Help with Colt Python age and value?


December 30, 2006, 05:21 PM
I recently inherited a vintage Colt Python 357 Magnum from my Dad. He bought the gun when I was a kid and I always admired it. I am a handgun novice and need some help. To the best of my knowledge, he bought the gun in the late 1950's. The only numbers I can find on the gun are stamped in the frame and can be seen when the cylinder is rolled out. The same number is also on the arm that holds the revolving cylinder. It is only a 3 digit number, 3XX, so I was wondering if that is the serial number or not? The gun has custom walnut grips, FITZ, but I also have the originals. The gun is blue and in beautiful shape. The only issue with the gun is as follows. Once, a long time ago, my Dad was target shooting and must have gotten a bad cartridge. The bullet lodged in the end of the pistol. He had the gun professionally repaired, but now the barrel is 4 1/2" long. It originally was 6". It looks great, but not original. I have no intention of selling the gun, but wanted to know the approx. value for insurance purposes. Thanks for any help you can offer.

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December 30, 2006, 05:56 PM
It's one of the first Pythons made.
It was made in either 1956 or 1957. Congrats.
Early 3 digit serial number Pythons are very highly sought after.
The value due to the modification drops the price significantly.
I would see about getting the barrel replaced with an original.
It won't be cheap. But it will be worth it if you can find another 6 inch tube.

Caution: There are 2 different barrel threads and you would have the early style with a hollow under lug.


The Grips/Stocks are very important to that gun as well, they should be fully checkered and are worth about $200 for a clean set of them.

Standing Wolf
December 31, 2006, 12:08 AM
Another Python just followed me home. The serial number is T95NNN. I'm sure it's from the 1990s, but would like to know the year if anyone can figure out the numbering scheme. I looked at, but the Python serial numbers stop long before the above.

Thanks, eh?

December 31, 2006, 02:12 AM
T95NNN was made after the available Colt serial number lists end.

The last number shown was at the beginning of 1985
The year started at T34453.

To get a production date, call Colt during business hours, and they'll give it to you over the phone.
They will not give further information. For that you have to buy a Colt Historical Letter.

December 31, 2006, 02:15 AM
oldglass1, if you follow Gunkwazy's advice, please let the buyer know that you've replaced the original barrel with a new one.

It's just the right thing to do.

December 31, 2006, 02:55 AM
Monkeyleg, Oldglass1 states he has no need to sell the gun.
I just felt the proper restoration would be the right thing to do for an classic early 3 digit Python. It just can't be right with a 4 1/2 inch tube no matter how good the smith was that did the cut-off.

It's kinda like stuffing a slant 6 in between a set of 1966 fenders that were originally stuffed with a 426 Hemi from the factory.
It works, but it just aint doin' the classic car justice. :D


December 31, 2006, 03:20 AM
edited for stupidity.

December 31, 2006, 09:55 AM
uummmm......Jeff, can I borrow the Dodge for awhile? :D :evil:

January 1, 2007, 07:06 PM
Thanks for the advise. I will keep the pistol in its present state. It was shortened about 50 years ago and that's the only way I remember it. Still looking for approximate value as it is for insurance.

January 1, 2007, 07:36 PM
A lot depends on actual condition.

A modified Python is excellent shape would be worth anything from $500, to $800, with an early version like this very probably bringing more.

I'd insure it for at least $1000. unless you want to insure for what it would cost to replace it with another Python, in which case I'd go with $1400.
Note that you are very unlikely to find another Python as early as this one for sale so the replacement would be a newer gun.

Also note that the early fully checkered grips themselves are going for OVER $200.00 on eBay.

The Lone Haranguer
January 1, 2007, 08:07 PM
Per this link: a 300ish serial number dates it to 1956.

January 1, 2007, 10:00 PM
I do still have the original grips, mint shape.

January 1, 2007, 10:02 PM
I do still have the original grips. Mint shape.

January 2, 2007, 01:39 AM
Well, that's a happy circumstance right there. You... well, you probably would believe how you get absolutely nailed nowadays on a factory correct set of grips for an older revolver. The upside is that if you like to dig through bins of cast off stocks, you might come out way ahead.

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