COLT M635 9mm SUBMACHINE GUN
A study in excellence
decade ago, Colt surprised everyone in the firearms industry by
entering the then-budding domestic 9mm submachine gun market --
a market completely dominated at the time by the Heckler & Koch
MP5. Most said they didn't have a chance, that the MP5 was so good
that Colt's new SMG wouldn't last more than a couple of years.
there was a lot of truth in those statements. The MP5 is a good
SMG, no question about it, and it certainly dominates both the military
and police special-operations sector. But the truth didn't stop
there --despite all the predictions, Colt's new entry not only survived,
but prospered as well.
the Model 635, the weapon is based on the venerable AR15/M16's tried-and-true
design. In fact, with the exception that it's blowback, rather than
gas, operated (typical for SMGs), it retains all of that weapon's
physical characteristics and even bears a striking resemblance to
the ubiquitous 5.56mm "CAR-15" of Vietnam fame.
it does so makes the Model 635 a "4th Generation" SMG,
meaning that it is part of a fundamental weapon design, or "system"
within which all integral weapons operate and field-strip the same
way. The intent, of course, is to allow maximum operational and
training efficiency with as little idiosyncratic variation as possible
between the weapons themselves.
always evaluate weapons using several criteria. First, mechanical
engineering -- how well conceived is the weapon for its intended
purpose? Second, ergonomics -- human engineering, which includes
"real-world" issues like: (A) How well does the weapon
fit? (B) How well located and thus operable are its controls? (C)
How quickly can the operator acquire the sights under stress and
can they be quickly and easily adjusted? (D) Is the gun sufficiently
light and well balanced for the high-speed work inherent to combat?
Third, quality of manufacture: (A) is the weapon well made and well
finished, and; (B) is it accurate?
all three of these categories, the M635 scores quite highly. Light
and well balanced, it carries and mounts quickly and with relative
ease. It's sights are rugged, well-protected, highly visible in
all reasonable light conditions and easily adjusted. No weapon in
the world has a selector switch better located (SAFE to SEMI to
AUTO, with the lever literally right under the operator's firing
thumb), or has a nicer gray phosphate matte finish. Moreover, it
is available with either the CAR-15 retractable or more conventional
fixed buttstock, thus satisfying even the most demanding aircraft/maritime/
vehicular storage and operational requirements.
fact, the M635 is so light that some have criticized it as being
uncontrollable in fully-automatic fire, alleging that it vibrates
excessively. To this claim, I can only say that in a special-ops
environment, no more than two-shots per burst should be utilized
and, from the shoulder using proper technique, the M635 will keep
both of those shots well-centered in the chest of any typical silhouette
target out to a full 15 meters. No other SMG does it any better
and most, considerably worse.
a close-range spec-ops emergency or in a more typical military situation
(Underarm Assault Position), the weapon is no more difficult to
utilize effectively than any other shoulder arm and is, in fact,
actually easier to use than most! So, at least from the practical
standpoint, its my opinion that the allegation is entirely false.
the M635 takes only seconds and subsequent cleaning/maintenance
are a snap. Due to its simpler bolt assembly, it is actually easier
to clean and lubricate than the AR15/M16 system from which it came.
As well, it isn't lubrication or carbon sensitive, as are a number
of well-known modern SMGs.
nearly eight years, I've used the M635 in both special-ops and military
environments, jumped from aircraft with it strapped to my side and
carried/fired it in both sub-zero and tropical environments. I've
seen it covered with snow, dust, water and even mud; yet, it functioned
without mishap, using a wide variety of 9mm ammunition. Moreover,
during this period, its polycarbonate buttstock, pistolgrip and
fore-end withstood abuse that at times surprised even me!
it accurate? Yes, it is -- even to the point of being academic.
Using my M635 with Winchester 147-grain "Black Talon"
JHPs, I was able to place 20 consecutive center hits on an 18x25-inch
"Taylor Advanced Combat" silhouette at a full 200-meters.
At 100-meters with this same ammo, it consistently shoots groups
of less than 4-inches. With Hornady Custom 115- and 124-grain "XTP"
JHPs, it does the same. Even military surplus ball prints inside
6-inches. Accurate enough for you? It sure is for me! And I would
have no reservation about using the M635 to take that critical head-shot
on a hostage-holder, even out to a full 15-meters.
its many attributes, it is no wonder that DEA, the U.S. Marshal's
Service and a number of other Federal agencies have adopted the
M635, as have several elite counter-terrorist and military special-ops
units. In addition, its civilian-legal SEMI-only "carbine"
version has found considerable favor in lieu of the shotgun with
a growing number of police and sheriff's departments around the
short, I like the M635, especially with a 20-rd. magazine. I feel
that it exhibits a superior combination of balance, light weight,
simple but yet excellent mechanical/ergonomic design, thus providing
an excellent package for anyone who needs a compact, highly-versatile
shoulder weapon. For SWAT, counter-terrorist or standard military
SMG functions it rates as one of the best.