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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did Colt ever put any government proofs or other stampings on the Python's frame, just infront of the cylinder ?

I am looking at a Python that has what looks like proof marks (see Pictures).
 

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I don't think Colt ever did that. Probably some GI ordered one through the local rod and gun club in (maybe at a base in Germany) hard to tell without better pictures. Anyway the host country laws may have required proofing at import.
 

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Those are German proofs. If a weapon was imported into West Germany and was to be sold, it must be submitted to the nearest government test facility for "Proofing". I believe this was also true of the UK and most other European country.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't think Colt ever did that. Probably some GI ordered one through the local rod and gun club in (maybe at a base in Germany) hard to tell without better pictures. Anyway the host country laws may have required proofing at import.
Those are the only picts provided in the auction showing the proofs...if that's what they are (??), and nothing said in the description about them.
 

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For an FYI, here is how the Brits proof their imported weapons. These pictures are from a SIG P210 .22lr conversion kit. It shows Birmingham "Nitro" proof stamps on both the slide and barrel. The length of the chamber and maximum chamber pressure are also marked on the barrel.

 

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I don't remember any proofmarks on US-made weapons sold through the OCONUS Rod and Gun Club venue,

I do remember US-made weapons that were destined to be sold on the host country's commercial market being proofmarked, though - and I spent an inordinate amount of time OCONUS.
 

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Here's another Python from the same GB seller: Colt Python .357 mag 4" w/ Box & tool No Reserve : Revolvers at GunBroker.com



I have seen this seller offering many US weapons with German proofs in the past. I will bet you he is selling stuff from an estate of a retired/deceased US military officer.

This picture shows a stamp from the Munich proof house: Colt Python .357 mag 6" w/ Factory box No Reserve : Revolvers at GunBroker.com



The same seller is also offering a S&W with German proofs: Smith & Wesson 14 -3 Masterpiece .38 special : Revolvers at GunBroker.com



And a High Standard: High Standard 107 Military The Victor .22 LR 22 : Semi Auto Pistols at GunBroker.com

 

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The United States has no gun proof law, so U.S. guns sold in countries that do have proof laws must be proofed before they can be sold.

In the past, if a country had a reciprocal gun proof agreement with another country, the guns did not have to be proofed if imported for sale.

This is the chamber stamping of a Canadian Lend-Lease Colt 1911A1 that was sold following WWII and sent to England. In England it had to be proofed before being sold commercially, and was proofed in 1960. The .45" .900" indicate the nominal bullet diameter and case length of the .45 ACP, and the 7 TONS PER [] " is the proof pressure in long tons. The Crown/BNP represents Birmingham Nitro Proof.

 

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I would say the proof marks decrease the value substantially but that is just my opinion. Udo (Heritage Arms) imports a lot of guns from Europe and I would speculate that he makes it worthwhile by importing several dozen at a time; hence the reason they have so many German-proofed handguns for sale at a time. I bought a Korth from him earlier this year and it was better than described; Heritage Arms is a great operation that I would gladly buy from again.
 

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I'd view foreign proofmarks on a US-made commercial piece the same way that importers stamps are viewed on military surplus weapons - it lowers the value.

Using the M1 Garand as an example - from the collector's viewpoint there are three tiers:

Straight GI issue is the most highly valued - even though possibly mis-matched.
Import-stamped are less desireable, unless one has a spare barrel and maybe a stock.
ODCMP-build-ups are just 'parts guns', regardless of their Government connection, because their barrels and wood are new commercial production, and not wartime.

A collector wants the piece in as original a condition as is possible, so even the M1s that went through the postwar 'Clean and Repair Programs' are more desireable when they stayed in US hands, than those that went to 'Foreign Aid' and were re-imported.

The term 'No Import Markings' always brings a higher dollar.
 

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I think too the marks a German here is an interesting link in italian about marks: punzoni delle armi
I know this thread is a few weeks old but I just discovered it and want to thank Harry_Callahan for posting this link. It was the key to my interpreting my Python's proof mark. I found the exact marking.
 
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