Would Python prices drop if Colt made them again?


Rio Laxas
September 12, 2008, 03:59 PM
In the lastest copy of American Rifleman, they make the statement that Python prices could drop considerably if Colt were to start making them again. Do you agree?

If Colt did start making them again, do you think the quality would be the same?

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September 12, 2008, 04:11 PM
Yes maybe!
But depending on what the new MSRP would turn out to be, it might make the old ones even more expensive.

NO, for sure!
Those days, people, and wages are gone forever. If they put that much hand fitting & finishing in a gun at todays union labor rates, they would have to sell them for about 4 grand to break even.

BTW: Colt still makes a 3rd. generation SAA, and it is a very nicely done gun for this day & age.

But it had no effect on the older 1st. & 2nd. gen guns collector prices, except to fill the demand for shooters that would otherwise have been taken up with older guns.

Even if there was a new Python, many people would still prefer the real thing from back in the day, and pay more to get it.


September 12, 2008, 04:35 PM
I doubt it would drop "considerably" because the old Pythons would be regarded as "real Pythons" and the new ones, not so much, because inevitably there would be a mechanical change involved, likely one to accommodate modern manufacturing techniques.

Part of the value of a Python is its scarcity, and part of it is emotional Colt nostalgia that is equivalent to fanboyism (don't get me wrong I'd like a Python too but not for today's prices). See the more fanatical 1911 crowd or the hardcore Smith and Wesson crowd for several great examples of this kind of thinking to various degrees. "If it's not a Colt it's a copy!" and "If it's not a pinned and recessed K frame it's not a fighting revolver!" etc. These people's opinions may sometimes be based in pitched emotions, but the fact is they're the ones willing to pay $1500 and driving the market up up up.

That said, a Python involves so much hand fitting, I don't think you can make it at a low level of quality and the end product still be able to work. It would probably be made differently somehow, but I can't see it being fundamentally different to the degree that say a S&W made in 1958 is from one made in 2008. Of course any changes would lead to the phenomenon I referenced before, there'd be "real" Pythons and then these new ones.

September 12, 2008, 04:42 PM
The Colt snake guns are going to continue to apprieciate, they are precious metal to the gun market and collecters will continue to snap up everyone that comes down the isle at every gun show! The number of these guns still new in the box in the safes of collecters is absolutely staggering! The intoduction of another generation of snake gun will only boost the popularity and value of these true American Icons!

September 12, 2008, 04:51 PM
It depends on how well-done the new ones are. If the new ones are mechanically the equal or better to the old ones, the old ones would go down in value.

It is kind of like the "Pre '64 Model 70" thing in the Winchester world. If you havea Pre-'64, you know what you're getting. If not, you'd better do your homework. ;)

If they did start making them again, they probably wouldn't be hand-fitted to the same degree they were back in the day. So they'd probably be more like the King Cobra than the Python.

I say let the Python rest or build it as a new custom gun.

Bring back the more recent ones though: King Cobra, Anaconda, and the little one, I forgot what it was called. (Detective's special?)

September 12, 2008, 05:16 PM
If they could make Pythons again, some existing prices - the ones based solely on rarity could stand to take it in the shorts pretty bad - I'm thinking of the 10,000.00 3" barrel variety.

The garden variety, not so much.

In the fantasy world where Colt starts producing Pythons like nothing ever happened, I'd get a hoot out of it if they ran strictly 3" for a couple years.

But they can't make Pythons again. An "Anaconda Jr" with revised lockwork wouldn't be recognized as a Python and the labor to do the real thing is no longer available.

Another option, available only in our speculative thread fantasy world, is to throw the STI/Hartford Texican production model at the problem. That has its own set of problems but, lead times aside, they seem to have succeeded in replacing hand fitting with precision manufacture / repeatability in a SAA replica. I gather the cost of the machinery is breathtaking. The Python blueprints (probably not even in existance) would have to be "tightened up" such that extraordinarily accurate parts replace "filing to fit". And, when all was said and done, it'd probably run at least 2,000.00 and wouldn't have a picture of a horse. The single action, after all, is 1,360.00 and STI is talking price increases for a product already marginally more than the "real thing". But, IMHO, they haven't just matched Colt's hand fitting, they've exceeded the precision of fit and operation. Admittedly, this is based on my Texican and OPCs (other people's Colts).

A possibly interesting side-effect to the STI speculation is that a Python-alike made in such a fashion would likely be able to be serviced by normal mortals as parts would presumably be "drop in'.

The American Rifleman speculation that existing Python prices would go down is based on the assumption that new production would be be less expensive and I'm just not seeing that happening apart from 3" and other goofy examples.

September 12, 2008, 05:21 PM
MIM parts and computer machining could lower prices. They would never have the old bluing job, or the careful hand fitting.
"Python Lite"?

No, I'll just keep my old one.

September 12, 2008, 06:43 PM
MIM parts and computer machining could lower prices. They would never have the old bluing job, or the careful hand fitting.
"Python Lite"?
Well, since we're only speculating here, the Texican has no MIM so that's not a requirement of a modern equivalent.


High end machine work can exceed careful hand fitting in quality. Also, I don't find my Python's polish to be noticably better than my old M27 or, for that matter, a current M40 "Classic". It's just not all that hard to duplicate.

September 12, 2008, 08:59 PM
I think a lot depends on how Colt priced the new Pythons. I doubt if they would price them under the going price for an older Python in excellent condition, which might be about $1200 or so. So I don't think it would have much effect.

September 12, 2008, 10:13 PM
Yes, No & Maybe ...

I agree it depends on the quality and cost of the new ones.

Probably also depend on the availability of them, too.

I'd be surprised if we'd see significant numbers flood the market even if Colt were to somehow to start producing them again.

I've been surprised time and time again, though. ;)

Old Fuff
September 12, 2008, 10:40 PM
Colt has very limited R&D and new tooling resources, and is hard put to come up with the money to keep going as it is. Unfortunately the larger corporation that controls the handgun division won't spend any money on handguns, and is focused on the military and law enforcement market for AR 15/M 16 style rifles.

If they did decide to expand the handgun line with new products, the Python as we know it would be very low on the list. More likely we'd see something in the way of a poly-frame 9mm/.40 high cap pistol.

This is not to say that the Python name might not be recycled, but an identical revolver is unlikely - unless they have found a stash of old parts. In that case production would be very limited, and very expensive.

September 12, 2008, 11:23 PM
When I bought my Python back in 1985, they were still made and it did cost more than twice of what I paid for my S&W M14-3.

Pythons were always labor-intensive guns and labor has never been cheap. Pythons of certain periods are more valueable than others.

My guess is simple, new Pythons would be more expensive than a used one:D.

September 12, 2008, 11:33 PM
I doubt we'll ever see the likes of a Colt Python ever again. Sold mine many years ago, but wish I hadn't. My Python is history, but if you still have one, hang onto it! What would it cost Colt to re-introduce a genuine Python today? cliffy

keyboard commando
September 12, 2008, 11:47 PM
Sorry,but you will never see another Python produced by Colt,or anything that can compare to it by any american gunmaker. Even if Colt would make them again,the old ones would hold and increase in value.

4v50 Gary
September 13, 2008, 12:10 AM
Why build one Python and have a MSRP of $1,200 (my guess) when you can build four (and sell) Python-like actions at a MSRP of $500 apiece (another guess). The labor cost makes the Python unfeasible for modern gun makers.

Even with investment casting, mim or EDM manufacturing to reduce the cost of making the parts, there'll be some handfitting required on the Python type acton. I don't think Colt could make them again unless they trained an entire new generation of gun assemblers on how the lockwork of the Python works. The action is very Nineteenth century like the Webley MK IV revolver. When you change one part, it can affect four other parts so unless the assembler understands how they all interact together, it can cause four new problems. That's the advantage of the newer (late Nineteenth/early Twentieth Century) S&W revolver, Ruger revolver and the newer Colt Trooper/Anaconda action. The latter guns all feature a simpler lockwork that does the same job.

September 13, 2008, 09:51 AM
Hawk's comment is a good one. I saw an earlier thread on this subject somewhere and someone commented on labor costs. I've since read two descriptions of the Texican SAA. Unmatched fit and finish, yet sub-stratospheric prices.

Anyone know if someone else could put out clones of the Colt double actions?

September 13, 2008, 10:11 AM
Nope. The price of old ones would go out of the roof, I don't care how well the "new" ones were made. The old ones would be "Pre-(whatever), and demand top dollar.

September 13, 2008, 11:45 AM
Im lost so bear with me!

Whats so special about a Python and why couldnt it be mad again same as they were?

Its just a revolver, designs been around for well over 100 years, so what did they have then we cant do now?

Maybe Im missing something, but thats like saying they cant make a true 1911 anymore, yet they do!

Like I said, bear w/ me but I am missing something

September 13, 2008, 12:51 PM
I had a Python and honestly didn't see what all the hype was about. It was heavy and I couldn't shoot it any better than my Smiths. Now, don't get me wrong, it was a beautiful gun, a work of art, but it just wasn't for me so I sold it. To each his own I guess.

Old Fuff
September 13, 2008, 01:08 PM
The Python's basic design went back to 1908, and required a lot of highly skilled and experienced assemblers who literally hand fitted each part. In addition the finish, blue, nickel, or stainless, depended on hand polishing. In today's labor market that met big bucks - and it was reflected in the over $1,000 suggested retail price. As production costs continued to increase this very fine piece of gunmaking art literally priced itself out of the market.

Colt still makes their Single Action Army revolver, which likewise requires a lot of expensive handwork, and the suggested price of that revolver shows it.

It is not that Colt couldn't make Pythons, it's a matter of being able to sell them after they did and not lose money on each one.

On the other hand, those who are willing to pay the price usually get an exceptional handgun - one that others are measured against.

And for the record, none of today's makers of 1911 style pistols is making a gun that matches the government's specifications for material, heat treating, or print dimensions. That includes Colt. They may look the same, but prouction shortcuts have eliminated a lot of the unquestioned relibility the older guns were known for, as opposed to those made now.

September 13, 2008, 02:00 PM
A good example would be the S&W 29 classic and the old 29 as I see it no one realy wants the classics that much and the prices just keep going up on those old 29's. I guess most of the reason for no one wanting the classic model is those integral locks.

But as posted before the cost cuts it would take to reproduce the python would diminish the quality of the firearm and in all probably raise the price on the old originals.

Just my 2 cents we probably will never know.


September 13, 2008, 02:17 PM
Smithiac is 100% correct...and you can never make any money betting against Old Fuff.

Fun to contemplate but if you want a Python (or any old fine revolver) pay the high prices now...because they will look cheap in the future.

September 13, 2008, 02:23 PM
OPCs (other people's Colts).

So...you down with OPC? :D

September 13, 2008, 03:23 PM
Best let them rest in peace. Colt can't make one for a price that average people could afford. So, sales volume would be light. Hence, why bother?

The new ones would not be identical to the old ones, hence the value of the old ones will continue to interest collectors.

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