Hands down, semi-automatic variants of the 5.56mm M4 Carbine-pattern AR are the dominant patrol carbine in today’s law enforcement community. Why is this? Because of the platform’s established reputation through its use by the U.S. military, as well as its broad availability on the market. In fact, it seems like practically every long gun manufacturer has some variation inspired by this battle-proven warrior.
But what about getting an M4 Carbine-style rifle from the source? Namely the company that put the blood, sweat and tears into developing the platform, ensured that it stood up to the U.S. government’s rigorous standards, and has been connected to the design through every enhancement and improvement that it has experienced over the years since its introduction? That would, of course, be Colt.
But, what if you are not allowed to have a true M4 Carbine in its original military configuration? Apart from specialized tactical team applications, the reality is that most law enforcement officers are allowed to employ only civilian-pattern variants of the M4 platform. Specifically, carbines that differ in their rate of fire capabilities (semi-automatic operation only) and in their barrel lengths (usually 16-inch barrels rather than the shorter 14.5-inch barrel of the true M4 Carbine). Apart from that, these variants look and operate very similarly to their U.S. military siblings.
Colt’s answer to this is the LE6920, fittingly dubbed the “Colt Law Enforcement Carbine.” Fitting into the category described above, this 5.56mm carbine features a 16-inch barrel and semi-automatic-only operation. Externally, apart from the slightly longer barrel, it appears to be the twin of a military M4 Carbine.
The LE6920 features a carbine-length gas system/forend, and the 16-inch chrome-lined barrel employs a 1-in-7-inch, right-hand twist. The threaded muzzle is topped off with an A2-style birdcage flash suppressor. An interesting characteristic of this muzzle device is that the bottom portion does not feature any cuts or vents, intended to prevent “dust-
up” when firing prone from the ground. The exterior of the barrel features the step-cut pattern, built to the same specs of the M4, that allows for the attachment of an M203 grenade launcher.
The upper and lower receivers of the LE6920 feature an anodized black/gray finish. The upper receiver is of the flattop configuration, meaning that an integral strip of Picatinny rail is machined directly into its upper face to simplify the mounting of optics. A removable carry handle with an A2-style rear sight assembly comes standard with the carbine and features the familiar dual-peep aperture system. An A2-style pistol grip sits on the lower receiver, as does a non-ambidextrous safety lever, which is reversible, however. One area where the LE6920 I received differs from an M4 Carbine is in its buttstock, as it came equipped with Colt’s new Super-Stoc, a notable upgrade in features and stability over a standard collapsible stock.
The front sight assembly of the LE6920 should please the purists out there (I’ll admit, I checked for it myself when I first picked up the carbine), as it is a correct “F”-marked unit. It features the integrated bayonet lug of the M4 Carbine and also comes with a side-mounted sling swivel housed within the assembly.
Furthermore, I noted that the stock’s castle nut was properly staked, and a quick disassembly revealed that the gas key was also properly staked, with notable indentations moving a good amount of metal in with each “punch.” While I had the gun open, I also noted that M4-style feed ramps were included, in which dual channels are cut into the rear face of the barrel extension as well as a small portion of the upper receiver.