Colt Stops Civilian Sales Of The AR15

Sorry, Beto — it had nothing to do with you! And it has nothing to do with gun control. READ MORE

colt logo

SOURCE: NBC News et al.

Last Thursday, Colt Manufacturing’s announced that it will no longer sell AR15 firearms to civilians. While many gun control advocates celebrated Colt’s decision as a victory, it had nothing to do with a shift in Americans’ attitudes toward assault rifles. The gun-maker said the decision is purely market-driven and made no mention of any public pressure. With poor civilian sales and a multimillion-dollar military contract, Colt’s announcement is strictly business rather than a signal.

In a statement posted on the company’s website Thursday, Colt’s CEO Dennis Veilleux explained that it was stopping production of civilian sporting rifles due to “significant excess manufacturing capacity” in that market and low consumer demand for Colt’s products. The company will instead shift production to fulfill “high volume” military and law enforcement contracts.

“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,” Veilleux said. The CEO said the company would continue to supply consumers with pistols and revolvers and did not rule out returning to civilian production of rifles in the future. Colt reportedly has about 110 days of inventory in its distribution network. Its website lists all rifles as “out of stock.”

Shortly after Colt issued the statement, the Department of Defense announced a $41.9 million Army contract with the company to produce M4s for U.S. allies.

Of course, gun control celebrities celebrated what they ignorantly perceived as a victory.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke tweeted the news alongside an image of him as the National Rifle Association’s “AR-15 salesman of the month,” suggesting Colt’s decision reflected declining sales of the weapon. O’Rourke made waves in the last Democratic debate by saying he would take away Americans’ AR15s and AK-47s.

@Beto O’Rourke
(Colt Firearms just announced they’re stopping production of AR-15s:

Possibly even of the year…

March For Our Lives, the student movement founded after the Parkland, Florida high school massacre, tweeted about the news. “This is real life. We’re winning.”

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action cited the “lack of public demand” for the AR-15 tweeting, “The @NRA’s #TrumpSlump is the gift that keeps on giving.”

In fact, despite one of the country’s oldest gun makers pulling out of the civilian rifle market, overall gun sales have increased in recent months and in recent years, so have the number of AR15 buyers and sellers.

Firearm sales have steadily risen in the past two years and last month manufacturers posted their second-best August on record, according to data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

According to a 2018 Gallup Poll, support for an assault weapons ban dropped in the years following the mass shooting in Las Vegas. The poll showed 40% favored a ban and 57% opposed it. The level of opposition was close to the 2016 record high of 61% of Americans who said they did not support a ban.


13 thoughts on “Colt Stops Civilian Sales Of The AR15”

  1. I understand your position, but don’t think it’s that cut and dried. Unfortunately the headlines (as you cite) across ABC news and every other MSM outlet reads: “After Recent Spate of Shootings, Colt Manufacturing Will No Longer Sell AR-15’s to Civilians.”

    On the one hand it looks like a straightforward business decision (despite the fact that Colt could sell their semi-auto AR’s for far more per rifle than they’re getting for each military contract M4 they sell to “warfighters.”) On the other hand, it looks like the bean counters that inevitably eventually infest every large gun manufacturer (witness S&W and the formerly great TC) thought that they could kill two birds with one stone: stop having their ass handed to them by Daniel Defense by not playing anymore, even though the Colt is arguably the finest AR on the market, and also posture and virtue signal for the anti-gunners looking to come after the small arms makers in the Connecticut Valley.

    In any case Colt should know that it’s backfired on them; whether it was their Corporate intention or not, they are aiding and abetting Bloomberg, Brady, Giffords, and every anti-gun politician out there by this move, which someone there HAD to have known when they did it. If they truly supported the Second Amendment and gun owners, then they should continue making at least SOME AR’s for the civilian market, even a few hundred a year.

    The point is to not contribute, consciously or otherwise, to the fallacy that civilian gun ownership is a problem, while guns in the hands of “warfighters” and police are just fine, and unfortunately that’s exactly what this “business decision” does.

  2. Actually, Colt was one of the very first gun companies that started collaboration with the enemy. The enemy being the pro gun control crowd. Way back in the day, in olden times in the eighties and early nineties, Colt started manufacturing their famous civilian sale side HBARs in a way that was non mil spec…where it was real hard if not impossible to put an aftermarket trigger in Colt AR lowers.

    Colt admitted they did that to prevent hobby gunsmith or militia or paramilitary civilians from trying to drop in the part that makes military m16s go full auto.

    The manufacturing alteration also made Colt HBAR lowers incompatible with other brand uppers.

    Colt did that alteration years before the 1994 Brady Act was signed by communist clinton.

    Colt even admitted it all. I have no clue if Colt ever went back to mil spec AR15s for civilians. Don’t care either as I don’t buy Colt, it’s one of those once upon a time they were great but now they are “eh” companies.

  3. Colt pulling out of the civilian market isn’t a good decision. I’m sure there was a certain amount of virtue signaling happening on the part of Colt. It seems like they figured that they just got a *massive* military contract – and to avoid the fierce competition in the civilian market they could just throw a bone to the screeching anti-gun, anti-freedom, anti-American crowd by backing out of the civilian market. So, in one fell swoop, they, look good to the sheeple and Communist crowd while not suffering financially (yet) for the decision. Stupid.

    So, the question is: Is Colt the “Original Coke” of the AR’s? Will shutting off their civilian market hurt them or make their product more desirable in the long run?

    (I realize now that’s pretty much what Norm Morris (above) said, but I echo the sentiment.)

  4. Consider that Colt may have faced a choice of expanding manufacturing capacity to address the DOD need or limit another need. (civilian product). In light of the current gun control climate any manufacturing expansion would be more risky. Colts evolution in the business is very much in their minds

  5. When military sales go away, which has happened before, Colt might well remember, with regrets, having told civilian buyers their patronage mattered not.

    1. It wasn’t that long ago that nobody had enough capacity to satisfy the demand. The climate has changed and COLT has been down this road before. When the market is right good product will find buyers.

  6. In addition to the above mentioned, Coltis not the only maker of the AR-15 type rifle. By the way, with respect to the short barrels offered, carbine would be a more accurate description than rifle.

  7. They caved to political pressure, pure and simple. Then, facing a backlash from the gun community, they backpedaled with phony excuses. Does anyone really believe the market is demanding 1911’s and revolvers? Or that Colt could not make a budget model AR15?

  8. Regardless of what they are saying, the results are indisputable and will likely destroy the civilian market for any gun they manufacture!
    I for one crossed the new King Cobra off my “next new gun” list, and I really wanted this gun as I sold one in the 90’s and have regretted it…..until now!
    Either you stand for the constitution or your on borrowed time. May God have mercy on your soul!

  9. Still have my 50+ year old colt 22 automatic and will probably keep it for ever but have traded and sold the rest of my colts got a 15 Grendel but never even considered a colt , H&K are more accurate than any 1911 I could afford I’ve tried several just not worth the trouble to keep accurate.

  10. Remember, Colt is a Connecticut gun company. Connecticut has arguably the worst gun laws in the country, they might be worse than California. Colt like Ruger, has a history of making mods to their civilian semi autos that the antis love.

    I have direct family connections to CT, spent a good month in CT in 2018. And another week there in February 2019. It’s a wonderful state that was once THE core industrial state in the USA, along with MASS to their directly adjacent North.

    No more though, least on guns. Sad sad sad to see CT go that route. I’m surprised Lyman has not moved out of CT by now.

  11. This is a toxic stew of social justice caving and missing the market.

    If you want a high end AR do you think Colt? Or maybe LaRue, KAC, Noveske, or just build it yourself.

    If you want a low end AR do you think Colt? Or maybe Bushmaster, or PSA. Or just build it yourself.

    Plus the business environment in CT. If Colt wants to come to TN, TX, MT, SD, FL then come on. And have a chance. The taxes and labor in CT are simply non-competitive in the real world. The real world being loan covenants and other financial reality.

    Colt has worked themselves into another corner. When the slop at the government trough dries up, then they will be back in bankruptcy court. You heard it here first.

  12. The COLTS companies are no longer owned by “gun” people. They are owned by an investment company. I believe they were down to an economic situation that showed a need to process a smaller lot of civilian product thru critical equipment along with economical large lots of military equipment and came to a decision that trying to do both just would not work. They made an economic decision, Processing more costly smaller lots would drive up the price of civilian product making it non-competitive. while getting in they way of the contract work.

Leave a Reply