Colt is alive and well. They are the sole US military contractor for the M4 carbine for the next few years and are very close to a 45,000 unit contract with the USMC. This will put a Colt M4 in the hands of virtually every USMC grunt. There are also strong rumors that the USMC will buy an updated version of the Colt M16A2 LMG now called the "CAR" (Colt Automatic rifle) to replace the FN M249 SAWs now in use.
The Corps has been unhappy with the SAW for several reasons. The "CAR" feeds from a mag. or drum and does not need links or a link-feed mechanism. Fewer moving parts and reduced weight are obvious benefits as is ease of cross training.
If this change happens you can expect the US Army to follow with the 82nd Airborne and the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) elements of the 18th Airborne Corps.
What all this means is that with US and foreign military contracts as well as Law Enforcement demands, Colt simply doesn't have the capacity to bang out quantities of civilian rifles and carbines. I can still get a good range of components but complete rifles are tough. Dennis Todd