Back on June 14, 2015, the legendary Colt Manufacturing company of West Hartford, Connecticut filed chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is estimated that the Colt Manufacturing company owes its many creditors well over $400 million. Samuel Colt founded the company back in 1855.
The company is known for the production of their rifles. Many of the rifles were used during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. After being a strong, palpable force in the firearm industry for many years, Colt firearms have decreased in demand and popularity. Sales have dropped, and the company has faced financial decline over the past few years. Colt Manufacturing lost a large contract with the government back in 2013 for M4 firearms. The company has also experienced accounting issues in recent years. Colt has experienced significant financial struggles since (at least) November 2014. This combination of events is believed to have led the company to file for bankruptcy. Colt Manufacturing had to file for bankruptcy years ago, but the company was able to successfully rebound from the issue.
Now that the news is out, people wonder what will become of Colt Manufacturing company. Bondholders who have a stake in the company and Sciens Capital Management, a private equity owner, have been fighting for control over Colt Manufacturing. The bondholders are holding Sciens Capital Management responsible for Colt Manufacturing losing its competitive edge in the rifle market. The company hopes to be up for auction by August 3 of this year.
The Morongo Tribe or the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, a tribe located in Southern California, is potentially interested in bidding for Colt Manufacturing. The tribe feels that they represent the west, and Colt firearms produced the gun that is said to be ”the gun that won the west.” Many of the tribe’s ancestors used Colt firearms. Specifically, ancestors of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians used the Colt 1911 semiautomatic rifle. As a result, the company has historical and iconic significance to many of the Native Americans. The Morongo Tribe is a well-functioning business conglomerate. The tribe runs a casino, resort, travel center, golf club, fruit orchard stores, and several other business ventures. The Morongo Tribe has money that can be invested into Colt Manufacturing in the form of a sponsorship. This could help the company restart or re-launch. However, if the ultimate decision is for the company to be sold, the Morongo Tribe would certainly bid on it.
What will happen to Colt? It is difficult to say what the fate of Colt Manufacturing will be. Some fans of Colt Manufacturing believe the company would see greater success if they relocate out of Connecticut to a more profitable business climate. Colt has been operating in a state that now has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the United States following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Others believe the quality of Colt rifles needs to improve in order for the company to see the success they once saw in their heyday. Stay tuned to see what happens to the company whose rifle “won the west.”