Colt Ends Production of AR-15 for Consumer Market

Colt Expanse M4 Carbine Upper Receiver
Colt Expanse M4 Carbine Upper Receiver

U.S.A.-( Colt has produced the AR-15 for the civilian market since 1963 with the “Model R6000 Colt AR-15 SP1 Sporter Rifle”, but that is set to change. Colt announced today that they would no longer be selling or producing the modern sporting rifle to anyone outside law enforcement and the military.

Dennis Veilleux, President, and Chief Executive Officer, of Colt announced on the company’s website that they are leaving the rifle market completely for civilian sales. He reiterated the firearms giant’s commitment to the Second Amendment.

Rumors have been swirling about Colt stopping the sale of AR-15s to the general population for several weeks, but the company refused to comment. Colt said the decision to release a statement was due to misinformation that journalist was printing in their articles. The original information came from a leaked email to the firearms distributor, RSR Group.

Colt stated their reasoning is that there is “adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future.” Colts were at one point the gold standard for AR-15 lovers for years. In recent years there has been an influx of new companies making AR-15s. Colt’s patents of the firearm expired in 1977.

Veilleux highlighted the continuing demand from law enforcement and the military for their rifles. He stated that the high-volume contracts would be absorbing all of Colt’s capacity for producing rifles.

The company did reaffirm their commitment to the civilian market in the form of revolvers and 1911s. Colt retail side of the company will be concentrating on the handgun market as there is a high demand for their 1911s and their revolvers like the Colt Cobra.

Veilleux stated that it is “good sense to follow consumer demand and to adjust as market dynamics change.”

Some gun owners are upset with these changes. They see this as Colt bowing to pressure from outside groups. Other gun owners have said that they think that Colt is getting out of the AR-15 market to avoid lawsuits like the one Remington has experienced. There is no evidence that Colt has bowed to pressure or getting out of the market to avoid lawsuits.

The families of some Sandy Hook victims have filed suit against Remington. The gun company produces the popular Bushmaster rifle, which was the brand of modern sporting rifle that the murderer used in the Sandy Hook shootings. Remington has asked the Supreme Court to take on the lawsuit.

In 2015 the company filed for bankruptcy and reemerged the following year after being restructured. According to the senior vice president for commercial business, Paul Spitale, the company used customer feedback and market trends in their decision to cut the AR-15 from their civilian lineup.

“We listen to our customers,” Spitale told Shooting Illustrated “The whole basis for our reorganization was consumer feedback.”

Discount AR-15s have inundated the market. It is now possible for buyers to purchase an AR-15 for under $400 from retailers such as Palmetto State Armory.

Colt has not ruled out returning to the modern sporting rifle market in the future if conditions change.

About John CrumpJohn Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at

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So what! Colt is no better than 99% of other manufacturers and, they cost more. They aren’t even the best anymore. So, what difference does this make? See ya Colt!


The beginning of the end… I wonder which company is next…

Charlie Foxtrot

Ever heard of the Trump slump? The firearms industry was hurting in 2017 and 2018, when no-one was panic buying overpriced firearms, magazines and ammo. Good businesses adjust to the market and survive. Colt was already bankrupt in 2015, when we had the biggest gun salesman in US history as President. AR-15s have never been this cheap and of this high quality than today. As I sated below, you can buy a PSA AR-15 that works for $350! You can buy a Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II that makes it through a high-round training class without hiccups for $500.… Read more »

Wild Bill

@Gomez, Remmy!


The only thing I care about here is the way the anti maroons are crowing about this like it’s a huge victory for them, when in fact it’s strictly a prudent business call by Colt. They can’t compete in the current market.

This does make me wonder though how much the DoD spends for an M4.


THEY ARE FADING FROM THE MARKET. If you attend the SHOT Show you will see they have a much smaller display than years past. Little to nothing new; they put a new sight on a revolver and call it revolutionary. The market (mostly younger folks) is simply passing them by. Their non-existent PR and sales management is really poor anymore. Nothing new, just great old stuff at pretty stiff prices so it’s just same old same old. Just is what it is.


No surprise. The civilian market has competition, and Colt doesn’t want to compete with the lower prices but still fine quality that others are willing to offer there. As is so often the case, Colt retreats to government contracts, where the price can be kept higher because taxpayers have endless resources to tap through that venue. What people won’t pay by their own free choice and economic wisdom, they customarily pay many times over through the government’s “management” of their confiscated funds.


TRANSLATION: “we’re selling out to the anti-gun, anti-2A crowd, but hey, we’re NOT selling out to the anti-gun, anti-2A crowd. It’s just a market move”. Sure. NO problem.


Colt was a very good gun in the old days and I know what people mean when they say the older models appreciate in price. They have gone the way of other companies when they get too big to exist in the marketplace. Besides, they are made in a not to friendly state which makes them even more vulnerable to law suits.

Old Ch.E.

As long as I can remember they were overpriced. If government bought them in Vietnam era, somebody probably got a pile of money under the table. I prefer DPMS and they have sold to govt, on occasion I believe. Spent 14 years at Lake City and I have seen how the government/military spends or wastes money.

Bob Sadtler

I’m disgusted. You’re either in the market, or you’re not. I distrust absolutely any vendor who plays the “only ones” game.

However, I suppose that this says more about government bureaucrats than it does about Colt. Civilians are abandoning an inferior product in droves, to the point that the retail market collapses. Government, on the other hand, scrambles to overpay for that same inferior product. Government waste at its finest!


You get what you pay for these days unless it is a Colt. That’s been the way it’s been for a LONG time with Colt in general for almost all their products. You pay for the name and the name “ain’t what it used to be” quality-wise any more. The military went to FN for their ARs because the Colts were too expensive and did NOT maintain the quality needed. Historically, Colt was one of the greatest movers of this nation, but that was and is history. They cannot compete any more based solely upon the past.


Another virtue-signaling move by the company that brought us under-sized hammer & trigger pins to reduce the possibility of civilians putting military parts in their neutered Colt products. Yeah, I stopped buying anything from Colt when they did that little sleight of hand trick, so this latest decision to cease sales to civilians won’t have any effect on me. Nevertheless, I am disgusted by this recent decision from Colt. Hope you go out of business soon, Colt, so I never see your name in print again.


Lanza murdered his mom to steal her guns and somehow the manufacturer is to blame?…go figure,


That’s modern liberalism for ya


I would wait. By waiting I mean possibly a year or so. In not too long a period you may get way more than you ever dreamed of.


This is not a big deal nor a startling revelation. The majority of Colt sales, for quite some time has been to military and LE. They won’t lose one dime. What it will do, unfortunately, is drive up the price, even further, on existing Colt AR’s, by those who feel that they just HAVE to have a Colt. In reality there are so many AR manufacturers out there currently, and the prices are so low, they have almost become the proverbial “dime a dozen” gun. Okay, I said almost, but when you have a dealer selling a “Beto” special AR… Read more »


Leave it in the box and watch the market. I think in a short few years after all the residual inventory is gone, you will see the price climb.


On the contrary! Keep it a while – if history repeats, the value will go through the roof! Look at the difference between what a Python cost when they were in production and now…. a pristine in the box one goes for as much as $2500 or more. I had one back in the mid-70s and it only cost about a tenth of that. Resist the urge to sell now. Put her back in the safe.



Ryben Flynn

Did Colt forget what happened the last time they listened to the anti-gunners?
No more AR15s for We The People and Colt might just go completely under.
Not that I would buy one, they’re just too expensive.


They are more expensive than most. Thus, a decline in demand for the Colts is what is driving this move. They would be stupid not to curtail production for civilians, particularly when there is such a high demand from law enforcement.


This really is no big deal. It’s not a capitulation by Colt to the gun-control mob, but the reality of the marketplace: there is a very, very healthy market for the AR platform with dozens, if not hundreds, of suppliers – many of them offering a superior product. It’s no secret that Colt has struggled to survive in recent years, and trying to stay in a particular segment of the firearms market where they can no longer dominate is likely a money-loser for them.

Green Mtn. Boy

Correct,at this point as far as manufacturing they are mainly selling their historical name,it’s proffit is from licensing fees

moe mensale

I’ll agree with that. Apparently not many here have read the actual press release linked in the article. There’s nothing in their news release stating they are ceasing all civilian rifle production and sales forever more and pulling out of the civilian market. They’re responding to supply & demand. Anyone who buys Colts civilian rifles understands this. They don’t continuously produce given models 24/7/365. They produce specific models in batches. It could be many months or even over a year before model X shows up again on the assembly line. Their military and LE production works differently based on contracts.… Read more »

45 is my other auto

Who buys colt rifles anymore anyway? Not the king of anything anymore. Very sad how the company has failed in many aspects in the last decade.

Green Mtn. Boy

Historically since it’s inception,time and time again.


Not going to hurt anything.


They are free to do whatever they wish. No skin off my nose.


I don’t usually post on anything, but this is sh$t. I lost all of respect for Colt when they did the same thing at early 2000. At that time they decide stop selling to the public. I was hoping to get a Python. They thought military and police contracts would be their bread and butter. Guess what, they got nothing. Then they change their mind and start to sell to the public. A few years ago they filed for bankruptcy or close to it. They wanted their state to bill them out. I don’t remember if that bankruptcy was the… Read more »


Colt’s history has been high quality firearms and incompetent management, not to mention ongoing cost control issues thanks to a union labor force. Bad management and excessive labor cost…that’s two strikes. They gave up on the possibility of bringing back the Python, thanks to a shortage of capable people. Still, if I had the extra cash, I’d try and track down one of their M16A2 replica rifles.

Wild Bill

@Bowser, When Colt misread their customers and stopped making the single action pistols, a company called US Fire Arms, bought Colt’s equipment, rented Colt’s factory, and proceeded to put out better, more accurate, and tighter tolerance single action handguns than Colt ever did. USFA made a bundle, and their single action pistols are highly prized, today.
The management geniuses at Colt created an opportunity for Bill Ruger, too. And we all know how that turned out.


Wild Bill, yes I am thankful to Colt for giving Ruger that opportunity. Wish I had bought a USFA handgun back then.

Wild Bill

@ras, no you did the right thing. I have a USFA that is to expensive to shoot, and hangs on the wall. I shoot my Single Six and my Blackhawk, every week.


Wild Bill, yes if I had bought USFA it would have been shot a lot. My .45 BH convertible is fired a few times just about every day. Way back the Mod. 28 .357 was my workhorse, now days the Blackhawk .45 pulls the load.


Well, that’s fine, but look at what the value of an unfired Python is now vs. when they were in production. The same goes for any other older, out of production Colt going back to their guns made in the 1800s. Anyone that currently has a Colt AR ought to put it in the back of the safe as an insurance policy of sorts – if the history of Colt values holds, you might just have a valuable investment right there.


Could care less about Colt! They pulled this once or twice before. They have been very close to bankruptcy at least twice and has been over priced for a 100 years. Farewell suckers. There are cheaper, better made AR-15s on every corner. You’re just another company that forsees the banning of civilian rifle and ran first! I hope others will do what I’ve done for years, ignore and NOT BUY Colts!


Sad to see them fold to anti gun pressure but not surprised, they don’t really make anything unique or that other companies are not making better and or cheaper.
I wanted an colt ar in 9mm but would never pony up what they wanted for one.

Charlie Foxtrot

I don’t think they are folding to anti-gun pressure. It is simple market forces. The vast majority of people buy cheap ARs, such as a complete lower for $130 and a complete upper for $220, both from PSA. That’s an AR for $350! The Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II is at $500. In contrast, the Colt 6920 is at $1,000.

Colt also simply can’t compete with high-end manufacturers, such as Daniel Defense and BCM. Having relied on government contracts, Colt simply ignored and did not keep up with the fast moving non-government market and its forces.

Wild Bill

@CF, All those other, smaller companies that did keep up and continue to understand their customers are doing cartwheels across the lawn. I never did like paying a premium price to get a standard firearm with the word Colt roll stamped on it.


I feel the same way. Not only about Colt but, several of the High end Firearms companies. Much of the time you are paying a premium just for the name. This is also true about most High end Merch. Most people purchase High end products simply because of the name. Not really knowing if the product is better or not. It’s more about Look at Me and my expensive new toy/tool/ whatever. Ego often plays higher than need. Keep Your Powder Dry and Your eye on the clock.


100% correct, same exact (MilSpec) product with a higher priced “NAME” stamped on it, there are many other HIGH PRICED NAME (it’s all in the marketing) companies doing the same out there. Billet lower/upper receivers may be a tad higher due to the machining involved. The Colt AR, same as the others with two to three times the price because it is stamped with the rampant COLT… Now a Python, Diamondback, Gold Cup, etc. is a different story.

Charlie Foxtrot

Some of the higher-priced ARs are better/different than just a MilSpec AR, such as BCM and DD rifles.


No, they are and they’re doing it at a very convenient time when they have cover. You really believe that BS story, that there are enough other people making them? What company that is making something for sale thinks like that? None. They want you to buy THEIR products.
I for one think Colt made one of the better ARs but were overpriced. No, I believe they caved. Thank goodness their 1911s are easily bested by many other makers because I’ll never buy one.

Nosh Itsherlock

I think you have the right of it, Bill. They’ve folded to the leftists. Their story is absolute bullshit. It costs them nothing to produce AR’s. Development costs were amortized long ago. They’ve done this before. I’ll never touch a Colt product.

Charlie Foxtrot

It makes no sense for Colt or any other company to sell anything at a loss. Colt management obviously can’t publicly state that they are incompetent, so they came up with that statement. Colt simply can’t compete in the open market because the company ignored it for decades. Colt became complacent with its gov contracts. Now that they are gone, Colt can’t sell its rifles on the open market because they are overpriced for what they are. DD and BCM are more expensive, yet they do sell well. Colt sells at a price range and at a quality level where… Read more »

Wild Bill

@CF, Can’t Colt just make it up on volume? ;- )

Charlie Foxtrot

I think that was their original plan, hence the bankruptcy.