Colt Light Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by grumpyBD, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. grumpyBD

    grumpyBD Well-Known Member

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    Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm looking for opinions (good and bad) about the now defunct Colt Light Rifle. I'm being given one as trade/payment for side work, question is..... is it worth keeping and rebarreling to 6.5x55 swede (30-06 now), or should I sell it? The rifle itself is NIB w/papers. I was actually there when it was bought by my friend, who can no longer hunt, therefore I know it's pedigree. Thanks in advance, Tom
     

  2. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    Those guns are the same desgine that Mel Forbes desgined and then sold to Colt , I haven't ever heard of anybody have any trouble with them , I know a couple folks that have them and still use them but these guys only shoot 10 -12 shots before the season.

    If they are the exact same guns that UltraLite Arms was selling before they became "new" Ultralite Arms then it should be a great gun to build on
     

  3. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    there are only minor 3 parts that are compatible with the ULA arms of Melvin Forbes, so beware of that.

    Colt farmed all the parts out to the "cheapest" contractor and had problems in final fitting which led to their demise.

    Still a very decent gun for the price, just that any broken parts will have to be hand made by your smith.

    Last time I talked with Melvin about the Colt Light rifles he was trying to track down the vendors and buy all the spare parts. This was a couple years ago. So he would be my first choice to go to for replacement parts.

    If the price is right, I would go for it.

    BH
     
  4. grumpyBD

    grumpyBD Well-Known Member

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    Choice is made, I'm gonna keep it and rebarrel it to 6.5x55 Swede. To all I've talked to about it, thanks. It should be the perfect platform for a nice Deer/Antelope rifle, light, no kick at all, and virtually no muzzle blast. Thanks, Tom
     
  5. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    Alaskasourdough

    First off glad you have now become more familiar with the Light rifle than your post a couple years ago on the Colt Forum

    However, I question your assumption that everything must be great because one thing was.

    I have owned two ULAs in 7mm-08 and one in 6.5x55 with one Light Rifle in 30'06 so I understand both rifles, not just the Light rifle. Plus I helped work up loads for a 300 Win Mag for a friend of mine.

    However, a little web search in the articles for the shooting sports "Industry Insider" and other shooting magazine articles, plus numerous websites will let someone confirm the issue with the mftr of the Light rifle for themselves.

    Here are some generally agreed on facts even if you do not like them.

    No more than 6,000 (could be as low as 4,000) were made with all long actions in 270, 30'06, 7mm Mag and 300 Win Mag

    First built was the 30'06 and immediately subjected to a recall with firing pin and trigger issues which were fixed and the rifles remarked with no further issues. In technical and laymans terms a recall is called a "manufacturing issue" by the way to say the least.

    Colt changed the mftr specs from the ULAs which are and were custom action tight specs. No commerical mftr is going to build mass produced rifles at those specs and sell them for 1/4 the custom price. So just naive to even think or say that.

    Melvin Forbes from NULA confirmed that today and no parts are interchangable. He can make parts though. Colt did not use the Doublas premium barrel that ULA used. They also did not use the Timney or Jewell triggers that ULA used.

    ULA only specs for the outside rcvr diameter and weight on his website, so the fact that you have measured your light rifles outside diameter, seen that they are within .001 of the ULAs certainly does not extrapolate to mean that the internal dimensions are the same, as they most certainly are not the same.

    As there is a 1/2 lb difference in weight or more, I fail to see how you determined they were the same other than the outside receiver dimension.

    SACO was the final assembler as some parts (not all) were farmed out. The spec changes and all of that led to the documented mftring and fitting issues. Most insiders say that Colt had a poor mftr and marketing plan along with the litigation issues. SACO sold the last 1500 to CDNN to recoup the money Colt never paid them. CDNN sold them for $399. That is how I bought my 30.06

    You are correct that NULA has not been in business for 100 years, only 20. Hell that is twice the time of half the gunsmiths on this board. Plus totally irrelevant to the issue.

    Having served 24 years in SF I am more than familiar with the M60 and its counterparts medium machine guns who were much better. That is why we have adopted some of them, so not sure any attempted comparison means anything, (particularily positive) with the Light Rifle which was manufactured to the changed specs Colt gave them.

    Now with Melvin regaining the rights back to his design and starting NULA back up, just how is Colt supposedly going to mftr a gun they do not own the rights to anymore?

    Now having said all that, the Colt Light Rifle is a very reasonable rifle in the light rifle category. Especially if you can get one for $600 or so. It is light, reasonalbly accurate and with a follower and trigger change, quite functional. Which is basically what I have said.

    Just pointed out a little of the history, whether you like it or not and that parts are not interchangeable with the NULA or even available today from Colt. They will have to be custom made other than springs and nothing is off base from that. Custom made parts cost more, take more time and not every smith wants to mess with them as compared to "off the shelf" factory parts that are normally available. Breaks on a hunt, you are SOL.

    By the way, mine was a decent 3/4 MOA rifle and that is all I tried to work up. The 300 Win Mag we worked loads to 1/2 MOA. Very good but certainly not the best or remotely close to the worst factory rifles I have seen.

    BH
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  6. BronzePt

    BronzePt New Member

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    Some good info here on the CLR. I purchased a CLR in 30-06 when the first came out. I scoped it up with a Leupold VXII 4x12 and went out to shoot a few groups. I used Factory Federal Premium High Energy loads with 165 grain Sierra Boattails. I bore sighted through the bore at 100 yards to get on paper. The first shot hit about an inch high and two inches to the right of my 1/2 " black square bull. I fired a second shot and could not see the hole, same with the third. Geez, I thought, I really bought a lemon; I can't even keep the thing on paper! I walked up to the target...WHOA! Is that really just a slightly egg shaped hole!! All three shots went into 0.016", the best group I've ever fired in a sporter weight rifle, and the best ever with factory loads.
     
  7. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    One thing you might want to do is get hold of Mel Forbes as there was a recall on the first Colt light rifles some problems with the triggers. If yours was one of them he may have the parts to fix it. About Ultra Light Arms
     
  8. lathame

    lathame New Member

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    i have a colt light rifle in 7 mag and i have know cloo what it is worth or how miny were made in the cal can n e one help
     
  9. eriknelsonart

    eriknelsonart New Member

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    Re: Colt Light Rifle scope ring drill pattern?

    what can you all tell me about a scope rail for this rifle? I had one in recently and it has conetrol scope rings on it. They are really nice but the fella wants a badger or similar rail that he can use his 30 mm scope and rings on. Now I COULD make a picitinny, but if I can buy one, it'd sure help his wallet. It seems close to the Rem 7series but I don't have the Colt right now to compare.

    Anyone know? Thanks

    Erik