Colt was killed in the 1980’s and buried in the 1990’s. Wiki:
In 1985, Colt’s workers, members of the United Auto Workers went on strike for higher wages. This strike would ultimately last for five years, and was one of the longest running labor strikes in American history. With replacement workers running production, the quality of Colt’s firearms began to decline. Dissatisfied with Colt’s production, in 1988 the U.S. military awarded the contract for future M16 production to Fabrique Nationale.
Some criticized Colt’s range of handgun products in the late 1980s as out of touch with the demands of the market, and their once-vaunted reputation for quality had suffered during the UAW strike. Colt’s stable of double-action revolvers and single-action pistols was seen as old-fashioned by a marketplace that was captivated by the new generation of “wondernines” - high-capacity, 9x19mm Parabellum caliber handguns, as typified by the Glock 17. Realizing that the future of the company was at stake, labor and management agreed to end the strike in an arrangement that resulted in Colt being sold to a group of private investors, the State of Connecticut, and the UAW itself.
The new Colt first attempted to address some of the demands of the market with the production in 1989 of the Double Eagle, a double-action pistol heavily based on the M1911 design, which was seen as an attempt to “modernize” the classic Browning design. Colt followed this up in 1992 with the Colt All American 2000, which was unlike any other handgun Colt had produced beforebeing a polymer-framed, rotary-bolt, 9x19mm handgun with a magazine capacity of 15 rounds. It was designed by Reed Knight, with parts manufactured by outside vendors and assembled by Colt; its execution was disastrous. Early models were plagued with inaccuracy and unreliability, and suffered from the poor publicity of a product recall. The product launch failed and production of the All American 2000 ended in 1994. This series of events led to the company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1992.
The 1990s brought the end of Cold War, which resulted in a large down turn for the entire defense industry. Colt was hit by this downturn, though it would be made worse later in the 1990s by a boycott by the shooting public in America. In 1994, the assets of Colt were purchased by Zilkha & Co, a financial group owned by Donald Zilkha. It was speculated that Zilkha’s financial backing of the company enabled Colt to begin winning back military contracts. In fact during the time period it won only one contract, the M4 carbine. However, the U.S. Military had been purchasing Colt Carbines for the past 30 years (See Colt Commando). During a 1998 Washington Post interview, CEO Ron Stewart stated that he would favor a federal permit system with training and testing for gun ownership. This led to a massive grass-roots boycott of Colt’s products by gun stores and US gun owners.
Zilkha replaced Stewart with Steven Sliwa and focused the remainder of Colt’s handgun design efforts into “smart guns,” a concept favored politically, but that had little interest or support among handgun owners or Police Departments. This research never produced any meaningful results due to the limited technology at the time. Colt announced the termination of its production of double action revolvers in October 1999.