This past week, for the first time in a long time, Colt Firearms invited a group of gun writers to visit their plant in in Hartford, Connecticut. And I was pleased to be among the chosen. I had never visited Colt and I had never visited Connecticut. The whole trip was pleasant and informative.
It was interesting to see old, refurbished machinery being run right along side of the latest computerized CNC equipment. Colt has found that, especially with the Colt Single Action, some of the old machinery is still doing the job extremely well. But they are also standing by to continue the transition to the most modern equipment as time goes by and stuff wears out. It was a very interesting mix of the old and the new.
I was also impressed with the amount of hand fitting that is still involved in producing the single actions and the 1911. The Colt folks know how things should fit and they intend to see that quality remains as high as is humanly possible.
What the consumer can expect is for Colt to focus on getting their most popular models into the gun shops in quantity. Currently, this means that the focus will continue to be on the Single Action Army (along with the New Frontier), the various models of their 1911, and the AR’s. Once they are getting into the hands of dealers in significant numbers Colt will begin to focus on other projects and new ideas. Although we discussed some of these possible new projects, I am simply not at liberty to discuss them at this time.
Colt has put the spotlight back on the commercial market, where it should have been all along. To the other manufacturers in our industry, I can simply say, “Look out for Colt, you may be about to get run over!”