In news that may shock many gun owners, Colt Firearms has indicated that they are going to stop manufacturing and selling AR-15s for the civilian market.
The news was first reported by TTAG, and then confirmed by Colt’s Senior Vice President, Paul Spitale.
The Connecticut-based company is going to focus exclusively on handguns and has already stopped production of all long rifles.
They reported that they had about 160 days of inventory left.
When asked for comment, VP Paul Spitale said:
“We’re going to focus on the products that our consumers are asking for. We’ve expanded our 1911s and our revolver line, and that market has been very positive for us,” Spitale said.
Shooting Illustrated reported that Colt’s rifle line production is occupied, at least for the time being, with outstanding contracts which include orders through police and defense channels.
Colt manufactured more than 31,000 pistols and 7,000 revolvers in 2017—the last year for which data is available.
In addition to those, Cold made nearly 14,000 rifles.
After filing for bankruptcy in 2015 after losing large military contracts in 2013, Colt reemerged in 2016 but has struggled since then.
This move, according to Spitale, is entirely due to economic forces and is not a political decision.
He did say that if economic forces changed, and the demand for their AR-15s returned, Colt would reenter the market.