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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My local gun store has a used pre-ban Colt Sporter Target Model AR-15 on consignment. They told me that the owner hardly ever shot the thing, and that it mostly sat in his safe. I inspected the bolt, and chamber, and everything looks to be in good condition, so I have little reason to doubt their story. It's mostly stock except for a UTG quad rail that was installed by the owner. I was told that he might have the original hand guards somewhere in his safe. I've been looking for a Colt LE6920 for quite sometime with no luck, and after some thought I'm pretty interested in purchasing this instead. They're asking $1325.00, plus background check, Is this a fair price? What physical traits should I look for to determine if this is a pre-ban gun or not? If it is infact a pre-ban gun, would its' value decrease at all if I were to shoot it? Would I be better off leaving it in the safe? I'll post pics if I can, but I'll have to apologize for the quality in advance, as these are the pics my dealer sent to my phone. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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I own a Colt preban Match HBar with a 1 in 7 twist barrel. It shoots 75 gr. handloads very well. The best way to find out if it's preban is to call Colt and give them the serial #. Some prebans will have the bayonet lug cut off by Colt, seems they thought they were to scary. Colt also installed the block in the lower on some of it's prebans to prevent the installation of select-fire trigger controls. I replaced the trigger on my Colt with a Timney 3# single stage unit because the trigger it came with flat out sucked. Also the upper to lower fit on the older Colts was pretty loose, hold the grip in your right hand and the carry handle in your left and give it a twist and you'll proably see what I mean. There's an easy fix for this that can be done with a small rubber O-ring. Although I love my Colt because it was my first AR I've got to say that they are overpriced for the quality you'll be getting. If your looking for an AR like the Colt LE6920 try the Rock River Entry Tactical, great price (under $1000), superb 2-stage match trigger and very good fit and finish. I own 1 Colt and 3 Rock Rivers just to let you know. Jim.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Jim! I just got off the phone with Colt customer service, and I was told that by serial number this rifle was most likely built in 1990. I actually checked the fit between the upper and lower just like you said when I was looking at it yesterday. It actually seemed pretty good, or at least it seemed tighter than the weapon I carried while going through basic training. Lastly, If I wanted to install an aftermarket trigger, would the block that you describe prevent that?
 

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As far as the block goes, it can be removed. It was just something that Colt did similar to the bayonet lug removal mentioned in my previous post. The newer Colt lowers are now designed with a closed forging instead of inserting a pinned block behind the trigger group, not required by law but just probably a Colt lawyer design. I removed the block myself but I've been a precision machinist for many years and have access to tools that you may not, you can't just knock the pin out because it doesn't go all the way through the block. If you purchase a trigger group from Timney they will for a fee machine out / remove the block and install their trigger group for you. Also be aware that Colt uses larger diameter installation pins for their trigger group and upper / lower takedown pins. You also may be able to install a Rock River 2-stage match trigger without removing the Colt block. Most aftermarket triggers can be had in both the small and large pin versions. I would guess that any trigger group that comes pre-assembled similar to the Timney unit will need the block removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I took a second look at the rifle Tuesday, and I didnt see a block over the trigger group. From what I could tell, the forging you described isnt there either. I did notice that the bolt carrier is the half moon style, and I didnt see MPI markings on the bolt. The only other negative is that it doesnt have a detachable carry handle. Those reasons might be enough to persuade me to pass on this one. A new M16 style BCG, and an A3 style upper will easily set me back 500-600 dollars if I use genuine Colt components. For that kind of money I think I'd rather buy a LE6920. I just hope the local dealers find some soon.
 

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If your planning on putting a scope on your gun with a non-detachable carry handle your going to end up putting a Magpul PRS stock on it to get a good cheek weld. Even with that done it won't give you the optimal centerline of bore to centerline of scope distance for an AR. Off the top of my head I believe it's around 2". Flat tops are best for optics. On my M4 style rifle I use an Eotech co-witnessed with a flip up rear sight. As far as the half moon style bolt carrier, that was a modification so that even if select-fire trigger controls were added to the weapon the bolt would be unable to trip them.
 

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I'd take a pass for several reasons. It appears you are examining a heavy barrel version, which will weigh a bunch, and all the weight is out front. Try hefting an M-4gery carbine to get a better feel for how the platform ought to feel. If all you want is a bench gun, no big deal, but an iron sighted bench gun is less than an ideal arrangement.

The older Colts have the complication of the oversize FCG pins; on balance, it's just a lot easier to get something newer with standard pins, and, hopefully, a full-circle bolt carrier. Conventional wisdom holds that the gun was designed for the mass of the original carrier, and it will run smoother with the full circle. I've shot 'em both ways and couldn't notice a difference, but I still prefer the full circle.
Triggerwise, if you go Geissele, you should be able to install it, block or no block. I'm a huge fan of their SSA (I've got 4 of them...), but they make versions with a lighter final stage if a precision rifle is what you want. The SSA has a total breakweight of 4lbs, two in the first and two on a clean letoff. Mine have been utterly trouble free in every regard, and they aren't difficult to install. If you can get the OEM stuff out, you can get the new one in, tho' the slave pin that comes with the kit is a big help.

The SSA is advertised as a 'fighting' trigger, and that likely makes sense. There is enough weight in the letoff to prevent an AD when the adrenaline is pumping, but it's light enough to let you shoot accurately.

Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just an update, I actually bought it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that a long barrel target model suited my needs better than a tactical style M4. That being said, I shot a few rounds through it yesterday, and I like how solid this AR feels. It's a really nice shooter, I'm so glad I bought it. I already have plans to install a M16 BCG at a future date. The only other thing I would like to change is the front sight base, because this one did not come with a bayonet lug. Not that I really need one, but it would be nice to have it, so that I can make this thing as close to my issue rifle as possible.
 

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Hammer, talk to the folks at ADCO. They can turn your barrel to Government Profile (you don't really like all the weight out front for offhand shooting? that's not how your issue weapon felt), and they can replace the FSB with one with a bayo lug.
Not meaning to be pushy about it, but I was down this exact road when the Clinton ban sunsetted. I snagged a Colt H-Bar in a moment of nostalgia because it reminded me of my issue weapon in my old Guard outfit. But after some handling, it was just too damned heavy, and I sent it off to ADCO for the work mentioned.
It finally morphed into an A1 clone (looooooooooong story) with NOS Colt pencil upper, 40-year-old furniture and NoDak retro lower. Six-point-five pounds; thankyou Eugene Stoner. It shoots straighter than the road to hell and feels wonderful.
What was your issue weapon? A1? A2?
Full disclosure; I'm older than dirt and once met Black Jack Pershing....;)
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Halfmoon, thanks for the advice. As far as my issue weapons are concerned, I had an A2 throughout basic training, and an A3 throughout AIT. I'm in the reserves, and my unit issues A2s currently. If I could have gotten a good deal on a LE6920 I would have preferred that instead, but as it is, this is what I can afford for now. I like the setup as it is now, the quad rail the previous owner installed will allow me to mount a bi-pod, and the upper came with the optic mount.
 

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My son just snagged an immaculate R6551 Sporter Target at a gun show for $824.00 OTD. Only came with 1 Colt mag, but he was happy as it was almost like the A2 he earned his ribbons with. He doesn't need a bayo...

I'm jealous as can be because it is one SWEET rifle. It does have the Colt-marked "block" inserted into the lower, but he'll never spring for an RDIAS anyway so no big deal.
 

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In reading through this thread, I note several references to the large pins. If the gun in question does not have the blind sear block, I suspect it is early enough not to have large pins. I think the large pins were contemporaneous with the sear block. Colt has now abandoned the large pins, but, as mentioned, the current lower receiver has a web behind the trigger group to prevent the use of auto sears.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Nfafan: It sounds like your son got a sweet deal on his, you'll have to congratulate him for me. I think as time goes on, these pre-ban A2 models will become more affordable4, as more people are move towards the M4 tactical style hardware. That's just fine with me, because that only means more affordable Colts for me :)

Judge Colt: I'm not sure about the large pins in the trigger group, but this particular rifle has the large take down pin on the reciever, that can only be removed with a flat blade screw driver.
 
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