Colt's law enforcement division introduced its LE901 multi-caliber carbine that can be configured for 7.62mm or 5.56mm at five barrel lengths, according to company representatives at SHOT Show 2011 in Las Vegas.
The rifle can be deployed in 7.62mm/.308 with either a 13- or 16-inch barrel. For closer quarters engagements at 5.56mm/.223, officers can swap out the upper receiver and, with an internal adapter that bolts to the upper, deploy the rifle with a 10.3-, 14.5- or 16-inch barrel.
Officers looking at the LE901 said rifles chambered in .308 have yet to gain widespread use by patrol officers, and noted that law enforcement agencies would more likely favor the 5.56 version. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, for example, issues .223 Winchester Ranger to their deputies for rifle ammunition.
Taerik Berry, an Nevada Department of Corrections officer, said he expects the LE901 with a 10.3-inch barrel will be a popular choice by officers. He now uses Colt's SCW 10.3-inch 5.56mm carbine.
"It's made for the patrol officer," Berry said about his SCW. "It's going to be so much better velocity, so much better force gain using that length of barrel."
The LE901 also arrives with a Vltor collapsible stock (IMod) with four positions. Like the Bushmaster ACR, if offers ambidextrous controls — an ambi magazine catch and bolt release.
The LE901 will be initially offered to law enforcement with a black finish and 20-round magazine. It should retail for about $2,000, according to Colt.