In the last few years, we have seen tumultous times for Colt. The prancing pony company has been in and out of bakrupty twice in as many decades, driven there by a variety of factors including no new products, lack of internal manufacturing (much is outsourced and only assembled by Colt), draining of the coffers by corporate entities, etc, etc… Colt today does not even own their iconic building, instead selling it and renting it from another entity.
The nearly two hundred year old company was not always this way. In fact, when it was founded, it was the beacon of innovation that young companies are copying today. Driven by Lt. Col. Samuel Colt and a list of worthy successors, the early company went from revolvers, to hunting rifles, to semi-autos, being one of the few one-stop-shops of the early twentieth century. In its hey dey, Colt was only rivaled by government armories.
Early Colt stood for innovation, always pushing ahead with both internally designed firearms and looking to source innovative designs from outside the company. It was the forge and birthing house for many other conglomerates we know today including Pratt and Whitney.
To hear the full history, Ian at Forgotten Weapons is perhaps reviewing a bit of forgotten history. His latest video goes through Samuel Colt’s early designs, failures, and later stunning successes.