Colt files for chapter 11

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20 Responses

  1. Avatar morat20 says:

    IIRC, recent studies have shown that fewer Americans own guns — but those who do tend to own more.

    I can only speak anecdotally, but my father-in-law is a hunter and has a sizable collection of guns. Most are inherited. He’s bought exactly one new gun in the last 30 years. Out of his entire collection of about a dozen or so, I think he’s purchased three total over his life. The rest he inherited from his father, or his wife inherited from her father.

    A properly maintained rifle lasts a very long time, and the things that break are generally much cheaper to fix than to replace the gun.

    We’ve got so many weapons floating around America (ever visited a pawn shop?) that it’s not hard to imagine manufacturers running into problems if they can’t sell to the military.

    I suppose gun-owners should be lucky that Colt didn’t figure out a way to get ‘planned obsolescence’ out of a gun.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      morat20: I suppose gun-owners should be lucky that Colt didn’t figure out a way to get ‘planned obsolescence’ out of a gun.

      “Dammit! My iGun needs the latest software update before it will fire!”Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        “Siri… SHOOT!”
        “I’m sorry. I can’t help you with that right now. Please try again later.”

        Seriously though… how the F is Siri ever too busy to help?Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      We’ve got so many weapons floating around America (ever visited a pawn shop?) that it’s not hard to imagine manufacturers running into problems if they can’t sell to the military.

      I suppose gun-owners should be lucky that Colt didn’t figure out a way to get ‘planned obsolescence’ out of a gun.

      I dunno about this theory. Cars are lasting longer than ever, but the car makers didn’t have a problem until gas got pricey and everyone lost their jobs. And the makers with the worst built cars had the biggest problems. Once fuel prices lowered and the employment picture got better, vehicle sales got better.

      Edit: and every other gun manufacture has seemed to do gangbusters in Obama’s America. Colt was just poorly managed. (they haven’t really recovered their mojo since the Beretta 9mm replaced the Colt .45 as the standard issue sidearm in the early 90s)Report

      • Avatar morat20 says:

        First off, guns last a LOT longer than cars. 40 or 50 years is nothing if it’s maintained, and maintaining a gun is mostly about cleaning it. (Keeping a car running for 40 years is expensive).

        Secondly, I can only speak to what I’ve seen — which is that most of the gun owners I know (which is admittedly a small number) have increased their collections almost entirely through inheritance. Mostly because someone with guns dies, and fewer of their descendents even WANT a gun. Out of my family running out to my cousins, in just my generation, I’ve got call it 12 or so people. One of us (one of my cousins) hunts. He’s the only gun owner. Anyone of his parent’s generation or older is going to leave him their guns, because no one else wants or needs them.

        That’s a consequence of fewer gun owners and fewer hunts, proportionally. (In fact, he’s only got two — a rifle and a shotgun, and one was a gift from his wife’s father’s collection and the other he inherited not long after).

        Honestly, thinking back through everyone I know, the only people I know that actually bought a brand new gun in the last 20 years are a pair of, well, whack-jobs who bought guns solely so they could get a CC license and wear them in public and, apparently, complain about restaurants that won’t let them carry inside. (I call them whackjobs not because they have a CC permit. Because they are. One carries TWO guns so he doesn’t have to stop to reload. They’re both 60+, and have never actually been the victim of a crime and live in the suburbs. They’re both grimly certain someone is coming for them. I hope neither start going senile, because someone’s gonna get shot).

        That’s not to say Colt wasn’t mismanaged. But the American civilian market for guns is…weird, and getting weirder.Report

  2. Avatar Notme says:

    Other than being liberal click bait, bc its about a gun company im not sure what the big deal is. Every company of size pays lobbyists and belongs to trade organization. Colt has more problems than losing one govt contract.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      I have to say, I think @notme is right here.

      I think you can break it down even further than he does, in fact, and say that the story of a company that loses it’s biggest client not being able to recover from that loss of revenue is as old and common a story as business itself.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        What’s interesting here is that the bankruptcy proceedings creates a public record of the money owed by Colt, and that includes a lot of lobbying and who those lobbyists are.Report

        • Avatar Notme says:

          As i said before, so what. GM has lobbyists as well. Why are the names of Colt’s lobbyists anymore interesting or relevant?Report

          • Avatar dragonfrog says:

            That’s not uninteresting, but it’s not what we’re talking about right now.

            Are you proposing to go back to GM’s 2009 chapter 11 papers, analyze the lobbying component of their debts, and compare and contrast them to Colt’s? Because otherwise this is just “nobody is allowed to be interested in thing A because there exists thing B which I insist is more important,” which is just silly.Report

            • Avatar Kolohe says:

              according to the linked article “The creditor matrix document filed by Colt doesn’t list amounts, ” so we have no idea how much accounts payable are owed to lobbying firms. But based on the other body of reporting it’s not a significant amount. Their debt load was already pretty high because Sciens Capital Management the firm that, per the original post, “has agreed to buy Colt,” already owns a significant stake in the company and already ran through the first tab’s pages of the private equity play book.

              But if we just want to engage our preconceived biases, sure, we can pretend like lobbying is a big cause for them hemorrhaging cash.Report

            • Avatar notme says:

              Maybe you or zic can tell us all why the list of Colt lobbyists is interesting? Why is their list any more interesting that the list from GM?Report

              • Avatar dragonfrog says:

                Alright, fine, you win – it’s not actually interesting. We’re just pretending to be interested to piss you, personally, off, because we know that you cannot stand when people declare an interest in things that do not interest you.

                Though I just said the list of GM lobbyists and their activities might be interesting too. If you were to write a piece about it, I could pretend to find it interesting too – would that annoy you also?Report

              • Avatar notme says:

                You still have yet to say WHY it might interesting. I might agree with you if you state a cogent reason as oppossed to “just because.”Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    They needed Billy Dee instead of Stan McChrystal for their sales pitch. Works every time.

    But this has very little to do with lobbying, and everything to do with poor management, both on the financial and marketing side of things.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Exactly, this is all about too much debt & piss-poor management that gambled the company on a contract it lost.

      PS This is not the first time Colt has gone through bankruptcy.Report

      • Avatar aaron david says:

        Yes, this is a good part of it. The rest being the fact that they haven’t developed anything new in decades and were resting on the laurels of 50 and 100 year old designs. Its too bad, as they have been in Connecticut for 160 years, and the new owner will probably pull out of the state.Report

        • Avatar Notme says:

          I hope they pull out of Connecticut and move to someplace more friendly like SC. Their main competitor FNH USA has a big plant there. I agere that i wouldn’t pay the extra money for a colt firearm.Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    And this post is sadly well-timed with last night’s tragedy in South Carolina.Report

  5. Avatar Damon says:

    A lot of the talk in the gun circles follows this quote:

    “two gun companies are on bankruptcy in 2015 and for the same reason: They did not pay attention to their customers.”

    Occam’s Razor.Report