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Thread: First Impressions: Colt AR6951 9mm Carbine

  1. #1
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    First Impressions: Colt AR6951 9mm Carbine

    I found one of these online 2 days before the word came out from Colt that there would be no more rifles. All the usual online vendors were out of stock, but a deep internet search yielded one.

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: It's just like an M4 on the outside, but different inside.

    EXTERIOR: The carbine is of the same configuration as the familiar 6920. It is hard to tell them apart at a glance. It's even more like the 6720, which is Colt's pencil barrel version of the M4. Instead of an empty case deflector integral to the upper, there is a larger plastic deflector which is to keep combustion products away from the shooter. The flash hider is an A1 design with slots all around and since it need not be indexed, there is no crush washer. There is no forward assist, but who needs it? Everything else is the same; if you picked one up, you couldn't tell it by feel from the 5.56 M4.

    MAGAZINE: It comes equipped with one Colt-marked Metalform magazine; this is the "modified UZI" 32 round magazine. The Colt-marked ones sell for $50-60 online but that's insane; you can get the same thing Metalform marked from Gun Mag Warehouse for $24. The magazine is made of heavy-gauge steel with a steel follower. Unlike the Glock big-sticks, the baseplate comes off easily for cleaning. As we shall see, that's a good thing. My mag loader hasn't arrived yet. This is a necessity as my thumbs are sore from loading. There are shorter magazines available.

    INSIDE: Here's where things get interesting. It's not really an AR inside. The rifle field strips just like a 5.56. But the "AR-9" action is straight blowback. There is no locking of the breech. The front sight base is just that, a pedestal for the sight post and something to hold the handguards on. There is no gas tube because there is no gas-operated action. The bolt is of the same rough outline as the 5.56 bolt-and-carrier but it's all one piece and is heavier than an M16 set. The buffer spring feels to the touch to be stiffer, too. All this is because the mass of the bolt and the push of the spring are all that hold the cartridge in place. The firing pin is held in place by the usual "cotter pin" but there is a firing pin spring. The gas key is a nub bolted (yes, well-staked) in the conventional manner. The barrel is 1 in 10" and is chrome-lined. The lower appears to be a regular AR lower with a magazine adapter pinned in. The hammer pin is stainless steel.

    FIRING: The rifle was generously coated inside and out with preservative oil. I hosed it down with non-chlorinated brake cleaner (Gun Scrubber at 1/6 the cost) and lubricated generously with Breakfree CLP. Ammunition was:

    Winchester 115 grain range fodder
    Winchester Q4318 NATO 124 grain
    Federal 147 grain FMJ truncated cone

    Everything worked perfectly out of the box. It sighted right in and pretty soon was making fist sized groups with me standing offhand at 25 yards. The 147 seemed not as accurate as the lighter stuff. Recoil felt perhaps a bit more than shooting M193 in a M4 but I'd have to shoot them side by side to be sure. I fired about 250 rounds without a hiccup. The flat nose 147 jams up my Sub 2K with Glock mags, but it feeds in the 6951 without protest. [But see comments below]. Cases eject at 90 degrees.

    CLEANING: This being a blowback design, the gun gets a lot dirtier than an AR action. You really need to completely hose out the lower every time you shoot it, which is not necessary with an AR action. It took Hoppe's and a GI toothbrush, and brake cleaner, and compressed air to get her all cleaned up. There was a lot of powder dust on and in the magazine, too. I disassembled the magazine, scrubbed inside the body and the follower with Hoppe's, and blasted it out as well. If you are going to do an extended shooting session it wouldn't hurt to add some more CLP before you would need to with an AR action.



    This carbine will replace my venerable pump shotgun for home protection duties.
    Last edited by Uni-Vibe; 10-04-19 at 15:46.

  2. #2
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    Congrats on the new Colt. Interesting that itís felt recoil is more than 193. Gotta be fun to shoot either way.
    Perfect HD gun.
    PB
    "Air Force / Policeman / Fireman / Man of God / Friend of mine / R.I.P. Steve Lamy"

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    Nice, thorough review and PCC too. Did you get an opportunity to run some JHP ammo in it to check for reliability?
    I knew the recoil is heavier due to the blowback action, but did not consider how much dirtier they run. I think both are mitigated a bit with a heavier buffer, but reliability is key to a HD gun.

    Andy

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    Might I ask where you found a 6951 in the wild? I too did a deep search and thought I found one for a really good price, but alas it seems to be a bait and switch.

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    A buddy and I stumbled on to a pair of them at a local shop, and each got one...this is a dozen years ago, and ours have A1 sights and a carry handle. I had mine SBR'd, which makes more sense for a pistol caliber...it's really handy.
    I've put a Geissele SSA in mine, which has given exactly zero problems in a fair amount of shooting. There are some questions about this installation (Geissele is noncommittal about it), but it does make a much improved trigger.
    If you like irons, the XS 'skunk stripe' front and same plane rear make sense.
    Uni', really nice writeup; you got on board the Colt train at the right moment.
    Moon

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    I have to modify something in my review above.

    Latest range trip, I shot some more Federal 147 grain FMJ flat point. They worked 100% before, but this time, there was one ejection failure. These 147s are noticeably softer-shooting in my pistol, and also in the 6951. Apparently they are not quite powerful enough to reliably operate the blowback action. I switched back to Q4318 NATO. Recoil was snappier and no further problems were experienced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uni-Vibe View Post
    I have to modify something in my review above.

    Latest range trip, I shot some more Federal 147 grain FMJ flat point. They worked 100% before, but this time, there was one ejection failure. These 147s are noticeably softer-shooting in my pistol, and also in the 6951. Apparently they are not quite powerful enough to reliably operate the blowback action. I switched back to Q4318 NATO. Recoil was snappier and no further problems were experienced.
    We used to run the Federal 9BPLE in our subguns and they are hot enough to ensure proper function in the MP5s. This was several years ago and yes, I know ammunition design has come a long way since but maybe something to try out.
    Psalm 34:19

    To argue with a person who renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead. ~ Thomas Paine

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazyeach View Post
    Might I ask where you found a 6951 in the wild? I too did a deep search and thought I found one for a really good price, but alas it seems to be a bait and switch.

    Saw one advertised on Armslist; called the seller, and bought it over the phone. I bet I got one of the last ones out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uni-Vibe View Post
    Saw one advertised on Armslist; called the seller, and bought it over the phone. I bet I got one of the last ones out there.
    I also got one from Armslist. Pick it up at my FFL tomorrow. $781 shipped plus $25 transfer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazyeach View Post
    I also got one from Armslist. Pick it up at my FFL tomorrow. $781 shipped plus $25 transfer.
    Presume used at that price, but that's a steal, assuming decent condition.
    I had one stutter with mine with a hollow point, but generally just run ball. With 10.5" muzzle velocity, it should do fine if ever called on for defense.
    Moon

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