Skip to comments.Crony-Capitalism is A Great Way to Kill a Gun Company
Posted on 07/19/2014 11:31:50 AM PDT by Kaslin
t they do best: Go on strike. By 1988, the company had lost a number of high-dollar contracts, and the end of their beginning was clearly at hand.
In the decade to follow, their competitors warmly embraced Americas newfound fascination with the civilian market, concealed carry, and home defense. Colt, on the other hand, decided to take a more pragmatic approach. And, by pragmatic, I mean liberal approach:
A wealthy industrialist, from the heart of a non-gun-owning Manhattan family, decided he could steer the company to better times. With a man who knew nothing about guns at the helm, Colt embarked on their reimagined path to prosperity by introducing (and supporting) the idea of smart guns and federal gun permits. Yeah As strange as it might seem, telling your most ardent customers that they should ask a fickle and hostile Federal government for permission to handle your product, isnt a great business practice.
The new CEO (yeah the last one was fired pretty quickly) still decided to put civilian ownership on the back-burner as he focused on appealing to the same Pentagon cronies that nearly drove the company into the trash-bin of history. There are only a handful of industries that relish the advent of war And they all have something in common: They work (in effect) for the Pentagon. With their sudden boom in government contracts, as the Iraq war picked up, it looked like good times might finally be on the horizon.
Good times, in fact, seemed like it couldnt be avoided. Well, at least in theory. But if Colt had proven anything in its 178 years of existence, its that turning a profit is kinda tough sometimes. The companys decision to whittle their civilian division down to a few obligatory 1911s wasnt really doing them any favors, given that their competitors were rushing to fill the demand of a gun-hungry republic. While Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid rambled on about gun control, Colt casually dismissed the idea of focusing on the civilian market. Heck, it was only within the last few years that Colt finally got around to deciding that a pocket pistol (the .380 Mustang) might be a good idea.
Today, the industry is seeing a decline from the last years boom in sales. Colts civilian offerings are proving to be too little, too late for a market that is currently saturated with high-quality alternatives. And so, with a very specialized degree of failure, Colt has managed to paint itself into near bankruptcy. Their corporate bonds are rated as junk, and theyre continuing to pile on millions of dollars worth of debt.
The company might still survive. After all, they represent a history, a quality, and a heritage that is rare in todays world. Their guns are quality products (even if you do pay a premium for those ponies on the slide) and their reputation is strong. But the company embraced too many values of the left to survive long in a world that has proven to be hostile to their industry.
In the end, there are really only three things that are responsible for killing Colt: cronyism, support for gun control, and labor Unions
You would think a gun manufacturer would know better than to sleep with government. But, I guess nobody shared that lesson with Colts management.
Colt used to be the name in Handguns. The Colt Python was the gold standard but they don’t make it anymore. All Colt Products are insanely expensive. Why buy a Colt 1911 when there are cheaper ones that are just as good?
Sorry Sam, your company deserved better.
See ya, Colt, ya bunch of fedgov sellouts.
The colt python had outstanding fit and finish and a trigger that breaks like glass. One of he best handguns ever made.
The few remaining Colt products, 1911s, western style revolvers and the Colt branded civilian AR carbines are wonderfully made, gold standard products. Like real gold these are a bit too pricy for most of us.
If I had the money, I’d buy custom shop remakes of the snubby 6 shot detective revolver, the Python .357 four inch and any of the cowboy revolvers. I’ve seen used Pythons at gun shows and very used ones go for almost $1500. The Python trigger pull is so smooth, much better than most other revolvers.
I own a Colt Python, bought new in about 1975 or ‘76.
The pistol is cleaned and retired now, still in 98 percent condition.
My son will get to enjoy it when I’m gone.
The Series 80 killed the 1911. Complete piece of steaming poop.
Sadly that story isn’t new in the world of firearms.
Bill Ruger embraced magazine limits and arbitrary cosmetic feature bans (the assault weapons ban) in order to improve sales of his company’s alternative products. That piece of *%#^&* believed he could improve his company’s profits by supporting gun control that made his competitor’s products illegal.
Smith & Wesson conspired with the Clinton administration to voluntarily undermine the second amendment and engage in corporate practices that mimicked the effects of gun control legislation.
It would appear that the company hoped that by being the first eager little beavers on the big-brother bandwagon they would encourage the federal government to allow the friendly little traitorous lapdog corporation to have a little slice of the post-gun-control limited firearms market.
In the case of S&W, voluntarily instituting elements of the gun control agenda cost them 40% of their sales within a year, and eventually the gun-public boycott of the company almost ended in bankruptcy for the firm. They were barely salvaged by a buyout by another corporation.
Sadly, large corporations tend to favor legislative action that raises barriers to market entry for potential competitors. Stifling competition via sponsoring government overreach and over-regulation is an old trick of major corporations; it’s the next best thing to a monopoly. This is true regardless of industry — the biggest players in the field are happy to legislate away your freedoms as long as it means guaranteed market share for the company. See the Phillips-GE sponsored ban on incandescent light bulbs for a non-gun related example.
Thankfully you can find a lot of small-manufacturers willing to jab a thumb into the eyes of ban-happy politicians AND corporate toadies. Right now there’s a slew of small firearms and tactical gear companies that are refusing to sell products to state agencies located in states that violate the second amendment.
You can buy some amazingly well-made firearms from companies that actively support your freedoms, and in many cases you’ll find that the small companies making the finest high-end firearms for niche gunnut markets are going to ACTIVELY support your second amendment rights. That’s a hell of a lot better than lining the pockets of a corporation that wants to violate your rights in order to ensure market share.
If you’re interested in an AR-15 pattern rifle, I’d urge you to not buy from Colt and instead purchase a high-quality AR-15 pattern rifle from one of the freedom-loving small companies that are boycotting gun-controlling-state-governments. LaRue Tactical and Bravo Company are two companies that come to mind off the top of my head, there are lists online of gun companies that boycott state governments if you’re interested in more. If you want a 1911, Wilson Combat offers some very high-end products AND supports your freedoms to boot. I have no financial interest in the companies involved, I’m just trying to steer freedom-loving Americans towards companies that actually support American freedoms.
Large corporations almost inevitably, it seems, seek advantage through government.
Colt did apparently decide that the way to keep afloat was via military contract, which was reflected in their lackluster pursuit of the civilian market compared to other firms. That's actually being polite, as their public attitude towards civilians owning anything other than "match" ARs became hostile and continued until not that long ago. It also didn't help that their efforts to make more modern (and more profitable) weapons were slow-motion ways of catching their crank in the zipper.
(The Double Eagle was how not to design a pistol, and their Pocket Nine was how not to plagiarize a pistol.)
Colts are still the "gold standard" in ARs, but a BCM, Daniel Defense, Knight's, or Noveske equivalent will do a person just as well or better depending on configuration, and the good stuff always seems to be priced reasonably close to one another.
Yeah, the Python is awesome. It was one of the first guns I shot and I remember how well balanced it was for being such a big mutha. I believe it was the first time I shot .357Mag. I got my Sig Saur .357 not long after that memorable moment. Thank you Dean!
Amex card: Kel-tec .380, made in FL, guar for life, good Italian mags. Don’t even know it’s in your pocket.
and neither will the bad guy!
I was back in Connecticut last month. Drove along I91 on my way to/from Bradley International. The former Colt manufacturing plant along the interstate, the one with the blue Arabic style dome on top, was shuttered and boarded up.
When in New Haven, I drove past the Winchester-Western facility where I worked during the late 1960s. Most of the buildings have been torn down. The main office building where I used to have an office now has been converted to loft condominiums.
Connecticut, which used to be THE gun manufacturing state in the US has lost almost all of that industry. Thousands of jobs are gone, many now having migrated to the South.
For Connecticut, the gun industry is only the tip of the iceberg. It was shocking to see how many other industries have left the state for greener pastures.
Colt is turning over in his grave. The Colt Armory is a landmark in Hartford.
That it certainly is. When Texas Ranger Sam Walker approached Colt to craft what became known as the Walker Colt (off the Paterson Colt, which itself had been purchased by the Republic of Texas), Colt was broke and hadn't even retained the working models. Colt relaunched his company through the Mexican-American war.
...their Pocket Nine was how not to plagiarize a pistol.
Oh, yeah, more specifically the locking mechanism which had been patented by Kahr Arms. I bought one in its only year of formal release and it's about the only "collectible" piece I have. Long, hard trigger pull but it was one of the first pocket pieces in what has become a major market. I carried mine a little too much to keep it truly pristine but it's safe in its original box now in my gun safe. For carry in that same summer/light clothing role, I bought a Kahr.
Marlin Firearms and Mossberg were right down the street. (Now they are gone) As kids, the friends and I would go through their dumpsters and collect the wood frames that didn't pass muster. I had a lot of "home made guns" when I was a kid.