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Colt Python 6" in use with police?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Kabal, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Kabal

    Kabal New Member

    I went to a local gunstore a few weeks ago to check out their revolvers. Among the used models, I found a 1972 Colt Python with 6" barrel in excellent condition. The gun looks like it has barely been fired. There was a Ruger GP-100 in a similarly good condition, but after I checked out the Python, I was sold on it. It has one of the smoothest actions I've ever felt, and I could swear it has half the trigger pull weight of the Ruger.

    The store owner was so nice as to lend me the gun for a month so I can try it out and decide whether I buy it. I took it to the range and found out that it shoots as well as it looks. He wants 490 Euros ($635) for the gun and sells it with a one year warranty. I'll definitely take it. Here's a pic:


    Here comes my question:
    I am a reservist in the German military, and we have a shooting discipline specifically for duty revolvers that I would like to participate in with this gun.
    The only problem: I have to prove that the Colt Python, preferably the exact version I'll be using, was officially adopted by any army, police department or government agency on Earth at any point of time.

    I'm pretty sure that the Python was issued to a few American police units. According to Wikipedia's article on the Colt Python, "[t]he Colorado State Patrol issued 4-inch blue Pythons until their switch to the S&W .40 caliber autoloader.[12] Georgia State Patrol and Florida Highway Patrol issued Pythons to their officers.[12]"

    The source listed by Wikipedia is:
    Ayoob, Massad (2003). "The Colt Python", The Accurate Rifle Magazine, November 2003.

    Is there anyone who has access to this article and can check whether the GSP and FHP issued 6" Pythons to their officers, or does anyone know of some other police force or government agency that did so?
    I suppose it needs to be the version with the 6 inch barrel, but I don't know if it has to be the same finish as my gun (Royal Blue).

    I've read in other forums about Texan police departments and even Kuwaiti police supposedly using the Python. I'm sure some of you guys know more, and I would really appreciate if you could help me out.

    If I knew for certain that a certain unit issued 6" Pythons, I would try to contact them and get some sort of confirmation via e-mail. A scanned-in page from an article or book might qualify as "proof", as well.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  2. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel New Member

    As you know, few American police departments issued the Colt Python, which was due to the high price.
    Most departments issued the original Colt Trooper or the Colt Trooper Mark III.

    Some departments did, notably the Florida Highway Patrol, Colorado State Police and Georgia State Police.

    I think these were all 4 inch guns, but a good many police officers and sheriff's deputies bought their own guns and the 6 inch Python was popular with highway patrol and sheriff's officers because of the better penetration through car bodies.

    As most departments went to 4 inch revolvers, the 6 inch became a status symbol of older cops who were allowed to still carry their 6 inch guns under a "grand father" policy.

    Bottom line is, I don't know of a department that officially issued 6 inch Pythons but several issued 4 inch models, and back in the 60's and 70's you saw a lot of cops with 6 inch Pythons they'd personally bought.
    Back then gun magazines and books like the Gun Digest Book of Police Firearms, showed pictures of police armed with 6 inch Pythons.

    Since those departments allowed them to carry 6 inch Pythons, the guns were officially authorized. There's somewhat of a shadowy line between "officially issued" and "officially authorized".
  3. Rexster

    Rexster New Member

    I am certain that Houston Police Department, in Texas, allows Colt Pythons to be carried as duty handguns, if the officers started carrying them, officially, before September 1997. This was during a time when Houston officers could carry a wide range of handguns, with only a few weapons excluded. Cadets started academy training with 4" .357 Magnum revolvers as duty handguns, with the Colt Python being one of the acceptable revolvers. After graduating from the academy, officers could opt for any barrel length until 1987, when six inches
    became the maximum, for officers already carrying them on duty. Any revolver added after
    1987 had to be a maximum of four inches in barrel length. I do not know if any Houston PD
    officers still carry Pythons today. S&W and Ruger revolvers are still seen in the holsters of some older officers.

    HPD standardized on specified .40 auto pistols in 1997, but no officer was required to transition to these pistols, and can keep carrying their revolvers by firing a qualification at least once a year. HPD officers have always purchased their own duty firearms, which is common practice in Texas.

    I will neither confirm nor deny, on a forum accessed by the public, that I work for Houston PD. Having said that, when I used my GP100 in a shooting incident in 1993, and the firearms examiner kept it for testing for several weeks, I carried my 4" Stainless Python on duty, as the Safariland duty holster was made to accomodate both revolvers.
  4. skidder

    skidder New Member

    Don't know much about the Python history, but I thought I'd drop in and congratulate you on a nice weapon!

    Happy and safe shooting...

  5. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

    Reminds me of the story of the police department who got all new Glocks. They destroyed the Pythons they previously issued, didn't want them to get in the wrong hands. :banghead:
  6. legumeofterror

    legumeofterror New Member

    I have a S&W Model 28-2 and Colt Python that were purchased from a former Florida Highway Patrol trooper. According to him he carried them as his service pistol at one time or another. They both have 6" barrels.

  7. Slamfire

    Slamfire Active Member

    It would be very difficult to find a $635 Python in the United States. I have heard the things are now going for $2,000.

    Finding proof, either in books or pictures, would be worth it to own a Blue Steel Python.

    Looks like proof marks on the frame, Colt did not make those stampings.
  8. Pilot

    Pilot Active Member

    $635 is a STEAL for that gun. Buy it no matter what!
  9. Dr_B

    Dr_B member

    *sigh* If only I could find a Colt Python in that condition for that price. Excuse me, I have to clean the drool off my keyboard.
  10. mdemetz

    mdemetz Member

    From local range shop;
    *JUST IN* Colt Python Blued 6" Barrel - $2300.00 (Made in 1958, Pictured Below)
    *JUST IN* Colt Single Action Army - $1895.00 (Pictured Below)
    *JUST IN* Smith and Wesson Mod 851 4" Barrel .357 Magnum - $750.00
  11. TEAM101

    TEAM101 Member

    I was told the Cleveland Heights, Ohio PD issued these guns at one time.
  12. hq

    hq New Member

    Slightly off topic, but I have to ask: By coincidence, does this happen to be the Python that was sold recently by Waffen Niedermeier? Not that I really wanted another royal blue one but price and condition were fairly tempting...
  13. Bikewer

    Bikewer New Member

    The main problem with a 6" barrel for police use is that one must needs use a swivel holster to sit in a patrol car.
    Not a huge problem; quality swivel rigs were available from Hume and others.

    I had one for my 5" barreled S&W M27....Bit of a pain, but manageable.
  14. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Active Member

    The OP definitely got a deal.... They are still out there. I recently bought a 98% 6 incher for under 900 bucks.
  15. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    CPE is a master at finding deals on ponies.

    Horse trader extraordinaire
  16. 316SS

    316SS New Member

    Did you know that the movie Snakes on a Plane was based on ColtPythonElite's air travel? True Story.
  17. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    If he was successful with Samantha McLeod I am even more impressed with his ability to close a deal than before!!!
  18. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER New Member

    FHP issued the 4" Pythons along with S & W 28's among others.
  19. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben New Member

    Which one is an 851? That's a new one to me.
    Unless you mean 581, in which case, that would make sense.

    Otherwise, my first thought would be a variant of the model 51, but that would make it a .22WMR (IIRC), not .357.
  20. Iggy

    Iggy New Member

    Colorado State Patrol issued them.

    Wyoming Highway Patrol didn't issue them, but we could carry anything we qualified with.. Several Patrolmen carried 6" Pythons and more carried 4" models.

    THat is a great price on an outstanding gun.

    You did very well.

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