An M4 takes 3.5 hours to manufacture

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

A journalist from the Malaysian newspaper Malay Mail was shown around the Colt’s West Hartford factory

New machines were still being installed at the 26,687-square metre plant as The Malay Mail was shown around by Colt Defence executive vicepresident James R. Battaglini.

It takes 3 1/2 hours to complete a single M4 and the plant can churn out 900 a day with options for more when required.

The finished product then go below the plant for the test-firing process to ensure it performed to specifications.

Colt boasts a record of every gun made so that if it does not perform well, the company can determine if it is made to specs.

You may be thinking what a Malaysian newspaper is doing in West Hartford, Connecticut? Back in 2007 Malaysia announced plans** to switch away from the Steyr AUG and adopt the M4.

The Malay Mail also has a photo of some rare Colt pistols. Daniel Watters told me …

there is one interesting picture showing a couple of rare Colt prototype pistols. These include the SSP and their submission for SOCOM’s OHWS competition. I don’t have a definitive name for the pistol above the OHWS, but I believe it was going to used as the platform for their “Smart Pistol”. It certainly doesn’t match any AA2000 variant that I remember.

[ Many thanks to Daniel E. Watters for sending me the link. ]

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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3 of 14 comments
  • Billy Bones Billy Bones on Jun 23, 2011

    More accurately, 3.5 hrs to assemble and test.

  • Geodkyt Geodkyt on Jun 24, 2011

    Considering I've watched an AR get assembled in under an hour from individual parts - the only things that was were preassembled were the locking collar (minutes, at best, in a factory setting) and the gas key (I've watched that operation, including staking, done in a few minutes with hand tools in an arms room). Even though the gun I watched go from pins and springs to firing weapon in an hour was "only" a semi, somehow I doubt that the autosear takes very much additional time for a select fire model, and I doubt the testing procedure takes 2.5 hours.

    • Boombatz Boombatz on Mar 21, 2012

      @Geodkyt You all are idiots, I know you all assemble your rifles hanging upside down blindfolded. If you bothered to pay any attention at all, they said it takes 3.5 hours to manufacture. I know you all can build one from PARTS in an hours time, but we are talking about the manufacturing process, including machining and forging, not just assembly. I know, we all can stake a gas key quickly. Colt knows what its doing.