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Old June 12, 1999, 09:21 PM   #1
Bill Mitchell
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In these days of gun-grabbing lawsuits and legislation,I hesitate to bad-mouth a gun company,but recent experience has me wondering if Colt really deserves the business of the Cowboy Shooting crowd.

A couple of weeks ago,I helped set up and worked at "The Shootout at Mule Camp",the third largest CAS shoot in the world. While Colt is the main sponsor of End of Trail,this year was the first time that they've had anything to do with our shoot. The reason behind it was that they are now part of the new sponsorship program for SASS regional shoots. They provided us with one Colt Cowboy
to give away and set up a small booth. I was able to inspect the Cowboy before it was given away,and I was disappointed,to say the least. The action was quite rough,it had a short trigger,and the grips were made of really cheap plastic and didn't fit the gun.
While I wouldn't expect the finest gun they have as a give-away,this one shouldn't have made it through quality control. A gun that costs twice what a Ruger Vaquero costs should be twice as nice,but this was an inferior firearm.

At Mule Camp,a local gunsmith,Len Ferguson,sets up and fixes guns for free. Most parts are donated by Mike Harvey at Cimmaron Firearms,which are basically identical to Colt parts. Why not use Colt parts?? Because they are outrageously expensive. A bolt is $40. A hammer is $150.

Folks buy the SAA based on the history of Colt and that firearm in the Old West. They are willing to pay $1200 for a SAA. Is this a gun that's really worth $1200? For $1200,Colt should bend over backwards in the customer service dept.,but the majority of stories I hear are negative in that regard.

The head of Colt's ownership group,Donald Zilkha,donated funds to the campaign of Charles Schumer and the the Democratic Senatorial campaign fund. Do we want to support donations to gun grabbers with our purchase decisions?

What I'm driving at here is that Colt has done very little to help cowboy shooters and CAS. They've upped the price on the SAA on what seems like a yearly basis,so that now it's an astronomic $1200. They've released a knockoff of the SAA,nearly identical in construction to a Ruger Vaquero,but lower in quality and costing nearly twice what the Ruger does. When Colt supports a CAS event,it does so to the bare minimum,it seems,while folks like Bill Oglesby donate $9000 worth of guns for the charity auction,every year. Now,I know that there are folks out there that swear by the Colt name and history,but it seems to me that history should only get you so far. At what point do product,service and support outweigh the substantial history?

Bellicose Bill
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Old June 12, 1999, 10:48 PM   #2
4V50 Gary
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While not a CAS myself, it certainly sounds like Colt's Pony rode off into the sunset and with it, much of the allure that was Colt.

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Old June 13, 1999, 12:46 AM   #3
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Colt is concerned about the lack of quality in their entire revolver line. Several months ago they hired Rodger Hunziker, owner of Phillips and Rodgers of Meduza fame, to act as consultant and to produce many of thier parts. Rodger is a friend of mine and I know he has made numerious trips to Hartford and spent countless hours working on various problems and developements. Many of these have gone unmentioned by Colt for their own reasons. Out of loyalty to Rodger I hesitate to speak poorly of Colt however it may simply be a case of too little too late. Rodger is a true master at what he does but is attempting to correct a situations that has been deteriating for years.
Personaly I feel that Colt should have responded to public complaints and explained that they were working on reported problems. I can only presume they did not simply because they felt it would be an admission that there were in fact problems. That admission, in my opinion, would have been respected by shooters. However their silence inplied they simply did not care.
Now in light of some of their employees political postitions they may have lost enough respect from the shooting public never to recover.
To many, myself included, the Colt single action army was as much a part of our heritage as mom and apple. It is sad to see what has became of Sam Colts company.
I wouldn't trade the old Colt single action armies I have for anything. Nor, sadly, will I ever buy a new one.

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Old June 13, 1999, 08:53 AM   #4
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In a 'nutshell' - NO. Kinda sad, but whena company cares not for its customers, time to move on. I do own some Colt SAA's and will hold on to them for what they are, and other products, but no more new Colt items for me unless I see a change.

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Old June 13, 1999, 08:24 PM   #5
Grayfox
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I'm not into CAS, but I'm a long time fan of Colt guns. I got to shoot the "Cowboy" at the DU Outdoor Festival and was very disappointed with it. Bill pretty much covered the problems. OTOH, not long ago I bought a .380 Mustang and have been very satisfied with it. I've heard many reports of spotty performance from new 1911 and 1991 series pistols. Colt definately has problems with quality control, but they are working on it. I feel it would be a great loss to our heritage if Colt goes under. In the meantime I'll continue to use my Colts and even give Colt consideration when thinking about buying a new gun. But, I will be wary of them until there is proof that quality has improved.
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Old June 14, 1999, 08:50 AM   #6
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Got two Vaqueros for the price of one Colt 'Cowboy' - have heard of their shoddy finish but never got to see one. There were some Colt SAA's in one of our more respectable gun shops windows (in Buenos Aires on a rare visit) - nicely cased and labeled "Signature Series", but would have had to hold up one of the local banks to pay for them (I asked my parts Butch and Sundance if they'd care to give a hand but they told me that they'd retired, everything being so politically correct these days - were going to take up some job up in Bolivia someplace).

Only Colt I have now is the "22 Auomatic Target Pistol" - a very so so take on the great Woodsman, but accurate enough.

Guess they're into AR 15's these days. Hope Gunslingers pal Hunziker (good Swiss name there, promising) can make some headway.

Don't imagine Ol' Sam would take kindly to Mr Zhilka giving money to Schumers campaign--- funny that a gun company would shoot itself in the foot. Not funny but funny

hasta pronto!

Peter Knight (aka El Chimango Pete, vaquero)
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Old June 14, 1999, 11:42 AM   #7
Trapdoor Billy
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Hey ElChimango - next time you see Butch or Sundance ask um if they know anything bout the 43 Spanish Remingtons vs the .43 Spanidh Reformados.
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Old June 14, 1999, 03:34 PM   #8
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Butch (Paul Newman) has gotten so PC that he's doin' commercials for CeaseFire.

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Old June 15, 1999, 04:17 PM   #9
Trapdoor Billy
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Gunslinger - knew there was a reason I passed by his stuff in the grocery store, jist couldn't put my finger on it, but now I seem to remember something like that, although I have not seen on.

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Old June 15, 1999, 08:30 PM   #10
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He does one of those spots where he is reading the paper. To paraphrase it goes something like,

Liverpool NY eight year old Johnny removes one of six loaded handguns, removes the magazine and is showing it to a friend when it goes off. The last words his friend said were you shot me.

The CeaseFire logo comes on the screen with the words 13 children are killed every day by handguns.

You then hear Newman do a voice over of, "Think before you bring a handgun into your house."

Of course Sundance was the real GUNSLINGER of the two.

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Old June 27, 1999, 01:49 PM   #11
James K
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This is not the first time Colt has played political correctness with the anti-gun gang. Once upon a time they had about all the police business, plus a lot of the military and they just plain didn't give a hoot for the civilian customer. As a result, they went belly up and through a series of owners, each of whom cared less about the civilian market. Colt today is owned and managed by a gang of money grubbing takeover artists who don't care about the future of the shooting sports or of their own company. The probably have plans already to unload the plant at some exorbitant price and take off for Tahiti to live it up.

This type doesn't care about guns. If they weren't in the gun business, they would be selling recycled toilet paper.

Jim
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Old December 18, 2005, 01:55 AM   #12
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Ruger Rules

All that business should go to Ruger now.
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Old December 18, 2005, 02:08 AM   #13
Glock 31
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"Liverpool NY eight year old Johnny removes one of six loaded handguns, removes the magazine and is showing it to a friend when it goes off. The last words his friend said were you shot me.

The CeaseFire logo comes on the screen with the words 13 children are killed every day by handguns.

You then hear Newman do a voice over of, "Think before you bring a handgun into your house.""

While this is not my opinion,and I must stress NOT, and I know it's not their fault entirely. Some gunners I run with would say, "That's 13 less stupid children in the world".

Guess it depends what Johnny's father taught him or didn't teach him about guns. Still, giving your child all the education on firearms there is doesn't guarantee it won't happen. That's why boxes say, "Keep out of reach of children".

I wasn't aware Colt was having these kind of issues. I own a Colt 1911A1 which according to Colt is from 1943. Haven't had any major issues with it except the slide starts to stick after several rounds, presumably from rails getting dirty. Maybe i'm not using enough oil on it. But I don't own any new Colts, cause I can't afford 'em. I guess this is why.
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Old December 18, 2005, 04:26 AM   #14
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Glock,

I hesitate to make this in any way political, BUT, HCI and the like consider "Children" to be all the way up to 23 year old drug pushers.

When druggies are fighting over turf, them who get shot are called "children" by them.

That is a little bit of BS, in my opinion.

Shumer is one of the best at it. If it were not for his attitude on gun control he would not even have gotten into the Senate. A really sharp prick, from a really anti state. Actually, NYC is the toughest place in NY for firearms, but it seems the rest of the state votes the way that NYC does. After 90 years or so of LaGuardia's prohibition of any minority having access to firearms, what the hell, that's the way to vote. Rest of the country was passing anti=black ownership, NYC had all them Hunkies ( I am one), can't let them have guns.

Sorry, this seems to be too political. If you wish to edit, please do.

Cheers,

George
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Old December 18, 2005, 05:33 AM   #15
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Let's see gettin back to 1998

Now this is just for me...what I'd do. I like Rugers and I like Colts, but if you put one of each down in front of me and say here one's yours, Ill take the Colt every time...rough or not I don't care it's still a Colt. Alot of people spoke badly of the Colt 3rd generation BP's From Colt New York...but you know what? What I heard was alot a talk I have a Colt Dragoon and have compared the actions, workmanship, fit, ect. The 3rd generation beat Uberti by a enough to make me very happy. Anyone can say what they want about Colt, but since 1998 they 've gotten much better I think. They also have alot more competition so they had to do somethin' , i.e. Brazil and Taurus...damn nice SAA. Anyway enough outta me. I don't think guns and politics are for discussin'... I think they're for usin on them that dissagree with me...LoL! Like perswading to correct gun laws....
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Old December 18, 2005, 08:44 AM   #16
mec
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People have been cussing Colt for at least 40 years now- the reasons varying. Occasionally, they will invite a guild pistolsmith up there to tell them how to improve/save their revolver line. The smith will give good advise, Colt will thank him and then ignore the recommendations. -Who knows what they are thinking?

They do not do a lot of advertising or interaction with the industry periodicals and appear to be relying on name recognition or other factors for their marketing. The magazine writers and established gunsmiths have little good to say about the quality of even the upper end single actions coming out of Hartford and nobody seems to like the "Cowboy" revolver. The Civilian firearms area is a fairly small part of the overall operation and has been for quite a while. I recall that ten or fifteen years ago somebody told me that it was (small)percent of the overall operation but (large) percent of the legal and other problems.

As to personal experience, I've had a couple of Series 80 . 1911s and shot a few other 1991 A1s and had the occasion to apply to Colt for customer service.- the service needs were minor and caused by me loosing the plunger/spring for the internal safety. Colt took care of me just fine. Also, the Colt pistols funcitioned perfectly -much better than the highly praised Kimbers and Springfield Armory pistols that were out at the same time. I still rely on a series 80 Gold Cup Enhanced.
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Old December 18, 2005, 09:26 AM   #17
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Does Colt deserve our business?

Bill, you must buy guns for different reasons than I do.

I have trouble with the who audacity issue. You not that when Colt does support cowboy action events, it does so at a bare minimum. So what? Why would you complain that some body or some company isn't ponying up end for free. They don't have to give you anything at all. This sort of issue reminds me of the outraged veterans that wanted to boycott Target stores because a single Target store did not give $ to the local veteran's group to help cover the cost of the touring portable Vietnam Memorial replica. When you ask for money, it is because you want a donation. A donation is something that does not have to be given.

When you ask if a company deserves your business, what are you driving at? Do you see owning a product from a given company as a sort of relationship between you and that company and hence you want to know if they deserve your company through your purchase of their products?

If you want to go the customer loyalty route, then consider it in this manner. The vast majority of companies out there will be loyal to their customers so long as the customers are buying their products. They see the relationships as being business. No surprise their since their ability to survive is based on business. You might consider a similar approach.

You raised the issue of high prices for Colt revolvers. Why buy Colt stuff when there are other variants out there that are much cheaper? This is more along the lines of reasoning I put with purchases, but without attaching the concept of whether or not a company deserves my business relative to their high prices. I believe in the bottom line. Is the product in question what I want? Is it a good value (price relative to quality, reliability, etc.)? Does the product fit my needs? Will I be able to get parts for it? etc.

Of course, there are folks that will stand by a product line for what I consider as strange reasons. Colt has such a following. You hear things like, "Colt has supported the United States military since..." They have sold to the military since then, but Colt was doing anything out of the goodness of their hearts. It was just businees. Colt didn't enter into such deals to lose money.

If it is not a Colt, then it is just a copy. This is a funny concept in that if it is a Colt AR15, then it is nothing but a copy. If it is a 1911, then it is a Browning-designed product.

Get rid of the emotional ties an approach the issue of doing business with Colt as any other business decision. Keep in mind that emotion is a facet of business decisions that often screws people in the long run because they spent money on aspects of a product that aren't actually part of the product.
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Old December 18, 2005, 09:17 PM   #18
hap
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well, there's a world of Colt revolvers and pistols for sale that were
manufactured in the day when the consumer expected quality
and the Colt company worked hard to give it to them. So, plunk
yer money down on an old Colt and let the new ones sit in the dealer's
case. Whatever shape they may be in today, they were right when they left the factory.
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Old December 18, 2005, 10:33 PM   #19
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Colt's biggest problem isn't politics...

it's product. If you don't make things that people want to buy, don't be surprised when they don't buy them.

Example: S&W sells every snubby they can pump out. Colt could bring back the DS / Cobra / Agent line, with the MK III / V / King Cobra lockwork, and sell a bushel of them. Have they done this? Nope.

Example: In the Python, Colt has arguably the finest .357 revolver ever made. So what do they do? Stop making them, of course.

Example: Interest in handgun hunting has been growing. Colt's response? Discontinue the Anaconda.

Example: CAS becomes a rapidly-growing sport. This, coupled with the popularity of handgun hunting makes single-action sixguns a solid business. Ruger eats Colt's lunch in the single-action market by making better, stronger guns for far less money. Colt does nothing.

Time after time, the ship has left the pier, and not only was Colt not on board, they were waiting at the airport.

As a fan of Colt revolvers, it makes me sad. I guess I'll just buy them used, because I like them so much.

--Shannon
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Old December 19, 2005, 12:50 AM   #20
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Colt has become nothing more than a govt arsenal and not even a very good one at that.
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Old December 19, 2005, 01:38 PM   #21
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"The CeaseFire logo comes on the screen with the words 13 children are killed every day by handguns."

IIRC to get that 13 per day figure they count everyone up to age 25! But I thought is was 13 per day shot (not killed).
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