Many TFB readers are aware that CZ Group (CZG) bought Colt. On the face of it, that confused a lot of shooters because they did not understand why? Was it a power play of some sort? Did they want tooling/machining resources that Colt had? There were a lot of questions. As opposed to only tossing around conjectures and rumors, TFB went to the source to get some more grounded answers.
Our Editor in Chief and lover of all things silencer related, Pete, interviewed the President of CZ Group, Lubomír Kovařík, to understand the plans for the future as well as their motives for pursuing Colt firearms. The full interview and article can be read through the link below, but we also wanted to share a couple important questions and answers that will directly impact the wheelgun market.
TFB: Colt revolvers are popular in the U.S., but the newer “remake” models have not lived up to their original designs. Will CZ continue producing Colt revolvers?
Kovařík: First, based on our review of Colt’s recent Revolver Launch, Colt’s new revolvers have been an overwhelming success with customers. Selling more than 70,000 units of Cobra’s and King Cobra’s and Python’s to date, clearly the consumers and retailers like what Colt has re-engineered. As many industry experts have stated, “the Python is the nicest double action revolver Colt has ever produced” and that says a lot coming from the long history of successes Colt has enjoyed with revolvers over the years. So yes, Colt will continue supporting its Stocking Dealers and customers with these offerings.
TFB: Colt is one of the most American firearm brands in history. How does CZ plan on preserving Colt’s legacy while bringing manufacturing and design into the 21st century?
Kovařík: Synergies will help not only preserve Colt’s legacy, but also further develop its products. The acquisition of Colt fits perfectly into our strategy, we believe in the successful connection of our corporate cultures, good chemistry and complementarity between the CZ and Colt brands. This will help us move closer to our goal of playing a key role in the expected consolidation of the small arms segment and becoming a key partner for the armed forces and a recognized premium brand in Europe and in the United States of America.
TFB: As two long established brands with their own pistol and rifle designs, how does CZ view this acquisition working?
Kovařík: The portfolios of both companies complement each other perfectly: Colt has world-famous revolvers, CZG does not produce those. CZ produces rimfire rifles and centerfire rifles, which are not within the Colt portfolio. Furthermore, the CZ and Colt assault rifles are based on a different platform. In short, we do not compete, but we complement each other. This also applies to the distribution of the market. CZG supplies primarily to the civilian market, while Colt generates more than half of its revenues in the military and law enforcement market. We also see the possibility to produce CZ’s polymer pistols and PDWs in Colt’s facilities.
The acquisition of Colt fits perfectly into our strategy. We have a strong confidence in merging of our corporate cultures, in good chemistry, as well as complementarity for both our brands – CZ and Colt. Both brands will benefit from mutual synergies.
CZ Group Improves the short-term Outlook on Colt Revolvers
Even if you did not read our full interview with the President of CZ Group, Lubomír Kovařík, those 3 questions and answers above are very telling as to what the future may hold. At no point throughout the interview did CZ hint that they would be taking away or reducing the work capacity of Colt firearms; specifically, their revolvers – it’s full steam ahead! Also, CZ is not looking to drastically reshape the landscape of the company from a managerial standpoint. This is good because as Lubomír Kovařík mentioned, Colt has been trending in a positive direction the last few years after a large restructuring a couple years ago and their revolvers are more popular than ever. So, they can essentially continue operating unencumbered by distractions and now they likely have more resources at their disposal.
I previously predicted for fun that Colt would be bringing the Anaconda back soon (potentially this year), and while that prediction is likely wrong I am still holding out hope that that revolver is still on the horizon for Colt. Their portfolio of old had a logical progression of size in frames and cartridges and that model is on deck soon.
CZ Group Improves the Long-term Outlook on dan Wesson Revolvers
A lot of shooters do not forget that CZ owns Dan Wesson firearms and that they make a wide breadth of 1911 models, but they often do not remember how Dan Wesson got started. Dan Wesson made their mark and have a storied history of producing revolvers. For whatever reason, CZ has never capitalized on that legacy of double-action wheelguns… until potentially now.
Again, this is my humble guess (zero truth to this conjecture unless we speak with Lubomír Kovařík again), but acquiring Colt could have been semi-strategic to improve the potential of producing Dan Wesson revolvers again. As stated above in our previous interview, “the Python is the nicest double action revolver Colt has ever produced” and one would tend to believe if you had access to that level of quality, manpower, and skill, you could easily breathe new life into a brand such as Dan Wesson.
Personally, I would love nothing more than to see Dan Wesson rise like a metaphorical phoenix from its revolver ashes and bring back to market the Model 715 Pistol Pack. The revolver industry has not seen a lot of Wow Factor like you get with polymer firearms. We aren’t the kind to Cerakote firearms and make them Gucci, but a revolver that ships with multiple barrels from the factory would be sure to trip a lot of people’s triggers and wallets.
The last time the Model 715 Pistol Pack was produced by Dan Wesson was 2000 so maybe after a 21 year hiatus, it is time to bring it back. If I could get a Python quality revolver from Dan Wesson that came with multiple barrels I would be willing to throw a lot of money at it. Maybe $1,500? Potentially $2,000? In sum, I am happy to see CZ Group acquire Colt firearms and things are looking good on the revolver front in my eyes. As always, let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.