Colt Pro CRP-18 223/5.56x45mm Semi-Automatic Competition Rifle

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

October 18th, 2012

Click pictures for a larger version.





Bold Ideas adjustable gas block.



Geissele match trigger.



Cleaning kit and instruction manual are contained in a soft storage case.



Each CCR is accuracy-tested before shipping.





A short section of accessory rail is supplied to attach to the handguard, if desired.



CCR is shipped with one thirty-round Magpul P-MAG magazine.



Surefire muzzle brake.





Contrary to what many politicians would have you to believe, an AR-15 does have a “legitimate sporting purpose”. The same features that make an AR-15 a great fighting rifle also make it a great sporting rifle. An AR is my top choice for hunting prairie dogs, my top choice for hunting black bear, and an AR also makes for an excellent deer hunting rifle. Besides all of that, the AR-15 is the top rifle choice of the majority of shooters who compete in the popular sport of three-gun competition.

Colt has been in the AR-15 business for over fifty years. Their AR-15 rifles have been mostly marketed towards the military, law enforcement, and to the rest of us who need a world-class fighting rifle. Now, Colt has fielded a first-class rifle designed for three-gun and other competitors, marketed as the Colt Competition Rifle.

The Colt Competition Rifle is Colt’s attempt at providing the competitor a rifle that is ready to compete with the best, right out of the box, with only the addition of a good sight and ammunition. The first thing that I check on an AR that is marketed to target shooters or hunters is the trigger, and on the CCR, Colt got it right. The CCR uses a Geissele SG3 match trigger, and it feels just perfect to me, releasing with only 3.5 pounds of resistance, as measured with my Lyman digital gauge. The CCR balances well, weighing in at seven pounds, seven ounces with an empty P-MAG in place.

The Colt Competition Rifle wears an eighteen-inch stainless button-rifled barrel with a one-in-eight-inch twist. The barrel has a unique fluting pattern to the forward portion of its external surface. The barrel has a 223 Wylde chamber, and is specified to shoot both 223 and 5.56x45mm NATO-spec ammunition. The muzzle is fitted with a Surefire brake, which incorporates an attachment for their sound suppressor. Both the upper and lower receivers are machined from forged aluminum, with the upper having an integral 1913 Picatinny rail. The hand guard measures fifteen inches in length, and wears a full-length Picatinny rail along the top. Rail sections can be attached at other points around the hand guard, and a short section is provided with the rifle. The rifle also includes one thirty-round Magpul P-MAG magazine, and a cleaning kit.

The buttstock on the Colt Competition Rifle is a Magpul CTR six-position adjustable unit, with the pistol grip and trigger guard also supplied by Magpul. To facilitate easier charging, the charging handle incorporates a Badger extended Tac-Latch.

The most unique feature of the Colt Competition Rifle is the adjustable gas block. Adjustable gas blocks are usually reserved for gas-piston rifles, but this CCR uses the Bold Ideas adjustable gas block direct impingement system. This system allows the shooter to perfectly match his ammunition to the rifle, bleeding off enough gas to reliably cycle the action, without beating the rifle. This system is easily adjusted without tools, and by softening the cycling of the action, allows the shooter to get back on target quicker between shots. To tailor the chosen ammo to the rifle, the shooter closes off the gas system, then opens it slightly, one step at a time, until the ammunition will reliably lock back the bolt on an empty magazine. This setting will allow the weapon to run perfectly, without putting any more stress upon the components than necessary, and allows for the smoothest functioning of the weapon. If the rifle gets dry and dirty, the shooter can quickly open the gas up a bit more to compensate, keeping the system running reliably under adverse conditions.

For accuracy testing, I mounted my mule; the Leupold Mark 4 8.5 to 25 power target/tactical scope. This scope allows me to get all the accuracy that I possibly can out of a rifle/ammo combination. Velocity testing was done with the chronograph set out twelve feet from the muzzle at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level.. Temperatures hovered around the seventy-seven degree Fahrenheit mark during all velocity testing, with humidity in the seventy percent range. Velocity readings are the average of several shots fired, and the results are listed in the chart below. Velocity readings are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet weights are listed in grains. FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet. HP is hollowpoint. V-Max is a polymer-tipped varmint bullet. TSX is a Barnes Triple Shock homogenous copper hollowpoint bullet. The handload listed uses the TSX bullet with 24.5 grains of Ramshot TAC powder, a Remington small rifle primer, and Winchester commercial .223 Remington cases. Accuracy results are listed below in inches, and list the smallest and largest groups fired with each type of ammunition. Accuracy testing was done with the rifle resting in a Target Shooting, Inc. Model 500 rifle rest, to eliminate as much shooter error as possible. Three-shot groups were fired at a distance of 100 yards. The rifle was allowed to cool between each brand of ammo tested.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity Accuracy
Stryker V-Max 55 2924 0.975" to 1.30"
Lake City M855 62 3033 0.92 to 1.12"
Hand Load TSX 62 2802 0.91" to 1.05"
Winchester USA FMJ 62 2943 1.20" to 1.60"
Buffalo Bore HP 69 2972 0.75" to 0.875"
Buffalo Bore HP 77 2778 0.92" to 1.17"
Black Hills HP 69 2585 0.875" to 1.25"
Wolf Gold HP 75 2613 0.575" to 0.92"

The Colt Competition Rifle has an accuracy guarantee of one inch or less for a three-shot group at 100 yards, and the rifle that I have here performed much better than that. After the accuracy session, I mounted a Leupold HAMR scope atop the CCR’s receiver. The HAMR is much better-suited to three-gun style competition than is the Mark 4 scope that I use for accuracy testing. In three-gun, the competitor might have to engage targets from as close as one yard out to five hundred or more. The HAMR has four-power magnification for engaging targets at distance, and a DeltaPoint electronic dot mounted atop for close-range targets. The HAMR has an etched-glass reticle that is marked for use at long range, and is ideally-suited to serve on a fighting rifle, or for competitive use. Also, the HAMR has an illuminated center portion of the reticle, for use in low light.

The Colt Competition Rifle proved to be one hundred percent reliable. It fed, fired, and ejected every cartridge perfectly. The Colt Competition Rifle has some unique features that set it apart from other top-end ARs. The rifle is built right, using premium components, and is one hundred percent made in the USA. Various models of the Colt Competition Rifle are also available for sale in states which have restrictions upon the sale of a normal AR-15.

Check out the Colt Competition Rifle online at

For details on the extensive line of quality Leupold optics, go to

To order quality 223 and 5.56x45mm ammunition online, go to,,, and

Jeff Quinn

NOTE: All load data posted on this web site are for educational purposes only. Neither the author nor assume any responsibility for the use or misuse of this data. The data indicated were arrived at using specialized equipment under conditions not necessarily comparable to those encountered by the potential user of this data.  Always use data from respected loading manuals and begin working up loads at least 10% below the loads indicated in the source manual.

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Click pictures for a larger version.










Leupold HAMR is ideal for use on the Colt Competition Rifle.



The CCR proved to be a very accurate rifle, especially with Buffalo Bore and Wolf Gold ammunition.