Thursday, January 3, 2013

Out of the ashes of the AR-15, Colt’s MT6700 target match rifle is born

Story and photos by John N. Raguso

Although Eugene Stoner and his design team invented it as a member of aircraft manufacturer Fairchild-Republic’s Armalite division back in the early 1960s, the AR-15’s patent was eventually sold to Colt. This proven defense manufacturer then used its marketing savvy, mass-production manufacturing techniques and military connections to sell the concept of a lightweight, direct-gas-operating system rifle to USAF General Curtiss Lemay as a replacement for the USAF’s aging M1 Carbines. The rest, as they say, is history.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the AR-15 (originally launched in 1963) and its numerous offspring in both military and civilian circles, the Colt MT6700 takes a giant step back into this past and offers a design that keeps things simple. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at this entry-level target match rifle and its direct-gas-impingement operating system in its most basic format, with a 20-inch barrel and /sans/ many of the bells and whistles of modern-era AR-15/M16 weapons and clones.


The familiar “Rampant Colt” pony and Colt’s Manufacturing logo grace the port side of the receiver of the MT6700. However, the prestigious AR-15 tag has long been removed from this elementary target rifle’s magazine well housing due to various historical and current-day remnants of our country’s controversial AWB (assault weapons ban) legislation—the law of the land from 1994 through its eventual sunset in 2004. Various forms of that national law, including some subsequent and current state legislation, prohibited and/or still ban the sale or importation of many types of weapons, among them anything with the label, “AR-15” on it.

Fortunately, my favorite old Colt AR-15 A2 Sporter (SP2) was grandfathered under the original AWB law and is totally legal, since it was manufactured prior to 1994. Ditto for my Vietnam-era 20- and 30-round magazines that were made in the early 1970s and ’80s.

Even though the national AWB is thankfully gone (for now), and given the variety of state (such as my home state of New York) and municipality (New York City and others) legislation that is still in effect as you read this, Colt’s Manufacturing Company decided to evolve the nomenclature of its AR-15. The company morphed it into the Match Target (and SP Sporter) series of rifles to avoid any political legislation against their sale or distribution.

The MT6700 is sold with none of the offending “evil components,” such as a bayonet lug, flash suppressor or collapsible stock. Both the former and most of the current AWB laws allow the use of only two of the original five evil features—specifically a removable magazine and a pistol grip lower receiver, both of which can still be found on the 2012 edition of the MT6700.

The Colt MT6700 ships with a pair of nine-round mags that are good to go in all 50 states of the union, but it also accepts a variety of pre-ban and current-manufacture 15- (for New Jersey), 20- and 30-round aluminum and polymer magazines designed for the AR-15, M4 and M16 family of weapons.

The Colt MT6700 is an A3 flattop s-style target rifle that ships with a removable carry handle with ½ MOA rear sights, strap, cleaning kit, operations manual and a pair of nine-round magazines.

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