For the past eighteen months I have been using the Colt Competition Rifle 18 inch pro model for 3 gun competitions and practice. This rifle came about because I was tired of using a short barreled rifle which was all I had at the time. I wanted a dedicated rifle to be used primarily for 3 gun. My requirements were an 18 inch barrel with rifle length gas system. Several models fit my requirements, but the Colt was decently priced at $1,740 and more importantly it was available at the time.
I was impressed with the rifle when it arrived at my local FFL. Some of the first features you notice are the dimpled barrel and the finger adjustable gas block. While the dimpling is simply for looks it does serve to set the rifle apart from others. The gas block on the other hand is a great convenience feature. It extends past the 15 inch hand-guard and takes two fingers to adjust. With six detents in a full 360 turn, you can dial in an exact setting for your gas. To adjust all you have to do is pull out on the knob and rotate to the next detent. This was very handy when initially dialing in the rifle for my hand loads, since then I have not needed to move it.
My Pro model also came with a Colt marked 15 inch Samson hand guard, Surefire muzzle brake, and Magpul CTR stock. I like the 15 inch hand guard since I have long arms and can grab way out on the hand guard. The one thing I wish it did not have is the top rail along the entire length of the hand guard. The rifle shipped with a separate 2 inch section of rail for attachments such as lights and bipods. A smooth hand guard would allow you to rotate the gun through your support hand easier, but that is a personal preference.
Surefire’s muzzle brake not only looks great it functions superbly. It is truly a shame that Colt has since replaced it with a Colt branded brake. I hope the Colt version is as effective as the Surefire brake. While the Magpul CTR stock is lightweight and a great improvement over a regular M4 stock; I prefer more of a positive cheek weld. I replaced the CTR at the first opportunity with a Magpul STR stock.
At the time I purchased my rifle it was supposed to be equipped with a Geissele Super 3 gun (S3G) trigger. After several instances of the rifle doubling and tripling, I pulled the trigger out of the rifle to send it back to Geissele. After pulling the trigger I realized that instead of the S3G there was a Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced (SSA-E) trigger installed. Geissele was awesome in fixing my trigger within 24 hours and shipping it back. The hammer was found to be slightly out of spec. (Colt has since started shipping this model with the SSA-E installed.)
Since I wanted the gun for 3 gun, I sold the SSA-E and bought a Super Dynamic 3 gun (SD3G) trigger to replace it. While the SSE was a great trigger when I got it back, the SD3G is unbelievable. It has a light crisp take up and breaks like glass with just the right amount of reset. It feels great while firing controlled pairs on close paper and taking precision shots at 400 yds and beyond. The gun is very accurate and easily capable of its 1 MOA claim.
One part of the gun that I am unhappy with is the bolt carrier group (BCG). While I have had zero problems with it, the finish on it is really rough. Cleaning the BCG is quite a chore and feels dirty even after a complete cleaning. I feel the need to run the bolt really wet when compared to other BCGs I have used in the past. This becomes an issue in the desert environment I typically shoot in.
I chose to mount the highest quality glass I could afford on top of the rifle, which in this case was Vortex’s Razor HD II 1-6x scope. This is one of the best 3 gun scopes on the market, but details on it deserve a separate review.
I have no regrets in buying the Colt Pro CRP-18. It has been nearly flawless in the 18 months I have been shooting it. One thing I had to accommodate was the Wylde chamber. The gun runs 100% on factory ammo, but I was running reloads with range pick up brass when the ammo supply dried up. My reloads fit too tightly at the base of the cartridge. I solved the problem by switching to a small base sizing die and have not had a problem since. This has also been an issue for my friends running match chambers.
I would recommend a Colt Competition Rifle to anyone that asks. They have expanded their product offerings and will likely have a rifle to fit your needs and budget.