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The Liberal Policies that are Killing A Gun Company
Townhall.com ^ | December 7, 2014 | Michael Schaus

Posted on 12/07/2014 8:24:06 AM PST by Kaslin

Given that our Commander in Chief is a surprisingly decent firearm salesman, it’s a little odd that one of America’s most prolific gun manufacturers might soon be facing an agonizing financial death. But, that’s exactly where Colt is headed if things don’t change drastically. It takes a very specialized form of failure for a gun company to miss out on the Obama-inspired run on guns, the “assault weapon” craze of the 2000’s, and the proliferation of Concealed Carry in the 1990’s, but that’s exactly what happened. And, worse, this isn’t Colt’s first foray into fiscal failure.

In fact, this tendency of Colt to stumble onto hard times has a name in the industry: It’s called the “Colt curse”. It’s been around since Samuel Colt first bankrupted his hopeful arms company in the 1830’s. God may have made man, and Samuel Colt may be credited with making men equal; but, it has always been an uphill battle. It turns out that Colt was pretty good at making guns – but he was a failure at marketing and selling his contribution to the world of weaponry.

Lucky for Colt (and the generations that would later benefit from his contribution to the industry), the war with Mexico broke out in the 1840’s, and Samuel Colt saw his opportunity. The aspiring gunsmith quickly found an audience with the US Government for his innovative firearm designs. Realizing the full potential of crony-capitalism, the entrepreneur almost went broke entertaining politicians, generals, and frontiersmen. He was, undoubtedly, the Solyndra lobbyist of his day. With the helpful contract from America’s military, Colt quickly etched his name in America as the creator of the “gun that won the West”.

The company, however, was never quite capable of shaking their addiction to government contracts. In fact, it quickly became a centerpiece of their business model.

In the 1970’s firearm manufacturing in the US was adopting the model of America’s automotive giants. Unionization was prolific, and innovation was an afterthought. Yeah… It didn’t work out for Detroit; and it almost ended in disaster for the firearm industry as well. While most American companies scrambled for ways to avoid the Union-led decline into mediocrity, Colt happily hummed along with the help of military contracts, and large government shipping orders.

The iconic manufacturer’s business was booming… Right up until the moment that Unions decided to do what they do best: Go on strike. By 1988, the company had lost a number of high-dollar contracts, and the end of their beginning was clearly at hand.

In the decade to follow, their competitors warmly embraced America’s newfound fascination with the civilian market, concealed carry, and home defense. Colt, on the other hand, decided to take a more pragmatic approach. And, by “pragmatic”, I mean “liberal” approach:

A wealthy industrialist, from the heart of a non-gun-owning Manhattan family, decided he could steer the company to better times. With a man who knew nothing about guns at the helm, Colt embarked on their reimagined path to prosperity by introducing (and supporting) the idea of smart guns and federal gun permits. Yeah… As strange as it might seem, telling your most ardent customers that they should ask a fickle and hostile Federal government for permission to handle your product, isn’t a great business practice.

The new CEO (yeah… the last one was fired pretty quickly) still decided to put civilian ownership on the back-burner as he focused on appealing to the same Pentagon cronies that nearly drove the company into the trash-bin of history. There are only a handful of industries that relish the advent of war… And they all have something in common: They work (in effect) for the Pentagon. With their sudden boom in government contracts, as the Iraq war picked up, it looked like good times might finally be on the horizon.

Good times, in fact, seemed like it couldn’t be avoided. Well, at least in theory. But if Colt had proven anything in its 178 years of existence, it’s that turning a profit is kinda tough sometimes. The company’s decision to whittle their civilian division down to a few obligatory 1911s wasn’t really doing them any favors, given that their competitors were rushing to fill the demand of a gun-hungry republic. While Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid rambled on about gun control, Colt casually dismissed the idea of focusing on the civilian market. Heck, it was only within the last few years that Colt finally got around to deciding that a pocket pistol (the .380 Mustang) might be a good idea.

Colt’s civilian offerings are proving to be “too little, too late” for a market that is currently saturated with high-quality alternatives. And so, with a very specialized degree of failure, Colt has managed to paint itself into near bankruptcy. Their corporate bonds are rated as junk, and they’re continuing to pile on millions of dollars worth of debt.

The company might still survive. After all, they represent a history, a quality, and a heritage that is rare in today’s world. Their guns are quality products (even if you do pay a premium for those ponies on the slide) and their reputation is strong. But the company embraced too many values of the left to survive long in a world that has proven to be hostile to their industry.

In the end, there are really only three things that are responsible for killing Colt: cronyism, support for gun control, and labor Unions… You would think a gun manufacturer would know better than to sleep with government. But, I guess nobody shared that lesson with Colt’s management.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: banglist; biggovernment; colt; cronycapitalism; cronyism; guncompany; guncontrol; laborunions; michaelschaus; secondamendment
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1 posted on 12/07/2014 8:24:06 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
'Tis a shame; Colt made some really nice revolvers over the years and I'm not even thinking about whatchacallit... oh yeah, the Python or any of the other big macho revolvers.

Maybe someone will buy them out and actually DO something. Or maybe not.

Oh well.

2 posted on 12/07/2014 8:30:24 AM PST by OKSooner
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To: Kaslin

Sad.
A Colt revolver was the first gun I ever fired, the first one I reloaded for , my first handgun, and the one at my side (well, my wife’s, she’s the lighter sleeper and better shot, and it’s shiny and big, two things she appreciates, 6” King Cobra in stainless).


3 posted on 12/07/2014 8:35:20 AM PST by RedStateRocker (Nuke Mecca, deport all illegal aliens, abolish the IRS, DEA and ATF.)
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To: Kaslin
I did pay a premium for the ponies on the slide - and still enjoy the quality to this day.

They really need to re-establish themselves in the civilian market. Re-issue the anaconda, python, 10mm Delta, maybe a 45 colt snubbie with the quality they used to put into their products.

4 posted on 12/07/2014 8:36:00 AM PST by akalinin
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To: Kaslin

There is a lot of competition in the three fire arms that colt made famous. The M1911, the AR style and of course the venerable SAA.


5 posted on 12/07/2014 8:37:09 AM PST by exnavy (Fish or cut bait ...Got ammo, Godspeed.)
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To: OKSooner

Correction: Actually DO something that your typical “making a good living” person can financially justify.


6 posted on 12/07/2014 8:37:56 AM PST by OKSooner
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To: Kaslin

Colt has cast it’s lot with it’s own enemy.


7 posted on 12/07/2014 8:38:38 AM PST by Iron Munro (D.H.S. has the same headcount as the US Marine Corps with twice the budget)
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To: Kaslin

Colt made their bed with the US Government. They hung their hats on selling M4’s to DOD and police agencies while mocking the civilian market.

Lie with dogs, get up with fleas.

The large pin AR-15 lowers that weren’t compatible with other uppers was the stupidest decision ever made by a gun mfgr.

High end builders like LaRue, Daniel Defense, LMT, Knights Tactical saw their opening and went for the jugular.

H und K is in the same boat. Who buys their overpriced crap? Only fanboys that buy into the stupid marketing and outrageous pricing.


8 posted on 12/07/2014 8:40:29 AM PST by Tailback
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To: Kaslin

“The company’s decision to whittle their civilian division down to a few obligatory 1911s wasn’t really doing them any favors, given that their competitors were rushing to fill the demand of a gun-hungry republic.”

Never understood that decision.


9 posted on 12/07/2014 8:41:01 AM PST by mylife
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To: Kaslin

I always felt the gun suppressor rules were stupid. Suppressed guns sound nothing like the movies. Even if a .308 rifle had a suppressor, it’s still effing loud!


10 posted on 12/07/2014 8:42:13 AM PST by Morpheus2009
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To: akalinin

Used to fire a Colt 45 while in the USAF (Early 1960’s Air Police). These were WW11 vintage.

Accurate range of these puppies was about 10 feet. If your target was further away your best bet was to throw the pistol at him.


11 posted on 12/07/2014 8:44:41 AM PST by billyboy15
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To: Kaslin

And there was a time when the only car I would buy was the Chevrolet.


12 posted on 12/07/2014 8:45:51 AM PST by immadashell (The inmates are running the asylum.)
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To: Tailback

I want an H und K just for the eye candy.

I’d pop a Bender & Schmidt on it for gun jewelry.


13 posted on 12/07/2014 8:50:27 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: Vendome

It’s your money to waste.


14 posted on 12/07/2014 9:04:15 AM PST by Tailback
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To: billyboy15

WW 11. Heck I missed 9 world wars in my public education. :) Unless they have been accurized, old Model 1911’s sound make good maracas when you shake them.


15 posted on 12/07/2014 9:06:52 AM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Stop wishing for a perfect world. You may get it. Who will you talk to then?)
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To: Kaslin
In fairness, a firearms manufacturer getting in bed with the government is not necessarily any more destructive than a firearms manufacturer getting in bed with large mass marketers and gradually substituting "price points" for business plans. Colt also blundered into trouble with new introductions that either went nowhere or ended in ignominy, making them look a bit hapless.

(Not that the rest of them haven't done likewise, but Colt had less padding for such faceplants and pratfalls.).

Mr. niteowl77

16 posted on 12/07/2014 9:08:10 AM PST by niteowl77 (The five stages of Progressive persuasion: lecture, nudge, shove, arrest, liquidate.)
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To: billyboy15
"Used to fire a Colt 45 while in the USAF (Early 1960’s Air Police)."

I used a Colt 1911A1 .45 while in the USSF in Vietnam. The only time I ever drew it in anger was when, in the middle of a firefight, my Colt XM-16E1 jammed with a spent cartridge frozen in its chamber. Fortunately, the VC withdrew and I didn't have to use my .45, but I knew it would always be there for me when I needed it. The loose tolerances were designed into the 1911A1 so you could roll around in the mud with it and it would still function when you needed it. It might not have been very accurate at long range, but it would reliably be there for you when you needed it.

17 posted on 12/07/2014 9:11:23 AM PST by DJ Taylor (Once again our country is at war,and once again the Democrats have sided with our enemy.)
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To: Tailback

LOL

I get that all the time when people look at my collection of Kimbers, M1A Springfield’s and other arms mounted with Luepold MK IV’s.

But, they love playing with em


18 posted on 12/07/2014 9:12:46 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: OKSooner

Python owner since the early 70s.
Since then, I’ve bought Glocks, some old S&Ws and a few others.

At a gun auction yesterday, a beautiful .38 stainless S&W stamped Los Angles Police Department plus a presentation box sold for $2,300.


19 posted on 12/07/2014 9:12:52 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Rip it out by the roots.)
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To: akalinin

There is a considerable pent up market for a new production Python, if used prices are any sort of indicator.


20 posted on 12/07/2014 9:18:38 AM PST by buwaya
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