Colt Defense has been an American mainstay in the global firearms market since Sam Colt opened Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co. in 1855. Unfortunately, hard times fall on even historic gun manufacturers. After its contract with the U.S. Military concluded in 2013, Colt Defense has amassed $355 million in debt.

Filing for bankruptcy protection is a mere step away from filing for bankruptcy. Rather than simply going under, filling for bankruptcy protection gives the company a shot of selling its shares to new management.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “Colt plans to try to reduce its $355 million debt burden via a court-supervised auction of its business, to generate proceeds to repay some of its lenders.”

It’s sad to see Colt Defense go in this direction, but hopefully changing hands will allow the company to undergo a revival and continue producing all-American firearms.