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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy guys. I used to be a Colt owner, but the quality and availability of the revolvers and pistols in the late 90's sort of made me turn more towards S&W. I do own a few older models, bu they are firmly in the safe for collectors value.

I now own a nickle Colt Cobra circa 1972ish, though, that I actually carry. I love it - it's light weight, well made, compact, and holds 6 rounds. For this reason I chose it over an S&W J frame 38.

What I want to know, as a mainly S&W owner, why are Colts so behind the times? There are no small/compact, lightweight, titanium, scandium, aluminum, or hell, even STEEL revolvers in their line in this 'golden age' of concealed carry laws. Same goes for their autos. No 380's, no 9mms? How are the new stock of lightweight Commanders and defenders? And what's that symbl to the left of "Quality Makes It A colt" on this page?: http://www.coltsmfg.com/cmci/pistols.asp

Then there's customer service - no email available on their web page? You have to call or snail mail them? I asked S&W support in an email when my 686 was made, and a few questions about whether it had been turned in for a certain repair etc. I received a reply in less than 24 hours. Basically, from someone whom is a new Colt owner, I am confused. Is Colt trying to go out of business? HOW are they even alive today? What's the deal here? Is there anyone at Colt with an idea of where the market is?

WYK
 

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[ QUOTE ]
There are no small/compact, lightweight, titanium, scandium, aluminum, or hell, even STEEL revolvers in their line in this 'golden age' of concealed carry laws.

[/ QUOTE ]
If you look closely you will see that there are NO double action revolvers from Colt today. The SAA is the only revolver still being made. They are selling the 1911s as fast as they can make them, but production is nowhere near what it was in the past. Everything else (both revolver and semi-auto) has been dropped from production. The company has been in trouble for quite a while and the future for the civilian market doesn't look bright at this moment.
 

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WKY,

Seriously, do you think we could offer any better answers than what has been offered up on other sites? Did you really come over here to find some answers or stir the pot..............I'm guessing you could have found the answers to your questions by remaining a guest and browsing the posts.........


Don't bite the bait guys.........This guy sounds like he's trolling for a debate. Happens on almost every forum.

Smiths and Wessons for ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I haven't visited every site I could find. I just stopped at the one I liked. It's not a troll. I plainly stated what I thought were the facts. I like Colts, I think they would sell Scandium, Titanium, or Aluminum Detective specials faster than they could make them. I am just confused by their line up and customer service. It seems they want to go out of business. I mean, there must be something fundamentally wrong with their business model/leadership, or they are strapped with law suits, or what? What's going on? I'm asking.

WYK
 

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I'll tell you a good tale about how good S&W is:

About ten years ago, a retired Texas Ranger, gives me a NIB S&W. It was the fancy 125 year anniv model. I believe it was a 25-5, maybe 25-3. It had been bought by him, never intending to shoot it. The pistol was probably 10 years old when he gave it to me. (.45 Colt caliber, BTW).

Really pretty blue job. The cylinder wouldn't lock at the front of the ejector rod; I can only assume the cylinder was not true, as it would bind in double-action on 2 chambers; the hammer was rubbing really badly on the right side; the cylinders were cut around .463 (if I remember right); various other smaller problems.

The pistol had a lot of sentimental value to me, even though the cylinder turned the wrong way.

Called S&W. Wanted to send the pistol back, and a blank check for them to do whatever it took to fix. New cylinder, whatever, I did not care, and would pay for anything.

Sent the pistol back. Get a phone call from S&W. Say they can't do anything for me, on this model. Can't do anything??
They made the POS. Iterated they couldn't help me, and returned the gun.

Now I know they were capable of fixing it, because a friend of mine, Reeves Jungkind, had an identical pistol. He calls up S&W and says he wants to return it for work. Because he has a reputation, S&W fixes his. And it was the most perfect S&W I ever handled. For no charge.

I guess everybody screws up occasionally. But you won't find a smith in my safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey, I'm not here to step on toes. I have seen some bad Smiths, too. I have a 22 year old model 686 that I turned into S&W not too long ago because the barrel was maybe .5 degrees out of time. They eagerly fixed it for free, no questions asked other than to fix it, and returned it quickly. So I can't say I have any complaints. YMMV, though.

But, as someone fresh from the Smith camp, I couldn't help but notice the points I mentioned - no concealed carry revolvers available. Nothing in Scandium or titanium. Nothing in 9mm or 380 in autos, either. Basically, where is Colts market right now? No double action revolvers at all? If you don't like the model 25, then I am not so sure you'll be too happy with a Taurus or a Rossi - cause it appears you're not going to be buying a DA revolver from Colt, right?
What gives? I'm not gonna debate quality. Just like you guys, I don't own any junk guns. I am wondering why Colt no longer even MAKES guns? What's with that?
What started me thinking this was when I bought my Cobra. I asked myself "Hey, why isn't Colt making this thing right now? It's a perfect CHL piece. Why did I have to search high and low for months to find one?" It just seems so fundamental to me that they would be selling guns that the market is asking for. In other words, are they going to be making lightweight compact revolvers or 9mm's etc?


WYK
 

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Hi WYK;

Seen you around on "the other" forum. Welcome to the Colt Forum!

I'm a huge fan of S&W revolvers... well at least the traditional models, but am having a ball here.

Poor Colt has shot itself in the foot so badly in recent years. With products that were timely for this concealed carry era and an ancient and most respected name, the company could have cleaned up. Alas, it's not to be at this time.

I've never had a minute's trouble with S&W revolvers of any era and I've owned some scruffy ones. I've only had a single problem with a Colt revolver when a trigger return spring failed in my Model 1901 Army. It was an easy fix and I wouldn't hold it against Colt as the 1901's lock work is of a more fragile and primative design. It is still fired fairly frequently and is fine. All my other Colt revolvers and auto pistols work every time I ask them to do so.
 

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i`m your huckelberry, your point is well taken.however should i ever hit the lottery and aquire colt, i would move it here to ky. and put smith & rustin out of business within 2-5 yrs. really love those p.c. locks, very desireable on a weapon you might have to rely on to remain above ground, gez where did i put that key??? /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
 

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Just like Bikers, Gun Folk have their own preferences yet all get along together... Now that I have spouted off my wisdom let me address your question...

Well, it's not me addressing it, that would be Mr. dfariswheel. He published a link recently that has lots of interesting and some inside scoop pertaining to the happenings at Colt...

dfariswheel; "For a better explanation of what's going on at Colt, here's a report by a 1911 forum member who was given a plant tour by Mark Roberts who is in charge of Colt scheduling".

This pretty well explains why no revolvers:

http://members.aol.com/lmanwebdesign/ColtTour.html

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Let's look at it another way. Long before there was the conceal carry rave (even before most gun laws) Colt built a concealable revolver. Then they lightened it making it easier to carry. Next they shortened the grip frame making it even more concealable. So Colt ended up with a revolver that even today the industry hasn't caught up with because no other maker has a lightweight concealable 6 shot revolver, but the public gravitated to the 5 shooters even though they weren't that much smaller or lighter. Colt also reconized that shooters wanted a small high powered revolver so they built a small .357 magnum revolver, but refused to make one so light that it would be difficult to control by most shooters. They also made this revolver a 6 shooter (something else the industry still hasn't offered by anyone else). So even though Colt had products which would seem to be the industry standard the majority of the buying public turned it's head. If you can't be competetive with something then it comes off the market. Why use the exotic alloys and jack the price up when the basic models which had the field all to itself couldn't match the sales of the other makers?
The same could be said of the little .380s. Colt had quality little pocket .380s, but the public decided that the .380acp cartridge just wasn't what it wanted anymore. Colt's service size pistols were always big bore pistols. They were offered in the 9mm, but few people actually bought them. The first attempt to enter the already overcrowded 9mm Crunchenticker field failed miserably. The second attempt (a joint venture with another company that had experience in the 9mm field) fell apart before the guns got to market. So Colt stuck to what it knew how to do best which was to built a proven big bore fighting pistol that would sell.
So when you end up with what most reconize as the Cadillac of the .357s (but the public only wants to pay Chevy prices), a tough Chevy .357 (but the public only looks at the Fords and Dodges), and great little compacts (but the bells and whistles of the imports are all the buyers see) that don't sell very well then couple that with management problems then a company is in deep SH#& and all those fine products fall by the wayside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
VDM,

Thanks for the insightful reply. It was sad to read that article. It just seems to me that someone needs to go kick Colts management in the ass and re-introduce a 'lightweight' Detective Special. People would easily pay $500-800 for it as they do lightweight S&W revolvers and auto pistols.

I'm no young punk from the S&W forums. I do own several Colts, and used to only prefer them until about the 90's when other makers started to come on strong with new technologies and new options and ideas. If anyone was in Monterey county in the early 90's at the Swiss Rifle Club, you would have seen me competing in steel plates with a customized Colt Python against all 1911 and Paraordnance/STI-type newcomers.

I want Colt to stay in business. I want to buy a gun from them. But I can't! THAT'S what's so frustrating. It appears their own manufacturing process is dooming them. When you have an older workforce from a better, yet vanished time, that is all union, you won't be competing well with the current breed of manufacturers that have no union workers, American or otherwise. If they keep heading down their current path, they will only mostly be appealing to collectors, assuming they can afford to. It's sad to see. But at least they may be around for a while making 'custom' guns.

While I don't mind collecting older Colts, I don't have any more room for any more Commanders(though I would like a Colt Scandium Officers 1911 for carry), 1911's, or SAA's etc. I'm full up. But I WOULD love to have a titanium DS or even one in Scandium something lightweight and nearly in destructable. I so love my Cobra in Aluminum with it's polished nickle finish - a gun that S&W has no equal for. I ended up with it when I originally went out to buy an aluminum detective special(to complement my relatively heavy steel DS) - mistakenly assuming Colt would be making one since they could corner the market on a small-frame 6 shot snubby that was light weight. Meanwhile, however, S&W, STI, et al are making new and interesting firearms to collect - and newer and more convenient hanguns to carry. The funny thing is, I bet if Colt teamed up with STI or SVI, and made a hybrid Colt custom shop high cap 9mm-45acp on their frame with a Colt upper, even at $2,500, they'd sell 'em much faster than they could make them. Stll, it would only be a limited production. But Colt would never do such a thing. They lack vision. That is what's hurting them.

Basically, what I think I am saying is in order for Colt to stay around, it needs to adopt newer manufacturing processes(CNC machining, and tighter work flow and quality control), cut the FAT(I'm sorry, but I am not paying Colt's welfare, or Union workers if I can help it, just like Colt isn't paying mine - if I want a $1500 1911 that I can carry VS collect - I'll get an STI or a Wilson). Address the market with more assembly line manufactured guns with good quality control. Go to a gun store and pick up any brand new Ruger, Smith, Taurus, etc. They are all well made, and work fine, and all have good customer service to back up their guns. No, many do not have as much attention to detail as the Colts do when it comes to rounded edges etc. But they fill the largest part of the handgun market - a functional, affordable gun for sport or carry or defense. In fact, for $350-500, it is truly amazing the value of some of the firearms that S&W and Taurus makes(albeit in Brazil and Mexico). With Springfield, S&W, and Kimber, turning out quality 1911's at affordable prices in the late 90's to today, Colt couldn't rest on it's laurels as the only 1911 maker in the market. But, that seems to be just what they ended up doing, and it's what they are doing. A good example is S&W. They make a LOT of assembly line guns - all are quality guns which the factory stands behind. They work fine, and are reasonably priced. No, they sure as hell ain't the guns Smith made in the 70's(of which I own serveral), but if you want a more custom gun, better fit and finish, more attention to detail, etc. - there is always the custom shop/performance center, which has turned out thousands of great guns. Barring that, there's the custom makers like Bowen and Clements that work on these guns. Basically, Ford can't stay in business simply making Mustang GT's and King Ranch F-350's. There's a reason Ford makes a Focus, a V6 Mustang, and 500,000 F-150's each year. Because the market demands it, and it keeps them in business(even with oppressive unions dragging them down). Colt needs a multi-tiered market approach, too. No, they don't need to make 500,000 Detective specials in Mexico - but 5,000 a year made with the aid of CNC machining, using high grade aluminum for the frames, trained workers that are non union in Texas VS some high-overhead NE locale, at a price point of $600 MSRP, they'd start making decent money as plenty of folks would buy them.

Now maybe their mlitary/defense grups is making the money for them, I dunno. Maybe they plan to reinvest some of technology and manufacturing the government helps fund back into Colt LLC. One way or another, Colt's got to change. The current course is towards obscurity. None of us wants that.

Is there a rep from Colt that visits forums or even has a blog etc? That was another one of my surprises. How do they keep in touch with their customers? S&W answers all their emails, usually within 24 hours. Does Colt have no liasons for us Colt owners?

I guess at this point I should relegate my steel-framed detective special to the safe for good, next to my Pythons(none of which I paid more than $590 retail for - and I bitched to my dealer about the cost of the last one) and my 1911's, as it seems it will only be a collectors piece. Sad, but perhaps that's the way it's going to go. Everything changes...

WYK
 

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Customer service is not something that Colt is taking for granted. There are almost countless forummembers who have delt with Colt Customer Service and -except for the lettering of Colt's- I haven't read any bad things about them.

About the quality of other manufacturers I recently witnessed a major f*ck-up by Ruger.

A fellow gunclub member here in Holland had to wait for 4 months to receive his Ruger Blackhawk in .30 M1 calibre.
After his first round, he discovered that he could not use the ejectorrod because of the fact that it would not allign itself with the cylinder. He had received a beautiful piece of paper that went with the gun stating that it had been test-fired at the Ruger-factory. We all wondered how in the hell they got the empty cases out!
Only way to get them out was to disassemble the cylinder.
After returning the gun to the shop, the gunshopowner got hold of the importer for Ruger here in the Netherlands and was told that the other Ruger they received in .30 M1 calibre was also returned to them because it had the same problem! It now looks like that the barrel and cylinder were right, but the frame wasn't!

Now I've been reading this board for quite a while now, but I've never read anything like this on Colt's.

Bottomline with Colt was the fact that Quality was written with a big Q, but in the end the customer was setteling for less quality at a lower price.

I'm not in to smiths and wessons. Are the revolvers of S&W also experiencing this major hype pricewise?
 

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Well said... I own many Colt's; DA's, SSA's, and 1911's... I also own Sig's, Walther's, Para's and a few others, yes, even Smith's...

My Colt's for the most part are investments... The other manufactures are for carry and/or shooters... I have experienced Customer Service with all... Do I favor any, not really...

When it comes to specific ownership that’s a different story, yes I have a favorite and it is Colt hands down... Why? Sentimental reasons mostly given its history and all (no need to focus on their quality and past foresight)...

All however have had their day in the crapper… Lets take Smith for example; There was that abysmal Smith & Wesson agreement with the Clinton folk, which included new restrictions on the firearms business. Smith & Wesson almost went out of business due to our gunnie boycott, its British owner as a result sold it back to an American company for a huge loss, and the agreement went into abeyance… Why they jumped on that band-wagon was asinine, it could have only been political… There was certainly no communication between Management and the buying public…

That being said, no manufacture be it Colt, Smith, Ford, or Exxon just to name a few are bullet proof... All are capable of a blunder or two... It seem that Colt however, is well into the double digits… I truly wish I could help with a penny or two worth of my thoughts and suggestions but personnel with much greater authority, knowledge and vision have already done so to no avail… I guess you and I will simply ride it out and witness its outcome…

My opinion,

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Great discussion! I can't add anything to what's already been said except for this:

[ QUOTE ]
And what's that symbl to the left of "Quality Makes It A colt" on this page?

[/ QUOTE ]

That's a depiction of the Byzantine "onion" dome that sits atop the Colt factory building in Hartford.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
It just seems to me that someone needs to go kick Colts management in the ass and re-introduce a 'lightweight' Detective Special. People would easily pay $500-800 for it as they do lightweight S&W revolvers and auto pistols.

[/ QUOTE ]
And just why do you think this? When Colt had just that revolver on the market it didn't sell as well as the competition. What would make any difference today?
The King Cobra is every bit as capable, if not more in some cases, as the M686 or the Gp-100 but it couldn't compete in sales. The Anaconda rates as strong as the Redhawk and both exceeds the M629 but the Anaconda just didn't have the sales. No manufactor's aluminum framed 1911s are having any strength problems (Colt corrected that problem back in the 1950s) so what's the purpose of adding scandium or titantium to the aluminum alloy except as a marketing ploy? It doesn't make the pistol any lighter. And why should Colt team up with another maker to produce the 1911 when they already have everything from a competetive priced basic model all the way up to a premium Gold Cup target model. One thing Colt doesn't need is for someone to tell them or help them make a 1911 (just what is a STI frame but a modification of the Colt frame). Just remember where everyone who builds a 1911 today got their idea from.

BTW....The Mustang GT solidified Ford's position in the "Muscle Car" game and the F-150 solidified Ford's position in the light truck game and have been great sellers since they first hit the market. That is why Ford is still building those models and in such great numbers. The F-350 and the V-6 Mustang are basically niche vehicles aimed at a smaller buyer group.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow, how behind the times. There is a very clear reason I used the Cobra as an example(though the 380 is a good one, too). Colt hasn't had a lightweight revolver on the market for 30 years. According to Clint Smith: "Colt has made many types of revolvers over the years, but the family of small, solid frame, simultaneous ejection swing-out cylinder revolvers known as the Detective Special, the Cobra and the Agent were among the most popular revolvers Colt ever made."
They were popular back when they were made too. And now, with all but 7 states passing concealed carry laws, and snubnose revolver manufacturing at it's height, Colt sits and watches, while it's supporters blindy do the same. I got news for those of you that feel threatened by this thread - if you keep towing the line for Colt, sooner or later, there won't be a Colt.

"The King Cobra is every bit as capable.." Ahem - it WAS(or MIGHT have been). Colt doesn't make it any more...
And, yes, I do own one - a 4" stainless circa 1994. Right now the 686 is only competing with the gp100 and the Trackers etc. from Taurus - most or all of which are titanium, and great guns at very affordable prices, if somewhat inelegant.

Scandium alloys and Titanium are not gimmicks. These metals are tougher and stronger than aluminum for the same weight, some stronger than steel, ALL more corrosion resistant. And with todays manufacturing, are more affordable than ever. ALL aluminum frames have strength problems. Colt NEVER corrected the fact that aluminum does not last as long as steel or titanium, unless they rewrote physics. If you use powerful loads in an aluminum gun, it will wear out significantly faster than it's steel, scandium, or titanium counterpart.

And if you haven't noticed, other makers are selling snubbies at quantities previousy unheard of. As most of the folks on other forums, and some even here are aware, there has been sweeping concealed carry laws accross the land. The demand for concealable firearms is at an all time high. Smith and Wesson alone has 25 different versions to choose from, with 3 more available from the Performance Center. That is far more than ever before.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/s..._category=15703

Other makers? Let's see...:
http://www.taurususa.com/products/gunselector-results.cfm?series=CC2

With your Ford response, you basically mimicked my sentiments, though. So I'm not so sure you know what you're saying exactly. Without those F-150's and Focus' - there wouldn't be an F-350 or a GT40. It's not the other way around. And, so we're clear, Ford sells FAR more V6 mustangs than GT's. Go to Hertz and check out the parking lot sometime. Ford sells about 140,000 mustangs a year, and well over 500,000 F-series(over 70,000 last April alone), a large amount of which are destined as work vehicles for companies and corporations. In other words, Ford knows the market.

Apologists won't be the ones dragging Colt out of the hole. In fact, it would seem many here are going along with Colt for the ride. Colt needs help - apologizing for them won't help Colt, nor you.

To sum it up for those too easily threatened with non-pro Colt talk:

- Colt is ignoring market trends. This is a bad thing. It is what got them EXACTLY right where they are today.

- They need to learn from their mistakes.

- They need to make some changes in order to remain competitive - even in the custom market.


If not, we will all just be collectors and story tellers on these forums...

WYK
 

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wyk, "hate to bring this up but your momma is ugly" exactly what kind of response did you expect from a bunch of colt lovers with your original post??? i am afraid we wont solve colts woe`s on this forum. perhaps you should spout your insults over on the s&w board where they wil be welcome.i agree with you on some points but your post lack purpose and TACT.i`m blocking you as soon as i figure how
 

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Colt doesn't make the models they used to.

You know what? Neither does S&W. If you want a revolver made out of 'unobtanium' with a key lock and MIM parts then Smith can help you out. Want something with a high-polish blue and no lock? Better look for a Colt (or an old S&W).

I like high polish revolvers without locks. I do not consider purchasing Smith and Wessons.
 

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"for those of you that feel threatened by this thread..." Who are you kidding? I don't think any Colt owner would ever be threatened by any owner of a S&W!! Just to own a Colt is a privilege, and whether they continue to make guns or not, they made the guns that made this country what it is today. Just the word "COLT" is inspiring to Americans, and I doubt it very much "Smith & Wesson" has that same impact. My feelings may not have anything to do with what you guys are talking about, but when I hold my Colt revolvers in my hand, I am a proud American. And like I said before I always associated Wesson with cooking oil, not guns. P.S. God blesses all states!!! Texas just needs an extra blessing.
 

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Counselor, your question was a tad argumentative. Care to rephrase? /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

IMO the quality and availability from both manufacturers has sharply declined. S&W always offered a larger variety of models. Again, IMO, Colt fell asleep at the switch in the 1960s and let the police revolver market slip away to S&W. Then when the rush to semi-autos started Colt had no decent DA self-loader to compete with the 39/59 (many cop shops shied away from SA autos). They were also behind the curve in product improvement and overpriced compared to S&Ws. They seemed to be more interested in military sales of AR15s than in commercial sales and let the handgun end of the business slip very badly. Shows no sign of recovery to date.

Some shooters love one (S&W v. Colt) and hate the other but I appreciate both. I have more S&Ws because there are more variations to own. But I still love my Colts.
 
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