Colt to Cease AR-15 Production for the Civilian Market

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Guns.com reports Colt senior VP Paul Spitale indicated the company is shifting away from ARs and toward the class 1911, Colt revolvers, and other guns Americans want for concealed carry.

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48 Comments on Colt to Cease AR-15 Production for the Civilian Market

  1. Wonder if the decision was from economic or political considerations?

    There’s a huge amount of competition in the AR market.

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  2. Economic. Some will also opt out of concealed carry gun market as it is saturated too, unless they can be innovative.

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  3. Kinda weird that he decided this now, though. Just makes the left high5 themselves in each others’ faces. lol

    Forgive me for being suspicious. But, you know.

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  4. They pulled this one before and there was a backlash by many and some never returned to buying another “NEW” Colt product (myself included).

    Time will tell if this was political or economic, but the posturing says to me “political.” Don’t have the numbers or the ambition to research it as to their market share of the AR15 platform.

    As some might remember I’m the L1A1 guy and still others probably don’t understand that the number of calibers for the AR15 has exploded into more than I can document as I haven’t followed it (dozens).

    JDHasty and a few other here will perhaps add to this one

    Could be a two-for. Not selling as they should and posture at the same time…

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  5. I’d take a guess that they weren’t competing/selling well. Colt AR’s last I checked were about $1000. You can build them today for $300, there are many quality complete rifles for under $500. I have a CHF barrel made by FN to the same spec as the M240, I got it from PSA.

    There’s always the traditionalist though that will say, it’s garbage compared to a Colt. Because Colt has/had the government contract for M-16. That’s bullshit, I forget all the names ATM, but parts are parts. They don’t function better because one guy put them together, even though the same manufacturer made them.

    There is however, a lot of garbage out there. IF, you’re a serious user. Most of it will be fine for someone recreationally using it.

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  6. Does anyone here think lefties will realize that an AR-15 and an M4 are not the same. How about the AR-10, maybe they’ll ban the AR-7?

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  7. In the 90s I bought a Sporter II. It had a brake, it was the most accurate rifle I ever used with iron sights. Brought it to qualify when I was in the Army, hit 50/50 on silhouettes at 250 yards 3 years running. Sold it for 3 times what I paid for it when they were banned. Wish I hadn’t.

    There were others like it but that one was mine. 🙁

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  8. They never fully recovered from putting all their eggs in the military basket and then tried to come back to the civilian market. Believe they can devote all their production to the current orders from military and still sell out of what’s left for the retail market.

    On still another site here’s one from the 11th…
    Lots of comments (some good) if you can wade through or ignore the “union” argument.
    https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/colt-halts-sales-of-long-guns-to-the-retail-market/

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  9. AR market is oversaturated, they won’t be missed. Unless they bring back the entire line of “snake revolvers” they’ll just file bankruptcy…again.

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  10. More cost-efficiency than political, I’d say.
    No doubt they will get kudos from those who would never be customers, but I don’t see how it equates to dollars.
    Meanwhile, collections just took a leap in value..

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  11. Mil spec is mil spec. Funny thing is Colt does a lot of finish machining on other manufacturer’s AR uppers and lowers. So much competition out there, you’d really have to be a Colt fan boy to spend the extra $ for their ARs.

    I agree with Old_Oaks, PSA has great products and prices. Their stated goal is to put as many ARs into as many American homes as possible.

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  12. Colt has had quality problems on everything BUT their SAA. Last week a gun shop we know sent me a jpeg of a Colt plane jane Government model with the rear sight half way driven into the dove tail, and back ass wards. Pythons are nail driving beautiful guns. But they’re safe queens. Shoot about 1000 hot rounds through it and the head spacing goes to shit. Ask any reputable gun smith. Colts been trying to go out of business for a long time. Anybody own any of their Bolt Guns or Shot Guns? No. There’s a reason for that. They’re stupid. Having said all that, eliminating ARs from the civilian market makes sense. They are at a bad price point for one thing. 1K plus for a forged gun is stupid. Right now the market is divided between M&P buyers, and guys looking for a quality nail driver. The idea your going to build a quality weapon for $350.00 is ridiculous. That’ll cover a quality BCG and a Green Mountain Barrel. Back on subject, the market is Concealed Carry Pistols. That’s what’s selling. Like hot cakes. I hope they get their shit together and tighten up the QC and start producing some quality hand guns.
    Also I believe Remington has the military contract for M4’s and variants. Correct me if someone knows better. But I’m certainly not ware of any major contract Colt has with supplying the military with any type of aluminum framed modular weapon. My .50 cent worth.

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  13. I shoot and associate with many others who own guns. I only know 2 people who own anything from Colt and both are decades-old items. In conversation about firearms, no one ever talks about desiring to purchase a Colt product, but always something else from a number of fine manufacturers. Come to think of it, Colt has never been a consideration in any of my various purchases for concealed carry or home defense.

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  14. With all of the ARs on the market, why does Colt’s cost $1,000 more?

    Why does every Colt cost over $1,000 no matter if it’s a rifle or a handgun?

    They have made mistake after mistake. From outrageous debt levels to going in whole hog on “smart guns”. Then a bunch of government contracts switched to Glock.

    I hear this and think of Walmart exiting rifle sales and ammo. Hell, for the last few years I couldn’t even find anybody in their sporting goods section to even buy a fishing license. It’s just an excuse.

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  15. Cliche Guevara
    Colts a Near Net Shape Weapon. Forged. The poor machinist needs to tool/locate off of designated tooling points on said hunk of crap. Which vary widely. At least plus or minus .015. That’s a big deal when your trying to hold plus or minus .001 on feature size. Why would location not be just as important? It should be. How symmetrical is that upper in relationship to the tabs with the take down holes in them? Is that even inspected.
    MilSpec acceptance of AR rifles. In a lot of 100 guns QA is required to disassemble all 100 guns and mix parts 5 times. Each time every gun must function. Yea, that means they build them looser than shit.

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  16. With all the other makes, who cares, dumb move.

    Does anyone remember the Colt 2000 Handgun from the 90’s?

    That was a total piece of shit handgun. Total embarrassment compared to my sentimental favourite 1911.

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  17. You will read a LOT about Colt AR15s being overpriced and overrated in the next few days. When I ran the retail counter at one of the largest gun shops in the region, right behind the counter I had a wooden case with glass front and a pair of hip boots inside and the sign on it said: In case of emergency break glass.

    Basically, the bullshit comes fast and deep and particularly so when the topic is AR platform firearms.

    I can tell you this much about Colt’s AR15 rifles – my buddy and I showed up at a bid high power match at Machias with a brand new pair of Colt Competition H-bar rifles and took first and third that day shooting against bigmouths who ran down the quality of Colt rifles and mocked us for purchasing them.

    The booger eating morons don’t know what they are talking about. As for Colt and it making screwy decisions regarding AR sales, that I can criticize them for.

    My buddy still has his Comp H-bar and another buddy of mine has mine and these two rifles were purchased ~ 1991 and have been shot a lot and are still GTG against anything anyone shows up at a match with. Actually they were both mine at one time, I bought the first one and then sold it to my buddy and bought the second one.

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  18. JDHasty

    Normally agree with everything you type. But facts are facts. Imagine what you and your pal could have doe with a quality rifle. There’s a reason no top three gun shooters use a forged gun. Back to the near net shaped reality.

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  19. @ Lunatic Fringe September 18, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    “Anybody own any of their Bolt Guns or Shot Guns? No. There’s a reason for that. They’re stupid.”

    Colt Coltsman were semi-custom rifles built on FN Mauser or Sako actions. I have heard them referred to as a lot of things, but never stupid.

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  20. We were shooting Garands and M14s back then and others had started shooting high power with ARs when we decided to try the AR. There is little or nothing to be gained from using receivers machined from a billet as opposed to from a forging and a lot to be lost.

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  21. JDHasty
    And yet they continue to go broke. Were they not ready to file for BR last year? Yes they were. That’s stupid. Put this in perspective. If they would have made the move into other weapons in the 80’s they would currently be a power house. Browning is kicking ass. Yes? No? Honestly my friend, the heart and soul of their issues are design and quality control.
    Most accurate hand gun I ever owned was a Python. A nail driving son of a bitch. But every year the cylinder would flop around like an out of water carp. It was inherent in the design. Colt could be saved. But not by current management.

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  22. ” There is little or nothing to be gained from using receivers machined from a billet as opposed to from a forging and a lot to be lost.”
    That’s Bull Shit Pal. I machine high tolerance billet receiver out of 7075 t751 plate on a High precision Mori Seki Horizontal machining center in a propitiatory manner which insures perpendicularity of both receivers within .0005. Centerline within .0002. Perpendicularity of barrel nut threads and mounting surfaces within .0002. In short GD&T within .001. Your gonna compare that shit to a gun that if you shake by the barrel sounds like a Morocco? You officially have no clue. By the way, you need to pound the take down pins out of my receivers with a brass punch. Nothing like zeroing in on the 600 yard shot and have the upper shift right before you send it. get off the drugs. I’m sorry but you just jumped the shark.

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  23. Tight fit between an AR upper and lower receiver effect on accuracy is primarily psychological. My own testing was consistent with results reported by G David Tubb in his experimentation. YMMV, but that is good enough for me.

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  24. Colt is going after the carry market?
    I’m an admirer of classic cars, firearms, instruments, etc, but if you’re carrying a pistol for protection, it’s all about function, not form or style. For me, that led to Glock. I thought they were too ugly to even consider at first, then, after about 2000 rounds without a jam, that thing became beautiful to me. Meanwhile, my shooting buddies were jamming up about every 100 or so rounds. They were better shooters, many with 1911 type pistols, red dots and mag well extensions. I just wanted to get good on my carry gun.

    I’m not implying the 1911 is prone to jamming. I don’t know. These were race guns, so it’s different. I just see the 1911 as great when it came out and for many years, but Glock has taken over the pistol market by earning their place.

    GL❤️CK

  25. From casual observation my inclination is that individuals who are all wrapped up in the fit between the upper and lower receiver frequently are not paying as much attention to other things that have a documented effect on accuracy.

    I’m good with Aero Precision receivers. They are local and their quality is consistent. There may be a bit of play, but nothing such as what you are describing. I’m wondering where you are finding receivers of the substandard quality you are used to seeing? I have seen some pretty junky ARs from shady manufacturers over the years, and a few from the industry leaders that were obviously screwed up, but they are the exceptions.

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  26. JDHasty

    And yet I’ve sold AR 10 Matched sets to a ton of Silhouette shooters in Nor Cal who claim they notice a huge difference in accuracy. Just asking, are you shooting at 50 or 100?

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  27. Good! Now, my unfired, NIB (new in box) Colt H-BAR Target model AR will triple in price and I can rape some idiot Colt fanboy who just has to have it. Thanks Colt! I raped the guy who sold it to me because his wife wanted to put their kids in private school and demanded he raise the money quickly.

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  28. Trigger & Barrel baby. That is where accuracy lives on an AR. The details in how the assembly is done are important and quality of your parts groups will affect their function and durability of the gun. Not to mention how easy it goes together.

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  29. My point was that you are going to see and hear a lot of people running down the quality of Colt AR’s. Don’t buy it, in their market niche the various Colts are as good as any and better than most. Their business moves are what has landed them in financial trouble and they have been there most of the last few decades.

    Of course you can look at exotic AR’s that outperform them, but at a cost many times higher.

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  30. This is not the first time Colt has made an exit from the civilian market. They did so 15-20 yrs ago. It was a political thing then and it is a political thing now. Colt quality has sometimes been in question, but the name has been collectible for years. Methinks this is posturing to the “right kind of people”, crowd.

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  31. They used non standard takedown pin sizes and trigger and hammer pin sizes back in the 1990’s which frustrated interchangeability of parts and they also were all to ready to react to the political winds of the day. They have done a lot in that regard over the years to drive off potential customers.

    Comparing oranges to oranges and apples to apples their AR offerings are of as good or better than any and better than most. Their prices when comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges are higher than most, but not all.

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