Colt Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Nice gentleman I met recently at a gun show had a question regarding python finishes during the '70s. He is extremely smart when it comes to colts, probably cause he owns most of them in circulation. He has no computer, and contacted me days later asking about python finishes.

He said he had two pythons that had what he described as a "Armoloy" finish from colt. The guy he bought one of them from said that colt offered this. I was immediatlely thinking satin nickel, electrolis nickel, or hard chrome.

My question is what finishes did colt and possibly their custom shop offer around the vintage of the E series pythons. I have no way of obtaining photo and guns lack orig boxes, but he said all rollmarks and frame edges are solid.
 

·
*** ColtForum MVP ***
Joined
·
15,802 Posts
"Standard" Colt finishes of the day were, Bright Blue, Bright Nickel, and Electroless Nickel, which Colt later called "Coltguard".

The Electroless Nickel was introduced later in the 70's as I recall, and was known as "Coltguard" in the early 80's.

Most Electroless Nickel/Coltguard has the usual nickel "yellow" tint to the finish, but some were so subtle you have to compare the finish to a hard chrome gun to detect any difference.
This leads many people to think the Electroless Nickel/Coltguard is some type of hard chrome.

"As far as I know" (note the qualifier) Colt never offered the Armoloy brand name of hard chrome on any production guns. Again, they probably would through the Custom Shop on a customer special request.

In those days Colt didn't offer any hard chrome on standard production guns, but would have it done on Custom Shop guns.

The "E" series Pythons ran from 1970 to 1975, which would be pushing it for the Armoloy finish.
I remember when the Armoloy finish was first introduced for firearms, and I seem to remember it was later than that.
I do remember the first guns I sent off to Armoloy for processing was to Armoloy of Fort Worth Texas, who were the first to offer it to the general public.
The first I sent off were in 1979/80.

My opinion: his "E" series Pythons were either Custom Shop hard chrome OR more likely Electroless Nickel/Coltguard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
Around that same era, our shop used Ron Mahovskys' "Metalife" and the "SS" finish on many Pythons. He's still offering the same finish today.
 

·
*** ColtForum MVP ***
Joined
·
15,802 Posts
The point is, up until "about" the mid to later 1970's, the only plated finish available was bright nickel.
(There were specialty plates like gold and silver).

Starting about then, other plated finishes like hard chrome and Electroless Nickel began to appear.
Colt only offered Electroless Nickel (Coltguard) as a normal production satin plated finish.

Colt would have Custom Shop guns plated with hard chrome per the buyers request, and it's possible later Custom Shop models may have had some type of hard chrome finish on limited production Custom Shop models.

In my opinion, in the mid to late 1970's, any standard production Colt Python with a plated finish would have been either bright nickel or Electroless Nickel, NOT any type of hard chrome.

When Colt began to make stainless steel Pythons in the early 1980's, plating pretty much disappeared at Colt, since the stainless guns could be polished to either a matte or bright finish.

So, the "window" for hard chrome or Electroless Nickel plated guns at Colt ran from about the mid-to-late 1970's to about 1983-84 when stainless appeared.
Colt's preferred satin plate during those years was Electroless Nickel, NOT hard chrome.

This brings us to three possibilities on the Pythons you've asked about.

1. They're Electroless Nickel that doesn't have the typical "yellow" tint.

2. Their Custom Shop guns that were hard chrome plated by customer request.

3. They're an after market plate job.

The only way to know for sure is to buy a Historical Letter from Colt, which will list the finish they left the factory with.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top