Colt’s Manufacturing Company, LLC (CMC, formerly Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company) is an American firearms manufacturer, founded in 1855 by Samuel Colt and a subsidiary of Czech holding company Česká zbrojovka Group. It is the successor corporation to Colt’s earlier firearms-making efforts, which started in 1836. Colt is known for the engineering, production, and marketing of firearms, most especially between the 1850s and World War I, when it was a dominating force in its industry and a seminal influence on manufacturing technology. Colt’s earliest designs played a major role in the popularization of the revolver and the shift away from earlier single-shot pistols. Although Samuel Colt did not invent the revolver concept, his designs resulted in the first very successful ones…
The most famous Colt products include the Colta Walker, made in 1847 in the facilities of Eli Whitney Jr., the Colt Single Action Army or Peacemaker, the Colt Python, and the Colt M1911 pistol, which is currently the longest-standing military and law enforcement service handgun in the world and is still used today. Though they did not develop it, for a long time Colt was also primarily responsible for all AR-15 and M16 rifle production, as well as many derivatives of those firearms. The most successful and famous of these are numerous M16 carbines, including the Colt Commando family, and the M4 carbine.
In 2002, Colt Defense was split off from Colt’s Manufacturing Company. Colt’s Manufacturing Company served the civilian market, while Colt Defense served the law enforcement, military, and private security markets worldwide. The two companies remained in the same West Hartford, Connecticut location cross-licensing certain merchandise before reuniting in 2013. Following the loss of its M4 contract in 2013, the reunited Colt was briefly in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, starting in 2015 and emerging in January 2016. The company was bought by Česká zbrojovka Group in 2021.