Colt Defense LLC, together with its subsidiaries, is a designer, developer and manufacturer of small arms weapons systems for individual soldiers and law enforcement personnel. Colt Defense LLC was formed in 2002 as a result of the re-organization of Colt’s Manufacturing Company, Inc. It is headquartered in West Hartford, Connecticut. The company traces its portfolio of products and services back to Colt's Manufacturing Company and prior to that to Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company, and through those entities and its current structure, it has supplied small arms weapons systems to the United States Government and other governments throughout the world since the Mexican-American War of 1847. Colt Canada Corporation, its Canadian subsidiary, is the Canadian government’s Center of Excellence for small arms and is the Canadian military’s sole supplier of the C7 rifle and C8 carbine. The company and its subsidiaries maintain manufacturing facilities in West Hartford, Connecticut and Kitchener, Ontario. It was split off from Colt's Manufacturing Company in 2002 in order to focus on the military, law enforcement and security markets. Sales to the U.S. Government (including U.S. Government sales to foreign governments) accounted for 57% of net sales in 2010 and 33% of net sales through the first three quarters of 2011, the change being a result of both reduced purchases of the M4 carbine by the U.S. military, and increasing direct sales to foreign government customers. On October 14, 2010, the company announced that the Board of Directors had appointed Gerald R. Dinkel as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, succeeding Lt. Gen. William M. Keys, USMC (ret.) who remains on the Board of Directors as Chairman.
Colt was the original producer of the M16 rifle, rights to which it purchased from designer ArmaLite, and today offers a complete “Family of Weapons” based around the derivative M4 Carbine, which includes a heavy barreled rifle (HBAR®), a carbine with sliding stock (M4 & ACC-M), a personal defense weapon with folding-collapsible buttstock (SCW), a piston carbine (APC), a Commando® M4 with a 10.5 in. (26.7 cm) barrel, an infantry automatic rifle (IARTM), a submachine gun chambered for 9mm ammunition, and the 40mm M203 grenade launcher. In July, 2012 the U.S. Marine Corps awarded Colt a five-year, Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract for up to 12,000 M-45 MEUSOC Close Quarter Battle Pistols (CQBP) based on the current embodiment of the M1911 pistol design.