Colt M5 Rifle [~ish]

October 1, 2022  

A Colt M5 SBR

The CM5 Carbine and CM5 Sentry are versions of the long-talked-about Colt M5. Though the M5 was available in three versions via Colt International, for many years there were no US production models. That changed in May 2022 when, with little fanfare, it began appearing on firearm retailer websites.

BLUF: They are available from a variety of sources now.

Colt M5

Note: The CM5 appears to be an ambidextrous lower similar to the 901. Note also that the Colt M5 rifle types should not be mistaken for M5s from other manufacturers (including Aero Precision).

The Colt International website describes the Colt M5 Carbine (14.5″ barrel version) thusly:

Introducing the New Colt M5 Carbine series of assault rifles — weapons for the modern war fighter and special forces operator when reliability, lethality, and adaptability are critical. The completely redesigned lower receiver and upper receiver feature full ambidextrous controls, and an enhanced upper receiver rail design ensures extreme rigidity. 

With maximum performance and ergonomics at the forefront of the design consideration, the Colt M5 Carbine utilizes a proven carbine length gas system with Colt’s new purpose-designed free float rail and upper receiver system. 

This system maximizes rail space and shooter comfort, reducing weight and bulk while maintaining the same lethality and accuracy expected from a Colt. The Colt M5 Carbine is truly the next generation in a long legacy of Colt high-performance assault weapons.

The longest barrel listed by Colt International is 14.5″, but the weapons soon to be commercially available feature a 16.1″ bbl. Additionally, there are initially two SBR versions listed. 

Colt M5 for Sale

More about the Colt M5 Carbine

The initial product description on the RSR Group website read as follows:

Colt’s Manufacturing, M4 Carbine CM5-Sentry, Semi-automatic, AR, 223 Remington/556NATO, 16.1″ Barrel, 1:7 Twist, A2 Flash Hider, Anodized Finish, Black, Colt Free Float Handguard, Magpul CTR 4 Position Stock, A2 Grip, Flip Up Front and Rear Sights, 30 Rounds, 1 Magazine

  • Colt’s Proprietary Free Float Rail & Upper Receiver System

  • Redesigned Lower with Fully Ambidextrous Controls

  • Folding low profile adjustable sights

  • 16.1″ 4150 CMV barrel

  • Folding low profile

  • Adjustable sights


The Colt M5 Carbine features a completely redesigned lower receiver and upper receiver with fully ambidextrous controls and an enhanced upper receiver rail design that ensures extreme rigidity.

  • Manufacturer Colt’s Manufacturing

  • Manufacturer Part #CM556-16-M5S

  • Model M4 Carbine

  • Model CM5-Sentry

  • Action Semi-automatic

  • Type AR

  • Caliber 223 Remington

  • Caliber 556 NATO

  • Barrel Length 16.1″

  • Color Black

  • Grips A2 Grip

  • Accessories 1 Mag

  • Type of Barrel 1:7

  • Capacity 30Rd

  • Sights Front/Rear Flip Sights

  • Subcategory Modern Sporting Rifles

  • Finish Anodized

  • Stock Magpul CTR

A Colt M5 SBR

We’ve seen hints, teases, and Colt M5 allegations before. It showed up at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference in Bahrain in 2017, has made occasional appearances on social media, and has been tested on several fictional battlefields.

The website Army Recognition reported on it during that expo, saying in part,

The Colt M5 Enhanced Carbine has a low-profile gas block in a carbine length gas system and a free float modular rail system, maximizing rail real estate, comfort, weight, and accuracy, while at the same time maintaining the same lethality and accuracy expected from a Colt.

The Colt M5 uses a conventional short-stroke tappet piston where a two-piece piston/ operating rod strikes the face of the bolt carrier group driving it rearward, and the piston rod returns to its forward position by a spring.

The barrel itself has had some redesign work on it as well though still utilizing the standard M4 feed ramps on the barrel extension. There are modifications of the chamber area of the barrel, and the changes further ventilate gas and helps with air circulation by drawing heat out of the receiver and out the handguards.

Photos courtesy of @the_colt_ar15_resource on Instagram

You can compare for yourself the differences between the two descriptions.

It will be interesting to see how these particular Colt M5 rifles perform once they start hitting ranges in the wild.

Now check out these AR15 upgrades from Magpul

Daniel Reeder

Daniel Reeder

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