Colt's Manufacturing Company has partnered
with Cooper Firearms of Montana to build a series of long-range
precision rifles. The one shown here is chambered for the 308
Winchester cartridge, and wears a gray laminated wood stock.
Before we get into the details, lets get the most important one
out of the way first; this is one seriously-accurate rifle!
Let's get one more thing out of the way. If you just want a
cheap 308 that is plenty accurate enough to pop a deer at one
hundred yards, you might as well stop reading now. This Colt is
not an inexpensive rifle, when compared to the many excellent
hunting rifles on the market today. However, when comparing the
price of this Colt to a custom rifle purpose-built to the
standards of this M2012, the $2795 MSRP on this Colt is a very
This M2012 is built for Colt Manufacturing by
Cooper Firearms, and Cooper knows how to build an accurate
rifle. In making this M2012 for Colt, they built a very
reliable, comfortable, portable, and superbly-accurate rifle.
Weighing in at eight and three-quarters pounds on my
scale, this M2012 has plenty of heft, without being too
cumbersome or heavy to carry. The gray laminated hardwood stock
is very comfortable to use, and is fitted with two forward and
one aft sling attachment studs. The butt is finished with a soft
Decelerator recoil pad. The
pistol grip has a slight right-hand palm swell, but being a
left-handed shooter, I still found the stock design to be very
comfortable to handle. The M2012 uses, thankfully, standard
Accuracy International magazines, and is supplied with one
five-shot steel magazine. The magazine release is easy to reach,
and easy to use. It is also centered and fully ambidextrous.
Atop the rigid push-feed action is a six and
one-eighth inch long 1913 Picatinny rail which bridges the
ejection port, but does not interfere with single-loading the
rifle through the port, if desired. The heavy chrome-molybdenum
barrel is fluted for most of its twenty-two inch length, and is
free-floated into the laminated stock. The muzzle is threaded
5/8x24 TPI, and is fitted with the superb Custom Cooper Firearms
muzzle brake. The heavy profile barrel measures 1.2 inches in
diameter at the front of the receiver, then tapers quickly ahead
of the chamber area, measuring .788 inch just aft of the muzzle
brake. The bottom metal is one-piece aluminum, forming the
trigger guard and magazine well. The magazine pushes straight up
into the well, locking firmly into place. The barrel, action,
bottom metal, brake, and trigger are all finished in a matte
black, and match very well. The spiral-fluted bolt is polished,
with the bolt handle and rear shroud matching the other
The push-feed bolt is a three-lug design,
resulting in a relatively low bolt lift, which makes the
operation of the bolt easy, even while wearing heavy gloves.
Colt wisely went with a Timney trigger unit, which is
adjustable, and offers a very crisp trigger pull. As delivered,
the resistance on the trigger measured just under three and
one-half pounds, but I adjusted it down to two and one-quarter
pounds resistance for my use. I can shoot better with a lighter
pull, and the purpose of this review was to see just how well
this M2012 would shoot. The trigger blade is curved, wide, and
flat-faced, making for a delightful trigger pull.
When testing a 308 rifle such as this for
accuracy, I want three things. The first is a good scope, and I
always reach for my Leupold Mark 4 8.5 to 25 power
Tactical/Target scope. The second thing I want is good
ammunition, and my "go-to" ammo for accuracy testing a
308 is Buffalo Bore Sniper ammo that uses the excellent Sierra
175 grain Match King bullet. The third thing that I want is a
solid rest, and when I can, I use the Target
Shooting, Inc. Model 500 or Model
1000 rifle rest. With all that in mind, I mounted the
Leupold Mark 4 scope using an ArmaLite one-piece base/ring
mount, securing it atop the rifle's Picatinny rail. With this
rifle, I did not bother with shooting any military surplus or
standard hunting ammo in it, but went straight for the good
stuff; Buffalo Bore Match, Black Hills Match, and Federal Gold
Medal Match. Placing the rifle into the rifle rest, I
bore-sighted it using my trusty LaserLyte
boresighter. This little jewel saves me a lot of expensive
ammunition, and puts me pretty close to the center of the target
at fifty yards, where I start firing until I get the rifle
shooting to point-of-aim, before moving out to one hundred yards
for accuracy testing.
When accuracy testing, I normally single-load
the cartridges into the ejection port, but I also needed to be
sure that the magazine would feed well, so I loaded five rounds
into the steel magazine, and locked it into place. With all ammo
tried, the magazine functioned perfectly. Extraction was also
smooth and flawless, with no indication of sticky extraction at
all. The Timney trigger made firing for accuracy easy to do, and
the muzzle brake proved to be very effective at attenuating
recoil. Even long strings at the bench, shooting with no shirt
on, inflicted no pain nor discomfort at any time.
As stated in the first paragraph, the M2012
is accurate. Very accurate. Firing five-shot groups at one
hundred yards, the rifle would cluster the good stuff into one
ragged hole, over and over again. A couple of three-shot groups
fired into one clean hole. It was not a ragged hole; just a
hole. Buffalo Bore proved to be the most-accurate ammo tested in
this particular rifle, as I expected that it would be. Buffalo
Bore uses the best components available for their match ammo,
and it pays off in accuracy. The group pictured was not the
smallest fired, but was typical of what the Buffalo Bore ammo
would do in this rifle, repeatedly. Really, it was hard to
discern between the smallest and largest groups fired using that
ammo, and the other brands also shot very well.
The Colt M2012 is a dandy rifle. It is
lighter and handier than I expected that it would be, and that
is a good thing. While the M2012 is purpose-built to be a
dedicated sniper rifle, weighing in at under nine pounds with an
overall length of only 43.25 inches, it is very maneuverable,
making for an excellent predator rifle, or for hunting medium
game from a stationary position.
With the M2012, Colt and Cooper got
everything just right. A rifle of this type, to justify its
asking price, must be very accurate, perfectly reliable, and a
pleasure to shoot. The Colt M2012 satisfies each of those
requirements. When accuracy is more important than price, the
Colt M2012 is an excellent choice. When paired with a quality
scope and fed premium ammunition, the Colt M2012 will shoot as
well or better than custom rifles costing twice the price, or
Check out the Colt M2012 online at www.colt.com.
To locate a Colt dealer near you, click on
the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the M2012 online, click on the Gun
Genie at www.galleryofguns.com.
To order premium ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com,
a look at the extensive line of quality Leupold optics, go to www.leupold.com.
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