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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all, I recently acquired my first Colt. It is a 1983 Python with the nickel electrolysis finish and my research has found that the pythons had an extra process before the finishing making it a higher quality termed "Royal" Coltguard versus just Coltguard used on other caliber revolvers with this same finish. Anybody have any input on this? thank you.
 

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Royal Coltguard is the same Coltguard electroless nickel finish applied to other Colts but the Python received higher level of polishing...thus the "Royal" name. I have a Python as well as other Colts with the Coltguard finish and the Python definitely has a higher level of polishing. The others run from a nice, stain finish to a more "frosted" finish on less expensive Colts such a Lawman Mark III.
 

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I sold a 4" Python with Royal Coltguard finish and it didn't seem to bring any extra money. Maybe just the timing of the sale?
 

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It should've brought more money but timing can make the difference.
 

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I think at the time in the early 80s,there were 1000 made in each model and barrel length. There was a thread on here awhile back addressing the fact that the enickel was starting to break down on SOME examples seen by people on here.
 

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I've never seen the e-nickel break down on any gun...but I've certainly not seen all of them either. I would think if it happened it was likely improper application. My understanding is that e-nickel is not a coating but is actually bonded to the steel or aluminum...but again that's presuming it's applied correctly. I don't whether Colt did the process in-house or farmed it out out to a vendor specializing in the process.

I was also told (or read somewhere) many years ago that Colt only sold 200 of each model in e-nickel. That could have been promotional hype as I see so many e-nickel Colts for sale on Gunbroker there had to have been more than 200 of each model done that way.
 

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You could be right about the 200. I also believe Colt farmed the process out to someone at that time.
 

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I have a detective special that I think is E-nickle. It's very tough, even after a hard life of carry, you can barely tell.
 

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Enickle pythons and diamondbacks are fairly scarce and do bring a premium now. The pythons used to not bring a premium but do now. How much more someone else would have to answer. The enickel diamondbacks always brought a premium. They are scarcer tho imo. I never cared much for the finish, but it’s ok. Unique little guns, interesting cause I’m getting ready to do a thread on what could have been The most expensive 3 inch python EVER produced. Just another aftermarket product. This was a prime example of why YOU always get your own letter.
 

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Colt offered a number of models in e-nickel/ AKA Coltguard mainly in the early 80's but in far less quanities than the Blue or Nickel versions. Rare or Scarce seems to be overused and abused words of today but in my opinion could be applied here based on that fact alone. The finish is a tough one but not totally corrosion resistant. Like with any finish some maintenance is required. The bad examples I've seen over the years was due to owner neglect and/ or improper storage. My shooter 1979 Gold Cup has it and it has held up great over the years.
 

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There was a distributor back in the early 80s called Wammes in Bellefontaine,Ohio. I remember they were selling 6 Colt E nickel SM Aces for $299 a piece. I bought one,wish I still had it!!!
 

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On shooter- grade Python Royal Coltguards, no opinion on value vs. blued or Bright nickel.


IMHO-
On NIB 4",6",8" Python--- Blued< Royal Coltguard< Bright Nickel.

On high-condition 2.5" Python, Blued< Bright Nickel= Royal Coltguard.

On NIB 2.5" Python, Blued < Royal Coltguard < Bright Nickel= BSTS.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
i bought my .357 python dated 1983 serial in good condition no box and papers for 3000. i thought i might have paid a bit too high but with the finish i figured the gun could be worth as much as 4000. regardless. i couldn't resist buying something i knew was special and hand made and I just had to "pull the trigger" on this one. I'm going to take it to the range for my first time in the next week or so. I can't wait.
 

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Hello all, I recently acquired my first Colt. It is a 1983 Python with the nickel electrolysis finish and my research has found that the pythons had an extra process before the finishing making it a higher quality termed "Royal" Coltguard versus just Coltguard used on other caliber revolvers with this same finish. Anybody have any input on this? thank you.

just curious why do you think your 83 gun is coltguard instead of stainless?


Edit: ...no comment? ...its my understanding that coltguard was discontinued in 81 in favor of stainless steel.....so is this gun really a 83' or a holdover from 81' ...or in fact what it looks like to me a SS gun? .....personally i would MUCH prefer a SS gun to coltguard ... to the OP a easy quick way to tell is flip open the cylinder and look for a sideways S in the cylinder eject rod cavity like in the picture (marked in red when you zoom the pic)...another indicator of SS is the serrated cylinder release which your gun also has. (or front site pins which you do not show in pictures)
 

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Another view of the stainless sideways “S”.

 

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And from what I've seen as far as value goes it seems that Stainless Steel Python's have outpaced all the other finish offerings a bit; Blue, Nickel, and Coltguard (Electroless Nickel).
 
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