About 50 CAR-15 SMGs were made. Most were issued to Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces, though some were also given to Army K-9 units. Since it never went into full production, CAR-15 SMGs were assembled from available spare parts. The first models were made with M16 receivers without forward assists and with shortened pistol grips from the Survival Rifle . The later Model 607A was made with XM16E1 receiver with forward assist and standard pistol grip. The handguard was made from full-length rifle handguard by cutting it in half and using either the fore or aft pair, after machining the ends to fit the slip ring and handguard cap.
Because of the short barrel, the CAR-15 SMGs suffered from a loud and bright muzzle blast, and a number of muzzle devices were developed to reduce this. The SMGs were initially fitted with the standard M16 rifle's "duckbill" or three-prong flash hiders, which did not alleviate the problem. In September 1966, Colt developed a 3.5-inch long moderator that lessened the noise and muzzle flash, which also increased the weapon's reliability by increasing the amount of back pressure. However, the moderator created its own problems, such as heavy bore fouling and causing tracer bullets to wildly yaw. A 4.25-inch long moderator with six slots and an expansion chamber, which further reduced noise and flash, replaced the previous muzzle device and became standard for the SMG and the Commando series, but fouling and tracer problems persisted.