Colt Commando Rifle
With the increase of US forces in Vietnam in the 1960's, there arose a need for a shorter rifle due to close quarter combat with Ranger, LRRP and Special Forces Teams. In response, Colt Industries designed the XM177 model (CAR15 Project). It's simply a shortened version of the M16 and uses the same lower receiver. The differences are in the upper receiver. It has a shorter barrel, longer flash suppressor, and rounded hand guards. The XM177E1 version has a bolt assist. The XM177E2 was built with a slightly longer barrel to help with accuracy. The distinguishing feature in all models is its telescopic stock which can easily be collapsed or extended as the need arises. The rifle was actually labeled the Commando, or Colt Commando. The Air Force bought some, but it never really caught on in the Army. Accuracy with the shorter barrel is twenty percent less than with an M16. The weapon also heats up quickly which tends to cause loading malfunctions. The Colt Commando was used by the 1st and 2nd Ranger Battalions in the 1970's and 80's. It eventually evolved into the M4 Carbine.