Colt firearms announced it would cease its production of the AR-15.
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.
The part above is what the narrative surrounding this story has been. Many are praising this claiming it is some sort of win for Americans. Gun rights enthusiasts were also mad. They also viewed this as another assault on gun rights.
However, an article from Shooting Illustrated debunks this idea.
This news caused many firearm enthusiasts to claim mismanagement on the part of company executives and to claim that Colt hasn’t changed its ways, a reference to popular perception that Colt’s 2015 filing for bankruptcy stemmed from the company’s focus on government contracts at the expense of the consumer market. However, the real story is a simple case of capitalism in action.
“We listen to our customers,” said Paul Spitale, Colt’s senior vice president for commercial business. “The whole basis for our reorganization was consumer feedback.”
Over the last few years, the market for modern sporting rifles has seen a significant decline in demand, leading to some of the lowest prices ever seen for new-in-box AR-15s.
“What’s true today is that the MSR market is much more price-driven,” Spitale said. “We’ve seen a pretty sharp decline in rifle sales, given our price points, resulting in significant inventory build-up held by our distributors.”
Colt considers its business anchored to four foundations of the market: government contracts, law-enforcement sales, international sales, and the retail market. Though the company lost its primary contract for military-issue M16s and M4s in 2013, the company still retains a robust contract base that keeps production going.
In fact, according to Spitale, Colt’s manufacturing capacity for AR-style rifles is currently tied up in producing guns for outstanding contracts. Given this demand and given the lack of demand from the retail side of the market, Colt’s determination to suspend retail production is good business sense. M16s and AR-15s are different rifles, and to tie up production capacity in producing commercial semi-auto-only guns that nobody’s buying at the expense of outstanding military contracts is just bad business.
Meanwhile, Colt is re-focusing its efforts on another segment of the market that has seen increased demand and continues to be a big driver for the company: handguns.
“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.
Considering the popularity of guns like the Cobra, and the recently released King Cobra, along with the company’s staple offerings of 1911s that continue to sell steadily, it’s good sense to follow consumer demand. This is especially true at a time when consumer access to Colt products has never been higher. Colt now stocks products at more than 4,000 dealers across the country.
The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra gave a good synopsis of what is going on as well:
This is pretty misleading
Colt is suspending production of civilian AR-15s because they need to fill orders for the military / police and they have tons of stock for civilians right now
They are going to resume civilian production once they’re caught up with the other orders https://t.co/ckzZHpmYzp
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 19, 2019
I was happy to see this story fleshed out more. I am not shocked that the initial narrative from the Mainstream Press was well wrong. We should also look to how this debunks the left’s narrative on guns. They continue to claim that AR-15’s are weapons of war. Yet Colt is stopping the production of them to focus on Military and Police rifles.
There is a simple way to get Colt back to producing AR-15’s, that is buying AR-15’s from them.
The Palmieri Report is a Pro-America News Outlet founded by Jacob Palmieri two years ago at the age of 19. Since its founding, it has gotten over 200k pages views and over 20k followers. The Palmieri Report is dedicated to debunking the lies spread by the left-wing Mainstream Media.