Colt MARC 901

Selecting a Heavy Rifle

I like big bullets and bayonets. I am an old school infantry guy, Ranger, and SF weapons man. I like big bullets that can reach out and punch big holes. And when the bullets run out I want my bayonet to continue the fight. After my military service defending my country, I am now ready to defend myself, my family, my home, and my community.

In selecting my “heavy rifle” (the 3-Gun term for large caliber rifles) I want a military grade rifle that I know will take abuse and still perform. I want a rifle that I can depend on to save my life, save the lives of my family, and to save the lives of those that need saving. I shoot in competitions and I want a rifle that I can use to maintain and improve the skills I learned in the military. And I hunt so I want a rifle that is accurate and reliable and able to take down big game.

So these are my requirements for my main rifle: one I can use for defense, competition, and hunting.

I developed the following requirements in order to conduct my search:

  • Large caliber: .308/7.62mm, using commercially available ammunition
  • Bayonet lug: the ability to mount a military bayonet (my favorite is the current USMC OKC3S bayonet)
  • Integrated rail: a full top rail, and optional rails at 3, 6, and 9
  • Forward Assist: or forward assist type functionality
  • Standard magazine: uses the current standard for .308/7.62mm rifles, the MagPul Gen 3 magazine
  • Suppressor capable: for hunting
  • Accurate: accurate to 1000 meters (1 MOA) on a man-size target
  • Ambidextrous Controls: for the safety, magazine release, and bolt release
  • Made in USA: no explanation required
  • Modern Sporting Rifle design: AR type design or current military design (such as the FN SCAR)

I looked at 32 commercially available rifles:

Vendor Model
Aero Precision M5E1
Armalite AR-10 18-inch Tactical
Bushmaster MOE 308 ORC
Colt MARC 901 (LE901-16SE)
Daniel Defense DD5V1
Desert Tech MDR
Grey Ghost Specter Heavy 308
HK MR762A1
JP Enterprises JP LRP-07
LaRue PredatAR 7.62
Les Bauer Mid-Length Monolith 308 SWAT
Patriot Ordnance Skirmish Heavy
Patriot Ordnance P-308
Primary Weapons Systems Mk216
Rock River Arms LAR-8
Ruger SR-762
Seekins Precision SP-10
Sig Sauer SIG716 DMR
Smith & Wesson M&P10
Troy Rifle 7.62
Wilson Combat 308
Windham Weaponry R16SFST-308


Of these 32 weapons only four met my basic requirements:

  • Bushmaster MOE 308 ORC
  • Colt MARC 901 (LE901-16SE)
  • DPMS MK 12
  • Sig Sauer SIG716 DMR

(sorry the FN SCAR 17S, an obvious contender, did not have a bayonet lug)

Of these four only the Colt LE901 met the majority of the requirements – so I selected the Colt as my new heavy rifle.

Colt MARC 901
Colt MARC 901 with Trijicon TA11E

It has:

  • User Configurable 1-Piece Upper Receiver with Back Up Iron Sights (BUIS)
  • Full Floated Barrel
  • Bayonet Lug
  • Vortex Flash Hider (suppressor ready)
  • Ambidextrous Controls
  • Accepts Mil-Spec 5.56 Uppers (not a requirement but an interesting option)

I mounted a Trijicon ACOG TA-11E that I had and I was off on my new project: Project 901, where I test the platform and select the needed accessories for my new heavy rifle.








Next up – Project 901: Colt MARC 901 Basics

One response to “Selecting a Heavy Rifle”

  1. Duster Avatar

    Great article! That was really a large and very complete selection of rifles that you looked at. And that is a nice looking LE901 that you have, I really like the FDE color. Is that right from Colt or did you have it Ceracoted? I look forward to your next article on the 901.