Colt Python


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Dgardnerco
September 19, 2011, 07:10 PM
I am selling a Colt Python for my wife's aunt, and trying to estimate its value. It's a six inch, blue finish, in good condition. I know that the older the gun is, generally, the higher the value.

I have searched and seen several tables of Python serial numbers matched to years of manufacture. I haven't seen the serial number on this gun in the tables: 3496, with a V underneath the number. There also appears to be a K, to the lower right of the V.

Any ideas on when this was manufactured? What it is worth?

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ColtPythonElite
September 19, 2011, 07:20 PM
1969 and back had no letters. I'd guess the gun in question is a 1978 or new based on the V. You can call Colt. They will tell you the year of manufacture for free.

Value? If it has the original grips, no box, and good original blue, I'd put the value somewhere between 900 and 1200 bucks. The percentage of finish left is what brings the money up and down.

Guillermo
September 19, 2011, 07:44 PM
Yes...as CPE says,1978

more finish runs the price up big time

earlier models can fetch more too (the wheels were coming off the bus at the end...78 was the very end)

CPE is steering you right

Crunchy Frog
September 19, 2011, 08:45 PM
I sent you a private message about the Python.

skidder
September 19, 2011, 09:49 PM
The suspense is killing me.:uhoh: As Crunchy counts his pennies.

38 Super Fan
September 20, 2011, 12:39 AM
They did run V and K prefixes but if the V or K aren't right in front of the serial numbers, which kind of sounds like what you're describing, they may not be part of the serial number. They did have stray letters marked around the serial number that weren't part of the serial number. My 67 for example, has a P stamped under the number, and my 72 has a Y and a T IIRC under the serial numbers. Pics might be nice.

alienbogey
September 20, 2011, 01:18 AM
Post your inquiry over at Coltforum.com for real expertise - with pictures if possible.

Sent you a PM.

MtnSpur
September 20, 2011, 02:26 PM
If this Python is a 4 digit serial number and the "letters" are underneath the numbers then the letters are not a part of the serial number. Letters that ARE a part of the Colt Python serial number are directly in front of and in later years (and these were not 4 character) behind the numerical serial number. It is possible that this is a 1957 build with the V and the K being proof and inspection marks.

1978, for example, went from 86201E-99999E, 01001N & V01001. 1957 started at "1650", 1958 started at "5550".

If you indeed have a 1957 and the royal blue finish is intact you have quite a nice Python. Clear pictures of the revolver showing the barrel markings, sideplate rampant stallion and the serial number on the frame and crane will be invaluable in determining what year and what condition the revolver falls into. Anything else is just a crap shoot on the value.

Hope this helps

Mtn

38 Super Fan
September 20, 2011, 02:49 PM
Post your inquiry over at Coltforum.com for real expertise - with pictures if possible.

If this Python is a 4 digit serial number and the "letters" are underneath the numbers then the letters are not a part of the serial number. Letters that ARE a part of the Colt Python serial number are directly in front of and in later years (and these were not 4 character) behind the numerical serial number. It is possible that this is a 1957 build with the V and the K being proof and inspection marks.

1978, for example, went from 86201E-99999E, 01001N & V01001. 1957 started at "1650", 1958 started at "5550".

If you indeed have a 1957 and the royal blue finish is intact you have quite a nice Python. Clear pictures of the revolver showing the barrel markings, sideplate rampant stallion and the serial number on the frame and crane will be invaluable in determining what year and what condition the revolver falls into. Anything else is just a crap shoot on the value.

Hope this helps

Mtn

You could post this on ColtForum, but they'll just tell you exactly what MtnSpur did. ;) Oh, and the grips are gonna be a big factor too.

Guillermo
September 20, 2011, 04:00 PM
If you indeed have a 1957 and the royal blue finish is intact you have quite a nice Python

True

Shoot66
September 21, 2011, 07:58 AM
I have a V series piece of 1978. The V is directly in front of the SN. The grips are a diffrent type.

JohnBT
September 21, 2011, 09:32 AM
"If you indeed have a 1957 and the royal blue finish is intact you have quite a nice Python."

It is and he does. See the pics.

JohnBT
September 21, 2011, 09:46 AM
"Post your inquiry over at Coltforum.com for real expertise"

dfariswheel is a member here, too. ;)

38 Super Fan
September 21, 2011, 12:19 PM
It's a 57 for certain, someone added a trigger shoe, not a huge deal. I'm not sure what's with the fit of those grips though? :confused:

MtnSpur
September 22, 2011, 09:35 AM
It's a 57 for certain, someone added a trigger shoe, not a huge deal. I'm not sure what's with the fit of those grips though? :confused:

Thanks for adding the pics and as the kind folks already have told you over at the Colt Forum your '57 Python could be worth in the 1850-2000 range or better. The early manufacture date and condition of the revolver are huge plus factors.

The stocks, while full checkered and correct for that time period look like they "may" have been taken off and not properly put back on (hey it happens). The backstrap should be flush with the stock. If they still don't fit correctly then I suspect the stocks aren't original to the weapon. The trigger shoe isn't a big deal like 38 Super said but if/when removed will probably leave some scratches/blemishes on the trigger.

All in all a great early Python and certainly highly collectible.

Mtn

Guillermo
September 22, 2011, 10:03 AM
Now that we can see it I would agree it is worth more that we originally suggested.

Blue looks great and being the first year of a flagship gun makes for some outstanding craftsmanship.

You could probably get 1500-1600 for that one. Add the box and fetch even more.

Great gun

manderson
September 22, 2011, 10:09 AM
Sure looks like a '57 tro me. Take a q-tip and slide it into the underlug in front of the ejector rod to see if it is hollow. It's a 2nd year production highly sought after Python. In really good shape. Let us know what the deal is with the stocks not appearing to fit properly. There is slight damage on the right stock, but all-in-all the checkering looks excellent. Bet this would fetch closer to $2500 on GB.

JohnBT
September 22, 2011, 12:25 PM
I'm thinking the grips have rotated. Maybe they aren't original, but maybe the pin is missing or the pin hole is enlarged.

Read post #5 on tightening grips that shift on the frame.

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=211914

dfariswheel
September 22, 2011, 07:28 PM
3496 is a 1957 Python. The year started at 1650.
1958 started at 5550.

The letters under the serial number are Colt factory inspectors stamps.
Letter serial number series Pythons didn't start until 1969.
On Colt's with letters in the serial, the letters are stamped WITH the numbers, in line, and of the same font, size, and depth of stamp.

This is a very early Python which will be worth high dollars, depending on the actual condition.
For "about" the first two years of production every Python made was built by two men in the Colt Custom Shop.
When they burned out, the gun was built as a production gun by top Colt people.

Note the higher barrel ramp and lower front sight of the early Python. The under lug will be hollow.
Note also the early style Colt Accro rear sight without the "hump" of the later Accro sight.
The front sight might still have the VERY early rounded front end of the rear sight leaf.
Fairly soon, the rounded front end was changed to a squared-off end of the leaf.

The First Type fully checkered grips with Gold Colt medallion are correct for the gun. Why they are misaligned I can't tell. Check the pin in the lower grip frame to insure it's there and check the holes in the lower part of the grips that fit over the pin.

As Pythons go, other than a 3" version, an early one in really nice condition would bring the highest prices. At auction the sky's the limit.

Dgardnerco
September 23, 2011, 11:27 AM
To all,

I have been away at work for a few days, so I have not had a chance to thank everyone for the terrific advice, and encouragement. I am very grateful to all of you. Forums like these make life more interesting and educational.

I am not sure why the backstrap is not aligned with the grips. I checked the forum that JohnBT suggested, and it really sounds like I am better off leaving them as they are rather than risk damaging them (originals are hard and expensive to find). I am not much of a gunsmith, just good enough to keep my guns clean and my powder dry.

I have seen estimated values from roughly $1600 to $2500 to "the sky's the limit." It would seem that this is in fact quite a collector's item. My aunt will be pleased to know that, but not the gun dealer in Spokane that offered her $900!

For those of you who might be interested in buying it, I am going to start off high ($2250) and see what happens. I'll list it on http://www.armslist.com/, coltforum.com, and gunbroker.com.

TwoWheelFiend
September 23, 2011, 11:42 AM
Ive never understood what the big deal was with the Python....... Ive owned one and i think its all hype. ????

Guillermo
September 23, 2011, 11:55 AM
Ive owned one and i think its all hype

So being mechanically smooth and refined as well as scary accurate don't trip your trigger.


What is on your hip?

38 Super Fan
September 23, 2011, 12:17 PM
I'd put it in a 14 day no reserve featured auction at GunBroker and see what happens. Be sure to title it as a 57 and it will get a ton of looks, especially as a featured auction.

TwoWheelFiend
September 24, 2011, 07:59 AM
I owned a Python and a S&W 586 and the Smith was everything the python was and way less expensive. Just as accurate. And with a trigger job i did the 586 has the smoothest trigger i have ever felt. By all means the python is a great gun, i guess im just partial to the 586

Guillermo
September 24, 2011, 11:30 AM
Smith was everything the python was and way less expensive

There are 2 686s that live at my house.

One is the "office gun" (if it were stolen...it is just money the insurance company has to pay. The Toyota Camry of revolvers)

The other is a 3 inch (my wife's)

Both were made before S&W really cheapened their revolvers (IE before MIM, 2-pc barrels, IL, etc)

Neither are as accurate as the Python (4 inch blue)
Neither have a trigger anywhere close.

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