Colt's Manufacturing Company

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Colt's Manufacturing Company

Contents

About

Colt's Manufacturing Company, often referred to as simply Colt, is an American firearm manufacturing company founded in 1855 by Samuel Colt, the culmination of Samuel Colt's earlier firearms manufacturing business ventures. The first forerunner to the modern Colt company was known as the Patent Arms Company, established in 1836 in Paterson, New Jersey, shortly after Samuel Colt was granted patents for his improved revolver mechanism. The Patent Arms Company gained recognition for producing the earliest successful revolver design, the Colt Patterson 1836. While the Colt Patterson was met with praise for its innovative design, the early revolver was marred by quality issues. Samuel Colt started to find true success after production began on the Colt Walker series of revolvers and in 1855, a new corporation, Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company was established in Hartford, Connecticut.

The 1850s and 1860s saw huge success for Colt, with revolvers like the Colt 1851 Navy and Colt 1860 gaining enormous popularity in the United States and Europe, with sales booming with the onset of the American Civil War in 1861. The post-Civil War era saw Colt branching into the new-fangled metallic cartridge market, eventually resulting in the creation of the Colt Single Action Army, arguably one of the most iconic and instantly recognizable revolvers in popular culture. Colt's success is partly owed to its embracing of new manufacturing techniques like interchangeable parts and the assembly line.

The 20th century bought continued success for Colt, with its revolvers being used by military forces the world over and the venerable Colt M1911 being introduced in 1911. World War I and World War II saw a massive surge in business as had occurred during the American Civil War decades earlier. Following the Second World War, Colt was faced with bankruptcy due to years of mismanagement and labor disputes- the company produced nothing at all between 1945 and 1947. The company's next windfall came with the Vietnam War, where they would be contracted to produce the M16 rifle series. While not the original designers of the AR-15/M16, Colt would become the company most heavily associated with the M16 rifle. The 1980s saw Colt attempting to innovate on its aging handgun designs to compete with the increasingly popular "Wonder Nines" like the Glock 17, but efforts like the Colt Double Eagle and Colt 2000 were met with tepid sales (or complete failure, in the case of the Colt 2000). Colt's problems compounded in the 1990s, as the fall of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War affected the entire arms industry. In 1998, Colt CEO Ron Stewart voiced favorable opinions for gun control, leading to a massive boycott by American gun owners. This boycott petered out by 2002, when new Colt CEO William M. Keys, a former United States Marine Corps Lt. General, managed to salvage the company's reputation and save it from bankruptcy.

Continued failed bids at contracts throughout the 2000s bought on more financial woes. Following a 2002 restructuring, Colt Defense, LLC was founded to fulfill military, law enforcement and security orders while Colt's Manufacturing Company, Inc continued to make weapons for the commercial market. Another blow to the company came in 2013, when Colt lost its contract to manufacture M4 carbines for the US military due to persistent reliability issues. Colt restructured again in 2016. Following this restructure, Colt began introducing new variants of the M1911 pistol and began reintroducing its classic double-action revolvers, including a new run of the iconic Colt Python revolver starting in 2020.

Colt, along with Colt Canada (formerly Diemaco), was acquired by CZ on February 11, 2021, a deal which was officially completed on May 24th.

Specifications

Founded: 1855

Country: USA

Guns

Pistols

Weapon Caliber(s) Capacity Produced Variants Image
Colt Double Eagle .45 ACP
10mm Auto
.40 S&W
9x19mm
.38 Super
10 1989-1997 Colt Double Eagle Officers Colt DoubleEagle.jpg
Colt SSP .45 ACP
9x19mm Parabellum

15
????-???? Coltssp.jpg
Colt Junior .22 Short
.25 ACP
6 1958-1971 ColtJunior.jpg
Colt Model 1902 .38 ACP 7, 8 1902–1928 Colt Model 1902 Military Model
Colt Model 1902 Sporting Model
Colt1902Military.jpg
Colt Model 1903 .32 ACP
.380 ACP
8
7
1903–1945, 2016-present Colt Model 1908 Colt Model 1903.jpg
Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammer .38 ACP 7 1903-1927 Colt1903pockethammer.jpg
Colt Model 1908 Vest Pocket .25 ACP 6 1908-1945 ColtVestPocket1908.jpg
Colt Mustang .380 ACP 6 1986-1997, 2012-present Colt Government Model 380
Colt Mustang Lite
CM1.jpg
Colt Pony .380 ACP 6 1997-1998 ColtPony.jpg
Colt Pocket Nine 9x19mm 6 1999 Colt Pocket Nine.jpg
Colt 2nd Model Derringer .41 Rimfire Single shot 1870 - 1890 Colt 2nd model derringer.jpg
Colt 3rd Model Derringer .41 Rimfire Single shot 1875-1912 6c-rcthr.jpg
Colt 4th Model Derringer .22 Short Single shot 1959-1973 Colt 4th model derringer.jpg
Colt .22 Target Model .22 LR 10 ???? Colt22TargetModelNew.jpg
Colt Woodsman .22 LR 10 1915-1977 Colt Woodsman Match Target
Colt Challenger
ColtWoodsman.jpg
Colt SCAMP .22 SCAMP 27 1971-1992 Coltscamp.jpg
Colt M1911 .45 ACP
10mm Auto
.40 S&W
9x19mm
.38 Super
7 1911-present Colt M1911A1
Colt MK IV Series 70
Colt MK IV Series 80
Colt MK IV Series 80 Combat Elite
Colt Gold Cup National Match
Colt XSE
Colt Commander
Colt Officer's ACP
Colt Defender
COLTM1911 1913.jpg

Revolvers

Weapon Caliber(s) Capacity Produced Variants Image
Colt New Line .22
.30
.32
.38
.41
7
5
5
5
5
1873-1877
1874-1876
1873-1884
1874-1880
1874-1879
Colt New Line 38.jpg
Colt 1849 Pocket .31 5 1849-1873 1849.31cal.jpg
Colt 1851 Navy .36 6 1850-1873 Colt 1851 (Cartridge Conversion)
Colt 1851 Navy (Richards-Mason Conversion)
Colt 1851 "U.S. Marshal"
1851Navy.jpg
Colt 1860 Army .44 6 1860-1873 Colt 1860 (Richards Conversion)
Colt 1860 (Richards-Mason Conversion)
1860Army.jpg
Colt 1861 Navy .36 6 1861-1873 1861 navy civil brass lg.jpg
Colt 1862 Navy .36 5 1862-1873 Colt 1862 Navy Cartridge Conversion Colt1862Navy.jpg
Colt 1862 Police .36 5 1862-1873 Colt 1862 Pocket Police Colt 1862 police.jpg
Colt 1871-72 Open Top .44 6 1872-1873 Colt 1871-72 Open Top.jpg
Colt 1873 Single Action Army .45 Colt
.44-40 WCF
.32-20 WCF
.38-40 WCF
.44 Rim Fire
476 Ely
.38 Special
.357 Magnum
6 1873-1941, ????-present Biseley Special
Colt Frontier Six Shooter
Buntline Special
ColtSAALongBarrel.jpg
Colt 1877 Lightning .32 Colt
.38 Long Colt
.41 Long Colt
6 1877-1909 3669 0.jpg
Colt 1878 Double Action .45 Colt
.44-40 WCF
.38-40 WCF
.44 Russian
.476 Ely
.41 Colt
.38 Colt
.32-20 WCF
6 1878-1907 1878 colt.jpg
Colt Anaconda .44 Special
.44 Magnum
.45 Colt
6 1990-1999, 2021-Present Colt Anaconda HQ.jpg
Colt Cobra .22 LR
.38 S&W
.38 Special
6 1950-1981, 2017-present Colt Agent
Colt Viper
Colt Combat Cobra
Colt Night Cobra
Cobra 38spl.jpg
Colt Detective Special .32 New Police
.38 New Police
.38 Special
6 1927-1995 Colt Bankers Special Colt Detective Special.jpg
Colt Diamondback .22 LR
.22 Magnum
.38 Special
6 1966-1988 ColtDiamondBack.jpg
Colt Dragoon .44 6 1848-1860 Colt1stDragoon-44Cal.jpg
Colt King Cobra .357 Magnum
.38 Special
6 1986-1998, 2019-present ColtKingCobra.jpg
Colt M1917 .45 ACP 6 1917-1920 ColtModel1917.jpg
Colt Magnum Carry .357 Magnum 6 1998-1999 ColtMagnumCarry.357mag.jpg
Colt New Army & Navy .38 Long Colt 6 1892-1908 Hc-9289.jpg
Colt New Frontier .44 Special
.45 Long Colt
6 1961-1982 P4870.jpg
Colt New Pocket .32 Colt 6 1893-1905 Colt New Pocket.jpg
Colt New Service .45 Colt
.455 Webley
.44-40
.44 Special
.38-40
.357 Magnum
6 1898-1946 ColtNewService1917.jpg
Colt Official Police .22 LR
.32-20
.38 Special
.41 Long Colt
6 1927-1969 Colt Commando ColtOP4.jpg
Colt Paterson 1836 .36 5 1836-1842 ColtPatterson-1stmodel.jpg
Colt Pocket Positive 32 Colt New Police 6 1906-1941 ColtPocketPositive.jpg
Colt Police Positive .32 Long/Short Colt
.32 Colt New Police (.32 S&W Long)
.38 Colt New Police (.38 S&W)
6 1907-1978 Second Colt Police Positive.jpg
Colt Python .357 Magnum 6 1955-2004, 2020-present ColtPython6In.jpg
Colt SF-VI/DS-II .38 Special 6 1995-2000 Colt Detective Special SF-VI.jpg
Colt Trooper .22 LR
.22 WMR
.38 Special
.357 Magnum
6 1953-1985 Colt Trooper Mk III
Colt Lawman MK III
Colt Trooper MK V
Colt Trooper.jpg
Colt Walker .44 Ball 6 1847 1847ColtWalker.jpg

Shotguns

Weapon Caliber(s) Capacity Produced Variants Image
Colt Model 1878 10 Gauge
12 Gauge
2 1878 - ? Colt Model 1878 Shotgun.jpg
Colt Coltsman 12 Gauge
16 Gauge
20 Gauge
4+1 1961 - 1965 Manufrance Rapid.jpg

Submachine Guns

Weapon Caliber(s) Capacity Produced Variants Image
Thompson Submachine Gun .45 ACP 20, 30, 50, 100 1921-Present M1921 Thompson
M1928 Thompson
M1 Thompson
M1A1 Thompson
M1928.jpg
Colt 9mm Submachine Gun 9x19mm 30 1982-Present Colt-9mm--SMG.jpg

Machine Guns

Weapon Caliber(s) Capacity Produced Variants Image
Colt 1895 Automatic Machine Gun 6mm Lee Navy
7x57mm Mauser
.30-40 Krag
.30-06 Springfield
.303 British
7.62x54mmR
Belt Fed 1895-1919 Colt3.jpg
Colt Mk 12 cannon 20x110mm USN Various 1950s-Present ColtMk12.jpg

Rifles

Weapon Caliber(s) Capacity Produced Variants Image
Colt CM901 5.56x45mm NATO
6.8x43mm SPC
7.62x39mm
7.62x51mm NATO
STANAG 2000s-present Colt SP901 CM901.jpg
Colt Lightning Carbine .44-40 15 1884-1904 Coltlightningrifle.jpg
Colt Model 1855 .44 5, 6 1855-1864 Coltrevolvingrifle.jpg
Colt M16 5.56x45mm NATO STANAG 1960-Present XM16E1 Rifle
M16A1 Rifle
M16A2 Rifle
M16A4 Rifle
Colt AR-15 Sporter-1
Colt Match Target
Colt AR-15 Sporter Carbine
Colt Model 715
Colt Canada C8 Carbine
Colt XM177/CAR-15/Commando Series
& MORE
M16-SP1.jpg

Grenade Launchers

Weapon Caliber(s) Capacity Produced Variants Image
M203 40x46mm Single Shot 1969 – Present M203A1
M203A2
M203.jpg


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