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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all.

Just read that Colt is up for sale. Supposedly General Dynamics bought the military side of things. the commercial side is said to be up for sale.

It was also mentioned that Colt may be rumoured to have a "plastic" gun, ready to put into military trials.

There is a thread on my gun forum about this. Also a link to another web site, with info.

Any word? Anyone going to the SHOT show? Might get some info.....
 

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Page not found.
I thought you had guns for sale when I saw the title.
When & where is the shot show?
Ain't never been to Vegas before. Wife'd shoot me if I went without her.
Do they have a lot of good deals there? I might make the NRA National though. It's a lot closer to home. Milwaukee



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BlogThis!The Michael Bane Blog
Author and host of the hit OUTDOOR CHANNEL show SHOOTING GALLERY spouts off... WARNING: I fling poo!
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Colt Sold! Industry Roiling Before SHOT...
Hartford's Rampant Colt is going to a new home — actually new homes — ending years of speculation on when the sad little horse was going to just keel over and die.

Brother Jim Shepherd at The Outdoor Wire is reporting this AM that the defense side of the bifurcated company, which had been making noises abut going public, has been sold to General Dynamics, and that an announcement of the sale of the commercial side is moments away...and, according to Shepherd, a shocker.

Again according to Shepherd, 11 firearms companys have been circling around the crippled pony, No doubt the sale of the defense side of the business was accelerated by the recent military contract for M4 carbines, which surprised the industry.

A couple of quick thoughts before I start working the phones...

• Colt represents a staggering treasure chest of intellectual property. It's one heck of a list: 1911 Government Model, AR-15, Python, Detective Special, Single Action Army. Each of these honest-to-goodness legendary firearms were the Gold Standard in their respective niches.

• My little cherubs and seraphim tell me Colt has a new plastic pistol in the back room, ready to throw into the new military trials. Maybe; maybe not. But if that particular piece of gossip is true, it certainly boosts Colt's bargaining position.

• No doubt potential suitors are watching S&W's numbers on their revived revolver line. A relaunch of the Python, the Dick Special and probably the .44 Magnum Anaconda from the Colt line makes you an instant player. Or, suppose you're S&W...

• What would the Rampant Colt logo mean for a manufacturer of SAA clones? Or to a manufacturer of 1911 clones? One never knows, does one?

Lotsa variables here...more as info becomes available...
posted by Michael Bane at 8:39 AM

29 Comments:
Guy N said...
SHOT Show is looking more and more interesting.

Guy

9:39 AM
Anonymous said...
Buying Colt buys you the union too. Look how well that worked out for USRAC.

While many of Colt's guns were the gold standard they have lost miles of market share to companies like Kimber. And Ruger owns something like 75% of the cowboy action market.

Relaunching Colt as a series brand will be a challenge and cost lots of money on the front end.

10:02 AM
Michael Bane said...
This would probably guarantee my entrance into Gun Hell, but I think if I was bidding on Colt, what I'd be looking at is:
• the pony logo & the name
• the specs, drawings, CNC programs, whatever
• the history (most of which I understand has been sold off)
• the plastic gun, if it exists

What I would NOT be interested in is the facility itself, Connecticut, the unions, etc. I would downsize the heck out of the facility and use it only for "boutique" manufacturing and/or custom runs, or just outright sell it off to USFA/Hartford.

I'd transition the meat-and-potatoes manufacturing to my own facility.

mb

10:35 AM
Paten said...
Could this just be another internet rumor? General Dynamics bought Colt's Saco subsidiary in 2000 and that started rumors of Colt being sold back then. Maybe it's just another continuation of that old rumor. I can't find any other credible information yet, so I will be checking back here to see what new information your phone calls reveal.

10:41 AM
Patrick Sweeney said...
Didn't Reed Knight make off with the vaults-full of experimental, rare and one-of-a-kind guns, in trade for the rights to the AA-2000? So much for buying the company for the "goodies."

And yes, buy the company, move it to SC, AZ, or some other place more manufacturer-friendly. A properly-assembled, CNC machined SAA? I'm up for that.

10:59 AM
Anonymous said...
Smyrna, GA

11:10 AM
Michael Bane said...
I'm hearing that this is good info...the industry seems to be accepting it as a done deal...but we've been snookered before.

Wanna start betting on the purchaser of the civilian Colt assets?

HMMMMMMM, who's got the most to gain?

mb

PS: Patrick...I've been amazed at how much Colt stuff has walked out the door. I've even seen the original roll marks for said SAAs, and they ain't in Hartford!

11:13 AM
Anonymous said...
Michael: What's the word on buying the state of Conn. out? I've always understand they own something on the order of 7% and that's why no one could move the company before. The Unions got the state to participate before through funding of their pension plan and now the state is beholding to the Union to stop any move out of state.

Secondly; there is little left in the gun vault. Reed got it all.

Thirdly; according to Evan Whilden when he was alive the trade name "COLT" is the 7th most recognized English language trademark in the World. What would that be worth to a clothing manufacturer????

Fourthly; has Colt made enough money recently to properly fund the development and delivery of a new plastic pistol? I don't know. I'm just asking.

Last: as for the Dick Special, they may use the name but the gun itself is too labor intensive to manufacture properly in today's world to re-introduce. I don't see it happening.

All The Best,
Frank W. James

11:27 AM
Michael Bane said...
Frank & all...

I agree...the Rampant Colt is the primary asset, along with the secondary assest intellectual property assest of names such as "Government Model," "Single Action Army," "Python," "Detective Special," etc.

I'm not sure Colt could be relaunched as a commercial entity without A LOT of money and some real marketing horsepower. I had forgotten CT's bailout percentage, but you're right...that was my understanding as well.

I do believe the CT facility could be run as a "boutique shop," essentially the equivalent of the S&W Performance Center (which I hear OTHER things about, but that's another story!), as long as there was a primary facility making product with more sales appeal.

The Italian clonemakers (and people like USFA and Hartford) have proven that you don't have to be Colt and Winchester to manufacture and sell "Colts" and "Winchesters."

RE: Money to develop a plastic pistol...beats me...I do know that General Dynamics, which had $12 billion in sales last year, wants to play in the military small arms market (hence their joint venture with H-K to build the now-cancelled XM8). Possibly, if the plastic pistol exists, it might be going to GD.

The more I look at it, the more stirred up things appear to be. You probably saw that the military just let a contract for M14 9mm magazines, to the tune of 14 million units at $63 million. The XM8 project and the OICW Increment One RFP are cancelled...it may be fair to say the military doesn't know where it's going with small arms yet. I would say it's a possibility that the handguns trials might not be the done deal we all think it is.

I would also say that nothing on the GD Colt purchase has shown up anywhere else, including (I'm told) SEC filings.

mb

12:50 PM
Overload in Colorado said...
M14 9mm Mags?

1:52 PM
Michael Bane said...
Sorry, Overload...M9...figers got ahead of brain. I WISH it was M14s!

The cherubs and seraphim have been able to verify (apparently under what the United States now defines as "torture") that the sale of Colt Defense is a done deal. The little angels were also able to ferret out at least 3 major firearms companies who were offered the commercial side of Colt and shined 'em on.There are also some really interesting rumors around a fourth major gun company, but it's mostly "pieces of pieces," and it depends on how you stack the pieces.

The question, as always, is who has the most to gain?

HOWEVER (and this is a big "however"), Colt's carrying a 'way big boat anchor...I'm now wondering if there is a very real possibility that the commercial side of Colt will not survive this purchase...

mb

2:23 PM
Anonymous said...
Has any one noticed the "New Tradmarks" listed on USFA's Web page-" Super .38 and ACE .22 --seems like a deal in the offing about some of Colt's Old trademarks.......The USPTO web page lists about 20 trademarks including The WOODSMAN that US Fire Arms now ownes? Whats up with that?

4:38 PM
Anonymous said...
www.usfirearms.com

4:40 PM
Anonymous said...
Looks like USFA just gutted the Old Colt co.---took the Trade marks and ran!--Back To Hartford!

4:44 PM
Anonymous said...
Mike -great site

by the way----""The Legend Lives"" is the cover title to USFA's new 2006 Catalog issue as seen on their website--Whats behind door number three Jerry???????????
www.usfirearms.com

4:48 PM
Anonymous said...
just heard from my one buddy who's into this --General Dyn. is acquirer of Colt Defense also that Building and parkinglot of Colts West Hartford facility was sold to developer for continued expansion of Home Depot. This means Colt Comm is out of a home in less than 90 days-----? **** ---it takes longer to plan and move equipment to a new facility than that?

4:52 PM
Anonymous said...
Yes, you are all mostly correct-----actually Colt was in the middle of an SEC filing--back in May of 2005---Because it did not go through- they essientialy have no where to go ----they did not and do not own the property they lease- And the remaining part of the lease that is left (not many months left) is controlled by Colt Defense. The State of Connecticut "Conn. Development Auth. " ownes the "security interest" in all Colt trademarks---including the horse "Rampant Colt and the Name Colt ---if a deal is to be made with Colt then a deal is to be made with the State of Connecticut as well.

5:02 PM
Anonymous said...
My question is --If Colt is gone and or is transferred into different parts....--If the BATF grants a varience for COLT to move somewhere else outside the jurisdiction of their current "licensed premesis"--that is outside of Connecticut---and they continue to mark the guns "Hartford" even though its made in a lets say --in Tennesse---then how does that square with the Federal Trade law under the Commerce Clause(Lanham Act?)
If so--then Basically, your gun is a COLT but it can't say HARTFORD.So is it a COLT? Whats going on here?
Mike ---can you find out?

Regards, Big Al, Kalifornia

6:11 PM
jimmoman said...
Come on Bane, You cannot allude to some Smith&Wesson Performance Center rumor and then not be forthcoming...

8:55 PM
Anonymous said...
It ain't S&W. It's going to be somebody nobody is thinking of.

9:59 PM
Anonymous said...
Smith doesn't have the right poeple up there---Its the battleship in a bath tub---trying to turn it around (read change here people ---it is next to impossible) S&W is on 3 //24 shifts 7 Days Sundays included just to stay marginally profitable.

If you watch the stocks sales (SWB) you will see that a very heavy program of selling is being done by their largest shareholder in Arizona.......no S&W would burn through Colts type of products in short order and wonder what the next niche would be they could saturate.

S&W is a moving freight train hoping against all odds that the gun "consuming" markets stays with them---my vote is decidedly that markets have changed and we are now in a "connissuership" place in the gun markets.

Ruger notwithstanding, the gun buying habits of Americans (we represent the largest market in the world) are towards quality, innovation and Tradition not necessarily based on price.

Today's real buyer is sophisicated, not new to guns, and is a working in a professional capacity---kinda like Mike!

Keep up the hard work Mike love the shows!!!

Mr. W, MASS

10:44 PM
Anonymous said...
Interesting read on S&W. It does seem they have run out of ideas and are not working on gimmicks. The sew caliber trick only lasts so long but is good for a short hit. The new black rifle will be bought up in the short term but that is a crowded market and the rumors are that S&W is having Stag Arms build the rifle - or most of it - for them. The M&P is the only new item they have come up with on their own but they already have seen problems and the LE price is FREE with free holster and free mag pouches with the agency's guns in trade. Not exactly a growth stratedgy and if they are giving them all that for at max a $350 value traded in gun it begs the question how good could the M&P really be.

I agree that S&W would be a bad fit for Colt's commercial side. But, stranger things have happened and usually do.

My bet is that Mr. Bane is the first to find out who is the real buyer.

6:36 AM
Anonymous said...
Take it from an old Catholic school kid and altar boy: The proper term to go along with your "seraphim" is "cherubim," which is the Hebrew masculine plural of "cherub."

6:50 AM
Michael Bane said...
Sadly, my only relationship with Catholic schools involved this girl I used to date and her uniform.

Man, I have heard some absolutely AMAZING rumors in the last 24 hours! I myself offered $10,000 cash on the barrelhead for the commercial division of Colt, but was soundly rebuffed.

There is still no verification of the Colt Defense sale to General Dynamics this AM, but the industry is unequivocally taking it as a done deal. I have not received one single response from anyone in the industry or anyone at Colt denying the sale.

I'll start a new post after a pot of coffee!

mb

7:33 AM
Anonymous said...
Yes, Confirm on STAG making the S&W MP15..........

Making that on next building over from Contiental Machine .....This is (Father of young guys at STAG) same tooling as COLTM4/M16 9mm and grenade launcher tubes ,etc...

Basically everything but the plastic....When he didn't get paid by COLT ,,sold parts off and ROCK RIVER was born. STAG also made 1911 "Historic" model for COLT ---and makes ROCK RIVER 1911 today complete with combat rail.

If you want to control, COLT buy Contiental Machine, (John Downey Dr. New Britian CT)

Regards, Biff Landry

8:53 AM
Middle Man said...
Source at Colt denies rumor in email this morning. Further rumor that SIG is #1 contender for Colt's Manufacturing...

9:13 AM
Michael Bane said...
Still nothing confirming here either, although my guys are still still 100%.

Heard SIG wasn't interested. Also heard neither was Glock, Taurus, S&W and some smaller players.

Of course, all still on the level of gossip.

mb

10:27 AM
Guns & Ammo, Memphis said...
I haven`t heard anyone mention the Pony 380. My shop still sells them as fast as we get one, and at a good price, too. If someone brought that model back, it would be a good seller. The sad part is that one model won`t make Colt profitable, and the history that you buy with the Colt name is also what will drag you down. If someone can keep the "mystique" of the Colt name and jettison all the dead weight, while making products the consumers will actually buy, THAT is the key to the sale. I hope it all goes well for Colt.

9:03 AM
Anonymous said...
Ditto there Memphis....interesting blog on the 1911 FORUM regarding TOUR of COLT PLANT --although wavering on the issues of quality and customer service --what really is alarming is all of the idle machinery. Their man, Mr. Roberts seems a slick fellow. Don't gert me wrong I just take it with all the excuses as just more BS from out of touch mgtm. Don't they have people up there to even run their machines--What happened to COLT---I was lead to believe they were much bigger than theyu really are. Goodby to Mr. Colt, what a waste.

Frank H, Nashville

9:53 PM
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Discussion Starter #5
The SHOT show is a trade show only. For people who work in the industry. Nothing for sale......
 
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