Tuesday 16 June 2015

Sydney Film Festival (40) - An update on the Colt Peacemaker

Folks I know this is getting arcane but in his SFF review of Slow West Max Berghouse made some remarks about the weaponry on display. This caused Bruce Hulbert to bite the bullet and fire in some additional information, triggered a response you might say. OK. OK I surrender... But here's an update and I confess it’s lifted from today's Crikey: How to go broke in America’s gun culture. Overnight, the impossible happened in gun crazy America -- the venerable Colt company (179 years old and the maker of the Colt .45 Peacemaker, star of countless westerns, and "the gun that won the West") went broke and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Impossible.  But it’s true -- Colt Defense LLC (as it is now known) has secured US$20 million financing to continue operating while in bankruptcy and expects to remain in business after the restructuring its US$350 million debt. The company has fallen on tough times after a lucrative 10 years from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, as it was the exclusive supplier of the main weapon of the US Army, the M4 rifle. But rifle sales slowed as the size of the US Army contracted and troops came home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and in 2013 it lost the contract with the Army to supply the M4. Its rivals in the US weapons industry (Ruger, Smith and Wesson for example) had better, more "fashionable" guns to sell to crazy Americans who felt the need for protection. According to US media reports an “alternative investment management group” called Sciens Management owned 87% of Colt, which has made a buyout offer already, before an auction of the company in early August. Russian roulette, anyone? -- Glenn Dyer

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