BREAKING NEWS: Colt to File Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

The end we knew would come has finally begun. Colt Defense, LLC is set to file chapter 11 bankruptcy protection tomorrow, according to insider sources, reports

Gun maker Colt Defense LLC plans to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, amid business and accounting troubles.

The company has secured financing to continue operating while in bankruptcy and expects to remain in business after the restructuring, the people said.

The West Hartford, Conn.-based company, with a legacy dating to 17th century New England, developed a pistol it calls “the gun that won the West” and enjoyed a lucrative stretch in the late 1990s and early 2000s as the U.S. military’s sole supplier of the M4 line of firearms widely used by front-line troops.

But Colt has struggled in recent years with a slowdown in rifle sales and its 2013 loss of a key contract to supply the U.S. Army with the M4. The company has had accounting problems that caused it to revise prior years’ reported financial results and miss a creditor’s initial filing deadline for an annual report, according to regulatory filings.

Colt plans to try to reduce its debt burden via a court-supervised auction of its business, to generate proceeds to repay some of its lenders, the people familiar with the plans said.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the final admission that Colt can no longer outrun its creditors. It is the normal method by which large corporations restructure their debt, and the debtor is protected from collection efforts by its creditors. According to

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a form of bankruptcy reorganization available to individuals, corporations and partnerships. It has no limits on the amount of debt, as Chapter 13 does. It is the usual choice for large businesses seeking to restructure their debt.

The debtor usually remains in possession of its assets, and operates the business under the supervision of the court and for the benefit of creditors. The debtor in possession is a fiduciary for the creditors. If the debtor’s management is ineffective or less than honest, a trustee may be appointed.

A creditors committee is usually appointed by the U.S.Trustee from among the 20 largest, unsecured creditors who are not insiders. The committee represents all of the creditors in providing oversight for the debtor’s operations and a body with whom the debtor can negotiate an acceptable plan of reorganization.

A Chapter 11 plan is confirmed only upon the affirmative votes of the creditors, who are divided by the plan into classes based on the characteristics of their claims, and whose votes are a function of the amount of their claim against the debtor.

If the debtor can’t get the votes to confirm a plan, the debtor can attempt to “cram down” a plan on creditors and get the plan confirmed despite creditor opposition, by meeting certain statutory tests.

Chapter 11 is probably the most flexible of all the chapters, and as such, it is the hardest to generalize about. Its flexibility makes it generally more expensive to the debtor. The rate of successful Chapter 11 reorganizations is depressingly low, sometimes estimated at 10% or less.

A more detailed look at what Chapter 11 bankruptcy means is available on the United States Courts website.

We at TFB have been covering Colt’s issues since they became apparent. Many bloggers already had called Colt’s race against debt, notably Hognose of and Daniel Watters of The 5.56 Timeline.

Thanks to Daniel for the tip.

UPDATE: Colt has released a press release describing the bankruptcy process and how it will affect sales of their commercial offerings:

WEST HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Colt Defense LLC (“Colt” and the “Company”) announced today in voluntary Chapter 11 materials filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (the “Bankruptcy Court”) a process that will allow for an accelerated sale of Colt’s business operations in the US and Canada. Colt’s current sponsor, Sciens Capital Management LLC (“Sciens”), has agreed to act as a “stalking horse bidder” and has proposed to purchase substantially all of Colt’s assets and assume secured liabilities and all liabilities related to existing agreements with employees, customers, vendors, and trade creditors. Colt intends for the sale to ensure a smooth and swift transition of the business with all of its iconic brands, products, and operations supported by a stronger balance sheet due to a significantly lower debt burden. As part of the Sciens led bid, Colt will be able to reassure its employees and local community of its commitment to continued operations in West Hartford through a long term extension on the lease for its manufacturing facilities and campus in West Hartford. In accordance with the sale process under section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, notice of the pending sale to Sciens will be given to third parties and competing bids will be solicited, with an independent committee of Colt’s board of managers established to manage the bidding process and evaluate bids. The Company intends to continue its normal business operations throughout the accelerated sale process and has asked the Bankruptcy Court to approve certain Company requests to protect trade creditors, vendors, and suppliers, thereby allowing for its operations to continue uninterrupted during the Bankruptcy Court supervised sale process. Union-related agreements will also be unaffected and employees will be paid all wages, salaries and benefits on a timely basis. The current management team, which has been led since October 2013 by President and CEO Dennis Veilleux, will remain in place throughout the process. “The plan we are announcing and have filed today will allow Colt to restructure its balance sheet while meeting all of its obligations to customers, vendors, suppliers and employees and providing for maximum continuity in the Company’s current and future business operations,” said Keith Maib, Chief Restructuring Officer of Colt Defense LLC. “While entering Chapter 11 protection in the absence of a consensual agreement with our noteholders was not our preference and we do not take it lightly, we are confident it is the best path going forward and will enable us to continue to gain traction on a challenging but achievable turnaround in our business performance and competitive positioning in the international, U.S. government and consumer marketplaces. Importantly, Colt remains open for business and our team will continue to be sharply focused on delivering for our customers and being a good commercial partner to our vendors and suppliers. We look forward to successfully executing on this plan, which provides a sound path of stewardship for an iconic American brand and the key stakeholders we serve.” Colt’s existing secured lenders have also agreed to provide, subject to approval of the Bankruptcy Court, $20 million in debtor in possession credit facilities to allow for continuation of operations in the ordinary course of business during the Chapter 11 process. The entire process is expected to be complete within 60-90 days. On June 12, 2015, Colt’s previously announced exchange offer, consent solicitation and solicitation of acceptances of a prepackaged plan of reorganization with respect to its 8.75% Senior Notes due 2017 expired. The conditions to the exchange offer, the consent solicitation and the prepackaged plan of reorganization were not satisfied and such conditions were not waived by Colt. All 8.75% Senior Notes due 2017 of Colt tendered and not validly withdrawn pursuant to such exchange offer will be returned promptly to the tendered holder thereof in accordance with the Offer to Exchange, Consent Solicitation Statement, and Disclosure Statement Soliciting Acceptances of a Prepackaged Plan of Reorganization, dated April 14, 2015, as supplemented, and applicable law. Perella Weinberg Partners L.P. is acting as financial advisor of the Company, Mackinac Partners LLC is acting as restructuring advisor of the Company and O’Melveny & Myers LLP is the Company’s legal counsel. For access to Court documents and other general information about the Chapter 11 cases, please visit:

The press release indicates that Colt expects no interruptions in the sale of its commercial firearms, and expects this process to take 60-90 days.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Azril @ Alex Vostox

    And with this, dies the great American legacy…until it was saved by a Chinese or Middle East or European based company.

    • Zachary marrs

      The legacy has long been gone

  • nadnerbus

    Evolve, innovate, or die.

  • Colt’s Manufacturing Company, LLC is still operating, therefore civilian sales should continue. Colt Defense, LLC serves the Military and PMC market.

    • Colt Defense owns Colt’s Manufacturing as of 2013.

      • shit…
        The oncoming brain aneurysm’s from Colt fanboys will fill hospital beds tonight.

  • TonysTake

    Who owns Colt now? I remember controlling interest in some firearms companies were bought by George Soros connected companies. Accounting troubles sounds a bit fishy.

    • guest

      A guy named David Zilkha. Google for him. He’s owned Colt since the 1990s. He was buddy-buddy with the Clintons then, he’s buddy-buddy with Obama and gives him huge donations now.

  • Not_a_Federal_Agent

    Oh no, A mid-level manufacturer and overpriced retailer of AR15’s and 1911’s is falling by the wayside!

    Good riddance. Your guns won’t be particularly missed. However, the name will live on, as they’ll get scooped up by FN or Sig. Maybe we will see a resurgence of their revolvers if either of those two pick them up as that is a market neither has entered.

    • zstflycln


    • Joshua

      Sadly this is 90% due to being a Union and having owners who just want to line their pockets while operating on a razors edge profit margin.

      • Tattooed

        No it’s not. It’s because that company is/was run by people who aren’t even interested in fire arms. Corporate hollow men interested in the bottom line. The last group that came in ran the company into the ground and then left with their pockets full. They came in, slashed budgets made everything “more efficient”, didn’t bother with r and d and then took the profits and left. It’s a common story in corporate America…also this is like the third time this has happened in their looooong history.

      • bucherm

        “Sadly this is 90% due to being a Union”

        Then why hasn’t S&W tanked? They’re a Union shop. Hell, they’re a union shop and some of their equipment dates to the 19th Century.

        The reason Colt has collapsed is because they relied on overpriced M-16s and M-4s for too long, and the “civilian” Colt thought that they could price accordingly to the public. All why not making anything new(every gun maker worth it’s salt has polymer framed handguns in the lineup) in decades. By the time they realized how badly they thought the Pony-stamp was worth and priced their 1911s and AR-15s accordingly, it was too late, even in the midst of the panic of ’13.

        • Joe

          S&W isnt a union shop

      • micmac80

        What has Union have to do with a ,bussines model that trough a highly corrupt practices(would give some 3 world counties run for their money) of US arms procurement system came to rely on selling overpiced product on no bid basis to armed forces , FN that took over the bussines lowered the price for taxpayer by nearly 50%

        • Curious_G

          Third world counties!

      • Kivaari

        At one point firearms only amounted to 5% of Colt Industries. Colt has committed suicide for 40 years or more.

    • Curious_G

      My understanding is that there is no way to economically produce Colt DA revolvers – at least not the existing deigns.

      • Raven

        Bullshit. The empty suits running the place just didn’t want to invest anything in bringing back the snake guns. This is a company that was making $50k reproduction Gatling guns and $2000 production-model 1911s.

      • Kivaari

        With today’s technology, it is hard to do poorly. It costs much less as long as modern machines are used. Colt needed people to fit the less refined forgings and machined parts of the past. Hand fitting was needed on Colt’s, but they wore out fast. Colt ignored the customers along the way. There weren’t many manufactures competing with Colt 40-50 years ago. Now there are, and most are better.

        • Curious_G

          Interesting perspective, but if that were the case we would see a lot tighter tolerances on modern firearms – because it is just so easy these days, right? I realize you don’t always need (or want, for that matter) tight tolerances – so no need to try to “educate” me. Every “high end” 1911 still has some degree of hand fitting these days, and we see the associated cost. Unfortunately there is not the same desire/following for DA revolvers.

          Nearly everyone has echoed this: it is not cost effective to produce Colt’s DA designs.

    • Vitsaus

      As cynical as it is, you’re 100% correct. There is nothing that Colt does that some one else isn’t doing better for the same money or even less, AND in the USA.

    • Kivaari

      Like over-priced Italian single actions that get a roll stamp, “Made in the USA” for twice the price of the original.

  • sam

    Adios, contaminos.

  • Sulaco

    If you see a Colt on the rack buy it now! Collectors will be hunting them in a few years…

  • The Colt name will never go away. Just like Armalite, Springfield Armory, Winchester, Ithaca, and so on. This happens more than it should (what with all the examples and precedent set).

    • hikerguy

      Sad, but true. Their classic designs will live on under different brands: Perhaps a foreign or American company who buys the rights to the name. I do, however, feel for those employees who have or will lose their jobs over this.

      • Cymond

        I think Alex is saying that even if Colt dies, that someone will buy the name “Colt” and open a new factory. We’ll still see guns that say “Colt’ on the side, but they’ll be made by different people in a different factory, owned by a different corporation, and run by different managers.

        • Curious_G

          Is that really that bad? S&W has changed hands. Are they in a better place now?

          • RealAmerican

            Have you tried an S&W lately. Junk.

          • Dan

            The current M&P’s are really good.

          • Curious_G

            Such as?

            They make some of the better “commercial” AR-15s out there, still make quality revolvers, seem to have slam dunked the single stack 9mm CCW, and the M&P is more than competitive in the plastic fantastic service semi category.

            As a business, the turnaround is undeniable following the change of hands.

            What is the junk they are putting out?

          • Curious_G

            And for the record, I own a relatively recent J Frame and a M&P that easily has 10k rounds through it and has NEVER jammed, regardless of ammo (and I use some crappy stuff sometimes). Small sample, but it answers your direct question.

          • Anon. E Maus

            Sure is some amazing junk they’re making if that’s the case.

          • RealAmerican

            It has been my experience they are just not well made. I have an SW9VE and it has less than 1000 rounds through it and has been in twice. My Glock 19 and 21 both have over 10000 rounds on them and never missed a beat.

          • Bill

            Nope. Thirty years ago, Taurus revolvers had the same level of quality that S&W has today. Talk about ironic…

          • Tothe

            And current Taurus revolvers are crap.

          • tiger

            Not really.

          • andrey kireev

            Ummm NO. the only Ironic part is you probably don’t even own a S&W… There is definite difference in quality. The kinds of difference you can actually feel when picking up two guns side by side. My M&P 9 has never ever jammed on me. Also playing with both Taurus Judge and s&w governor, I chose governor, because you can see and feel superior quality. Governor has far less wobble in components and parts have better finish and less sharp edges.

          • Bill

            Actually, I own quite a few, have owned probably a hundred or more, many of which I now kick myself for selling, and have been gunsmithing them for over 30 years. The teaching moment for me came six years ago when I shelled out over six hundred dollars for a limited run Model 40 Classic with a case hardened frame. I paid more than I should have for a gun that was out of time, had cloudy bluing, uneven markings, the worst trigger pull I’ve ever felt on any revolver, and an indent in the cylinder that went all the way around, as if the polisher had fallen asleep during the process. I have a 1944 Victory Model that is cleaner, sharper and better fitted than this so-called modern weapon. Judging by the last line in your post, you’re comparing high end mediocrity to middling mediocrity-hardly a gauge to measure by. Find an old Model 29 or something like it, handle it for a minute, have your “oh yeah!” moment and get back to me.

          • Curious_G

            I will call straight BS on that.

          • asoro

            NO, they are not the same as before, they dropped a notch or 2

          • Curious_G

            From a business standpoint you are wrong. You think the “business” dropped a notch or two? I am not sure what “they” refers to, but I think you need a history lesson on S&W and some of the shenanigans when Clinton was in the WH.

          • asoro

            I am sorry, I should of said there quality dropped of a notch or 2 from when they where bought out, I used to sell them and they went down pretty bad many problems in the beginning, I saw things that made me feel I would never own a S&W, Now maybe today they might be better I don’t know I don’t work in the area any more.

        • hikerguy

          Yes, and I agree. But if not, there are a lot of manufacturers making copies of everything from the 1911 to the M4/M16 and the Peacemaker. Somebody will likely secure the rights to the trademark, but it will be interesting to whether they keep making the same or branch out and

          some new things as well. I would love to see the Woodsman back. 🙂

      • guest

        Will they? Or will the creditors auction off the trademarks? I have this horrible mental image of the Colt rollmark being stamped on cast potmetal garbage from Jennings or Hi-Point. Look at poor Bushmaster, gobbled up and shat out by Cerberus Capital, and their rollmark being stamped on Doesn’t Pass Mil Specs Taurus-grade cheap ARs Cerberus tries to sell at Colt prices.

        It’s a shame. Donald Zilkha has had a long, bad run and Colt’s stockholders should have staged a revolt about twenty years back. His multi-million-dollar donations to the Clintons and Obama, his multi-million-dollar donations to the Democrats, and interview after interview in the big glossy business magazines where he doesn’t bother to hide his sneering contempt and open hatred for the “white trash” and “social cancer” who buy his products–and his whoring for government contracts by backing the Clintons’ “smart gun” gun control initiatives in the 1990s–have made this day inevitable. It looks like the stockholders have let Donald Zilkha ride the bomb all the way down, like Major Kong.

        It’s especially a shame because–at least if you believe Hilton Yam, who knows a thing or two about the 1911 platform–says that Colt’s post-2005 1911s are the best Colt has ever produced, and maybe the best on the market today, at least in terms of little things like the extractors being made of the proper milspec spring steel alloy, manufactured of milled forgings by the proper milspec process, with the proper milspec heat treatment, proper milspec dimensions, and set to the proper milspec tension out of the box, and being vastly more likely to be ready for hard use out of the box than most of their competitors.

        • john miles

          Well it should hardly be a surprise. You put an anti-white, anti-gun Jewish communist—which is what he is–in charge of a gun company you should expect nothing else.

          • lklex

            Keep YOUR bigotry to yourself. I’d buy an Israeli made MRI 1911 or all-steel Baby Desert Eagle over my Colts: they are less expensive, more accurate, have a much better trigger and are built like a tank.

          • asoro

            not as good as you think, I owned a few baby eagles, Not really that good, they are ok but there are much better out there with the same design , like CZ they make a much better gun, many times more reliable. I use to love my Baby Eagle all SS 45acp, But had some bad problems with it, And still have about 5-6 mags from it that I can’t get rid of.

          • p309

            Wow, harsh judgement of Mr. Miles there, don’t you think? How do you know that he is a bigot? He has his opinion and is entitled to it. He may very well be a bigot, but you do not know that. I could go over the statement that was made by Miles point by point, but how about you tell us Iklex, what is your reasoning behind YOUR statement? Thank you!

          • john miles

            He is just what I said he was. As for your Israeli gun, yes it is a good gun. But then that was not really the point here.

          • Kivaari

            Your inclusion of “Jewish” being the reason is obnoxious.

          • John you’ve been around for awhile. Lets not ruin it by bringing race into it. I did edit your comment.

          • john miles

            Well that’s fine. I really wasn’t trying to bring race into it. I was just trying to make a point. At the same time I do realize that any web site has to be really careful as to what it allows even in it’s comments section. So of course I have no problem deferring to you regarding that.

        • hikerguy

          A future Colt branded firearm manufactured at cheaper standards from a country we are currently not friendly with or even a home grown would be a slap in the face. Good point.

          • Kivaari

            Colt has made junk guns for decades. Look back to the 1980-2000 era Detective Specials (Commandos) and Government Models using plastic triggers and back straps on crude frames. Colt CAN make fine guns, but they are too full of themselves.

        • Anon. E Maus

          Colt was already owned by Cerberus Capital.

      • I bet that the stupid liberal governor of Connecticut feels no shame. Not much left of the gun industries in that state except for Stag Arms; and they will probably be the next to go.

        • hikerguy

          Hey, we could always use new industry in Arkansas!

        • Bill

          Of course he doesn’t-the very term liberalism means having no shame.

        • Anon. E Maus

          I think if anything, Colt themselves were the greatest culprit in their downfall. Their business model was completely unsustainable.

      • Anon. E Maus

        Wouldn’t mind if we got to see a modernization of the Colt Trooper, Colt themselves sure as hell weren’t gonna do it.

    • nova3930

      Nope. The hedge funds will mortgage that too as they suck the last bits of life out of the company. They’ve hocked darn near everything else the company had of value so why not the name….

      • guest

        This. “Special Edition Colts” manufactured by Hi-Point and Jennings, of the finest zinc money can buy, coming soon to TALO and Davidson’s. Doesn’t it make you sick?

        • Kivaari

          That’s a possibility. We see much more junk on the market today than at anytime I can remember. I had a Davidson’s H&R that didn’t even have rifling. It took 3 orders to get one that still had issues.

      • FredC1968

        That’s what hedge funds do.

    • Kivaari

      In the old days of 1970 to today Colt sells Italian SA revolvers, that are over-priced.
      Just buying a gun with Colt’s name rolled onto the barrel or slide, doesn’t make it more valuable. Having products like the M2000 suck the life blood from the corporation. Being smug with poor quality and poor customer service will always doom Colt.

  • Darhar M.

    Lack of innovation, high priced products, putting all your eggs in one basket (US Military) equals loss of money and bankruptcy.

    Colt can say what they want about continuing to work through the bankruptcy but if nothing changes in their products, pricing, and innovation they will be history.

  • Spencerhut

    Good riddance at this point. Stock holders drove it into the ground stealing every penny they could along the way. Hopefully the name will be bought by someone responsible and brought back to life.

    • Curious_G

      Stock holders? What are you talking about?

  • FredC1968

    The writing was on the wall for decades. The company relied on its name for too long.

  • hydepark

    Got a technical question for Phil or Alex or anyone. From my understanding, Colt was (is?) the only manufacturer that produced true 7075T6 forged receiver extensions / buffer tubes.

    Is this accurate and will I ever be able to buy more once the ones that are already made are gone?


    • No that’s actually not the truth at all. There are many made from 7075 forged buffer tubes.

      • hydepark

        Any further info would be great. As far as I know there are 7075 extrusions, 6061T6 extrusions, and unless they are saying an extrusion is a forging, Colt has the only true forgings. But I’m no expert.

        • Zachary marrs

          What do you mean by “true forgings”

        • MPWS

          You are correct. 6061 grade is plenty good for the job.

          For those who contemplate forging – this is process whereby you apply external force to form raw part (in hot state into drop-forge die) which is further machined, such as both receivers. Extrusion in contrary is mostly finished with its internal cavity completed. In case such as buffer tube, the thread is cut afterwards.

    • Joshua

      Colt extensions are extruded. BCM is the only other I know of extruding them.

  • Wolfgar

    Smith and Wesson was almost a company with a past tense. New owners and management turned it around. Hopefully Colt will also see a new begging. Colt could have cleaned up in the 1980’s but through lack of vision and outright hostility towards private gun ownership an opportunity of great expansiveness was lost. Strong unions and apathetic leadership has cost them dearly. SAD!

  • Ben

    Drat. There goes my hope for a 6940. Shucks. Well, that’s what LMT is for.

  • FrenchKiss

    This would not have happened if Colt focused on the civilian market. If they produced their core guns: the 1911, and the SAA in large quantities instead of small quantities at high prices. Also an M4 for civilians that doesn’t cost $1000 would have been nice. Just stupid marketing decisions one after another. Forced Colt fans to buy elsewhere. SMH.

    • bucherm

      “Also an M4 for civilians that doesn’t cost $1500 would have been nice”

      Where do you see Colt selling M4-style AR-15s for $1500?

      • J.T.

        Seriously. I see LE6920s for just under $1000 at Walmart, which is the same price as their mid-level competitors.

        • Richard

          You are right J.T. the M4A1 is $1700 dollars i just bought one.

          • J.T.

            The LE6920 SOCOM that they don’t list on the website with the Troy rail and A1 barrel? I last saw those going for about $1300 street price.

          • Richard

            Hi J.T. this is the M4 a1 SOCOM with m4 A1 roll mark not the sporter rollmark. It.s not the SOCOM 2 it comes with the extra 30 round mag sling and bayonet lug.I have pics of mine if you’r think about getting one. The actual price was $1699 from D&L firearms. They might be little cheaper if you look but around here they are always sold out and that’s what you have to pay .but I love it! worth every penny.

    • Curious_G

      It has been discussed ad nauseum: no one wants to pay $2,500 for a “new” Python as conventional wisdom says Colt’s DA design cannot be produced economically – tight tolerances, hand fitting, etc.

      • FrenchKiss

        Then how does S&W make their revolvers and do it economically? Hmm?

        • Curious_G

          They have a different timing/lock-up design and greater tolerances, meaning you can get away with less human interaction.

      • FrenchKiss

        Plus, Colt still makes the SAA, and it’s still quite desireable. They should make more, and reduce the price. Instead, I can’t afford one and have to buy an Italian clone. Guess they don’t want my money that bad. Idiots.

        • Kivaari

          Colt puts their name on Italian made SAAs. Like the black powder Colt’s being imported through Navy Arms, for completion at Colt. Colt is a failure at business. What has colt designed in the last 50 years, that sold well?

          • FrenchKiss

            Certainly nothing revolutionary. But their forte used to be quality. Is that gone too?

          • Kivaari

            The ARs rifles are still pretty good. Not like a few other makers, but OK. The handguns have been declining in quality for 50 years. The last “D-frames” were junk. The Anaconda was junk. M1911s had plastic parts where the customer wants steel. The M1991 series were overpriced and crude.

          • FrenchKiss

            I own an m1991. I am disappointed that the main spring housing is plastic.

          • Kivaari

            Having to replace basic parts like the mainspring housing and trigger ends up costing another $100. When Colt substituted plastic, as good as it may be, it just made the crude guns worse.

          • FrenchKiss

            I don’t agree that the M1991 is crude. In fact, it’s quite a nice looking shooter. I can easily buy a third party main spring housing in metal, but I choose not to.

          • Kivaari

            Compared to many earlier Colt’s and other makers, I find the M1991 series to be crude. At one point I had a pretty good collection of M1911s. My WW2 Colt shot as well as my Gold Cup. The fit and finish on the pre-1945 Colt was better than most of the Colts made today.
            It only cost me $40 in that era.

    • Blake Frederick

      I don’t know where you are seeing $1500 M4’s from Colt! What is all this nonsense talk about price anyway? A good Series 70 Colt 1911 is available everywhere for about $925-$1050. We are all going to get what we want soon: 100% imports. It’s almost a reality in the realm of ammunition. Once everything is imported then watch the real gun control begin.

      • FrenchKiss

        Last time I looked for an AR in Los Angeles, the Colt’s were $1500.

        • Sgt. Stedenko

          They are selling for around $950 here with the Magpul furniture.
          I’ve seen below $900 online

  • Dan

    While I can’t say this is surprising I do feel bad for the little people who will end up losing their job because overpaid execs ran the company into the ground

    • Zachary marrs

      To be fair, the unionized workers didn’t exactly help

      • Tattooed

        No it’s pretty much the CEOs in this case. You really don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • toms

          There are unions and there are unions. The UAW is among the worst of the worst or best of the best depending on your view. The reality is that you cannot pay workers 20-30$ an hour plus bennies to produce AR’s in this market.

          • SirOliverHumperdink

            In CT, 20 to 30 an hour isn’t that much. In the early 90’s, maybe.

        • Zachary marrs

          In your language, does “didn’t exactly help” mean “unionized workers were the root cause of this”

          Ffs learn to read

      • bucherm

        So why hasn’t S&W tanked then? They’re a union shop.

        Plenty of heavily unionized companies get along fine if they make a good product(any German auto company, for instance). Colt, OTOH, has shown itself to have little innovation in decades. Essentially the only “new” product they put out since the Colt 2000 is that AR-10 that can use a AR-15 upper. Whoop de do.

        • SirOliverHumperdink

          Smith is NOT a union shop.

        • Zachary marrs

          Did i say the unionized workers were the sole problem? No i didn’t

          Now go read my comment again

      • greasyjohn

        It’s ironic that gun people will seek out older firearms, made when union membership was higher, for their higher quality, and bemoan the manufacturer’s decline. All the while never putting two and two together.

        • Ethan

          Today’s Unions ≠ The Union’s of yesteryear. That’s why they’re going extinct.

        • Tothe

          I don’t think the union membership was the defining factor. A more direct connection can be noted when you observe inflation really took off starting in 1965 when the dollar was decoupled from silver, resulting in a massive decrease in quality across the board as businesses sought to cut costs and maintain the old price levels. The value of saving money was cut as inflation altered time preference calculations.

          If union membership is such a desirable thing, why has the market of workers declined to participate? Why are so many government agencies unionized if unions are a defense against industrialists?

  • TDog

    Aw shucks… who knew that resting on one’s laurels and actively ignoring innovation would lead to stagnation and financial ruin?

  • Joshua Stewart

    Oh no! The ones who gave me the worst rifle I ever was issued are failing as an industry with their lack of quality and lack of care!

    Who’d a guessed their over priced bull crap would catch up with them?

    • CommonSense23

      Probably has more to do with your unit than Colt why your rifle sucked.

      • Joshua Stewart

        No, Pretty sure it was the colt. Always jammed no matter how much love I gave it, barrel was crap, Rattled between the Upper and Lower, That FN though? oooh my sweet buttery hot Belgian waffles, that was a rifle I loved. No rattle, less need for upkeep, Not to say that I did not keep my baby clean as could be in between shootings, and instantly noticed an accuracy improvement. the FN was older than the cold as well.

        • CommonSense23

          So how is the FN older than the Colt. That makes absolutely no sense. And it sounds like you really did get a well used rifle that was replaced by a new one. You said you gave it love? How often did you change out your gas rings? Replace the action spring? How many rounds on the extractor?

          • Joshua Stewart

            The FN was one of the first ones got from that batch, the Colt was one of the later ones, while the Marine Corps was receiving them both.

            I may of worked in the armory as help on occasion but I my self am not an armorer, so to answer your question on replacement parts. None, because it was not my job or my right to mess with the Government rifles, getting NJPed for stupid crap like changing out a part I was not authorized to do is not on my list of how to have a good time.. I did how ever give my armorers great notes on what was wrong with each rifle I got and what they should look out for and replace.

            I can tell you how ever, That all 3 Colt Rifles I had where garbage over my time in The Corps, and the FN was amazingly better, the general consensus of any one who had to regularly use a rifle as well.

            Then while working in a Gun Shop after I got out, I found that.. hey.. the Colt Civi ARs are largely over priced, cheaper made, come shipped dry as a bone, a ….HUGE no no, and where far inferior in features or function than Smith and Wesson, Sig, Windham, Armalite or Rock River.

            I get it, it’s am American Icon, it helped Browning make his 1911 doable on a large scale, But they’ve been crap for years and riding on just their name while poor quality overtakes everything.

          • CommonSense23

            Were you rocking a M16 or M4?

          • Joshua Stewart

            M16 A4

          • CommonSense23

            Was the Colt a M16?

          • Joshua Stewart

            Son, All I got was M16s, This is the Marine Corps. We prefer the long rifle still, the longer barrel gives us greater accuracy to take on targets reliably at longer ranges than the short 14 1/2 barrel the M4 has.

            There was only a few ways you where getting issued an m4 in any of the battalions I was in. One. you’re an officer, Two, you’re friends with, over seeing or bribing the Armory, or if you happen to be short enough that the rifle is almost as tall as you.

            They are suppose to give the M4s to drivers and Mechanics as well, not to mention any one who’s job it is to be on the turret, but That never seemed to happen… Ever… for those who could actually use the shorter barrel.

          • CommonSense23

            You know that Colt lost the contract for the M16 in 1988 right. They haven’t produced a single M16 for the military in over a decade an a half. And how could you tell that your FN was produced in one of the early batches.

          • Joshua Stewart

            I know the All mighty Wikipedia is telling you that, but I had a Colt stamp on three of my rifles, And Unless someone lost their damn minds and swapped an upper with the lowers as they went, something you do can get in huge trouble for. I had Colts, in the a4 configuration. And an FN, As for the FN, The one time I did get a good one, a friend in the armory hooked me up. You can tell a lot about individual rifles by looking up the Serial/Service Number and have the proper information to pull from.

  • Marcus McIntire

    It takes a person with vision to come up with something innovative and have common sense to see that doing the same thing over and over does not work. This is where the problem never gets corrected. They make an excellent product but will not be competitive or affordable. I never owned a Colt because of price and I can get a clone from the competition cheaper and is just as good. Colt needs a person who would lead and not just draw a paycheck. I wish I could lead a company such as this.

  • Jing

    Let me boldly claim that if they start to manufacturing my designs, they will be turned around in a few years. But who am I? Just a guy with the wrong passport. Oh well….

  • Fruitbat44

    Colt & bankrupt. Still two words I am finding hard to believe are in the same sentence . . .

  • Zane Terry

    Smith and Wesson can’t hardly sell new revolvers. The production costs are far too high to make much off of the ones they do sell. They cut revolver production to focus on simi-auto products that are much lower cost and much higher profit. Colt, or anyone that buys them, would be foolish to start producing revolvers again. Sure, I’d love to have another Python, or a SAA, but not a new one, I think a lot of people feel the same way.
    While Colt is struggling they need to stop producing TALO 1911’s with limited runs of 250 that people will never shoot and most can’t afford and start producing quality 1911’s that people want to shoot and can afford to own. They also need to start a line of plastic handguns for LEO and the conceal carry market. Something good that will earn people’s respect. That takes R&D and money to bring to market, so it may be too late. If you don’t see Colt doing some similar moves to this in the near future and the simply just keep going down the same path you can kiss them goodbye.

    • guest

      Dealer cost on a stainless Commander is under eight bills right now if you know where to look online. Robertson’s had them on sale for $759 a few weeks ago–and that’s less than you’ll pay for a Kimber with a cast frame and slide and a cast extractor and MIM internals. Eight hundred bucks isn’t a whole lot of money in 2015 AD.

      You really can’t make the guns out of milled forgings for much less than that, not and employ Americans. Of course, if you are willing to buy something made in the Third World by people who are being paid two cents a day, a number of companies are selling 1911s made in the Philippines for under four bills. I hear they have less MIM in them than Kimbers do.

      Colt’s ARs? Yeah, they’ve always been ludicrously overpriced. Their 1911s, not so much.

  • Gary Schwab

    Colt turned it’s back on the civilian consumer back in the 1980s, choosing to center on the military market. I hope that Colt survives and that they bring back some of their double action revolvers.

    • Curious_G

      Never going to happen. There is not a sustainable market for super high-dollar hand fitted DA revolvers.

      • Gary Schwab

        While I agree the Python might be too much to hope for the old D-frame guns could be brought back, as well as the Trooper series.

        • Kivaari

          The “D-frame” revolvers require hand fitting, or they end up like the Commando (a cheaply made Detective Special) was junk, that cost twice what a Charter Arms cost, and the CA were junk.

    • Hank Y

      Not exactly sure what you mean by “turned it’s back”. Colt was born, has always been and always will be a military contract based company. Colt got its start making military firearms. The civilian market has always been a side line

  • 69Chevelle454

    The problem with Colt is that its run by a lot of Left Wing people who support a lot of ideas and gun control that Obama does. When they basically stopped making revolvers and new pistols and only made the M4 that was a warning sign. I mean for crying out loud Colt hasnt come out with a new semi-auto pistol since like the 1930’s and revolvers since the 1970’s. Colt needs to step it up, move away from there current location up North in anti-gun land, move to the South such as Texas. Get rid of all your top exces that got you into this. Promote from the inside not outside. Stop producing the 1911 because so many others produce it and in much better quality with out all of the safety equipment. Design a new revolver and new Semi-auto pistol immediately to compete against the SW M&P and Glock, Sig etc.

    • bucherm

      “The problem with Colt is that its run by a lot of Left Wing people who support a lot of ideas and gun control that Obama does.”

      [Citation Needed]

      • guest

        David Zilkha contributes eight-figure sums to the D’s every election cycle. He endorsed Obama and the Clintons. He also endorsed Hillary’s “smart gun” backdoor gun control plan twenty years ago in order to keep his military contracts. This is a matter of public record.

        • tts

          The Dem’s, Obama, and the Clinton’s aren’t Left Wing though. Clinton’s and Obama are 3rd Wayer’s who are, in terms of economic policy, fairly close to early 90’s Republicans and yes Reagan. Modern Dem’s are mostly ‘Retail Dems’ who work for the highest bidder much like ‘Retail Republicans’ which is why some of the their highest donors are banks and financial institutions.

          • Tothe

            Yes, they are technically all fascists.

    • RickH

      Take out your first sentence and I agree with you. Too bad the first is just ignorant.

  • Land_Owner

    Ingenious “broken glass” logo above. Creative thought in that. Maybe your Graphic Artist should try a stint working for Colt!?!?
    I have a sst. Colt Defender, which is the nicest handgun I have ever shot. Its lines are crisp. Its trigger is crisp. Its tactile feel in my large hand (I can palm a basketball) is comfortable. It is concealable – but I have other hand guns that I like better for this Its report is loud by comparison to standard length 1911’s. It looks nice, feels nice, and shoots straight. These hand guns and their standard length Colt Commanders, if no longer manufactured following this bankruptcy, would be a great loss.
    Owning at least one “fine” hand gun is a must.

    • Curious_G

      I get what you are saying, but at this point there are a dozen manufactures of 1911’s (of all sizes) on either side of Colt – plenty of nicer ones and plenty of cheaper. So the loss is only the nostalgic name, as you can walk out and buy a “finer” 1911 anywhere today.

  • Michael Mabey

    Wonder how this will effect my local manufactur of Diemaco

    • Jay

      It really depends how this plays out. If they try to “reorganize” and carry on, with the same people, and the same mentality, they’ll be here again in a couple of years. The best option would be to be bought off by a serious gun manufacturing firm, like FN, that’s not afraid to invest in and try in new things. I mean, Diemaco/Colt Canada already makes a bunch of FN machine guns under license.
      “FN Canada” doesn’t sound that bad. 🙂

  • uisconfruzed

    That’s a bummer, I own a Commander 1911 & an Anaconda 44 mag. LOVE the Anaconda.

  • uisconfruzed

    That’s a bummer, I own a Commander 1911 & an Anaconda 44 mag. LOVE the Anaconda.

    • Sgt. Stedenko

      Somebody is compensating

      • Ethan

        No, that’s the uncompensated model. Barrel porting costs extra.


        • Sgt. Stedenko

          Good One!

      • uisconfruzed

        How’s that? I just gave my 1911 to my son as a wedding gift. The Anaconda is easier to climb in a tree stand with & I don’t hunt with a rifle in the woods anymore, within 75 yrs I can take the heart out of a deer with it.

  • Graham Bazzacco

    It’s sad to see Colt going down they have supported the U.S. Military before I was born especially with the legendary Colt 1911 45 ACP I hope things turn around and they get back where they were

  • Curious_G

    Do you all know what Chapter 11 is? It doesn’t necessarily mean the end of anything.

  • MPWS

    I believe Colt was one time owned by Iranian based company; they may try again.
    Seriously now: any ideas what will happen to Colt Canada? Any chance CDN gov’t will buy it out, or at least bail it out?

  • dmh

    One question will be ‘what happens to the lifetime service agreement’ Colt claimed on its firearms. In many cases a bankruptcy will mean warranties are voided.

    • Cymond

      “lifetime service agreement”
      “Lifetime” of who or what?? It’s ambiguous. I read a case summary of a backpack company that refused to repair/replace a really old, worn out backpack. The guy guy sued the company, and the company argued back that after 20 years, the backpack had outlived it’s “lifetime”.

      • dmh

        in the case of Colt, according to their documentation it is the lifetime of the original purchaser, nontransferable.

  • kiluma

    Will they get a bail out?

    • Swarf

      You’re funny.

  • zeno2654

    One of the first things to do is move to a lower tax state. Then they will have a better chance of survival. Many corporations have moved to lower tax states and have thrived.

  • Steve Harless

    A foreign company could very well step in and buy this iconic company. this company could very well end up in China or mexico

  • MR

    Has anybody seen any Colt stripped AR lowers available? Sure, the market’s saturated, but I think they could still move plenty of properly roll-marked lowers, even with enough mark up to make a decent profit.

  • Mystick

    One way to reduce their debt is to actually sell guns, to actual people, instead of just the brand to conglomerates.

  • Ali

    “Wow, this is shocking news. Colt built a reputation of being at the cutting-edge of firearms innovation and always provided competitive prices to its U.S. Government customers.”

    –said no one ever

  • DrWho

    Colt was near bankruptcy when the military gave them the M-16 contract in the 1960s. It was a political deal, much like the B-58 bomber deal to try and save Convair. The M-16 contract saved Colt and they became totally reliant on military contracts, ignoring the civilian market. The quality of their M-4s in the past few years was such that the military decided to open the bidding to other companies (no more sole-source to Colt) and FN won. Colt, as we know it, is done. Someone will buy the name and continue the brand, as has been done with Winchester. Who knows, maybe FN will add Colt to their inventory?

  • Blake

    At least Remington is in debt & management restructuring at the moment too, so the likelyhood of them pulling an M&A on Colt Defense is low…

  • Blake
    • Blake the Army was ordered in to stop the killing between the miners and the mine owners hired thugs. The mine owners even deployed old WWI Jenny’s to drop bombs on the miners. The miners used hunting rifles and shotguns while the Mine owners men had crew served automatic weapons and hand grenades.

      An archeological survey was done on the mountain and they recovered a ton of brass from locations where the machine guns were mounted among other items of war left behind.
      Blair Mountain is scheduled to be topped and a new mine created.

  • Mark Finch

    yea but who cares ,if you have a colt keep it , if you dont buy one !!! great guns !!!!!!! worth there weight in gold !

  • Joe Peters

    They will never learn, begun with there incompetence to design and produce a double action 1911, and went on… great products but an terrible management !!!

  • Tothe

    And this is what happens when your business model relies on government subsidies and contracts.

  • Dragonheart

    I treasure the Colt firearms I have owned for so many years and am sad to hear the news of Colt’s demise. Possibly Colt will reemerge in the South in a more gun and labor friendly environment. Unfortunately, this is what happens to companies when they can no longer compete in the market place. Colt did not go out of business due to lack of interest in their products. They have gone out of business because they could not supply their product at a competitive price.

  • thetruth

    Colt had a chance to adapt to the market but they were too stubborn. The market screamed for change and others filled the demand. Look how many other AR15 companies came out in the last 5 years.

    Just like Surefire has done over the past 5 years. They had the best lights on the market and were too late to see LED’s are the future. There is a countless number of great LED light manufactures that would put a whooping on surefire. The only thing they have is diversity. Mags, Silencers..ect

    Everything has a shelf life!!!

  • RPK

    Colt has been synonymous with quality, reliability, affordability and sustained combat action against our enemies for decades. Many a Veteran owes his (or her) life or that of a buddy to a Colt product. Yes, early on there were issues. But, it was with the ammunition more than Eugene Stoner’s design or anything Colt did or failed to do. Once they got the bugs worked out, the cleaning kits issued and the proper ammunition provided, a finer precision combat weapon did not exist for, as I said – DECADES. As a military retiree with 20+ years service in a combat career field, I feel very fortunate to own four various configurations of the venerable Colt M-4 design (including a SOCOM II) and an Colt AR15A4. I also own an FNH FN-15 and a Bushmaster XM-15 Patrolman A3. ALL of these weapons are finely crafted and ready to perform flawlessly at a moments notice. And, I agree wholeheartedly with “Alex C.” that the Colt name will NEVER go away and with “hikerguy” that the loss of jobs to these loyal employees within the industry is unfortunate. It quite possibly was avoidable if past and/or present CEO’s or EEO’s got paid less and worries less about perks and personal benefits, and put more into production and research & development. Regardless, Colt has established a well deserved place in American firearms history that can not be overlooked.

  • Nick

    Hate to say it but this no ones fault but Colt’s. Even after the sun setting of the “assault weapons ban” they made their rifles primarily available only to law enforcement and allowed competitors to take all the market share. Instead they chose to rely on government contracts and They are paying the price for their foolishness.

  • mookie

    That what happens when you put all your eggs in the M-4 basket. Maybe if they would have made more for the retail market like the other domestic makers,the would have had some cash flow from something other than government contacts.

  • pilotalan

    Colt has a name synonymous with firearms, the way Wright Corp. was synonymous with planes. They developed the most popular revolvers in their early days, the most popular pistol ever, and the most popular rifle in the world.

    And they pissed it all away, in the same way that Wright Aircraft was chased out the of the aviation market. They should have owned the firearms world, but you can buy better versions of their guns from other makers, and for less money. Stupid, stupid. And sad.

  • Kivaari

    This has been a slow and painful death. Starting circa 1970 Colt’s quality started taking a nose dive. Colt always over-priced its product. When a comparable S&W .357 was $75, a Colt was $125. That wasn’t all. When revolvers ruled the police market the new models, like the Trooper MK III, did not fit the hands of most people. When they replaced that with the MK V, they added grip material that still didn’t fit the hand. The Python was engineered for single action target work, but like all the other revolvers they wore out too fast. Losing the police market to S&W and Ruger cost them a bunch. When the 9mm semi-auto pistols started taking over that market (police arms stimulate civilian sales) Colt had no viable product to compete with, and no engineering and marketing wizzes with a good idea. Products like the Colt M2000 just cost them money – since no one on the board had the balls to say NO.

  • Kivaari

    The unions used explosives to destroy mines.

  • livefree1200cc

    Colt obviously got hooked on the gov’t teet. How in the heck, with the stupendous increase in firearms sales since Ovommit took office, are they in need of bankruptcy protection???

    • livefree1200cc

      I would think that moving operations out of one of the most Unfriendly ‘gun rights’ states would be the first step to recovery

  • tiger

    Is Colt any really different from the car companies of old or the Casinos of NJ? Times changed, they lost market share & faded. Just like AMC, Packard, Hudson, Dusenberg, Willys, etc…… The days of being the sole patent holder over the 1911 & AR-15 meant the end of the Colt monopoly. NJ Casinos made money as long as they were the only game in town East of Vegas. When that died, so did the market.

  • Ryan

    The fact that the United States of America is depending on a foreign owned company to supply it’s armed forces with the main battle rifle of our entire Armed Forces, is to me reprehensible, and irresponsible. Colt is an American company. They have stood behind and beside our nation for generations and have been supplying extremely fine firearms throughout their illustrious history.
    Personally I would like to see the military contract for all small arms issued to our military be supplied entirely by an U.S. based company. Not that they couldn’t jump right back into that role if a national crisis erupted, but the very idea that a foreign power could halt the shipment or support of our small arms is an extremely vulnerable place in which for us to be placed. I have no personal grudge or issue with FN, they make very good firearms, I would simply rather see America’s Armed Forces armed with American made weapons from an American owned company. Only countries who do not have a quality arms supplier should ever consider out sourcing their small arms purchases. The risks are just too high given the fluid and unstable nature of international relations.
    Should Colt be selling their rifles and pistols at a competitive rate given the explosion of other black rifle manufacturers and the enormous number of 1911 makers? Yes, most certainly. And of late they have attempted to do so. Anyone watching the prices of the Colt manufactured AR rifles and components has seen them aggressively trying to regain the American gun market. It was simply too little, too late. As a company they were too far gone by the time they began to market their civilian M4 variants at anything approaching a competitive rate. Right now, if I hadn’t already built my AR or was in the market for another, I would certainly be looking at a Colt. I do want to purchase a full length AR-15A3 or A4 variant rifle in the future and Colt is at the top of my list for that purchase, followed closely by BCM. Of course the rifle I am interested in from BCM is the extremely well built MK12 series of rifles, however those are just way out of my price range at this stage. If I were to purchase a Colt today, it would be an A4 if I could get one at a truly competitive price. I sincerely hope that Colt is able to resolve their financial woes, and update their marketing and pricing strategies so that they can once again become the preeminent builder of America’s favorite rifle, not to mention what is still the finest single action semiautomatic pistol ever sold, the classic 1911. Sure the older Colt 1911’s have had some history of reliability issues but those have been solved for a generation or more. The only 1911 pattern pistols I own are a WWII issued full size standard 1911, and an imported Charles Daly Empire series 1911 Commander. The difference in quality is night and day. The Colt, despite being almost 75 years old, is of 100% higher quality (aside from the WWII sights) than the much newer Charles Daly (who’s Novak style three dot sights were probably its best value). The Colt weapon is precisely machined and built with a “fineness” akin to a Swiss Watch. Whereas the Charles Daly (which I purchased 20 years ago, when I was very uninformed) is a train wreck when it comes to the internal machining. It was so bad right out of the box that I had to take to a gun smith to have a lot of internal polish work and feed ramp adjustment made just to get it in shooting condition. Right now it has been relegated to a backup weapon (even though my gunsmith did a good job) because I simply don’t trust it. I trust everything I’ve ever owned with the Colt logo, and would do so with my life without a moment’s hesitation. Good luck Colt. The prayers of the American gun owner are with you, and our dollars will be as well as soon as you can achieve a competitive market model for your high quality firearms.

    • Tothe

      Nationalism for the sake of nationalism because nationalism, eh?

  • highhammer

    And to think, all they had to do was come out with the python and the anaconda again to save the company.