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I have one of those "weird" anomalies that turn up in the gun world from time to time.

About early Fall of 1987, I decided I needed a Colt Stainless Python, so I ordered a 6" from a major mid-West distributor.

Then, in January 1991 I decided to convert my blued 4" to a stainless 4" gun. I used my FFL to order it from another major mid-West distributor.

Here's the anomaly: The 6" #T748xx bought in Fall '86, has a HIGHER serial number than the 4" #T683xx bought in January '91.
BOTH were ordered by me personally, and BOTH came from large Colt wholesaler/distributors.

I've often wondered how the 4" Python came to be sitting in a wholesalers warehouse safe for so many years.
I'm sure it wasn't sold to a store then returned, because stores display their stock, and they get shop-worn. Both guns were obviously 100% NIB.

Big distributors usually had a high turn-over on their Colt stock in those days, so my best guess is, for some reason the 4" got pushed to the back of the safe, and just never got shipped until I ordered it.

You often hear stories of old NIB guns turning up from the dark corners of gun shops, but I've never heard of one from a distributor.
 
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