One of the biggest stories to come out of the NASGW show in New Orleans is that of Hartford, Conn., gunmaker Colt. The company, working its way through bankruptcy, just landed a big chunk of a U.S. M4/M4A1 contract it will share with FN America, which will build its guns in Columbia, S.C. The contract, split between the two, is for $212 million dollars and is good through 2020. Anyone doubt the Army commitment to the M4 platform? It looks like FN received the first batch of orders, and it is unknown how many guns each of the makers will supply out of the total at this time. Colt has also received contracts to supply M4s for U.S. allies through the Department of Defense.
With such a huge government order, one might think Colt would pull back from the commercial market. After all, the company has done it before (and I have written about it before, too). Not under its new management. No American gun company can survive and thrive indefinitely on purely military contacts. There is a new sheriff in town at Colt. That management is firmly and visibly committed to the commercial market. And they showed me some of the proof of that yesterday. Shown here is a Colt Lightweight Commander.
Pairing an aluminum Commander frame with a 4" barrel, the gun is designed to carry. And it includes dual recoil springs as employed on the pistol Colt makes for Marine operators as the M45A1 CQBP. In the words of one Colt executive, a gun guy, "It feels like a full size five-inch when you shoot it." And, yes, those are Novak sights. One of the things I liked most was the stocks. They are retro looking, note the double diamonds, and include the Colt name but are out of a rosewood colored G10. Nice. Note also the cut under the trigger guard. The gun, too, will have a suggested retail price that will surprise you. Production is up in West Hartford, as is morale. Look for more good news ... and new guns from Colt.