THE COLT GUN COMPANY
The Colt Gun Company would be considered an icon in gun traditions and the early history of America. The Colt revolvers were associated with the Wild West and our fascination with the men who fought and died using them.
They would forever be a fixture in our books and movies. Colt Firearms along with
Winchester firearms dominated our thinking about our westward heritage.
The lever action rifle and the Colt single action Army revolver would fascinate the American adventurer for many decades. And of course the 1950s would heighten the frontier image with great movies and fictional books of the Wild West.
But we are concerned here with the Golden age of classic firearms. This would be for the years after World War II until the mid-1960s. Some would argue that the Colt Gun Company of the 1800’s would be the time for the Golden age of classic Colts. And if you are a Colt single action Army enthusiast, then that might be right for you.
But for the average hunter and shooter there was no time like the period after WW II. They’re would be many fine gun companies by this time, and the average person could afford to own his own firearm.
Companies like Smith and Wesson Firearms would be competitors of Colt. They would both be excellent examples of great firearms companies in the 1950s and 60s. Ruger Firearms would start making their great line of pistols and revolvers at this time.
But I consider the Colt Gun Company as only one of many gun companies in the 1950s era to contribute to the greatest period of gun manufacturing in our history (IMHO). Colt would be manufacturing not only the Colt single action handguns but some new and improved double action Colt revolvers in the 1950s and 1960s.
The Colt Detective special and the Colt Python would be just a couple of examples. We will look into individual models in separate articles.
The Colt Firearms that were manufactured in the 1950s would be some of the finest firearms ever made for the shooting public.
The 1911 Colt 45 handgun would be one of my all-time favorites. I will talk more on the 1911 model in other articles.
Colt Manufacturing would be just another company in a long line of quality firearms manufactured in the Golden age of classic firearms (IMHO).
The Colt 45 handgun of the 1950s would be led by the 1911 Colt 45 automatic. This was probably one of the premier handguns of the 1950s and 60s. The finish and quality of these firearms would be considered some of the finest 1911 Colt 45 handguns ever made.
I was able to work on and refinish many of these old Colt guns as a gunsmith in the 1970s into the 90s. Many that came into the gun shop for repair would be there for wear on the metal from being carried a lot. Other ones would be from abuse such as being left under a car or truck seat or maybe left in gun cases that may have had moisture in them. Sometimes it would be months before they noticed the rust starting and I would then acquire the gun for refinishing.
The 1911 Colt 45 auto of the 1950s would really not require a lot of general gunsmith work. You would have some minor problems but the majority of the work would be refinishing or accurizing the handgun.
The Colt 22 handgun of the 1950s was also considered the top-of-the-line target and sporting handgun of that era. The Woodsman’s model would be considered (IMHO) the finest 22 target pistol produced in the 1950s. These are also great guns to look at and can be a pleasure to target shoot or hunt with.
By the end of the 1950’s decade the Colt 22 market would start to feel the effects of Ruger Firearms starting to gain a significant part in the 22 handgun market. By the mid-1960s the 22 market would be impacted by a number of gun manufacturers that Colt did not have as competition in the 1950s. Ruger Firearms would be making quality 22 target pistols in the 1950s and 60s. Smith & Wesson would be producing the model 41 target pistol and high standard would still be producing quality 22 target pistols.
The Colt Gun Company would get into the deer hunting rifle market by the end of the 1950s. These would be rifles manufactured by other companies, using Mauser, Sako, or other gun manufacturers, primarily from Europe. These would be sold under the Colt name. I will get into more detail about the Colt rifles in individual articles.
These are great guns for someone to invest in. They were not only extremely well-made, but have the Colt Firearms name to go with it. These guns I would give an excellent rating and I will give more detail in articles about individual models from the Colt Firearms Company.