We may never know why the honchos at Colt could not ride the gun sales wave of the last few years (OK, stupidity is a valid reason) but they can come out of the basement if they only stop and listen (really listen) to the gun people.

First the stripped AR rifles:

colt LE6920-OEM2


Good idea executed late. Still keep pushing it.

Second: a GI 1911 with modern sights. Are you gonna tell me that people would not riot to get a 1911 with the pony engraved on the side? And make it reliable as JMB intended, don’t fall for the ultra accuracy BS that makes them prone to failure.

Third: Embrace the Plastic Fantastic. Time for you to at least join the late 20th Century. A striker fired pistol with a hint of the looks of a 1911 would sell like crazy. Have 3 sizes: Full, Officer and Defender. Start with 9mm and then work your way to .45 ACP.

Fourth and I am going to catch hell for this: Forget the revolvers for now. Sorry but it is a small and noisy minority who claim for them and they will not bring enough cash. Plus God forbid your first batch of Pythons suck and the word gets out, you will never recover.

And that is my uninformed opinion.

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By Miguel.GFZ

Semi-retired like Vito Corleone before the heart attack. Consiglieri to J.Kb and AWA. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.

15 thoughts on “Recapitalizing Colt. My two cents.”
  1. It’s not just a product here or there. Colt needs a top down restructuring. They were formed in 1855 and have, in many respects, gotten stuck in the “this is the way we’ve always done things” rut. Unfortunately that rut goes back to muskets.

    Remington went through the same thing. Now they are completely reinventing themselves, moving the factory to Alabama, and effectively starting the company anew. Bill Ruger was this way and was killing Ruger. He died and his managers retired, allowing a new batch of managers come in and start making some really nice guns: AR’s, Gunsite Scout, SR series, etc. Ruger is now one of the best selling gun makers in the US.

    All the old Colt management needs to go. They need to relocate to a right to work, gun friendly state (Texas would be a good fit), and start fresh. Buy new machines, not just update old equipment in an old factory. Bring in some young gun blood with fresh ideas.

    I think having one high class revolver would be a good idea. S&W has some $1000+ revolvers in their lineup. Ruger has a line of high dollar revolvers too. I think a lot of shooters would pay to have a SAA with a pony on the side. I think a Python would go over very well too, especially if they capitalized on the fact that the sheriff from The Walking Dead packs one. But just like Ruger and S&W, yes, they need some polymer, double stack pistols, that don’t look like pre-WWI semi-auto experiments (here’s to looking at you, Colt 2000).

    In an earlier post I said I’d love to take over Colt. I still would. Maybe let some of the younger guys at Ruger or S&W break off and buy them out. But the old fogies with their management ideas stuck in 1855 need to be parachuted out the window.

  2. Wilson and Bul have already built a polymer-framed 1911, so there’s no reason that Colt couldn’t (maybe with a few improvements, like longer slide rails or out-of-the-box ambi controls).

    I might disagree slightly about the revolvers, though: the current concealed carry wave would’ve made the Detective Special a world-beater (the original, that is, not that “SF-VI” steaming mess Colt grunted out in the ’90s).

    But frankly, I could do a Masters’ degree dissertation using Colt’s bad business decisions over the last fifty years: “How To Wreck Your Company”. Maybe the bozon cloud over their headquarters is just too thick to be dispelled anymore.

  3. Check out the Weaponsman.com articles on the Colt problem. It’s not an issue of product lines from what I can tell. They are just so deep in debt due to horrible management even selling a few hundred thousand extra guns a year each year due to everyone wanting to buy them.

    1. I should have said that the people in managing positions had to go since they are the idiots that could not figure how to sell guns during the bubble. Why I left it out? brain fart. 😀

  4. I agree with the Stripped AR-15s and (lack) of revolvers. Not the others.

    M1911: The market is saturated. Take the pistol they are contracted for with the marines, remove the “Marine” and “US Government” markings, and sell it at a reasonable price. Current market I’d put it at around $900 – $1000 retail, and that’s the high end ($800 would be a better price point). Keep the best selling version of their full sized M1911 and the best selling version of their compact M1911 in the manufacturing queue, suspend the others.

    The “prancing horse”: While this is their trademark, and it makes sense to get all it’s worth from marketing, it isn’t worth much. Face it, everyone who remembers “Colt” as a top name is either a collector or an old fart (like me). You can’t attract the collectors market without exclusivity and high prices, and you can’t run the company profitably with those. Rebuild the prancing horses reputation, don’t try to trade on its past successes with the M1911.

    .380 Auto: They started making the Mustang again. Keep it if the sales figures are decent (as a gun for the concealed carry market). If not, make the .380 Government (the longer version) to fill that nich. Make both the Mustang and the .380 Government sized version in 9mm (double stack if they can with a reasonable engineering budget).

    AR-15s: Offer a “mil spec” copy of the M4, with a 16” barrel, for civilian sales in addition to the “stripped” AR-15s.

    As for more modern / new designs:

    Striker fired polymer: They don’t have the money needed to start developing one and get it right until after they are out of bankruptcy. To get into that market, if they are not dead on reliable they will tank their name (as they would with a poor quality python). Start the development but plan that it won’t be ready till well after bankruptcy is over. Budget accordingly.

    Modern M1911: BUL and Kimber both tried polymer wide body 1911s. Kimbers tanked due to the 1994 AWB and the inability to sell full capacity magazines with it. BUL has had issues with importing. Strike a deal with BUL to import the BUL M-5 under Colt’s name, with Colt making all but the frame here at first. That will give the parts count to allow shipment with a 14 round magazine. Invest in the facilities to make the polymer frame, and transition to it, and use it as leveraged investment with the R&D for a striker fired polymer pistol. Offer it in full sized (5 inch) and compact (4 inch). It would be their “foot in the door” to polymer pistols.

  5. “Second: a GI 1911 with modern sights. Are you gonna tell me that people would not riot to get a 1911 with the pony engraved on the side?”

    But you don’t think Pythons will sell?
    Pythons and Anacondas will sell for exactly the same reason you think GI 1911s will sell. People want to buy the image.

    Of course, one has to acknowledge that the market for modern semi-autos is significantly larger than that for wheelguns. And, no, bringing back the Python is not a cure all, but it will sell, as well, if not better than a GI 1911.

    The reality is there are plenty of people already making GI spec (or close enough to spec) 1911s, and at a much lower cost. Having the pony on the side is no more of a selling point for 1911s than Rick Grimes is for the Python.

    “Plus God forbid your first batch of Pythons suck and the word gets out, you will never recover.”
    And if the first batch of GI 1911s suck???

    Not a good reason to ignore an entire sector of your market.

    1. The cost of making 1911s is a fraction of what a good revolver will cost to make. And more people will buy semis if they are affordable. I am not saying maybe in the future they can bring the revolvers, but now? Cash must come in.

    2. The thing that made the Python reputation wasn’t the cool snakey logo, it was the amount of hand fitting they received. Hand fitting (and hand polishing, to get the famous deep blue finish) requires skilled hands, which are expensive. If you want a Python that actually lives up to the rep you’re going to have to fix the per-unit cost high and sell a lot of them every year to hit break-even point on your cost to produce. Think the market for $1500-2000 service revolvers (remember, even in its heyday the Python ran twice what a Smith or Ruger did) is just dying to be served?

      As to your second para: If Joe Customer buys a cheap product and it sucks, them’s the breaks. Maybe you can use it as a base for something else: it was cheap, after all. . If Joe digs deep to buy an expensive, big name product and it has problems, he’s going to be trash-talking that company for the rest of his life: after all, for what he paid he expected quality. Now you could save money by having your “New Python” made out of stamped and CNC’d parts assembled by the finest of unskilled labor, and doubtless it would be cheaper that way… but didn’t Remington try that with the R51?

      1. Well, I have been properly smacked down. 🙂

        Seriously, very good points, both of you, and I was not really thinking of the hand fitting being a large part of the appeal of the Python/Anaconda revolvers. But, yeah, why pay $2K for a .357 when you can get a good Ruger GP-100 for around $600?

        If the purpose is a large cash infusion as soon as possible, (as it should be) focusing on the items that are easiest to reliably produce at the highest profit margin is the way to go.

        Still think there is a large market for them, but can agree, probably not enough to save the company name.

  6. It saddens me greatly that the government in the state (and local area) I live in has made it very difficult for a company like Colt to thrive here because of our lib(tard) policies. We’re overrun and there is no hope for revival.

  7. I think Ruger should buy Colt. They should move production to a Free State. They should produce Colt’s Wheel Guns and 1911s at a reasonable price and grab market share. After ten years (or even sooner, remember S&W’s debacle when Thopmkins PLC divested itself of them? Their recovery was stunning!), the company would be solvent again and have a bright future.

  8. Let Freedom group buy them and fix them

    After all they already own:

    Advanced Armament Corporation
    Barnes Bullets
    Bushmaster Firearms International
    Dakota Arms
    DPMS Panther Arms
    H & R Firearms
    Mountain Khakis
    Para USA
    Parker Gunmakers
    Remington Arms

    1. I’d prefer someone else buys Colt if possible. Sciens Capital has already run the company into the ground at least once. They want to refinance it (with new investors / dupes*) and run it (likely into the ground again?).

      Freedom Group probably could run it reasonably well, but is this putting too many eggs in the same basket?

      *how much money from the $70 million investors put last year will get repaid? Morgan Stanley found people to invest $70 million in Colt, but it was reported it included $0 from Morgan Stanley.

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