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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have just found this forum and boy, I am glad I did. Lots of good info.

I always had a desire to own a Python, and after this weekend, I am lucky to own two, a 6-inch blue that came with box, papers, a Colt Custom Shop label for the RR front/WO rear sight modification, I would say 99% finish; and a 4-inch blue, no box/papers, rubber grip, a number of finish blemishes, bought to be a shooter. Even though they are both from the 80's, with K prefix S/Ns, they are the finest revolvers I've had.

My question is this: is there any merit in even considering a re-finish for the 4-inch "shooter", or should I just leave it alone and shoot the heck out of it?

Thanks,

GB
 

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I'm toying with the same thing at the moment as I purchased a 4" barreled Python recently. The collectors will tell you that having a gun refinished detracts from the guns value. The big question, how do you feel about it?

Personally mine will be going back to Colt to be refurbished just as soon as I get tired of shooting it. As far as I'm concerned they built the gun and know what they're doing so they'll most likely do it right. If it loses value to someone that plans on keeping it in a safe after I'm gone tough luck for them.

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I carried a Python from `65 to `85, when I had to convert to an issue Sig 220. After 20 years of carry & use, the Python showed a lot of wear. The blue was wearing off from holster use and the rear sight had a ding.

I called Colt about a re-blue and a tune up. The person I talked to was rude & not very helpful. (I blame her attitude on the labor troubles) I had a local `smith do the work for me and it looks as good as new. In addition to being a great `smith, he was a good friend of many years. He took extra pains with the gun and I am very pleased with it.

I don't shoot it much now but it's still available. Everytime I buy a new gun, I test it against the Python. Only one, that damned German Sig, has ever matched it,


John

[This message has been edited by JCM298A (edited 11-24-2003).]
 

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Unless you desire the 4 incher to look it's best, I say shoot it as is. You still have a nice 6 incher to serve as a safe queen.
 

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GREETINGS, GB-AK. I'm in the same boat from time to time about reworking guns. FWIW, I've never had it done and been happy about it. I'm of the notion, anymore, that when we start toying with sending guns off here and having this fixed there, we're really trying to work up the nerve to get rid of it and get what our, "insides is telling us," we really want. Make sense?
 

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JCM298A,
Hi! I read your reply with interest. I'd often wondered about, "badge brothers," who had to make the change from the revolvers to autos. You're the first I've heard speak of it. I bet that was tough - no? <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JCM298A:
I carried a Python from `65 to `85, when I had to convert to an issue Sig 220. After 20 years of carry & use, the Python showed a lot of wear. The blue was wearing off from holster use and the rear sight had a ding.

I called Colt about a re-blue and a tune up. The person I talked to was rude & not very helpful. (I blame her attitude on the labor troubles) I had a local `smith do the work for me and it looks as good as new. In addition to being a great `smith, he was a good friend of many years. He took extra pains with the gun and I am very pleased with it.

I don't shoot it much now but it's still available. Everytime I buy a new gun, I test it against the Python. Only one, that damned German Sig, has ever matched it,


John

[This message has been edited by JCM298A (edited 11-24-2003).]
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies. I am leaning toward leaving it as is. It will serve just as well with its minor finish imperfections, and I won't be too worried about any new dings. I am afraid of letting it go into someone else's hands, so unless it develops mechanical issues, I think I'll just shoot the thing (which it does great - very happy!).

GB
 

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rcwambold,

No, I didn't find it hard, but I've been shooting for about 55 years. In addition, I had used autos before.

The switch took place in `85 and we had a 40 hour transition school. Most of the first two days were in the classroom just learning the guns, how to strip & re-assemble, and proper clearance of jams.

I had actually switched to an auto in '83 and went through a short transition school. I supplied my first auto and the Sig was issued and we were forced to carry them after that.

John
 

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IMHO, Never,never,never, repeat never, re-blue a Colt or a Smith & Wesson. It cetainly will not increase the value of the piece, only decrease, and in 100 years, you have ruined a valuable collector item for someone else. Would you be willing to buy a 1909 New Service Navy Model today, in top condition for top dollar, if it had been re-blued? I would think maybe $1000 or more lose in value.
Again IMHO, re-bluing only gives you temporary satisfaction that it looks better and then "doers remorse" sets in and you wished you had left the gun with it's own character. I know, cuase I've done it.
Just my opinion.

------------------
Dick

IN GOD WE TRUST,
BUT KEEP YOUR
SIDEARM HANDY!

[This message has been edited by diamonback68 (edited 11-25-2003).]
 

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I wouldn't reblue either; and if you do, be sure that whoever does it really can do a good job. In my experience, revolvers, with the many curved surfaces that must be polished before blueing, are not always done right.

Bill A
 

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I'm glad to hear of your smooth transition! In my own, odd cicumstances, I had been on a department and used revolvers. Then, I went in the army and got very fond of the GI .45 and had a really nice, match grade job when I got out and got another cop job. But there, they wouldn't let me carry the .45 so, back to the revolver. I'm still shooting revolvers but I just don't think I would've warmed up to the S&W 9mm's that came later. Never had to find out. <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JCM298A:
rcwambold,

No, I didn't find it hard, but I've been shooting for about 55 years. In addition, I had used autos before.

The switch took place in `85 and we had a 40 hour transition school. Most of the first two days were in the classroom just learning the guns, how to strip & re-assemble, and proper clearance of jams.

I had actually switched to an auto in '83 and went through a short transition school. I supplied my first auto and the Sig was issued and we were forced to carry them after that.

John

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 

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GB-AK, Well ... gotta have SOMEBODY disagree, don't you? That'd be me. I've had guns reblued, too ... and sometimes I've been happy about it, and sometimes, regretted it. Had a WWI army issue .45 once that was awful when I got it. But that was in San Francisco and they HAD Colt smiths there, then, anyway. I had it worked on and reblued and LOVED IT! (I think the .45's easier to work on, too, than Colt revolvers.) Anway, I had to sell it long before I got tired of it and I got my money out of it. Besides, I'm pretty sure you'll wear off the new blue in short order, anway ... so what the heck?
 

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In my humble opinion, unless the particular revolver has a documented history, a significant sentimental value, or is a rare collectable, go for it. I would, however, recommend having it done by Colt. I've had several revolvers reblued, and renickeled, by the Colt shop, and they have always done a magnificent job, and I'm hard to please, when it comes to my shootin' irons. Unless the revolver has surface defects, that would require excessive polishing, and by doing so, round edges, remove roll markings, change profiles, etc., Colts craftsmen will give you a job that requires an experienced eye to detect. After all, the same people polished it the first time, and didn't screw it up, so barring any serious surface flaws, requiring metal removal, it will still come out looking great. Remember, these guys polish guns for a living, every day, and they are very good at what they do. The collector grade Pythons are increasing in price, but are far from being rare, and the one you described, will never be more than a shooter, so why not make it a beautiful shooter, if that's what you want. I have always found the Colt Customer Service people to be very courteous, and very helpful, even with obsolete revolvers. They even agreed to repair a 30's vintage revolver, if I could locate the parts, and send them along with the gun, as they no longer had parts available for the older models. It came back to me as good, or better, than new. I always send a letter, with the gun, requesting they be very careful when polishing edges, around screws, and rollmarks, and they have never disappointed me. Probably not necessary, but it doesn't hurt to remind them I expect the best they can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, thanks again for different opinions. I guess I'll shoot it for a while, and then think about it a bit more.

GB
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ohiobuckeye:
In my humble opinion, unless the particular revolver has a documented history, a significant sentimental value, or is a rare collectable, go for it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Thanks! I don't buy that 'lose of value' that everyone keeps bringing up. Yeah, if it were from the 1800's but this is a gun from the 80's. Mine is from the 60's and I can tell you it's going back this winter to be refinished. I would however, only have it done by Colt and not someone else.

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You may have missed my intent.

The gun does not have to have any significant historic value or be a rare collectible to be ruined, for everybody else that may be interested in the gun in the future, by refinishing. Remember we all don't live forever and some day some one else will own that Colt, whatever it's value or desirability.
I had one factory refinished in 1994 and then the cost was $160 and the cost is probably well over $200 now. I managed to sell the gun at a net lose to me. Now if you intend to keep that gun for life, it doesn't matter, but you will never be able to get your money back if you try to re-sell it. Nobody is going to pay there money for what YOU liked. Any one who has done certain types of remodeling of there house will attest to this.
Example: At a recent gunshow, I saw a beautiful Police Positive from 1923 with all the manilla paper box, papers etc. for $350, but because it had the "star" stamp, that they put on the gun after finishing, no one would even give the gun a second look. Comments were "Oh, it has the star" and put it down, like it had some kind of disease or something. The guy still has it. It's like the "kiss of death" (star stamp) whether you are a collector or just looking for an original piece to say you own a "Colt". Because the doubt is always there that it is "not an original Colt". Why else own a Colt? There are all kinds of copies and look a likes out there if you don't care.
IMHO It's like a pretty gal with implants, ya they look good but you will always know they aren't real.

------------------
Dick

IN GOD WE TRUST,
BUT KEEP YOUR
SIDEARM HANDY!
 

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There are many types of gun people out there. I buy my guns to shoot, not sit in a safe for future generations or to make a profit. I guess you can call me selfish. Who knows if we'll even be allowed to own a gun in 5 years, we can only hope.

I can understand that a collector will want pristene, but what would a collector pay for a gun that isn't in pristene shape? The cost I got from Colt for refinishing a Python was $225. I've spent that much many times with nothing to show for it, but for this money I can have a new looking Python.

It's really a toss-up but the bottom line is what do you want?

The implants? Who cares if they aren't real, as long as they look spectacular.

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As I stated earlier, if the Python is worn badly enough to be a shooter now, it will always be a shooter, and at best, a low end collectable. Unless you paid too much for it, as a shooter, and it's beat up beyond Colt's ability to properly restore it, they certainly will not "ruin it" for you. It's a judgement call based on the condition of the gun as it now exists, the money you have in it, and whether you want a nice shooter, or a future sale with a profit. But, that said, based on your description, and Colt's reasonable pricing for rework, I would guess, you would never lose money on it, and would have the satisfaction of owning a beautifully restored Python, should you choose that route. The "refinish ruins it" train of thought still exists with old school collectors, and holds true for most truly rare collectables, but Jim Supica, has written some interesting articles on the changing trends in recent years, and he is a recognized author, collector, and expert in the field. The originals will always command the high dollars, but according to Supica, and others, there is a growing market for restored guns. Think about it...there is a fixed number of collectable guns available, and a growing number of new collectors who have nothing to buy, unless they mortgage the house to pay for the skyrocketing mint condition original specimens. Look at antique autos. How many of them are totally "NIB" or "Undriven". Our changing society has more leisure time, more money to spend, and the new generations of gun collectors will buy accordingly. The older guys grew up (I'm 59) surrounded by nice $20.00 Colts, S&W's, Winchesters, etc.,and watched them escalate to their present astronomical prices. Restored pieces are slowly beginning to fill the gap. It's keeping Doug Turnbull, David Chicoine, and other restoration experts, backlogged for months, on truly antique stuff. SAA's, Schofields, 1911's, etc. "The times, they are a changin'".
 

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Joed and ohiobuckeye.

I somewhat agree with both of you and you both make some very good salient points.

Bottom line for anybody is, if you wanna do it and your gonna do it, do it. It's your gun.

My only point is look at an Early Smokeless Powder SAA, in 50% condition is $3,700, but in 100% it's worth $16,000 and what if the only difference was somebody put, not one but two, refinishing "stars" on the frame over the 100 years, which would you be will to pay top dollar for?

To a collector, or a person who just values a good Colt, the gun does not have to be pristene, but it must be 100%, unadulterated, pure Colt and not some one else's rework, and that includes refinish, even if it's done pretty good.
Again, it's just my opinion, but then I tend to be a traditionalist and a conservationist.

No offense intended, but a guy once said "Quality is like buying oats, they're $3.50 a bushel, but if you don't mind 'em bein' run through the horse once, I can get 'em for you for $.75 a bushel".

------------------
Dick

IN GOD WE TRUST,
BUT KEEP YOUR
SIDEARM HANDY!
 

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All my guns are shooters as I am not a collector. After 20 years of service, 5 days a week, the Python showed holster wear on the cylinder, the muzzle, and the back strap was in need of blue.

Although it had not appreciated too much by `85, it needed service. I had not intention of ever selling the gun and I decided to have it re-blued. The woman I spoke to at Colt had an attitude that was unbelievable. The second person I spoke to was no better than the first. Had they been more courteous, it would probably have gone to Colt but they lost a customer.

Prior to having my local `smith do the re-blue, I examined a number of his products. In fact, I had him nickle a Browning Buckmark, which came out perfect. Most of the work was done at his shop and I was able to monitor progress. He assured me that nothing would be rounded and all sharp points would stay sharp. The majority of the polishing was done by hand.

The end result has fooled a number of people who thought that the blue was the factory original.

Since I had only paid $100.00 for it in `65, I knew that I could make a slight profit if it were sold after I retired.
I could easily sell it for $400 to $600 next week if I wished to do so.

The "snake" is not for sale. There are too many memories, both good & bad, but mostly good, associated with it.

It is still the standard I use when testing a new re-load or comparing a new gun. From a bench rest, it is the most accuarate handgun that I've ever shot. When shooting Camp Perry style, the Sig 220 could sometimes shoot a higher score but I think it is a matter of bullet size, not over all accuracy. When using both guns in qualifiaction, scores were always nearly equal. At both 25 & 50 yards, the Python always shoots a tighter group than the Sig.

I would never alter a gun that is collectable but I have no collectable guns. They are all shooters. Even my 65 year old L.C. Smith 16 ga. double is a shooter. If I could find parts for my Adams Patent, I'd shoot it too.

By the way, my last dealings with Colt concerned my Magnum Carry. The attitude was great as was the service. Maybe with a little effort I can get it to outshoot my Smith 649.

John
 
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