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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I hope someone can help me out here. I have a 1957 or 58 Colt Python, SN 21XX; I need a new barrel for this gun. Actually I have been in need of a new bbl. for a number of year, I guess it's time to do something about it. In any case, I seem to remember that the threads on the older Pythons were different from new ones, so I simply can buy just any old Pythno barrel and screw it in. Is this correct, or have the threads always been the same?

Even if I can use a new barrel I would prefer to have a barrel of the correct vintage with the proper roll marks. Where would be the best place to try to locate such a barrel? If anyone has a barrel like this in 95%, prefer 98%, condition, please let me know. This fine old Colt has been out of commision too long and needs some TLC. Thanks in advance!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
dfariswheel,

Thanks so much for the informative post! Unfortunately the barrel is ruined, in '94 or so I was shooting some .38 reloads through this, apparently one round did not have a powder charge and I stacked up three 158 gr SWC pills behind the one that made it half way down the tube. No one to blame but myself; I have no idea how many tens of thousands of rounds i have loaded, and this is the only time I've ever had this happen, damn shame it happened when it did. In any case, the barrel now looks like a Python.....but a Python eating dinner!

Just so I'm clear on this:

If I get a 6" barrel that has the two front sight pins, can I be sure this will have the correct thread pitch?

Will the roll marks be the same is on a '57 vintage Python?

Do you have any contact info for Pittsburgh Handgun?

Is there anything I should be aware of before FINALLY getting around to fixing this problem?

Thanks again for taking the time to respond!
 

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Again, the Python roll marks didn't change over the years.

To get the proper barrel threads, give whoever you order a new barrel from the serial number.
 

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Everyone is missing the fact that early Python barrels have hollow lugs, higher ribs and shorter front sight blades. Therefore, unless you find an early barrel with these features, it will not be correct for an early Python.

The gun is worth a lot if in good condition and deserves to be left as original as possible.
 

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Forgot about the lug issue.

I'm not sure when they stopped, but the very early Python's did have a hollow lug under the barrel.

If your's does, (I think they were solid by 1957) you're going to have real problems finding an exact replacement barrel.

However, I "think" by 1957-58 the barrels had dispensed with the hollow lug, and differences in the lugs and sight, so a good later production barrel should be an acceptable replacement.

In any event, if you have to get your Python shooting, beggars can't always be choosers.
 

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No Judge, not everyone is missing the fact about early Python barrels.

But even if he got a "correct" style barrel the gun is not original. Hopefully no one tries to pass it off as such sometime in the future.

The real fact here is, correct barrel or not, it's only original once. After that it is simply a restoration at best. I do agree he should keep it as close to original as possible.
 

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What's wrong with the old one?
Often, problems can be corrected by a good pistolsmith, and there's no need for a new barrel.

Fortunately the Python barrel has seen very few external changes over it's life.

The major changes are:
The new barrel threads.

The change to a single pin retaining the front sight, instead of two.

The change of the lettering to read "Python Elite".

Other than those, the Python barrel of the early 1950's is more or less identical to the Python barrel of the 1990's.

A barrel with the old style threading, and two pins will be indistinguishable from your barrel.

However, I'd recommend buying a new, unused barrel.

Too many used barrels have problems.
Often the barrel was removed by using improper tooling and are damaged, either cosmetically, or in such a way as to render it unusable.

Often, the barrel was removed because it was defective.
Over the years I'e seen barrels brought in for use in a re-barreling, that were unusable due to cracked forcing cones, damaged bores, bulges, damaged threads, and in one case, a BENT 6" barrel.

OFTEN YOU CAN'T SEE THE PROBLEM.
Problems often only turn up when the gunsmith attempts to fit the barrel.
If you've bought a used barrel, you're stuck for the price, unless you do what many people do.....sell it to the NEXT unsuspecting buyer who want's a good barrel.

For this reason, I'd recommend trying to get a new, unused, but old thread double pin barrel from Colt, Gun Parts, or Pittsburgh Handgun Headquarters.

Also, to insure the job gets done RIGHT, I'd let Colt or Pittsburgh do the work.
You don't let your local "Bob the hammer mechanic" work on a Porsche.

Most local gunsmith's don't have Colt-specific tooling and equipment to fit Python barrels, and revolver barrels ARE NOT JUST THREADED PIPES THAT CAN BE SCREWED ON.

Revolver barrels MUST be carefully fitted and adjusted by a trained EXPERT. They DON'T just screw on.

[This message has been edited by dfariswheel (edited 09-09-2004).]
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My intention is not to fix this up and sell it as an orignal, which it clearly would not be. I bought this gun about 12-13 years ago as I wanted an early Python, it just makes me sick what happened to it.

It's been sitting int he back of the safe since then. I was under the impression, wrong impression I might add, that the threading was different on these very early guns, and every year or so I would make a half assed attempt to locate a barrel. No that I know what I am looking for I will get this taken care of.

I do want this as correct and close to original as possible, but it won't be leaving my safe. It's just too nice to have it sitting there in it's present condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, now it seems I might have a problem locating a barrel. I have spoken with Colt, Gun Parts and Pittsburgh Handgun an no one has a barrel with old threads.

Does anyone have any other ideas? Does anyone have a 6" barrel with old threads for sale? Thanks!
 

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Have you asked Colt about the availability of a barrel, if THEY do the work?
It's possible they have a small reserve supply of older style barrels, but not for sale as parts.

Check with the gunsmith's friend, Jack First Gun Parts. http://jackfirstgun.com

Other than First's, you may have to advertise on the gun forums, or take a chance on Ebay.

The problem is going to be SURE both you and the seller fully understand what's needed, and what's being sold.

Most people know nothing about threads, new styles or old.

The older Python's like yours have .5634-32 threads.
The newer thread "I THINK" is .562-36.
 

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I finally went safe diving and found that both my 1960 4-inch and 1963 2.5-inch Pythons also have hollow lugs, as does my low three digit first year Python of course. I was pretty sure that hollow lugs were used for more than just the earliest guns, but wanted to look at mine to be sure. Now new member jmonto verifies that even 1966 Pythons still had hollow lugs.

That at least ten-year period increases the chances that emmagee could find a proper used replacement barrel. Good luck.
 
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