By David Crane
defrev at gmail dot com
October 16, 2008
In our article on the Colt Sub-Compact Weapon a.k.a. Colt SCW, DefenseReview discussed the upgraded direct-gas-impingement (DGI)/gas piston/op-rod Hybrid Operating System that’s available as an option for it. Well, the Colt Advanced Hybrid Carbine a.k.a. Colt AHC select-fire carbine (5.56x45mm NATO (5.56mm NATO)/.223 Rem.) utilizes a dedicated hybrid DGI/piston system, which incorporates Colt’s proprietary and patent-pending Gas Regulator Sleeve. Defense Review believes that the piston portion of the system incorporates Colt’s proprietary and patent-pending Articulating Link Piston (ALP), but we’re not sure about this. We’ll try to get confirmation on this point.
The Colt AHC’s hybrid DGI/piston-driven system is definitely the most interesting and intriguing operating system that Colt is offering. It’s purpose is to…
reduce operating stresses on critical components and eliminate the barrel flex a.k.a. barrel torque that’s usually created by traditional piston/op-rod-driven systems, while still offering the enhanced reliability/lower-maintenance advantages of a piston-driven system. I haven’t been cleared to talk about it (hybrid operating system) in any mechanical detail, other than to say that it’s currently in the process of being "soldier-proofed".
I recently got the chance to test-fire the Colt AHC during my visit to Colt headquarters. The weapon was enjoyable to shoot and functioned flawlessly, although I was only able to put several magazines through it, as I had to go through a lot of guns in a relatively short amount of time.
It will be interesting to see how the Advanced Hybrid Carbine performs under adverse conditions at high round count, and how it stacks up against Colt’s upgraded/enhanced DGI weapon and Advanced Piston Carbine (APC) in side-by-side testing. Ultimately, this, along with operator feedback, will determine the combat-viability of this operating system.
DefenseReview would enjoy seeing a Colt AHC with a FERFRANS Rate Reduction System (RRS) installed. This would bring the cyclic rate/ROF under 700 RPM, which in turn would enhance full-auto controllability (for more hits on target) and lower stress on critical weapon components even further.
The Colt Advanced Hybrid Carbine sports the following additional features:
- Mil-Std-1913 Monolithic Upper Receiver that offers weight and cost savings. It’s free-floated to improve accuracy and improve zero retention of optics, lasers (visible and IR), etc.
- Optional Folding Titanium Front Sight, a Lighter, foldable/flip-up front sight/BUIS that reduces weight on the barrel, improving accuracy and zero retention.
- Modified bolt carrier with solid key and rear skids.
Buttoned or cold forged barrels, both of which are capable of exceeding 15,000 rounds.
- Optional Colt Grip Laser (CGL) that provides a forward grip incorporating a travel light and visible laser (pulse and constant laser modes).
- Cam Pin Protector that liminates damage to the upper receiver cam pin slot inherent in other piston designs.
- New “Pivot Forward Design” Extractor that increases the hold on the cartridge case during hard extraction and full-auto fire.
- Enhanced Dust Cover “Wiper” (patent-pending) that ensures the ejection port is covered without having to utilize a traditional manual cover.
Photo Credit: Colt Defense LLC
Company Contact Info:
Colt Defense LLC
547 New Park Ave
West Hartford, CT, 06110
800-241-2485 Toll Free
Acronyms and Abbreviations used in this article:
ROF – Rate of Fire
Op-Rod – Operating Rod
Full-Auto – Fully-Automatic
BUIS – Back-Up Iron Sight
Search terms for the article:
- articulating link piston system, Colt AHC, colt gas piston, colt gas piston rifle, colt advanced hybrid carbine, colt piston carbine, direct gas system vs articulating link piston system, colt gas piston ar, colt direct gas operating system, colt direct gas system, Colt Gas piston carbine, hybrid gas piston rifle, Articulating-Link Piston, gas impingement vs piston, colt hybrid piston