Colt out of bankruptcy?

Colt-Logo

In a recent article on Guns.com shows an outlined plan for Colt Defense to get itself out of the current financial quagmire that it finds itself in these days. And no, it doesn’t involve a Native American Casino company as was proposed earlier this year in an attempt to save the company. The current plan is to completely restructure the financial landscape of the company in addition to consolidating debt, both of which I have neither the financial education or knowledge to explain in eloquent terms. The important part is that the plan was approved by a federal judge, but still has to be voted on by the stock holders. However I think the most important part is that it doesn’t include firing any of the 700 employees that Colt currently employs, always a good thing for the job market. Personally I feel that Colt has more often than not, been a reactive firearms company as opposed to the more proactive firearms companies in coming out with new designs and adapting to the market. By this I’m referring to such companies as Winchester, Remington, Ruger, and other large companies that have constantly changed their designs and introduced new ones. Whereas Colt has largely depended on their government contracts and their production of previous successful designs to keep them afloat. In addition to all Colt AR parts being Mil Spec to begin with, because they are the original. We reported on this plan in September this year, but the difference now is that the plan was approved by a judge.

A federal court approved a plan by iconic gun maker Colt Defense this week to lead the company out of bankruptcy, but details are not set in stone as debtors still need to vote.

The painstakingly detailed plan is a result of “extensive and vigorous negotiations” that have been ongoing since Colt filed for Chapter 11 protections in June, according to Tuesday’s filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Colt said the plan reflects a consensus reached by key stakeholders that include the equity firm that owns it, Scens Capital Management, and secured lenders, Morgan Stanley, an official committee of unsecured creditors, and the landlord of Colt’s facility in West Hartford, Connecticut.

The plan will solidify options for Colt to manage financial obligations. Also, the hopes are debtors will be able to successfully restructure the $250 million senior notes claims, and ensure operations continue at the company’s West Hartford facility while preserving the more than 700 employees.

Participants have until the voting deadline on Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. eastern to cast their ballots. If votes are favorable, Colt said it should be out of bankruptcy by the end of the year.



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • JK

    Let’s hope they learned something, this time around.

  • tony

    Turnarounds rarely turn around
    –Warren Buffett

  • tony

    Unlike other big name companies, Colt does not have proprietary products that would generate enough revenue to stay afloat. Some niche designs here and there…

  • John

    1. A polymer striker-fired pistol.

    2. Branching out into civilian weapons, including hunting rifles and shotguns.

    3. Less reliance on military contracts.

    This is how you get out of bankruptcy, Colt.

    • Anonymoose

      From what I understand, Colt used to make some pretty good SxS shotguns 100 years ago.

  • Lance

    Of course its doing better. It got a new Army M-4A1 contract. It saved them

    PS they don’t need another plastic sissy toy. heck they brought back a decent Colt Python and Series 80s back would do them better. Not every shooter needs plastic… tacti Coolers.

    • Don Ward

      Truth.

      • DonDrapersAcidTrip

        in 2015 we’re still pretending polymer is some gimmick? “Plastic sissy toy” seriously? What are we 80 or 12 year old? I can’t tell.

        • dat bee tru

          my guess would be 80 and driving a 1989 Chevrolet Caprice Classic because it has a V8, metal frame, and chrome bumpers (you know, all things required for a real-car)

    • DonDrapersAcidTrip

      Not everyone needs a museum piece

  • Wolfgar

    How about a new proprietary AR upper and lower receivers that could use a stronger, bullet proof AR bolt and mags designed to handle the 6.8 SPC,6.5 Grendel and 7.62X39 cartridges. The CMMG mutant and the LWRCI Six 8 are on the right tract. Make the barrels and parts available with great customer service and a user friendly on-line web page. Be pro active not reactive as others have stated. This would be a good start.

    • Jwedel1231

      This is a fantastic idea. I hope someone with Colt has had a similar train of thought.

      • Anonymoose

        I don’t. The less parts commonality, the less sales. 6.8 and 6.5 are already very niche markets, and they still haven’t put the 7.62×39 LE901 kit into production.

        • Wolfgar

          You do have a point but I think there is a bigger market for a true 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel, 7.62X40 Wilson and 7.62X39 AR platforms. The only weakness in these calibers for the AR platform has been the bolts and mags. A 5.56 version could also be manufactured with an impervious bolt which doesn’t need to be changed after shooting X-amount of rounds. A common barrel extension, upper and lower receiver would work for all of these calibers. Most of the standard AR parts could be utilized. Being competitive in the AR 5.56 is very hard since there is already a glut of manufactures in this caliber. I like so many others have grown to love these calibers in the AR platform but have learned the hard way of their weakness in the standard AR 5.56 design. I would be willing to purchase a reliable rock solid AR designed specific for these calibers.

          • Anonymoose

            Unfortunately there seems to be too many proprietary parts in the CMMG Mk47. A system like the MGI Hydra seems to be the best setup (changing magwells+uppers but keeping FCG/buffer/stock assembly, especially if they can get it up to what the old Cobb MCR proposed (AR15s in up to .460 Weatherby!) before the FN SCAR overshadowed it and Remington killed that project. I would love to have a .308 Hydra that could change magwells between SR25/DPMS, AR10B, G3, and metric FAL mags, just for kicks.

  • Jwedel1231

    I think the time to get in on the polymer striker-fired market has come and gone. They would sell a few thousand guns for sure, but I think that they wouldn’t enjoy the success of the M&P or the VP9/VP40. M&P was a product-improved version of Glock made in America, and the VP series was from a company with a VERY dedicated following. What could Colt do to sell anything? They need to do more consumer market guns for sure, but the polymer framed striker fire is not the basket they should be putting their eggs in.

    • JK

      A crystal ball is what’s in order, here. Polymer or no, striker fired or no, hmm, lots of new .380 offerings, maybe that’s the ticket. The AR market’s pretty saturated, not much hope to find profit margins there. Personally, I’d like a nice, heavy, all steel nine millimeter, toss in a .380 barrel and recoil spring if you must. Should be able to use the same magazine. But, unfortunately, they wouldn’t be able to stay in business on my orders alone. So it goes to the consultants and market analysts, to advise their next move, while we armchair and smartphone CEOs curse and belittle their fumblings. Seems I’ve been watching too much BBC.

    • Anonymoose

      Nah, what we need is a “mid-cap” (10-round) .45 XSE.

  • TJbrena

    The most innovative thing Colt has made in recent years is their 901 series. Which is neat, don’t get me wrong, but they need to branch out past that.

    Polymer frame market is already saturated, striker fired and non-striker alike. They may put out a good pistol design, but it would be hard pressed to compete with the plethora of other entries that are eating away at Glock’s market share.

    Everybody pines for new Colt Python, and some even mention its prominence in the Walking Dead as a PR boon should it relaunch the Python. But it would take more than just making revolvers again to bring them back, because civilians use semi-autos more than revolvers.

    They need a multi-pronged approach.

    – Bring back their revolver line, and possibly expand it. Brand them “Colt Classics” or something similar. Models should be oriented towards recreational shooting first and foremost. Bank on that retro-lawman vibe when promoting it, but don’t break the bank with the price. Competition and carry models to follow.

    – Peashooters and peashooter accessories. Sell some .22 guns for the filthy casual market. May overlap with the revolver line, but a dedicated .22 would be nice. Maybe a .22 kit that fits grandpa’s sidearm and modern 1911s alike.

    – Cheaper 1911s. The design isn’t going away anytime soon, and other companies have the “advanced” 1911 market cornered. Sell basic models that rattle like the skeletons in Frank Underwood’s closet.

    – Expanded MSR lineup; cheaper MSRs. ARs go for cheap now and while my dad may have two 6920s and an SBR, I don’t imagine he’s the norm. Cash in on the new Cold War by bringing back affordable civilian oriented versions of the M16A1 and A2 variants. No rails, no detachable carrying handle, just guns made for the express purpose of killing commies.

    – Expanded MIL/LE lineup. Sure, the 901 is a good step, and a lot of guns don’t have that easy caliber change going for them. But why not push it further? You’re Colt, you have the power to make a cartridge with devoted following mainstream by making an AR that shoots it.

    I can’t help but look at the Colt SCAMP as an example of a design with promise. The problem with PDWs is that you either have a subgun whose RoF makes up for lack of effectiveness or a pistol that still penetrates armor but doesn’t reliably stop targets. The SCAMP was closer to a pistol than a small subgun, and predates even the obscure G11 PDW. It could be 5.7mm or 4.6mm, but why not 6.5mm or 7.92mm?

    Don’t just ride the brand Colt. Relive the name Colt.

    • Anonymoose

      Walther makes and sells .22-styled COLT-marked tacticool rifles and 1911s.

    • Anon. E Maus

      They don’t have to redo the Python like they used to, all they’d have to do is to put a Python looking barrel on a Trooper.
      Hell, just remaking the Trooper for a modern market would be real neat, even if just in smaller numbers.

  • Nashvone

    Bring back the snake guns!

  • Oldtrader3

    Colt Senior Management turned their backs to retail customers after the Viet Nam War. This plus high pricing and debt laden overhead issues which priced many of their commercial weapons beyond what their competitor’s charged. When quality diminished in the 1980’s and 1990’s, customers went elsewhere. Colt could only charge the US and other Military markets their high prices. They did it to themselves by acquiring $250 million in senior debt. Way too much for so small a company!

  • Zachary marrs

    It won’t help them.

    They could introduce more modern ar choices, remake the python, and decrease prices, and they’d still find a hole to fall in

  • Will

    Too bad the American Indian Casinos did not get the deal.
    What sweet, sweet justice THAT would have been. Owning the company that helped decimate your people.
    Hopefully Colt won’t follow Smith &Wesson into the “Police Products & Equipment” market. S&W made some of the crappiest light bars, control boxes and duty equipment imaginable.

    • town22

      You have to understand that those with the most horses dominated the plains. Before the Europeans arrived in American tribal warfare was the norm.

      • L Cavendish

        Spaniards brought horses to America…there were NONE here before then…if there were, they were eaten already…

  • Joshua

    well, colt never seems to get anything but flak for their innovation; between the CZ40 “Smartgun” and “All American 2000” innovation seems to only put them further in debt

    • Cynic

      Bring a cz40 back without the smart bulls hit, sell some of the quirky things like the 9mm subgun ar’s. Bring out replica iconic guns like the xm177 and the 607.

      Let’s see redo es of the cowboy guns and the snake guns and a new woodsman

  • Sam Green

    I personally think that Colt should stop watering down their brand by allowing sub par manufacturers to put the Colt name on products that knowingly suck.

    Issued a Colt in the military, but now as a civilian, I wouldn’t issue one to myself by buying one. I just don’t trust their brand as I would have in years gone by.

  • MPWS

    Diversify, go to different type of engineering; not just firearms. But use the kind of expertise, guns carry along such as heat and pressure application. This advice is fee of charge.

    • MPWS

      And one more….. get to cooperation mode with some overseas maker, such as CZUB. It will expand horizon of thinking in addition of market reach.

  • L Cavendish

    ARs in various price ranges…and calibers…
    same with 1911 style pistols
    and revolvers
    Need some cheaper options for new owners.