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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to this forum and 1911's somewhat, so forgive me in advance of my ignorance on specfics, but here are my observations thus far.

1. Colt is going through basically what HD went through before an American citizen bought ($ and image) them back from extinction. They both suffered drastically while other manufacturers exploited their lost market share with supposed "better" products.

2. If Colt can overcome the immediate short-term obstacles, they will come back and flourish like HD has done. People will realize that like Coca-Cola, "Theres nothing like the real thing" and dump their Kimbers like hot potatoes.

People will start to ask questions like "Why would you pay more money for a gun that has no bells and whistles?" I would like to point out the phenomenon of Leica camera. They have a camera (M-6) that has no automatic anything on it (auto wind,focus,exposure,no digital readouts,etc) and want a mint fortune for it, yet it is in high esteem amongst professional photographers. Heck, I want one myself. But it is the QUALITY of the materials, optics and construction that make these cameras standout as a benchmark.

Colt would probably do well if they abandon this "MIM" concept of casting parts. Sounds like a bunch of Tinkertoy crap to me, I dont care how well it works! Real firearms are not made of powdered metal or made from a test-tube of plastic!

Once the public realizes what is going on, Colt will be back on track and enjoy their former status as top dog.

Glad to see that the horse is back! Was there ever a pony on the grips for the 1911's? Put one there also like the revolvers have if it was never there.....
 

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Well said! I fully agree.Colt just has one of those names with a history ,recognition and reputation that no amount of money or advertising can buy.Once they get some breathing room where they can concentrate on offering a wider variety of their product,they'll be back on top.
 

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I did'nt know so many we're well informed. Much like Colt Harley built guns in the mid 19th century. And much like Colt when Harley began to see war ending government firearms cutbacks. It damn near wrecked them. But Colt and Harley were bought back by their employees and rebuilt. Kinda like United Airlines. Oh and Chrysler was bailed out by the government. And hired Lee Iococa. And Pepsi bought taco bell, KFC. What was the subject again?
I don't think Harley and Colt are anything alike in any way. A firearm manufacturer must not become a corporate empire. It has to stay its own entity. Or else mim parts or plastic parts would become norm. In order to keep the firearms top notch. They must survive on the merit of their ability on firearm safety, reliability, quality. Not how much chicken the corporations parent company sells. Yet still able to manufacturer cheap dangerous guns. Do you see the difference? And transportation is much the same. Only they have to answer to EPA, and meet safety regulations of always higher standards. Motorcycles are stand alone. And are as safe as a skydive accident.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Let me clarify my "=" between the two companies. It was meant as a business case study of how the companies have and are currently evolving during market cycles and trends. Yep, I agree that Colt should focus on their core competencies of firearms manufacture. Colt just sold Saco Defense, whatever the heck that was, so that looks like a good thing. And AMF owned HD in the 70's and 80's, look at the crap that rolled out during that period. I guess AMF was too busy making volleyballs to build a decent bike....

I would never want to compare a firearms manufacturer to a chicken franchise. HOWEVER, it is a company for profit, not a hobby or a passing fancy for the people who run it and work on the lines, and profits must be made, to make payroll, satisfy stockholders if publicy traded, or to turn a reasonable profit for the owners if privately held. What that enterprise does to attract customers and if applicable, the stockholders, is the litmus test of that organizations engineering, marketing and other departments.

Colt should pursue some sort of challenge, whether it is legal or marketing strategy, to the rest of the firearms industry for taking the heat and not caving in like S&W while the other manufacturers stole their market share, if what I am reading correctly about the legal and business history aspects of this subject.

Oh by the way, don't all U.S. firearm manufacturers have to comply with SAAMI for their products, just like EPA and DOT for autos, and UL for appliances?

P.S. I don't ride bikes, but HD's sure are purdy. I would buy HD or a new Indian if I did, though. And who wants to skydive? I think its strange to jump out of a perfectly good working airplane unless you're in the military.

"If it don't say Colt, it ain't the real deal" is how I feel about this now after reading some of the history of this firearm.
I am now very proud to be an keeper of the original article, even if it's a Series 80, and that ain't so bad either.

I own a Jeep Wrangler, and I get pissed when some dweeb refers to his SUV as a Jeep. Same feeling with a Colt 1911A1. Now I have the fever, and I cant wait to get this 1911A1 I am the custodian for tuned, tweaked and setup.
 

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Long ago when I got my first Colt, sometimes I would overlube it after cleaning. Then it would leave an oil stain on whatever I laid it on. That was the only time it compared to a Harley.

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"Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice Doggie' until you can find a rock"
 

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Paveway I think you may know from my post I am not a smart man. Ot interesting, good looking, good decision skills, particularly good speller(looked up recently), good smelling or, fun to be around. I have my meager little existence somewhat happier if I can make someones seemingly slight post. Slightened more by me as the worthless idiot I am. Chris Farley I sure miss that guy!
 

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Originally posted by dsk:
I only choose Colt. If I had to explain, you still wouldn't understand.


Have you ever owned a Wilson? I don't own any Wilsons, in fact, I bought 2 Colts instead of a Wilson. But sometimes I wonder if a Wilson is really worth having. I only use my guns for target practice, concealed carry, and home defense.



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Hero45
NRA Member
 

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No, but I've owned two Kimbers. Fine guns, but if I could only own one 1911 it would definitely be a Colt. Having just bought a pre-war Colt and seeing how they put them things together, it'd probably be that one or one from WW2.

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D. Kamm
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http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1
 

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First Paveway is not very far off the mark in comparing Colt to Harley Davidson so I think I will throw a little more history into this discussion.

Colt Patented Fire Arms Manufacturing Company, evolved into Colt Industries. Somewhere back in time, the 1960's I think, the Colt family decided to sell their interest in the company. Once this happended the corporate interest in firearms subsided, and the firearms part of Colt Industries has been sold around a few times, including to a British owner like S&W. In this time frame Colt firearms has been subjected to strikes and several law suits, which affected the companies ability to finance improvements, and led to their quality decline. We now see Colt firearms owned by a private investor(s) that is interested in making high quality guns. This investor also thought Gov't contracts was a good idea and brought Saco Defense into the Colt fold. Unfortunatly this concept did not work out, so Saco was sold; possibly to provide necessary funds to bring Colt's tooling up to date and Colt going. Now we see Colt investing in their name sake business to reestablish their name and image, like Harley Davidson did after the family, employees, and investors (Harley is a publicly traded company) bought the company back from AMF. This generally appears to be working, based on many of the reports I am reading here.

Another thing that should be mentioned is all manufacturing companies have to deal with the EPA. This may be a big reason why we are seeing so many stainless steel, or polymer coated, firearms instead of blued, nickel, or chrome plated ones. Polymer coating is a variation of painting, which is fairly easy to filter and get a permit for compared to other finish methods. Stainless requires more care in machining, but does not involve as many hot chemical baths to create an acceptable finish and there is less of an issue of disposing of toxic waste like there is in bluing (Cyanide, zinc, or phospates), or plating (Chromium or Nickel).

While some of us may have opinions about plastic, or MIM, parts. The fact is, if these parts are done well they have advantages over traditional materials and manufacturing methods. A plastic (or composite as Colt and others say) mainspring housing, or trigger shoe, is easy to mold, and steel on plastic may have less fricition than steel on steel. Plus, the combination may not be as corrosive either, if at all. MIM allows the manufacturer to make high quality parts to nearly perfect shapes without a lot of machine work, or hand work getting them to fit together acceptably well. All of these issues,and more, affect a companies ability to make a quality product at a profit, and still sell their product at a reasonable price. If Colt was still making the 1911 the way they did in the 1930s, or 50s, they would easily be as expensive as any Custom 1911 from Vickers, Heine, Burns, Clark, or any other top name Custom gunsmith, since they would have just as much hand work.

So while I have a certain soft spot for traditional materials and methods. I am willing to accept new methods and materials so I, and others, can continue to enjoy a quality product. Though this is not to say that Colt can not serve the full spectrum of buyers that are out there, but they need to survive in order to build their business and expand their offerings. So for much of the line, modern materials and methods will be necessary. The key to success will be achieving the quality standards that are expected at a reasonable price. Remember, Cadillac became part of the American lexicon and used to mean "The BEST". Now when you think of the best car, do you think Cadillac, or do you think Toyota, Honda, Lexus, Infinity, etc.

Hey? How did I get on this soap box, and how did it get so tall?



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Str8_Shot

The best handgun for self defense, is the one you have with you.

[This message has been edited by Str8_Shot (edited 10-13-2001).]
 

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Welcome aboard Paveway, I like that analogy, just wish I had room in the gun safe for a new Harley.

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No man is above the law and no man is below it. Nor do we ask any mans permission when we require him to obey it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Love this forum!!! And this is why I am proud to be an American. I may not agree with you, but I will defend your right to speak!!!

Str8, you are more than likely correct on the MIM parts. Once Colts product line expands, they can offer a value leader model with sensibly placed (non stressed) parts all the way to a top of the line model, while getting their market share back.

It seems also apparent to me that the trend is to have (for a carry model) just the basic modifications. Why would I buy a Kimber with all the bells and whistles when half the fun is getting it modified? I have read on Kimber's forum statements of people modifying them and getting rid of the MIM and plastic parts anyway!!! And yes, the EPA must be made happy. All the more reason to market these facts to the consumer as a "Why ours costs more than the competition" campaign by Colt. But then again, look at what Fender Guitars (oh hell, here I go again) did in Mexico. The paint they put on the Mexican models is the paint that was used on the originals because of no EPA! The American models use a water based paint. But I have read that the Mexican models sound just as good because of the paint! (I own a '97 Fender Jazz bass, made in Mexico) And they cost less. Same hardware too! Go figure. Colt should go have the plating/coating finishes done in Mexico? NAFTA would be pleased, and no EPA trouble.
Thanks for all of your responses. I love this forum!

Redzone, you are not an idiot, and I am no Rhodes Scholar.... Thanks for your opinions!
 

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When colt bought SACO, they also were trying to buy GIAT/ FN and H&K. If they'd succeded, they'd have had their lock on the market for military weapons.
When they lost out on that, they sold off SACO also.

In that time period, they also had purchased UltraLight Arms, and SACO was the manufacturing center for the Colt Light Rifle, which I'd have gotten, if they'd made the .308.
Selling SACO killed that idea, and they only made .300 WM, 30-06 and a few others, which are oin closeout in many places.
Oh well.
 

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H.D. has almost always made junky bikes. Just look at any year model Harley sitting at a stoplight.... the rider's hands are visibly shaking on the handlebar.... their backside is sore from the rough ride, unbalanced engine, and poor motor mounts...their kidneys are sore from the vibration ( their pants may be wet also) ...their ears are assaulted from the unmuffled pipes. Besides all Harleys leak oil and need valve jobs after 15,000 miles. Even if this company did make a "comeback", their product still sucks big time:)
 

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WHOA!

"junky bikes"

Have you checked the resale value of one of these "junky bikes"? Nothing else holds it's resale value like a Harley.(just like a Colt)

"suck big time"

HD cannot make enough of them to keep up with the demand for them.(just like Colt)

A very wise man (dsk) has said it best....

"If I had to explain,you still wouldn't understand"

I had to try anyway.

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PISS A LIBERAL OFF

BUY A HANDGUN....
 
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Originally posted by Paveway:
I would like to point out the phenomenon of Leica camera. They have a camera (M-6) that has no automatic anything on it (auto wind,focus,exposure,no digital readouts,etc) and want a mint fortune for it, yet it is in high esteem amongst professional photographers....
I agree. I shoot for the art side of photography. I have a Nikon FM2. No autofocus, no auto aperture control, no autoadvance. It's fully manual.

It's strange you mention this, because I just posted something regarding percussion and flint locks. There is something magic about doing things the old-school hard way. There comes an appreciation that cannot be obtained if it comes too easy.

But you did forget some things about H-D: First, the V Rod. They are taking the wrong path, abandoning their core philosophy in pursuit of the twentysomethings. It's not the boomers who want the vibration-free, liquid-cooled machines; it's the young folk. The Japanese have been emulating H-D with single-pin & double-pin crank V-twins with the Honda Aero, Yamaha Road Star, Kaw Vulcan, and Suzuki Intruder. Now H-D is emulating the Japanese bike with their V Rod. H-D has also gone out on a limb with Buell. They are also turning up production with more H-D bikes coming out of the York, PA plant, which means supply will catch demand, prices will fall, and these dirty, low-down pirate dealers will get a much-needed taste of reality. An H-D bike will not be the investment piece that it is now. And, finally, throw in the weak economy where a man's toys are the first thing to be put on hold or sold and H-D doesn't quite look so good anymore.

Just my two cents.
Rob
 

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Sorry if I got you stirred up Potthawg. I am just trying to express a point. You are, of course correct about HD and Colt popularity, prices, and resale. These HD folks however, are not buying a motorcycle.. they are buying a "name"... wishing to associate themselves with some odd notion of "outsiders", "outlaws", " leather freaks" etc. Popularity and resale are different ( I repeat... different) from quality, and just as In Service... says, the Jap bikes are top notch. Folks who want a quality motorcycle don't buy HD. There is absolutely no comparison between a HD and a Honda Valk- or even a Gold Wing variant. It's the difference between sand-lot and super bowl.
 
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