Army Moves From Colt to Remington M4 Rifles

Colt’s been the US Army’s exclusive supplier of M4 carbines for more than a decade, but Gearscout’s reporting that’s history. “According to the Department of the Army’s Chief of Legislative Liaison, the Army today executed a delivery order on an existing contract to buy 24,000 M4/M4A1s worth $16,163,252.07.” From Remington. The report isn’t clear if it’s a total loss for Colt, but this could ‘splain some stuff. Did Colt smell this coming? Is that why they’ve appeared more interested in the civvy market recently? Does this explain Remington’s relentless punch-’em-back attitude toward NBC lately? They’ll never tell.

48 Responses to Army Moves From Colt to Remington M4 Rifles

  1. avatarSanchanim says:

    That is some interesting news. I wonder what prompted the change? I don’t have numbers but was Remington willing to give a steeper discount perhaps?
    With all the GSA scandal it might have been prompted from that as well.

    • Don’t know what they were paying Colt, but that’s only about $675 a gun. How many milspec rifles could they sell to the public at that price?

    • avatarrosignol says:

      I wonder what prompted the change?

      Remington’s part of the Freedom Group, which is owned by Cerberus, right?

      Cerberus is very well-connected. Google what former VP Quayle is doing these days for details.

      • avatarEric says:

        Or it could just be that the army was sick of paying twice the price. They were so annoyed at the quality of M16s they were getting from Colt that they switched to Fabrique Nationale for production in 1988.

        The contract with Colt to produce the M4 only allowed the Army to begin looking for a possible different manufacturer after 2009. Now they’ve found one that can meet their volume requirements.

        I think it’s a good thing they’ve gotten away from Colt, and a better one that they didn’t go running to FN or H&K yet again.

      • avatarMark N. says:

        Cerebus doesn’t own Freedom Group anymore.

  2. avatarTom says:

    I think I posted about Remington buying enough Gun Manufacturers to get into the Military Business. It should be interesting to see what Colt does. As I remember Colt got out of the Civilian and into the Military Market in a Gun Control Exchange Deal. I really wonder if Colt can thrive on a mass scale Civilian Market Diet? Stay tuned.

  3. avatarKelly in GA says:

    And to think a selective fire civvy model is 20k or so. And or military gets them for under 700 a piece? Wouldn’t that be nice. Not that I could ever afford to feed a selective fire rifle, but still. It would be nice. Not to mention semi autos would be even cheaper.

    • avatarPT says:

      They only cost $20,000 due to the Hughes Amendment.

      Any regular AR15 is capable of F/A with a switch of the lower receiver.

      • avatarMatt Gregg says:

        Or the addition of a small piece of bent sheet metal, no need to change the lower if you didn’t want to.

        Or you can just buy one of those goofy slide fire stocks and have simulated full auto.

      • avatarKelly in GA says:

        I know it is. I was just saying how nice it would be for the market to be open, and I was just making a comparison.

      • avatarBCM MIDDY says:

        AR refers to the Semi Auto lower. M16 refers to a FA lower.

        So regardless of what upper is on it, there is no way for an AR15 to become capable of automatic fire.

        • avatarPatrick Carrube says:

          If you want to get technical….

          The AR-15 refers to the gun (ArmaLite Rifle Model 15). Colt purchased the production rights and patent from ArmaLite and then offerred a FA edition to the military for testing. The original AR-15 was also selective fire as built and designed by ArmaLite. The AR-15 was selected and given the military designation of “M16″ (and eventually the M4 after modifications).

          The terms AR-15 or M16 does NOT refer to the fire-mode, although (as you say) we do separate them in common language. The truth is that an M16 is a AR-15, although not all AR-15′s are M16′s. A true M16 is a Colt-mfg’d AR-15 (there have been other mfg’ers but they are insignificant really) in the proper configuration. The same applies to the M4 (a designation that Colt tried to keep to themselves).

        • avatarFreddie Serna says:

          Colt might have tried to keep the M4 designation but apparently they didn’t do their homework. H&R used that same designation for a survival carbine they produced for pilots in WWII. So the M4 designation belongs to the government and H&R. Since the owners of Bushmaster and Remington also own H&R the M4 designation could legally be theirs.

        • avatarPatrick Carrube says:

          The “M4″ moniker is not trademarked… the District Court in Maine made a summary ruling stating that the term “M4″ is generic and that Colt could not trademark it.

  4. avatarRalph says:

    The Remington has one advantage over the Colt — you don’t have to press the trigger of the Remington to shoot it.

    One man’s defect is another man’s upgrade.

  5. avatarJoe Grine says:

    My issue M4 was made by Bushmaster, but that was a long time ago.

  6. avatarJoseph says:

    Come on Ralph…I own three Remington 700′s that I’ve hunted with for 30 years and have never had an AD with them. The last one I bought 3 years ago. Of course, I keep my finger off the trigger until ready to shoot….a novel idea I know. They Will fire if your finger is pulling the trigger while you flip the safety off…something they tell ya in the owner’s manual, which is good to read when ya buy a new gun.

    As for the shotguns going off when dropped on the stock, many shotguns have the same affliction. In 1975 in Houston, an officer was shot in the leg when a shotgun was leaned against a patrol car (during a prolonged gun battle with prison escapees) and another officer ran up and accidentally hit the gun. It fell over and discharged. Don’t drop your shotgun…it can go off. Even Sig, with their three internal safeties on their pistols says in their manual that any gun can go off when dropped. Liability statement perhaps…but true none the less.

    I did appreciate the humor of your post though….as usual.

    • avatarwv says:

      well im a former military arms tester for colt and ill tell u first hand. there has been LOTS of rejected guns that wont fire, and fire by themselves with no finger on the trigger. not to mention that after about 60-75 rounds the gun starts to lose accuracy.

  7. avatarGarynyer says:

    Rebarrel, take out the sear and sell the rifles surplus…… oh wait

  8. avatarSteve says:

    Hello Colt? You meal ticket at the Govmt trough just got revoked.

    Time to shape up and start making guns for the rest of us. And sell them at competitive prices.

    Suppose if Colt goes belly up…who buys their assets? (Please not Cerebus)

  9. avatarGA Koenig says:

    WTF is up with the guy in the picture?

    Magwell grip?
    Totally corked up placement of the old 9v SF?
    BLACK gloves? BLACK!

    It’s like he is an M4 Carbine Operator right out of the 2002 playbook.

    • avatarRyan says:

      Just ended 10 years in the Army. The gloves are standard issue and given in mass to soldiers because we go through them like crazy. They tend to rip and get holes within a few weeks to a month or two. Army Issue work gloves have been black since I joined. The only current issue gloves that are issued in green are for warmth, and are either too bulky for trigger guards or thin cloth.

      The placement of devices on the hand guards is normally determined by what is your buddy doing on his rifle and did it work for him. You may be surprised to find that a large majority of the enlistees today have no gun experience prior to joining and a large majority of those that do, only have experience with sporting rifles and shotguns.

  10. avatarFreddie Serna says:

    This isn’t really that shocking. Colt lost the contract to FN back in 198o’s to supply the Army with M16′s. Bushmaster Firearms also supplied the Army with some M4′s back then. Remington and Bushmaster along with DPMS/Panther Arms, AAC, and PARA USA are all owned by the same company. So it makes sense that Remington has a contract to produce some M4′s since it already has some business dealings with Bushmaster. DPMS also has supplied the Army with parts if not entire weapons.

  11. avatarJoseph says:

    In 1969 I was on the 793rd MP Brigade’s pistol team. I had a 1911 made by Ithica.
    I sure do miss all the free ammo.

  12. avatarLTC F says:

    Given the volume that Uncle Sam buys in, per unit cost on small arms is pretty low. When I was a company commander in 1995 I remember an M16A2 listed as something in the neighborhood of $500 on my property book and an M9 at $85. When you started talking M240′s, M249′s and the good old M2 you were talking big bucks. What always cracked me up was the M3 Grease Gun ( a weapon I loved) was only $45. (Then again I’m a dinosaur, I also miss my issued 1911 and given my druthers I’d carry my personal Para Ord 14.45 rather than the M9 I get issued.)

    As for quality…granted my S&W M&P 15 has a whole lot less wear and tear on it than my issued Colt M4, but I like my S&W a whole lot better, and I’ll take my personal EOTECH XPS 2-0 to the M68 on my “work rifle”. (Actually the great thing about being an O5 is I do have my own EOTECH on my work rifle and the M68 is in the armsroom.)

    • avatarStanB says:

      When you realize that the only difference between the AR-15 and an M-4 is one whole in the receiver and a couple extra cuts with the CNC plus a trigger, selector, hammer and disconnect change. Add the sear and sear pin and away you go. Price difference at the manufacturer isn’t much different for the two of them.

  13. avatarAccur81 says:

    I was hoping that they would switch to LWRC.

    Ah, well…

    • avatarPatrick Carrube says:

      F^CK NO! I’m about to by a 10.5″ SBR and a REPR – both are gonna set me back the price of a nicely used Subaru! Let them pick up LWRC next year, keep the prices low (relative term) in the mean time :)

  14. avatarMoonshine7102 says:

    Gosh, Uncle Sam. Could I buy an SBR with a giggle switch for $675?

  15. avatarTimmay!!!! says:

    I would love to see Garand style actions again. Apparently the gov’t likes closed actions and intricate parts. Maybe a cross breed of Mini14 action mated to a AR style lower? Then you have open action maintainence with muscle-memory acceptance of selector, mag well, mag release, and hand placement. Tho I’m sure someone is going to reply with a stat how M1s, M1 carbines, and M14s were somehow insignificant in the their role as military weapons from approx 1940 to even today. Remember, politics got the ARs into the military. The were rejected at least twice in the beginning. But hey, beaurocrats always know best..

    • avatarTimmay!!!! says:

      Maybe they could even put a true folding stock on a mini14/AR cross breed…

      • avatarSurly McStagger says:

        That “open” action collects garbage. Not a good thing when it comes to reliability.

        The Mini-14 is junk.

        The M1 and M14 are obsolete.

        The M16/M4 upsets a lot of fossils like you. None of your sort ever seem willing to stand downrange of one though.

        • avatarMichael C says:

          M14 is still being used today in specialist sniper applications. Just because it’s no longer used for its original battlefield purpose doesn’t mean it’s obsolete.

  16. avatarTimmay!!!! says:

    I wish they would go back to a Garand style action. Apparently the gov’t like closed actions with intricate parts. Maybe a mini14 action on a AR style lower. Then you have open action maintainance with muscle memory acceptance for selector, mag well, mag release, and hand placement. Not to mention the ability to add true folding stock. I’m sure i will see a reply with some stat about how the M1, M1 carbine, and M14 had little influence on military weapons from 1940 till even today. Remember, the AR was politically pushed through. Military originally rejected it. Bu i guess beaurocrats know whats best..

  17. avatarTimmay!!!! says:

    OOOPSS!! DOUBLE POSTS. WHO BROUGHT THE COOL KID.. My bad.. lol

  18. avatarBilly Bob says:

    Actually, Remington did this before. During the Civil War, Colt was charging high prices for their 1851 Navy and 1860 Army Revolvers. Remington made the government an offer of their 1858 and 1863 revolvers at a saving of 5 bucks under Colt’s price. US Government took them up on the deal. As far as sturdiness and accuracy, the Remingtons were better guns, to boot.

  19. avatarPhilthegardner says:

    So Remington gets a contract to make M4′s – will their lobbyists be able to swing an ACR purchase soon? Honestly, I still think a lot about the Masada/ACR… And with a government contract under their belt, Bushmaster/Remington MIGHT be able to lower the retail on the civvie ACR for poor bubs like myself… (We can dream right?)

  20. avatarwv says:

    the reason for the change is simply this colt has a very sorry workforce filled with lazy unskilled union workers and foreigners. Any corner that can be cut is cut. its gotten sooo bad that 90% of the gun is outsourced. at this point colt is nothing more than a assembly plant. the handgun side is like a whole other world, skilled workers, no union. it seems like colt sold their souls to the devil in order to be able to push out more product.

  21. avatarBrokeDad says:

    I would NEVER trade my Colt R0977 Law Enforcement M4 for a Remington or S&W. If you do buy a Colt make sure it says Colt Defense and NOT Colt Firearms Company. The first is made government mil-spec … the second is made on the civilian product line and facility. Check your markings before buying your Colt 6920 or 6940. You cannot own a R0977 model without the ATF/FBI paperwork, local sheriffs approval, and tax stamp.

  22. avatarHMsailor says:

    As long as the US military uses the M16/M4 platform assault rifle, COLT will always get paid no matter what manufacturer in comes from. they own the design and trademark and even the AR15/M4 title so they will always recieve royalties. not to mention the 1911 design which COLT owns too. Although the Beretta M9 has been contracted as the primary sidearm for the US military, the 1911 design has dominated the civilian market more than any other pistol design ever made. To add to that, the COLT 1911 is back in business after a full decade under a new USMC/MarSOC contract as the re-designed and improved COLT M45. However, only a quantity of 12K units where ordered due to the small community of the Elite USMC Recon Units. The regular Marine Corps is slowly transitioning from the Beretta M9 to the M9A1. But it will only be a matter of time before we start seeing the COLT DEFENSE start supplying the US military with 1911s as their primary sidearms.

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