Samuel Colt was born in Hartford Connecticut on July 19, 1814 and, at 47 years of age, died in that same city on January 10, 1862. In his short life Colt developed one of the most successful firearm’s designs of all time; the revolver.
Colt, like so many great inventors, was a curious lad. Colt was expelled from the prestigious Amherst Academy not long after he was accepted there to study navigation. He then spent time on the Corvo where his fascination with the ship’s wheel gave him the idea for a revolving cylinder firearm that would hold multiple charges. This was the basis for Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., the company was later known as Colt’s Manufacturing Company (CMC). Samuel Colt went on to be one of America’s richest men. At the time of his death, his estate was estimated to be worth about 15 million dollars.
Over its lifetime, CMC has produced some of America’s and the World’s great firearms. The Colt Walker, the 1873 Single Action Army, the Government Model of 1911, the Python, and the AR-15, M16 family of rifles have been used by both military and civilian shooters. Colt has produced firearms for the U.S. Military and others for over 150 years; sadly that tradition might be coming to an end.
Colt has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy; the company has been struggling for years and this is the second Chapter 11 filing in the last 25 years. One can only wonder how the management of Colt could make such a mess of things when firearms sales have been at all-time highs for the last several years. For instance, in 2000, Smith & Wesson® was purchased for 15 million dollars; today, S&W is worth nearly 1 billion dollars and has expanded exponentially. Ruger® has become the largest manufacturer of civilian firearms in the U.S. and its stock price has skyrocketed in the last 6 years. Both companies, as well as others have brought new modern products to the market. Colt has simply recycled old designs such as the Mustang and failed to really bring any innovation to their product line. Failed leadership has led Colt to what might be its demise; a really sad ending for this historically significant company.
Time will tell if the once proud rampant colt will again strut his stuff or be consigned to the dust bin of history.
Be safe and good shooting.