Colt has been in bad shape for years. Once the king of military contracts, the (allegedly) declining quality of their firearms caused them to lose those very lucrative deals to competitors, primarily FN Manufacturing. With relatively few civilian sales to speak of Colt couldn’t cover its overhead and filed for bankruptcy in June of 2015. They re-emerged in 2016, but word comes now that Colt is going through a round of layoffs.
The details we have so far come from a post in the 1911 forum where the head of Colt’s custom shop confirmed that he no longer works for the Connecticut gun maker. And an unverified post at Pistol Forum claims that more extensive layoffs have taken place and the company has been “gutted.”
At the very least this doesn’t bode well for Colt’s newly re-introduced Snake series. The reemergence of the Cobra was a hopeful sign when it was announced, but based on our time with the Cobra at SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range, the revolver’s fit and finish didn’t appear to be up to the work being done by their competitors at Smith, Ruger and Kimber. That’s a problem that can only be solved by gunsmiths, of which they appear to now have fewer.
With industry sales trending down, and fewer experienced craftsmen on the payroll, the challenge for Colt will be to avoid a quality/sales death spiral. In the current climate that may be a tall order. Watch this space.