Colt has announced that they are exiting the consumer AR-15 market because it is far too saturated with ARs:
THE HILL – Gun manufacturer Colt announced Thursday that it will no longer produce and sell rifles such as the AR-15 for personal use.
Colt President and CEO Dennis Veilleux said in a statement that the company’s “significant” law enforcement and military contracts “are absorbing all of Colt’s manufacturing capacity for rifles.”
Colt is saying this is about the market, not about gun control politics:
He said that “the market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity.”
“Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future,” he added.
He also stressed the company’s commitment to consumer markets and gun rights, saying the company would continue to produce “expanding lines of the finest quality 1911s and revolvers.”
“We believe it is good sense to follow consumer demand and to adjust as market dynamics change,” he said. “Colt has been a stout supporter of the Second Amendment for over 180 years, remains so, and will continue to provide its customers with the finest quality firearms in the world.”
According to Guns.com:
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.
I don’t know a lot about the manufacturing of modern sporting rifles, but a quick flip through a catalogue and you’ll see plenty of ARs that are quite a bit cheaper than Colt’s M4 Carbine. It sounds like they are simply having trouble competing in the market given their reportedly high-end manufacturing process.
That said, I can’t help but wonder if there’s an aspect of gun control involved in their decision.