Colt LE6960 Colt Combat Unit Review

Colt LE6960 Colt Combat Unit Review

How would you define the perfect AR-15 carbine? The answer you’d give to that question would most certainly be different from the person next to you. The AR-15 is one of the most customizable guns on the planet, so everyone would customize their AR-15 differently or desire different features.

Allow me to introduce you to the Colt LE6969 Combat Unit Carbine (or CCU). The LE6960 was Colt’s take on a mid-length gas system AR-15 carbine, but it has a few noteworthy features that go beyond that as well. It’s now become my go-to AR-15 and the tactical rifle I train with the most. 

The Colt LE6960 CCU is the perfect AR-15 for me: ergonomic, reliable, and dependable. 

Perhaps there is no such thing as a perfect AR-15, but the LE6960 is as close to a perfect AR-15 as I could ask for my uses.

Benefits of a Mid-Length Gas System 

The standout feature of the 6960 is its mid-length gas system. You’re probably already familiar with what this is, but I’ll quickly run you through it just in case you aren’t.

Long story short, the AR-15 platform has a small port in the barrel through which gas vents through the gas block and into the gas tube each time the rifle is fired. The gas then flows back down the tube to cycle the bolt carrier group, permitting the hammer of the rifle to be cocked and a spent shell casing to be ejected before a fresh cartridge is loaded from the magazine into the chamber. 

There are three primary lengths of gas systems for AR-15 carbines and rifles: carbine-length, mid-length, and rifle-length. The length of the gas system has a big impact on the overall functionality of the rifle. 

The original AR-15s used rifle-length gas systems and also had 20-inch barrels. But when the barrels were shortened in later versions of the AR-15, the gas systems had to be shortened as well. 

The shorter the barrel and gas system, the lesser the dwell time of the AR-15 is. The dwell time is the length of time that the bullet remains in the barrel after it has passed over the gas port. The dwell time is obviously shorter in AR-15s with shorter barrels, since there is less distance for the bullet to travel. The dwell time is then longer in rifle-length AR-15s. 

Most of the time, the gas system of the AR-15 is equivalent to the barrel of an AR-15. For example, a 16-inch AR-15 carbine will have the carbine length gas system, and a 20-inch AR-15 will have the gas system. 

Some 16-inch AR-15 carbines like the Colt LE6960, however, are equipped with a mid-length gas system. A 16-inch barreled AR-15 with a mid-length gas system fundamentally offers many benefits. Such an AR-15 will usually generate less recoil than an AR-15 with a carbine-length gas system. 

Benefits of a Mid-Length Gas System 

The LE6960 has a mid-length gas system combined with a 16-inch barrel, which helps it stand out from the plethora of other Colt AR-15s on the market.

A mid-length gas system in a 16-inch barreled AR-15 will also permit the rifle to function more reliably. This is because the gas tube has a longer dwell time, which optimizes the cycling of the rifle so it will function more reliably by ejecting the spent shell casings with less pressure than a carbine-length gas system.  This also should theoretically increase the longevity of the gun, although admittedly you’d have to fire thousands upon thousands of rounds out of your AR-15 for longevity to really be a concern.

Enter the LE6960 

The CCU LE6960 was unveiled by Colt in late 2016. I purchased my LE6960 in late 2018, representing the conclusion of my search for a 16-inch barreled AR-15 with a mid-length gas system. 

The 6960’s mid-length gas system means it has all the same benefits like we just discussed above. But the 6960 has a few other important features that drew me to it as well. 

Most notably, the 6960 came equipped with a Centurion CMR free-floating handguard with multiple M-LOK attachment points. This makes it very easy to add on accessories such as lights, grips, and other features. 

The 6960 also comes equipped with a Magpul SL stock, which is easily adjustable, a Magpul pistol grip, and a Magpul MOE trigger guard. 

Enter the LE6960 

I personally prefer 20-round magazines in an AR-15 since it makes the rifle a bit lighter when loaded. 

The barrel of the 6960 is built out of 4150 CMV steel and has a phosphate finish for superior rust and corrosion resistance. The barrel is also chrome-lined with a 1:7 twist rate. The trigger is a crisp single-stage trigger that’s not the best the market also has to offer but also far from the worst. 

Reliability of the 6960 has been excellent. While I’ve never counted the precise number of rounds that I’ve personally fired out of the gun, it’s well over a thousand and the gun has been flawless in terms of its reliability. 

My Additions  

The most part, my 6960 is exactly as it came from the Colt factory. I only made a few needed accessories designed to improve functionality. The additions that I made were as followed:

  • A SureFire Scout Light under the barrel
  • Samson vertical foregrip
  • Vickers blue force tactical sling 
  • Magpul flip up sights
  • SIG Sauer Romeo5 red dot site (note that I’ll be looking to make an upgrade here soon)

I also swapped out the Magpul pistol grip for a different Magpul MOE-K2 grip, as I personally found it to be more ergonomic. 

My Additions  

The Magpul Flip Up Sights, Samson vertical fore grip, Vickers Blue Force tactical sling, and SureFire Scout Light were each welcome additions.

Like I mentioned above, the beauty of the AR-15 rifle is how customizable it is, so how I customize my AR-15 likely won’t be the same way that you customize yours. But if you’re not sure what accessories you’d like to add to your LE6960 (or any other AR-15 you have, for that matter) the above could serve as inspiration. 

Conclusion: Colt LE6960 CCU Review


Sadly, the LE6960 CCU is almost and is no longer in production. As far as I know, Colt has no plans to bring a mid-length carbine back to market, but I hope they will.

In any case, I consider myself fortunate to have been able to pick up the 6960 when I did. This is a solid AR-15 from Colt that I can’t find any real faults with. The 6960 functions great, and with the addition of the accessories that I listed above, it’s turned out to be the perfect AR-15 for me.


Is the Colt LE6920 Discontinued?

The Colt LE6920 is not in regular production as of my last update. It’s a highly regarded model for its reliability and similarity to the military M4 carbine. Although not widely available new from the manufacturer, it can still be found in secondary markets and among collectors.

Is the Colt LE6920 an M4?

The Colt LE6920 is often referred to as a civilian version of the M4 carbine. It features many of the same specifications and characteristics, including a 16.1-inch barrel, collapsible stock, and chambering in 5.56mm NATO, making it a favorite among enthusiasts seeking a firearm akin to the military-grade M4.

What is a Colt 6940?

The Colt 6940 is a modern, advanced carbine that features a monolithic upper receiver and a free-floating barrel. Chambered in 5.56mm NATO, it offers enhanced accuracy and performance. The integrated rail system and other modern features make it adaptable for various accessories and mission-specific configurations.

How Long is a Colt 6920?

The Colt 6920 has an overall length of 32 to 35.5 inches, depending on the position of the collapsible stock. With a 16.1-inch barrel, it maintains compact dimensions for maneuverability while ensuring accurate and reliable performance, attributes that have contributed to its popularity among law enforcement, security personnel, and civilian users alike.

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