IWA 2017 - The Italian Prima Armi company, official Colt distributor for Europe, showcased the new 12" and 14.5" barrel versions of the Colt Defense M4 Commando semi-automatic rifle – civilian grade variants of the iconic U.S. Colt M4 service carbine
At the 2017 of the IWA OutdoorClassics expo in Nuremberg (Germany), the Prima Armi company showcased several new civilian-grade handguns and rifles manufactured in the United States by the famous Colt's Manufacturing Company. The Italian-based company holds exclusive rights for the distribution of Colt firearms on the European civilian markets.
In terms of semi-automatic modern sporting rifles and carbines – a category of firearms that has recently been saved from total ban and confiscation, originally proposed by the European Commission, at the end of the revision process of the European firearms directive – the Prima Armi company showcased the 5,56mm/.223 caliber Colt M4 Commando semi-automatic rifles in 12-inch and 14.5-inch barrel variants.
Just like the Colt Expanse M4, which we recently reviewed, Colt's M4 Commando carbines as distributed by the Prima Armi company are baseline models that feature none of the "bells and whistles" that are so common among AR-15 variants nowadays.
Technically speaking, they're straight out semi-automatic variants of the Colt "Commando" RO-923/RO-933 small-sized assault carbine – currently fielded by the Special Forces of many Countries, including Israel and the U.S. – and of the baseline Colt M4 assault carbine, the standard service rifle of the U.S. Army.
Known respectively as the Colt M4 Commando and the Colt Law Enforcement Carbine in the United States, they were originally conceived for Law Enforcement sales due to their 12" and 14.5" barrels respectively – shorter than the minimum 16" barrel length mandated by the 1932 National Firearms Act for over-the-counter sales. In most European Countries, such limitation does not apply, and short barrel rifles are available for over-the-counter sales to licensed gun owners.
The Colt M4 Commando semi-automatic carbines are made to withstand heavy use, and they're completely Mil-Spec, sporting a direct gas impingment system and being built around a forged aluminum alloy lower and upper receiver, with standard M4 style polymer handguard, pistol grip, and six-positions collapsible stock.
The gas block is a standard A2 type, and hosts a non-removable front sight. The adjustable rear sight is integrated in the removable carrying handle – mounted on a MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail that offers a convenient optics attachment platform.
Technically speaking, Colt's M4 Commando carbines are basic entry-level firearms whose price matches their quality level; they're perfect for those shooters and collectors looking for a great reproduction of the "real deal", which will perform excellently right out of the box, and will still play the "white canvas" role for those who see the AR-15 platform as a true grown man's Lego, open to full customization at the user's own whim and will.
GUNSWeek.com will soon offer more informations about expected availability and pricing in Europe – possibly along with a full review. So, stay tuned on our pages!