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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