POTD: The Colt Used To Do More Than Guns

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

I learnt something new today. Professional Adventurer and TFB contributor Claymore sent me this photo and wrote …

Note I did not take the photo. It was taken by the friend of mine that goes with me on my adventures. Three of these were found in a very old building in Connecticut.

Photo is of a COLT switch installed in an old building. Yes that Colt the firearms manufacturer. (see writing on the bottom edge for logo and address.)

Apparently Colt was a big manufacturer of switches, fuses and fuss boxes under the Colt NOARC brand. I Google’d around and found these photos, mostly on ebay where there is a healthy trade in Colt memorabilia.

Thanks Claymore.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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4 of 27 comments
  • Town22 Town22 on Oct 21, 2015

    With all that history behind, filing for bankruptcy and the new loan, it's a wonder they're above water. For how long?

    • Michel_T Michel_T on Oct 23, 2015

      @town22 For as long as they have influential friend within government... Isn't that how it works?
      On a side note, a Colt door switch would be pretty nice for the man-cave ;-)

  • Cattoo Cattoo on Oct 23, 2015

    Samuel Colt wouldn't recognize the Colt he left behind I'm thinking.

    • Evan Evan on Oct 23, 2015

      @Cattoo That's because the current entity has almost nothing to do with the original company besides the name. The copanies gone tits up 3 or four times, depending on how you look at it, from the original Sam Colt institution.
      Colt had some rough years after WWII and that's essentially when they "lost their way" and the firearms division was second fiddle to other ventures and eventually began to peter out, subsisting on military and police contracts and largely neglecting the consumer market. Fast forward to 1985, and Colt employees, members of the UAW, went on strike for over 5 years. It's still studied as one of the longest and costliest strikes in US history. The company literally crumbled as hundreds of years of skilled labor disappeared overnight.
      The UAW, state of CT, and some stockholders took over Colt, and ran it for a while until they got in bed with the Clinton Admin. and the final nail in the coffin for Colt's second life was the All American 2000. They filed Chapter 11 in 1992.
      In 1994, Colt was purchased by Donald ZIlkha and Co., a Middle-Eastern banker-heir and Colt wasted billions on "smart gun" research, and to top that off the CEO of Colt went on record as favoring a federal testing and training permit program for firearm ownership, in 1998; causing more public outrage, etc. Colt was once again on the brink of bankruptcy. Zilkha brought in some other investors and replaced the CEO with a retired Marine Lt. General to win some brownie points.
      Fast forward to 2015, Colt again files Chapter 11 protection.
      Partly because they: 1. Tried to literally sue the rest of the industry from calling their AR-style carbines "M4s; Remington was big enough they went to court, and handed Colt their ass on a platter.
      2. stay in business selling nothing but "bone stock" ARs, 1911s, and Single Action Armys at boutique-hand-smithed prices, and once again is only able to somewhat stay afloat by political wrangling in CT and D.C., albeit at the taxpayers' expense.