When the Colt gun manufacturing corporation announced in September that it would stop producing its AR-15 semiautomatic rifle for sale to the general public — to focus on handguns and military production —some gun-control advocates declared victory, saying the move would help limit the availability of assault weapons in the U.S.
Colt's recent decision to halt civilian production of AR-15s sent a tremor through the small-arms community, a sign that other gunmakers may fall victim to a market swelled to capacity with the popular semi-automatic rifle.
Fellow military history buffs and shooting enthusiasts rejoice, good news is coming your way: An amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act is set to allow the U.S. Army to, at long last, sell off its surplus Colt M1911A1 pistols.
Vintage military surplus small arms have always been popular among the shooting community. Small arms from both world wars are old enough to classified as “curio and relics” by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, making them easier to obtain. In particular, weapons pivotal in U.S. military history like the M1 Garand and M1903 Springfield still command interest from gun owners; and the Garand can even still be purchased directly from a government-sponsored program.
There are few names that invoke the American Frontier more than Samuel Colt, but before his revolvers helped win the West, Colt was a struggling gunmaker. On Jan. 4, 1847, Colt won a contract to supply the U.S. government with 1,000 newly designed .44-caliber revolvers to help arm U.S. troops in the Mexican-American War.