Colt Capitalizes on Foreign Military Sales Program

In a recent announcement, the U.S. Government has released a 7 million dollar award modification notice for Colt Defense’s over 35 million dollar contract to provide M4 and M4A1s in the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. This modification notice specifically mentions the countries of Georgia, Lebanon, Iraq, Slovakia, Pakistan, and Bahrain.This latest modification tacks on another 7 million dollars for the additional countries, specifically mentioning the number of 8,730 M4/M4A1 carbines. The numbers bring this to around $800 per carbine, but we assume the actual cost per rifle is much lower with the extra cost being taken on by other equipment.

Colt Defense LLC, West Hartford, Connecticut, was awarded a $7,453,690 modification (0005) to foreign military sales (Georgia, Lebanon, Iraq, Slovakia, Pakistan and Bahrain) contract W56HZV-15-D-0038 for 8,730 M4/M4A1 rifles. Work will be performed in West Hartford, Connecticut, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2018. Fiscal 2017 other funds in the amount of $7,453,690 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity.

When the contract was first announced for over 36 million dollars in May of 2015, the countries of Jordan, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Colombia, Hungary, Oman, Panama, Romania, Senegal, Lebanon, and Romania were announced to have participated in the sales program. If the price of the carbines is indeed around the $800 mark, then this original contract should be around 40,000 carbines overall for that price range.

Colt Defense LLC, West Hartford, Connecticut, was awarded a $36,104,812 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity foreign military sales contract (Jordan, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Colombia, Hungary, Oman, Panama, Romania, Senegal, Lebanon, Romania) for M4/M4A1 carbines. Funding and work location will be determined with each order with an estimated completion date of May 21, 2018. Bids were solicited via the Internet with one received. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-15-D-0038).

The Republic of Georgia doesn’t use Colt M4s but instead Bushmaster AR15s as issued to the countries rank and file troops. My assumption with these M4/M4A1s with all of these countries is these are primarily arming the special operations communities to give them a weapon that is similar to what many of their ally within the United States are using. We’ve seen this extensively with Iraqi ISOF troops and Afghan Commandos using Colt carbines. This has a psychological benefit if foreign troops are using what their U.S. counterparts are using during training and operations. In addition, beyond the small arms aspect, I’m sure there is more to the reason why these specific countries are participating in the FMS program, such as the United States bargaining for better relations.


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • john huscio

    Georgia issuing shrubmasters… wonder they lost to the russians

    • Twilight sparkle

      They had just switched over when Russia invaded, the Georgian soldiers left the bushmasters and went for their kalashnikovs

  • nate

    oh good old Colt, why are they getting Contracts for FMS but not for our military? are they inferior to FNH?

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      Apparently, yeah.

      • Joshua

        Nah, FNH just underbid everyone else.

        Colt wanted something like $713 per M4A1, FNH bid $683 per M4A1.

        So the Army chose FNH.

    • SGT Fish


  • RSG

    Half these countries pretend to be our allies. Instead of selling them our arms, perhaps we should be using them against them.

    • Robert B. Stanford

      Yeah let’s just invade these other countries too, makes sense….

      • RSG

        Which is the point. Why arm folks who are our ideological enemies. At some point, those very weapons will be pointed at our children. That’s a fact.

        • Robert B. Stanford

          Well, with the exception of Pakistan, and Lebanon to some extent with the whole Hezbollah thing, most of these countries are not ideological enemies of ours.

        • John Wayne

          Great point. Its all about money. Heck, they cant sell (those black evil “assault rifles”) to civilians in their home state of CRAPnecticut, and with military contracts they dont have to worry about traitor politicians passing draconian gun laws prohibiting there products.

          I am from Crapnecticut originally, and I would not take one for free. I will not support a company that remains in a state that citizens cannot purchase the items they manufacture.

  • MrBrassporkchop

    Colt: “This is great! Maybe things are turning for us and we won’t have to sell to civilians again!”

    • A.WChuck

      I laughed. 🙂

  • Twilight sparkle

    The Georgian bushmasters have a 14.5 inch barrel and a full auto sear, they pretty deserve to be called m4s, at least not ar-15s

    • SGT Fish

      I don’t see how you cant call it an M4 when it meets all the criteria. If FN can make M4’s, so can bushmaster. as long as it meets the M4’s technical data package

    • CommonSense23

      Are you trying to suggest that a AR15 can’t be select fire.

      • Twilight sparkle

        Not that it can’t be just that it’s generally not unless it’s been converted pre 86 or with a DIAS or as a post 86 sample. The bushmasters that were sent to Georgia are full auto from the factory and had a 14.5 inch m4 profile barrel

        • CommonSense23

          Are those Bushmasters built to the M4 TDP though?

          • Twilight sparkle

            Probably not and judging by the pictures I’ve seen that look to show unstaked castle nuts is say almost definitely not, but at this point m4 has become as much a generic trademark as ar-15 or kleenex

            And these particular rifles fit under the generic m4 term rather than ar-15 with there *ahem* m4 profile barrels and full auto trigger group

  • GD Ajax

    A government handout a worthless company doesn’t deserve. Under a real capitalist system, Colt would have gone under years ago.

  • Patriot Gunner

    Our tax dollars hard at work arming other countries…I mean it’s not like we’re 20 trillion in debt…oh wait

    • Rock Island Auction

      FMS = Foreign Military Sales right? From what I can understand this is not a giveaway. These are actual sales, correct? Is there something about the program not mentioned in the article?

      • Some countries receive “FMS credits,” which is aid money that is earmarked to be spent in the US for military equipment and training.

        • Rock Island Auction

          Cool. Thank you for clarifying.

        • Patriot Gunner

          Bingo. The devil is always in the details.

  • Seamus Bradley

    Did the US Army pay to have a bunch of M4s converted to M4A1 now only to have them given away to foreign countries!!! WTF! Meanwhile some reserve or national guard unit is walking around with busted M16A2 that barely function. Hell I personally saw some Airman in the Air National Guard about a 3-4 years ago with a triangle handguard on his M16A1. I personally spoke with the just Airman and sure enough it had Auto as a fire control group. Not sure the state he was from but I saw this at Camp Bullis Texas during a very large Guard/Reserve drill weekend.