Searching for Gunsmith to work on Colt Python


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Sandy50
May 3, 2011, 09:54 AM
'Morning to all my fellow shooters. I just purchased a Royal Blue 4" Colt Python, but of course I have heard some discussion about the Colt "Snake Guns" going out of timing with some unpleasant results. I also have a Diamondback and Cobra in addition to the new Python.

I was hoping for some recommendations of competent gunsmiths to "tune" my Colts as the need arises. I live in Denver, Colorado and have had some good 'smithing done at Bass Pro, but I also know that working on Colts requires a gunsmith with a lot of experience.

The Cobra and Diamondback are a joy to shoot, and the Python is on it's way to Colorado. I expect to fire most rounds through the Diamondback, though I carry the Cobra frequently. The Python will probably get shot more than many out there just because I buy my guns to shoot, not the store as an investment.

Would appreciate any help from all you good folks.

Best regards,

Sandy

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Guillermo
May 3, 2011, 10:08 AM
Great guns,

I shoot my snakes regularly and have never had a problem. (In fact I do not know anyone that has ever had a problem) If I ever do I will send them back to Colt.

People report that they do a good job and are reasonably priced.

ColtPythonElite
May 3, 2011, 10:13 AM
If it ever needs attention, send it back to Colt. Their Custom shop works on them everyday.

The biggest part of my first statement was "if". The need for tune ups for Pythons is blown way outta proportion and gets spread around by lots of people that I suspect never even owned a Python. They just repeat what they have heard. The fact it Colt made the Python for nearly 50 years and sold them labeled as a "premium" revolver and asked a "premium" price. They wouldn't have ever sold them as long as they did if they were as problematic as some folks will lead you to believe....Shoot your gun and don't sweat it.

Just yesterday, I banged out 200+ rounds out of a nearly 50 year old Python, about 1/4 of them were magnums, too. She still shoots like a lazer....I'm only making a guess, but I doubt if it's ever even had the side plate taken off and judging by it's finish or lack of, I'd also guess it's been shot a good bit.

I have two older Pythons that get shot regularly and not babied with near squib lever .38 loads. I've not had an issue out of either.

AirForceShooter
May 3, 2011, 11:03 AM
NEVER found a python that needed trigger work.
They are virtually custom made to start with.

Repair??

COLT

AFS

rcmodel
May 3, 2011, 11:31 AM
+1
If they ain't broke, don't fix them.

Unless you shoot some sort of competation DA games involving many thousand rounds a year, your Python will still be in time long after you are.

rc

Standing Wolf
May 3, 2011, 02:17 PM
I've never had a timing problem with a Colt revolver. If I ever encounter one, it will go to Cylinder & Slide.

Doug b
May 3, 2011, 02:36 PM
I had these folks http://www.ahlmans.com/ rebarrel my pyhton after I cracked a forceing cone.They done an outstanding job in a matter of days.

451 Detonics
May 3, 2011, 03:53 PM
I have owned a couple Glenn Customs...good smith... http://www.glenncustom.com/

Lucky Derby
May 4, 2011, 11:46 AM
Send it to Colt. Do not let some hack gunsmith touch it.
Colt made it for about 50 years as a premium gun. If they were as sensitive as some people believe would this have happened? Also several other models were made from the the early 1900's until 1969 that used the same action. Troopers, .357s, Official Police, Officer's Models, Army Specials, Commandos etc. Many of these revolvers saw heavy use by the police and military. If they were frail and broke that easily, the design would never have lasted long enough to create the Python in the 50s.

I have a 1969 manufacture Trooper that I regularly carry and shoot.

DPris
May 4, 2011, 01:19 PM
A minty Trooper .357 and a 95% little-used Official Police I acquired, both with the same actions as the Python, had timing issues when I got 'em.
The Python I bought in '96 had a timing problem right from the factory.

Don't kid yourself about the Python. It can come with issues from the beginning, it can develop them later, and if you shoot it a bunch, it'll eventually need work.

Keep it as far away from Bass Pro as possible. Colt remains a good option.
Denis

Prosser
May 4, 2011, 05:08 PM
I never did get the logic about sending it back to the factory, unless getting a new gun is going to fix the problem.

Nature of the business is newbie gunsmiths are paid little, and given the job of repairing your gun. If you look through these forums, you can find horror stories all over about bad customer service from different gunmakers. I can't speak on Colt, so I'd look around for threads on their current level of service and experiences.

I have a few guys that I would send work to:

First off:
http://www.jrhgunmaker.com/
Jack Huntington a master gunsmith who has been one thing his entire life, a gunsmith, and he's certified.

Hamilton Bowen if he'll take the work. Another master.

After that, I'm looking around for someone, too...

dfariswheel
May 4, 2011, 08:11 PM
The reasons for sending the old Colt action guns back to Colt are:

The old Colt action is probably the most complex DA revolver around.
The working surfaces are tiny, each part does at least two separate functions usually not related to each other, and few of todays gunsmiths understand them. The action is not intuitive.
For this reason it's not unusual to take a Colt to a gunsmith with one problem and get it back with the original problem not corrected and now with other problems caused by trying to fix a mechanism not understood.

NO ONE knows more about it than Colt.

They have all the parts needed to replace any that need it. Many gunsmiths can't get new parts at all since Colt is reserving them for it's own repairs.

Colt has the specialized tooling needed to work on Colt's.
Ask a local gunsmith about how he's going to stretch the cylinder collar to correct excess cylinder end shake and you'll get either lies, BS, or the deer in the headlights look.

Colt is running a big enough shop that you won't have to wait months or years.

Colt stands behind any repairs.

Their prices are competitive.
Since Colt knows exactly what needs to be done and how, most repairs can be done in less then one hour, so you get a one hour charge.

You don't take your Ferrari down to the corner gas station for repairs, you take it to a qualified Ferrari repairman. There are very few people who are qualified to work on them, just like there are few people qualified to work on the old Colt action.
Knowing who IS and who ISN'T is a risk. There's no risk with Colt.

DPris
May 4, 2011, 08:14 PM
Exceedingly well put. :)
Denis

Doug b
May 4, 2011, 10:27 PM
That has not been my experiance by a long shot.

Dave T
May 4, 2011, 11:20 PM
I will second the recommendation for Frank Glenn. I got to try one of his Pythons built for PPC competition. Words do not do the trigger pull on that revolver justice...and I don't much like Pythons.

Dave

teumessian_fox
May 5, 2011, 12:36 AM
Send it to Colt. Do not let some hack gunsmith touch it.


That's exactly the type of gunsmiths worked on my 1911 at Colt. Sent it back twice. They didn't fix squat and even scratched the gun.

I finally fixed it myself with a dremel tool.

rcmodel
May 5, 2011, 05:40 PM
Yea! But they don't let the 1911 guy work on Pythons.
Way over his pay grade.

And the Python guy gets his panties in a wad if they even ask him to work on a 1911, unless it's an old Gold Cup.

rc

Sevenfaces
May 5, 2011, 10:22 PM
FWIW bought a 1981 4" blued python that was the guys duty gun, he said he carried it for several years and only used +p .38s but from what I can tell, the lockwork is as perfect as the day it was created.

I've only taken it to the range once but 100 158g .357 rounds went off without issue.

I truly believe that the timing issue was a rare and unfortunate condition of a few pythons and a history of more myth than truth was born from such fruit.

I have two colt revolvers, the Python from above an a King Cobra (also 4") and I'd dare say they'd stand up to any other .357s of any other maker from any time period.

Sandy50
May 5, 2011, 10:36 PM
I received my Colt Python today......magnificent! The Royal Blue is really special, though my Cobra and Diamondback are both nickel. The action and lockup are superior to any revolver I have handled or fired, with the possible exception of my S&W 686 which was shop tuned and hand stoned at S&W. I also was pleased to discover that my Milt Sparks holster, which I purchased for my S&W 686, works perfectly with the Python.

Thanks to all who posted to my thread. Your recommendations and insight are very much appreciated. Keep 'em in the X ring.

Lucky Derby
May 6, 2011, 03:55 AM
Sandy-Congrats on the Python.

Guillermo
May 6, 2011, 10:55 AM
Sandy

Sounds like that old Pony found a good home.

I am happy for you

BrocLuno
May 6, 2011, 11:27 AM
Excellent :)

Cop Bob
May 6, 2011, 03:30 PM
The reasons for sending the old Colt action guns back to Colt are:

The old Colt action is probably the most complex DA revolver around.
The working surfaces are tiny, each part does at least two separate functions usually not related to each other, and few of todays gunsmiths understand them. The action is not intuitive.
For this reason it's not unusual to take a Colt to a gunsmith with one problem and get it back with the original problem not corrected and now with other problems caused by trying to fix a mechanism not understood.

NO ONE knows more about it than Colt.

They have all the parts needed to replace any that need it. Many gunsmiths can't get new parts at all since Colt is reserving them for it's own repairs.

Colt has the specialized tooling needed to work on Colt's.
Ask a local gunsmith about how he's going to stretch the cylinder collar to correct excess cylinder end shake and you'll get either lies, BS, or the deer in the headlights look.

Colt is running a big enough shop that you won't have to wait months or years.

Colt stands behind any repairs.

Their prices are competitive.
Since Colt knows exactly what needs to be done and how, most repairs can be done in less then one hour, so you get a one hour charge.

You don't take your Ferrari down to the corner gas station for repairs, you take it to a qualified Ferrari repairman. There are very few people who are qualified to work on them, just like there are few people qualified to work on the old Colt action.
Knowing who IS and who ISN'T is a risk. There's no risk with Colt.
Well put... and the Gospel truth....

There are only about 2 remaining gunsmiths alive that still work on colt revolvers that I would trust their work.. Both are in their 80's now... and short turnaround time for them is 4 to 6 months, and you will pay heavily...

Send it to Colt...

Prosser
May 7, 2011, 01:48 AM
I stand corrected. Still don't exactly think Bowen or Jack Huntington won't, or couldn't do the work, but, I guess I'd contact em.

I know Huntington did a fantastic job on the poor man's Python I brought him:
Custom grips fantastic trigger, and reblue:

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/Socrates28/FAMILY%20PORTRAITS/Girls4ex.jpg
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/Socrates28/FAMILY%20PORTRAITS/Group5.jpg

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