Upon further study of the colt 901, And talking to Colt reps at the factory several times, Ive decided against the Colt 901 apparently they stopped production for design changes. Its still un clear as to weather or not they have it fixed. As many still complain it is not. They have made only one barrel length and from what I was told have no intention of making more. They have no parts you can buy, bolts, firing pins, trigger assemblies etc. So you cant keep spare parts on hand. They don't recommend shooting above 165 grn bullets so 180 hunting bullets are out. And most I talked to couldn't tell me anything. Was told the SP 901 never existed. So until they come up with better answers than I received Im not spending over 2000.00 on their product. And I really wanted a Colt but they have FUBARED before and really don't sound like they have their ducks in a row yet. Maybe in another year or two guess we will see. Allot of money for an adapter its the rifle Im interested in screw the funky adapter that doesn't make a weapon reliable and that's the bottom line here.
I wish I studied the Colt 901 like you did. Bought a 901-16s in 2014. I need to replace the .308 upper charging handle and was recently advised by Colt that no parts are available yet. There don't appear to be any compatible charging handles from other manufacturers also. The limitations you outlined are significant. However, to me, not being able to get spare parts is unacceptable.
Most of the glut of 901's on line for sale are from people putting in orders to buy when they were so scarce, and now since Colt ran two shifts to fill all orders, there is enough to meet demand - which killed the speculator market. Same thing with the 5.56 magazine conversion kits.
I bought one of the first ones - the ones that did not come with the conversion kits and I put 5,000 rounds of military ball and 500 rounds of left over match over in my LE901 to break it in and sight in my scope. The accuracy wasnt as great as a SR25 we were shooting, but my 901 was more reliable than the SR25. A friend mounted his Surefire 762SS suppressor on my barrel and I was pleasantly surprised how nice this combination fired and shot down range. Definitely like it, but maybe upgrading the trigger when I finish other projects and free up some money.
I call BS on the Colt Rep who told you they would not/did not have the parts to replace your charging handle. They have plenty of parts except the older monolithic rails. I know since they sent me the parts I needed to build a new upper for my 901 project. I bitched at them for 10 days about not getting my mag adapter kit and two ended up showing up in the UPS the same week. I called to pay for the extra one and the Colt rep told me that I could keep it and "sorry it took so long to get the kit to you." Nice expereince in my book.
My friend liked my 901 so much he bought one instead of the more expensive HK MR762. He also put his registered M16 auto sear in his 901 and it actually works! Dont know if I would recommend that, but something to think about if you are into the rapid fire stuff.
Only delay in production I heard about was due to the patent delays on the magazine adapter. I was told their first system was too close to an already patented design. I actually like the system - except for the factory supplied collapsible stock. I replaced mine with a B5 systems SOPMOD stock. I think it is more versatile for the money.
Until FN USA gets it head out of its a$$ and gets the Mk20 SSR semi model into the market or at least the SSR stock at a decent price point - I will stick with my Colt LE901 and Nightforce Scope. We did the math, Colt LE901, assortment of mags, Colt 5.56 upper, either Surefire 762SS silencer (Discontinued) or Surefire SOCOM suppressor all together with the Silencer Tax is still less expensive than the SCAR 17S with suppressor and no 5.56 conversion kit and the SCAR17s stock sucks - no smear on the gun, I have 2 of them, but the factory SCAR stock sucks - the SSR stock/no folding is very nice - from personal experience.
A quick update. I finally received my replacement charging handle via special order by Brownells. I still don't see any stock of 901 parts available for regular ordering in Brownells or any other vendor.
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