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As far as "Colt blew it" - don't forget they are producing between 25-30,000 handguns a year, mostly 1911 types. I'm not sure they can/want to produce more, given the world wide demand for military M16/M4s.

As it is, they are producing some of the best metallurgy and machining on 1911s ever done by anyone, to include themselves!

And choices - Series 70 or Series 80, stainless or blue or two toned, new models like the Colt Gunsite Pistol and the Defender Plus, etc.

I would'nt quite count Colt out. Most of the imitations are cheap MIM parts, Foreign sourced, etc. And Colt is now tolerancing the guns right - like the pre-WWII Commercials.

Warmly, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits & Patent Infringements" - Samuel Colt, 1850's Colt Newspaper Ad
 

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Although I have to agree in principle with many of your "old news" complaints, the Colt of today is not the same company that made all those mistakes many years ago. And they are improving their already impressive product steadily.

I wouldn't complain much about the old revolver line - the Python and Dick Special was always there and the .44 Maggie was just a niche market until Harry Callahan made it the macho thing to have - so Colt then produced the Anaconda. Before that I doubt if the numbers produced barely made sense for S&W to make it themselves.

A new ISO 9001 certified Colt plant and and Careful, Intelligent Use of new technologies like MIM and castings is now the order of the day. MIM can work in low stress applications - and Colt uses MIM for the disconnector, sear and mag catch where it is proven to work OK. They learned the hard way that MIM is completely wrong for extractors and, to their credit, returned to a Bar Stock Extractor.

MIM is always "the cheaper way" never the better way. $3.00 per part in quantity. Kimber uses the extra money saved to buy ads to brainwash the gullible.

Unlike Colt's, Colt's competitors use MIM way too much for the wrong parts. It is still an adulterated material made from two totally dissimilar elements - flaws come easy to the MIM process. You find them when the part breaks due to a void in the slurry, improper heating/cooling rates, etc. Colt seems to have very few problems these day with individual parts failing, so their suppliers must know something others do not.

Castings, again intelligently applied, work fine for grip safeties, thumb safeties, etc. Make them thick enough and you can use Cast for everything - ask the Ruger clan.

Colt's biggest problem is being a Union shop in Connecticut - high costs, difficult to fire/discipline employees. Yet progress is being made even so. See Mark1648's latest Post in the Colt Forum at 1911 Forum.com for updates direct from a Colt exec.

Let's not forget that Kimbers have always had problems with MIM breakage and definite problems with the "new" Schwartz Series II firing pin lock (they copied from Colt's original 1937 design to avoid paying Colt royalties like ParaOrd). Springfield Armory's 1911s are finally losing their "square" frames to become more Colt like, but they are still made in a Metric country - Brazil - and vary a lot, gun to gun, in quality.

But as Mark1648 at Colt will tell you, the Colonel is one of his harshest critics - I want and expect more from Colt - and I let them know that at every opportunity. Fortunately, it appears the tide has turned. As you say, time will tell.

Warmly, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits & Patent Infringements"


[This message has been edited by Col. Colt (edited 10-14-2003).]
 
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