AP story this morning...


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SaxonPig
May 29, 2011, 09:52 AM
The US military is looking for a new rifle. Colt has been supplying the M4 version of the M16 for over a decade but now the bidding will be open to other manufacturers. I think one reason Colt has pretty much withdrawn from the civilian gun market is that with the military arms contract it didn't need to bother with us pesky retail buyers. They were making a fine profit from the government sales.

Soooo... if Colt loses the deal on Army rifles and the revenue from Uncle Sugar, think this will prompt the company into rethinking its position on not producing guns for the the civilian market? Could the loss of the federal contract sweetness lead to the restarting of the machinery over on the handgun production line that has grown cold over the years? Might Colt find itself in need of some Python and Diamondback sales to keep stockholders happy?

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EddieNFL
May 29, 2011, 10:24 AM
I perfectly happy with my AR and 1911 "clones." Karma.

statelineblues
May 29, 2011, 10:52 AM
From Colt's own website:
Despite Colt’s storied history, we know that our legacy for the 21st Century will rest on our continuing responsiveness to customer needs and the same inventiveness, innovation and commitment to quality and excellence that made Colt firearms famous 150 years ago. Accordingly, while we continue to offer classic model Colt pistols, we are proud to offer new pistol models designed to meet all the needs and to exceed the highest expectations of the most demanding customers.

Colt has never really been known for R&D and innovation - they tend to build one model then tweak it and sell the "variations" (i.e. - 1911 Government Model, then the Commander, the Officer's Model, Gold Cup, etc). Most of their most famous firearms were designs purchased from the original creators.

The only rifle they have currently is the AR-15 platform - it's been decades since they put out a bolt action (the last was a colaberation with Sauer in the 1980s, IIRC).

If they lose the .gov contract, I doubt they have the wearwithall to survive. The brand name will continue, but the actual firearms manufacturing were probably disappear.

22-rimfire
May 29, 2011, 10:53 AM
I hope they have contigency plans in place. Bit I am not hopeful. It is a tough business.

Carl N. Brown
May 29, 2011, 11:02 AM
Hasn't Remington established itself in the sporting market for AR rifles while Colt focussed on military contracts? (Don't have my fingers on any pulses, just my impression.)

In WWI Marlin focussed on military contracts as Marlin-Rockwell, and ended up on the auction block in the 1920s once the military contracts were over.

For a major gunmaker to concentrate on military contracts, and ignore or slight the civilian sport, self-defense and police markets is a mistake that has been repeated over and over.

Onmilo
May 29, 2011, 11:04 AM
Put all your eggs in one basket,,,

Rollis R. Karvellis
May 29, 2011, 11:18 AM
A blue and wood Python, would be nice for the collection.

buck460XVR
May 29, 2011, 11:27 AM
Might Colt find itself in need of some Python and Diamondback sales to keep stockholders happy?

Since the craftsmen are gone, the machinery is either gone or outdated and the massive expense of investing in modern equipment to produce a low volume product to sell at a cost that is prohibitive to most potential customers, I think not. Wishful thinking maybe, but even if they did reintroduce them, they would never be the guns they were. I think this scenario is more likely.........





If they lose the .gov contract, I doubt they have the wearwithall to survive. The brand name will continue, but the actual firearms manufacturing were probably disappear.

Since Colt just redid their equipment for producing their 1911s and they are selling well, I see that continuing till the demand falls or the equipment fails. This may be with the company as we know it now or after the name is bought by a investment conglomerate. Anything not profitable for the stockholders will be dropped.......this includes the great customer service Colt is known for.

avs11054
May 29, 2011, 11:30 AM
What is wrong with the rifles they've issued to the military that cause the military to want to switch guns? That was my biggest question from reading the article.

SaxonPig
May 29, 2011, 12:28 PM
What was wrong with the Garand in 1954? Or the M14 in 1962? Progress demands innovation and superior models come along making the old ones obsolete. I am hearing renewed complaints regarding the the M16 (M4... same thing) and the 5.56mm cartridge. I suspect the next Army rifle will be in a larger caliber. Maybe a 6x45?

Owen Sparks
May 29, 2011, 12:39 PM
Are they looking for a new rifle or just a new supplier?

crm7290
May 29, 2011, 01:03 PM
They want what's cheapest so they reup the contract every now and then is my guess

Cryogaijin
May 29, 2011, 01:31 PM
New rifle one can hope.

PokeyOkie
May 29, 2011, 01:43 PM
It's more than just what's cheap. Government contracts are limited in scope & duration. Federal law requires them to recompete regularly to get the best value. They can select a more expensive gun if it's more durable or reliable. If you want to see where our tax dollars go, check out fedbizopps.gov. a search there will tell if it's the same gun or something new.

Kliegl
May 29, 2011, 02:10 PM
I own a Colt LE model AR-15 and am quite happy with it. I also added that slide-fire stock, and that's even more fun.

68wj
May 29, 2011, 02:18 PM
I hope they have contigency plans in place. Bit I am not hopeful. It is a tough business.
They do. http://www.defensereview.com/dr-exclusive-scar-who-meet-the-colt-cm901-modular-multi-caliber-7-62mm-nato5-56mm-nato-battle-carbinesbrrifle-for-u-s-military-special-operations-forces-sof-and-general-infantry-forces-gif/

pikid89
May 29, 2011, 02:19 PM
i dont think colt makes all their guns anyway...my cousin just got back from afghanistan with the marines and he said his m16 was made by FN

Doxiedad
May 29, 2011, 10:10 PM
I'm all for our fighting men and women having the best possible weapons with which to defend themselves. If Colt can no longer provide that then the armed services need to find a rifle/supplier that can.

Unistat
May 29, 2011, 10:21 PM
i dont think colt makes all their guns anyway...my cousin just got back from afghanistan with the marines and he said his m16 was made by FN
Yep.

What Colt has is the Technical Data Package, which is the "Spec" in "Mil-Spec." Colt owns it and it is copywritten (or trademarked or patented or whatever) information. Only Colt can make a truly "Mil-Spec" rifle because only Colt really knows what that means.

Except a couple of years ago, the DoD told Colt, "Show the data to FN so they can make us some rifles."

Kaeto
May 29, 2011, 11:24 PM
Actually the specs are given to the manufacturer by the govt. And the manufacturer has to make the product to that spec or it don't get bought.

HorseSoldier
May 29, 2011, 11:32 PM
Actually the specs are given to the manufacturer by the govt. And the manufacturer has to make the product to that spec or it don't get bought.

+1.

In the 90s, FN underbid Colt on the contract to produce M16s for the military, and started cranking them out of their factory in South Carolina. Colt was basically tossed the bone of the then-minor M4 contract to keep them from tanking at the time. They got lucky that the M4 subsequently went on to become the preferred US Army standard, but that wasn't the plan or intent when the contract was given to the Colt.

What was wrong with the Garand in 1954? Or the M14 in 1962? Progress demands innovation and superior models come along making the old ones obsolete. I am hearing renewed complaints regarding the the M16 (M4... same thing) and the 5.56mm cartridge. I suspect the next Army rifle will be in a larger caliber. Maybe a 6x45?

The contract parameters are such that while a new caliber could be submitted, it is effectively discouraged, so don't expect to see anything but 5.56x45. Actually, I'll be surprised if anything out there beats the M4 under the released parameters, since cost effectiveness is the primary consideration. The whole thing will ultimately prove to be squandered and wasted tax payer money, like Big Army's attempt to replace the M9 several years back, etc.

Unistat
May 29, 2011, 11:34 PM
Actually the specs are given to the manufacturer by the govt. And the manufacturer has to make the product to that spec or it don't get bought.
The TDP is owned by Colt (sort of.) The TDP is all of the information required to manufacture the rifle to the Government specifications. Colt owns the TDP, but apparently the Gov can give it to anyone they want if they pay Colt a royalty.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=251061

And

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2009/07/09/colts-exclusive-m4-production-right-ends/

Kaeto
May 30, 2011, 11:18 AM
Or not pay a royalty like the govt. did with the jeep. The Bantam Motor Car Co. came up with the design beating out Ford and Willys in the procurement. And then the govt. decided Bantam wasn't big enough to produce the numbers needed so they gave Bantams design to Ford and Willys. As a bone to Bantam the govt. let them build the small trailer that was often towed behind jeeps.

Heretic
May 30, 2011, 01:36 PM
All the parts in my AR are mil-spec, improved by hand fitting. Nothing was made by Colt.
Mil-spec has to do with things like materials/hardness/durability/etc, not who makes it.

If uncle changes rifles/ammo, I hope they have the sense to go back to a .30 cal.

If Colt goes back to civilian sales, don't be surprised if it's just the nameplate on a chinese gun.

Owen Sparks
May 30, 2011, 01:51 PM
Hasn't the patent on the M-16/AR-15 design expired by now? Everybody and their brother makes one just like they all make a version of the 100 year old 1911 design which is now in the public domain.

Shear_stress
May 30, 2011, 01:59 PM
If Colt goes back to civilian sales, don't be surprised if it's just the nameplate on a chinese gun.

Colt never stopped civilian sales of their rifles and, unless China has annexed Connecticut, the guns are still made in the U.S. Chinese-made rifles couldn't be imported anyway.

Ala Dan
May 30, 2011, 02:37 PM
I've got a Colt CAR-15, and a Rock River Operator Elite LAR-15 :cool: ;)

Sam Cade
May 30, 2011, 04:17 PM
Hasn't Remington established itself in the sporting market for AR rifles while Colt focused on military contracts?


Remington is part of The Freedom Group which also includes DPMS and Bushmaster.

Bushmaster moved production to the Remington facility in Ilion, NY.

Owen Sparks
May 30, 2011, 06:36 PM
After shooting the 6.8 round out of the standard AR platform for a couple of years now I am convinced that the 5.56 should be retired.

JohnBiltz
May 30, 2011, 07:02 PM
It still comes down to weight. 6.5 weighs about 40 pounds for a thousand rounds and 6.8 probably about the same. 7.62 around 60 pounds per thousand and 5.56 around 26 pounds. I don't see 5.56 going anywhere. What we might see if anything, is 6.5 replacing 7.62 in medium machine guns. Not my idea, but it makes a lot of sense. Quite frankly the fact that M4s instead of M16s being used in Afghanistan makes me think the Army is not that upset about the range limitations of the current M4s.

jiminhobesound
May 30, 2011, 09:10 PM
Maybe one should buy all of the Colts, non military, they can.

daorhgih
May 30, 2011, 09:19 PM
In a multi-task, multi-cal, folding-into-brief-case-size, bull-pup Glock. The competition is open. Built-in grenade launcher, and invisible to x-ray - no, wait ... it already is, isn't it?

S.W.G.
May 30, 2011, 10:23 PM
In a multi-task, multi-cal, folding-into-brief-case-size, bull-pup Glock. The competition is open. Built-in grenade launcher.

With laser sights and a 150 round drum magazine!

And a compartment that holds ration heaters for your Tactical Sammich!:p

Single Action Six
May 31, 2011, 05:54 AM
Bought my Colt Python with a 2 1/2" barrel in the pre-67 GCA. Same with my Beretta 70S in 22 LR.

Single Action Six

SSN Vet
May 31, 2011, 03:33 PM
No expert here,but...

I believe Colt changed just enough of the details with the M4 (double heat shield hand gaurd, etc...) that they were able to re-up the patents.

The M4 patents expired a year or so ago and now Colt has to compete with all the others.... of whom, FN is the most serious contender.

And don't think it won't come down to who's greasing the right palms.... as in slimy politicos who put their own fortunes above our troops.

Ruger44mag
May 31, 2011, 05:52 PM
Can someone point me to the article about this?

Zoogster
May 31, 2011, 08:01 PM
These things often have to do with money.

Some senator wants the gun made from a certain location that will bring in all the money from the contract to that location in order for them to vote certain ways in various votes.



The patents on the m16/m4 are largely expired. So there is a big opening for a lot of monopolized profit if someone can get their patented design used by the military.

Of course once the military starts playing with various designs, realizes the minimal improvements, using the same caliber, at much greater expense, they scrap the idea and stick with the AR.
At least that has been the result the last few times they looked.
The AR is acceptably accurate, uses a round light enough to allow soldiers to carry a lot and fire more, and is inexpensive. They know it holds up well enough and performs, and know what the problems on it are so they have no fears of unexpected issues on the battlefield.


Owen Sparks said: After shooting the 6.8 round out of the standard AR platform for a couple of years now I am convinced that the 5.56 should be retired.


Heretic said:
If uncle changes rifles/ammo, I hope they have the sense to go back to a .30 cal.

Larger cartridges from more accurate rifles might make sense if battles were being fought and won primarily with rifles, but more rounds fired down range keeps the enemy down while support weapons chop them up, artillery and air power is called in, and other resources are brought to bear.
The rifleman's job is not to kill the enemy in larger engagements as much as it is to keep them occupied while something else kills them.
The individual grunts sent in to attract them and engage might not feel that way, but that is how they are typically used.

The sooner they run low on ammo the sooner they cease to pin down the enemy with an overwhelming number of rounds in the air. They might not kill the enemy effectively with individual rounds at moderate ranges, but they keep them in a fixed position.
The longer they can keep shooting the longer the enemy has to stay put, in a game where staying still too long means certain death.
While at close ranges like when clearing an enclosed area the round hits hard enough, fragments and still has enough power for the fragments to individually penetrate enough, and is more effective.
(Of course it is also not the only rifle on the field, there is rifles that deliver more devastating individual shots fielded, the AR is just the most numerous.)

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