I went ahead today and picked up a NIB Bushmaster XM15-E2S and took pictures of it next to my Colt LE 6920 for some comparisons noteworthy to discuss.
XM15 (above) LE (below)
XM15 Logo close up:
LE Logo close up:
The Bushmaster has a 1 turn in 9" and the Colt 1 in 7" for barrel twist. Both are chrome lined and 6 groove. The XM15 has a thinner handguard which I like as you can tell by the pictures. It also has the shorter M4 barrel with a different type of permanent flash suppressor. Both have removable handles/sights with a rail to mount a scope if wanted.
I always liked my Colt LE but their double layered handguard is fatter making the carbine feel less appealing to my left hand. The slower twist on the Bushmaster barrel would probably make shooting the lighter zippy varmint bullets more probable with increased accuracy. So I'd use the Colt for the "heavy" bullets and use the Bushmaster for varmint shooting.
I've always liked Bushmaster and haven't had a problem with 3 or 4 that I've owned over the years when I first started buying them. The price on this Bushmaster was only $935--sort of on sale by the gun shop owner who sold me the 1886 Winchester and the Browning BLR .358. I guess I'd have bought this Bushmaster sooner had I known it WAS a Bushmaster because he had it on the rack next to other brand names I wouldn't bother with (no Colts or Armalites) and I had assumed he, being a small gun shop owner, didn't have a Bushmaster sitting in between a couple of recent popular brand names that copied Colt for the AR 15.
I am not a snob about the AR 15--or if I am I am amenable (or perhaps able and willing) to buy Armalite or Bushmaster instead of Colt. However, in this case I was remembering my other Bushmasters since visiting this forum and sort of missed having one back in my own inventory instead of the sole Colt.
One afternoon awhile ago I had taken apart the Colt and the Bushmaster (previously owned by me before this one also with the longer barrel similar to the Colt) and compared the parts inside and out. I couldn't see anything that really mattered and had to be careful not to "mix" up the parts since they looked so identical even on close inspection.
This new XM 15 has "TC" on the bolt carrier--I don't remember seeing letters on the former XM15's bolt--and has a different type of flash suppressor from my last XM15 which looked identical (before this one) to the Colt. It only has (this one here) three long openings instead of the "bird cage" openings on the Colt. I doubt if it makes a difference in firing and I did learn that this XM15 flash suppressor is a "permanent" type.
My inclination is to scope the Colt and leave the XM15 with its open sights--but if I am varminting and want to use the 1-9" twist for the lighter .224 bullets (like 40 grains) I'll have no trouble putting a scope on it.
Compared the XM 15 actually feels "better" in my hands because it is smaller in length and has the thinner handguard. One could say I needed another AR 15 "like a hole in the head" but I am an avid "collector" and recently I have been replenishing the "deleted" ranks of my rack with rifles I have missed.
I am happy to have the Bushmaster XM-15 back home again.