Click pictures for a larger version.
Colt Match Target trigger.
Free-floating aluminum handguard is drilled for
accessory rails, and comes with one three-inch rail installed on
A few months ago I did a review of the Colt
Competition CRP-18 rifle that is purpose-built for
competition, particularly the fast-growing sport of 3-Gun
Shooting. Bold Ideas of Texas is the company that builds the
Colt Competition rifles. They are, to my way of thinking, the
equivalent of what the Colt Custom Shop does for handguns, but
with rifles. Bold Ideas focuses on building precision rifles for
competition. However, the excellent features that make a rifle
ideal for 3-Gun competition also makes it very useful as a
fighting rifle or a hunting rifle, and they have greatly
expanded their line of Colt Competition rifles since I hammered
out that last review.
The latest addition to the growing line of
Colt Competition rifles is the CSR-1516 shown here. The CSR-1516
is part of their Sporting Rifle line, which offers a lot of nice
features at a relatively low price. While still filling the role
of a competitive rifle very well, it is a bit lighter and
handier than the CRP-18 previously reviewed, weighing in at only
six pounds, seven ounces on my scale, and while it also sells at
a lower price by eliminating some of the features of the CRP-18,
such as the adjustable gas port and stainless, fluted barrel, it
is still a fine, hand-built weapon. The overall length of the
CSR-1516 measures between thirty-two and one-half to thirty-five
and three-quarters inches, depending upon the position of the
buttstock. The CSR-1516 wears a sixteen-inch 4140
chrome-molybdenum air-gauged barrel with a one-in-eight-inch
rifling twist. The hand guard is an aluminum free-floating unit
that measures twelve inches in length, with a diameter of 1.974
inches. The hand guard wears a three-inch section of Picatinny
rail at the top, forward end. The hand guard is drilled to
accept additional sections of rail, if desired. The gas block is
a Bold Ideas low-profile machined steel unit, and is set at the
carbine-length position of the barrel on this direct-impingement
gas system rifle. The muzzle is fitted with a closed-bottom
flash suppressor. The forged receiver has no forward assist
mechanism, nor does it have an ejection port dust cover.
The buttstock is a Colt six-position
telescoping unit. The rifle is fitted with a Hogue finger-groove
over-molded pistol grip. The one shown bears the Hogue logo, but
on future production rifles the pistol grip will be branded with
the Colt logo. The trigger on this rifle has a very crisp
release. It is the Colt Match Target trigger, which is specified
to release at six pounds. Mine measured slightly under that at
five pounds, thirteen ounces, which is close enough. The trigger
guard is rounded at the bottom, allowing a bit more room for a
gloved finger than a standard guard.
accuracy testing, I mounted a Colt Competition/Leupold VX-R 4 to
12 power scope using the superb Warne
scope mount shown. This mount has angled Picatinny rail
sections attached, for the mounting of close-quarters mechanical
or optical sights. There is also a matching angled sight base
that I attached to the section of rail atop the free-floating
hand guard. This scope is a good choice for a rifle such as
this, that might be used at distances from very close, out to
several hundred yards. Velocity testing was done with the
chronograph set out twelve feet from the muzzle at an elevation
of 541 feet above sea level. Temperatures hovered around the
eighty-five degree Fahrenheit mark during all velocity testing,
with humidity in the seventy percent range. Velocity readings
are the average of several shots fired, and the results are
listed in the chart below. Velocity readings are listed in
feet-per-second (fps). Bullet weights are listed in grains. FMJ
is a full metal jacket bullet. HP is hollowpoint. V-Max is a
polymer-tipped varmint bullet. TSX is a Barnes Triple Shock
homogenous copper hollowpoint bullet. The handload listed uses
the TSX bullet with 24.5 grains of Ramshot TAC powder, a
Remington small rifle primer, and Winchester commercial .223
Remington cases. Accuracy results are listed below in inches,
and list the smallest and largest groups fired with each type of
ammunition. Accuracy testing was done with the rifle resting in
a Target Shooting, Inc. Model 500 rifle
rest, to eliminate as much shooter error as possible.
Three-shot groups were fired at a distance of 100 yards. The
rifle was allowed to cool between each brand of ammo tested.
||0.312" to 0.575"
|Lake City M855
||0.9" to 1.25"
|Hand Load TSX
||0.75" to 1.1"
|Buffalo Bore HP
||0.438" to 1.25"
|Black Hills HP
||0.438" to 0.875"
As is obvious from the chart above, this is a
very accurate rifle. Building this rifle, Colt Competition did
not sacrifice quality nor accuracy, they just eliminated a few
features of their more-expensive weapons to produce this very
affordable version of their excellent rifle. I was really
pleasantly surprised at the accuracy of the 55 grain Stryker
ammunition from this rifle. It uses the excellent Hornady V-Max
bullet, but the ammo sells for a lot less than most match-grade
ammo, yet it yielded match-grade performance. The Colt
Competition/Leupold scope performed very well, enabling me to
achieve fine accuracy from this rifle. The VX-R scope has a
push-button for the illuminated dot in the center of the reticle
for use in low-light situations.
The Colt CSR-1516 ships with a detailed
instruction manual, cable lock, chamber flag, and one
thirty-round P-MAG magazine. The Colt CSR-1516 is a match-grade,
easy-handling AR that is as at home beside the bed or in a
patrol car as it is on line at a competition. Like all Colt
firearms, the CSR-1516 is built right, and built in the USA. As
of the date of this review, the manufacturer’s suggested
retail price is only $990 US. You can pay a lot more money, and
not get a better rifle than the Colt CSR-1516.
Check out the extensive line of Colt
Competition and Sporting rifles, as well as Colt Competition
accessories online at www.coltcompetitionrifle.com.
For details on the extensive line of quality
Leupold optics, go to www.leupold.com.
order quality 223 and 5.56x45mm ammunition online, go to www.buffalobore.com,
NOTE: All load data posted on this
web site are for educational purposes only. Neither the author nor
GunBlast.com assume any responsibility for the use or misuse of this data.
The data indicated were arrived at using specialized equipment under
conditions not necessarily comparable to those encountered by the
potential user of this data. Always use data from respected loading
manuals and begin working up loads at least 10% below the loads indicated
in the source manual.
Got something to say about this article?
Want to agree (or disagree) with it? Click the following link to
go to the GUNBlast Feedback Page.
Click pictures for a larger version.
These are the best groups fired. The largest group of
the day slightly exceeded one inch at 100 yards.
Leupold / Colt Competition VX-R illuminated scope.
Excellent Warne scope base with forward-mount sight