Larry Vickers’ Delta Force Colt 723 Carbine

Today I’m with Larry Vickers, taking a look at the recreation of his Delta Force Colt 723 carbine – the rifle he used at Modelo Prison in Panama and in Desert Storm hunting for SCUD missiles. Use of carbines like this one by Delta and other special forces groups set the stage for the adoption of the M4 Carbine and Aimpoint M68 optic by the US military at large, and it’s very interesting to listen to Larry’s first-hand experience of how and why it was put together.

The newest Vickers Guide book, WWII Germany Volume II (which I co-authored with Larry) is now available, along with AR Volume I and AR Volume II at


      • LAV knows Bubba? If it works, I think it’s called rapid prototyping.

        The cartridges jammed against the magazine front seem an example of “inertia”. Where the gun moves backwards before loosely connected parts do. I’d like to see slo-mo video of the steel mag coupler vs. the LAV duct tape model. Any other available mag couplers would be a nice addition. Just an idea, since time seems in short supply.

    • Ok for this prison bs, but why they needed a flashlight on a gun in a middle of a desert is not easily understandable…

      • Yeah, it’s not like any self-respecting Iraqi soldiers would leave the lights on when sleeping in someone’s house while you’re hunting them. Just kidding!

        • They surely had night vision devices, also I don’t think they needed to enter any houses as they avoided such village or urban encounters, nor were iraqi soldiers so “smart” to sleep casually in random houses.
          If this was second Iraq war, I would understand, but in first I dont see the purpose, in my opinion.

          • This was not much about urban warfare. The point of contention was chase for stray Iraqi missile units operating in desert in north-west Iraq – it was intense. What was at stake was fear that Israel who found itself under Iraqi fire would step into action, which would likely result in break-up of US-marshalled coalition. This is about the first Gulf war in 90/91 to be clear.

          • Assuming we’re in the middle of the desert, that flashlight would probably be off the rifle and used for something else. Either that or it’s a better grip than the original handguard, which I doubt…

  1. Vickers Guide: AR-15 Volume 1 Standard, Signature, and Limited Edition have been sold out for a while (I check every so often). When you all said some were still available I checked the website again, with (false) hope. I am forlorn.

  2. Makes me feel better about the Aimpoint 5000 I’ve had on one of my ARs for the last 25-30 years or so.

    • If I can somehow digest obnoxious “secret russian base underneath shopping mall in the middle of the USA” plot (!?),
      I can recall seeing how they put Zastava M92 posing as “Krinkov” so, apparently, historical accuracy is not their game.

  3. What is interesting, was that this weapon came about by trying this and that and seeing what worked and what was durable and what the users liked.

    It was not designed by a committee in a conference room.

    • The whole thing is very similar to the idea in civil engineering of “desire paths”, where you lay out sidewalks by observing where people’s natural choices lead them to walk.

      You look at it in a certain light, and an awful lot of post-WWII weapons decisions have more in common with the user-level guys doing their own thing and blowing off the ideas of the white-coated lab boffins, rather than the top-down models of development.

      Which, perhaps, is as it should be.

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