Who is Colt? A History of the Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company (Video)

Today we will take a look at the history of the Colt company, from Sam Colt’s first efforts in Paterson (and before) to the West Hartford remnants that survive today. If you enjoy this type of history, please let me know in the comments!

Gun display racking provided by Matrix Armory.


  1. This review of Colt history was excellent. I did not realize the extent to which Colt has deteriorated from an actual gun manufacturer to a marketing corporation. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case in so many other industries as well. I enjoyed this very much and learned a great deal. Thank you!!

  2. It’s Fairbanks Morse, I believe. Originally into scales. And thanks for the story about Caldwell Colt. I have lived near Hartford all my life, and never heard that.

  3. Yes I do enjoy it! Awhile back I asked a Patreon question like this, and I feel like a got a whole video in response!

  4. Very enjoyable. I seem to remember there was a holding company years ago called Colt Industries, which included besides Colt Firearms, Holley Carburetors, and several other companies. Please continue with this series. Thank you!

  5. I loved this! It fills in a lot of questions I have had about the company. Also, it very specifically reminds of a company I went to work for in the material handling industry back in 1979. If you took the last 10 minutes of your video and substituted the company name Rapistan for Colt the stories would be the same. Thanks for the video.

  6. Fascinating look at a ‘famous’ gun brand. I’ve never really been attracted to the Colt brand and now I have even more reason to steer clear of anything new with the Colt brand name on it.

    I hope this isn’t the last such look into the gun industry.

  7. Really good work, Ian.
    As a business guy, I’ve become an expert on observing corporate malfeasance and the cult of insured failure of numerous businesses.
    But wait, accusations of malfeasance would give the false impression of at least some form intelligent design, competent control with intent, wouldn’t it?
    My experience is rank stupidity rules the day.
    I could go on, but I’ll close with a quote from a well known albeit fictional American, Gorden Gekko, “Greed works, Greed is good…” And on and on. As I recall, spoken either from slam or about ts about it.

  8. Great job working threw all the recent history and corporate stuff Ian.

    Looking forward to the Beretta video, ‘…before the age of sail.’

  9. Great video, lots of information!
    Can we put up requests which companies should be portrayed in the future? I second the notion towards Beretta (though a 491 year corporate history might well turn out a bit long), and like to throw in some other familiar names: Mauser, Sauer, Walther, SIG Neuhausen (strange, they’re all from german-speaking countries 😉 ). Many of which “suffered” a familiar fate like Colt, being taken over by corporate investors (…and I didn’t´t even mention Heckler & Koch – although they might be a part of Mausers history, technically…).
    As a side note: Others over at C&Rsenal has a bit of corporate history with his videos, too. Worth a look at any rate!

  10. Fascinating stuff Ian! I knew a little about the history of the company, but that was pretty exhaustive for a video. As someone mentioned before, a Beretta video would be great, or even a history of Springfield Armory (the real one) or the Royal Armoury at Enfield.

    Looking forward to the next one, whatever it may be.

  11. I know I am late to the party, but work is the curse of the drinking class.

    I just checked Wikipedia, and they, (lots of “they” in wikipedia!), say that Caldwell Colt drowned at sea in 1894.

    While not to be desired as an ending, it is more dignified than being shot by an angry husband while fleeing out a window.

    I am not arguing about which version of his death is correct. I am just wondering which version is correct. Also, wikipedia claims he designed a Colt double barrel rifle. I wonder if he did, or if it was just attributed to him.

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