. To pass, every single barrel and bolt goes through an over pressure test of 70,000 psi to make sure it can handle high pressure. Colt then takes rifle barrel and bolt and does a magnetic particle test on them. Barrels on mil spec barrels are chrome-lined. Accurized barrels are not chrome-lined.”

CLICK HERE for Full Field-Test of Colt California ARs (12/7/2011). Article from WONews.com.

Colt California compliant AR15

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June 8th, 2011

ShootingUSA TV Reprises SHOT Show Special Today

Here’s your chance to see a wide selection of interesting new products from SHOT Show 2011. Today, Wednesday June 8th, ShootingUSA re-broadcasts its hour-long SHOT Show Special, originally filmed on-site at the Sands Convention Center in January. This 60-minute telecast features nearly 50 new products, including Colt Centennial 1911s, Smith & Wesson 1911s and Performance Center Hunting Revolvers, new Die Sets from RCBS, Les Baer Monolith AR10s, Mossberg Tactical Shotguns, Ruger Mark III Pistols, Hogue stocks for Savages, new Wood LaserGrips from Crimson Trace, and Thompson Center’s new Venture hunting rifles.

ShootingUSA Shot Show

ShootingUSA Shot Show

ShootingUSA SHOT ShowShooting USA’s hour-long SHOT Show Special airs on the Outdoor Channel on June 8, 2011 at the following times:

Eastern Time: 4:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 12:00 Midnight
Central Time: 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM, 11:00 PM
Mountain Time: 2:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 10:00 PM
Pacific Time: 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 9:00 PM

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March 31st, 2011

Spectacular Colt 1911 Auctioned to Benefit NRA Foundation

The official centennial of J.M. Browning’s 1911 pistol was March 29th, 2011, 100 years to the day since the legendary handgun was adopted by the U.S. Army. (The U.S.M.C. and U.S. Navy adopted the 1911 pistol roughly two years later). To celebrate the 100th birthday of what many experts believe is the greatest self-loading pistol ever made, Colt created a spectacular, fully-engraved “Anniversary Edition” pistol. It’s pimped to the max, complete with gold inlay and genuine ivory grips. The gun is currently up for auction at Gunbroker.com with proceeds to benefit the NRA Foundation.




Price? If You Have to Ask…
Want it? Well you may have to liquidate your 401(k) to buy it. Current bid price is $33,635.00 and a similar fully-engraved Anniversary 1911 sold for $83,025.00 three months ago. See January Auction.

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February 12th, 2011

New Improved Master Series 1911 Lasergrips from Crimson Trace

A century has passed since John Moses Browning created the legendary 1911 single-action pistol. In that time a whole sub-industry has developed to supply parts and accessories for 1911-style pistols. Among the myriad grip options available today, we were impressed with the lastest generation of 1911 Lasergrips from Crimson Trace (CT). If you want a laser-equipped 1911 grip, you’re no longer limited to an ugly, spongy rubber grip. CT’s new “Master Series” 1911 Lasergrips come in a variety of materials including Wood, Laminated Wood, Micarta, and the popular G10 compound, a laminated composite of woven glass fabric, carbon graphite fibers and epoxy resin. G10 is impervious to common solvents.

crimson trace master series 1911

Honey, I Shrunk the Laser
Crimson Trace’s engineers have down-sized the laser module so it can be fitted to normal-thickness, standard-profile 1911 grips. And the smaller laser has been mounted further forward so there is no interference with ambidextrous safeties. We like this upgrade, and we predict these grips will become very popular with 1911 shooters. The new Master Series 1911 Lasergrips will be offered in a range of sizes and profiles to fit Full-size, Commander, Officers’ Model, and Bobtail 1911 frames. CT hopes to have the Master Series Lasergrips on the market in May, 2011, with an MSRP of $359.00.

In the GunsAmerica video below, Top Shot Champion Iain Harrison (now CT’s Media Relations Manager), explains the features of the new Crimson Trace Master Series 1911 Lasergrips:

YouTube Preview Image
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November 13th, 2010

Industry News: New Guns from Colt, Sig Sauer

Michael Bane of Downrange.TV traveled to the Gunsite Shooting Academy this week to sample new products from Colt, Crimson Trace, and Sig Sauer. Bane reports that Colt is returning to the consumer pistol and rifle markets in a big way. In 2011, Colt will roll out an extensive line-up of 1911 pistols, plus new AR-platform rifles. Bane also reports that Sig Sauer may introduce a new Sig 556 rifle, chambered in 7.62×39, which will take standard AK47 magazines. With the rugged Eastern Bloc magazines, the new Sig 556 could set new standards for reliability among “Sport Utility Rifles”.

Michael Bane’s Weekly Video Podcast

NOTE: Short Advertisement may precede the video. Loud firing noises are in the video’s second half.

Colt 1911 Pistol 2011

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January 18th, 2010

Flaming Carbines — How to Destroy an M4 Barrel

On January 12, 2010 the New York Times “At War” Blog focused on the combat performance of the M4 Carbine, one of the preferred weapons of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

There has been some concern that m4s used in sustained fire-fights are overheating the barrel. It’s no surprise that guns firing magazine after magazine of ammo can over-heat the barrel. In a video found on the N.Y. Times site, Testers for Colt Mfg. recently shot an m4 in full-auto mode, loading magazines as fast as possible. The point was to test the gun to the point of catastrophic failure, something that occured after about two minutes.

CLICK HERE to watch m4 Rifle Test Video (Catastrophic Failure).

This is a pretty amazing video. As the NY Times author notes: “Watch the video closely. After several magazines, the barrel smolders. Then it becomes red hot. After 1 minute and 20 seconds the barrel begins to droop between magazines — like a piece of warm licorice. Then comes the catastrophic ending, at 1 minute and 51 seconds and after the 535th round, when the barrel ruptures.”

m4 Destruction Video

We hate to see any firearm abused like this. On the other hand, we’re glad a manufacturer testing the limits of extreme performance. Lessons learned can help improve the m4 design. The U.S. Army is considering fitting a heavier-contour barrel that may not heat up so quickly. A second video on the same NYT Blog page shows an m4A1 carbine with a heavier barrel. This second gun delivered 911 rounds before the gas tube ruptured. Note, in both the video demos, the m4s were modified to shoot full auto (not 3-round bursts like most m4s). This allowed a much high sustained rate of fire than would be possible with weapons limited to 3-round bursts.

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November 2nd, 2009

RIAC Holds Major Arms Auction December 4-6

Better save your pennies boys… there is a huge firearms auction coming up December 4-6, with over 2700 lots of merchandise. Conducted by Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC), this auction will feature many superb 19th-century target rifles, plus large collections of 20th-century sporting arms. Colt collectors should celebrate, as RIAC’s December auction will include over 200 Single Action Army revolvers plus the largest selection of Colt long guns ever brought to auction. In addition to scores of Winchester lever guns, the auction features the largest collection of revolving rifles ever put up for bid.

Overall, this is an exceptional auction, with most items unreserved. Auction items are displayed in a full-color, two-volume catalog, which can be ordered through the mail ($60) or viewed online at RockIslandAuction.com. The auction will be held in RIAC’s Moline, Illinois auction hall. You can bid on-site, by advanced sealed bid, or via telephone.

CLICK HERE to search auction items online. (Many photos and detailed descriptions.)

From early flintlocks to WWII vintage rifles and handguns, this December auction offers something of interest for virtually every firearms enthusiast. Shown in the photo below is an octagon-barreled target rifle, circa 1885. It features an extra fancy walnut stock with a finger spur and scroll trigger guard. There is a single set trigger, and the rifle comes with a 32″ tubular scope on custom mounts. Lot #260, this R.R. Moore rifle carries an estimated price of $2,500 – $3,750.

If you’re interested in a 20th-century piece with a fascinating military history, consider lot #1496, a J.P. Sauer model 30 drilling (triple barrel) shotgun/rifle, complete with case. This “survival rifle” was produced by Sauer for the German Luftwaffe in 1941. It has two shotgun barrels and one rifle barrel chambered for 9.3X74R. The Luftwaffe procured a limited number of these drillings in 1941 for issue to bomber crews stationed in North Africa. The drilling is complete with the aluminum storage case, rarely seen “Drilling M.30″ manual dated “Juni 1941″, factory target serial numbered to the gun, cleaning equipment and belt buckle. Also included with the group is the original capture paper issued to S/SGT C. C. Moorland on April 23, 1945. How much for the Luftwaffe Drilling? RIA estimates this unique gun (with accessories) will draw $27,500 – $35,000.

There is a special grouping of Sharps long Arms in this auction. The rifles, muskets and carbines are comparable to those RIAC sold from the famous Sharps collector Frank Sellers. Two examples include an extremely rare Sharps ultra heavy barrel special order Model 1874 target rifle (photo below) with factory letter ($25,000 – $37,500) and a rare Berdan Sharpshooters Sharps New Model 1859 rifle ($10,000 – $16,000). Such model 1859s were issued to the 1st and 2nd U.S. Sharpshooter regiments (Berdan’s Sharpshooters).

Shotgun collectors won’t be disappointed. Over 200 shotguns will be offered including superb examples from Holland & Holland, Purdey, and Westley Richards. An engraved, gold inlaid, consecutively-serial-numbered pair of Holland & Holland exhibition grade hammerless game bird set shotguns with factory letter is estimated at $35,000 – $65,000. Photo below.

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August 31st, 2009

New 5.56x30mm Cartridge from India

The Indian Army has introduced a new Modern Sub-Machinegun Carbine (MSMC) that shoots an interesting new round, a shortened version of the 5.56×45 (.223 Remington). According to The Firearm Blog, “The [MSMC] chambers a round developed in India called the 5.56×30mm. This round is sometimes referred to as the ‘5.56×30mm INSAS’ after the first gun to chambered the round, the INSAS Carbine.”

This is an interesting cartridge, reminiscent of the 5.56×30 MARS cartridge originally developed by COLT for its Mini Assault Rifle System (MARS) project (see below). The MARS gun never went into full production, and the 5.56×30 cartridge remained an orphan. But it was an interesting cartridge. As designed, using just 16.8 grains of commercial ball powder, Colt’s 5.56×30 cartridge could launch a 55gr FMJ bullet at 2600 fps.

Colt 5.56x30 MARS

We are intrigued by the new Indian 5.56x30mm cartridge because it would seem very well-suited for varminting, either in .22-caliber form, or necked down to .20 caliber or even .17 caliber. We already have a similar cartridge, of course, the 221 Fireball, but right now there is only one manufacturer of 17 and 221 Fireball brass, namely Remington.

221 Remington Fireball

If the Indian 5.56x30mm cartridge is produced in large quantities, perhaps we could see budget-priced 5.56x30mm brass exported for sale in the American market. That would be a boon for high-volume varminters. Also, if the Indian 5.56x30mm is standardized internationally, perhaps one of the European brass manufacturers (Lapua, Norma, RUAG, Wolf?) would consider producing it as an alternative to the 221 Fireball. We can only wish that a 20-cal or 17-cal version of the Indian 5.56x30mm cartridge might be produced some day as inexpensive factory ammo. Many varminters are now looking at centerfire options to the 17 HMR cartridge, as 17 HMR ammo prices continue to climb. A 50-round box of 17 HMR can now cost $14.00 or more.

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July 1st, 2009

Colt Recalls 1911-type Pistols

Colt 1911 RecallColt Mfg. has announced a RECALL of its popular 1911 and 1918 WWI Replica pistols, and other 1911-style firearms. Colt states: “Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC has determined that the Slide Lock Safety and the Recoil Spring Guide Pad in certain Colt model pistols were not manufactured to Colt specifications and must be replaced. All of these Colt models were sold after March 2007″. Serial numbers affected by the product recall are:

1911 WWI Replica (O1911) From: 4597WMK To: 5414WMK
1918 WWI Replica (O1918) From: 1001WWI To: 3431WWI
New Agent (O7810D) From: GT01001 To: GT04505
Combat Elite (O8011XSE) From: CG10000E To: CG11293E
Defender (O7000D) From: DR33036 To: DR35948
Talo Night Defender (O7000NDF) From: NDF0001 To: NDF0400

Free Shipping Offered by Colt
If you log on to the Colt Recall Page you can obtain a FREE FedEx shipping label to return your O1911, O1918, New Agent or Combat Elite, or to receive a replacement part for the Defender Models.

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April 4th, 2009

Investment Grade Snakes — Royal Blue 'Precious Metal'

The recent multi-trillion-dollar orgy of federal spending has many economic experts worried about the “I word” — inflation. As the government borrows more and more money, these experts caution we can expect the dollar to fall and prices to rise. Are there “safe havens” in inflationary times? Real estate is depressed, the stock market has been devastated, and as for bonds… well if interest rates rise in the months ahead, you have to be very careful about buying low-return bonds right now.

Colt Python

We are NOT qualified to hand out investment advice, particularly in these troubled economic times when all the “conventional wisdom” has gone by the wayside. Nonetheless, it appears that demand for fine firearms remains high. In particular, “classic” high-grade revolvers have been appreciating even while stocks tumble and home values sink.

Colt Python

Colt Python — An Appreciating Asset
Among the most desirable of double-action revolvers is the Colt Python, preferrably with Colt’s famous high-polish Royal Blue finish. Pristine blued Pythons sold for $800.00-$900.00 just a few years ago. Now the same revolvers are fetching up to $1900.00 at auction. The mint-condition 1977 6″ Python shown below sold for $1850.00 just last week on Gunbroker.com, and there were 15 bidders! (See Completed Auction 125683644.)

Colt Python

Would a Python be a good short- or long-term investment? You have to decide that for yourself. But consider this: Colt stopped producing Pythons in 2005, so the supply is fixed. And the recent Pythons are not (yet) considered as desirable as Pythons made in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. So the price of the older Pythons keeps rising. Pythons were produced with 2.5″, 4″, 6″ and 8″ barrels. All lengths are popular, but the 6″ Python seems to be the most sought-after currently.

If you’ve ever carefully inspected a Royal Blue Python, and worked the action, you’ll understand why they are so popular. The liquid-like ultra-smooth blued finish is simply the best ever offered on an American handgun. Chuck Hawks writes: “Colt’s Royal Blue is the ultimate polished blue finish for steel guns. No other blued production revolver can compare to the beauty of Colt’s Royal Blue Python.” And the Python’s double-action trigger is considered by many to be the smoothest ever made. The triggers on S&W Performance center revolvers are very, very good, but the trigger in a 60s or 70s Python is better — right out of the box. Typically, Pythons are extremely accurate, shooting sub-inch at 25 yards. Ergonomically, Pythons are a pleasure to shoot because the bore axis is lower than on most other large-frame revolvers. Chuck Hawks agrees: “Subjectively, this finest of all DA revolvers is a soft shooter… most shooters feel that the Python kicks less than other DA magnum revolvers of comparable weight.”

Colt Python

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