The Colt design was very refined and therefore requires more maintenance to keep operating properly.
Putting it another way, the Colt design was so outdated and obsolete that it requires far too much maintenance to keep operating properly.
Colt's lock design is basically a Galand lock, which dates to 1872. Colt's designers perfected the lockwork c 1904, then added the positive hammer block safety c. 1907. No further changes were made until the end of production. On the other hand, though not apparent on the outside, S&W's design has been upgraded and revamped many times, a continual product improvement program with a view to using fewer parts, increasing reliability and reducing costs. A company that can do that while appearing to make no change at all is doing something right.
A company that believes an 1872 design is perfect and "refined", even though it requires extensive maintenance, is going to have to be content with a high product price and a niche market of a few rich customers or go out of business.