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Shooting Pro Anette Wachter Shares Her Colt Sporting Rifle Review

US National Rifle team member Anette Wachter checks in with a Colt Sporting Rifle review.

Recently I was sent the Colt CSR 1516 to review. Also known as the Colt Sporting Rifle, I was not quite sure what I was getting in to when I picked up the gun. My Diva side came out suddenly.

This rifle was very stock. As in, stock, stock. I'm talking bare bones. It had even less flair than my service AR I shoot in High Power. And those have to be stock on the exterior. But I have to say that I really dig this rifle.


Colt Sporting Rifle trigger guard. (Photo by Andy

I was looking at all of my other ARs around the house and realized they are all competition varieties and very heavy. I don't have an AR I can use for rough stuff. The CSR is basically for hard utility use. It is super light.

I felt like calling up the VP and filling him in: "Mr. Biden, even we girls can hold and shoot this rifle!" Sorry bud. It only weighs just over 6.5 pounds. My CMP service rifle weighs 13. Huge.

As I had mentioned, the rifle is pretty plain to look at. But this is a sporting rifle, one you don't have to worry about if you toss it in the trunk, or slide it under the bed. It is the "do-all" rifle. So you dropped it on the ground? Oh well. It can take it. At a price point of under $1,000 the CSR-1516 makes great sense.

I want this rifle in my house by the bed. I am not concerned if it gets dinged up. The main question is did I enjoy shooting it? But of course.


CSR-1516 float-tube hand guard. (Photo by Andy


I put my CSR on the sand bag on the bench and attached my scope and mount to the top rails. My scope had been zeroed on a different rifle already for 100 yards. It was perfectly zeroed on the CSR as well.  First three rounds out of the barrel were in one small group. In fact two rounds were in one hole. I only needed to adjust the windage 1/2 minute and I was good to go. This tells me that the manufacturing is good that I can place an optic on and sight in easily. Accuracy is right on.


CSR Buttstock and Hogue Grip. (Photo by Andy


The barrel is 16 inches and chambered in 5.56. Attached to the barrel is Colt's standard flash suppressor that is very GI-style. It has a 1 in 8" twist. The overall length of the rifle is 32-36 inches with the adjustable stock out. As you move back to the trigger guard, I noticed that it is a part of the lower receiver, which I love. It is also enlarged.

The trigger itself is pretty darn heavy as it is set. It is almost six pounds. But I will say that it is super crisp. There are AR models out there I have tried in this price range that have mushy triggers. Hate mushy triggers. Shooting it slow fire or rapid fire was smooth. Although a short rifle and light I did not feel there was much extra kick. My only complaint was the butt has zero padding.

But this can easily be changed. The buttstock is adjustable to six positions. In addition to the rails on top of the receiver there is a short length of rails for your front sight.  There were plenty of threaded holes around the hand guard to attach more rails and accessories. The charging handle is standard. It has the sticky Hogue pistol grip with the finger grooves. There are two sling swivel attachments. I did not see an attachment up front on the hand guard but you could install one. That is just my Service Rifle brain wanting that.


CSR group; first three rounds out of barrel were the "two" holes on the right. (Photo by Andy

You are able to ask for a few extras like an extended side charging handle, extra rails and scope mounts.  Additional cost of course. It was not until I was putting the rifle away that I noticed there was not a forward assist on it. Kind of odd but have I ever used that on any of my ARs? No. Yank the charging handle back and eject the bad round. I am not going to need this in The Sand Box anytime soon.


30CalGal firing the Colt Sporting Rifle. (Photo by Andy Tran -

I guess you could say that I like this sporty stud. It does its job. If I keep it I should Cerakote a black metallic on the float-tube hand guard, install my iron sights and sleep with it under my pillow. I need a little bit of bling.


All photos by Andy Tran of

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Shooting Pro Anette Wachter Shares Her Colt Sporting Rifle Review