What is happening at Colt? That’s the question on many people’s minds as news of layoffs in the company began to trickle out starting on Tuesday. Rumors of massive layoffs at Colt began with a post at Pistol-Forum by member “misanthropist”, who wrote:
Sounds like a big mess down there and a whole lot of pink slips, including my favourite division, the custom shop.
The extent of the layoffs are not yet known, but it has been confirmed that Brent Turchi, director of Colt Customer Service and the Colt Custom Shop, was let go. Brent posted the following at 1911forum.com:
I am alive and well just no longer with Colt. I will continue to be a member of this forum and interact as I see appropriate. I will also tell the forum when and where I land. I have and will continue to enjoy this forum and its members. All thoughts are appreciated.
Whether this is a handful of layoffs or a gutting of the company is yet unknown, but according to misanthrope, things are not looking good. He posted that Colt Canada had reportedly been gutted, and the Colt Advanced Systems division and the Custom Shop virtually shut down entirely:
Sorry guys I don’t think there’s any information I can link to.
My understanding is that Advanced Systems is shut down entirely, as is the Custom Shop. Colt Canada will be stripped down to little more than the C8 production line and the extraneous people just had their jobs eliminated. The SWORD and MRR programs sound like they’re shelved. From the sounds of things, a lot of job losses.
That’s what I am hearing, anyway.
Colt has been trying to make its way back to normalcy, after bankruptcy rocked the company in 2015. The company debuted its newly reintroduced Cobra revolver at the 2017 SHOT Show, a firearm developed in part due to the efforts of the Custom Shop. The Custom Shop also helped debug the Defender compact 1911 variant.
There is a lot of speculation that with the election and lack of contracts, Colt simply doesn’t have enough money to continue operating these divisions. Shutting them down, however, would burn a significant amount of goodwill that Colt has built over the years with its customer base, which might make recovery even harder for the Hartford company.
We will keep our readers updated as things unfold.