“Money is a trash I have always looked down upon that I never had handy to know how to appreciate it.”
Colt’s history dates back to 1836. Despite his common man outlook on money, its founder became one of the richest men in America. It would appear that the powers that be at Colt are continuing their founder’s legacy. If you do not appreciate money, you do not manage it properly. Colt is now in Chapter 11 court.
Colt has not been free of bad mistakes in judgement. In 1998 Colt’s then CEO, Ron Stewart, stated that he would favor a federal permit system with training and testing for gun ownership. This was stupid and led to a deserved massive boycott of Colt’s products. Shortly after that Colt purchased Ultra Light Arms from my friend Melvin Forbes and began offering the Colt Light Rifle. Good idea but again bad judgment and poor management prevailed and it wasn’t long until Colt collapsed and Melvin had to buy his company back
Since then Colt has continued to try to survive in the market place by offering the three most copied firearms in the world for sale. With your flagship products being the 1873 Colt Peacemaker, the 1911 handgun and the AR 15, you would think wine and caviar would be your primary diet. Problem is, everyone is selling those same products with a more extensive line of options and at a lower price point than Colt.
There comes a time when in order to remain relevant you must stop attempting to live off your brand by appealing to nostalgia and actually offer new and unique products the market demands. It’s no surprise to me that Colt is on the verge of collapse and its disturbing such an iconic brand – one so dear to gun owners – is slipping into history. I’d feel confident betting that Colt as we know it is gone forever. The truth is Colt has really been gone for a long time.
Here’s my advice to those hoping to salvage what little is left of Colt.
- Find a location where you can make firearms at a reasonable price. If the cost to manufacture at your current location prohibits your ability to compete, MOVE!
- Hire a talented engineer capable of designing the next Peacemaker. Samuel Colt, John Browning, and Eugene Stoner are long gone and companies far and wide are living off of their genius. The modern gun buyer does not care that Colt had their name on these game changing guns first.
If Colt survives and is ever to become a major player in the firearms market it will be on the back of a new and innovative firearm capable of obtaining the respect of the Single Action Army, the 1911 and the AR 15. Short of that, they are doomed to an existence of producing curious and relics at a price well above the competition.
In the end, it’s all about money; managing it and appreciating it.