Gun maker Colt files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection


The company that made “The Gun That Won The West” has lost its battle with a $350 million debt mountain.

Colt Defense LLC, maker of firearms from the legendary Peacemaker pistol to the M4 rifle used by today’s U.S. Army, said late Sunday it’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, two years after losing a key Army contract for the M4.

The filing follows increasingly desperate attempts to restructure its debt over the last two years, the last of which was rejected by a large majority of bondholders. It has secured $20 million in financing from senior lenders in order to ensure it can keep operating in bankruptcy. A court-supervised auction of some of the company’s assets is now expected.

Colt, now based in West Hartford, Conn., rose to prominence in the mid-19th century under its eponymous founder, Samuel. The company’s most famous product, the single-action “Peacemaker” pistol (also known…

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