On June 14, Colt Defense LLC announced it was entering Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection after a year of ups and downs which were mostly downs, financially. But as last week came to a close Colt had another announcement to make–they had secured a $212 million contract for M4 rifles with Department of Defense.
Colt’s exact share of the $212 million is not publicly known, as they share a contract with renowned firearm manufacturer FN America.
Here is the DOD announcement of the contract:
Colt Defense LLC, West Hartford, Connecticut (15QKN-15-D-0102); and FN America LLC, Columbia, South Carolina (W15QKN-15-D-0072), were awarded a $212,000,000 firm-fixed-price multi-year contract for M4 and M4A1 carbines for the Army and others, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 24, 2020. Bids were solicited via the Internet with six received. Funding and work location will be determined with each order. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.
In November 2014, Breitbart News reported that Colt was then in trouble and could face default by year’s end. The Wall Street Journal later reported that Colt barely survived 2014 by “[borrowing] $70 million from Morgan Stanley… to pay interest on its bonds, and in February  it warned it might not have enough cash to make an interest payment by a June 15, 2015, deadline.” Then in June 2015, Breitbart News reported that Colt was entering Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection and looking to sell operations, or portions of operations, in the U.S. and Canada to pay off $355 million in debts.
Colt lost the contract to supply M4 rifles to the military in 2013. Speculation regarding the reasons behind Colt’s financial woes centered on that contract; a contract which many believe kept Colt focused on making the same guns they’ve made for years instead of innovating to make light, concealable handguns for the burgeoning private market.
Colt also fell out of favor with a large swath of gun owners when company CEO Ronald L. Stewart came out in support of gun control in the late 1990s.
On July 13, 1998, Philly.com reported that Stewart was “[advocating] a comprehensive federal firearms law, including the creation of a federal gun permit. And he [wanted] gun owners to be licensed, tested and subjected to mandatory safety training.”
Amid the backlash for saying these things, Stewart added:
I’m trying to address the question of how do you operate the gun safely so that you don’t injure somebody. It doesn’t make sense to stake out a position that is perceived by the public to be anti-safety….I’m not a gun nut, I’m not even a member of the NRA.