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'everything that's old is new again', analysis, Colt, guns, history, old-school, revolvers, semiautomatics, Smith and Wesson

Colt We Hardly Knew Ye

coltNo, that’s not true.  We did!  We did know ye!

“Gun maker Colt Defense LLC plans to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by Monday (yesterday), according to people familiar with the matter, amid business and accounting troubles. The company has secured financing to continue operating while in bankruptcy and expects to remain in business after the restructuring, the people said.” The combination of years of indifference toward the civilian market combined and the gut-punch that was losing most of its military AR business have finally caught up to Colt . . .(WSJ)

A company with a long tradition, filing it’s second bankruptcy in a little over 20 years.

Back-in-the-day, when the standards battling for market share were largely Colt and Smith & Wesson, I always thought of Smith as the Chevy or Ford, and Colt as the Cadillac or Lincoln.  A little nicer finish, perhaps, but way overpriced.  Always wanted a Dick Special and a Python.  Could never afford them.  (I am fortunate to have a National Match upper for my 1911!)

And, what the WSJ says is true!  Colt kept vying for the military market, and ignoring it’s civilian base.  And the military market went elsewhere.

A Python and Detective Special in my future?  Probably not.


About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.


10 thoughts on “Colt We Hardly Knew Ye

  1. My Gold Cup is one of my favorite firearms. My post ban AR..I mean Match HBAR is one of my least liked. Large trigger pins and the unneeded hardened block in the receiver means a quality trigger is just that much more expensive.
    (you’d think a company that made M16s for decades would know that a proper size trigger pin does not full auto make)
    Too bad about Colt’s. Running a business badly is a sure way to have it tank. They’re pretty much the poster child of how to run a business while tone deaf to the customer.

    Revolverwise, I’ve always preferred Smiths myself. The 28s, 66s and 686s were the ones I thought of as the “Chevies”. The 19s, 27s and 29s to me were the Cadillacs. Colt’s revos struck me as Buicks. Overrated and overpriced.
    I handled a neighbors Python just a while ago…beautiful bluing, as pretty as my Gold Cup. But the raved about Python trigger? My 19 and 629 are much better. Smoother and NO stacking. I was disappointed.

    Posted by KM | June 16, 2015, 8:08 am
    • Agree. While I lusted after Colts, I’ve owned (many) Smith & Wessons. 2″ to 6″. .22s to .44 mags
      And mostly found them fine.
      (The abysmal model 59 excluded!)
      Loves me a 19, pre-27 5″(!), 28, 24, 39-2, 629, you get the idea…
      I miss them.
      And my numerous AR-15 platformed Colt copies.

      Posted by guffaw1952 | June 16, 2015, 8:20 am
  2. Yep, always wanted a Python, but that’s how it goes. And wheelguns are practically obsolete, so we’re told. I don’t believe it personally, and still have an S&W 442 as a BUG … but that’s what they say. And the experts are never wrong, amirite?

    Posted by Rev. Paul | June 16, 2015, 10:21 am
  3. I carried revolvers on duty for 20-some years. I owned 2 Pythons and several D-frames (a Detective Special, an Agent, and a Diamondback). Colt revolvers sucked. Their triggers were stacky and hard to master. I much preferred Smiths or Rugers. The Python has a nice, deep blue, but how long does it stay that way when it’s carried in a holster, day in and day out, in muggy heat and falling sleet (sometimes in the same week)? (Besides, since when do you judge a tool by how pretty it is?)
    Back in the days of the metal-framed Smith autos, we used to say that Smith should never make autos and Colt should never make revolvers. Smith evolved; Colt didn’t.
    (I also owned 2 Series 70 Combat Commanders. Loved them.)

    Posted by Old 1811 | June 16, 2015, 10:47 am
  4. The 1911A1 i carried many years ago was a Remington-Rand… COlt will be missed as one of the iconic American manufacturers. In spite of their tone-deafness and business errors, they were/are a unique piece of history. My Grandfather worked for Colt’s prior to WWII, on the machine floor. It was there he learned that he was severely allergic to the oils they used in machining. Instead of letting him go, Colt’s retrained him to a job that wouldn’t affect his health. Grandpa didn’t stay with Colt’s for a lifetime, but got a good start with them and always spoke fondly of them.

    Posted by Matt | June 16, 2015, 1:55 pm
  5. Another icon bites the dust… And I can’t help but wonder how much of this is due to the State of Connecticut being a major stockholder (and not providing $$ for upgrades)… Sigh

    Posted by Old NFO | June 16, 2015, 4:05 pm

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