Man I like this rifle! Heck of a way to start off a Range Report, but what can I say? I think the Colt Competition CRP-18 is right on the money as a competition rifle goes and as a all around capable AR platform, after all, it is a Colt, right?
As I mentioned in my last post on the initial thoughts of the CRP-18, I pulled out of the box, changed the grip to a Magpul MIAD, installed a B.A.D.A.S.S. ambi-safety, a Magpul BAD lever, and topped it all off with a LaRue mounted Meopta ZD 1-4x optic. Other than that I don’t think it needs any other changes since it already has a Geissele trigger, my personal favorite, a very capable SureFire brake, and a smooth/round hand guard. It really ticks all of the boxes for me. The one bad thing was that I didn’t have time to run out and shoot it!
Well I finally got a few minutes to head over to the range and at least sight it in and make sure it ran without any issues and I wasn’t going to let the seriously bad weather stop me. It did however make sight in a bit of a challenge since the target was being whipped back and forth by the wind and the rain and I had to stop a couple of times to wipe the water off of my optics. Anyway, I did manage to get it sighted in with the aid of a couple of friends calling shots for me and helping out otherwise. I fed it a couple magazines just shooting groups to make sure it ran well, get the feel of it and the trigger, and get an idea of the accuracy of the barrel. Speaking of accuracy, the thing does alright. I was consistently shooting 1.5 MOA groups which doesn’t sound too impressive at first but remember, I’m using a 2 MOA dot on an essentially moving target. I’m sure that in good weather and a tighter optic it would deliver groups half the size, and judging from the target that it shipped with from the factory, it should have no problems doing it.
We placed 3 steel targets at 45 yards, 55 yards and 100 yards from right to left of the bay and I took aim at the 55 yard 10″ plate and started laying into it offhand to see how fast I could effectively engage it without it moving off target. The SureFire brake really shined here and I was probably hitting it in far less than a second between shots. I’m sure it’ll be even better once I get it broken in and feel comfortable about squeezing down the adjustable gasblock. And shooting it off of a barricade really does allow you to shoot it as fast as you like. It’s not going anywhere.
We decided to see how fast it would hit all three targets from left to right three times in a row offhand and it was able to do it in just over 21 seconds, five second faster than I was able to do it with my trusty BCM. Even with the longer barrel and extra weight it just seemed to settle right in to where it needed to be and recoil impulse just didn’t seem to have much effect on it allowing me to call the shot and move on to the next target.
One thing I noticed was that I was having to really beat the charging handle back to get the last round out of the chamber. Although the CRP-18 is a 5.56 chambered rifle, it has the tighter Wylde chamber which aids in accuracy but was just giving me hell with my handloads. I noticed that it didn’t lock back on an empty magazine once and again, the adjustable gasblock is completely open. In the end, this issue was pilot error. In my haste I never did give the rifle it’s initial cleaning and I think the chamber must have had a lot of crud and/or cosmoline in it causing it to hang on to the rounds, making it tough to extract, and robbing the bolt carrier group of some of its energy which is why it probably didn’t lock back on an empty magazine a time or two. When I got home I put the rifle on the bench and could visually see how nasty it was so I hit it with the chamber brush and the rounds went in and out without any effort. I had the same “problem” with my DPMS 3G1 before I realized what it was doing and started hitting it with a nylon chamber brush on occasion which prevented it from ever happening again.
Shooting offhand I really noticed how well balanced the CRP-18 is. That was one complaint about my DPMS 3G1, the balance from the heavy barrel which was great in helping with recoil impulse, but being a bit too front heavy always just bugged me. Not so with the Colt. It’s just right and using a lighter barrel doesn’t seem to have added much in the way of recoil. Colt and Bold Ideas really got it right with this rifle. I really can’t think of anything I don’t like about it. If I had to pick something I guess it would be the color of the barrel. Trivial I know, but I loved that DPMS took the time to Teflon coat the barrel black on the 3G1 and I wish Colt had done the same. I just don’t like shinny parts on my “black rifle.”
I know this was just the initial sight in and a quick first go at a few plates in the rain, but all signs point to a win for the Colt CRP-18. I am certainly bullish on the CRP for an accurate, well balanced, well thought out, and well equipped competition rifle. I just can’t wait to try it out at my next rifle match!