New Competition Pistols from Colt

Colt Competition 38 Super

Colt’s Manufacturing Company (Colt) announced several new additions to its Competition Pistol line of 1911-style handguns. One is a blued finish pistol chambered in .38 Super while three additional models are in stainless steel.


Expanse M4: Colt’s Cheap AR

Colt Expanse M4

With major manufacturers like Ruger and Smith & Wesson driving the price of entry-level AR rifles down, Colt will respond in 2016 with a new rifle called the Expanse M4. The new rifle is a basic AR-15 that comes in with a suggested retail price of $699.

The new rifle is a direct impingement gun with the basic M4-style features. It has a collapsing buttstock, pistol grip and A2-type front sight assembly. A polymer two-piece handguard is standard.

As is typical for AR-15 rifles, this gun is chambered in 5.56 NATO. It can safely fire both 5.56 and .223 Rem ammunition. The 16.1″ barrel has a 1:7″ twist that should allow it to stabilize most of the bullet weights commercially loaded for the calibers.

Colt Expanse M4 CE1000

Colt uses a flattop upper and does not ship with a rear sight. However, the Picatinny rail makes adding one a quick process. Many people will opt to add a red dot like the Trijicon MRO instead of, or in addition to, a rear sight.

A single 30-round aluminum magazine ships with the Expanse M4.

Colt states on its web site that these rifles do not ship with a forward assist or dust cover. That’s unfortunate as these items are pretty standard with even budget AR rifles. (Thanks to reader TechnoTriticale for pointing this out.)


model #CE1000
caliber5.56 NATO
magazine capacity30 rounds
# of included magazines1 aluminum
barrel length16.1"
overall length32" - 35.5"
actionsemi-automatic, direct impingement
stock6-position, adjustable length

In the wake of the Sandy Hook buying frenzy, there was a glut of AR rifles on the market. In economic terms, supply exceeded demand and prices dropped. While there have been a number of smaller manufacturers that have targeted the budget priced AR market, additional pressure was applied by the introduction of lower priced models from more prominent gun makers adjusting to consumer expectations of less expensive rifles.

 Colt Expanse M4Ruger AR-556S&W Sport II
caliber5.56 NATO5.56 NATO5.56 NATO
magazine type30 round, aluminum30 round, Magpul PMAG30 round, Magpul PMAG
# of included magazines111
barrel length16.1"16.1"16"
twist rate1:7"1:8"1:9"
chrome platingunknownbolt carrier, gas keyfiring pin
finishnot statedtype III hardcoat anodizedArmornite
handguard type2-pieceeasy removing 2-piece2-piece
pistol gripA2-styleRuger gripA2-style
front sightA2-stylemilled A2-style with QD socketA2-style
rear sightnonefoldingfolding Magpul MBUS

Smith & Wesson seemed to be doing well with it’s budget friendly M&P15 Sport rifles that were selling for less than $700 in many shops. Then Ruger introduced the AR-556 – another entry level rifle that came very well equipped with an MSRP of $749. Both of these rifles allowed a novice AR shooter to buy a rifle from a readily recognizable name.

With the Expanse M4, it seems Colt is trying to capitalize on its name to reach new shooters buying their first AR rifle and more experienced hands who prefer the Colt name as a basic platform to build a more custom gun.

Watch for additional information on the Colt Expanse M4 and other new guns at the special 2016 SHOT Show page I have set up.


Will Colt Re-Introduce Double Action Revolvers in 2014?

Colt Detective Special

Will Colt’s Manufacturing Company (aka Colt) bring back the double-action revolver next year?  It sounds like there are serious moves in that direction, and we could see something in 2014.

Colt abandoned the double-action revolver market during the last decade for a variety of reasons that were never made public.  However, popular speculation suggests that the Colt revolvers were not price competitive.  Combined with the flagging demand for revolvers, the manufacture of the revolvers was either not profitable, or maintained only very thin margins.

But now, it looks like Colt is tooling up for a new run of double-action revolvers.


Will Colt Abandon Florida Manufacturing Facility?

Colt Florida manufacturing
Image courtesy of Bing

When Colt’s Manufacturing Company signed a deal in 2011 with Osceola County, FL to open a “regional headquarters and product manufacturing center,” it was reported the company would employ more than 60 people at that site.  But, more than halfway through 2013, the facility still stands empty.

According to news reports, Colt’s Manufacturing has yet to take possession of the facility and it appears that none of those promised jobs have materialized.  With an end-of-the-year deadline looming in the contract between Colt and Osceola County, it is being reported that Colt’s lender, not the company, is working out an agreement to get things back on track.

What is going on?  Will Colt ultimately abandon the deal?


“Enhanced Reliability” Package from Colt

Colt 1911

We all know that the 1911 platform is a fine weapon, and we also know that they can be picky about the kinds of ammunition they will run.  That is one of the many reasons why more than a few firearms instructors suggest guns other than a 1911 for self-defense purposes.

For years, I have seen gunsmiths offering a variety of packages to improve the reliability of the venerable 1911.  But, I did not realize that Colt offered one of those same packages at the factory. The Colt Enhanced Reliability Package is a deal offered through the company’s custom shop and can be purchased prior to the acquisition of the firearm to get it tuned before delivery.  Also, current Colt owners can ship their existing 1911 back to the shop for improving reliability.