Colt Python Elite Question


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brian71mm
December 16, 2006, 03:50 AM
I would like to know if there is a good reputable website I can order from by mail through my local gun dealer to be able to get this revolver. I would prefer it to be brand new and have it custom made from colt but I have heard that they have discontinued all production of the python series, whether this is true I don't know. I would prefer to get it from Colt manufacture itself but I don't know where to go to order it and I can't find a good site. Can any one help me with this? I would be very grateful for any information.

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hexidismal
December 16, 2006, 03:58 AM
Well, it's not brand new .. but there is a 6" stainless python elite from the colt custom shop on gunbroker right now. it says it's been fired, but it certainly looks close to cosmetically flawless in the pictures. Heres the link. http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=62487882
Absolutely gorgeous gun, that'll no doubt fetch a very high price to match.
Oh, and yes, the python line has been discontinued... though I don't know why.

GUNKWAZY
December 16, 2006, 07:14 AM
Oh, and yes, the python line has been discontinued...

As Hex points out, the Python has been discontinued. So with that in mind, you can't even buy one from Colt. Colt pruduced only "1" in 2005 and that was the end of production and was done to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Python. That gun was highly engraved and it's a work of art. It's also not for sale.
As a matter of fact, colt has stopped production of all double action wheel guns as well.
The best places to now buy a New/Used unfired Python on line would be Gunbroker.com, AuctionArms.com or GunsAmerica.com
The 1st 2 are auction sites.
Prices have just been climbing and who knows if & when it will stop on the famed Python.
Your other alternative is scouring the local gun shows & gun/pawn shops.
For an unfired Python still with box & papers & correct grips consider the bare minimum of $1000 for one if you get lucky. You will see some with price tags in the $1500-$2000 range depending on finish & barrel length. 6 & 4 inch tubes being the most common.

Good luck on your hunt.

Jeff (GUNKWAZY)

Jim K
December 16, 2006, 07:26 PM
Don't you have to just love Colt's thinking?

Just when the CCW business is booming, they discontinue all their small revolvers and pistols. Really makes sense, just like refusing to resume production of the SAA just when the cowboy craze hit, and stopping development of their .44 Magnum just before "Dirty Harry" came to the neighborhood theater.

Colt seems to delight in the idea that if there is a booming market and a lot of customer demand, they will deliberately turn their backs and refuse to respond. That, folks, takes a whoooole lot of business smarts.

Jim

Standing Wolf
December 16, 2006, 08:45 PM
The Python "Élite" was the last version of Pythons made. On the whole, they're of noticeably inferior quality.

GrantCunningham
December 17, 2006, 01:15 PM
Don't you have to just love Colt's thinking?


Sadly, Colt suffers from several problems - not the least of which is incompetent management.

Their troubles with the unions are well known, and they seem to have no (collective) ability to predict market changes or even be aware that the market does change. They've been saddled with a series of CEOs who have been fixated on the military market, to the exclusion of all else - one of whom was actually hostile to the concept of individual gun ownership. They failed to invest in modern production equipment when they could have and should have, and certainly show absolutely no understanding of the CCW market.

In their defense, some things have been out of their control: the dropping of their .380 autopistol line was a preemptive move to forestall a lawsuit from a competitor, who owned patents that were similar to design features of Colt's guns.

Which leaves us with the Python saga. The Python is, without a doubt, the most expensive revolver that one could imagine being made. Its complicated lockwork and beautiful finish require a level of skilled worker that is nearly impossible to find.

If the Python were to be made today at a level of quality commensurate with, say, the 1960s, it would have to increase in price dramatically. Trouble is, the market for such a gun would shrink dramatically. Go through some of the posts on this and other gun forums - look at the number of people who balk at paying over $500 for a quality gun. Note the number of people who actually expect to get a revolver with perfect polishing and bluing, along with a tuned action and superb accuracy, for the price of a Taurus!

I've had people argue this point with me; they've insisted to me that a high quality gun "couldn't possibly cost over $600 or $700." To these people, I say to take a look at the market: a Freedom Arms Premier Grade gun will set you back around $1800, while the best SAAs from USFA will cost significantly more than a grand. Heck, S&W is selling "Performance Center" guns with far inferior actions and finish to just about any Python, for prices crowding the $1000 mark!

Sadly, there just aren't enough shooters who can recognize, and are willing to pay the price for, a top quality revolver - at least, not at a number that can support Colt's high overhead. It's a lose-lose combination.

Monkeyleg
December 17, 2006, 06:51 PM
GrantCunningham, I think the attitude you describe affects all industries.

Which company do you think sells more shoes: Nunn Bush or Allen Edmonds?

I'm betting that Murray sells more riding mowers than Simplicity and John Deere combined.

As for the Python Elite, it's a nice revolver. But, compared to the Python's I've had from the 1970's, the quality just isn't there.

There's a guy I know who has an Elite, but rarely shoots it. A year or so ago, I asked if he would be willing to sell it. At that time, he said he'd sell it to me for what he paid for it, which was about $750.

Shear_stress
December 17, 2006, 07:12 PM
I've had people argue this point with me; they've insisted to me that a high quality gun "couldn't possibly cost over $600 or $700." To these people, I say to take a look at the market: a Freedom Arms Premier Grade gun will set you back around $1800, while the best SAAs from USFA will cost significantly more than a grand. Heck, S&W is selling "Performance Center" guns with far inferior actions and finish to just about any Python, for prices crowding the $1000 mark!

This is definately true. What kills me about the Python is that it was always expensive, yet people bought them anyway. After cracking open my 1981 Guns Illustrated, I found that the cheapest Python listed for $444.50 that year. That's $994.61 in 2005 dollars, or about what the same gun would cost now used but LNIB.

The demand was there for these guns once. Aficianados notwithstanding, I guess the gun buying public has moved on to the next flavor of the month.

Standing Wolf
December 17, 2006, 10:04 PM
The Python is, without a doubt, the most expensive revolver that one could imagine being made.

Have you priced Korths lately?

I'd pay $1,500 for a new Python if it lived up to the original Python standards. Sad to say, the Python hasn't lived up to Python standards on a regular, consistent basis since the 1970s.

mike scobie
December 25, 2006, 02:40 PM
I have a CPE, and it has a trigger pull like running your finger through warm butter. Fit and finish is outstanding. I have pounded thousands of rounds through it, it says more more. On line gun auction sites are a good way to buy one. But you should also go to a gun dealer and he can put his feelers out.

Croyance
December 25, 2006, 09:25 PM
I'm curious why this gun must be directly from Colt and brand new. Also why a third party site would be a reasonable place to find such a thing.

asa
December 25, 2006, 09:47 PM
-old vs. new,etc. I have a Python Elite 4" stainless and a blue 6" from 1969. I polished the matte Elite to bright stainless. The single action and double action pulls were smooth but heavy, much more so than the well used 1969 blued model. After a lot of dry firing and "action working" the Elite's single and double action pulls now rival those of the '69 model. I've put grips from a pre-war Official Police on the Elite and it is quite the striking looking revolver. Think I'll keep it. -Asa

AJD
January 8, 2007, 01:54 PM
Unlike alot of other companies Colt has to compete with themselves.

Colt's Python Elite's biggest competitor was all of the Python's already in circulation. Why buy a new Python Elite when you can buy an older one that is probably nicer for the same or less money?

Smith & Wesson and Ruger also have alot of quality(And frankly better in my opinion) revolvers circulating from past decades. But they have kept their price down on new models by going to ugly finishes, cheaper grips and using other cost cutting measures while at the same time adding "improvements" that differentiate a new Smith & Wesson from an older one(For example, Smith & Wesson's newer revolvers have a better reputation of durability than older ones).

Colt would probably be better off desiging a new revolver that requires less hand fitting and finishing than reviving the Python. A revolver that is durable, yet not priced too much higher than a comparable Smith & Wesson. Brushed stainless and semi-gloss blue finishes.

mike4guns
January 26, 2008, 05:31 PM
i have a 74 python that amazes me everytime i hold it. notice i did'nt say fire it. i won't. it has a documented history of 2 shots fired and it's a 4" job. the nickel pl is as if it was dipped a week ago. the rolls royce of wheelguns(6 guns) whatever ,i can't see colt "these days" ever creating a rev with the quality of this one in these days we live in now. i have the two shells that were fired in the box.the man was very ill and did'nt have a son to pass it down to. he was meticulous with it ,obviously. i am honored to own it and will make sure my son gives it to his. i forget all about my sigs when i'm mucking with my python.

LKB3rd
January 26, 2008, 05:48 PM
I have a python elite and it is fantastic. I got it nib 6 months ago or so. I shoot it a lot, and it is very very accurate, smooth, and nice to look at.
If i were to do it again, i'd search for an older used one. The price on the elite's is approaching is at the least $1500 and most often more. I've seen them go on gunbroker for close to $2000.
You can still get a used one for around $1000 give or take that is every bit as good, if not better.

The Lone Haranguer
January 27, 2008, 10:02 AM
Colt would probably be better off desiging a new revolver that requires less hand fitting and finishing than reviving the Python. A revolver that is durable, yet not priced too much higher than a comparable Smith & Wesson. Brushed stainless and semi-gloss blue finishes.
They had (the operative word) such revolvers for years - the Trooper MK III and the later King Cobra.

Capo
January 27, 2008, 01:14 PM
I'll be in the market for a python this spring. Not sure if I should get a two pin or single pin front sight model.

Why are the older pythons better?

Is it materials, fitting, etc???

Thanks ....

LKB3rd
January 27, 2008, 02:14 PM
First and foremost, the older ones are cheaper, with no difference except for the fancy grips and the addition of "elite" in the name.
Otherwise, it's mostly subjective, but lots of people feel that they made them better years ago. Maybe it's because the workers who built the original ones (that their reputation was made on) started retiring or something like that. All industries seem to have moved away from making quality products in favor of making more money, so maybe policy decisions regarding the employees and the time allowed, etc etc would have factored in too.

LKB3rd
January 27, 2008, 02:17 PM
woops double post sorry

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