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Old August 6, 2013, 08:33 PM   #26
RickB
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A buddy has a USFA, and it's beautiful, but it sounds like the business was run like a hobby rather than a business.
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Old August 6, 2013, 09:12 PM   #27
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USFA's own "management" (or lack of it), did them in; their quality was (IMHO) better than the Colts of that time.

As for a DA revolver, Colt did produce a modern gun, but chose to cancel it, partly because the Clinton administration made threats to shut down makers of concealable guns. (One result was the unfortunate S&W "lock", but that is another story; S&W is still in business, though under a different management.)

But unless Colt destroyed that tooling, they should be able to crank up revolver production fairly quickly; I don't know if doing that would pay off or not. My impression is that Colt still has the military/police mindset and has little or no interest in the civilian market. It will take something more than an old gun with a polymer frame to convince me otherwise.

I well remember when General Keys was brought in. I worked for DoD for 35 years and, believe me, the ONLY reason a company hires a retired general is so he will use his influence to get contracts from his former subordinates. He succeeded in doing that, but the company still markets two main commercial products - a 140 year old revolver design, and a 102 year old pistol design. That does not sound like the modern, progressive company that we have been repeatedly been told was on its way under new management team number 25486572.

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Old August 6, 2013, 10:24 PM   #28
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other U.S. makers with less famous brand names. S&W, Ruger, Springfield
Springfield isn't a US manufacturer.
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Old August 6, 2013, 11:52 PM   #29
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Quote:
He succeeded in doing that, but the company still markets two main commercial products - a 140 year old revolver design,
Which sells very well.

Quote:
...and a 102 year old pistol design
Which sells even better.

They also make a few other guns. Some handguns and a batch of long guns and carbines for the U.S. and a batch of other countries. But I guess that don't count.

Quote:
As for a DA revolver, Colt did produce a modern gun, but chose to cancel it, partly because the Clinton administration made threats to shut down makers of concealable guns.
Not exactly accurate. Colt was mired in years of slumping sales of it's da revolvers. During he 60s through the 80s it lost substantial market share to S&W and Ruger in the law enforcement market and as a result the civilian revolver market. They could not produce their guns at a price point that was competitive. (Why would a security guard buy a Python when a Ruger would do?). In the 80s they began redesigning their revolver line in an effort to gain back share. They produced some good guns. Just in time for the wondernine craze and the transition of law enforcement from wheelguns to semis. Shortly after Glock showed up. The revolver line dried up.

No one who wanted a revolver was buying them from Colt. No sales, no money.

All gun manufacturers faced pressure from the Clinton administration and others. But that had little to do directly with Colt's da wheelguns. They finally ended the Python because it was not selling.

S&Ws ownership struck a deal with Clinton. Then they sold the company and Clinton left office. No deal was in force at that point, but who bought S&W? An outfit called Saf-T-Lock and what did they make? Gun locks. What did they do? Put locks on S&Ws.

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Old August 7, 2013, 12:19 AM   #30
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If you read the financial news Colt is not a solvent company. Doesn't mean they don't produce a good product and it doesn't mean they aren't profitable. It means that there is a very good chance they won't be able to meet their debt obligations coming due. Their new plant in FL. never started production and in a few months they will have to repay the county that subsidized the construction. It's just one of the reasons they have not been innovative, too much debt to try anything new. They are just trying to hold onto with the product line they have without creating risk. I hope they survive but it's not looking real good.
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Old August 7, 2013, 12:35 AM   #31
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I own three Colt handguns, but none of them are "today's" example of Colt handguns. The newest of them is from 1991 or '92, IIRC. My good buddy has two new Colt 1911 pistols... a .38 Super and a Delta Elite, both are from the last 2-3 years.

They seem to be decent handguns, but I have been able to quite closely compare them with a gaggle of other 1911 pistols (as he collects them) and I've also had a decent few trips to the range with these and many other 1911 pistols and as far as I can tell (being no expert whatsoever, but merely an enthusiast), these new Colt 1911 pistols are decent, mid-level guns. They seem to me to fit about in their price range. If anything, they seem to be a wee-bit over priced compared to others on the market of similar quality & finish.

What I find disturbing in these pistols is the continued use of plastic MSH's. Some other gun makers use them also (Kimber and STI come to mind) and I'm quite certain that it's never likely to be a point of failure, but they still come off as "cheap" and "cheesy" on such a classic and historic pistol style.

The Delta Elite uses plastic parts in the guide rod, and I sometimes wonder if that won't end up being a failure point.

I understand the concepts of costs and profits and bottom lines, but the plastic MSH on a 1911 pistol just leaves me (perhaps irrationally) cold. I wish they'd stop. Colt bills themselves as the "Genuine Article" when it comes to 1911 pistols. I have no intention of invoking the JMB name and going down that nutty angle, but these pistols are better, IMO, without the obvious plastic parts.
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Old August 7, 2013, 08:07 AM   #32
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You have to spend money to make money. Sure, it would cost money to set up production, but with NOS Pythons creeping over 3K, Colt couldn't sell enough to make it worthwhile? S&W still manages to sell revolvers...


http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=355948652
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Old August 7, 2013, 11:08 AM   #33
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That is correct. The last of the Pythons was produced and sold about 5 years ago. They were not selling at the price point. The Python was the last to go the others had been phased out over the preceding years. This is an old discussion on this forum and about every gun forum.

Colt was steadily losing money on it's revolver line. The cost of a vintage Python has no bearing on what folks were willing to pay for a standard production revolver 5 or 15 years ago.

10-15 years ago a young shooter could pay $400. for a new Glock, $350. for a Ruger da revolver, $400-450 for a S&W 686 or $900. for a new Python. They did not buy the Python.

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Old August 7, 2013, 03:28 PM   #34
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Colt is in the same fix as a losing football team. They don't have enough good players so they can't win games so they can't draw fans so they can't make money so they can't sign good players so they can't win games so they can't draw fans so they can't make money ....

Anyone think they are Super Bowl contenders??

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Old August 8, 2013, 02:19 AM   #35
Sevens
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In the end, these guys still have the Colt name, and it is outrageously powerful. Especially when you are building NEW guns to sell NOW. Let us all remember the one thing we forget so easily while spending energy here at these fine forums. We all surround ourselves with hardcore hobbyists and life-long range rats and gun cranks when -WE- discuss this stuff -HERE.-

Those are great markets for any gun company, but it's just ONE market, and it could be argued that it's not even the biggest market. They want to hook the guys with cash, that know the name, with an uber-popular design (1911) and they can splash advertising that everyone else is merely making a "copy" and only the Colt is the real deal. This sells guns, for certain.
Quote:
Anyone think they are Super Bowl contenders?
This is a nutty analogy you've chosen, but let's work with it.

I don't think they are Super Bowl contenders. But they are an NFL team with a brilliant history that is so woven in to the fabric of the nation that it's dang near served with apple pie and delivered in a Chevrolet.

And by being not only an NFL team, but one with an irrationally storied history, it makes them one of the top "football organizations" on the face of the planet. So maybe there's a few dozen teams in the NFL and these guys don't get an invitation on Superbowl Sunday. However, there are -thousands- of football teams knocking heads across this nation every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from September to January, and these guys have the panache of the Dallas Cowboys.
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Old August 8, 2013, 10:22 AM   #36
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I have read this thread with interest, and while I know very little of Colt, and have but one "experienced" Colt Agent snubby which is my wife's CCW, I did notice the lack of one element.

Overseas production.

The Turks, Yugoslavs and UAE are coming into their own as significant handgun producers.

Granted, I don't see any revolvers coming from overseas, but revolvers are more of a niche market now anyway.

So, to get to specifics: if I want a 1911, do I drop a grand on the Colt name or $500 on a Turkish clone which also goes bang?

In truth, I don't know yet, I have not decided. IN GENERAL U.S. manufacturers have not floated my boat. I have Beretta, Glocks, Sigs, Steys, Walthers, the odd, C&R CZ, one Smith and one Colt, two Rugers, the 10/22 rifle and .44mag.

Innovation I see coming from outside the U.S. -exp.: Glock's ability to make polymer a mainstream manufacturing process, Walther's trigger guard mag release, Steyr's trigger guard safety release, Steyr's trapezoidal sights and so forth.

I would love for Colt or Ruger or Smith to come out with something that makes me say "that is REALLY neat", but it has not happened to me yet.
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Old August 8, 2013, 10:59 AM   #37
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I've been looking for a Colt XSE Lightweight Commander for years, and yesterday my LGS e-mailed me they have one in stock. So called them and they put it behind the counter for me, and I left work and went and picked it up.
( I dropped a grand, to me it's worth it)

I am now the proud owner of a Colt XSE Lightweight Commander!!

And I am also a fan of Americas team, The Dallas Cowboys!
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Old August 8, 2013, 08:38 PM   #38
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I've purchased two recent vintage Colt 1911s. They are fine handguns and worth the money, IMO. Current management is doing it the right way. There are some long-term concerns about the amount of corporate debt but I'm optimistic they can work that out given the fact they have a positive cash flow.
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Old August 13, 2013, 04:00 AM   #39
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I'm curious if there is any reason Colt wouldn't allow special orders of DA revolvers that they used to make? With the prices these days I'd think it would be profitable to make them on order and could still be priced under what you could buy an unfired one from Gunbroker for. Or is it truly not cost effective even then?
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Old August 13, 2013, 04:12 AM   #40
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There's a REALLY good reason they don't do this...
The main reason is that the machinery to make those guns is no longer on the floor of the facility.

Now, do they have the machinery? I would think or hope that the most key pieces are somewhere, still in their possession. They do, however, have a bit of a track record in this regard. (snicker)

This machinery, is it in proper working order?

Are the most important and precision bits of it up to snuff, to make the key parts to their standards?

Are there folks that are trained to run this particular (OLD) equipment, and to adjust, tune & repair the equipment?

Now, how about the actual skilled labor that put the gun parts together to produce the revolver? These are fitted parts, you can't learn to do this by watching a 60 minute DVD.

What about the ridiculous polishing and Colt Royal Blue. They must at least still be doing that...I hope? Without that, you end up with a Colt Peacekeeper.
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Old August 13, 2013, 05:37 AM   #41
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If the machinery is off the floor, then it would make sense not to be building any more. But if Colt still employs people capable of servicing all of the revolvers, I might think they could also be familiar with or trained easily on the assembly of the things. And they do still offer rebluing services, even the royal blue according to their current price sheet. But then, I have no real idea what is involved in producing a gun from start to finish or how much time qualified people would have to spare on this. Its a nice dream though to be able to special order a brand new Royal Blue Python
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Old August 13, 2013, 02:24 PM   #42
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It has been said in these forums that the gentlemen who can tune and repair Colt revolvers are a finite group that is getting older and doesn't seem to be growing in size. I have no idea how much truth there is to that, but it seems likely.

As for the machinery missing from the floor of the facility, I read that from a gun writer who published it in a known periodical. Discussion forum folks always slag gun writers and magazines (and vice versa) but they aren't know for telling blatant, obvious lies, so I believe it to be true.

Colt is said to be opening a new facility in Florida. Maybe that new joint will see some old, dusty PYTHON equipment set up?!
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Old August 13, 2013, 07:03 PM   #43
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It's also my understanding the old equipment is gone. Remember that much of the equipment was many decades old and was wearing out. Colt would have to invest in new CNC machinery and go with a simpler design to cut out much of the intensive hand labor.
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