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:
|AR-10 18-inch Tactical
|MOE 308 ORC
|MARC 901 (LE901-16SE)
|Specter Heavy 308
|SR-25 E2 ACC
|SR-25 E2 APC
|Mid-Length Monolith 308 SWAT
|Primary Weapons Systems
|Rock River Arms
|Smith & Wesson
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.
- 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