SOTG 171 - Goodbye Colt

SOTG 171 – Goodbye Colt

We take no pleasure in reporting these stories. The whispers and rumors of the downfall of Colt Manufacturing have been in the wind for many years. More evidence of their truth surfaced last week.

Jarrad has a SWAT Fuel Fitness Talk tip about pre and post work-out meals. And, while we are on the subject, we will discuss the threat that Salami has made to the USA.



A deal to bring gunmaker Colt’s Manufacturing to Osceola County is officially dead, and the county will now have to pay $150,000.

County commissioners voted Monday to kill its deal with Colt and pay the money the company still owes to the state of Florida.

The gun company announced plans in 2011 to open a new office in Kissimmee and bring 63 new jobs. But that never happened.

The $150,000 Colt owed to the state was for renovations the company made to the building it has leased from the county, but never actually set up shop.

Technically, Colt has until October 2015 to create those 63 jobs. If the company doesn’t comply, it would owe the county more than $50,000.

But county commissioners said they are tired of waiting while the building sits empty, and paying off Colt’s $150,000 debt is just a way to move on.

The county is already looking for a new tenant; one possibility is Orlando’s Valencia College.


One of the nation’s oldest firearms manufacturers and makers of America’s first mass-produced revolver has asked its investors to take a 70 percent pay cut or the company will be forced into bankruptcy.

According to financial reports, Colt Defense LLC told investors that it would need to restructure its $250 million bond debt with a new issue of bonds at a higher interest rate but longer loan term at 30 percent of their original value in order to stay in business. If the bondholders don’t agree to that plan, the company offered a so-called “pre-packaged” bankruptcy agreement that would avoid a lengthy court fight and allow Colt to restructure quickly.

“The exchange offer and the issuance of the new notes are designed to reduce the overall amount of Colt’s debt, reduce total cash interest payments, extend the maturity for the debt exchanged, and place Colt in a better position to attract new financing in the years to come,” the company said in an April 14 release announcing the move. “The company believes the exchange offer will also improve its performance and customer relations by addressing the key issues relating to Colt’s viability as a going concern.”

It’s unclear how bondholders will take the deal, as Colt is requiring a near unanimous decision from investors on either the new bonds, or “prepack” bankruptcy. Some analysts think the beleaguered company is trying to back money managers into a corner by threatening a costly bankruptcy fight with one of America’s most storied brands.

The terms require an agreement by midnight May 11.

“Their move … is extremely risky: if they can’t get the bondholders to accept the 70-30 haircut or the prepackaged bankruptcy, bondholders can and probably will sue, plunging the … company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy or even Chapter 7 liquidation,” wrote the Weaponsman blog. “They’re gambling that the bondholders’ fear of being left holding a bag containing much less than 30 percent of the company’s capitalization, divided among the holders of $330 or so million in secured and unsecured debt, will be stronger than their indignation at being 70 percent expropriated so the managers and hedges can be made whole.”

Colt has been facing financial troubles for years, with a warning in November 2014 it would likely default on its nearly $11 million debt payment due this month. The company’s bottom line took a hit as military and government agency spending has declined, and an initiative to open a manufacturing facility in Kissimmee, Florida, foundered.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Colt’s anticipated revenue for 2014 came in at $190 million, 30 percent less than 2013.

“When it did give a nod to the consumer market, Colt mostly focused on its classic revolver handguns … [and] 1911 pistol, one of the most popular categories of handguns,” Rich Duprey from the Motley Fool wrote. “But in 2014, the market weakened considerably for all players, and for a company plagued by costly maneuvers, like the restructuring and reversal of its manufacturing and defense businesses, Colt has been unable to cope.”

In March, Colt named Paul Spitale as the new chief of commercial sales and appointed Kenneth Juergens as head of government and military sales, a move Colt called “a new customer-centric design for sales and marketing” at the company.


Two top Iranian generals on Thursday taunted the United States, saying the much-discussed military option to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities is “ridiculous,” that Washington knows it can’t be done, and that their country “welcomes war with the US.”

The saber rattling came as Western powers prepared to sit down for another round of negotiations with Iran to reach an agreement on putting curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.

Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, said in an interview on state-run television that a battle with the US would only serve to highlight Iran’s strengths.

“We welcome war with the US as we do believe that it will be the scene for our success to display the real potentials of our power,” he said, according to a report by the semi-official Fars news agency. “We have prepared ourselves for the most dangerous scenarios and this is no big deal.”

Salami threatened that Iran would strike any airbase used as a launch-pad for a strike on his country.

“We warn their pilots that their first flight [to attack Iran] will be their last one and no one will be allowed to go back safe and sound,” he warned.

The commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, gave a similarly belligerent warning during a ceremony in the city of Semnan, in the north of the country. Jafari reasoned that if the West really thought it could attack Iran at will, it would have done so already; instead world powers “kneel” before Iranian might, he boasted.

“The military option that the Westerners speak of constantly is ridiculous and they know that if the military option could have produced any result, they would have already used it many times, and today they have shifted their focus to other types of threats and to the soft war front,” Jafri said.

“Today, the Islamic Iran’s pride and might has made the world’s biggest materialistic and military powers kneel down before the Islamic Republic,” he proclaimed.

Iranian officials have recently ramped up their war of rhetoric in what local media said is a response to threats by US officials to bomb their country.

Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei bragged Wednesday that the US “can’t do a damn thing” to harm his country’s nuclear facilities.

Although Iranian media reports have not made clear to which US officials they have been referring, last month The Washington Post reported that Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) called for a limited military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities similar to the four-day bombing campaign of Operation Desert Fox in 1998 against Iraq, over Saddam’s failure to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also said that the US could still strike at Iran, in an interview with Israel’s Channel 10 aired this week.

Negotiations between Iran and six world powers — the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany — were scheduled to resume on May 12 in Vienna, the European Union and Tehran said earlier this week. The political leaders of the other world powers involved in the negotiations are to join the talks on May 15.

Iran and the world powers want to turn a framework accord reached in Switzerland on April 2 into a full agreement by June 30.

Following a marathon of negotiations in Switzerland, Iran agreed on April 2 to what US President Barack Obama called a “historic understanding… which, if fully implemented, will prevent (Iran) from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Under the agreed parameters, Iran, which denies seeking the atomic bomb, is set to scale down its nuclear program for 10 to 15 years or more, and allow closer UN inspections.

In return, the United States and five other major powers committed to lift certain sanctions that have caused the Islamic Republic major economic pain by strangling its oil exports and financial system.

However, Israeli officials, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have harshly criticized the framework agreement, saying it leaves Iran with the ability to develop nuclear weapons in the future.

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Paul Markel: Host of Student of the Gun Radio

Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a United States Marine, police officer, professional bodyguard, and small arms and tactics instructor. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly 20 years, and has hundreds of articles in print. A regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows, Markel is a subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force.

Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students, young and old, for decades and has also worked actively with 4H Shooting Sports programs. Markel holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines; nonetheless, he is, and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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Jarrad Markel: Co-Host and Producer of Student of the Gun Radio

Jarrad Markel: Co-Host and Producer of Student of the Gun Radio

Not just another pretty face, Jarrad Markel has experience and training beyond his years.
Jarrad has been training to be a fighter since elementary school when he first learned the art of collegiate wrestling.

Now skilled in Jujitsu, Judo, Muay Thai, Sambo, the Way of the Fighting Pistol and Fighting Rifle, Jarrad is a well-rounded, tactical athlete with several professional MMA fights under his belt.

More than a brute, Jarrad has brains as well. He is the lead editor and videographer for Student of the Gun and works directly for Think On! Productions creating a wide variety of video material. In addition, Markel is a skilled web & blog designer, building material for the Internet side of the house.



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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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