Last week, I heard rumblings that Colt was suspending production of AR’s. The rumblings I heard were mostly from coworkers talking about what they seen on social media and the news. For the most part I took the information as a grain of salt. That is because social media and the news have a narrative bias when it comes to the 2A companies and community. I understood the truth would be more nuanced than what was being published. I waited to hear more from Colt regarding the matter.

Yesterday, Colt released an official statement on suspending commercial production of the AR-15 platform. 

Colt President Dennis Veilleux released a statement on the rumors circulating around the company. In the statement he emphasized their commitment to the Second Amendment, discussed current and future military contracts, and their commitment to making high quality handguns. 

Below is the official press release from Colt’s President Dennis Veilleux.

There have been numerous articles recently published about Colt’s participation in the commercial rifle market. Some of these articles have incorrectly stated or implied that Colt is not committed to the consumer market.  We want to assure you that Colt is committed to the Second Amendment, highly values its customers and continues to manufacture the world’s finest quality firearms for the consumer market.

The fact of the matter is that over the last few years, the market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity. Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future.

On the other hand, our warfighters and law enforcement personnel continue to demand Colt rifles and we are fortunate enough to have been awarded significant military and law enforcement contracts. Currently, these high-volume contracts are absorbing all of Colt’s manufacturing capacity for rifles. Colt’s commitment to the consumer markets, however, is unwavering.  We continue to expand our network of dealers across the country and to supply them with expanding lines of the finest quality 1911s and revolvers.

At the end of the day, we believe it is good sense to follow consumer demand and to adjust as market dynamics change. Colt has been a stout supporter of the Second Amendment for over 180 years, remains so, and will continue to provide its customers with the finest quality firearms in the world.

Very respectfully,

Dennis Veilleux, President and Chief Executive Officer

To give a little more context to this situation on why Colt has chosen to suspend civilian rifle production we can look at the DoD contract announcement. In that announcement the DoD discuses Colt’s new foreign military contract. 

Below is the DoD Foreign Military Contract. 

Colt’s Manufacturing Co. LLC, West Hartford, Connecticut, was awarded a $41,924,594 firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales (Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Federated States of Micronesia, Hungary, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macedonia, Marshall Islands, Palau, St. Vincent and Grenadines, and Tunisia) contract for production for the M4 and M4A1 carbines. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 18, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (W15QKN-19-D-0116)

The statement from Colt’s President Mr. Veilleux details the company’s numerous high-volume military contracts. The DoD announcement further details the extent of those contracts. Colt’s will have it’s hands busy with rifle production. To fulfill those contracts will take Colt’s entire rifle production staff to complete. This move has been something Colt has done in the past to meet those high-volume military and law enforcement contracts. 

Colt has confirmed they are not stepping away from pistol and revolver markets. Noting their commitment and passion for making the ”finest quality” 1911’s and revolvers. While also expanding their dealer network throughout the U.S. 

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