It feels hard to believe, but it has been 10 years since Colt sent the 901 out onto the market. Good thing they did too, getting a prototype 901 to test for Loose Rounds pretty much made the website into what it became. You wouldn’t be reading me now if not for Colt’s kindness, and that rifle.

colt 2011 catalog

The funny thing is, like most new Colt products, we got introduced to the 901 a year before. And, as Colt is wont to do, it didn’t come out that year and when it did show up, it was a year later and looked different. Above, you can see the “SP901” in its original configuration as shown in 2011. A rifle length rail and the 16 barrel with a Tango Down battle grip. I still wish we got this version. I’m sure the extra rail length is what killed it though. That would have added some weight that a lot of people would not have wanted.


In any case, It was vaporware. But the next year, 2012, we got to see the rifle as it would hit the market. The only change would be the lack of the Matech BUIS. The 901 needs a special rear sight to work with the folding front.

2012 colt catalog

That year, we got a lot of teasing of what the 901 would be offered in.

Never happened.

An SBR version with 13.5 inch barrel.

I especially wanted that FDE version above.

A tiny, tiny amount of those FDE models did come out on the market but not many sad to say.

We also learned that the 901 had a modular lower. With an adapter block, you could use any upper that was 556 pattern sized.

Later in 2012, Colt sent me a pre-production 901 to test and review.

In my original review, I demonstrated the modular lower.

Above, using the Colt carbine in 7.62×39 and below a standard 6920 upper and surefire 60 round magazine.

You can read the original review linked below. In the next parts, we will continue looking at the 901 and its performance and variants.


  1. skyfire00 says:

    I bought the 901SE pretty much based on your reviews. Super happy with it still. It’s just about the lightest production AR10, only a few ozs heavier than the scar17 and heck a lot more reliable. Alas, like many Colt guns, they stopped producing it in their infinite wisdom :-/


  2. SlowJoeCrow says:

    I hope colt is able to turn things around and you are able to have a good relationship with them. I like their products because they might be slightly overpriced but you get a known quality that most often works well and if for some reason you decide to sell it, they hold their value usually.


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