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Rifle Problem: Colt Is Recalling AR-15s, M4 Carbines and other Firearms

M4 Carbine Firing
080725-N-4236E-391 ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 25, 2008) Fire Controlman Seaman Rachel Hubley fires an M4 carbine from the fantail of the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72). Vella Gulf is participating in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 08-4 as a part of the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chad R. Erdmann/Released)

Colt’s Manufacturing Company is a name that is practically synonymous with “modern sporting rifles” (MSRs) such as the highly popular AR-15. It has likely produced more of those semi-automatic civilian rifles for the civilian market than any other company, but earlier this month issued a rare safety recall after a limited number of its firearms were detected to have problems.

“Colt is voluntarily initiating a recall to protect the safety of its customers because of the potential for certain MSRs to discharge unintentionally and because of its commitment to the highest standards of quality and customer satisfaction,” Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC (Colt) announced in a safety recall issued last week.

“To prevent the possibility of death or serious personal injury, you should immediately stop using your MSR and not load or fire it until you have determined if it is affected, and it has been upgraded if necessary,” Colt noted. “Under certain conditions, it is possible that some Colt MSRs may discharge a second round when the trigger is released with a live round in the chamber. Colt has identified the cause of this condition as being hammers installed in certain MSRs that do not meet Colt’s specifications. The issue will be corrected by replacing the hammer in affected MSRs.”

The firearms manufacturer also said that the issue was found during “routine quality testing,” and this has resulted in no reported injuries. The company is addressing the issue proactively. Affected models will be repaired, and this should not impact the value of the firearm.

Impacted Firearms

The recall is to specific AR-15 A4, Carbine, M4 Carbine and M4A1 Carbine models that have been purchased since March 5, 2021.

The recall only covers the following MSRs manufactured beginning on March 5, 2021: AR15A4, CR6700A4, CR6920, CR6920-EPR, CR6920MPS-B, CR6921, CR6921-EPR, CR6933, CR6933-EPR, CR6960, LE6920-EPR, LE6920MPS-B, LE6920-OEM1, LE6920-OEM2, LE6920-R, LE6933-EPR, SP633784, and LE6920SOCOM.

How to Proceed

Owners of affected models will only need to return the lower receiver assembly for repair, which needs to be sent to Colt’s West Hartford, CT, headquarters for the hammer replacement. Owners will receive packing material and a prepaid FedEx shipping label for returning the gun for service at no charge.

“Federal law allows you to ship the lower receiver assembly directly to Colt for repair purposes and for Colt to ship it directly back to you. Certain states may require the rifle to be returned to you through a FFL,” Colt added. “If you live in a restricted state, you will have to certify that you understand your state has restrictions and you are eligible to own this firearm. Colt follows all state and federal laws and will require proof that you are legally permitted to own the MSR before returning it to you in a restricted state, such a copy of identification showing your status as a police or peace officer.”

Those who wish to speak to someone can contact the Colt’s customer service at 1-800-971-3216 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM ET.

Colt had briefly exited but then re-entered the civilian MSR market. It remains one of the largest producers of the AR platform. Last year, Colt was acquired by the Czech-based Česká zbrojovka Group (CZG) in a deal worth about $220 million and 1.1 million shares of the Czech firm’s stock.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.