Ordinarily, I’d be apoplectic about a bunch of foreigners buying a storied American company, especially one such as Colt, makers of fine (and a couple not-so-fine) guns since the nineteenth century.  I mean:






…and I think you get my drift.  A bunch of foreigners taking over this heritage?

Well, I was nearly about to have an RCOB Moment, when I further learned that said foreign company was actually the equally-storied CZ (Česká zbrojovka), whereupon I felt much better.

Nothing wrong with CZ (a.k.a. Brno) guns, either:


…and let’s not forget their rifles;  ooooh, their rifles:


Quite frankly, Colt Industries has got up my nose on many occasions (“Screw the civilian market”, “We’re not going to make the Python anymore… oops, okay, we’ll make them again, just not as well”), whereas CZ has seldom if ever perpetrated the same kind of nonsense.

I am cautiously optimistic about this takeover, but long experience has taught me that the road ahead may often not be what I’d like it to be.

But if CZ decides to move Colt manufacturing out of gun-hating Connecticut to their new facility in Arkansas while promising to keep or improve the quality thereof, I for one will applaud them.


  1. Manufacturing is all about management. Look at Winchester who has never been forgiven for changing (cheapening) manufacturing methods in 1964. Colt was all over the place through the years. I had an electrical switch box with the Colt brand on it – I should have kept it, I guess.
    Maybe the Czech firm will straighten things out.

  2. The only thing I can add to this is that there is not a SINGLE CZ rifle that I wouldn’t love to have in my collection. Not a one.

  3. From this nations beginings, the rivers of New England provided the horsepower needed for manufacturing steel products. Gaining the name of “gun valley”, so many of American iconic gun makers located in the north east. These storied brands became part of our history, culture and psyche. Now as America dissolves into a communist mess, all this is unwinding. We lose something, but I pray it serves as some sort of re-birth.

    1. Professor,
      You’re absolutely right about the Connecticut River Valley and the rest of New England. There were very many firearm manufacturers and suppliers to the firearms industry. Unfortunately, many were bought out, consolidated or outright closed. It continues today as PTR moved out of New Britain, CT. Thompson Center was bought by Smith & Wesson and now recently announced the brand was being ended. Marlin was bought by the group that owned Remington then sold again in a short period of time to Ruger after Remington’s bankruptcy. It’s truly a shame because with these companies consolidating, closing or moving took very good paying jobs with them. People now complain that service jobs don’t pay well. Several years ago there were far better paying jobs in manufacturing.

      Colt has a strong history of bad management and bad decision making. They effectively stopped R&D at some point in the 70s or 80s and they left the civilian market. It seems like the Trooper Mk III or so, Colt stopped developing new handguns for the civilian market and their civilian catalog shrank.

      I hope the new ownership by CZ improves Colt’s competitiveness and long term planning.


  4. Kim, or anyone else for that matter … kindly educate me …
    What is the rifle 2nd from the bottom? What is its chambering?

    1. It’s the vz. Model 52, made after WWII by the emerging Czech firearms industry. Chambering was 7.62x45mm, because as was their wont, the Czechs wanted nothing to do with the Russki SKS 7.62×39 gun and made their own in a custom caliber. Here’s the full story on them:

      1. Thx … I was aware of the 7.62×45 Czech round and the Czech’s reluctance to adopt the Soviet “shorty” cart … but not the rifle. To my untrained eye, the mod 52 smacked of the Egyptian Hakim, but you did say all the rifles were from CZ. Ya learned me sumthin new fer t-day !!

  5. I agree that CZ makes excellent firearms, love my CZ P10c, 75B, Model 453 .22, Model 527, etc. I don’t currently own any Colts, (unAmerican perhaps), over the years I became less enthralled with them. I agree that they were all over the place and believe the corporate takeovers were highly detrimental. I hope CZ can take the brand on and can produce CZ/Colt products every bit as good as the CZ’s.

  6. Colt will likely continue to exist as a legacy brand – they’ll continue to make their iconic guns for old farts and collectors. Hopefully, CZ will increase the CQ. But Colt didn’t, and likely won’t, innovate – frankly, Colt hasn’t innovated for decades, and that’s their problem and why they were in bankruptcy.

    An ongoing business making consumer goods either constantly innovates, or dies.

    Think about it – at the time of the assault weapons ban, in ’94, Colt was the leading maker of AR-15s. Most Americans weren’t very familiar with ARs then; it was hardly America’s Rifle (yet). And Colt took some advantage of that in developing the AR-15 “sporter,” minus a few “evil” features, to get around the ban. They were positioned to be the primary beneficiary of the explosion of AR’s during, and especially at the expiration of, the ’94 ban in 2004.

    What did they do? They largely ignored the booming AR market, relying on military and LE sales. Their quality control suffered (why are Colt pins larger than anyone elses?), because they relied on that military market, and frankly thought they had it in the bag and could ride it to profitability. When FN got the military contract, Colt was left with a lot of nothing.

    Bad management and lack of innovation put Colt in bankruptcy. Now they’re a legacy brand, owned by CZ, doomed to eventually die as their legacy products market gets smaller and smaller. Even in 1911s – how many other 1911 makers have long since overtaken Colt as the source of quality 1911s? Even Colt’s Gold Cup guns don’t hold the cachet they once did.

    I have two Colts: a 1991A1, a clone of the 1911A1, and a Colt junior, a rebranded Astra Cub, in .25, a vest pocket gun. Both bought used, and yes, off paper. But I wouldn’t consider a new Colt. They don’t make anything I can’t get cheaper, and better built, elsewhere. And the prancing pony, by itself, isn’t enough. AR makes are a dime a dozen, and the real differences between them are not all that much, to most buyers. Any lower and upper that is mil-spec is sufficient; it’s the internals that make the difference, particularly bolts, barrels, and triggers. Are Colt bolts, barrels, and triggers top-notch? Not particularly. If you listed the the top AR barrel, trigger, or bolt makers, Colt wouldn’t be in any of the top 10. Uberti’s SAA clones are excellent, and MUCH less than a Colt. Colt’s revolvers, had a Python not been featured on The Walking Dead, would be largely forgotten. Ruger’s revolvers are every bit as good as Colts (and S&W too, BTW) and considerably less.

    Ruger innovates. S&W innovates (look at their excellent M&P line). Colt didn’t. And it died.

    (BTW – one could say much the same about Remington.)

  7. As a serious CZ fan, my hope is that they treat Colt as a legacy brand and re-introduce quality as a marketing strategy. Custom Colts out of the CZ Custom shop would be wondrous. Back in the 90’s, I traded a Persian rug I had $400 in for a NIB 6″ Colt Diamondback .22 with a nickel finish, 1968 vintage. It came with a box of .22 cartridges (50) with one missing and one empty .22 round still in the cylinder. I would love to know the real story behind that. Anyway, a CZ-made Colt Diamondback, if they tool it to 1968 standards or better, would certainly go a long way to redefining the brand. A guy can wish.

    My occasional interaction with the CZ customer service folks has been nothing short of fantastic. I had a feed problem with my RAMI 2075 BD and they worked it over until it was smooth like butter. Cost to me–zero. About six years ago I got a chance to by a 527 Ebony Edition in .223/5.56 for the ridiculous price of $750 (NIB) and it outclasses guns 4X the price in fit and finish.

    As the Brits like to say (according to Ricky Gervais), “it could have been worse.” CZ likely won’t dump the brand altogether, since there really is no capturable R&D, and there really is only an upside. I just hope they do it soon.

  8. The only CZ product in my collection right now is a 7.62×25 CZ52 pistol. I bought it because I’m fascinated by the roller locking system and because I got it for a very cheap price. There’s something “off” with the grip angle and I have trouble getting the gun on target. Add that to the very snappy recoil of the 7.62 rounds and that pistol is far from my favorite. I’m not sure why I keep it – maybe because of that old Commie caliber. If I wanted to play Red Dawn something in 9mm Makarov might be a better choice.

  9. CZ Bren 2 Ms pistol in 5.56 in 8″ sounds good on paper.
    They spec at 5.5#.

    I fussed with the all-steel first edition.
    At about 8# for a pistol, it was indestructible yet irrelevant.
    My carry is an AR pistol in .300BO.
    Although probably adequate for goofballs, we farm in bear/cougar country… I am not looking forward to testing twenty to the face of a charger.

  10. Have three Colt’s: 2, Friends of the NRA, Centennial Commemorative 1911’s with consecutive serial numbers; and an AR-15 from the 60’s that I’m the second owner of with # SP0011xx.
    They join a CZ 452FS in .22WMR.
    I do have a soft spot in my heart though, as I’m still waiting for either a 4″ or 6″ Python from the new production…but that spot is slowly hardening, as a man can only wait so long.

  11. Riddle me this, Batman:
    What’s the point in drooling over all these lovely firearms if there’s nary a round of ammo to be had at less than fuck-me-running prices?
    Are there shortages of ammo supplies to make ammunition or has the eeevillll BATF rendered an indict, “Thou shalt not make copious quantities of ammunition”?

    Oh, and to quote our humble host, “The BATF should be a convenience store, not a government agency.”

  12. Anyone else find irony in the fact that Colt produced a pistol that was a joint venture with CZ in 1998-1999, until Colt jettisoned from it, while CZ improved a few things and sold their CZ-40 for a longer period of time? I bought one new in 2002 and liked the grip in particular. Sold to a friend who had a few Colt Z40’s and wanted something to not be afraid of using.

    Gun Jesus linky for video from 2015 with auction that had serial model #1 Z-40

  13. They lost money during WW2. This would indicate REALLY bad management, which has been a staple since Sam Colt’s wife died.
    They apparently infringed on patents held by Moony of Kahr, with their Mustang, Pony, and Pocket 9 models. Colt took them out of production the first year. Bought a new Pocket 9 that year, that goes “click” as often as “bang”. Sent it back to Colt. They replaced a couple parts, but nothing in the trigger action. No parts, and no one who could modify the original, or make a new part in house. I suspect something is undersized in the hammer/sear train, as it doesn’t move the hammer far enough before the sear trips.

    Supposedly, Colt had their own foundry, which was thought to be one of the reasons that Colt AR’s were so highly prized in the 80’s-90’s. Wouldn’t surprise me if that got sold to China, along with most all the rest of them here.

    They had a hard preference for selling to any government, rather than to the citizens of the US. That was one of the reasons that late 80’s AR mounting pins were larger than the military spec 1/4″ dia pins. They didn’t think citizens should be able to avail themselves of the various options in uppers. I think that today we would term that sort of thinking as “virtue signalling”.

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