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1911A1 repro - why make only 4000?

1517 Views 13 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  mdcalvert
Does anyone think the profit from these specific guns was the motivation? Doesnt seem likely...do the math. Perhaps producing them also has the effect of legitimizing the rest of the product line somewhat, reminding everyone that there are 1911 Colts, then there are 1911 clones. But the profit from 4000 guns only isnt going to be that much in the big picture.

Does anyone think Colt will really stop at 4000 and then throw everything away? I sure hope not. I dont have $1000 to drop on the thing and probably wont before the 4000 are sold. But if another run was produced next year I'd be buying. I think Colt needs to realize that. There shouldnt be anything precious or "one-time-only" about a brand new Colt 1911A1. If they only keep it as a custom shop offering for legal reasons then fine, but it should continue to be available. Personally, I'd like to have two of the things - one to shoot, and one for parts (just kidding) - point is I think they could continue selling the 1911A1 repro in better numbers than they currently sell other premium models (not including the 1991).

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If the gun sells, I suspect they will make more. They're in the business of making money (or, they used to be . . .), so I can't imagine they kill a money-maker.
Hello RickB......
Colt not kill a money maker? How about the Colt XS guns? Where are they to be found? Hot sales, in demand, good looking, great mechanics, WHERE ARE THEY COLT? (Please don't confuse me with Colt's current attempt to maximize profits with a higher price and less goodies with their in house clone of the XS called the XSE!) Colt has made some real hair-brain marketing blunders. Don't be surprised if the repro 11 goes up in a cloud of smoke and disappears from the Colt line. (I can't believe sometimes that I'm so loyal to Colt, I mean those companies that have used the name "Colt".) If Colt discontinues the repro 11, please Colt at least put the nice repro 11 rollmark on the 1991A1 guns. Then you could buy a 1991A1 that is excellent with a cooool rollmark.

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Making "only" 4000 gives them a reason (ever so weak) to charge you $900 for a $450 pistol.
Originally posted by SamColtFan:
Hello RickB......
Colt not kill a money maker? How about the Colt XS guns? Where are they to be found? Hot sales, in demand, good looking, great mechanics, WHERE ARE THEY COLT?
They'll be back as soon as Colt finds a part's supplier willing to privide parts without expecting money in return :)
colt has zero marketing savey.i mean come on why dont they start producing revolvers again,yes i know they are going to make the anaconda and python available again,but hey why did they dicontinue them to start with.the past year and a half they could have burried smith and wesson if they were still producing civilian guns revolvers,semis etc......
they dont want to succeed imo.
Think back quite a few years. How many times have they discontinued , and than brought back, the 1873 Peacemaker. When they quit making them, they become "Collector
items." The price jumps!!!! Then they bring them back at an even higher price.

I well remember. I was a dealer for over forty years before retiring. They will bring them back when the price is right!!!!

I can't comprehend that 4000 people will spend $800 for the thing.
As a FFL dealer, I just received a new catalog that lists the Anaconda. The wholesale is over $800. Shortly before they stopped making them you could get them for $400. The last one I bought and kept for myself I paid $600 for.
So yes, sometimes its hard to be a loyal Colt fan.
You need to examine the Reality of being a firearms manufacturer in the new Millenium, guys.

The reason, gents, that the pre-Series 80 1911/1911A1 cannot EVER again be a standard catalog item with a low price is exactly the same as for the current "Custom Shop only" Single Action Army vs. an updated Colt "Cowboy". The higher "collectable" price and the Custom Shop box are the ONLY way they can be legally sold at all in today's world. It isn't just price gouging - though "all the market will bear" will always be the case in non-standard "limited editions".

Thanks to a little thing called civil liability lawsuits, you cannot possibly continue to catalog a hundred year old design without modern safety updates if you are a major manufacturer of any size (read that as "popular civil lawsuit target"). It cost Bill Ruger $3,000,000 plus to find that out in ONE incident of a moron shooting himself by loading a traditional SAA copy with six instead of five rounds and bouncing it off the dashboard over rough terrain in a 4X4 - and if you don't think the threat is a clear and present danger, you don't live in the real world. Everyone in business that hopes to stay that way has absolutely no choice - safety is a required option. And no "purist gun nut's opinion" can turn the world back to the 1930's ever again. These are mass market items - and they must be as "moron proof" as it is possible to make them. They will be mistreated, modified and if it can go wrong, it will go wrong - and someone will sue.

Don't believe me? Look at the major structural changes in both the new Kimber Series II (Schwartz Lock firing pin block) and the Springfield Armory 1911 clones (modified slide/firing pin/ mainspring housing lock). Do you guys think they added all the extra machining steps, extra, non-interchangeable parts, and caused themselves the headaches and confusion of servicing "old" and "new" models just for laughs? Safety interlocks are no longer optional on a forklift or a .45 - there are too many hungry new lawyer sharks entering the pool each year. The good news is, as currently done, they are as reliable as any other production part and virtually unnoticable in actual use.

Colt can still get away (so far) with hand producing a few thousand higher priced "collectors only" guns per year, appropriately marketed to the well heeled and knowlegable people who can afford it and may not even shoot them. But to return a 90 plus year old design to full production unchanged is asking to be sued to death. Colt has plenty of experience with anti-gunmaker lawsuits - I'm amazed they actually made 4000 1911A1s!

So to those of you that think the price is outragous - don't blame Colt. The fact the guns are non-standard is only the smaller part of that high price. It's Custom Shop and DELIBERATELY priced out of the reach of the average neophyte or nothing if you want the "original design". Thank the Trial Lawyers Association and a lawsuit happy nation - they have killed a lot of good products.

Warmly, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits and Patent Infringements"
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Col Colt,

There may be validity in some of what you say - although, it would appear that the new Kimber & SA FP locks are arriving to allow sales in MD & CA. Both of my new Kimber pistols have the old firing system, and Kimber is still producing thousands upon thousands of them. I've re-read their literature; I'm still wondering if the standard & II models will be produced in parallel.

But for whatever reason, I would think that Colt's survival would depend on a product line that appeals to the braod general populace of gun buyers, not a few "well heeled and knowlegable people who can afford" their Custom Shop offerings. At $900 to $1000, the amount of money isn't that much of an issue - if it were, Kimber's Custom Shop guns would not be selling. What remains to be seen is how many buyers will be willing to spend that ticket on a Custom Shop gun that offers nothing in the way of improvement over a standard cataloged item (70 series trigger excluded), but instead a more accurate reproduction of a 60 year old pistol than can be purchased anywhere else.
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It would be nice if many more were made but don't overlook the value of its nostalgic appeal. Colt is the only gun company who can lay claim to authenticity. There are not other manufacturers of WWII pistols still making them.

The safety improvements are not an issue with me. I want the gun to look as original as possible. I think many of the improvements detract from the guns appearance. My Kimber stainless was excellent but it deviated in many ways including, the beavertail, skeleton aluminum trigger, front slide serrations, sights, hammer, beveled magazine well.

I think there is a place for both. The good reproductions and the improved models.
Originally posted by Kevinch:
I've re-read their literature; I'm still wondering if the standard & II models will be produced in parallel.
From what the folks at Kimber told me, eventually the non-model IIs will be phased out. The direction is toward model II guns only.

Colt is not alone in the need to charge a big lump for the same hunk of metal that used to cost Uncle Sam about $15.00. Look at the paralell change in costs for a small private plane. Although none of the companies that made light planes in 1945 are still making the same models as they then made, similar "new" aircraft cost as much as thirty or forty times what a similar plane cost in 1945. Planes that were made in the late forties (and eariler) and are still airworthy still cost a lot more they originally did (like original CGM's and M1911Ai's), but nobody can make a plane today and then sell it for what it actually should cost. Why? Because of lawsuits and greedy people who sue everybody who supplied any part in a plane that crashed. Forget about the fact that "pilot error" actually causes a crash and leads to the death of crew and people on the ground, the suits name every supplier, from the tires to the tail lights, and they win.

Every manufacturer, whether it's Colt or Cessna, knows that the survivability of their company depends on a reserve to fight the inevitable suit. That drives the cost ever upwards. When the company has stock holders and a board of directors, the problem increases. There is more pressure to make the product as safe and as goof-proof as possible.

I say we should applaud Colt and conratulate the Colt CEO, fomer USMC General Keys, for his push to make the M1911A1 copy a reality. If it were not for his support, the pistol would still be a dream for us all. Yes, I will plunk down my hard earned retirement money and buy one of the pistols.


Oak Ridge, TN
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