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Review of the Colt LE6940P


At the end of March, I picked up my second AR-15 – the Colt LE6940P.  After receiving it, I cleaned it, mounted some optics, and headed out to fire a few break-in rounds and zero the optic.  A day later, I headed out for a week long vacation.  I came back, spent four days playing catch up, then headed out to Tactical Defense Institute for their three-day course Handgun I-III.  Then it was back to play catch up again, write some articles….busy times.  But I’ve been sneaking away when time permitted and spending more time with my new Colt LE6940P, and so far I’m quite pleased.

The Colt LE6940P is a brand new rifle from Colt which only started hitting the market in March of 2012.  Oddly enough, I hadn’t set out to purchase this new model from Colt – I was originally looking for the “non-P” Colt LE6940.  In Colt’s civillian AR-15 offerings, the Colt LE6920 is about as close as you can come to a government issue M4.  The Colt LE6940 is essentially the same rifle as the Colt LE6920, but adds a monolithic rail, and folding back up iron sites.

The monolithic rail on the Colt LE6940/LE6940P

The LE6940 is actually lighter than the LE6920 (thanks to the loss of the carry handle on the LE6920).  Many wonder why anyone would pay more for the LE6940 (current retail about $1500.00) than the LE6920 ( current retail about $1155.00).  I looked at this issue myself – and concluded that I couldn’t install a quality rail and good back up iron sites for much less than the price difference between the two, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a lighter (about 6.5 lbs), higher quality rail than Colt’s on the LE6940.  So that’s why I was set on the Colt LE 6940.  But Colt AR’s can be difficult to find – they seem to be snatched up as soon as they hit the market.  While I was waiting for Colt to crank out more LE6940’s, my chosen dealer got his first shipment of the new LE6940P’s.    The new LE6940P (retail about $2105.00) is essentially a piston driven LE6940 – Colt’s first piston driven model.   So I jumped at the opportunity to get one of the first piston driven Colt AR-15’s commercially available.

What’s the big deal about buying a piston driven AR-15?  Traditional AR-15’s use a direct gas impingement system – gases released when a round is fired are blown back into the chamber which is what makes the rifle cycle.  This approach sends a lot of hot, dirty gas in a critical area of the rifle.  A piston driven system essentially re-routs these gases to another area of the rifle.  There are pros and cons of each design approach, but a piston driven AR-15 will, generally speaking, run cleaner, cooler,  more reliably, and have a longer life span than that of its direct gas impingement counterpart.

The interesting thing about buying any piston driven AR-15 is that there’s no “MIL-SPEC” which standardizes the specifications – every manufacturer does their piston system just a little bit differently.   However, Colt’s not exactly a newcomer to piston driven AR’s – they’ve been working on them since the 1960’s:

The Colt back up iron sites (BUIS) aren’t as pretty as, say the Troy Industry battle sites which I put on my S&W M&P 15 , but they are functional.  Here’s a couple of photos of the rear site, both in the retracted and upright position:

Here’s a close up of the front site (in the down folded position):

One of the things you pay for when you step up to a Colt made AR-15 is magnetic particle inspection (a non-destructive testing process for detecting surface and slightly subsurface discontinuities in ferroelectric materials such as iron) of certain key components like the barrel:

Having put a few hundred rounds through it, I can tell you that the rifle shoots very well.  I had thought perhaps that the recoil on this piston driven AR-15 would be less than that of my M&P 15.  If it is, I certainly can’t discern the difference.

Here’s a couple of photos of targets from the break-in shooting I did – both targets are Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C targets 6″ in diameter:

From 50 yards:

From 100 yards:

I was shooting good old 55 grain American Eagle ammo:

Clearly I’m not an expert marksman, but I’m signed up for several training courses this year and hope to improve.  By the same token, being able to consistently make 100 yard head shots is pretty impressive to me.  🙂

In terms of cleaning/maintenance, a piston driven AR-15, definitely runs cleaner…at least as far as the bolt carrier group is concerned:

Usually the BCG would be filthy dirty after a couple of hundred rounds through my M&P 15, but the Colt LE6940P BCG barely looked used.  Here’s a photo with the gas piston removed – a single, easy to release pin holds the piston in place:

The piston and piston chamber do take the majority of residue from firing but are simply to clean – I just wipe down the piston and run a brush and pad down the piston chamber.

Thus far I’m entirely pleased with my Colt LE6940P – as well I should be for the admittedly premium price tag, which is on the high side when compared even to other piston driven AR-15’s.  But the Colt name, legacy, and build quality are unmatched in the industry – I’m very proud to own a Colt AR-15.


About John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of, as well as and *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

  1. can you take a good picture of the bolt and extractor compared to your M&P?

    also a picture of the piston disassembled would be awesome.

  2. I’ll try to get to it. 🙂

  3. Thanks man, one more thing, is there any HP markings on the bolt?

    I would hope now, HPT is such a destructive trest and reduces bolt life by 40%

    I have to say the gun is impressive, very good accuracy with the 55gr ball ammo. So many things I want to ask and so little time lol. This is THE piston gun ive been waiting for and I cant get one!!

    This is also the gun entered into the IC(although modded with a fluted barrel, and a 4 position regulator for suppressed fire, and a brown cerakote)

  4. Pics of the piston system please. The MRP is a nice touch.

  5. I Bought Two Colt 6940P. And that Weapon is the Best Weapon you can get. And so Accurate with iron Sights or a Scope on it. When I was in Vietnam. You could not keep that Weapon Clean Enough so it would not Gam. Every time I got in a Fire Fight. It Gamed on me every time. If it was not for My M-79. I always carried with me. Because of my M-16. I would not be here.I lucked out and got my First 6940 P after Two hours on the Internet. I got It for . 1,800 . And I got my second one A Month Later. And a Different Company. And it took long to get. The only Reason I got another one. My Son that is a Police Officer, And he coned it off me. But I was Glad to give it to him. The Way Police are getting Killed Today. I just like to shoot my at the Gun Range. It never Jammed once. I only shot about 200 Rounds out of it. Mainly it Brings to many Memories back from Vietnam. It really gets to you when you take a Life. And have to live with it every Day. But I just enjoy shooting Targets. To see how many times you can hit the Bulls eye from all different yards. I shoot good. But I taught my Son that is the Police Officer to shoot since he was 11 years Old. He was the President of his Police Training class. And only 4 Made it out of about 20 People. And he shot Top Gun. It made me feel good. I did not know he got it. They gave him a Big Award for Top Gun on a Nice Piece of Wood. He never Brags Then when he hired on his Police Department. He had to Qualify shooting. And he shot Top Gun There. His Sargent said, Where did you go to Scholl to Learn how to shoot so good. He said I didn’t, My Dad Taught me since I was 11 years OldHis Sargent then said. About of Police officers on our Forces is going to be Jellies of you. Some of them being to shoot that for 20 years. And he said you get a Nice Badge to wear on your Uniform. But my Son never Bragged about it. And all the other Police that have been trying to shoot it. We’re nice to him. And Congregated him. And said I want you to back me up, If I needed help. But I Pray to God Jason never has to take a Life or shoot someone. Or get shot him Self. Obama Really gave our Police a Black Mark. And Al Sharpton and that Mayor from Baltimore. She should be fired. And Obama Should be Impeached. For doing this to our Police that Protect us. And for what him and Hillary did. All Foul should do Jail Time. Please help our Police out. A Disabled American Veteran from Vietnam.

  6. I will pray for the continued safety of your son Elwood.

  7. After only 2 years on his police DEPARTMENT, Jason got picket Top Cop, From his Police Department,And From the County.Jason does not like to brag.We as his parents seen it in the News Paper. we are proud of him.he then transferred up to Wisdom Salem Sheriffs Office.Jason hated to leave Nags Head Police Department. But the cost of living there was so Expensive. And it is a shame for what our Police get payed. 32 thousands dollars to 34 thousand dollars with a criminal Justice Degree, to get shot at and to get killed.because of these fools that started this black lives matter, i was a Sargent in the Army.and i treated all of my Veterans the same if they were indian, black. white . ANY color. THESE higher up’s in our Government started this.And what they did to and said about our Police should have been Impeached.Counting our President Of The United States .We have lost a lot of our Bravest Police. cause OF them.And IT NEVER bothered him .Not because of my Son.I want to thank ALL OF Our POLICE, WOMAN AND MEN. THANK ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.AND MOST of ALL OUR FALLEN POLICE.BE SAFE OUT THERE.AND ALL AMERICANS CALL YOUR SENATORS TO STOP OUR POLICE FROM BEING KILLED BECAUSE OF THESE FOOLS. DID THE POLICE RIOT AND KILL OUR CIVILIANS. NO. OUR POLICE STILL WENT OUT AND DID THERE JOBS.BLACK AND WHITE POLICE .THANK ALL OF OUT POLICE. AND MAY GOD KEEP THEM SAFE.


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