12 September 2015

It Occurs

Playing with Willard's 39-2 made something apparent to me.

Colt and Smith and Wesson competed for the handgun market in the USA with everyone else being a very small percentage of the market.

I notice that Colt is in bankruptcy, again.

Smith and Wesson is a going concern.

So I started wondering about innovation.

S&W put that model 39 up for consideration to replace the M1911A1 in 1954.  It wasn't too long before the 39 got fatter and became a wonder-nine (The model 59 in 1971).

In the same time frame from Colt?  Well there's the Python... and military contracts for rifles designed by someone else and military contracts for machine guns designed by someone else and a grenade launcher designed by someone else...  Ouch on the innovation side of things.

It seems to me that S&W is a player and Colt is going away primarily because one company kept an engineering design department.

I remember Colt All American (another gun designed by an outsider) and even though the S&W Sigma is not well regarded today, it was still far better than Colt's 9mm double stacker.

Even teeny Ruger has made inroads on market share!

Every gun company that's doing well seems to have two things in common.  They're offering new products (even Glock is keeping it new enough) and they have embraced the commercial market.

There might have been a time where the police and military markets were bigger than the commercial market and you could ignore it...  Those days appear to be long gone.

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