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Discussion Starter #1
In the Jan. 2002 issue of Guns and Ammo Handguns in the Springfield Loaded Moded article by Bob Campbell, in the opening paragraph he states "Colt is officially kaput if not for good certainly for the near future. As a result, manufacturers of 1911 type pistols are capitalizing on this windfall for them. Many are walking on velvet as 1911 type pistol sales remain brisk. One concern that has long gave Colt a run for its money is Springfield, Incorporated. Offering top grade single action pistols of proven quality, Springfield
pistols are honestly preferred over all others by cognoscenti of the handgun." In "Next Month" section of Handguns, it says Massad Ayoob will talk about "What's Happening at Colt Firearms."

I have just purchased a new M1991A1 Colt that I am waiting to arrive at the dealer (had to special order) as my first 1911 type Colt. Before ordering the gun, I went to every dealer in my area, but could not find a blued 1991A1 on any shelf. The dealers ran down Colt and said to by a copy. Some said Colt was going out of business. Others said Colt sells only to military and law enforcement. I contacted Colt's customer service and the guy said what I heard was a bunch of bull _ _ _ _, and that I should have any dealer order through a distributor (ie. Accu Sport). I did what Colt said. Now I read the above in a well respected magazine.

Does anybody have any clue as to what's going on?
 

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Back during the Klinton administration then HUD secretarty Andrew Cuomo urged all law enforcment agencies to only do business with companies who agreed to provide "safe" guns and who would comply with a list of demands from the administration. S&W caved in and signed the agreement. Colt did a similar move. They issued a statement basically saying that they were going to get out of the consumer gun business to pursue military and law enforcement contracts. When they realized that law enforcement was not going along with the game and consumers were boycotting them, they reversed their position. But I will not be buying any Colt or S&W products again. I am in the process of buying both an AR15 and a 1911, and am not considering Colt for either one. Mainly because they are overpriced for what you get, but also because they have said they really don't want to sell me one.
 

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I don't see a huge volume of Colts, but I have seen a few of recent production and had occasion to deal with their customer service. Three recently produced Defenders were of very high quality, I'll go so far as to say I was surprised. These guns are an admittedly small sampling, but they seem to show that whatever is going on at Colt, they have gotten the message that quality counts. Their customer service was easy to work with and forthcoming.

Another thing I must admit to: I am something of a traditionalist, and while I don't have
any trouble at all recognizing the quality and innovation coming out of some of the other 1911 manufacturers' plants, I can't help but WANT Colts to be good, I can't help but WANT Colt to be prosperous, just because it is such a storied marque, and a bit of an American icon. It's not just a gun thing either; for some of the same reasons I'd hate to see Coke or Ford go belly-up.
 
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The horse is a horse of course of course. Colt is the best value if they ever do fold. And even if they don't fold they are a good value. Bummer you could'nt find one on a shelf. The Springfields are considered the bottom of the big three here in Nevada. The orded is Kimber, Colt, Springfield. With price gaps of $100 between the various lines of each. And though the Kimbers will shoot the pants off most Colts i've shot. I still like the Colts for their unique and limited liking. Just because its a Colt its a Colt. If you don't get it. Buy a Kimber for build, fit, tolerance. A Springfield for features and build. Or a Colt for no other reason.
 

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Originally posted by Ned Christiansen:
I don't see a huge volume of Colts...Three recently produced Defenders were of very high quality, I'll go so far as to say I was surprised...I can't help but WANT Colts to be good, I can't help but WANT Colt to be prosperous, just because it is such a storied marque, and a bit of an American icon.
If you take a look at the Colt Forum, you will see that the company is alive and producing their best 1911s in the past 15 or so years.

The Defender is a really decent gun. I really haven't heard of anyone having problems with it. From what I have experienced and from what people are saying on the forum, Colt's is re-tooling with CNC machinery and is currently not able to produce a large amount of guns. What they are producing are certainly on comparable value with a Springfield Inc. gun.

I also *WANT* to see Colt (and S&W) prosper and be successful. It does the industry as a whole no good to have huge American icons like that struggle. It is obviously better to have as many successful companies competing to give us the consumer the highest quality and lowest cost firearm available. But, I can say that it is certainly the case of BAD BUSINESS PRACTICES, as the reason that they are having issues.

The gun industry in the US is *NOT* a normal business environment. The problems with S&W and Colts is that they have been owned / managed in the past by people that don't understand this dichotomy. Normal business practice dictates that when Government tries to regulate the industry you are in, you don't fight it, you work with Government to compromise and have the least restrictive regulation at the lowest cost.

The Gun Industry cannot follow this model. Because of the 2nd Amendment and Gun Activists, when companies in the industry have followed the standard MBA Management textbook practices, they have been almost run out of business by boycotts. For S&W and Colt's to be successful, those companies need to have owners and management that understand the unusual dymanics of the industry.

Give us high quality, value, and don't capitulate to the Government's bullsh*t on gun control and you'll have my business any time.
 

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I agree, the new Colt 1991/Government Models are of better quality (fit, function, etc) than anything they have produced in the last 30 years, and maybe the best ever. All my 45's are Colts.... wouldn't own anything but the real thing (what do you think the "C" stands for in "45ACP" ? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the responses. I am just getting back into the gun scene. When I left a career in law enforcement over 15 years ago I sort of lost touch with what was happening.

It's good to know Colt quality has improved. I plan to turn my 1991A1 over to the best gunsmith in Virginia (who also specializes in 1911 custom work) to perform his magic. It should really be fantastic then.

I and many of my law enforcement colleagues are disappointed that Springfield has taken the path of installing internal locks with keys (for civilians; not law enforcement). Most law enforcement professionals I know will not carry firearms with internal locks.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.
 

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I and many of my law enforcement colleagues are disappointed that Springfield has taken the path of installing internal locks with keys (for civilians; not law enforcement). Most law enforcement professionals I know will not carry firearms with internal locks.
It would be a simple matter I suppose, to replace the mainspring housing with an aftermarket. My older Springfield’s MSH was first replaced with a checkered Wilson MSH that was a drop in fit (it now has a S&A with built in magwell). My first notice of a built-in key lock on a firearm was at the skeet range last summer. A dad (FFL dealer and gun store owner to boot) brought his son out to shoot his new junior 20 Ga Remington Pump – forgot the key and son had to sit and watch while dad shot his 12). The skeet range here is 26 miles each way from my end of town.

Good luck with your Colt. A relative has a 1950s Gold Cup that is mint - serial #XXX.
I broket it down and cleaned it a while back because I could NOT STAND
it just sitting in the safe for year after - TG no rust.
 

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Lab, can you give me an actual citation for your claim that Colt's Manufacturing ever stated that it was not going to sell guns to civilians - only the police and military? I have heard this shibolith repeated time and again, but I have never seen any factual "Company Policy" evidence "direct from the horse's mouth" to support it.

Colt's financial situation has dictated their actions, and any company that wishes to continue in business must do what it takes to continue to make a profit or go out of business. Economic realities have dictated much of Colt's marketing choices over the last five to ten years.

A couple of Colt executives, hired for certain very specific skills Colt's Board of Directors felt was needed to modernize over the last 15 years, certainly did not meet my test for Second Amendment correctness - but they were not "the Company" - and they are both long gone. Certain actions have been misinterpreted to "Prove" what you are alleging, but again, that does not make those allegations true.

The rumors you are repeating came from Newsweek and CNN, where speculation with one Colt executive was changed into "fact" in a Liberal Big Media wet dream. This occured during this time when the new, modern but small Colt factory was fully occupied with a "hard dollar" US Army order for M4 Carbines, which did limit handgun production over a couple of years. The resulting media created "Colt Panic" dried up the warehouse supplies in less that 90 days - a self fullfilling prophecy that brought itself to pass, of a sort. "You can't get Colts any more". (Because people were buying them up.)

At that time Colt was also fighting the "Thirty Cities Lawsuits" in the Courts, and it financially was bleeding them to death - exactly as the Anti-Gunners at HCI intended. Colt managers made some necessary but harsh economic decisions - and only the most profitable gun lines could remain in production. No more DA revolvers, for example - too much hand labor in a market they were #3 in anyway.

They were in fact moving aggressively into the CIVILIAN CCW market, replacing the Colt Mustang single actions with the modern Colt Pony and Pocket 9 DA only pocket pistols when Kahr Arms sued them over an obscure and still questionable patent. Kahr won - thus no more DA Colt pocket pistols.

This left them with the 1911 Series, ARs and the Single Action Army/Cowboy as profitable lines to keep the doors open.

Thus you are doing them a grave injustice to put them in the same catagory with Smith & Wesson - they never signed "the agreement", and they stayed in the legal fight - to protect Everyone's right to manufacture and sell civilian handguns. If they had "caved" to please the Clinton administration, would they have continued to sell AR15 "Assault Rifles - which they did - to the public without interuption over this entire period?

So if you have a Colt Company Policy Statement to back up attacking their good name, let's hear it. Colt fought the good fight in difficult times - for all of us, to the best of their ability. They deserve our business far more than almost any other gun maker you can name.

As for quality - the new Colts are the best on the market. We recieved three new blue Commanders yesterday that had perfect barrel/slide/frame fit, with excellent "street legal" triggers.

As for AR15's, check out the well respected book "The Competitve AR15". Guess which brand is recommended for best out of the box performance AND for building a world beating Match Rifle? That would be a Colt, too.

Sorry for the long rant, but this pops up, from time to time, fueled by the major gun rags (particularly American Handgunner/Guns Magazine) that are getting their payola $$$ from Kimber and Glock - cheaper, but far lesser brands that are indeed more profitable - and that can and do buy the magazine editors loyalties with big ad money.

Glock Kbooms and frequent Glock factory "recalls, err, updates" are never allowed to be mentioned in the gun rags, and the large pile of broken Kimber MIM parts somehow never gets into print, either.

Warmly, but firmly from the Colt side of the aisle, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits & Patent Infringements"

PS - no, I don't work for Colt, I just sell them at retail - but I wish I could!
 

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I too have just about "had it" with the rumors of Hartford's imminent demise.

Colt's made a series of pragmatic business decisions which ultimately allowed them to keep their doors OPEN. How this was interpreted as a death rattle by dealers across the country is beyond me, but anyone who tells you that they are on the ropes is simply broadcasting their ignorance, biases, or both.

If Colt's is guilty of anything, it is that they have neglected their media and marketing campaigns to the extent that rumors like this could flare up in the first place. Of course, some might say that this has worked to their benefit, as "panic sales" have actually been quite brisk.


Now it's true that you can go out and spend less money on a 1911 clone. It's also true that you can spend the roughly the same amount of money and get a few more bells and whistles from a competitor. A great many folks are quite content to do just that, but for those Colt loyalists who have long dreamed of a better day, things have never been better. In my view, Colt's current-run autos are, without exception, the best production 1911s on the market.

G&A and the other rags do all of us a disservice to perpetuate this kind of foolishness. One would hope that, in the absence of hard facts, they would have at least placed a call to Hartford before committing something like this to print. Obviously, in their zeal to promote a competitor's product, they did not.

Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company is alive and well.

Chuck

[This message has been edited by StormMaster (edited 11-25-2001).]
 

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Unfortunately, media and marketing are often some of the first aspects that a business will cut when it has problems.

Threads like this and announcements saying things like "They are back" indicate that the public's perception of Colt has not been too sure. Certainly, Colt has done nothing direct to try to restore consumer confidence.
 

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Right. Of all people, we on the forum need to know and get the word out, Colt is not selling to LE only. All they've done is consolidate their product line and dropped the models that weren't big sellers. I just looked in my wholesaler's catalog and the 1991, Defender, "O" model (non-1991 Gov't model), Python, and SAA are available. AR15, oops, SPORTER, too. Gone: .380's, .22's, and 9mm's.
 

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Here's my take on the scene. I have a Springer "loaded" and a Colt that has seen some custom work done.

Of the two, I would part with the Loaded Springer in a heartbeat. The oversized handle is uncomfortable and most of the advertised extras will have to come off before the weapon is as it should be.

The colt feels great in the hand and points quite naturally. The custom features aren't anything more than SA is putting on as standard, but the fit and finish is far superior.

It doesn't matter if Kimber, Glock, Springfield make cheaper weapons. They are all rather ugly and don't really feel that good to me. Heck, I just visited a shop that had nothing but kimbers. Talk about an ugly line; that carry contoring can go too far!

------------------
When reason fails...
 

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Col. Colt,
First of all, let me say that I am in no way impuning the quality of the current crop of Colt firearms, although I believe one can get comparable or perhaps better quality and features for less money. But I believe the competition in the marketplace has forced Colt to build a higher quality product, and that is a good thing.
Now about the Colt statement, I had a link to it but lost all of my links earlier this year when I switched to a new computer.
I'll search and post it when I find it. You may indeed be correct that it was a rouge executive or a "trial balloon" that was blown out of proportion. I personally believe they were paying lip service to the administration to protect their government contracts. They probably had no intention of following through with it. But Beretta, who also had a goverment contract at stake, handled it much better by refusing to limit the type of firearms it sold in the US. I blame the Klinton administration for all of this more than anyone else, but the fact remains that both S&W and to a lesser degree Colt, capitulated to the administration, even if just by word only.
What really scares me about Colt now is their "smart gun" technology. I have a friend who worked as a Congressional Staffer in Washington. He told me that a year or two back, Colt covertly joined some other groups in hiring lobbyists to push for a bill to mandate "smart gun" techology for all new guns sold. I don't know whether this is true or not, but my friend has no reason to lie to me, and it makes sense in a way. Think about it, if a coporation invests millions of dollars into a technology that 99% of all gun buyers don't want, and LEO's refuse to use, then how will they recoup their investment? Answer, secretly lobby Congress to pass a law mandating their technology. Here is a link to Beretta's response to Colt's technology. http://206.183.2.55/newscenter.asp?FormMode=Detail&ID=1027
I hope you are correct and that Colt has cleaned up its act. I hate to see an American icon such as Colt go out of business, and for the record I don't think that it will. But if a corporation forgets who its customers are, that is exactly what happens.
Now, I know you and I will never agree on any of this, so maybe we can just agree to disagree. I assure you I mean nothing personal toward you or any other Colt supporter. I am not lobbying for a boycott of Colt, nor do I flame people who own and love their Colts. I was simply replying as to why Colt has been getting some bad press and why I probably won't do business with Colt for a while. Thanks for listing to my ranting, and have a good evening.

Lab

Edited to correct spelling.


[This message has been edited by Lab (edited 11-25-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Lab (edited 11-25-2001).]
 

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Col. Colt said:
Warmly, but firmly from the Colt side of the aisle, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits & Patent Infringements"

PS - no, I don't work for Colt, I just sell them at retail - but I wish I could!
Thank you, sir. An excellent counterpoint to the "conventional wisdom" often found on the Disinformation Cowpath.
 

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Don't reactivate ancient posts.
 
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