Colt Reportedly to Stop Making Rifles for Consumer Market

Colt Reportedly to Stop Making Rifles for Consumer Market

Colt’s AR series is by far the company’s most enduring rifle platform over the centuries. (Photo: Chris Eger/


Connecticut-based Colt Firearms last week reportedly signaled they are exiting the consumer rifle market in coming days.

The company, originally founded in 1855 by inventor Samuel Colt to make handguns, will stop making rifles for retail sales channels. The news came from The Truth About Guns who confirmed it with Paul Spitale, senior VP of Colt’s commercial business line and was verified by Shooting Illustrated.

“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.

According to records from the ATF for 2017, the most current available, Colt produced some 31,987 pistols and 7,342 revolvers at their West Hartford, Connecticut factory that year. This compares with 13,942 rifles, of which 2,097 were exported. Since 2017, the company has been aggressively expanding its long-dormant revolver line, introducing several Cobra and King Cobra wheel guns, to an eager audience.

Historically, Colt has been perhaps best known for handguns, but rifles have never been absent from their catalog for long. At the same time, their famous black powder revolvers were making the company a household name, Colt was also producing Ring Lever and Revolving carbines and muskets.

By the end of the 19th Century, their Lightning series of pump-action rifles were extremely popular among shooting galleries and in the hands of sportsmen across the world. Fast forward to the 1950s and the company began marketing bolt-action hunting rifles such as their Alaskan series as well as a line of semi-auto rimfires like the Stagecoach.

Finally, Colt became a huge driving force in modern sporting rifles with the AR-15, a design acquired from then California-based Armalite in 1959. Colt went on to produce the rifle in select-fire models for military and LE contracts as well as semi-auto consumer versions over the past 70 years.

Current new semi-auto Colt ARs still available as of Monday include the M4 Carbine, Modular Carbine, and retro XM177E2.

Colt M4 Carbine, Magpul SL variant

The Colt M4 Carbine, Magpul SL variant, available from $1,098.90

Colt Modular Carbine

This Certified Used Colt Modular Carbine in the Vault is in .308 but includes the part kit to convert the receiver to accept an AR-15 upper and run .223.

Colt's XM177E2 Retro Reissue

Colt’s XM177E2 Retro Reissue is a historically accurate throwback to the original XM177E2 Carbine including CAR15 style handguards, a non-NFA XM177 moderator style flash suppressor and US Government Property markings.


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