This is a discussion on Problems at Colt's Manufacturing within the Handguns forums, part of the Gun Forum category; http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2...umored-gutted/
There are many stories circulating the internet about more financial problems at Colt's Manufacturing. It just seems like Colt's is star crossed and can ...
There are many stories circulating the internet about more financial problems at Colt's Manufacturing. It just seems like Colt's is star crossed and can never find the right management team to make them great again.
I love 1911s and don't care for plastic guns at all, but like it or not plastic is the future. When Colt never bothered to develop a profitable and competitive product in that arena for LE and the military, it has been a long slide downward for their handgun business. Even S&W saw the handwriting on the wall and put their 3rd Gen autos out to pasture and developed the M&P. I love my steel 5906, but much like the 1911 it isn't what the police and military want these days.
Colt is making a nice bunch of 1911s these days, but it's too little and too late without their military M4 contracts to carry them which they lost to FN.
Well I did what little I could and supported a good old American company with a .38 Super purchase I've been wanting for a long time. :)
There will always be demand for 1911s from those who hate plastic guns. If they keep the quality up and the price reasonable, they'll make it even with getting scaled down. They should've tried to get on CA's approved list, it would've helped them sell a bunch more. Can't get a Colt Railgun here. I was gonna go look at one myself on Armslist for a good price but it was deemed to be a scam. That's the only way you can get one here is if a LEO or someone that is exempt gets one and sells it used.
I own several Colt firearms but most are not new. I did get last year a New Frontier .44 Special revolver. My most recent purchase is one of the Delta AR15 rifles. My only Colt 1911 is likewise a .38 Super.
The Colt name is a lot to work with. That can be a good marketing tool with the right products to find a niche or recover the brand attraction.
If you're going to be competitive in the 1911 market, it's going to be rough unless you can find a way to compete. I have an old school Series 70 with the prong bushing and it shoots almost as good as any other 1911 I've shot except expensive match guns. They've tried to go back to that, the new Series 70 is about $900 list.
Today you have to be flexible and find the market for a winning product. I'm sure they've tried to do that, their catalog of products actually is not bad, but revolvers may be a market to explore enhancing.
My guess is that the union wages and rules in Connecticut will be hard to overcome in order to be flexible. So when you have problems, like the old school auto companies etc, your only toggle switch when in hard times is layoffs and shrinking. When you're shrinking, you're not growing.
Colt has been a major supplier of firearms to the military since the War of Northern Aggression...
However, up until WW2, their primary market was the civilian one.
After WW2, they failed to get the military machine gun contacts that were so lucrative. Before the war they supplied M2s, M1917s, M1919s, and M1918s as well as pistols. After the war, places like Ramo (M85), Saco/Marmont (M60, M73), GM Hydramatic (M39 20mm), GE (M61, 20mm and others) and Hughes (M242 and M230) began to get the machine gun business and the Army wasn't buying pistols. The only major military product was the M16.
When FN began to encroach on the M16 and later the M4 markets, the withdrawal from the civilian market began to tell.
They need to move away from Hartford, CT....and go back to their Roots, as in, hire more people like E. K. Root.
Many seem to think that Colt's problems are their product offering - basically that they aren't offering products that are based on new designs. I personally don't think that is true. Both the AR and 1911 markets are lucrative and at least locally I see a good demand for Colt products. The problem is that in order to survive, a company must turn a profit. Colt's structural costs are high when compared to many other firearms manufacturers. Labor costs and taxes are a real burden for any manufacturer in the NE. In a competitive market, a company really doesn't get to set a price that allows them to make a profit. They must set a price that allows them to sell their product in the marketplace. If they can't make a suitable profit at that sell price, they are in hot water. That's where I think Colt is today.
In my opinion I don't see anyone at the $1k price point that makes a better 1911 than Colt. That is why I think it will be a loss if Colt goes away.
Worse than going away would be getting purchased by some outfit like Freedom Group and pumping out a bunch of junk like they have been doing with Remington and Marlin. I'm not a union lover or hater. But it's a fact that picking up shop and leaving all your skilled craftsmen behind for cheaper labor has had a detrimental effect on quality at the two above mentioned companies. There is no free lunch and you usually get what you pay for.
The 100 year anniversary Colt I bought a few years ago is a hell of a lot of gun for $1k. Colt's autos have bar stock small parts and pins, and a distinct lack of pot metal found in other 1911s. Some people care about this and can tell the difference, others can't or don't care.
I started purchasing Colt's products in the 60s. Right up until we imported Norinco 1911s in the 90s, I thought the sun rose and set on Colt. After buying my first Norinco for 200 new out the door, Colt just became another maker.
Don't get me wrong, I still love my Colts, but their quality did not keep up with the price. When they went through bankruptcy 20 years ago, that was it for me.
They are now just a collectable from history for me.
Colt will be the new Springfield Armory very soon, some one will buy the name and Colt as it was known will be no more. Colt really hasn't been anything special for a decade and that's probably a conservative estimate.