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The Searcher
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Yes. No. Yes. It may still be somewhat insane, but it is certainly a matter of condition. :cool:
 

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I feel like a fool. During the time these guns were in production, I was buying old Colts. They have been a terrible investment compared to these "new" guns.

Somehow, for me at least, a Viper, nice as this one is, pales next to a Shooting Master or similar guns from the "Golden Age." Vipers and Boas just do not do it for me, but there seems to be a certain class of collector to whom these modern rarities are a "must have." The supply is limited so the competition is fierce. This one sets a new standard for "modern" Colt guns. (Probably not. The very complete package does make this one the ultimate collectors item as far as Vipers go, but I suspect this one is mostly just an aberration where a few affluent bidders were after the same gun.)
 

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I feel like a fool. During the time these guns were in production, I was buying old Colts. They have been a terrible investment compared to these "new" guns.

Somehow, for me at least, a Viper, nice as this one is, pales next to a Shooting Master or similar guns from the "Golden Age." Vipers and Boas just do not do it for me, but there seems to be a certain class of collector to whom these modern rarities are a "must have." The supply is limited so the competition is fierce. This one sets a new standard for "modern" Colt guns. (Probably not. The very complete package does make this one the ultimate collectors item as far as Vipers go, but I suspect this one is mostly just an aberration where a few affluent bidders were after the same gun.)

Agreed on all points.

Even though this one is likely an aberration (at least for now), it will be used to set the price for Vipers by anyone who saw the auction.
 

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The Searcher
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How much difference in length are Viper stocks vs Cobra stocks ?

John
3/8" :)

My post copied and pasted from another thread: I dug these out. ;) Left stocks are what would have been on 1968 Agent. Center shows the length used for DS and Cobra. Right is for Police Positive and Viper. The extensions are 1/4", 5/8" and 1", respectively. The right hand photo shows the different appearance a little better because the stock screws are more aligned. :)

 

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Wow, insanity is right... I remember the day when the Viper was first introduced and it seemed like it was Colt's last gasp in the revolver world. At that time I divided the Colt snakes into two camps: the Python and Diamondback, and then all the rest (King Cobra's, Vipers, and the 'late to the party' Anacondas) as the second tier. I agree that the nickel Viper is pretty rare as I honestly can't imagine anyone even wanting one when they first came out.
 

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This ain't no Viper! Someone got hurt bad!

More interesting than the price paid for this Colt; it is very likely not a Viper! A few things to consider:

- Stocks are not the correct length. All of the authentic (lettered) nickel and blue Vipers from the 1978 Issue that I have seen, had the elongated D frame stocks as shown in AIA's post.

- Paperwork is not correct for the 1978 Viper. Hang tag is very likely a replacement; manual is very likely reproduction (1978 Vipers were not issued with manuals); It appears the letter is signed by Gary French (should be signed by CE Warner). When a seller obscures the signature on the "Congratulations" letter, it is time to ask questions. Those of us that have Vipers from 1978 know what paperwork accompanied these Colts and this ain't it.

- Label is a reproduction. I have compared it to my labels and others I have photos of, and it fails to meet the smell test by a country mile. Check out Vikrant's Viper label and you will see it is an exact match!

- The box is a Colt box but was issued several years (probably mid 1980s) after the Viper was produced. Notice the reddish orange "warning" stamp on the side of the box. That was not present in 1978. Also the box is of a slightly different scale when compared to the 1978 box. I see other characteristics that lead me to believe this is a post 1978 box such as the presence of finger "cut-outs" on the ends.

- If the gun has the serial number as shown on the box, well it doesn't fall in the category of serial numbers that I have seen for Vipers from 1978.

I can probably find other discrepancies but wanted to shoot this off before someone else gets hurt. This is a prime example of how people are getting taken in this market.

No Letter... No Viper!

Be careful out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's kind of funny when you think about it. I just sold a NIB 1977 Nickel Police Positive on GB last week for $1075. I think I did rather well with the sale. That gun is an exact visual twin to the Viper, just that one is alloy and the other is steel. The "Viper" name and low production is what makes all the difference I guess. Almost $5000 worth of difference...
 

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Kanatak, that is great information. Thank you for sharing. Perhaps you ought to create a "Buyer's Guide" for the Viper, to include pictures of a correct box and label, along with the other characteristics you mention. Then make it a "sticky."

If I had to guess, I suspect the basic gun is correct, and the rest is assembled to create a "package." To create a fake Viper gun would take a Viper barrel, and successfully removing the barrel from a Cobra to install the Viper barrel. I have never attempted to remove the barrel from an alloy frame Colt, but galling of the threads would be a risk. Of course, if one were going to the trouble to create an expensive fake, screwing a barrel back in with only a few threads left in the frame would be no big deal. Were there "excess" Viper barrels sold to the parts houses when the Viper production ended?
 

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Sure its legit,, The auction drew plenty of cash buyers thats all.

John
This is nice to know. I paid 700 for mine 3 years ago, so this is a real surprise. My paperwork is different as well Kanatak. Good call. My letter is signed by C.E. Warner and the box is much different in size and shape. Also, the inner styrofoam is different as well. Mine has the wood grain look imprinted on the styrofoam.
 

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This is nice to know. I paid 700 for mine 3 years ago, so this is a real surprise. My paperwork is different as well Kanatak. Good call. My letter is signed by C.E. Warner and the box is much different in size and shape. Also, the inner styrofoam is different as well. Mine has the wood grain look imprinted on the styrofoam.
Yes, Ak-Kev you are right. The Styrofoam in the correct "package" has a definite "wood-grain" pattern on all surfaces. I am sure we can find other discrepancies and will continue to look. If this was an actual sale and cwb1957 plans to pay $6000 for this dubious Colt, I wonder how he could be contacted and alerted or warned? While it is none of my business, I sure hate seeing someone getting scammed to this degree.
 
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