Maybe Colt will make a comeback.


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wally
March 26, 2007, 05:42 PM
I've been saying Colt has been living off their reputation for quite some time now, with many recent production guns just not made at the quality to match the price. Too many with cockeyed plunger tubes, poorly fitted bushing, hammer drag, dust cover drag, or cockeyed extractors, to name a few obvious problems I've seen on new Colts I've passed on in recent years.

About six weeks ago I looked at a beautiful blue (they still do this right!) Commander for $635 but passed as on casual inspection the extractor was cockeyed and the bushing had a gap at the front I could almost slip a finger nail in, so I passed and got a USP 40 instead for a few dollars less.

At this week's gun show I saw a stainless Commander for $665. Careful inspection showed it was put together nicely with no visible issues of any kind. When I noticed it had a beavertail, long trigger and flat mainspring housing I just had to have it! Funny how looking at the details left me blind at first to the overall cosmetics. While filling out the paperwork, I noticed they had at least two and brought me an unopened box instead of the one I'd inspected! Majorly concerned, I took another careful look-see which showed the same great fitting as the one on display so I plunked down my cash and went home happy.

Once I got home and cut the security tie required at the show, I was impressed by the Kimber tight lockup, but it stll had the genuine Colt rattle when shaken with the safety off. Good sign, tight where it really matters but not so tight to maybe negatively affect reliability.

At the range today I'm happy to report 100% out of the box function with 150 rounds off my 200gr lead SWC reloads and a mag of 185gr JHP -- I've yet to find a gun that feeds these SWC but has problems with JHP, I've found a fair number that can't feed these but are OK with JHP. Trigger was very nice, accuracy on the steel plates was as good as I get. I could do with a bit less take up, but overall good to see Colt making 1911s that don't need a trigger job out of the box, not that it couldn't be improved, but its crisp and as light as I'm comfortable with and yeilding no bobbles or reset issues with fast shooting on the plates.

Maybe Colt is turning it around seeing how competition is making as good or better guns for less, and Kimber has stolen the high end mass produced 1911 market with their myriad $1000 gun du jour offerings in 3, 3.5, 4 and 5" barrels.

Best price I'd saw on a blue. Taurus PT-1911 was $535, most were asking $550-560.

Must show photo:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=55503&stc=1&d=1174945121



I think a nice family photo of the new kid with the older brothers -- 5" stainless GM and the 3.5" stainless Officer's is in order.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=55504&stc=1&d=1174945249


--wally.

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denfoote
March 26, 2007, 06:34 PM
As touching the question of whether Colt can make a comeback, I'm not sure it's possible.
Colt seems to have to many self inflected gunshot wounds to their feet to be able to walk effectively!!

MICHAEL T
March 26, 2007, 06:37 PM
I like all my Colts thats why I buy them. Theu work and are relieable. I have tried and sold the Brand X 's

floridaboy
March 26, 2007, 06:42 PM
My only Colt is a New Service in .455 Eley, made in 1914. And I flat out love it! If they start making revolvers, other than high end SAA's, I'm a buyer. Especially a modern New Service in modern, or not so modern, calibers.

tinygnat219
March 26, 2007, 07:04 PM
Colt needs a management transfusion. They need to do like S&W has done, make good guns, keep up the customer service, and don't price them out of the park.

Otherwise, they're dead. If it weren't for their military contracts, they would be.

saltydog452
March 26, 2007, 08:15 PM
I hope so. Just wouldn't be the same w/o Colt.

salty.

Ala Dan
March 26, 2007, 09:31 PM
No wally my friend-

I think you are wishing, hoping, or dreaming- as I'm afraid Colt as we knew
them are gone for good. The new company Colt Defense of Hartford, CT
isn't the same thing that we once knew and learned too respect. They
have been gone so long now that their customers have turned elsewhere
to satisfy their needs. If you don't think this is true, just look at the sales
figures for only Springfield Armory. Their 1911 sales have soared, and just
continue to climb. Sure, it dosent' say COLT on the slide; but most function
beautifully, right out of the box. I have three of their 1911's, 2x basic WW-II
G.I. replicas, and a brand new MIL SPEC; don't too mention an XD-.45 ACP
in the 4" service model. And you know what, they all work~!;) :D

wally
March 26, 2007, 09:40 PM
Well a lot of folks wanted S&W to die after their deal with the Clinton devil. But new management has really turned them around delivering great products at competitive prices and offering fantastic customer service if needed.

I'd love to see Colt do the same. My experience suggests there might be hope, I'd pretty much given up on them and wasn't shopping for a Colt, but I'm always on the lookout for a good deal on a 4" 1911 as that's one place my collection is a bit sparse.

OTOH, this fellow's bad luck suggests they've still got a long way to go:
http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=169160 I hope he reports his experience with Colt's warranty service.

--wally.

loplop
March 26, 2007, 09:46 PM
One of them thar Colt's is OFF SAFE, you'll shoot your eye out!! :what:

I really love my Colt WW1 repro. It was more accurate than my Gold Cup (so I sold it) more reliable than my Defender (so I sold it) and prettier than anything one of the gun du jour manufacturers has ever made.

I saw a Series 70 recently that I'd really like to pick up. I'm a sucker for Colt blue. They're about the only blued 1911 left!

wally
March 26, 2007, 10:01 PM
One of them thar Colt's is OFF SAFE, you'll shoot your eye out!!

I knew someone would notice :), All are of course are unloaded for the photo op, I was about to take the photo when I noticed the 5" wasn't cocked like the others were, In my hurry to take the photo before it started to rain I neglected to apply the safety. I noticed it as soon as I cropped the photo to upload, but by then it was raining outside so I used what I had.

--wally.

Texas Colt
March 26, 2007, 10:09 PM
You've got some nice Colts Wally.

I share your desire for Colt to make a comeback. Wouldn't it be awesome to see Colt resurrect some of the old models like S&W has done? (without any silly lock in the frame of course) I'd love to have a New Service in 45 Colt with a 4" barrel. A Model 1908 in 380 would be cool too.

I'd love to see them bring back the Magnum Carry, the Mustang, the King Cobra, the Anaconda... On second thought, it would probably be bad for me if Colt made a comeback... I'd have to get a second mortgage :D

cbsbyte
March 26, 2007, 10:17 PM
The only way Colt is going to turn around their consumer products divison is if they sell it off to a company/investor who cares about the name and the product. A good example is what happen to Smith after the British firm sold it off for peanuts after nearly driving the good company into the ground, to an investor with a vision. That is what Colt needs to do. Right now the company seems to be more interested in military/LEO than consumers. Plus they don't have a broad product line such as Smith.

10-Ring
March 26, 2007, 10:44 PM
I have a couple of Colts - an XSE & a vintage Python -- and my experience w/ them has been nothing but good! :cool:

wally
March 26, 2007, 10:55 PM
Another new Colt with less than stellar initial outing:

http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=169178

--wally.

AJD
March 26, 2007, 11:10 PM
Colt is making a very small comeback. Looking at their current product offerings they have some real winners. For a standard plain jane 1911 the 1991 Series 80 pistols offer alot of value, beauty and reliability. The Series 70 reproductions are beautiful and the fact so many people use them as the base for custom pistols speaks volumes about the quality of them. The WWI reproduction is an accurate reproduction and is stunning. I could go on for a while about things I like about what Colt is doing.

Either way, being "#1" doesn't mean anything to me. United States Firearms is a niche player in the revolver market, yet they are among the best you can buy anywhere. Same goes for Freedom Arms. The custom pistol makers like Les Baer, Nighthawk, etc. are all niche players compared to Kimber and Springfield Armory....who cares? Does that someone have an effect on how their pistols shoot?

Honestly I would rather have Colt be a small niche player and still offer almost MIM free, classic, beautifully finished, reliable 1911's than be "number 1" while only offering MIM-filled, so called "custom" 1911's with matte finishes and other ugly features like rails.

Autolycus
March 26, 2007, 11:14 PM
Wally... those are some sharp looking pistols. I miss having a 1911 very much.

DWARREN123
March 26, 2007, 11:38 PM
Maybe Colt will turn around, we can only hope they do and make even better and a wider range of quality products. They must follow their customer base if they wish to remain in the firearms world.

yongxingfreesty
March 26, 2007, 11:49 PM
have had 2 kimbers, 1 springfield and now a colt. im keeping this one.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v712/yongxingliang/DSC00005.jpg

johnster999
March 27, 2007, 12:00 AM
My two current production Colts are good, solid guns. Stainless Commander just like the one in this thread. S.70 Replica in stainless.

Kimber sells lots of pistols, despite various mechanical issues, because they build a gun that looks great in the case and feels great to the hand and trigger finger. Colt needs to learn this.

jlh26oo
March 27, 2007, 01:06 AM
Wally, would you measure the distance between the sights on both your govt and commander colts? Thanks.

EDIT: nm got it (6 1/4" govt, 5 3/4" cmmdr)

wally
March 27, 2007, 09:24 PM
My 5" has a CMC aftermarket rear, but your 6.25" looks about right for where the standard rear was. I'd say it was just a bit under 5.75" for the commander.

HTH,
--wally.

BigG
March 28, 2007, 09:24 AM
I would like to see them make a comeback. I collect their GM sized automatic pistols and AR15s, both the best in their class, imho.

trbon8r
March 28, 2007, 10:17 AM
Colt may have a lot of problems, bad management, no double action or striker type pistols for LE use, poor to non existant marketing, the list goes on and on.

Whatever Colt's ailments might be, the problem sure isn't with their 1911s. The two Colts of recent production that I have owned were excellent pistols. Colt does have their fair share of frustrating QC issues from time to time, but so does everyone else, even gasp................Sig and Glock. ;)

tinygnat219
March 28, 2007, 10:20 AM
These guys are doing what Colt needs to be doing: http://www.usfirearms.com/ (USFA) They are re-introducing the Colt Woodsman later this year. Colt Firearms in terms of anything beyond their Custom Shop is dead. It would take some major cash and a willingness to create new product to bring them back from the dead

larry starling
March 28, 2007, 07:39 PM
I have to laugh at some of the post's on this thread. I own 45+ Colt's and they all have been great guns....Are they perfect? for me yes and they work right out of the box and that has been my experience with any Colt product. I can't say the same for every Springfield or Kimber I have owned. Now I'm just guessing, But I do think some of the post's on this thread are from people who haven't never owned a Colt or have been listening to the Local gun store commandos.... The Fact is Colt uses less Mim and Cast parts than the other manufactures do. And they are far from being dead. Mark Roberts has repeatable stated on other forums that Colt sells every gun they make. Can Kimber or SA claim that? I suspect that in most cases people who bash Colt are uninformed about what is going on or are just plain ignorant....:scrutiny:

RNB65
March 28, 2007, 07:44 PM
I've always regretted not buying a Python when they were available. I wish someone who owns the Colt name would make one final batch of Pythons. I'd buy one of the price wasn't toooo outrageous and shoot the hell out of it.

Alan Fud
March 29, 2007, 09:22 PM
I'd like to see the return of the Tac Nine, the Magnum Carry and the Python Elite.

denfoote
March 30, 2007, 02:15 AM
I'd like to see the return of the .380 series.
I should have bought one while I had the chance!!! :o

TimboKhan
March 30, 2007, 03:12 PM
I am not anti-Colt (although some of my past posts would seem to indicate this), but I think there is as much a chance of Colt making a comeback as there is of pigs flying. They have alienated such a huge section of their potential market that I just don't think they can really ever squeeze themselves back in. It's too bad, because I think that with the boom in popularity of both the AR and the 1911 over the last few years they could have really pushed themselves back to the forefront. I mean, who knows AR's and 1911's better than Colt? But they didn't, and I think it is too late for them to do it now unless they start making high quality budget guns. Really, why would anyone pay gobs of money for a Colt anymore when companies like Bushmaster, Kimber, Wilson and Les Baer (as examples) have come in and filled the holes they left in the high-end market? Add to that the fact that Taurus is making solid 1911's at a good price and that it's possible to buy a decent AR new for as low as $600.00 bucks these days. Colt even missed out on the revitalized revolver market!!! How disgusting is that, considering that the Python is considered one of the all time great revolvers? Why is it that Colt didn't see the now decade old popularity of CASS and start pumping out SAA's again? Look, Colt should be a company that starts trends instead of following them, but they have done neither. At least following trends could have possibly gotten them a foothold in the market again. I know there are people who would go back to Colt in a second, but I am just not convinced that at this point there are enough of those people to make a difference. It's too bad, but thats what happens when poor management begets more poor management.

45auto
March 30, 2007, 03:31 PM
Overall, I think their "marketing plan" of higher priced production, better materials, etc is a good one. The days of huge mass production at prices similiar to Kimber or Springfield are over for them. In fact, Colt was never competitive in price, features or quality which is why they "got hammered" by Kimber.
Colt could never compete without resorting to vast sums of money, MIM parts and probably relocation, if not out of the country.

The Taurus, RIA new models, STI Spartan are models that should scare the Kimbers and Springfields...identical features at lower prices. You can argue quality differences of course, but they are just getting started. I really doubt many of these sales come out of Colt's numbers.

Colt needs to keep the quality up to match their prices, and probably increase production...more guns on the shelf. Enlarge their custom shop.

The days of one company dominating 1911 sales are over IMHO, and that's a good thing. It didn't help Colt's quality and it didn't help Kimbers...I suspect.

Chuhhuniban
March 30, 2007, 03:45 PM
My 2 worth: I own Colts and S&W autoloaders in .38 Super, 10 mm and .45ACP. They range in age from early 1970s to last year. The Colts I bought in the last two or three years perform as reliably as the old guys. My last range visit was with a 1988 Delta Elite and a 2005 stock Govt Model 200 rounds apiece of my handloads. No malfunctions in either gun, of any type. The visit before that was with a 1976 Gold Cup NM and a 1991 S&W 1006 150 rounds apiece, no malfunctions (yes, I'm borderline OCD, I keep a range log). I own the guns I do because they are: 1) beautiful, 2) reliable, and 3) suit me (they don't have to suit anybody else). Did Colt have problems in the past? I guess so, but I haven't had that experience. So, I guess I'll just keep on keepin' on. My signature line just about says it all...

floridaboy
March 30, 2007, 04:00 PM
A modern New Service, anyone?

fattsgalore
March 30, 2007, 04:16 PM
The name Colt will never go anywhere, but will they make a come back kicking most forigen companys off their high horse. No!

Colt makes a fine piece, but they have never conformed to the market. I don't see Colt pushing for Military contracts or new designs. I guess there happy where they are, while every other companies whores them selves out for every cent.

The term "Colt 45" is and will be said before most saying it even know what there talking about or really understand the statement. Will Colt be toppoling Glock anytime soon, No!
Sorry, America just needs to step up in most major industries: guns; cars; and electronics. Why do you think everyone buys foriegn now a days.

TimboKhan
March 31, 2007, 03:09 AM
(yes, I'm borderline OCD, I keep a range log).

I have been keeping an informal range log with most of my new guns, and I am about the least OCD guy you will ever meet. 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3. Anyway a range log is a good idea. 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3. You sound totally normal to me, 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3.

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