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Colt For Sale

Colt LogoTrite as it may sound but it is true that Sam Colt’s guns are as “American as apple pie” and could well be branded as the “gun that won the West”.  The Colt legacy is made up of more than 400 specific models of handguns and longarms inclusive of thousands of subtypes and variants. In the course of its more than 176 years of existence, Colt has produced 30 millions of revolvers, rifles and pistols. Back in 1867, the recorded number of guns produced by Sam Colt himself was 400,000.

The company changed hands and ownerships several times from its establishment in 1836 until the early 1990s. It has experienced boom in sales every time the country faced conflicts such as the one against the Native Americans to the Mexicans, to World War I, World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, even the Cold War with Russia.  The company is presently known as the Colt’s Manufacturing Company.  A separate entity of Colt is Colt Law Enforcement which holds the exclusives to the design and manufacture of firearms for law enforcement groups and the military.

Beginnings

Before Sam Colt, pistols used either had one or two barrel flintlocks. Sam Colt’s concept of a gun with a revolving cylinder containing 5-6 bullets was just in the drawing board. Colt’s design of a revolver gun took off he obtained a patent for it.  He soon developed three other models which are the belt, holster and belt. He also designed two types of long armor rifles with one cocked by a finger level and the other one by a hammer. Sales were slow that the company seized its gun production. However, the company received a purchase order for 1,000 Colt revolvers from Capt. Samuel H. Walker of the U.S. Army. The captain believed that the use of Colt firearms played a major role in settling the conflict against the Native Americans in 1845. Capt. Walker wanted a new -reinforced revolver to use against the Mexicans. Thus, the “Walker “was designed and manufactured in 1860. The Dragoon Percussion was manufactured in 1861


The thrust of the company was to expand. In 1951, Colt built and established a plant in England. He also bought a two-mile long front on the Connecticut banks and built a dike to prevent the water from the river seeping in the factory.  The plant was operational by 1855 and was incorporated as the Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co. It was equipped with the most innovative and up-to-date machineries of that time.  Colt once said that “there’s nothing that can’t be produced by machine” and true to his words, the plant produced highly uniformed pieces.  Every metal part of a Colt revolver was molded, then machined, fitted then stamped with its special serial number, hardened and finally assembled.  Colt’s reputation was superseded by none. The Colt brand of firearms became synonymous not only with reliability but with accuracy and superb craftsmanship the world over.Sam Colt made sure that his firearms were no ordinary pieces. He meticulously inlaid gold and engraving on his products, even manufacturing presentation pieces to head of states and royalties. He also took specialized orders for special clients and bulk orders.

When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, Sam Colt only supplied the Union Forces. The armory was in full production that time. The following year, Sam Colt passed away leaving his vast fortune to his wife Elizabeth Colt. The company was under her management until 1901 when the company was sold to investors.

Notable guns that were manufactured during the 39 years of Mrs. Colt’s management, the company produced a semi-automatic firearm called the Dr. R.J. Gatling machine gun. This gun was operated by a hand crank that fed cluster of 6 to 10 barrels as it feed ammunition into the breech. In 1872 the first breech-loaded revolver with self-contained metallic cartridges came out.  This gun became the world-renowned Single Action Army Model 1873. This model was a success and was dubbed the “Peacemaker” which was the precursor of the metallic cartridge era. This gun was given the distinction of “the gun that won the West”.

Colt’s partnership with John Moses Browning resulted in the production of an air-cooled, gas-operated machine gun M 1895, the BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) and the semi-automatic Colt.45 pistol. The Colt .45 Model 1911A1 became the US military’s standard-issue sidearm during WWI and WWII. Colt became the primary supplier of firearms for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Armed Forces. At about this time, Colt also acquired the license to manufacture Thompson 1921 MSG. Because there was a backlog of orders for the .45, the M 1917 revolver became a substitute weapon.

In anticipation of the slowing down of firearms production brought about by the 1929 stock market crash, Samuel Stone and William Skinner, as heads of the company, ordered a diversification of products. Colt went into the manufacture of plastics, sewing machines, calculators, dishwashers, motorcycles and more. With careful planning and budgeting, the bulk of Colt’s employees did well during the Great Depression.  However the company’s cash reserve was ate up.

Due to the increasing demands of the U.S. Military during WWII era, Colt monetarily stopped the production of the Single Action Army revolver so the gun company can fill its backlog of orders. Colt manufactured more than 600,000 M1911A1 pistols and pieces of the M1917 water-cooled machine guns. When WW II ended the demand for military arms declined and eventually came to a halt from 1945-47. The company’s big move was to join forces with Penn-Texas to form the Colt Industries.

The Vietnam War in the 1960s led to Colt’s boom years in the manufacture of firearms. The U.S. Army adopted the M16 and Colt held the production rights for this weapon. Some 5 million units were sold worldwide.  By the end of the 1970s, Colt’s M1911A1 was replaced by Beretta 92F.

The five-year strike by Colt employees came about as they were asking for a wage hike. Colt took in replacements for their assembly line that the quality of firearms made declined. The sub-standard firearms prompted the U.S. military to award the production of the M16 to another supplier.  The strike eventually ended to try to salvage the company but the harm was done. Colt was sold to a group of private investors in the state of Connecticut. Colt designed and manufactured a series of disastrous firearms such as the All American 2000. Poor product, poor publicity and poor management led Colt to file for bankruptcy.

Colt’s production of firearms despite Chapter 11 bankruptcy thrived. The company designed and manufactured the commemorative 1995 “The Last Gun” (in reference to the move from the Hartford Armory). This handgun was intricate and embellished with the Colt family and lineage insignias.  Other firearms made by Colt were the Colt Match Target rifle, Colt .22 Target pistol and the Colt .38 SF-VI. The Colt .22 handgun was significant as it was named “Handgun of the Year” by no less than the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence.

With the several launchings of new firearms such as the Defender™ carry pistol, Pony® Double Action pistol,  DS II® revolver , Gold Cup™ Trophy pistol  and the the Python® Elite revolver the company was back on its feet. Its military business also came about as Colt won contracts to produce M4s and M16s.The sporting community also enjoyed great firearms such as the Pocket Nine™ pistol and the Colt Cowboy revolver.

It is no secret that Colt and other leading handgun manufacturers, distributors and dealers, had to face lawsuits from several municipalities all over the United States. This was brought about by the most publicized public shooting in 1994. Colt brought in Lt. Gen William M. Keys USMC (Ret.) as head of the company. Keys was able to guide the company through all the lawsuits and reoriented the company towards law enforcement and military clients.

Today, Colt’s Manufacturing Company is back and has been manufacturing modern firearms for the public, law enforcement and military sectors. Below is a short list of firearms currently sold by Colt. Under pistols are:Colt 1991 Series, Colt Defender, Colt New Agent, Colt XE Series, Colt Gold Cup and more.

Under Revolvers are the Single Action Army and  New Frontier.  Under Rifles, Colt has the Carbines I and II. Under costume firearms are the Modern Masters and Tactical package.

For the law enforcement and military sectors, Colt’s offers Advanced Law Enforcement Carbine, Advanced Piston System, Law Enforcement Carbine, the M4 Commando, Tactical Carbine and more.

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