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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any information on the Python in .41 Mag cal. How many were made and does anyone have one for sale?
 

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This has been discussed in some detail on this forum recently. You should use the search function and read some of the posts.

Bottom line: No factory .41 Mag Pythons were ever offered. If you see any, they are 'homemade' and not official Colt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the information. The Blue Book of
Gun Values talks about a .41mag as well as a few other specials made in 1960. Is that information untrue?
 

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The Blue Book is plagued with errors. It is not intended to be a reference manual. It should only be used as a broad guideline, at best. This is just one of the errors you will find regarding Colts.
 

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Colt did make up "about" TWO .41 Magnum Pythons on request of a big distributor.

After thinking it over, Colt decided that the frame and cylinder were just too small to be safe and the experimental .41 Pythons were put in Colt's famous Pattern Room vault, and haven't been seen since.

The .41 Magnum Pythons you see for sale were a custom conversion by a Southern gunsmith.
After the guns started coming apart under the stress, he shut down and reportedly disappeared one step ahead of a mob of lawyers.

These conversions were extraordinarily well done, with an excellent job of removing the barrel markings and applying .41 Magnum marks.

An unanswered question has been: WHY a gunsmith good enough to do this level of work would be so stupid as to convert a revolver to a caliber it clearly wasn't suited for?

Over the years, Colt did experiment with Pythons in calibers like .22LR and a .256 caliber. None were ever more than one or two Pattern Room experimentals, and none were ever released from the factory.

The ONLY caliber Pythons Colt ever sold were in .357 and the 8" barreled Colt Python Target gun in .38 Special.

If you see a Python in ANY other caliber, it's NOT a factory gun.
 

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Every time the .41 Python issue comes up, I have to say that I do not think caliber or pressure are the issues. The Python frame was designed as a .41 caliber. A heat-treated cylinder would easily stand the pressure.

The SAAMI pressure specification of the .357 Magnum is 35,000 CUP. The SAAMI pressure specification for the .41 Magnum is 36,000 CUP. I do not think that small difference leads to certain failure of a .41 Magnum Python.

Obviously, the conversions were and are shot and every one did not blow up. (I do not think any did, unless a reloading error caused it, as has happened with many a .38 Special and too much Red Dot.)

However, for a .41 conversion, the forcing cone would be thinner and would be the weak point in my opinion. If the factory were to have built them, the forcing cone could have been made thicker. I think Colt could have built the gun in .41 Magnum and such guns would have had a reasonable service life, but Colt probably reasoned a .44 Magnum would be a much better seller, which eventually resulted in the Anaconda on a new frame. The fact that the Anaconda was never built in .41 Magnum shows Colt saw insufficient market there.

I still want one of the conversions just for the heck of it.
 

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JudgeColt, I see a flaw in your argument. Just because the two calibers have about the same pressure, doesn't mean that a .357 cylinder with metal removed will handle a .41 Magnum without nasty problems. After all, the cylinder is weakened to go to the larger caliber.

Bart Noir
 

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True the Python was based on the .41 frame, but this was for the .41 Long Colt cartridge. While large enough to handle the size of the .41 magnum the cartridge only generated the power of a .38 spl. Thus with heat treating the .357 magnum became feasable. With a finite bore you can't make the forcing cone any bigger (you only have so much metal to work with). And if there were no problems with the revolvers then why did the gunsmith disappear in the darkness of the night?
 

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[ QUOTE ]
And if there were no problems with the revolvers then why did the gunsmith disappear in the darkness of the night?

[/ QUOTE ]
colt did make them in .41 mag, 2 or 3 prototypes. at that time the .41 mag sold poorly in a 300$ s&w so it`s possible they were never put into production{there being no market for a 500$ gun}.the fact that the converted .41 mag pythons are for sale{as complete guns} proves that unless they are unfired it is possible for the conversion to work. i`m with the judge on this one. i`m sure full power loads would shorten the normal life but the original police load{210 gr lead at 1000fps} for the .41 mag would most likely bring that back to normal expected life of a 357 gun. just my opinion.perhaps someone can show a blown up .41 mag conversion gun.
 

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A FLAW in my argument? You mean you have to remove metal from the cylinder too? I thought just from the barrel! I figured you could just neck up the .357 case to .410.

Of course, the amount of metal removed would only be about .026-inch from each side. As I stated in the last discussion of the .41 Python, in "eyeballing" the cylinder wall thickness, I would guess a .41 Python would have about the same thickness as a .44 Smith & Wesson N-frame, and the cylinder notches are offset, unlike the Smith.

Well, ths time, I got the calipers and went to the vault room to do some measuring. (I am losing sleep for the sake of this discussion!) My three-digit Python has a minimum cylinder wall thickness of .095-inch. My Pre-M29 N-frame Smith has a minimum cylinder wall thickness of .080-inch. My NST .45 has a minimum cylinder wall thickness of .065-inch. Taking .026-inch (about the thickness of six sheets of 20-pound typing paper) off the Python wall would leave a minimum thickness of .069, still thicker than the NST. There is room in the cylinder window to add a couple of thousandths or three to the cylinder diameter if desired to pick up some thickness. With modern heat treat of the toughest steel, the cylinder would be safe at 36,000 CUP.

I think the marketing analysis of icdux1 explains the real reason Colt did not build a .41 Magnum Python, or a .41 Anaconda.
 

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Just got back from the all colt show in Louisville. Some guy had one of these on display with a bunch of other pythons. He had a tag on it claiming it was ultra rare, and wanted something like $1800 for it. I looked closely at the barrel markings and it showed obvious signs of polishing on it. The lettering was thin and the edges rounded. Whoever did the work did a masterful job on the reblue. I couldn't see any enevenness to the color at all. Interesting gun.
 
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