The modern sporting rifle (MSR), as the semi-automatic AR-15 is now identified, is the most popular rifle in the United States. It’s used by law enforcement, outdoorsmen for predator and varmint control, for hunting where permitted, in organized competitive events and, to be sure, by legally armed citizens for self-defense in a home or elsewhere. The piston-operated Colt LE6940P carbine is one such MSR that fits the bill for this particular need, and several reasons why come to mind. Because it is chambered in 5.56mm NATO, the LE6940P allows users the ability to deliver effective single or multiple hits on one or more threats more effectively, firing a cartridge with stopping power exceeding most commonly used handgun rounds. Also, this can be accomplished at distances that exceed handgun ranges. As exact parameters cannot be established for a lethal attack, the only remaining certainty is that your life hangs in the balance.

The Colt LE6940P attempts to provide the best results gleaned from all the pre-viously mentioned applications. I also think the “P” for Piston in its model designation could represent “personalize,” as its features enhance its use defensively.

Gun Details
The Colt LE6940P, paraphrasing from the Colt instruction manual, is an Advanced Piston (AP) operated rifle. It features a monolithic upper receiver that has a Mil-Std-1913 rails at the 12, 3 and 9 o’clock positions. The fourth rail, at 6 o’clock, is removable to give access for further cleaning of the rifle if needed. The buttstock is collapsible to provide a better fit for various body sizes and the presence of bulky clothing. The rifle weighs 6.9 pounds unloaded. Its overall length is 35.5 inches with the buttstock fully extended, and 32 inches with the buttstock collapsed. Space here prohibits a lengthy evaluation of the piston operating system used by the Colt LE6940P versus the direct gas impingement system (DGIS). But with piston-driven systems, gas formed from discharging a cartridge moves a piston and a piston rod, with the latter then impinging on the bolt to cycle the action. On the other hand, the DGIS design uses the gas that is moved through a tube to operate the bolt. This system carries gases into the rifle’s action. With the piston-operated Colt Articulating Link System, however, gases are vented off through a port near the barrel muzzle, allowing the action to stay cleaner longer. While some discussion is made of the relative accuracy of DGIS over piston-operated platforms, I see both systems as being more than adequate—perhaps more accurate than most users can deliver—for most purposes and particularly so in home-based self-defense…


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The modern sporting rifle (MSR), as the semi-automatic AR-15 is now identified, is the…