BREAKING: Remington Wins M4 Contract Review

Remington Arms Co. has just won a major court victory against the United States Government, regarding a 212 million dollar contract given to FN and Colt for the procurement of M4 Carbines.

Back in September, Colt Defense, LLC, and Fabrique Nationale America were the lowest bidders on a solicitation for a 212 million dollar contract on 292,000 M4 Carbines for the US Army. Remington also bid, but it was not accepted.

Remington’s lawsuit focuses on the fact the Colt Defense, LLC was issued a contract despite being in bankruptcy proceedings at the time. The gunmaker’s representation argued that the government had not accounted for Colt’s most recent financial records, and that the decision to award a contract should be reviewed in light of these records. The court’s decision came down in favor of Remington, and Firestone’s opinion reinforces the need for additional financial records. Beyond that, the court also prevented the government from placing more orders with Colt Defense, LLC.

Beyond the suspension of orders for Colt being obviously very bad for that company, there is also the question of what will happen now. There is no guarantee that Colt’s contract will be reassigned, and if it is, the government is only obligated to give Remington a minimum order, and it seems likely that if Colt’s contract is reassigned, the rest of Colt’s order would simply be given to lower bidder FN, not Remington.

Thanks to Daniel for the tip.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Ben Loong

    Anybody else got the distinct feeling of deja vu?

  • BattleshipGrey

    This is a pretty big blow to Colt. If it weren’t a done deal, one could make the argument that nobody asked for their financial records (assuming they didn’t; before, during or after the bidding process). How much of their financial status was required as part of the stipulations?

    I agree that Remington doesn’t necessarily have it in the bag either.

    • ike

      No financial status is needed for contract awarding, but it’s generally a bad idea to award contracts to companies that have already filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy notices, as Colt had done by the time of the contract awarding. Their creditors had a very tough time getting money together to get Colt through court as it was, and the whole Ch.11 deal was based around Colt having a certain level of business income for the next few years, which included this contract.

      Colt wouldn’t have made it out of Ch.11 without this contract on their books, and the government shouldn’t have awarded a contract to a company without enough money available to produce anything for the contract.

      This could kill Colt, and probably it’s owner Sciens Capital as they defaulted on a $50 million payment during the Ch.11 stuff back in January.

      • Exactly. If the contract is awarded to Remington after Gov’t deliberations, a creditor can force bankruptcy again by claiming that the contract that was part of the settlement is now void and the restructuring plan is impractical.

  • Adam D.

    What is the current procurement price per unit for the FN carbines?

    • Cuvie

      I think it’s about $625-650 per rifle

    • The first delivery order to FN America under their contract W15QKN-15-D-0072 was valued at $2,675,160 for 4,220 M4A1 carbines.

      The first delivery order to Colt Defense under their contract W15QKN-15-D-0102 was valued at $2,666,000 for 4,300 M4A1 carbines.

      • Adam D.

        Excellent info Daniel, thank you!

  • Kevin

    I don’t trust their quality control enough for them to hand our boys automatic rifles. The bolt guns are fine, not a lot to screw up there but M4’s? I really hope someone else picks up that contract.

    • robert

      I don’t buy Remington anymore due to the way they handled their Model 700 trigger/safety problems. Some here may argue that that it is “extremely common” for their corporate lawyers to argue that their manufacturing and design screw-ups were not screw-ups after all and attempt to mitigate damages by settling wrongful death suits as cheaply as possible out of court. What happened to doing the right thing for no other reason that it is the right thing to do… for the community as a whole not just the individual (company) when it is so much easier to litigate, litigate and litigate again until your problem becomes their problem.

  • AD

    While I feel that Remington’s argument has merit, I can’t say that I like seeing this kind of in-fighting in the gun industry.

    • Mcameron

      this is how the defense industry works in general……its standard practice really.

      every govt contract for defense goods is usually contested by the losers.

      in-fighting is alive and well in all industries, not just firearms….that is how companies make money…….

    • Pants

      When the defense industry has hundreds of billions of dollars flowing through it every year then you can expect lots of court battles.

  • Don Ward

    Oh my god. Can’t we just effing BUY a weapon system without this garbage going on? At this point, I don’t care if it costs four times as much off the bat. It is still cheaper than this endless infighting. And at least we’ll HAVE it.

    • Actually, increasing the value of the contract would also increase the incentive to protest the award. No weapon system is immune.

  • Vhyrus

    So Remington royally screwed colt basically out of spite and will very possibly get nothing out of it, other than to permanently bury another commercially incompetent ancient gun company.

    I’m not sure if I should hate them or like them for this.

    Considering the recent quality of Remington products, I wouldn’t trust them to make the dust covers on the m4, much less the whole gun.

    • Don’t Drone Me Bro

      The dust covers would probably rust as soon as you look at them if it’s anything like their shotguns.

    • Bear The Grizzly

      I seen all those product videos from JY and he assures me everything they make is good to go and that’s all the proof I need 😉 😉

    • Redfoot

      No kidding. I would rather take my issued GAU-5P that was cobbled together from spare parts than an issued remington M-4 if my 870 was any indication of their recent quality (fit, finish, feeding, and rusting issues from day one-sent back, never rectified). And before their loyalists come barraging in, I am on the hunt for an old Police Model or Wingmaster made prior to 2005.

    • ozzallos .

      How was this out of spite? Business is business. You’re defending a company in bankruptcy whose financial future is not only already uncertain, but taking a legitimate contract from an actual solvent company.

      I’d be waving foul too.

  • Petto

    You know , probably the best would be if the Colt got bought out by FN or somebody because the Colt USA doesn’t know what to do with business and this will not help them in that.

    • BobinMI

      I keep thinking that Springfield should buy them. They could make the Colt’s their premier line of 1911’s and it immediately puts Springfield into the AR15 game.

      • Springfield tried to get into the AR-15 market back in the early 1980s with their XM15. In 1983, Springfield (or their sibling firm Rock Island Armory, Inc.) tried to export “M16-type” rifles to El Salvador. Colt caught wind of it and unleashed their lawyers against Springfield and their parts suppliers. Springfield Armory and Colt settled the patent suit in September 1984. Under the settlement, Springfield/Rock Island was permanently enjoined from selling the rifles. Moreover, Springfield/Rock Island could not use Colt’s proprietary drawings and information in the future manufacture or sale of AR-15/M16 rifles, unless Colt was later determined to have lost its trade secret rights.

        Look up the following:

        Colt Industries Operating Corp., Firearms Division v. Springfield Armory, Inc., 732 F. 2d 168, (Fed. Cir.)

        While I can’t find the latter online, at least three of the rulings involving one of the parts suppliers are available and give background info. I also have circumstantial evidence that Daewoo was one of Springfield’s other suppliers. According to an old GAO report, Daewoo allegedly tried to sell 12,500 spare parts worth ~$127,000 to an undisclosed US company in 1983. The GAO said this sale was halted due to legal action by Colt against the US company.

        • Here is one more Rock Island ad from 1984 noting the elimination of their XM15 product line.

          • BobinMI

            I had no idea. Thanks for the info.

          • Ben Pottinger

            That RIA ad makes me very very sad. Look at those prices for machine guns! 12 grand or so would buy you one of every gun on that page and the same 12 grand today wouldn’t buy a single firearm listed in the ad. Heck, I think there is nearly a quarter million dollars or more in guns listed there.

          • iksnilol

            Not really, if the ad is from 1980 then accounting for inflation you can triple the prices in that ad and wind up with what that money would be equivalent to today.

            Still, 10.5k for an M2 is a good price I guess 😛

          • Ben Pottinger

            In the United States machine guns were heavily limited in 1986. Civilians can’t own a machine gun made after 1986. That ruling (the Hughes amendment) has caused machine gun values to far outstrip inflation. A M16 lower can cost anywhere from 15,000-25,000$ and a MP5 will cost 20,000-35,000$.

          • iksnilol

            I know that, I am just a bit tired of the whole “An AR cost 300 bucks 40 years ago, everything is so expensive nowadays” meme.

          • Ben Pottinger

            You can still get an AR for 400-500$ 😉

            I was referring to the prices of MGs, so no MEME here.

          • iksnilol

            That meme applies in general. “oh the good old days were so good since ammo cost 5 bucks a hundred rounds”. You check the inflation and you find out that realistically the price of the same box didn’t actually change in 40 years.

          • Pants

            Machine gun prices nowadays are a reflection of government restrictions. The supply is dry yet the demand is still there which equals sky high prices. Same reason why cocaine is expensive.

        • Mikial

          Essentially, Colt has not only mismanaged the business side of their corporation, they have created problems for other companies. I like Colt guns, but they are really a bunch of hosers in every other way.

  • Anonymoose

    RIP Colt. ;_;7

  • Blake
  • Will

    When Colt missed their $50M payments I heard a rumor that an ( can’t recall the specifics) American Indian casino group offered to buy them out of bankruptcy.
    Owning they company that made the guns that devastated their ancestors….
    How ironic.

    • Scott P

      Well they were not using just bows and arrows they had no qualms using firearms so I would imagine they used some Colts back against us. They are just tools afterall.

      • FourString

        Makes me think of Hanzee Dent in Fargo Season 2

    • throwedoff

      There weren’t too many Colt SAA’s massacring bison/buffalo out on the plains. That was carried out by rifles.

  • Squad 54

    In completely unrelated news, PFC Williams told his squadmates that he is hoping to get one of those SWEET Pelican cases that Remington promises with every recalled M4.

  • Pistolero

    Everybody knew Colt was in bankruptcy status, including whoever awarded the contract. I view this as an intentional bailout. One that I support I might add.

  • john huscio

    Would be nice to see Daniel defense or BCM get big contracts like this….or at least a chunk of one….

  • Frank Martin

    I am not against either party..

    Remington has the current contract with the Philippines for their new M-4s.. there were some initial problems but Remington made them right when asked.

    But I can remember when Colt Defense screamed bloody murder when the H&K XM-8 Trails were going on.. to the Public and and to the Senators on Capital Hill when it looked like the DOD was very close to decision to adopt the system. So much that that suddenly there we demands for “re-evaluation” and the decision came down to drop the program.. I knew several armory types who were told that it was because the Senators that Colt influenced were screaming about “protecting American manufacturing”.

    This was despite the fact that H&K was declaring that the rifles were going to be built in a plant in the USA.

    Ah well.. politics and weapons… a never ending battle

    • DW

      So now you know why HK hates us.

      • Frank Martin

        Yep.. I can understand it

  • Mikial

    I can see how Colt’s bankruptcy proceeding would have a possible effect on their potential to deliver the firearms they bid to deliver. These sorts of challenges are very common in the government contracting world. No real surprise.

    What’s disturbing is that Colt continues to produce good firearms, they just don’t know how to manage a business. Remington has better managers, but their products have gone downhill in the last couple of decades,

    End result? The taxpayer gets to foot the bill for all the delays and court proceedings and other nonsense.

  • John

    All happen colt now been told they can not depend on any government bail out ever help them out trouble again. Unless make firearms that civilian mark demands can afford to own there done as firearms company. Plan truth 1911 market got few American 1911 manufacturers like Remington right now make all American 1911 at better price point than Colt making with ever thing Colt charges extra put on 1911. Fnamerica makes better Ar15 than Colt charge for there high end Ar15. Colt gone need stop be one trick pony or gone become obsolete gone from market forever. It happen other well know American firearms company’s in past.

    • Justin

      It made my head hurt to read that. You aren’t by chance one of those “special” people employed at the Remington factory are you?

      • Juanito Ibañez, TopCop1988

        RIMSHOT! 🙂

      • jcitizen

        No – him Canyon Man! AKA John – Him need privacy so use name de gerrrrr.

  • BrandonAKsALot

    Has Remington ever done anything not terrible?

  • Guido FL

    So what does Remington stand to gain here ? Playing the spoiler usually has a goal in mind but I don’t see one here ? As most of us know Colt was acquired by a investment company then bled dry , now the bones are bleaching in the sun.

  • Chuck Burns

    I much prefer that Colt and or FN produce the M4 carbine. The history of Remington quality after buying out and producing Marlin lever action rifles speaks volumes. Remington took over Marlin which was at a peak in quality, and fit and finish and turned it into such a joke that the product was refereed to as RemLin. All Remington had to do was continue production and study and learn before moving the facility, It took years for Remington to address the ridiculous quality, fit, finish, and blatant errors in Marlin products they produced during and after the take over.. Bad enough that they built junk but they put it on the shelves and sold it to the public.

  • Robert M

    I don’t buy Remington anymore due to the way they handled their Model 700 trigger/safety problems. Some here may argue that that it is “extremely common” for their corporate lawyers to argue that their manufacturing and design screw-ups were not screw-ups after all and attempt to mitigate damages by settling wrongful death suits as cheaply as possible out of court. What happened to doing the right thing for no other reason that it is the right thing to do… for the community as a whole not just the individual (company) when it is so much easier to litigate, litigate and litigate again until your problem becomes their problem.

  • ElderAmbassador

    Remington is much like S&W these days. Old firearms were and are excellent examples of American worker pride. The modern examples are NOTHING like the old ones. Lawyers can screw up anything!
    That includes the Trial Bar as well as the Corporate parasites. Of course, the Plaintiffs (Trial) Bar couldn’t do anything without their willing accomplices on the Bench and in the Jury room. It’s up to the jury to tell the plaintiff “TS – go home – and don’t come back, and BTW, pay Defendants costs of defense on your way out!”

  • Bdpenn

    Looks to me that the USA are the ones on the hook. They are the ones that own and control the contracting process including the final award of contract. Remington as a qualified competitor probably sued after the legitimate appeal process to the contract selection panel failed reconsideration. They are in their rights to do so. With the current atitude towards contracting within the Army at the Pentagon(questionable pistol contract) I think that this may be the staw that breaks the camels back. Not a good time for the Army’s contracting office.
    Two things to look for: The General to get his wish and buy small arms off the shelf through direct procurement and for Colt and Remington to both turn around and sue the pants off of the US Army.
    Yep, Colt will be back in business, the Army will go without for while longer and payout a large settlement from a shrunken budget and Remington will get a second look and also a portion of the settlement package.
    This is Huuuge and one to keep tabs on for sure.

  • RPK

    I own a Colt Defense and FN full size AR15A4. BOTH are superior weapons in their own right. No complaints. When I think of an AR M4 platform, Remington absolutely does NOT come to mind. I do not understand why Bushmaster does not submit a contract bid. Pretty much every mass shooting in this country was via a Bushmaster M4 platform. I do NOT advocate violence with firearms. Especially against our own countrymen. I am simply addressing reliability and lethality. Bushmaster is a proven heavy hitter.

  • Voice_of_Reason

    Isn’t Remington making guns out of polished dog poop these days? Pretty sh1tty of them to screw over Colt like that when Colt just made it out of bankruptcy.