About five months ago, I began my review of the Colt M5. Now, this is about twice as long as I usually take, but with this rifle, I wanted to make sure I did my due diligence.

The M5 appears to me as an AR-15, utilizing an extended receiver and proprietary barrel nut. The benefit of this is a true free-floated rail with the larger barrel nut acting as a heat sink. The stock is a six-position Magpul. Note the MLok on the port, starboard, bottom of the free float rail, and full-length Picatinny Rail along the top. This will allow you to easily add whatever you see fit to dress this rifle for its intended use.

Where the handguard and receiver meet, they interlock, adding rigidity and support to the handguard. This rifle uses a carbine-length gas system.

Looking at the starboard and port sides, you will notice the full ambidextrous controls, all functioning without issue. The trigger broke at six and a half pounds, and with enough take-up, it could be considered a two-stage. It is undoubtedly better than a standard duty trigger but still heavy enough to be a duty trigger if you get what I am saying.

Rifleman’s view of the Troy Industries battle sights. The front post is adjustable for elevation, and the rear is adjustable for windage. A low light/up close aperture is also included by simply flipping forward the small aperture, and the larger moves into place.

Other enhancements, such as this Radian Raptor oversized charging handle, help round out this rifle to set it apart from your standard AR-15.

Best 3 shot groups at 100 yards from a rest with iron sights. I believe with quality optics and good ammo this rifle would easily shoot MOA.

Conclusions 

The Colt M5 is a robust AR-15 with plenty of features to set it apart from a standard rifle. In my opinion, the ambi controls are probably the best enhancement solely for the reason this is a battle rifle, and you need to be able to operate such with your support hand in the event your strong hand is injured. The other touches, such as the Troy sights and Radian Raptor charging handle, increase the rifle’s usability. If there were one thing I would change, it would be a more modern flash hider; however, everyone has their take on what is best, and that is an easily swapped part. The B&T Rotex X silencer QDs to the A2 flash hider, and that would give me pause before swapping it out. The Rotex X is an excellent choice for the AR platform, and you can read my review by following this link. With so much MLok and Picatinny Rail, it would be no problem to outfit this rifle for duty, home defense, or whatever you deem fit. All that is easily swapped, so this rifle may serve different roles depending on what you need from it.

In the past five months, we have run an excess of 500 rounds through the rifle from the 55gr Hornady VMax to the 69gr Cor Bon, and there were no malfunctions or misfeeds. I would estimate at least half or a little better of those 500 rounds the rifle was equipped with the Rotex X silencer. As for magazines, we ran the included thirty-round PMag, a twenty-round PMag, thirty-round Hex Mag, thirty-round surplus steel, and twenty-round surplus steel magazines. I did lubricate the rifle at the beginning of the review but did zero maintenance to it past that. To sum up, over 500 various rounds through five different magazines, with and without a can on the rifle, there were no problems or changes in accuracy. I feel like if there were going to be a problem, we would have seen it.

A quick field strip after the review showed nothing abnormal or odd inside the rifle. Colt does include an old-school cleaning kit in an olive drab bag, ready to be installed on your web belt. As I was wrapping up the review, I had an hour-long conversation with Frank, a law enforcement officer in Rhode Island. He told me this was his go-to rifle for duty as well as training and teaching. He has tens of thousands of rounds through the M5 platform and chooses it over anything else on. I also took the M5 to Andrew Barnes of Barnes Precision Machine. Andrew is an OEM manufacturer for numerous firearm manufacturers specializing in quality AR parts. He also has his line of rifles, so suffice it to say that Andrew knows quite a bit about the AR platform. We spent the day shooting it, and afterward, he fieldstripped it and looked it over. Andrew tells me he is impressed with how Colt has designed this rifle, and coming from Andrew means a great deal. If you find yourself in the market for a more robust AR with quality enhancements, I encourage you to consider the M5.

Specifications 

Overall length: 32″ to 35 1/2″

Barrel length: 16″

Twist: 1:7

Weight: 6.8 pounds

Trigger pull: 6 1/2 pounds

Material: 7075 T6 aircraft grade aluminum.

Finish: black anodized

Caliber: 5.56×45

Pistol grip: Magpul A2

MSRP: $2,000

Acknowledgments

Colt

Defender Ammunition 

DoubleTap Ammunition 

Cor Bon Ammunition 

Hornady

B&T USA

By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

2 thoughts on “Colt M5, next generation AR-15”
  1. This might sound stupid but for 2k its comes with the old ass A2 grip.
    Really Colt? They did good on the stock and sights, handguard, charging handle, but really an A2 grip? Normaly I’d complain about the A2 birdcage but when it comes to flash suppression the A2 is pretty damn solid.
    The extended receiver and proprietary barrel nut are interesting. Other wise good looking rifle.

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