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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, from what I have been able to tell from conversations regarding the history of the Colt DA revolver throughout the various forums and online acticles and through Jerry Kuhnhusen's book, I have a strong suspicion that socialism killed off this quality revolver.
Here is why,
Colt Double Action revolvers from the Colt Army/Official Police .38 and the Detective Special/Police Positive were used by FBI, Police and Sheriff departments all across America and dominated Law Enforcement and Civilian use for well over a half a century. Around the middle of the 20th century the .357 magnum began appearing as well in various models most notably the Python (which was even used by some police departments).
These guns were all handfitted by manuel labor as opposed to mass production off the assembly line. This gave Colt quality over quantity for a good price. Back then, as Jerry Kuhnhusen noted, every gunsmith and revolversmith had to know how Colts worked.
"Other than a single brief pamphlet intended primarily for law enforcemtn armorers, the factory never put out a service manual on their double action revolvers or any of their revolvers for that matter. Early on, since just about everybody seemed to konw how they worked, manuels didn't seem necessary."
I've read in Chic Gaylord's Handgunners Guide 1960of police handling their own Colt revolvers internally. Specifically coming to mind a detective who gave his own Detective Special one of the smoothest and lightest actionjobs Gaylord had ever seen. The dick had polished his own action down.
However, with the effects of socialistic legislation and action throughout the 20th century (labor unions, minimum wage, gun control laws, through The New Deal and The Great Society and all those other "Big Deals" that leftists dreamed up form the 1920s to now) drove up prices of these guns as laborers had to be paid more and gun laws indirectly drove up prices and socialistic laws in general drove up the cost of living. By the mid 1960s Law Enforcement started gradually abandoning the great colts in favor of the next best thing, a S&W off the assembly line. Not the same quality but a fine gun at less cost. Now we have Colt abandoning DA revolvers entirely because few are willing to pay $1000 for a handgun.
I would venture to say, that if our society truly had a free market as the Founding Fathers, influenced by the likes of Adam Smith, intended it to be, our favorite Detective Specials, Pythons and Official Polices might very well be with us today at good prices we could afford and would still have a strong place among shooters and maybe even law enforcement today (for those who still prefer revolvers)
I realize there are a lot of general statements made and there is doubtless more to be said than this, but this in a nutshell covers it I belive.
 

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Interesting.

My question is: Who actually runs Colt and makes their business decisions? You regularly hear about Ruger's president, and the ownership of S&W has been in the news for a few years. Who calls the shots at Colt and who actually owns the brand?

I think it would be very, very interesting to license USFA to make some of the out of production Colt models under the Colt name as a premium brand.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Interesting.

My question is: Who actually runs Colt and makes their business decisions?

[/ QUOTE ] ok, i`ll guess: moe, larry, curly.
 

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Ready...

Fire...

Aim...

/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
[ QUOTE ]
Bullshit.
That is a stinted view.
Our fathers fought a world war to defeat fascism and you dare to foster it.

Shame.

[/ QUOTE ]

What??? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif I'm talking about a free market unobstructed by government interferance, what does that have to do with facism?
BTW, I'm sure the forum has a policy against profanity...and it doesn't sell your argument very well (whatever that argument is supposed to be /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif)
 

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ColtForum Board Rule #2

"This is an adults only board so some profanity is allowed as long as it's not directed toward anyone or any group."

Oh the hell with it!!!
 

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well now , i live next to a dam. everyday them dam workers drive down this dam road and throw their dam trash in the dam ditch . would it be accecptable on the forum to mention it?? /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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Agreed . Let's talk Colts and leave the politics at the door . /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't think anyone seems to understand what I am talking about, I am not necessarily talking about politics but about why Colt DAs died off. One person said I am endorsing facism (???????) another person said I am calling Colt a Marxist company (????????)
I am simply attacking socialistic policys and laws that have controlled and manupulated the economy over the 20th century for killing off Colt DA revolver manufacturing.
I am endorsing the All American free enterprise system which is the economic factor that built Western Christian Civilization. It's just fundamental economics. If prices are too high then people are unwilling to buy. If the company can't afford to lower the price because of the above described factors then the product will have to be discontinued.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
... why Colt DAs died off...

[/ QUOTE ]

My take . Price .

Example S&W
We sell hundreds of new S&W revolvers every year . They work . They're affordable for the average citizen . They advertise . They utilize modern design & mfg techniques . They still operate in New England .

I think economics killed the DA Colt . Offer a good product at an affordable price and most likely you'll succede . Especially with the name recognition that Colt owns .
 

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I agree. It was economics that killed off the Colt DAs.
Colt has been nearly crippled in recent years by a number of factors. High production costs, low sales, no money for marketing, the aftermath of decades of arrogance toward the customer and mis-reading its market, the giving away of almost every civilian market they had, and competition in the form of Smith & Wesson & Ruger with core models that were more durable (until the more recent Colt lockwork that may have been too little too late), more accessible, and more affordable.
The military side has been the only thing keeping the company afloat, and that couldn't go on indefinitely with models that just didn't sell enough to justify keeping them in production.
We share part of the blame in not buying enough of those guns, but Colt bears the ultimate responsibility in the form of the bottom line: build what customers want, tell 'em about it, make 'em affordable/desirable enough to keep the customer spending money, and sell sufficient volume to make a profit. When that doesn't come together, something has to disappear from the marketplace. If the company can regroup, it's a product line, if not, it's the company.
Denis
 

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Well, ya know, for those of us who have some Colts in the stable, as it were, I am reminded of the story, probably apocryphal, of two wealthy stamp collectors who had two rare identical stamps, the only two extant. Each lusted, as collectors will, after the other guy’s stamp. Ultimately one guy succeeded in buying the other guy’s stamp, for a huge sum….. and then ripped it up, more than tripling the value of the lone remaining stamp. Or something like that.

The point in telling that story is the way I look at it is if Colt no longer makes revolvers it means the ones we have are all that more precious. I am not really into the monetary value of my guns – except when I am buying them! – but very much into their intrinsic value as craftsmanship, as well as for sport and defense, of course. And in my own case, as I have said before, I like the old ones made in the old ways by the old guys anyway, and they haven’t made those for years.

Talking about socialism, capitalism and costs, by the way, I have learned that there was a labor strike in 1935 at Colt in Hartford. Now the thirties are my favorite period for gunmaking, because the arms produced are exquisite, unsurpassed, but I do suppose that it was not a very pleasant time to be a factory worker, even if better than the late 19th century. I have a found a source for some interviews for those involved – primarily labor organizers, I presume – and am thinking about acquiring these to read. Do any of you know of any articles, or descriptions in books, on the 1935 strike? (Not the 1980s strike.)
 

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FWIW, the more you read about Colt and its history, the more you detect a pattern: The company's fortunes rose and fell with military contracts.
The last notable, big-time 'saving' of Colt's bacon was the Vietnam war.
Each war brought Colts back from the brink (again).
Samuel Colt himself was a fine inventor and 'idea man', but his family's business practices kept the company pretty close to the edge, financially.
Great models like the Python were followed by giant 'holes' in the model lineup...Where were the large-frame revolvers between the New Service and the Anaconda?
What happened with Colt's decision to stop production of the SAA just in time for the 'cowboy revival' in the 1950's?
Bill Ruger sure was smart enough to launch some great guns to fill that void.
And on it goes...The vaunted M-1911, king of the hill...Two World Wars and Korea and Vietnam, and then...Bingo!...'One world 9mm' fever!
If I didn't like and own Colts, I wouldn't be here, but I am, and I guess I, too, prefer "...the old guns made by the old guys in the old days."
Like Roy Jinks of Smith and Wesson said, " S&W isn't in the business of making collectors' items...We make guns."
Remember, it's a BUSINESS, folks.
Don
 

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[ QUOTE ]

Great models like the Python were followed by giant 'holes' in the model lineup...Where were the large-frame revolvers between the New Service and the Anaconda?
What happened with Colt's decision to stop production of the SAA just in time for the 'cowboy revival' in the 1950's?

Don

[/ QUOTE ] colt suffered financal problems after ww2 and in one of the most foolish moves laid off many old hands who i assume were higher paid.these workers had been there years and could set up production machines from memory. this in my opinion helped speed the demise of some of the finest guns produced prewar. the new service and saa are 2 that come to mind along with the popular pocket autos.this caused a stagnation of ideas/cash flow and basically colt relied on the police sales post war ie o/p pps,and d/s.ownership changed in the 50`s and by the 60`s most pd `s were looking hard at auto pistols which would close that market to colt in the 70`s.
 

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[ QUOTE ]


. . . I have a strong suspicion that socialism killed off this quality revolver.
These guns were all handfitted by manuel labor as opposed to mass production off the assembly line. This gave Colt quality over quantity for a good price.

. . .

By the mid 1960s Law Enforcement started gradually abandoning the great colts in favor of the next best thing, a S&W off the assembly line. Not the same quality but a fine gun at less cost. Now we have Colt abandoning DA revolvers entirely because few are willing to pay $1000 for a handgun.
I would venture to say, that if our society truly had a free market as the Founding Fathers, influenced by the likes of Adam Smith, intended it to be, our favorite Detective Specials, Pythons and Official Polices might very well be with us today at good prices we could afford and would still have a strong place among shooters and maybe even law enforcement today (for those who still prefer revolvers)
I realize there are a lot of general statements made and there is doubtless more to be said than this, but this in a nutshell covers it I belive.

[/ QUOTE ]

I don't think so. First off, for many years, the S&W's were hand-fitted by individuals and were NOT assembly-line products. In some aspects, such as trigger pull, they were generally drastically superior to Colts. Overall, there are pluses and minuses on both designs and executions, although the Colts probably never got as bad as the S&W's once did.

Around here, the talk is that one thing killed Colt - the union. They were simply paying janitors and others too much for any sane person to think that they were going to stay in business.
 

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This may be unfounded, but in practically every picture I have ever seen of Bill Ruger he has a gun in his hands or at least in the background. I wonder about the senior management at Colt. How many in the last 100 or so years have been shooters? If you aren't "into" your product and one with the people who use it, how do you gauge your market? Pay communications and marketing majors to do surveys? Look at past trends and act as if things aren't going to change? Every time I read a book on career changing, the advice is the same, do something you feel passionate about if you want to be successful. How many people at Colt, people with real decision making power, love the product?
 

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RonS
I think you are right on!
A thorough look at General Motors from the 1980's to the mid-1990's shows exactly what happens when the accountants, focus groups and mba's from soup companies try to apply their vast 'expertise' to a business they know SQUAT about!
It's always easier to KEEP business than to try and get it back.
 

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"Well now , i live next to a dam. everyday them dam workers drive down this dam road and throw their dam trash in the dam ditch." Cute.

I'll add a little to this. My wife's grand daughter is now 6, but when she was about 3 or so, she was always picking up acorns and any other little thing that interested her at the time as most kids do. One day we were visiting one of TVA's dams and she picked up a hunk of limestone and saved it. She forever after that referred to it as her "dam rock". I'm sure she was trying to be cute at 3, but it WAS cute.

On topic, I believe Colt caused their own demise for the most part. Some blame it on unions and the stike that lasted for years. As was said, Colt survived from wartime production and when the wars ended, they were in dire financial need. Company was sold several times. Who made the decision to store the machinery outside exposed to the weather during WWII? Pretty stupid, I think. The firearm company has been afflicted with the same short sighted bottom line reasoning and planning as many companies. The focus is on the profit. But if you make a good product and you pay attention to your costs, you will succeed and profit.
 
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