A lost python


August 23, 2011, 10:40 AM
I had meant to make this post quite awhile ago but totally forgot. Awhile ago while coming back from deployment from the middle east, I saw something that just made me sad. When returning from deployment, everyone must go through a customs search to make sure your not bringing back things your not supposed too. That even have a big display of stuff previous guys tried to bring back.

Well, looking at the display on the wall, I noticed a revolver. I figured some GI brought it over but got caught with it trying to bring it back home. So I look close and to my amazement it was a Colt Python! I thought for sure that guy had to be mad he couldn't bring his gun back with him. It made me think think what is going to happen to it. Any other people here that deployed see it? I saw it in Aug of 09. Surely others must have seen it. I wonder if there was some way of getting it from the military somehow.

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August 23, 2011, 12:14 PM
I remember customs outprocessing leaving Iraq. I think some of the stuff hanging on the walls had to be a joke. I distinctly remember an RPG tube, an AK-47, and a twin bladed battle axe of all things. That was in Balad/ Anaconda in '04. Yet, they had no issues with my AK bayonet I bought on base from the local vendors. they also didn't bat an eye at the Benchmade auto's I had. Yet they gave guys crap about pirated DVD's. Considering the half hearted search they gave my stuff, I probably could have gotten a broken down AK out, or at the very least an Iraqi Hi Power.

As far as getting any of that stuff from them, good luck, but don't hold yout breath.

August 23, 2011, 12:20 PM
i wonder if those weapons they have have been de-milled. I'd hate to get busted with a personal weapon, only to have them chop it up, deactivate it and hang it on the wall of shame.

August 23, 2011, 07:44 PM
Didn't colt bring back the python?

Sent from my LG-P999 using Tapatalk

August 23, 2011, 09:42 PM
S&W has done that check the site, but $$$$

August 24, 2011, 07:15 PM
Less likely that it was a personal weapon brought over and more likely that it was a weapon appropriated from some indigenous arms locker.

Everyplace I've been in Iraq, I've encountered captured Colt revolvers that belonged to security forces or police of the former regime. I guess the Iraqis just liked Colts and had purchased lots of them back in Saddam's day. Nickel or Chrome appeared to be the most popular finishes.

Mostly Diamondbacks & Detective Specials, but occasionally Pythons. We had several and routinely fired them when 130 gr FMJ .38 Special was available.

I knew a guy who was caught attempting to smuggle a Makarov out of Afghanistan. He blew his career, security clearance, & pension (and ate a federal felony conviction) over a pistol widely available for less than $100 at any gun-shop in America. :scrutiny:

The Python you saw displayed is more than likely the property of US Customs. Fat chance of anyone ever restoring it to honest ownership.

August 24, 2011, 08:14 PM
When we came back to the US from WestPac, they sent FORMS up to us to declare any items. Not once did I even SEE a Customs inspector. 1988, guess they got a BIT tighter since then.

August 24, 2011, 08:17 PM
I saw customs inspectors every week, sometimes every day as a Flying Crew Chief. I've filled out hundreds of those customs forms, actually had several filled out and ready to go in my bag. They never once did look through any of my stuff. Just the few times leaving Iraq did they sorta flip through my gear.

August 24, 2011, 10:22 PM
That particular pistol has been there when I rolled though in early 2010, and was there the first time I walked though it in 2006. Its a darn shame indeed but the source of it is unknown. Due to the fact that we can not take back personal war trophy's anymore there is a lot of stuff turned in and crushed/melted. Just how it is these days. We get deep personal inspections (at least all the times I've gone though it) to include pulling out the cushions in boots to check for currency, but in other places if you are a right group you pass though free.

I expect that at the end of things in the middle east that colt python will end up crushed.

Similar to how crime guns end up in the States often times.

August 24, 2011, 10:29 PM
Interesting story, would love to find out what caused it to get there.

Hopefully they don't crush it :(
Also, lol Obsidian & ObsidianOne

August 25, 2011, 09:14 AM
They must have been much more harsh on you guys then they were on me back in 03, 04 and 05. I'm sitting on a quarter million Iraqi dinar waiting for their economy to get back on track. I managed to bring back some souveniers, nothing weapons related other than the AK bayonet. They didn't bat an eye at that. I cleared though customs outprocessing in a few minutes each time. I had pockets in bags they never even opened up.

August 25, 2011, 11:50 AM
When we came back in '91&'93, we drooped anchor right before we flew off the air wing. we filled out the declaration forms, then they flew customs on. they had dogs with them and they searched EVERY WEAR. both times they found alot of drugs. most of it was hidden in the air wing's gear & maintenance tool boxes. :barf:

August 25, 2011, 12:55 PM
Yeah, I remember the NY ANG C-5 crew that got busted smuggling ecstacy in from Germany. Pretty much every air crew and flying crew chief in the fleet got questioned by OSI after that.

Al Thompson
August 28, 2011, 12:35 PM
Brigade Commander I worked for in the early '90's told me about finding a conex full of 9mm automatics during Desert Storm. He wanted to bring them home and distribute suitably engraved (unit, service member name and rank) pistols to his Joes. Couldn't do it due to regulations, not sure if it was Customs or military. :(

When I came back through Kuwait in March '09, I don't recall a Python. I do recall the airsoft Glock with a suppressor.... :D

Bayonets were no big deal.

August 28, 2011, 07:11 PM

I also brought back some Iraqi dinar back in 2005. I have 500,000. I too am waiting for the Iraq economy to go back up. Even if I only got 10 cents on the dollar I would be thrilled! Might buy a new gun to celebrate!

August 28, 2011, 07:26 PM
As a person who is a big admirer of our armed forces, but has no armed forces experience, I have a stupid question. Why CAN'T you bring home war trophies?

August 28, 2011, 07:39 PM
When we came back to the US from WestPac, they sent FORMS up to us to declare any items. Not once did I even SEE a Customs inspector. 1988, guess they got a BIT tighter since then.
Deployments are a lot different than combat. Heck I could have smuggled numerous things back from both my Med float and UNITAS. There's plenty of places to hide things in an AAV...

They inspected our vehicles but they were more concerned about foreign foliage and fauna than they were weapons.

August 28, 2011, 08:39 PM
LawScholar, see this: http://www.uscg.mil/pssuportsmouth/HHGs/Firearms.doc

August 29, 2011, 10:11 AM
Air crews are notorious for getting busted bringing home things against the law/ regulation.

Had a C-5 air crew get busted by customs bringing Turkish shotguns home. Nothing wrong with that, other than the way they went about it. No ATF or Customs import forms were filled out. They stuffed them in the belly of the jet, flew home, got busted.

Their excuse... were wouldn't be in country long enough to get the customs forms back. It was usually a six week turnaround if you were lucky.

Heard one, probably not true, about someone stuffing a live camel in a conex after the Gulf War to ship it home as a prank. When customs opened the airtight conex, the camel was dead. They closed it back up and rejected it. Supposedly it sat in the cargo yard for several days before a flight returned it to Saudi.

It does sorta irritate me that we can claim war trophies. I guess image has a lot to do with it, and in WWII apparently, there were a lot of illegal killings to 'claim' a war trophy. 'Nam, too, according to my old man. Same with Korea. Putting a stop to war trophies in general was thier fix to the problem. Souveniers are one thing. I have a chuck of the Republican Guard Terminal from Baghdad international. Also, a bottle of Iraqi sand. Both of which I never should have been able to get. Certain things were ok, some things you had to prove with a receipt, other things were confiscated, and still some things got you sent to prison.

August 29, 2011, 08:13 PM
Wouldn't shipping things be easier and more likely to succeed? (I don't mean firearms, because that would probably feed into the USPS which would be very illegal...but it might work with the camel :neener:)

Doesn't APO take packages.

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