Colt LE6900 5.56x45mm Light Carbine with Colt/Leupold VX-R Firedot Scopes

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

March 28th, 2013


Click pictures for a larger version.





Free-floating aluminum handguard.





Case deflector.





Excellent single-stage trigger.



Magpul thirty-round PMAG.



Six-position telescoping buttstock.







Today, the AR-15, in its many variations, is the most popular rifle in the United States. There are numerous manufacturers of AR-15 style rifles, and all are producing the rifles at full capacity. Still, right now, demand exceeds supply, as more and more shooters are becoming aware of the excellent qualities of the weapon for hunting, sport shooting, and as a fighting rifle. With the onset of the current panic-buying of firearms in the US due to pending threats to our Constitutional right to bear arms, the AR-15 is bringing scalper’s prices. I have heard of people paying as much as three times a rifle’s MSRP, as they fear not being able to buy one in the future. Same thing with magazines and ammunition. People are paying outrageous prices for anything they can find. This is crazy.

Colt has been producing AR-15 rifles for half a century now, and many shooters still place a premium on the Colt name, for good reason. Colt makes a quality weapon. There are other makers of fine AR-15 style rifles, and while some are better than others, Colt is a name that most people recognize as a builder of high-quality weapons. Right now, as is most everyone, Colt is running at full-capacity building weapons for the military and civilian markets. A few months ago, Colt expanded their production capabilities by building their superb Competition Rifles in Idaho, and now, they are building this latest LE6900 Light Carbine shown here at an assembly facility in Kentucky.

The Light Carbine fires both .223 Remington and 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition interchangeably. It wears a non-lined sixteen inch barrel with a one-in-eight inch rifling twist, and wears the same closed-bottom birdcage flash suppressor as other Colt M-4 style carbines. The Light Carbine handles beautifully, weighing in at just a hair under six pounds on my scale. The Light Carbine uses the same bolt, bolt carrier, and other small parts as do the other Colt carbines. The trigger is a very good single stage match trigger, which released crisply with four pounds, two ounces of resistance as measured with my Lyman digital gauge, and is much better than a standard mil-spec trigger.

The LE6900 Light Carbine is fitted tightly, with no excessive play between the upper and lower receiver halves. The machining of the receiver halves, both inside and out, is flawless. The six-position telescoping buttstock fits perfectly, with no rattle nor excessive looseness, as is often found with this type of stock. The handguard is a free-floating style, made of aluminum, and is drilled for sections of Picatinny rail, one of which is attached atop the hand guard. The LE6900 has no forward assist, which is no big deal to me. I have never used a forward assist on an AR-15 to make a cartridge go into the chamber. If a round does not fully chamber, there is a reason, and I prefer to get the defective cartridge out of the weapon, instead of trying to force it into the chamber. The Light Carbine shown here was shipped with one thirty-round Magpul P-MAG polymer magazine.

The flattop receiver will accommodate mechanical or optical sights. The LE6900 ships with no sights of any type, but will accept any that will fit a Picatinny rail. Colt has partnered with Leupold to produce the excellent VX-R riflescopes that are Colt-branded. This is a nice feature, and allows shooters who are rightfully proud of their Colt rifle to attach a scope with the Colt name on it. Other rifle makers have done this in the past, usually placing their brand on a no-name imported scope, but Colt has wisely chosen to place their name upon an American-made, high-quality optic. The Leupold VX-R with the Colt brand is offered in a choice of 1.25 to 4 or 4 to 12 power, covering most every need for which this dandy little carbine might be used. The Colt VX-R scopes are built upon a 30mm tube, and have the ballistic Firedot reticle. The reticle is very useful for shooting up close, particularly in the 1.25 to 4 power version, out to extended ranges. For low-light conditions, the Firedot reticle can be activated, placing a small illuminated dot at the center of the reticle. The intensity of the red dot is variable, and is controlled by a button in the center of the left-side turret. Like other VX-R scopes, it has Leupold’s superb optical qualities, as well as their lifetime warranty.

For accuracy testing, I used the Colt/Leupold VX-R 4 to 12 power scope, set at its highest magnification. Accuracy testing was done firing three-shot groups on paper at 100 yards, and allowing the barrel to cool between groups. 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. The best group of the day was fired using Stryker 55 grain ammunition. Also exhibiting excellent accuracy was Buffalo Bore 69 grain Sniper ammunition, and Black Hills 69 grain match ammo. Every type of ammunition tested produced very good accuracy, with the worst being Winchester USA 55 grain, which grouped in the two inch range. The Stryker, Buffalo Bore, Wolf Gold Match, and Black Hills consistently grouped under one inch at 100 yards. Velocity testing was done with the chronograph set out twelve feet from the muzzle at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, approximately. Temperatures hovered around the forty-four degree Fahrenheit mark during all velocity testing, with humidity in the fifty-six 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.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Stryker V-Max 55 2800
Lake City M855 62 3033
Hand Load TSX 62 2828
Winchester USA FMJ 62 2831
Buffalo Bore HP 69 2882
Black Hills HP 69 2628
Wolf Gold HP 75 2520

Functioning of the Colt LE6900 was flawless, with every type of ammunition tested. The Colt LE6900 carbine gives up nothing in performance. Every round fed, fired, and ejected perfectly. Perhaps the best feature of the LE6900 is its price. Shooters are used to paying a premium to buy the Colt brand, but with this Light Carbine, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is only $899 US, as of the date of this review. That puts this Colt priced right along with some of the most-affordable AR-15 rifles on the market. I urge buyers to not pay scalper’s prices for a good AR-15. Some dealers are taking advantage of the current situation, and are charging excessive prices for rifles. There are still some good gun dealers who do not do this, and there is plenty of markup between what the dealer pays the distributor, and the retail price. Don’t get robbed when buying an AR, and remember those dealers who held to fair pricing during this current panic. They are your friends. Shop around, and don’t get into a panic mode. This latest Colt Light Carbine is an excellent rifle, worthy of the Colt name, and is one of the better buys in today’s market.

Check out the extensive line of Colt firearms and accessories online at

Click HERE to order the Colt/Leupold VX-R riflescopes.

For the location of a Colt dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order Colt firearms online, go to

To order quality ammunition online, go to,, and

Jeff Quinn

NOTE: All load data posted on this web site are for educational purposes only. Neither the author nor 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.





Colt / Leupold VX-R Firedot scopes.