I have an original finish 1977, 6", Colt Python, factory tuned. I do have the original stocks as well. I was the original purchaser. This was my duty gun in the 1980's. I need help remembering what the proof marks mean as I have forgotten over time. There are triangles with a letter P inside? Mine are located on the left frame just forward of the trigger guard and on the frame inside the crane area below the serial number. Next to this is a number 5. If my memory is any good, I seem to recall the triangle proof meaning it went through the custom shop? Maybe? Is that true or if not what is this triangle stamp? And the number 5, what is this for? If the triangle is a stamp for the custom shop I guess that would be correct for a factory tuned. Please help. Mark
The triangle; actually if you'll look closer you might be able to make out the letters VP which stands for Verified Proof. That stamping was Colts trademark and part of their quality assurance/ control and inspection process on all of their firearms of that time. The number 5 stamp more than likely identified a particular inspector during the build process of the gun.
Thanks for setting me straight Lonestar. Mark
Colt pistols and revolvers typically had three stamps....
The tiny "VP" in a triangle on the left-front of the trigger guard is as above, Colt's Verified Proof, indicating it passed it's proof test.
I don't recall ever seeing a second Verified Proof stamp under the serial number.
This might indicate a frame that was re-proofed for some reason, but again, I've never seen this on a Colt.
On the left-rear of the trigger guard is an inspectors stamp, generally thought to be the final inspectors mark.
Under the serial number on the frame is another inspectors stamp apparently the mark of the person who assembled the gun.
Usually there are a couple of stamps on the left side of the grip frame under the grips. The meaning of these is unknown, but no doubt inspection stamps.
Last edited by dfariswheel; 05-15-2018 at 12:56 PM.
Thanks dfariswheel. So it could be the triangle VP stamp under serial number on frame indicates some custom factory work like a trigger job. My memory is fuzzy on this, but right or wrong that is what I may have researched years ago. I was looking for you experts to possibly answer this. Anyone with a 1977 Python or there abouts, out there to chime in if theirs has a VP stamp under the serial number on the frame? or perhaps anyone with a factory tunned to check theirs? Thanks again for the input. Mark
As Lonestar57 noted, the VP or Verified Proof was Colts final mark that the revolver had passed all proofing as well as final inspections. The 5 under the serial number identified the employee that assembled the revolver, and it should have a small letter or number on the left rear of the trigger guard indicating the final inspector.
The United States has no gun proof law, so the manufacturers more or less chose their own way of indicating proofing.
I have a 1977 Python with no extra VP, and my son has a custom shop 1977 Python with no extra mark.
A Verified Proof stamp would not be used to signify a Custom Shop Python nor for any other work.
After WWII Colt appears to have totally stopped adding any stamps to guns that were returned to Colt and refinished or had custom work on.
Thanks Johny and dfariswheel. My Python was originally tuned at Colt before first being sold, not sent back for custom work. I understand they had two types of tuning: Service and Target. So looks like an enigma that mine was proofed on the frame by the serial number? Or maybe someone else knows why?