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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
Hope all are doing well. I have this 1981 Python in question about the Grips. I have seen them with the grips that are on it now and Service grips. I guess my question would be, Do they use both types of grips or just the service.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay, So with all that reading, It would be safe to say, They are original Grips?
 

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Some 2.5" went out with, or ordered with, Targets.

However,statistically quite unlikely to be its original grips.Almost all were Service grips.

A Colt letter theoretically could tell you, but most likely will just say "Not Specified" under the Stocks heading.
 

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Take the left grip off and see if the hidden side plate screw has a flat head or a round head. If it is a flat head, the large grips are correct style. If there is a round head, then the gun should have the service grips.
 

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Take the left grip off and see if the hidden side plate screw has a flat head or a round head. If it is a flat head, the large grips are correct style. If there is a round head, then the gun should have the service grips.
Forgot about that, that does tend to work well SC...
 

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The standard cataloged stocks for a 2.5-inch Python were always service stocks. No option for target stocks was ever shown in the catalogs.

I am very skeptical that any 2.5-inch Pythons ever shipped with service stocks from Colt. (The purpose of the short barrel was to make the gun more compact, and the fat target stocks would defeat that.) If an archive letter says "Not Listed" for the type of stocks, then the gun almost certainly had service stocks originally.
 

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The "flat head screw" test only works if the person who installed the target stocks post-factory did not change the screw, and we all have seen the occasional longer-barreled Python with a crowned screw under the target stocks, so the "flat head screw" test is dubious at best.
 

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I am very skeptical that any 2.5-inch Pythons ever shipped with service stocks from Colt. (The purpose of the short barrel was to make the gun more compact, and the fat target stocks would defeat that.)
Doesn't make sense for the 1982-84 3" Blued or Nickel Python snubbies to have original Targets either, yet many do.
 

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The "flat head screw" test only works if the person who installed the target stocks post-factory did not change the screw, and we all have seen the occasional longer-barreled Python with a crowned screw under the target stocks, so the "flat head screw" test is dubious at best.
Actually, it has worked pretty well for me in picking up incorrect grips on various Python snubbies, and falsely-represented snubby Pythons that were re-barrelled from longer 4",6", and 8" guns.
Not perfect test , but not dubious either.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Okay so, Short update on what I found removing the grips. Round head screw, black print SN matching 1981, Heavy in-prints on the end side of grips from the frame, As well as a print of the grips around the frame if this makes any sense. At this point it is what it is. Lol. So all I can say for myself is that the lady I purchase this from and a couple other colt that Grandfather left behind 3 mint Colts. R.I.P Grandfather.
 

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What Judge Colt said about the 'changing of the round head to flat head' seems to be a moot point in this case since the gun has a round head screw under the target grips. It should have the service grips. Of course, a previous owner could have made many changes to the gun, but assuming he/she only changed the grips is a good bet.
 

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Since the Pythons have become very highly priced (over-priced?), there are many cases where Pythons have been 'expertly' worked over by people who know how to make them look 'factory new' with new barrels, grips and maybe even cylinders. As Judge Colt indicated, if an expert had wanted to fool a buyer with having the target stocks, that expert would have known to have also change the roundhead screw to a flathead screw. Since you might know some history on this gun, you can probably make a judgement on what happened.

BTW the 2-1/2" Python is probably the most faked Python on the market.
 
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