By Red McCloud
The Colt Double Eagle was Colt Manufacturing LLC’s attempt to get into the ‘service-ready DA/SA semi-auto market’ in 1989, but it was plagued by a few massive problems at launch. Problems like the lack of quality control, finicky parts, and in general Colt’s lack of caring. The first run of the Double Eagle, the Series 80, was a complete flop which was the main reason the gun gained a horrible reputation and sold poorly. They had almost no quality control, as Colt rushed them out the door in an attempt to beat the likes of SIG SAUER, Ruger, and the rest. The main problem . . .
is that the DA/SA system (which was an unlicensed, streamlined clone of the Seecamp conversion) was extremely fragile, and important springs were held in by the plastic grip panels. That meant that it both broke a lot, and when you took off the grips, the springs would shoot out, hitting you in the eye, or just getting lost.
The next iteration of the gun, the Series 90 (above), ironed-out all the flaws. But by then the damage had already been done.
The Double Eagle was available in a massive selection of calibers for the time: 9mm, 10mm, 11mm/.45 ACP, and later, .40 S&W. The .40 S&W guns are the rarest due to their manufacture near the end of the gun’s life, and, hilariously enough, are not worth very much compared to the others. The 10mm version is the most-wanted variant, and command premiums of easily over $1,000, even in poor condition. The Series 90 was a great line of pistols, but when it came into production around 1990, the bad rep from the Series 80 caught up to it, and sales tanked.
Remarkably enough, the Double Eagle Series 90 was manufactured up until 1997, although in lower and lower amounts as time went on, especially after the infamous 1995 deal in which Colt was bought out and all of the revolver lines (minus their sub-par Single Action Army 3rd Gen.) were controversially discontinued.
Now Colt is in bankruptcy due to an amalgamation of reasons. A lack of quality control, overpriced products, a small product line…the list goes on. In my opinion, if they brought back the Python (which I bet they still have the tooling for) it’d save the company and then some, even if it had an outrageous $5k price tag slapped on it. Overpricing SAA’s and below-average AR-15s and AR-10s wont save a company. Variety and demanded products will.
Hopefully, the ignoramuses heading Colt since the buy-out will realize that the company is rapidly sinking and bring back the most-loved and wanted weapon lines, but I doubt it. At this point, it’s obvious that they only bought the company to milk it dry and then leave it in a ditch by the side of a road.