Colt “Pro” CRP-18 Competition Rifle

I have bought guns in the past knowing that pulling it out of the box would only be the beginning of the expense. These were stock guns I purchased as a base for specific builds. However, the Colt Pro CRP-18 is not one of those guns, but I am getting ahead of myself.

Colt has a rich history on the battlefield and in law enforcement, so there is no surprise it would be a top choice in service rifle competition and 3-gun matches. However, Colt has upped the ante with the Colt Competition Rifle thanks to its partnership with Bold Ideas to offer a purpose-built rifle specifically for 3-gun competition.

The upper and lower are the two main components of any AR platform with the fit between the two being a critical factor. The CRP-18 is built with a forged upper and lower that is precision fitted. The attention to quality and detail ensure minimal movement between these two main components for extreme accuracy.

The flattop upper incorporates an integral 1913 Picatinny rail and features an 18-inch match-grade barrel with 1:8-inch RH twist. Equipped with a Wylde chamber it handles .223 Rem. or 5.56 NATO with equal accuracy. Any extra weight from the barrel has been removed thanks to the extensive, and uniquely designed, fluting. Other than that however, Bold Ideas is pretty tight-lipped about the barrel details sans to say the light contour stainless steel barrel was proprietary and offered extremely accurate.

Bold Ideas is not just a name, it’s a concept, and the innovative adjustable gas block of the CRP-18 is proof. While gas blocks are not uncommon on gas piston guns, Bold Ideas’ design on a direct impingement system is incrementally and externally adjustable without tools. The system offers both simplicity and repeatability. For instance, this makes testing new loads easy, while offering the assurance that you can get back to your normal set up quickly, easily and reliably.

Just to be sure, I am not talking over anyone. The purpose of the adjustable gas block is to allow the shooter to tune the gun by softening the cycling of the action, which allows the shooter faster target reacquisition after the shot. To do this, the shooter starts with the gas block closed and opens it gradually. The goal is to open it just to the point where the bolt reliably locks back when the magazine is empty. In addition to a smooth operation, this reduces the amount of stress on components.

The ease of the external adjustment also allows for a quick change to keep the gun running should it become dirty or fouled. Tipping the barrel is a SureFire brake. The brake reduces recoil for follow-up shots and has the added bonus of accepting a suppressor (which makes the adjustable gas block even more important).

The next component on any serious shooter’s list would have to be the trigger and the inclusion of Geissele’s Super 3 Gun (SG3) model is a complete home run. The SG3 trigger on the CRP-18 breaks at about 3.5 pounds and features a short travel and quick reset that favors competitive shooters and quick follow-up shots.

A Magpul enthusiast wisely had a lot of influence on the design. The pistol grip and enhanced trigger guard are from Magpul’s MOE line. The enhanced trigger guard utilizes a shallow “V” shape for better shooting with tactical gloves or during cold weather. The buttstock is Magpul’s CTR (Compact/Type Restricted). The A-frame design is ideal for the fast action of 3-gun shooting and shield the release latch enough to prevent accidental activation. Rounding out the buttstock is the 0.30” rubber recoil pad for a solid shoulder purchase.

For fast and reliable charging, the CRP-18 is fitted with Badger Ordinance’s oversized Tactical Latch. This allows for fast loading, reloading, and in the unlikely event of a malfunction, it is easily handled as well. As a secondary advantage, the side-mounted latch makes operation of the charging handle much easier for longer optics.

The CRP-18 ships with a standard guarantee to print one-inch or less groups at 100 yards. I would bet more heavily to the “or less” side of that equation. My test gun certainly did. Although the Colt Pro CRP-18 is billed as a comp gun, a task at which it excels, there is nothing about the accuracy or furniture that would preclude it from attending your next hunt with the possible exception of glean from the shiny barrel. However, a quick layer of camo tape could fix that setback quite easily.

When you are not competing or practicing at the range, the gun can also serve as a home defense weapon. After all, the weight is appropriate, it has a collapsible buttstock, it is suppressor ready and hanging any additional furniture would not be much of a stretch.

I could sit here and write all-day long about how great the gun shoots, but if it didn’t shoot exceptionally well, I never would have written it up in the first place. In reality, the best test and the only muster it has to pass is yours. So get out on the range and pop a few caps of your own; I promise you won’t be disappointed.

If that’s not good enough, perhaps one of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s own sponsored shooters, Clint Upchurch, quote will convince you to give it a try.

“Upon first receiving the Colt Pro CRP-18, I put it through its competitive paces on plates, dueling trees and poppers. The gun performed exceptionally well and pleased me with every pull of the trigger.”

Topped with your favorite battle sights or optic, the Colt Pro CRP-18 is ready for whatever type of action you prefer right out of the box.

Range Report

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity Accuracy Avg.
Stryker V-Max 55 2924 1.1
Lake City M855 62 3038 1.0
Hornady Steel Match HP 55 2867 0.9
Hornady Steel Match HP 75 2572 0.8

The Upshot

  • Manufacturer: Bold Ideas/Colt Competition Rifle
  • Action: Gas-operated, semi-automatic
  • Caliber: Wylde chamber will accept .223 Rem., 5.56×45
  • Operation: Direct Impingement Gas Operated with Rifle Length Gas System
  • Magazine Capacity: 30 Rounds
  • Overall Length (Collapsed): 35.00″ (88.90 cm)
  • Overall Length (Extended): 38.25″ (97.15 cm)
  • Barrel Length: 18″ (45.72 cm)
  • Barrel Muzzle Threads: 1/2″ – 28 T.P.I.
  • Fore-End: Colt Competition’s 15-inch free floating
  • Weight w/o Magazine: 7 lbs. (3.18kg)
  • Barrel Rifling: 6-groove, Button Rifled, 1 Turn in 8″ (20.32 cm) – R.H. Twist
  • Mode of Fire Options: Safe / Fire

What are your thoughts regarding the Colt CRP-18 Pro? Tell us in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (6)

  1. All of the fancy work on the barrel must be to jack up the price because I cant see any other use for it. The Army started to do a less fancy version of this to the barrels of the 25mm Bushmaster guns on Bradley’s to help dissipate heat and lesson barrel droop in the hot climates and in have use. The heat sink effect works well for this and might be good for fully automatic weapons but for average guys its nothing more than a cost multiplier and lot of new holes to collect dirt.

  2. Steve, I missed seeing the price. Could you please provide the current out-the-door price of this rifle? Another post, dated about a year ago, showed the price at that time to be $3,799. A bit rich for my blood.

    I am a prospective buyer and am out of the loop on the AR rifle platform. Can you suggest any less-expensive AR alternatives to this rifle that would provide minute-of-ground squirrel accuracy, or are these rifles all about the same accuracy-wise (excluding the M2012, of course)?

  3. The CRP-18 aka Colt Competition Pro model is my 3 gun rig. It is the most accurate AR I own (of several). It is bone stock the way it came from the factory and it is perfectly suited to the 3 gun game. The adjustable gas block is super easy to tweak for tuning the recoil impulse for variable loads or a suppressor. The trigger spoils me a bit and I notice this when I transition back to another rig. This is just an awesome rifle.

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