Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"John Wick didn't kill all those people because they broke his toaster." -MickAK

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Colt is Dying?

Colt is going to default on its bonds.

I have mixed feelings about this. I've owned at least one Colt for almost all of my adult life (currently have a Government Model, a Gold Cup, a Detective Special and a AR-15). The 1911s are Series 80s and I can't say anything bad about them. The firing pin block might not have been the best solution to the "drop...boom" problem, but it works.

But here is the sad truth about Colt: They've been riding on their past glories for far too long. They pretty much make three guns for the civilian market: The 1911, the AR-15 and the Single Action Army. For every one of them, there are lots of competitors that make the same damned gun and, in some cases, both better and less expensive.

Colt has done a lot of stupid shit over the last few decades. RUMINT is that the reason Colt discontinued all of its double-action revolvers was that they ran the tooling and machinery into the ground. Colt signed onto the Clinton "smart gun" initiative, sparking a consumer boycott. They tried to jump into the Wonder-Nine era with the All-American 2000, which was a major piece of shit. Colt hasn't really done anything innovative (other than the aforementioned A-A 2000) since they bought Eugene Stoner's AR-15 design from Armalite 55 years ago. They've had labor unrest. The recurring incompetence of Colt's management has been enough to earn several Ph.D.s for business scholars.

Colt also hitched its wagon to military/LEO sales for its rifles. The military is largely immune to the siren call of new-model consumerism.[1] Once a war winds down and the Army finds itself with enough rifles in its armories to more than equip everyone, they're not going to place large orders.[2] The last great convulsion in military small arms took place over fifty years ago, everything since then has been a matter of evolutionary tweaks. Armies don't buy on that basis until what they have in their racks wears out.

Most every other gun maker sells some guns that you can't get anywhere else, maybe somewhat similar, but not exactly. You want a classic DA revolver in .41 Magnum, you're buying a Smith & Wesson. You want a heavy-caliber Single-Action, you're buying a Ruger.[3] The other gun-makers also innovate, which is why you can see modern cartridges coming out from time to time labelled ".XX Ruger", ".XX Remington" or ".XX S&W". The last new cartridge that came out expressly designed for a Colt product, to my recollection, was the .38 Super.[4]

Colt has been riding on its past glories for longer than most of my Dear Readers have been shooting firearms. Maybe it's indeed time to put the old pony down.
[1] Special forces operators notwithstanding.
[2] Not that Congress would let them if they wanted to.
[3] You want a revolver that might not work, buy a Taurus.
[4] It has been over a century since the introduction of the last cartridge that had the word "Colt" in its designation.


Robert Fowler said...

I wanted a Python, but I'm not paying that kind of money for one. Their AR's on the civilian market are overpriced compared to everyone elses. $400 more just because it has the little horse on it.

Starting with the 80 series, I lost all interest in their 1911 line. All those extra parts because someone, somewhere was a idiot.

When did they go back to making the SSA's? I thought they quit those years ago. I know the ones I see at the show are bringing a large premium.

Back when Colt's were reasnoably priced, I went with a Ruger Security Six because I was young and poor. Even back then they were the highest priced handguns. The only thing at the time higher was a S&W model 29 because of the Dirty Harry movies.

They did it too themselves.

Comrade Misfit said...

Robert, Colt's current revolver line. According to Wikipedia, they resumed production in 1994.

Robert Fowler said...

I've never seen a new Colt at any of the gun shows. My didtributor doesn't list any either. Of course most of my single action likes run to Remington black powder.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to buying a Kimber Python someday with Colt markings.

Die, Colt, die! Die so that a company with a halfway competent management team can buy your trademarks and intellectual property and do what you don't seem to be able to do - make some money by making products that people want.